Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon. Pokemon was created by Satoshi Tajiri and is the legal property of Nintendo. All characters are copyright of the author. All areas and locations are based off actual places in Hokkaido. This story was written long before information about Diamond and Pearl's Sinnoh region was revealed, ergo, the events in this story will not completely reflect the new timeline nor the indigenous Pokemon residing there. Please do not claim this story, or any of the chapters comprising it, as your own. Please feel free to email the author questions, comments, and/or criticisms or simply post a review.
"NO! STOP THIEF!!"
"COME BACK HERE!!"
Just the sheer volume and distress in those very shouts sent blistering cold shivers through Batoy Guilderos' spine. Even if the shouts hadn't been meant for him, the gruff-voiced man's call and the shrill shriek of that woman would have caused his heart to skip. But he was the target of that shout, and the young teen's nonchalant walk suddenly turned into a run. He never did like the word 'thief'; it was such a cold unforgiving word. Even then, Batoy didn't think what he was doing was completely wrong; he was just doing what he was told to do. Besides, it wasn't like he actually took anything. He was just the distraction. Ollie was the one who'd be in deep trouble if he got caught. Whatever it was that his superiors had wanted him to do, he did it. It was for the greater good, he'd been assured.
Sneakers pounding against the wet cement, Batoy took turn after turn, wrapping around building after run-down brick building, and eventually fled into the alleys, where he hunkered down behind one of this town's many dumpsters. Jubilife City, called the city of joy, was a miserable place. Cold grey buildings, large and imposing, jutted high into the dreary evening sky. Few windows of high-rising apartments and office buildings shown, their dim light the only sign of life. Nobody walked the streets, not in weather like this. The teen shivered as the rain, which had only been sprinkling a little while ago, turned into a heavy deluge. He was wet and cold, and the one thing keeping him from total misery was the fact that he'd succeeded with his part of the plan. No one had been caught. At least, not yet. There were still his pursuers to take into consideration.
Batoy pulled the hood of his dark-red sweater over his head as he pulled his knees towards his chest. He could hear the sound of boots splashing through the rain puddles and hurried voices calling out to each other. He dared not move, at least not for a few hours or until the rain let up. He didn't dare until he was sure that all was clear. The dumpster offered security from sight, but not from the wind and rain. It wouldn't have mattered much; he was already soaked to the bone, his carrot-colored hair plastered against his forehead. A dry spot lay to his right that he noticed, but though it was small, he was rather small for a fifteen year old and fit quite comfortably. Now all he had to do was wait and pray that Ollie could find him.
The seconds ticked by painfully slowly, and Batoy shivered. He squeezed his knees to his chest, trying to stay as warm as he could. Hyper-alert, his ears searched for the slightest familiar sound, and whenever he heard something, his stomach would tightened. After fifteen minutes of this agonizing torture, Batoy finally heard a faint crackling, and smile washed over his face. He clucked twice, too low for a normal person to really notice, and the crackling spiked sharply. Dainty yellow paws appeared as a yellow fox-like creature poked its head around the dumpster. Its mane immediately softened as the white spikes returned to being fine strands of fur. ~Jolteon!~ it cried out and immediately burrowed its head into Batoy's chest, nuzzling the boy as if he hadn't been seen in a year.
"Shhh! They're still looking for us, Ollie!" Batoy scolded quietly, his voice full anxiety. The Jolteon immediately silenced and looked at the wet boy curiously, a very relieved look about its muzzle. Minutes passed and the two looked at each other in total silence, but the sound of voices and boots never came back. Batoy smiled and rubbed the Jolteon's head, his hand gliding past the tiny spines without harm. Ollie gave a purr and nuzzled into the hand. "So, you got it?"
The Jolteon nodded slowly and sat on his hunches. He knelt down and dropped a small object he'd been hiding inside his mouth. Batoy smiled again, repressing the need to squeal as he picked it up. It was a small microchip, covered in a shock-resistance coating, no larger than a quarter. "Awesome! It doesn't seem to be damaged. Great job, Ollie!" The Jolteon blushed from the praise, and his fur crackled softly with the buzz of electricity. Batoy stuffed the chip into his pockets, barely able to control the grin that covered his face. The exchange done, all the two could do now was wait until either the rain slackened or nightfall, Batoy stroking the Jolteon's back in the meantime.
Nightfall came first, unfortunately, and the rain had not ceased to fall. Batoy looked up to watch the droplets fall from the dark clouded sky and he grimaced as exhaustion tried to claim him. Though he wanted to sleep, the fetid smell of the dumpster combined with the fear of being caught kept him alert. His body started to quiver; a sneeze tickled his nose. He couldn't sleep until he was some distance away from Jubilife. He looked down at Ollie, which had long since curled up beside him. He seemed to be asleep, but his long ears were erect, listening for the sound of footsteps. "Hey, Ollie..." Batoy whispered, and the Jolteon rose, as if he had not been asleep at all. "I guess it's time we try to beat it."
Groaning from stiffened joints and an aching back, Batoy slowly stood and half-walked half-stumbled towards the corner of the wall and peeked out. He couldn't go around with his hood raised; people would see the small magma emblem that had been sewn into the forehead. Of course, it was either that or a uniform, and he vastly preferred to remain as ambiguous as possible. Something about wearing that uniform made him sick to his stomach. So he pulled that hood down, exposing his messy bright orange hair to the pouring rain. There was no one on the street that he could see so Batoy stepped out and his Jolteon padded out on to the sidewalk and broke into a run shortly after.
Of course, just seeing anyone out in this weather was abnormal, and within moments, he was spotted. A female officer, clothed in standard-issue raingear, pulled beside of him on a motorcycle, and Batoy came to a halt. Mentally, he cursed his luck. From a distance, unnoticed, Ollie whimpered and retreated into the shadows of the alleys. Batoy was on his own. "Uh... h-hello, O-Officer..." Batoy clenched his teeth. He couldn't get the nervous stammer out of his voice.
"What are you doing out here at this time? A boy like you should be in bed; warm, dry and asleep!" Her voice was concerned, motherly. She probably had not been alerted to what had happened at the Global Trade Center. Batoy hesitated to answer; with the rain falling so hard, he couldn't think. From the shadows, Ollie wiggled his haunches impatiently. His partner's discomfort agitated him. "Where're you going? You're not up to trouble, I hope."
"N-No, ma'am," Batoy stammered out. "I was j-just heading out. Ya... ya see, I'm just a trainer... I... uh... I couldn't find the Pokemon Center, and... and I..." The intensity of the rain increased and the drone became unbearable. The rushing sound of the falling drops filled his ears to the point that he couldn't even hear himself talk. The nervous crackle of electricity faintly came through over the rain. Where was that coming from? He was losing it and he stopped. Why again? Why did this always happen? Why did he always feel that peculiar lump in his throat when he dealt with officers? He couldn't afford to be getting so nervous. He'd probably never get another chance to prove himself.
"I'll give you a ride to the Center. Go ahead and hop on. You can catch a cold if you stay in the rain too long." The officer's voice stayed kind, but there was a bit of impatience there, as if there was something that she, herself, wanted to attend to. She pointed to the caddy seat of the motorcycle. "It's okay, just get in."
If was only after a distinct snap that Batoy realized the source of the electric crackling sound. He looked passed the officer to see Ollie, crouched and sparking. His eyes went wide and he tried to shake his head, something to tell the Jolteon that he was alright. But Ollie failed to notice, and Batoy scarcely had time to cover his eyes before blinding lightning bolts soared from the fox's body, striking the officer directly and throwing her from the motorcycle. She was out before she even hit the ground. "Ollie!" Batoy cried, his body shaking with a plethora of negative thoughts. "Darn it, Ollie! I was okay! You didn't have to do that!" he shouted, and the Jolteon whimpered and splayed his ears. Batoy sighed, breathing in. "It's okay... I'm sorry... but we gotta get outta here now." Ollie nodded and trotted towards the boundary of the city with Batoy jogging after him.
Some three hundred or so feet lay between the edge of the town and a massive forest. He crossed that and had just entered into the heavy brush when he suddenly heard the sound of barking. Poochyena, Mightyena, and Growlithe, by the sounds. Police dogs. Had the woman recovered that quickly? No, they'd figured out what he'd stolen, probably. Another group, perhaps? They'd find her, and then he'd really be in deep. Batoy cast a quick glance towards his partner. The Jolteon was upset and fright streaked across his face. There was a pang in Batoy's chest, as if his heart convulsed, guilt from putting Ollie through this. "J-Just a little further, Ollie... We... we'll lose 'em soon, I promise!"
If only he could believe that. The branches and brush were getting thicker, and the barks were growing louder. They were being forced upwind where their scent could be more easily tracked. The pounding rain wasn't making it any easier. "Just a little farther..." Batoy whispered to himself through gasping breaths. The barking grew ever closer.
And then there it was, his secret base within a large tree. He'd made it two days ago. He scurried inside, down a hollow next to the base of the tree, and he covered it up after the Jolteon had slipped inside. It was dreadfully dark and damp, but he dared not move from his spot. The barking grew louder and then stopped. Footsteps. Sniffing. The Pokemon were tracking the ground for his scent, but the sudden disappearance had confused them. One Pokemon, Batoy thought he saw the coarse fur of a Poochyena, stepped close to the entrance, and Batoy's breath stopped. But their pursuers found nothing. "We lost him. Better go back. Storm's gonna get worse later on. We'll try again in the morning. He won't get too far in this weather." And then there was silence.
Neither Batoy nor Ollie moved for the next five minutes. They could still be waiting, trying to draw him out, or perhaps they were listening for a sound. The two gave them no such chance. Finally, the Jolteon gave a low whimper and Batoy relaxed. The Jolteon's ears couldn't pick up a trace. Moving from his position, Batoy felt his way for a light. It took a few moments, but he finally found the switch and the secret base was illuminated with a dim glow of portable fluorescent lights, bright enough to see where he was going and perhaps even read if he were ever so inclined.
~Quil!~ Batoy had scarcely enough time to brace himself before a creature leaped into his arms. His dark blue back fur contrasted pleasantly with the sandy yellow fur on his underbelly and legs. His red eyes gleamed joyfully as he buried his head into Batoy's chest. Batoy chuckled as he scratched the Quilava behind the ears. "Hey, Jet! I hope you weren't too bored here by yourself." The Quilava's warmth was very welcome, and Batoy's spirits immediately began to rise.
Jet hopped from Batoy's arms after nosing his ear, and Batoy sighed and looked around. The secret base wasn't much to look at. Functional, it only had an empty bookcase, a table, a chair, and a bed, along with a small laptop close to the entrance. Imprinted on the cover of the laptop was a small flame-like emblem, similar to the one on his hoodie. There was also a dresser for what little clothes he could take with him and an oh-so-small personal refrigerator attached to a tiny electric generator. It was to the dresser which he walked to, after kicking off his soaked sneakers. Ollie trotted to the bed, still whimpering, and after shaking the water from his fur, clumsily made his way on it. He collapsed and buried his head with his paws, his body shivering. Jet sat next to him, laying his head over the Jolteon's. Batoy pulled off his soaked sweatshirt, cargo pants and socks, leaving him in only wet undergarments. There was no bathroom, but he was comfortable with his Pokemon there. He changed even those, and was soon covered in warm pajamas. His wet clothes were messily discarded into a corner without care, though he had removed the chip before doing so.
He walked over to his bed, and collapsed on it, his head lying on the only unoccupied pillow there. Ollie's whimpers continued. Batoy grasped the chip and gazed at it with tired eyes. Its interior was hidden by the foggy coating that covered it, but occasionally there was a hint of a blinking light. He twisted it around. "All that... for this stupid thing?" he said with resentment. "What the heck could they want with this?" He glanced at his two Pokemon. Jet twisted his head to gaze at him, whining at bit, and Batoy rubbed his head. "You know what, Jet? I'm done. I don't wanna do this anymore..." He looked at Ollie who'd finally fallen asleep. "I don't wanna risk anymore doing this stuff...let someone else do it, I don't wanna anymore...."
Jet nodded slowly, though his motions were uncertain. He gazed at the chip with particular disdain. But even then, he didn't close his eyes until Batoy tucked the chip back out of sight. Batoy reached over and scratched behind the Quilava's ears. "Once we get rid of this thing... we'll run away.... That's a good idea, right? Running away?" The Quilava whimpered a bit, but eventually that faded into nothingness as he fell asleep. Batoy sighed before dimming the lights, the sounds of the intense storm seeming so far away. Running away sounded like such a good idea.
It wasn't until the middle of the next day that Batoy finally woke up. Splayed out across the bed, he groaned as he pulled himself up. His body was sore, and his stomach ached from hunger. The hunger he could deal with, having long been accustomed to that, but he was so sore that even standing was a trial. There was a crick in his neck, and he winced and whimpered as he padded over towards the dresser. He had a green hooded sweatshirt left, along with a pair of dark blue navy cargo pants, baggier than the ones he wore the previous day. He sighed as he slowly undressed and redressed and headed for the little refrigerator. Opening it up, he found a few cans of store-bought animal chow, two cans of tiny sausages, and three remaining bottles of fresh water. He sighed regretfully as he emptied the entire refrigerator. They were completely out of food.
"Ugh... my neck..." moaned Batoy as he trotted over to his pile of still damp clothes and pulled out his collection of red and white Pokeballs, stuffing all but one into his pockets. That one remaining ball he maximized and opened, releasing yet another creature. As the light faded, the Pokemon's body quickly materialized, revealing a small pale white creature similar in shape to Ollie with a white mane of fur wrapping around her neck. She shook her body irritably before mewing loudly enough to stir the still sleeping Jet and Ollie. "Hey, hush, Meta!" Batoy said softly, trying to quiet the irate Eevee, but she only increased her whine to a screech.
~Jol...~ Ollie whined from where he lay, his eyes gazing beseechingly at the little Eevee, but she merely turned around and flicked her tail. But her screech had quieted back to a soft mewl and Batoy sighed in relief. With a hiss, the cans of chow were opened, and after dumping the contents into a trio of bowls on his nearby dresser, he set one of them on to floor. The Eevee immediately tore into it, munching greedily as if she hadn't eaten in days. The bowl scooted across the floor from her ravenous attack. Batoy watched with a grimace. "Come on, Meta... slow down a bit... you'll get a stomach ache if you eat too fast...." He was ignored. Strands of her fur started to collect beneath her.
Turning away from the sight, Batoy made his way back to the bed. Jet had risen by now, yawning and pawing tiredly at his eyes. He set the bowls of chow in front of the two Pokemon before rubbing their heads. "Ollie, I know I've been making you do stuff you didn't want to do, and I've been pretty hard on ya," he said softly to the Jolteon. "But, I wanna say it's almost done, and after that... After that, we won't have to do it anymore. The rest should be easy from here on out." The two gave reassuring nods before focusing their attention to the meals before them. Though they didn't attack the food with Meta's ferocity, they ate eagerly and voraciously, and Batoy could barely stand to watch them. He opened the sausage cans and began to nibble on the sausages, trying to ignore exactly how hungry he really was. The sausages disappeared quickly far too quickly. "When we're finished, we're gonna have a big feast. I promise," he found himself muttering before slinging a backpack over his shoulder.
He wanted to stay to relax but it wasn't safe anymore. Now that the authorities knew approximately where he was, he couldn't stay for much longer. It was surprising that they hadn't already come and found him. They had to keep moving. Batoy sighed and stood up before walking over to the computer. The Pokemon continued eating except for the Quilava, who'd been the second to finish. Meta had since curled up on the floor and was licking her paw contently. Jet padded up next to Batoy and looked up at him. ~Quil?~ he asked, a reluctant look upon his face. The city had looked fun, from what little he'd gotten to see of it.
The boy smiled sadly and bent down, patting the anxious fire-type Pokemon. "I'm sorry, Jet, but we gotta move. If we don't, we'll get caught. I dunno what the police'll do to ya if they catch ya. Or me.... Understand? We can't stay here..." The Quilava nodded slowly, obviously not thrilled about the circumstances. His eyes narrowed on Batoy's pockets. But it couldn't be helped, and eventually Jet sighed and looked away, chirping in discomfort. Batoy rubbed the Quilava's head apologetically and motioned for the three Pokemon to follow him, and though Ollie came quickly, Meta required a bit more encouragement.
Slightly irritated, he groaned silently as he turned back to the laptop and entered in a few commands, bringing up a prompt. [Empty Base?] His finger hesitated, and only by closing his eyes could he actually click yes. Suddenly everything, from the refrigerator to the bed to his wet clothes, disappeared instantly. Even the laptop faded away, a mystery he hadn't figured out yet. The chamber had been completely stripped, leaving nothing but muddy walls and a root collection that comprised the exit.
"Well...guess we can't go back guys..." Batoy muttered, more to himself than his Pokemon. The exit leading to open air was filled with a dull grey light, and he could feel the cool air drifting down into the chamber. "Guess there's nothing left to do but head on out...."