We Aren't Heroes
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March 17th, 2013 (1:00 PM). Edited March 25th, 2013 by Daydream.
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: That thar Kingdom. The United one.
So I showed off a chunk of this story in the 'Share Your Writing' thread, but now I feel the first chapter is ready for posting. Initially this was going to be a one-shot, but as I had more ideas I began to think it would work better as a chaptered fic. So here it is!
I've realised I should probably add in a warning right about here, that there's gonna be strong language and violence later on. So uh, this is a fifteen plus kinda story.
Chapter One: Jailbreak
The clouds were thick and grey, they blotted out the sky. Rain poured from them in torrents, preventing the concrete ground from drying at all. Talia watched from her window the streets of Castelia city below, and listened to the drumming of the raindrops, and occasional rumble of thunder. She sat on her wide window-seat, looking through the glass and towards the docks. She lived in a two-floor penthouse and it afforded her a stunning view of the harbour below. Recently, a grand cruise liner named the ‘S.S. Anne’ had docked along one of the piers. It was to stay for a week or so, and this meant that foreign trainers from many lands filled the city.
Talia sighed, noticing a trainer running back towards the ship with a ludicolo prancing happily alongside. She was sixteen. She hadn’t been allowed to become a trainer. ‘Far too dangerous’, her father had said. Talia was desperately sick of the confines of Castelia city. However large it may have been, it was still like a prison – when Talia walked amongst the high-rises they seemed to trap and confine her.
She shook herself, took another glance out of the window and then grabbed a coat from her wardrobe.
“I’m going to the café, I’ll be eating there tonight,” she called as she left the apartment. She didn’t wait for an answer.
Talia had been working at Café Sonata part-time for about a year now. The owner Joe, a man in his late thirties with long brown hair and dark stubble along his jaw, was happy for trainers to bring pokémon in with them and this had been what sparked Talia’s interest. Consequently, she spent a lot of time there even if she wasn’t working.
As she entered, Joe waved from behind the counter and beckoned her over.
“Hey, Tal.” Joe had a gravelly voice. “I know you’re not meant to be workin’ tonight, but Shaun called in sick. You mind pickin’ up a shift? I’ll pay you for overtime.”
She smiled. “That’s okay, Joe. I’ll work for normal rate.” She paused as she ducked behind the counter to pick up a spare apron and pad. “Busy tonight with the S.S. Anne in port?”
“Some of the more curious lot who came on the ship been comin’ in. But a lot o’the locals and other Unovans been invited to a big party they’re throwin’ on board. They’re doin’ it for the next couple of nights too.”
Their conversation broke as a group of three happy, and somewhat damp, looking trainers wandered in, chattering excitedly, with a pignite walking behind them and a pidove perched on one of their shoulders. Talia smiled as the bird Pokémon shook the water from its feathers – causing a disgruntled sound from its trainer and laughter from the trainer’s friends. She took their orders, and served them. She couldn’t help but notice how the pidove’s trainer, a girl younger than Talia, would occasionally drift out of the conversation to pet it – or simply watch it as it antagonised the pignite (by hopping back and forth from its head and shoulder).
“Tal! Order up!” Joe called. “Tal!”
Talia shook herself out of her reverie and took the order to its table. Joe noticed her unconsciously fingering a rectangular shape in one of her pockets as she returned.
He raised an eyebrow, in question. “Trainer card?”
Talia shrugged, with a half-smile. “Anyone can get one.” She sighed.
Talia stretched and arched her back: the trip over Skyarrow Bridge to Wellspring Cave wasn’t an especially long one, but the school’s coach was cramped and had little leg room.
The trip was intended as both biological and geological – they were going to do a study on the cave’s indigenous wildlife and its rock formations.
“Yay. Rocks,” a friend muttered sarcastically, behind her.
“I hope we see some rock-types. Interesting ones, not just roggenrola,” Talia replied.
Another classmate added, “We’ll be lucky to see a sleeping woobat, probably.”
A few people chuckled at this, but Talia just frowned. As they were organised into groups, she turned on her camera, and flicked through a few photos. There weren’t many, and they were mainly shots of pokémon that had come into the café or that she had seen sparsely throughout the city. She double-checked that she had memory left to take more, and then that she had her spare memory card, as they proceeded to walk – group by group – into the cave.
Talia quickly lost interest in whatever it was their teacher was saying. She found herself peering into the darkness, her eyes searching. They were in a small cavern when Talia noticed something dart out of sight, down a dark crevice. She quickly checked ahead, she was at the back of the line and everyone was filing out into a narrow tunnel, their teacher had already gone through. Talia made an impulsive decision, darting after the blur she had just seen.
Talia could hear the flitting of wings, but see very little. After a minute or so, she heard more sounds echoing ahead and the darkness began to recede.
Must’ve looped back round to the group
, she cursed.
She kept moving ahead, regardless and when she had broken out of the dimness completely, she could hear the voices quite clearly. Not those of her classmates; they were threatening someone.
“Hand them over and we won’t-”
“Wait! You hear that, Frank?”
Talia quickly ducked behind a large nearby rock formation. It sounded like two grown men.
Frank sighed. “Probably just a drilbur. Can we get on with this? He ain’t gonna give them up.” There was silence, but apparently Frank’s companion had assented non-verbally due the sounds of a scuffle Talia could hear, and another voice crying out.
“Just leave ‘im here. Let’s run.”
The sounds of running luckily faded away, but Talia still waited for a few moments before acting. Moving from behind the rock formation she scanned the cavern she had entered. Lying unmoving on the ground, half in a pool of water, was a thin and young-looking man. A pair of damaged and bent glasses had fallen on the ground next to him, he was wearing a shirt with pens tucked into the breast pocket and a clipboard had also fallen to his side. He had a black eye, and another prominent bruise along his jaw. She gently pulled the man out of the water, removing a satchel still slung over his shoulder and rested him in the recovery position. Talia picked up the clipboard; attached to it were some kind of research notes on gems and precious stones that were possible to find in the cave. Talia started to search the satchel for a trainer card or some kind of identification and found it had clearly been rifled through. It contained more of the same papers as well as a few other things: an Ultra Ball for one, which Talia was fingering when she heard a scuffling noise behind her.
A drilbur was glaring at her, and the small pokémon looked angry. It immediately began to spray dried mud in Talia’s face, causing her to close her eyes, splutter and cough. Unthinkingly, Talia tossed the sphere in her hand towards the creature and she blinkingly opened her eyes upon realising the attack had stopped. The Ultra Ball was rocking from side to side, and then stopped. It was glittering slightly, with a red glow at its centre. Talia’s eyes widened in surprise; she had just caught a pokémon.
She shook her head:
now is not the time
. She resumed her search of the bag and found in a side pocket what she was looking for, and something else. A ticket printed on gold-coloured paper with the prominent words ‘S.S. Anne’ on it and below this, ‘Passage for One Person from Castelia City in Unova to Olivine City in Johto’. Thoughts raced through her mind. She looked from the ticket to the unconscious man next to her. She bit her lip, hard.
Pocketing the ticket, the man’s trainer card in hand, she darted off for help.
The case lay on her bed, almost overflowing with clothes. Talia glanced at the money in her hands. It was as much as she could withdraw at once: five-hundred.
She put a few notes in her purse and the rest in a small safe-box which she then stuffed into a rucksack – which was also almost as full as it could be.
Glancing over at the docks through her window, Talia caught a glimpse of her reflection in the glass. She was wearing her most bulky clothes, to try and save room, and subsequently she looked deceptively bulkier herself. Her bright pink hair was pulled back into a short ponytail, and a side-fringe swept across her face from the right.
Roots are showing
, she noted to herself as she eyed the blonde starting to appear again. She moved closer to the window, to look at the ship in port. She clenched a fist, squared her shoulders, and turned around.
There was no one to call goodbye to, or have to lie to, because her parents were out for the evening. Talia didn’t look back as she wheeled her suitcase out of the door.
The rain wasn’t heavy, there was just a fine sprinkling overhead. There were a couple of other trainers just ahead of Talia, also boarding the ship. Her palms were sweating as she gripped the case’s handle. She slowly ascended the gangplank, to be greeted by a woman in a crisp, white uniform with a wide smile that was decorated by bright red lipstick.
“Welcome aboard the S.S. Anne!” She was exceptionally perky. “May I see your ticket please?” Talia pulled out the ticket, surprising herself at how calmly she could. The woman looked it over, tapped a few times on tablet computer she held. “Your room is two-zero-nine. I hope you enjoy your travel with us today!” The woman handed the ticket back, and Talia returned her smile, somewhat nervously.
Unconsciously taking a deep breath, Talia stepped forward.
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