Diamond 93: Give me Empathy
Diamond 93: Give me Empathy
Number ten was moving incredibly fast, quickly heading out of Pallet Town and towards an area with more abundant flora where he could hide. It was the beginning of the extended Viridian Forest. Ash and Gary continued the pursuit, but unfortunately lost sight of Delia among the trees and bushes. They followed her voice as far as they could, until the echo became silent. They called out to her, but there was no answer.
With no clue about which way to go, Charizard and Fearow landed. "Who was that? Where was he taking her?" Ash demanded to know.
"I don't know," Gary truthfully replied, "I was getting started setting out the pokemon's dinner when I saw someone. I thought it might be a thief, so I chased him, but he got away. I was going out to warn the townspeople that there was someone suspicious around, then I saw him down the street. Before I could even call out a pokemon he grabbed Delia and ran. No one is that fast, this makes no sense!"
Ash clenched his fists in frustration. "I have to get her back!" He didn't even know where to begin, then a thought occurred to him, 'Team Rocket.' Maybe that unknown red haired man was an enemy of Team Rocket. He seemed somehow familiar, but he moved so fast that neither Ash nor Gary could get a good look at him. "I'm taking mom's pokemon with me. Except Swablu, since she's too young. She's still back at the restaurant, take care of her for me, okay?" The pokemon, except the babies, had been recalled into their pokeballs a few minutes earlier, since everyone would soon be leaving the Pallet House. Ash had automatically taken the belt where his mother's pokeballs were when he took off on Charizard. His mother must have intended to put it on when she came back from talking to Professor Oak, since it would only be a few minutes. He put the pokeball belt on along with his own.
"Wait, what are you going to do? Do you have any idea who that was? We need to call the police!" Gary exclaimed. He didn't even bother arguing that a trainer shouldn't carry more than six pokemon at a time, that detail wasn't really important at the moment.
"No!" Ash snapped, "don't call the police." He looked into Gary's eyes, "trust me, it's best to leave them out of this. Go back to Pallet Town, take care of Swablu and keep the town safe. Please Gary, leave this to me."
"I know you're hiding something," Gary sourly concluded. "I also know when it's no use arguing with you. I'll go back, but whatever it is you're planning to do, be careful and call me if you need help."
"Thank you," Ash agreed, though he had no intentions of calling Gary and getting him involved. It was strange to think about it, but he would have Team Rocket to back him up if he needed it. The thought also made him feel frustrated at the possibility of that man being an enemy of Team Rocket, who had kidnapped his mother because he knew of his father's true identity. It was the images the mysterious Persian, Givan, showed him which made Ash keep his temper in check. He hurried the rest of the way to the heart of Viridian City. Gary went in the opposite direction back to Pallet Town.
It only took Charizard a few minutes to reach the Viridian gym. Giovanni was coincidentally making his way to his red car in the parking. Needless to say, he didn't expect Ash to suddenly arrive on a Charizard. Giovanni could only stare at the young man's expression, which held anger, frustration, urgency and fear all at once.
xoxox xox xoxox
While so many events were taking place in Viridian City and Pallet Town, at Giovanni's mansion, Persian was bored. He had been feeling tired lately, but simply wasn't in the mood to sleep anymore. He had done nothing but sleep ever since he was left in the mansion. He only woke up occasionally to the mansion's chef fussing about how he needed to eat something nutritious to get better. His head hurt, his nose was stuffy, he wasn't in the mood to deal with people. To top it all up, the classy pokemon couldn't shake the feeling of being watched.
Desperate for some fresh air, Persian snuck out of the mansion. He knew that his father would disapprove of him going off on his own, but he really needed a break. Besides, even if he was feeling sick, he refused to believe it was related to the beginnings of that deadly virus he had heard humans talking about. Furthermore, just because he mostly sat beside his father while his other pokemon did most of the battling, didn't mean he couldn't battle. He was confident that he could defend himself just fine, not that he expected anyone to attack him anyway. He would just go for a walk and return to the mansion after he cleared his head. In and out, no one would notice.
Persian climbed over the fence, with more effort than it would have normally taken him in full health. He walked further and further away from the mansion. He looked back over his shoulder; he was away from the mansion but couldn't get rid of the feeling of being watched. He shrugged it off and kept walking.
He was in the Victory Road area when a rock flew out of no where and hit him on the head. The rock was relatively small and rounded so it caused little damage, but Persian was angry. 'Who threw that?' He demanded to know with a hiss.
A loud roar answered his question as an angry Ursaring came into view. The pokemon was very unusual in that area. That particular Ursaring had been trained by a human before, but was now wild. His trainer lost his first pokemon to the illness that had tainted the east of Kanto and was spreading towards the west and to Johto. Seeking different medical help, the trainer had journeyed to Johto, with the esteemed starter pokemon finally passing away when they stopped in the Viridian Pokemon Center.
Ursaring's past trainer had continued towards Johto heartbroken, before finally deciding upon releasing his current team. One of those pokemon was Ursaring. Some were sick and others were not, but the trainer didn't want to risk infecting any of his other pokemon that were awaiting his return in his home of New Bark Town. Ursaring felt abandoned, he was healthy, but he was still thrown away on the possibility that he might be ill, albeit not yet showing it. Furthermore if he truly was ill, living in the wild would have been difficult. Ursaring felt betrayed and frustrated, he was furious.
Ursaring couldn't harm his trainer whom he still thought of as a precious person, so he let him go and took out his anger on some boulders. Then, out of seemingly no where, a Persian hissed at him. Ursaring lost his temper further and picked up a large boulder, throwing it at Persian.
Persian quickly dodged the boulder, but soon another came. Ursaring kept throwing every boulder he could get his paws on and Persian was starting to feel tired. He could barely dodge in his condition, let alone get an attack in.
'Stop it!' A blur suddenly jumped out from behind some near by rocks. Purry had been watching Persian the whole time, keeping herself well hidden. Over time she had become an expert in the art of stalking him. She debated if she should reveal herself or not, since she had the distinct appearance of an alley pokemon. The contrast with Persian's refined look was too great. None the less, all things aside, she couldn't let him get hurt. Purry jumped towards the Ursaring with her claws out, aiming for the throat.
The large brown pokemon was caught by surprise upon realizing that the Meowth was seriously trying to badly injure him, if not kill him. Ursaring lost his grip on the bolder he held over his head ready to throw it. The large rock hit him on the head, falling at his feet after the impact. Ursaring hollered in pain at the impact of the stone and furthermore upon feeling a stab on his chest that was far too sharp to belong only to a Meowth's claws, however fierce the Meowth may be. He then noticed that the fiery Meowth had used her charm as a weapon; the golden coin was cut to a point and sharpened. Fortunately, his thick fur and built prevented any fatal injuries.
The Ursaring tried to defend himself in his pained dazed state, but found he couldn't move fast enough. That Meowth was incredibly fast and strong. With a rapid succession of slashes, Purry finally forced her large opponent into unconsciousness. The Ursaring would live, but he would certainly never forget that battle. He would have never guessed such a small pokemon could possess such aggressive power.
With the battle won, Purry froze and slowly looked over to where Persian should have been. He wasn't there. She sighed sadly, 'he ran away, he probably thinks I'm a monster.' Worried that he might run into more trouble, Purry was quick to follow her beloved's scent.
xoxox xox xoxox
Persian didn't know what that Ursaring's problem was and he didn't know where that fierce Meowth came from. He did know when it was time to leave. Curious as he was about the fight, as much as he wanted some answers, he concluded it was best to leave those two alone. Besides, the mansion staff might have noticed that he was gone and they would be running around in desperation looking for him in no time. Deciding that he had enough adventure for the time being, Persian headed back to the mansion.
During his walk back, he noted that the feeling of being observed was gone. It was that way for a while, until his instinct once again alerted him that he was being watched. He decided to ignore it and keep going. He had left Victory Road and was in the area between it and Viridian City, where trees and flora were abundant. He found that he had lost his way, but knew the mansion had to be near by, hidden in the tall, lush vegetation. He resolved to climb up a tree and have a better look.
Persian saw a tree with some conveniently arranged branches. He could easily jump from one to another without worrying about losing his balance due to the dizziness that was overtaking him. Even more convenient, he saw a smaller tree near that big one. He would use that small tree, with its easy to reach branches, to climb up to the lowest branch of the larger tree. Then he would follow the ladder-like structure of that big tree until he was high enough to see the roof of the mansion among the vegetation.
With his mind set on the plan, Persian began to climb the small tree with his claws out. The tree was most displeased upon the uncalled for attack and quickly threw Persian off. Dazed, the classy pokemon blinked trying to clear his somewhat blurry vision. He had been thinking about the feeling of being watched in the back of his mind and didn't even notice that there was a Sudowoodo sleeping while standing, right in front of him.
Tired of being pushed around, Persian tried to prepare for a fight. He showed his claws and hissed as menacingly as he could. His tail was momentarily up straight and his eyes gained some focus. Unfortunately, he was soon invaded by another wave of dizziness stronger than before. To make matters worse, Sudowoodo was on the attack with wood hammer.
As Sudowoodo's arm came down on Persian, Purry jumped out of the bushes, biting the branch that dared to attack her beloved. The Sudowoodo flailed around trying to get the Meowth off. She let him go at the right moment, being flung into a tree. Instead of crashing into the tree, Purry pushed off it and tackled Sudowoodo with her claws out. The tree shaped rock pokemon tried to mimic the attack, but his strength was in no way comparable to the fierce Meowth. Clearly overpowered, the Sudowoodo ran away as fast as he could.
Purry didn't chase after her opponent; instead she looked at Persian to see how he was doing. She gasped as she saw that he was laying on the ground, breathing heavily with his eyes closed in pain. He must really be sick and shouldn't be out there. She heard some rustling in the bushes and instantly tensed up.
A tall pokemon with dark fur came out of the bushes. Purry looked into her green eyes noticing she wasn't hostile. The pokemon stood upright much like a human, with a long violet mane that went from her head, falling almost to her ankles. Needless to say, it was very unusual to see a Zoroark in Kanto. The Zoroark approached the Meowth and the Persian, observing the Persian. 'He is ill,' she spoke in the pokemon language. 'I can help him.'
'Can you, really?' Purry was taken by surprise. There was something different about this pokemon, the way she carried herself was unlike anything Purry had seen before. It wasn't simply that she was of a species that Purry had never met before, it was something more.
The Zoroark nodded, 'yes.' She extended her paw placing it gently over Persian's head and focused. His eyes were closed tightly and he was unaware of his surroundings due to the heavy dizziness that had overtaken him. Zoroark glowed as she willed the sick pokemon to sleep with the power of rest. Persian fell into a deep slumber, with his breathing becoming calm and even. 'Let him rest, he will be alright soon.'
Zoroark started to leave but Purry called after her, 'wait, who are you? How is it that you can heal with rest, like this? That power wasn't like a normal rest; I could somehow sense it was different.'
Zoroark shook her head, 'I'm not certain about that myself, but I can tell you this, I'm not who I used to be.'
It was clear that the Zoroark wasn't going to stay and tend to the Meowth's curiosity about her mysterious abilities. Purry decided not to bother her and just be grateful, 'thank you for healing him.'
Zoroark nodded in acknowledgement and promptly left. She always visited Kanto in the fall; she didn't expect to find anything or anyone waiting for her. She had long since forgotten what was it that drove her to travel to Kanto every year. It was something she had been doing for as long as she could remember, every fall she would sneak into the Viridian Forest and spend a day there before going off to explore other areas. Sometimes bits and pieces of memories reemerged, but she had stopped trying to bring them to the surface completely.
She always made sure to stay away from humans. Sometimes her presence in the Viridian Forest would be noticed, especially in the recent years. The forest was well guarded. Someone would try to catch her, but they would always fail. Thus Zoroark headed towards Viridian as she always did once a year.
xoxox xox xoxox
Some time later, Persian slowly opened his eyes feeling well rested. The fatigue of sickness was gone, his breathing was normal and his balanced had fully returned. He didn't know how it was even possible, considering how he felt before, but he was somehow fully healed. He remembered the Sudowoodo and the Meowth, but neither seemed to be anywhere in sight. He did feel like he was being watched though. He wondered if the one who had been watching him was that Meowth all along. If that was so, then how did she get into the mansion? He held no memories of the Zoroark, since he was so out of it when she was there.
He got to his feet and decided to resume his trip back to the mansion. He would still have to climb a tree to see which way he should go. Fortunately, he was once again alert enough to easily tell the difference between a tree and a pokemon. Persian was about to climb a tree when he heard some growling near by. The sound was angry and it was not similar to any sound he had heard a pokemon make. It sounded somewhat human-like, but at the same time distinctly not.
The source of the unpleasant growls soon came into view. Number three was no longer to be left alone as an urban legend. Neither Team Rocket nor the police pretended he didn't exist anymore. He was like a cornered wild pokemon trying to escape. As a result of the modifications made to age him to an adult years ago, he had continued to age at a fast pace. His old clothes were stained and ripped with blood sticking to nearly every inch of his body. Beneath the layer of blood, his skin was harsh in a barely perceptible dark tan that was hidden by the dark red tint of the dry blood. His dirty hair looked red due to the blood in it; albeit in truth it barely had any red left in it, as it had mostly turned gray in time. The only truly recognizable feature that the Bloody Killer shared with his genetic relatives, were his blue eyes.
'What in the world is that?' Persian stared at the creature that appeared to be somewhat human, but at the same time not.
'It's bad, get out of here!' Purry jumped out of the bushes, ready to fight that creature.
'I knew you were following me!' Persian accused, 'just who do you think you are stalking me like that, you unrefined alley pokemon,' he huffed in indignation.
Purry froze at the disapproval, 'I... um... Just get out of here!'
Persian huffed in annoyance, 'fine, servant, I'll leave you to your little battle. You and that creature look similar enough so-' he was cut off by the Bloody Killer suddenly hurrying forward to grip the Persian's neck. The mutant was hungry after having to run and hide so much. He could feel himself growing weaker by the day and he couldn't allow that. Maybe a meal would make him feel better.
Purry jumped on the Bloody Killer, scratching and biting as hard as she could. She managed to make him let go of Persian, but he threw her against a tree. The force was so strong that she couldn't shift her body to push herself off it and slammed hard against the tree. Angered, number three didn't cease the attack on the fallen Meowth. He grabbed her by the tail and slammed her against the ground repeatedly.
Persian had caught his breath, even if he could still feel the sticky filth of that creature's grip around his neck. That thing was disgusting and Persian was very angry. He had no business with that shabby Meowth, but he wasn't going to let that thing get away with attacking him like that. The ruby on his forehead glowed brightly as he summoned his pay day attack. A multitude of coins collided with the mutant almost like bullets, leaving bruises and cuts all over him.
Purry slipped away from number three's grasp, pained, but still able to battle. It would take a lot more than that to make her faint. She had a long history of harsh battles. It all began with Team Rocket years ago.
xoxox xox xoxox
It was a special training program for pokemon that was dropped due to the pokemon either failing or becoming too wild to control. The regimen didn't involve any power ups, only training. When the first and only instance of the program ended, only a few pokemon came out of it, Purry being one of them. She was trained to be an assassin, but she too had developed a rebellious, nearly insatiable, thirst for battle. Eventually she ran away and was forgotten, possibly thought of as dead.
After escaping from Team Rocket, Purry continued fighting one battle after another. Those who saw her feared her. She lived to fight and often found herself challenging other pokemon, even if she was vastly outnumbered. The constant battles and hardships led to many wounds along the way. Though she eventually recovered from all of them, she was left with many battle scars, visible through missing patches of fur. She also had a sharpened charm, which was done during her training to make it as deadly as the sharpest knife.
It was during the start of her training with Team Rocket when Purry, back then a nameless Meowth, met another Meowth. The male Meowth was a little older than her, but still a child. He was perched on a human's shoulder, the human that was apparently the boss of all the other humans in that underground training facility where she had been born.
The small boy Meowth jumped off the human's shoulder, landing on his feet on the floor. He curiously approached the rows of cages were many other pokemon were kept. He saw that one of the cages contained a female of his species, a little younger than him. He scuffed at the mental comparison, they were nothing alike. In his curly tail he carried a small bag of gourmet pokemon treats he had taken along to snack on. He sat down, placing the bag in front of him and reaching in for a treat with his front paw.
'Why are you sad?' The voice took the male Meowth by surprise. He looked towards the young female in the cage who had spoken. 'Your trainer is clearly much kinder to you than mine is to me. I don't know why someone like you would be sad.'
'Mom left and dad tries not to show it but he's upset.' He stopped himself before he could say anything more. He threw his head back and looked away from the female of his species. 'It's none of your business, servant. Unlike you, I'm a high class pokemon. I can have everything I want. My father is the boss of this place, I'm not just his pokemon, I'm their son, mother said so.'
'It's too bad your mom left. I never met my parents,' the female Meowth replied.
'I said it doesn't matter!' The male hissed, 'mom will come back some day, dad's going to find her. I'm sure she'll come back if dad asks her to.'
The young Meowth didn't know how right he was. But Giovanni didn't go after Delia; he didn't ask her to return even if he knew where she had gone. She had left with only a letter and no reason to run away like that could be big enough, in Giovanni's opinion. Many years would pass before he knew why she left, before he learned about Ash.
The female Meowth observed the male. She had seen him a few times with the human he called his father, the boss. 'I guess no one is safe from sadness,' she mused. She had thought he lived such a perfect life, but he didn't. 'At least you still have your father and you might see your mother again too. Cheer up, you'll be okay!'
'You're the one in a cage, servant pokemon, you're in no position to tell me to cheer up.' Frustrated and sad, the Meowth boy dashed away back to his father. He attempted to climb back on his shoulder, but Giovanni picked him up first, allowing him to easily jump on his shoulder again without having to climb all over him.
As Giovanni exited the lab with his little Meowth, the bag of treats was left forgotten on the floor. The female Meowth reached between the bars of her cage and stretched as far as she could, but was unable to reach it. She uncomfortably repositioned herself inside the small cage and reached out with her tail. Her tail was just long enough to reach the bag of treats. She reached into it taking one of the delicious treats in her small front paw. She put it in her mouth, savoring the taste; it was like nothing she had ever tasted before.
She didn't know if the Meowth boy had truly forgotten his treats or if he just left them there. If he had left them, it was the first act of kindness she had ever received. Even if it had been an accident, none the less she wanted to be his friend. He was kind of bratty, but she could tell he was only that way because he missed his mother. Perhaps his father tried to make up for it by showering him with gifts. She could only imagine what his life might truly be like.
The young Meowth girl decided that one day she would climb to the top of Team Rocket and stand by his side. It was just a childish crush, mixed with a wish for a better life and for a trainer that cared about her. Eventually, she would run away from the hardships of Team Rocket and wonder from one place to another all over Kanto for years.
One night, after that little Meowth was all grown up, she met a girl wearing the emblem of Team Rocket. The girl didn't seem bad; she tried to talk to her, to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement. She wasn't looking for a servant; she was looking for a partner. It was that girl, Pixel, who began to call the Meowth Purry. Upon returning to Team Rocket, Purry had the chance to see her first crush again. He was grown up into a handsome Persian more attractive than any other pokemon she had ever seen. The wish to be with him resurfaced stronger then ever. At least she controlled her thirst for battle as she began to get used to interacting with other living beings outside of a fight.
Purry didn't expect Persian to realize who she was. She fully expected him to have forgotten their first meeting all those years ago. Either way it didn't matter, it didn't change anything. Purry was once again determined to make it to the top and stand by his side.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. I know, I left you hanging yet again. For the longest time I've been wanting to give Persian and his stalker some attention. Plus I did update about number three's whereabouts and yeah, the shiny Zoroark is important too. Let the theories fly!