Riku Kimura//September 2; 12:30 A.M.
Farmer's Cornfields, Route One
Morning had faded and the sun had burned away the last of the lingering mist. Riku had a general idea of the direction in which he was headed, having traveled through the place before, but that was three years ago. Things change, as evident by a field of corn in which he found himself a tad lost. The younger stalks poked at his bare legs and the taller ones that slipped from his hand whipped back at into place, striking random areas on his face in the process. His eye received a minor blow from time to time, making it sting and water, but no real damage was done. Carefully, he picked his way through, knowing the expansive field belonged to some one and did not want to trample any stalks to death. Then again, who would notice a few crushed stalks in the midst of hundreds or thousands? Could be just as well a wild Pokémon had gotten to it. However, he wasn’t going to press his luck. No farmer wanted to see their hard earned crop wasted in such a manner. He trudged on. In spite of the uncomfortable prodding by the vegetation, the crops at least provided decent shade though the tightly knitted cluster did make him slightly claustrophobic. Perhaps it was because the narrow passage between the neatly aligned crops reminded him of the back alleys in Viridian. Skyscrapers leaned in, towering mightily over the lesser. The slum’s inhabitants were about as many as the number of corn in the field. Maybe not that much, but it sure felt like it. It was like another world, separated, discarded, prematurely torn away…
“We’re nothing more than a byproduct composed of nature’s remnants during its creation of grandiosity.” Riku began staring absentmindedly at the soil beneath his feet. He smirked, he never thought he would repeat that statement. That statement…he hadn't thought about it for so long. He had read it in a philosophy book somewhere, and he used it as his sort of motto from then on. Not really a happy one, but it worked for him. He shook his head at the nonsense, he had let that go a long time ago. It did have a ring of truth to it though. Even he believed it—believes it. No one cared. They were nothing more than living disposables that happened to appear and act human; objects of blame, targets of unrelated outrage, and lab rats. That’s what they were seen as. For those who hadn’t fallen into bitterness and retained a shred of hope that they could escape poverty’s grasp, they were biddable. They were willing to do anything for a legitimate earning so they wouldn’t have to look over their shoulder for the police or a commanded Pokémon that would scare them—if not beat them—within an inch of their lives. It was typical naïve action of newbies.
He stopped and lifted his gaze. “Like a crushed stalk of corn that’d never be noticed. It won’t be noticed amongst the masses of the living and neither would it be noticed amongst others that were crushed. It would just be one of many that were left to wither away until death." Coming back to his senses, Riku grew slightly surprised at the sight before him. Crushed stalks were definitely the topic of the day. From where he stood probably twenty-four feet or more of that section of crops had been broken off and stripped. The area was devastated and the golden brown indicated how long it must’ve been like that. Most were broken at the base and from the way the stumps protruded at various heights he guessed they weren’t professionally harvested. Nevertheless, he had a break from the starchy jungle and decided to capitalize on it - trying to shake those thoughts from his head. Stepping toward the middle of the clearing, Riku shrugged off his bag before swinging it around onto his chest. He unzipped it and glanced in. Now, Riku usually didn't have feelings. Normally he didn't have premonitions, or any kind of spiritual enlightenment. He never predicted anything, he stuck to facts. But something, this one time, in the gut of his stomach, squirmed inside him. As if guided by someone, his head moved up from the bag to look at the middle of the clearing.
There stood a tall, imposing figure. It was bulky, covered in shadows for some inexplicable reason….only its piercing blue eyes could be seen, staring into the boy's very soul. As if everything suddenly shifted to slow motion, Riku reached into his bag for his camera to take a quick snapshot. He looked through the eye piece to take the picture, and was successful. He looked up from the camera, and it was gone. What had it been? Riku looked back at the snapshot he had just taken, and was surprised. The entire picture seemed fuzzy, almost like the white noise old television sets had. But you could faintly make out a tall dark figure in the center, with its blue eyes. Riku glared at the thing, transfixed by how much power it seemed to have….and it seemed, somehow….like it knew more than he did, like it knew what the future was…It seemed….lonely. It felt horrible, when it looked at Riku, the boy felt so heavy, like the creature was wishing….
"For….for me to die.” Riku said to himself, muffled. He turned off the camera and shoved it back into his bag, he didn't have much more time to think as the small capsule on his belt burst open in a flurry of white light. Before long a pair of large blue eyes stared curiously up at him. Stocky, stubby, or stumpy? He wasn’t sure how to describe the orange Pokémon. He had a creamy colored underbelly, it was soft and squishy. The flame on his tail revealed his healthiness, having a bright yellow sheen to it. His short, stubby arms twitched vaguely as he moved those blue irises around their circular shaped confinements, taking in his surroundings before returning his sights to Riku. The human watched him unflinchingly, making him a bit uncertain. Riku's glittering eyes scanned him over, calculating. He wasn't really given a chance to meet his starter back at the lab, what with those thugs and all.
He lifted the white piece of technology the man with the red hair gave him back at the lab. Tapping open the front face upward, he saw the monitor come alive and almost instantly bring up a profile on Charmander. It displayed its current statistics, the small fire type was at level 9. He had a long way to go. After swinging on his bag, he munched on one bag of oreos and gave one to Charmander. He hoped chocolate wouldn’t upset his stomach, then again he wasn't a dog. The two ate quietly. Riku didn’t have anything to say to the Pokémon and he seemed perfectly content about it. Instead, the boy examined the clearing and wondered what could’ve caused such damage. At that moment, Charmander’s tail twitched and he looked towards the left. Riku looked too and was surprised to see a Pokémon with a coat of grey. Black fur covered her feet and face. Her triangular ears were rounded-like, erect and forward. The shorter snout typical of the female version of the species had a bright red nose. Her eyes were yellow, with red irises.
“That’s a female Poochyena” Riku said. Poochyena made sporadic appearances in Pallet Town, but much less than Rattata and Pidgey. Much like the Rattata, however, the farmers claimed it a pest if not worse. Did they really expect wild Pokémon to not invade their fields for easy food? Any creature in their right mind would see that as an opportunity. Riku definitely would, which was why he held out one of the ears of corn he randomly picked up from the many littering the floor. Giving a smile, he asked, “Hey, you hungry? We have some over here if you wanna join us, although you’ve probably had your fill of corn by now.” The creature didn’t move except for the occasional twitch of the nose and shifting of ears. Riku wagged the corn a little bit and smiled broadly. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to do anything. Its easy to understand wanting to get free meals, especially when its this wide open.” Cautiously, she began to ease closer. She stretched out her head and sniffed a few times until she was close enough to the food. Riku placed it on the ground and told the Pokémon to eat up. The creature stared at him with those big red eyes of innocence before becoming alighted after Riku nodded.
The Poochyena chewed on the kernels like a typewriter, expertly rotating and gnawing. Riku could only watch, finding it partly funny. Stripping the last kernel from the cob, the dark type Pokémon squealed for joy. Before Riku could offer another, the creature scampered off to one of the nearest standing stalks and began chewing on the base. Like a miniature tree, the stalk fell over with barely a soft crack and smack. She then dragged it over to Riku before sprinting off for another and another, all of which she returned to the dumbfounded boy who sat and watched. “Why in the world is it doing that?” After probably the sixth or seventh stalk, the boy managed to speak up, stretching out his hand in the process. “Wait hold on, that’s enough. Don’t get any more.” The Pokémon stopped and looked over her shoulder, having to angle her head in the process. “It’s bad enough all these were destroyed so we really shouldn’t make it any worse. This is enough you’ve given-huh?” The Poochyena was fully facing him now, head slightly bowed and big red eyes looking up at him—glassy, disappointed, and hurt. Guilt wasted no time making its presence known and Riku sighed. “Okay, just one more and that’s it.”
With an excited squeal it bounded off to another and began chewing away. Riku felt something amiss, but didn’t know what or exactly why. It was a familiar and almost daily sensation that he experienced back in the slums. What did it mean? He didn’t feel comfortable not knowing what the feeling was and racked his brain until he felt a weight in his lap. The presence of the Poochyena startled him and he dared not move, fully aware of the razor teeth and claws, but she appeared to have no intention of harm. Instead, she nuzzled up to Riku’s face with a twitching nose. The action tickled and Riku couldn’t help smiling. It was pretty much the only thing that could make him genuinely smile, Pokémon
“You’re a really kind one aren’t you?” Riku complimented, still smiling. Figuring it was time to intervene, Charmander came closer and uttered a few syllables of his name. The boy recognized the voice of caution, the uncertainty. He couldn’t understand his Pokémon, not yet anyways, but understood when he turned his back and took a few steps away before glancing behind that he wanted them to leave. For confirmation, Riku asked, “You’re ready to go?” A nod of affirmation was given. Riku removed the Poochyena from his lap before standing. After a thought, he knelt back down. “Hey, what about traveling with us? We could use all the help…we…can…get?” It may have been a trick of the eye, but Riku swore she narrowed those red eyes and…smirked? Did that thing actually smirk? “That’s just weird.” The Pokémon wasn’t staring at him entirely, but past him. Feeling another presence, Riku slowly turned to what held the Pokémon’s attention. That smirk turned into a full-blown sneer. Riku finally identified the feeling from earlier. He’d been had.
“So yer da one responsable eh?”
In a flash, Riku was on his feet and sprinting away with Charmander in tow before the man had the chance to say something more. The Poochyena had bolted too, her little form capable of easily disappearing, but not before she stuck out her tongue at the farmer. The old man called after one of them, but Riku had already immersed himself into the field as well. He was in trouble, serious trouble if the man had caught him. He’d probably call the police. Cornstalks whizzed by as he kept moving with a series of hopping sprints. Thankfully those few weeks he had tolerated football practice finally came in handy as he ran like the wind. Before long, he cleared the field and made it into the open where he could see the route. His heart thudded and his chest heaved. Sweat had sprouted on his forehead, probably more from adrenaline than the actual run. Afraid the man might come bursting from behind, Riku set off at a brisk walk, hoping to put as much distance between him and the old farmer.
“Why did I run? I shouldn’t have ran. Explaining what happened would’ve been a better option. After all, I didn’t destroy that patch of crops.” A sickly feeling began to fall over him as he scaled a small hill then stopped dead in his tracks. "Charmander, we're going to clear our names.”