Categories > Games > Pokemon > The Spirit of Alola - Book 2 - A Hurting Heart

Chapter 16 - The House

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 16 of Spirit of Alola Book 2

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2023-07-03 - 2599 words - Complete

The sky showed a molted gray, hiding the morning sun, a heavy layer of clouds threatening the Island of Melemele with a storm. A cold wind blew off the ocean, bringing with it the smell of distant rain. Mel breathed in deep, held it for a moment, then exhaled slowly, trying to push out her mixture of emotions for the coming day.

They were going to the Ashoka’s house. Officer Jenny had given the all-clear a few hours prior, releasing the house to the custody of Mel, finally allowing the friends and family to begin their own investigation into the disappearance of Sashi and a young teenager named Sam.

Ahead, Mel had released two of her Pokemon, Slowking, and Girafarig, both of them standing on the outskirts of Professor Burnet’s property with a small brown and white Pokemon floating between them.

The new creature was Squall. It was a Pokemon that Anya Māhoe had acquired the night before. It was a Raichu, from what the old doctor could tell, but it looked different from the ones she was used to seeing in Johto.

Not only was Mel shocked to wake this morning, finding out that Anya, who’d hated Pokemon since childhood, had caught one of her own, but it was also a Psychic Type. She could feel the power in the electric mouse as it interacted with her partners in the yard. The fear that held to the young doctor’s face whenever it looked at its Trainer told Mel that Anya was absolutely terrified of her own Pokemon.

Why would she pick a Pokemon she hates so vehemently? Mel thought. She’s met enough to know a Psychic Type when she sees one. She continued watching over the creatures before her for a while as she pondered.

Anya paced on the porch behind the Psychic, a hiss of breath pulling the old doctor’s mind away from her thoughts. “I still don’t see why we had to wait for the police.” She grumbled, throwing a few choice words in as she paused her walking for a moment to check the clock on her phone, one foot tapping impatiently on the wooden planks.

“It was too dangerous,” Mel spoke carefully, keeping the annoyance out of her own voice with difficulty.

“What if something worse has happened to Sashi while we’ve sat on our behinds waiting for them?”

“Suppose you guys tried joining? One of you could have been injured as well. Or,” She paused, looking the young woman hard in the face, “could have also been caught. It would cause worse issues if the enemy were to have more bargaining chips than it already has. The best choice was for you all to stay away until the place was deemed safe.”

Though the black-haired woman didn’t reply, the look on her face, her eyebrows drawn in and lips frowning, indicated that she understood the answer, most likely having known the reasoning already, but she was trying to pick a fight. Her constant attempt at anger to camouflage all her other emotions was stronger than normal, fear for her sister coming off the woman in near physical waves.

Mel brought her right hand over to her broken left, rubbing it on the cast encasing it in an unconscious effort to relieve an itch. The movement caused an agonizing twinge to run through her injury, and the old woman squinted her eyes, pulling in a small, sharp gasp at the pain. A movement dragged her green gaze to Anya’s dark brown one, their eyes meeting for a moment as the younger woman’s face revealed a sudden look of regret.

“Mel,” the girl spoke, her voice taking on an uncharacteristic softness as she gazed at the affliction she’d caused the day prior, but the front door to the house opened, Doctor Opūnui and Professor Burnet stepping out. In an instant, the sadness on Anya’s face vanished, replaced by her usual scowl once more.

“Doctor Gomez. Doctor Māhoe,” the man spoke, nodding to them with a failed attempt at his usual jovial self, unaware of the moment their arrival had prevented.

“Please, Ori.” Mel stopped him, her own emotions making it difficult for her to keep a note of frustration out of her voice. “Call me Mel.”

“Don’t bother. I’ve been telling him to call me by my first name for years.” Anya cut in before anyone else could speak. She waved her hand in the air dismissively to quiet the older man’s protest, then turned her face to Burnet. “Well?”

The Professor brushed passed the small angry woman, clearly frustrated by the rudeness of Anya. Avoiding the girl’s eyes, she walked down the front steps. “My parents will watch the children. Mom will be taking them to her home after we leave.”

“We should get going then,” Mel nearly begged the group into action, turning her feet to her son’s home. The group moved off in silence, and it was in that same manner that they arrived at the house on the hill a few minutes later.

An older man met the crew at the door, his yellow robes and gray hair whipping in the wind. He greeted Opūnui like an old friend, nodded at Anya respectfully, and gave Burnet a look of saddened compassion. His face wore a serious expression as he opened the home up, pausing to give Mel a questioning stare before stating in a gruff voice. “You must be Doctor Gomez. My name is Hala. I am the Kahuna of Melemele Island.”

“Call me Mel, please. I’m Kabir’s mother.” She reached her hand out to him, confused by the new term presented to her.

“He’s the strongest Trainer on the Island,” Burnet added helpfully, then continued to Hala, “Mel only arrived a couple days ago and hasn’t learned all the terms of the region just yet.”

He nodded his head in acknowledgment. “I see. Well, welcome to Alola. Though I am sorry you have come here under these circumstances.” His voice was genuine as he spoke, and Mel found it easy to trust this new man. His presence felt like a grandfather figure, though the two were similar in age, she assumed. “My duties to the island, as well as the investigation,” He indicated the house with a hand, “have left me rather busy, so I am not up-to-date on your arrival just yet. Will Sashi Ashoka’s parents be joining as well?”

“No,” Mel answered, “I’ve been keeping them fully informed on the situation but have instructed them to stay at their home in a different region. They have been in charge of watching the research Pokemon of the Ashoka’s, and I think it best they continue assisting in that regard.”

“Understandable,” the Kahuna nodded.

“Professor Athini Acacia will be arriving with her husband Myron at some point, though.” Mel continued, silencing a surprised exclamation from Anya with a glance. “Athini is Kabir’s sister, and I believe she may be uniquely equipped to assist in the matters at hand. I am not certain of their flight schedule, however, so I do not know when we are to expect them.” The Psychic didn’t need to use her powers to feel that the small woman beside her was giving her a furious glare.

It had also not been missed by Hala, though, as the man turned to her, raising an eyebrow and asking, “Anya, do you have something to contribute to the conversation?”

“No, I do not,” she stated, the respect in her voice taking Mel by surprise.

“Let’s get this started, shall we?” It was Opūnui who spoke next, pulling his hands in front of himself, indicating the group moves out of the front room.

Again, silence engulfed the group as they walked forward, allowing Mel the time to look around the house. She realized the setup was similar to the previous home of the Ashoka’s, albeit much more spread out, as the last had been far smaller. The place was even relieved of all the moving boxes already. Mel knew that was Sashi’s doing, the woman having always been eager to ensure a safe environment for her blind husband. Without the presence of them both though, the house felt empty.

The Psychic couldn’t see any sign of invasion to the property besides many sets of muddy bootprints making a clear path into the home, most likely left by the police force. She tracked their progress past the stairs leading up to the second floor of the house, by the kitchen doorway, and even through the living area. They all led in a single line to a set of steps tucked away at the back of the building.

“This is where the event,” the Kahuna stated, though his gaze at Mel was apologetic, “took place. Here in the basement.” The man led the group to the bottom of the steps.

Mel paused for a moment at the top and viewed the home once more, trying to feel anything, but the walls held nothing but stories of the most recent Police involvement. She cast an eye to her Slowking and Girafarig, nodding her head at them and told the Pokemon, “Stay put. Keep watch for anything suspicious and report to me if something comes up.” Then she took carefully placed steps to follow the others.

Images flooded her mind of the lab shattered to pieces, puddles of blood sprawling across the floor, Hop, the Delcatty lying, her body broken under a heavy bookcase, as described by Burnet and Anya, and Mel found she had to take deep, silent breaths to calm herself as she cleared the ceiling to view the area for the first time. She squeezed her right hand tight, balling her fist.

The darkened sky from the world outside, holding onto a storm, cast light into the basement. A large, double-wide door sat; the curtains were drawn, but the window was intact. Bookshelves smelling of fresh wood and sealant were neatly placed against the walls. The floor was spotless, besides the leftover footprints. One door sat at the far end of the room, open, but the interior darkened. This room was not nearly the sight Mel was expecting.

“These are the pictures,” The Kahuna stated, placing a hand on a box that sat on an otherwise empty table.

“What have you done?” Anya exploded in anger and confusion, facing the man with open hostility. “How is Mel meant to know what happened if you’ve fixed this place up?”

“Doctor Māhoe,” Opūnui said, a gentle warning in his voice, but his own eyes made known his shock.

Burnet spoke up next, “Hala, I’m sorry, but she’s right. Wouldn’t it make more sense for Mel to see this room as it was?”

“The crime scene photos would be more than enough evidence for any investigation. I thought it best that the Ashoka’s would be able to return to a home that is safe, the memories from that day wiped from it.” Hala responded to the confused group.

“How is anything meant to be learned from a couple of photos,” Anya snapped. “She needs to, I don’t know, read the room or something. In trying to “help”, you've messed everything up.” The small woman seethed, nearly shouting in her fury. She had rounded on the yellow-clad man again, her brown eyes blazing.

“Anya,” Opūnui reprimanded more harshly, reaching out and placing a hand on her shoulder.

“No, Ori, I think there is a factor that I’m missing here.” Hala’s eyes were now locked onto Anya’s defiant gaze.

Burnet spoke up, her voice quiet after the yelling from the young Doctor. “I’m sorry. We must not have told you. Mel here is a Psychic.”

Hala raised an eyebrow but remained silent. The rest of the room turned to the older woman as they waited for her response.

“It is true. However, Anya,” Mel addressed the smallest person in the room, hardening her voice to get the point across. “I read people. Not places. You should know that better than anyone else.” The girl’s eyes lowered at the disappointment in her voice. Then the Psychic turned to Hala once more. “The photos will be more than enough.”


I feel a heat on my face, a wetness in my eyes, and a lump in my throat. I knew from the descriptions that Anya and Brunet gave me that this would be hard for me to see. Anya was choking on her words as she’d described it a few days prior, but it still took all my strength to hold myself together when I sat down on the floor to go through the box of crime scene photos.

The others had seen my struggle, the gentlemen respectfully turning their backs to talk at the far end of the room. Burnet was sitting next to me, her side pressed against me as I pulled another calming breath in. Anya sat across from us, but even her own, normally hardened eyes, were pained as she viewed my reaction.

It doesn’t matter to me if Sashi was just my daughter-in-law, the girl and I were so close we might have well been related by blood. I’ve known her for nearly as long as Anya, and the kindness she’d shown had made a deep impression on my life. Especially the care and gentility she always used with others, even if they had treated her poorly. But to sit here, in the home she had bought with my son, and see the effects of her having been so brutally attacked filled me with so much heartache, the pictures from the box telling the story easily.

Yet, in the pit of my stomach, I felt something else. Another more powerful emotion that fueled me to keep shuffling through the images. It had filled me time and again, especially before I took on the Ashoka family as my own.

I’d noticed it the many times I had gone to other crime scenes, years before, seeing in first person the atrocities being performed on others, often children, the main focus of my job then. I knew the feeling to be fury. Pure, outright anger at the ones who would injure the innocent. I felt it now as I placed the last picture in front of me; more powerful than it had ever been before.

I know I should calm myself. Allowing my anger to control my strength is a sin my own master had drilled into me since childhood. I had taught the same of my pupils even. But I feel the bubbling fury in my mind flow through me, strengthening my powers tenfold. I could use this to defeat my enemy. I think, my heart clinging desperately to the idea. My family could be safe once more.

I’d seen what this beast was doing to Sashi in my vision last night. I didn’t know what it was, where it was, or even how its power felt, but I knew I would find it with my dear daughter-in-law. I didn’t know how I would be able to control myself when we finally met with it, but I did understand one absolute truth; this was the last time it would ever hurt someone. I would personally see to that.
Sign up to rate and review this story