'Husbandry' refers to the breeding and rearing of animals. It makes perfect sense, at least for someone like Coriolanus Rowland.
Pokémon for Security
When we're dealing with creatures capable of killing most humans with a single well-placed finger, it is inevitable that guard work will crop up at some point. In this chapter, therefore, I have compiled a list of Pokémon that excel at police and home security work.
There is an important distinction to be made here between the two. Police Pokémon are good at tracking down criminals and holding them captive; guard-Pokémon for the home should never be doing this, leading as it does to the twin problems of costly lawsuits and the abandonment of their post. No, the domestic guardian ought merely to scare off door-to-door salesmen, robbers and dislikeable in-laws.
And, of course, neither the police nor the homeowner should be looking toward the Pokémon more suited to military work. A single Aggron, dropped strategically into a war zone, can effectively destroy an army – but that same Aggron, confined in your back garden, will probably walk through your house and destroy your neighbourhood instead.
So what are we looking for when we ask for domestic security? The answer is that it depends on what sort of security this is. Is this a Pokémon to be chained near the front door, to ward off those visitors you'd rather not see? Or is this a Pokémon to be kept inside, to surprise the nocturnal invader? If you are uncertain what exactly you want, consider just getting a regular Pokémon pet; it must be remembered that a lone Lombre, if placed well, can easily scare off the casual thief. If you have real valuables to protect, it may be wise to invest in proper security Pokémon, however, and this is where this chapter will help you.
Moving on to police work, then, the potential of Pokémon is enormous. Mounted police have been making a return in recent years with the introduction of Rapidash; unless criminals have Pokémon of their own, they find them difficult to evade. (If this is a concern of yours, I recommend bringing along a getaway Arcanine, which possesses the twin advantages of being able to outrun a Rapidash and being completely invulnerable to fire. Experience has taught me always to expect the worst.) There are also promising trials being conducted with Manectric, in which they compare favourably with bloodhounds.
This chapter is subdivided into two categories; one for the homeowner, and one for the policeman. Read on, then, and discover the spectacular world of violence that is just a few short inches from your grasp.
Only really recommended for owners of large amounts of land, Mightyena (Crocuta diabolis) does exactly the same job as a pack of hounds, but better. More intelligent, better coordinated and possessed of an unending bloodlust, they are the premier choice for the modern baron or viscount looking to serf-proof his property.
Mightyena are members of the hyena family, which sits between that of the cats and the dogs, and as such have an excellent and rigid – if slightly brutal – pack structure. Once you or your groundskeeper is established as the pack leader in their eyes, any attempt at insubordination will be ruthlessly put down by the others in the group. The beasts themselves will be loyal to you unto death.
The main question one would ask is this: why use Mightyena, notorious for killing at least eighty per cent of humans that they give chase to, when the safer alternative of guard dogs is available? The answer is simple. Anyone who even needs to ask this question must have the simultaneous inadequacies of lacking a healthy disregard for human life, and of being something of a spoilsport. The real question is, why use dogs when Mightyena are available?
Please note that certain laws regarding human welfare make guard Mightyena more useful in less economically developed countries.
Diet: If your land is regularly intruded upon, this may not be a problem; otherwise, seek large quantities of meat. You will not be able to keep a pack cheaply, but it is a small price to pay for such enviable security.
Housing: As your average lion.
Size: Between five to six feet in length.
Lifespan: In the wild, twelve years or less; one Mightyena at a zoo in Hamburg was once thought to have lived to be 25, but it was later proven to be an elderly bear that had been mislabelled by a clerical error.
Evolution: Poochyena are often as vicious as Mightyena, but lack their elders' unstoppable brave idiocy; if kicked, they are liable to retreat. It is best for the discerning owner to evolve them through battle before using them as guards.
Breeding: Tricky. As alpha male, the owner of the pack will be expected to mate first with one of the females, so that the others will know which ones they are allowed to mate with; if this does not occur, no members of the pack reproduce that year. It is probably best to leave Mightyena breeding to the professionals.
Acquisition: There exists a fine dealership in Mightyena in the north of Hoenn; however, if a trip overseas is beyond your means (and if it is, do think twice about acquiring a pack of Mightyena) then you can pick up some rather inferior specimens in Kenya.
The perfect nightwatchman, Sentret (Cambarsus sentret) is less of a security guard and more of a burglar alarm. They possess an innate tendency to keep watch over their surroundings, and three or four of them, spread around your home and garden, will notice any attempted intrusion and begin to scream and thump the ground with their tail. Since the average Sentret is capable of producing a sound in excess of 115 decibels, it is not only likely to wake you but everyone in the neighbourhood, and very probably temporarily deafen the would-be thief into the bargain.
Other than that, there is some merit in Sentret as a cuddly family pet – but it will always dedicate itself, first and foremost, to the guarding of what it sees as its family, or clan, and hence will never truly throw itself into the festivities. They are like old soldiers who have seen too much, and can never truly relax.
Some recommend Patrat as an alternative to Sentret, but Patrat will always try and signal to you with their tails that there is an intruder in the house, and this rarely wakes anyone up unless the Pokémon is sitting on their face.
In all, other than its remarkable lung capacity, Sentret is rather boring. If you want a lively pet, I recommend evolving it: Furret are bouncy, active and always ready to play, or (if, like me, you have dangerous enemies) to be used as an impromptu garrotte.
Diet: Mainly insectivorous, but, like many meerkat and mongoose species, they are adventurous in their tastes: toxic centipedes, scorpions and millipedes are their favourites. Capitalising on their handy immunity to Ekans venom, they also enjoy snakes, and occasionally lizards.
Housing: Similar to ferret. They require a fairly large home, and most of them enjoy a network of tubes to negotiate. However, they will spend the majority of their time balancing on their tail outside their den, keeping watch, so it is advisable that they have space to do so.
Size: Two and a half to three feet in length, much of which is tail.
Lifespan: In theory, twelve to fourteen years, though some have occasionally been known to cut their lives short by screaming so loudly that they burst. If this happens to your Sentret, it is probably best to hire a professional cleaner, or you will be picking offal out of the carpet for months to come.
Evolution: Not difficult, but Furret, being a top predator in the Johtonian plains they frequent, lack the guardian spirit that Sentret have in abundance. They are a friendly pet rather than a burglar alarm.
Acquisition: Johto, unsurprisingly, is the best place to go; Cherrygrove is often cited as producing the best specimens, though I have heard it said that New Bark is something of a hidden gem in terms of Sentret breeding.
Throh & Sawk
I am always wary about recommending these two. Throh (Lithicutis major) and Sawk (Lithicutis minor) are close relatives of humans and chimpanzees, and as such display both worrying intelligence and worrying aggression. The combination of these qualities results in a creature that can not only take offence at an insult but that has no qualms about exacting revenge for it. Between the two species, improperly handled Throh and Sawk are to blame for forty per cent of injuries to first-time Pokémon owners. However, properly trained and treated well, they are among the most formidable weapons legal for any homeowner to possess.
Both Throh and Sawk are capable of enormous leverage, but apply it in different ways: while Throh will grapple with and toss the intruder from your property, while Sawk will kick and punch them into unconsciousness (or death, whichever comes sooner). If you keep Throh, you will want to make sure that it remembers to open doors and windows before hurling anyone through them.
Be aware that these Pokémon will want to spend most of their day training; interrupting them at this pastime will usually cause them to become violent. Some of them can be weaned from this habit, but you will find they put on a great deal of weight very quickly, becoming morbidly obese and dying from weight-related diseases. I suppose that they are most feasible as pets if you are a master of martial arts who can strike up a friendship on equal terms with them; when I tried my hand at this, I very quickly discovered how unpleasant it is to break both legs, and have since never gone near either Throh or Sawk.
Diet: Fruits, nuts and people who displease them.
Housing: Easily house-trained, they will be happy with a room in your home to call their own. This should be furnished with a punch bag, which will keep your Pokémon amused when they have no would-be intruders to subdue.
Size: Throh are usually between four and five feet high, and Sawk are a little taller.
Lifespan: Around sixteen years, but they often die young from rage-induced heart attacks.
Evolution: Not applicable.
Breeding: Oddly enough, this doesn't seem to occur; every single Throh and Sawk is male.
Acquisition: Dorian's, the Castelia-based Pokémon emporium, is the place to go. No one has ever bred them, and consequently they are in fairly short supply, which is probably a blessing.
A powerful tool for the modern police force, but one that requires that your officers be carefully trained, Rapidash (Equus monocerus infernus) is the reason for the resurgence of mounted police in recent years. Capable of running at speeds in excess of 150 mph, there are very few criminals capable of escaping it. Of course, there is the significant danger posed by buildings, which do not exist on the rolling plains Rapidash evolved in; since it is difficult to turn corners at that sort of speed, unskilled riders often end up dead with their mounts after running into walls. Another safety precaution to be taken is a fire-proof face mask, since Rapidash's mane is made wholly of flames, and tends to stream out onto the head of the rider.
These two drawbacks aside, Rapidash are very serviceable mounts. As well as conferring the height and speed advantages that regular horses do, they are extremely good for policing riots: their fiery bodies are very intimidating, and they are excellent at dispersing crowds with weak Heat Waves. Rapidash were in fact a key part of the battle against the London rioters of a few days ago, where they also employed their flame-manipulation powers to help suppress the fires that broke out. There was one rather nasty incident where one flicked its head back in exultation and accidentally stabbed its rider in the face with its horn, but accidents such as these must be recognised as very uncommon and then ignored.
Diet: Just like a horse.
Housing: Conveniently housed in your paddock; it does loath getting wet because of the noise the rain makes as it sizzles in its mane, so a stable would seem logical. However, this cannot be a conventional stable; there is too much (flammable) straw and wood in those. Neither can it be metal, for its flames will heat the metal until even your Rapidash is cooked; you might well ask what you can make the stable out of, and I would have to answer stone, with clay or ceramic lining.
Lifespan: Twenty-five to thirty years, though I once saw one that the owner claimed to be seventy. Thinking back on this, I realise that my wife was right, and it was probably a lie.
Evolution: As Ponyta, they make ideal mounts for the non-police rider, provided they don't weigh more than fifty-two kilograms. However, they are only really useful for chasing things as Rapidash.
Breeding: As a horse.
Acquisition: Rapidash have been domesticated across the world; excellent specimens are to be found in the horse markets of Ulan Bator, where they have been bred for centuries ever since the Mongols discovered the fact that archery from Rapidash-back results in a volley of flaming arrows.
Beldum (Psychomachina minor) are, though rare, very useful in modern policing. A group of them telepathically linked to a controlling Metang can act as mobile security cameras, beaming all they see back to the station. Their small size and levitating nature mean that they are difficult for criminals to evade, and can continually beam updates on the situation back to the policeman tracking them. If necessary, they are also quite good at ramming into things, which can be useful for stopping those attempting to evade justice but which also counts as police abuse in many countries. It is a pity that lawyers are so commonly available these days; I remember simpler days, when all problems were solved with good clean physical violence.
I miss those times.
Diet: Beldum absorb energy from power lines, magnetic fields and the brain waves of those nearby. Leaving them near a convict for a long period of time will cause excruciatingly painful headaches; whether you choose to separate Beldum and prisoners after reading this or put them closer together is entirely up to you.
Housing: They do not really sleep in the conventional sense of the word; they will be happy if allowed to rest occasionally on shelves or other flat surfaces.
Size: Around two feet long.
Lifespan: Uncertain. Rather than claim their immortality, I will just say that no Beldum has ever been observed to die.
Evolution: Metang make admirable controllers for your group of Beldum, if you can tame them. The evolutionary process is unique, requiring you to coax two Beldum to fuse together. Under no circumstances, though, should you attempt to evolve them all the way to Metagross; as possibly the top land predator on the entire planet, accidents are bound to happen. Of course, you have probably heard of Steven Stone, Emeritus Champion of the Hoenn Pokémon League, and his Metagross – but he is the exception rather than the rule. The average man on the street will be killed in an instant if confronted by a Metagross.
Breeding: Generally speaking, not possible; however, sometimes, a glitch in their source code will cause a Metang or Metagross to deconstruct itself and rebuild the parts into three or five Beldum, respectively.
Acquisition: Rare. Northern Europe is your best bet, and the more untamed the better. There are some hackers who are trying to get Metang to continually spawn Beldum in Sweden, where they are more common than elsewhere; try your luck and see if you can pick up a pack cheaply.
All the convenience of police dogs, without the hassle of being vulnerable to bullets. Herdier (Canis scutopilos) has a unique outer coat of toughened dark fur and impressive stamina. Studies show that they can withstand severe beatings for anything up to four hours before showing signs of bruising; at moderate leve, the beating could extend for six or seven hours before Herdier register pain. Only a dire beating will bring bruises and broken bones within the hour. (For the specifics of levels of beating, from mild to dire, please refer to Ambrose Witherspoon's seminal work Beatings: The Scientist's Guide.)
The only thing to bear in mind with Herdier is that they are supremely loyal, and if the trainers they are used to working with are away, they may well refuse to obey. In extreme cases, such as when they are separated from their trainers for extended periods of time, they may even commit suicide. It is recommended that they aren't allowed outside at times like this, or near sharp objects.
Diet: As a dog.
Housing: As a dog.
Size: Around three feet tall at the shoulder. They aren't the sort of dog to be taken lightly.
Lifespan: Twelve to fourteen years, if not allowed to evolve.
Evolution: While Stoutland are extremely tough creatures, they lack the manoeuvrability of Herdier and are not so well suited to police work. (However, they make excellent substitutes for bears, if bear baiting happens to be illegal where you live.)
Breeding: Much as a dog, although Herdier have elaborate courtship rituals that other dogs do not. It is best not to interfere with these if you prefer your legs unmauled, though some breeders claim to be able to walk freely among them during the mating season.
Acquisition: Dorian's is the best, of course, but there are breeders worldwide. Herdier have never been difficult to get hold of.