Solonn set off in an instant, achieving his maximum velocity quickly. He worried that the human he was carrying might fall off of him due to his moving as fast as he presently was, but she seemed to hang onto him capably enough. While he’d expected her to have him hurry toward her house, she instead steered him into unknown territory, guiding him through a maze of alleyways barely wide enough to admit him.
Her directions eventually led Solonn out of those alleyways—and then, unbeknownst to him, out of the city itself. He had been rushing along at top speed for minutes now and was tiring. Had he been one of those creatures that moved by the power of their limbs and muscles, he would have been far wearier still. Morgan urged him to keep going, and he figured that she probably had a good reason to have him go so far from the scene that they had fled. Preferring to be safe rather than sorry, he reckoned that he’d do best to trust that notion, and so he continued on, ignoring the rising complaints of his body.
Solonn and Morgan were now swiftly making their way westward along a scenic, grassy route. Delicate-looking metal fences lined the path on either side. Some distance beyond the fence on the right, a large, flat building stood. The fence on the left provided the sole barrier between the road and a treacherous drop off of a sheer cliff toward a sparkling expanse of water. Even though only able to see the scene to the south through his peripheral vision, Solonn found himself in awe of what he could glimpse of the waters and the mountain that they embraced.
At length, this route gave way to a place teeming with trees and vast patches of tall grass. By this point, Solonn simply could not go any further. It’s far enough…
he figured, it has to be…
Groaning, he allowed himself to sink to the ground, managing with something of an effort to keep from obeying his body’s desire to roll over onto his back so as to avoid casting Morgan off and possibly crushing her.
Morgan climbed off of him somewhat awkwardly. She sat down in the grass in front of him and promptly buried her face in her hands.
For a very long moment, Solonn sat silently, trying to catch his breath and to ignore the fact that he ached everywhere. “What’s happened?” he asked finally, still practically wheezing.
Several seconds passed before Morgan made any sort of response. Her face remained buried in her palms, her fingers knitting themselves fretfully into the hair that framed it.
“They’re gone,” she finally croaked in barely more than a whisper.
“…What’s gone, Morgan?” Solonn asked softly, the edges of his voice frayed by the sense of dread building rapidly within him.
“Not ‘what’, Solonn,” Morgan corrected him, her voice breaking. “Who
.” Her shoulders started to shake uncontrollably, and then she gave a wrenching sob. “My other pokémon are gone
. Stolen. All of them.”
?!” Solonn could have sworn that his heart had just stopped at the news he had just received. “Oh good gods… When did you find out?” he demanded.
“A couple of hours ago,” Morgan answered miserably, still hiding her face. Tears were now streaming through her fingers. “I wasn’t feeling so good at school… really, really nauseous… and they excused me early. I came home, and you were gone, and all the others, too… they took the balls they were in and everything,” she sobbed.
The news struck Solonn like a hammer. Oth… Raze… Sei… Aaron… Brett… all those people who had come to be good friends of his were now gone, taken gods only knew where. As he thought about the others, he became brutally aware of just how helpless they had been, contained within their capture balls—small, portable devices, easily carried away.
But not all of them had been in that vulnerable position… ”What about Sei?” Solonn asked. “She was out of the house, wasn’t she?” The possibility of Sei still being free offered a ray of hope for the others—her psychic abilities could certainly aid in locating them, Solonn was sure.
Morgan shook her head. “No, she wasn’t. Before I left, she said she was staying home… some marathon on TV…”
Solonn gave a low, sorrowful hiss. He hadn’t even noticed that Sei had been home the whole morning; he supposed that he must have been too engrossed in his practice to be aware of her. “My gods…” he muttered. He almost feared to imagine what sort of abductors could have successfully subdued such a powerful psychic as an alakazam—he realized that he had been beyond fortunate to have safely escaped from what were certainly very dangerous captors. The others, however, had not been so lucky… A sickening feeling ran through his veins as an unbidden parade of the grim scenarios that might have befallen his friends played within his mind.
“How did you manage to find me?” Solonn then asked.
Morgan took a very deep, shuddering breath, her body trying in vain to calm itself. She finally took her hands from her face, revealing her still-bloodshot eyes and tear-streaked cheeks. “When I found you all gone,” she started, having to pause to catch her breath in between sobs, “I called the police… they came and talked with me for a while…
“After that… I don’t know. I just started wandering—when I’m sad, I’ll just do that, just go for a walk—and then I saw this place with this sign in front…” Her face contorted into what was unmistakably a grimace of disgust. “‘See the Amazing Talking Glalie!’, it said.”
Solonn’s eyes widened dramatically, the light within them blazing with outrage. He hissed again, not a low lamentation this time but rather a vehement, explosive outburst. “That’s
what they took me for? Some kind of freak to show off?” he asked. Morgan nodded regretfully. “How… how could they have possibly found out?” he demanded.
“I don’t know!” Morgan blurted. “I
sure didn’t tell anyone!”
Solonn winced. “Sorry… I wasn’t trying to accuse you…”
“Oh God…” Morgan’s tears began to fall even harder in a fresh surge. “No, I’m… I’m sure you weren’t…”
Solonn gave a long sigh. “It’s all right…” he muttered. With no small measure of difficulty, he lifted himself from the ground, setting himself back down closer to Morgan. Burying her face in her hands once more, she leaned into him at once, her side against his—he wished at once that she hadn’t. He barely had any strength to keep his element at bay, and the human was shaking enough without his chill right up against her. Ultimately, though, Solonn just didn’t have the heart to try and persuade her to move.
For seconds on end, they just sat there beside one another, neither saying a word. Nothing disturbed the silence save for the faint calls of distant seabirds. Even Morgan’s sobs had grown quiet, though they remained just as violent.
“Did you say that you called for help… for people who could possibly help find the others?” Solonn finally asked in the softest, most soothing tone he could manage at the moment, trying despite his own terrible worry to provide a calming, consoling presence for his distraught friend.
“Mmm-hmm,” Morgan responded weakly.
“They might still set things right,” Solonn said in as much an attempt to reassure himself as to reassure Morgan. “They might still find out who did this… they might still find the others.”
“God, I hope so… Do you know anything about the ones who took you?” Morgan then asked. “Anything that might help the police find them?”
“Not really,” Solonn answered with a sigh. “Some sort of winged pokémon came and threw some kind of strange dust on me, and then I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was where you found me. I have no idea what happened in between—I know that creature couldn’t have worked alone, though. We know that that sableye was involved, but there had to be others. I’m so sorry; I wish I knew more…”
“It’s okay,” Morgan muttered. “It’s not your fault. If anything… it’s probably mine.”
“What? Gods, no, you know better than that!” Solonn responded incredulously at once.
“Solonn, think about it. They probably came for you
. Somehow, they found out about you, and then they took you so they could make money showing you off—and all the others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time…” Morgan turned her gaze briefly to the east, then closed her eyes. “I should have let you go when you first asked. Then none of this would be happening.”
Solonn closed his eyes. “Please, Morgan… don’t blame yourself. Please
.” He opened his eyes once more and turned them upon her, their light dimmed by sorrow and weariness. “Besides,” he added, “I’m the one who told you not to take me back right away, remember? It was my idea.”
But Solonn’s words seemed useless; the look in Morgan’s eyes told all too clearly that she was not consoled and not convinced. “Doesn’t matter,” she said, almost whispering. She tried once again to steady herself with a deep breath, but to no avail. “I shouldn’t have kept you here. I guess there’s just no safe place for someone like you among humans. Solonn… I’m letting you go now.”
Solonn stared at her, dumbfounded. A part of his mind returned to the last time that Morgan had offered to release him from her custody, that night when he had revealed his talents to her. Though he had come to know her quite well and knew that she was not nor certainly was she ever the sort to treat him as a possession, somehow he was still amazed by the notion that she, the very creature who had taken him from his home, would so willingly relinquish him. Twice, he thought to respond, but neither time did he have any clue what to say.
“Listen.” Morgan rose shakily to her feet, casting another glance eastward, then turned to face Solonn once more. With an obvious effort, she kept her gaze locked firmly into his eyes. “Since… since the others are gone…” she said with difficulty, “…well, I can’t have you teleported home, and there’s an ocean between here and there, so…” She swallowed hard, running a hand fretfully through her hair. “What you’re gonna have to do is just lie low for a while. I’m… I’m kind of scared for you to go back to Lilycove right now; the people who took you are still out there for now, and when they find out you got away… If they find you again, God knows what they’ll do. Just stay away from Lilycove for a week or two, just to be safe, and in the meantime, I’ll try to get a hold of someone who can get you home. I promise. Maybe… maybe the others will be found by then… then Sei or Ominous could take you. But if you find some way to get home on your own… go ahead and take it. Please. Don’t wait for me if you don’t have to.”
Still in disbelief, Solonn remained silent for several moments more before responding. “If you’re sure this is what you really want…” he began with uncertainty. Morgan nodded almost imperceptibly. Solonn sighed in acquiescence. “All right,” he said quietly. “I’ll return to Lilycove after a few days. Until then,” he said with a solemn look straight into her eyes, “I want you to take care of yourself. You’re a good person, Morgan. You really are. I wouldn’t want to see anything happen to you.”
Morgan nodded again. “Okay,” she whispered, wiping the tears from her eyes as well as she could. She wrapped her arms around the glalie as far as they would go and gave him a long embrace, then let go and took several steps back from him. “Guess I’ll see you again soon, but if I don’t…” She shrugged feebly. “Goodbye, Solonn.”
“Goodbye,” Solonn echoed. He rose from the ground, ignoring his body’s protests, and bowed deeply, inclining his great face toward the ground.
“Stay safe,” Morgan said. With that, she turned and set off for the city in the east.
“You, too,” Solonn called after her, allowing himself to sink back into the grass as he watched her go. He worried for Morgan, who had been parted from so many dear friends in the blink of an eye. He feared even more for her other pokémon, whose fates remained unknown. There was no way of telling if things would be set right again for them. He could only hope that they would be.
* * *
Morgan returned to her home, listlessly casting the light jacket she was wearing onto a nearby chair as she passed through the living room. Her mind was somewhat distant after such a long, difficult day. Out of habit, she made her way straight to the back door, to the backyard where she had shared so many hours with the glalie who had become one of her best friends. A sickening pang struck her at once as the door opened upon the empty space near the sitrus tree where he should have been.
“Oh my God… Where is he
A free cookie to anyone who knows from whence I got the title of this chapter. :3
Next time: Solonn is offered a place to lie low for a while, but what might await him there? See you then!
- Sike Saner