The day after Charmander had been saved from the cold he woke up to find himself lying in a clean, white bed. He was surprised that he was still living, but was not sure whether to feel happy or sad. First thing was to find out where he was. He sat himself up on the bed, rubbing the drowsiness out of his eyes. Turning his head round he saw a small window. Outside it was night time and Charmander could see the little streetlights that covered the town, guiding people in the dark. His stomach rumbled loudly. He looked down at his belly as if he could find the answer to hunger there, but there was none.
Charmander looked round the room. There were strange mechanisms all over it of which he did not know the purpose. There were some beautiful yellow flowers sitting on the windowsill and pictures of smiling Pokemon inside neat wooden frames. The room was totally white, but it was not blinding.
Suddenly a door to the side of him opened and two figures stepped into the room. One of them was a young lady. Her neat pink hair was tied up in loose pigtails and she wore a short white dress. On top of her head was a white hat with a red cross on it. The second figure was a Pokemon, a Chansey. The small pink Pokemon wore a hat similar to the lady who stood next to her and was carrying a tray filled with food. It wasn’t the food Charmander was used to. It looked, nor smelt, like nothing he had ever eaten while his mother was still with him, but neither was it the disgusting scraps he had lived on for so many months. The food was small and brown and cut into equal chunks. Charmander shook his head. Who cared what the food looked like? It was food and he was desperately hungry.
The Chansey walked forward, “Here you go,” she said, placing the food next to him on the bed, “Welcome to the Pokemon Center here in Pallet Town. This is Nurse Joy who healed you. You’ve been out cold for three days now!"
Charmander ignored her and dived at the food. If he wasn’t so hungry he would have hesitated at taking the new food, who knew what it was or what was in it? They could be trying to poison him! The hunger was too much and he ate it anyway, his eyes filling with happiness as soon as he took his first bite. They were like nothing he had ever tasted before, they were wonderful! It was not long before the tray was empty of food. Charmander sat back satisfied, rubbing his stomach.
“I’m glad you liked it!” the lady Chansey had called Nurse Joy said gleefully, “I hope you’re feeling better now!”
Charmander studied her for a second. His hate of humans had grown since the day in the clearing. If she were any human trying to talk to him his instinct was to attack before they attacked him. This one had helped him though; if it wasn’t for her he wouldn’t be alive. He settled on neither attacking her nor replying to her. He turned back to the Chansey.
“You are her slave?” he asked.
“No!” replied the Chansey, a shocked look on her face, “Heaven’s no! I work here at the Pokemon Center with Nurse Joy, we are partners in work! She was the one who rescued you, did you know?”
“Yes,” replied Charmander, a little more pleased that this Chansey still had her freedom, if only partially, “She saved me from freezing to death, I guessed that.”
“She did more than that dear!” Chansey said, smiling.
Charmander looked back to Nurse Joy who had begun to water the plants on the window. Maybe she was one of those except humans who were kind to Pokemon. Maybe she was one of those unique few.
“Explain?” Charmander asked, his face in confusion. What else was it that she could have done for him?
“I will tell you everything,” replied Chansey as she began taking his temperature and checking him up, “I’ll just see that you’re defiantly ok as I tell you. Ok,” she began, shining a light in his eyes making Charmander move back, “We were out walking as I love the snow and it was a treat. We had just come out of the local pharmacy, getting some supplies when I saw you lying in the snow, your tail almost gone out. I was just pointing you out to Nurse Joy when an Arcanine jumped at you! I believe he was going to use you as food!”
Charmander gulped. The idea of him being eaten wasn’t a desirable one.
“It was just about to pounce on you but Nurse Joy jumped in the way taking the full force of the attack for you! It was all very quick, I don’t quite remember it all, but she risked her life for you.” Chansey finished. She put down the equipment and looked Charmander sternly in the eye, “You should be grateful.”
Charmander felt himself smile, the first true smile he had let show in the last few months. Chansey was right, he should be grateful. Nurse Joy was one of those humans that he knew he could trust no matter what. Now, looking at her, he noticed a long scratch down her arm. He turned towards her and walked forward, getting as close as he could to her without falling off the bed.
“Thank you so much! You saved my life, I really owe you!” he said, a huge grin on his face. He knew that she could not understand his words, but hopefully she would understand that he was grateful. All she heard was “Char char! Chamanderchar!”
She smiled back at him, a beautiful smile, and knelt down to tickle his chin.
Throughout the next few weeks, in which Charmander stayed at the Pokemon Center to recover, he tried to stay with Nurse Joy as much as he could. She always showed him such kindness when they were together. Nurse Joy was only an exception though. He still detested the human race, Nurse Joy was just different. Charmander in the coming years would never trust someone as much as he did her. After a few weeks though, Chansey told him that he was leaving to go to Professor Oaks’ Lab.
“But why do I have to go?” moaned Charmander angrily.
He did not want to leave, to be somewhere where he didn’t know. He was insistent on either being released back into the wild or staying with Nurse Joy.
“Because it is our duty, here at the Pokemon Center, to take any Pokemon normally used as starters for new trainers to Professor Oak if they are without a home. You are a starter Pokemon and I am sure that you do not have a home to go to,” she replied as if Charmander should know this.
“Starter Pokemon?” he asked. This confused him. He did not know much of the human world. He understood that when each trainer started they would get a Pokemon to start with, but what made you a starter Pokemon?
Chansey sighed, “There are three different starters for each region. They are always a grass type, a water type and a fire type. For Kanto the starters are Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander. You are a Charmander, making you one of the three starters.”
“Then I will make myself a home, but I refuse to be forced into such slavery!” he shouted angrily, however Chansey did not listen.
The next day Charmander found himself being carried, in the arms of Nurse Joy, to the lab. It was set on top of a hill. It was white on the outside, like that of the room he had first woken up in. Saying goodbye to Nurse Joy was not easy. He didn’t feel safe without her and he refused to trust any of the new humans here. He would not acknowledge their presence when they entered a room, if they picked him up he would bite them and run off and the same would happen if they tried to put him into a Pokeball. The humans came to understand that he would not do what they wanted and left him.
“What about when a new trainer comes to collect him?” one lab assistant asked another.
“I’m sure he will be fine with a new trainer. Let’s not worry about that.”
Charmander, however, knew that he would behave the same with a new trainer, if not worse. Just because they were new didn’t mean he would change for them. They would never truly own him. How could people at the lab expect him to change his feelings? They were once new too, and he hadn’t liked them.
At the back of the lab was a beautifully large garden. Garden, though, was a bit of an understatement. It stretched way back and was full with ponds, a small stream, rock formations, long grass, many trees, hundreds of beautiful flowers, a play area, fields, caves. The list went on forever; there was so much to do in the garden. Charmander, however, could not enjoy it. How would he learn how to cope in the wild like this? There would be no parks in the wild for him to play on! And invisible hand would not feed him out there either. Thirdly, you could only enjoy it all if you were with someone else.
Charmander had adopted an anti-social mood towards the Pokemon as well as humans when he had arrived. A few of the Pokemon had tried to befriend him but he had ignored them or, if he was in one of his worse moods, had lashed out fiercely, sometimes hurting them. He could not associate with Pokemon who had so willingly given up their freedom.
The day in which the new trainers were arriving came closer and closer until it was only the day before. That was the rainy day in which he had thought over all his past. Staring out of the window, Charmander heard a door open. He turned around to see Professor Oak himself walking in. Professor Oak was the only human in the entire lab that would pick Charmander up, not matter how much he bit. Charmander had learnt not to bite him and to just ignore him. There had been many times where he had been tempted to use ember against him, but Charmander was not that cruel.
Professor Oak was holding two struggling Pokemon in his arms. One of them was a Squirtle and the other was a Bulbasaur. Charmander did not recall seeing them before and assumed they were new, ready to be chosen by a trainer. He placed them down next to Charmander, smiling.
“I’m glad that you three are finally together!” he said excitedly. Charmander had always thought he was a bit eccentric, “Now, as you know, three trainers are coming tomorrow to collect their first Pokemon! Each of you will be chosen. This means you will be going on exciting adventures, risking your lives…”
Charmander stopped listening. He had heard it all before, about how heroic their adventure was to be. He needn’t hear it again. He began to study the two Pokemon next to him. Squirtle was slightly smaller than your average Squirtle, maybe slightly younger than Charmander. Bulbasaur however, looked older than the two of them. His eyes showed a certain sort of wisdom. Judging by the way they had been carried into the room, Charmander guessed that they were not totally happy about what was happening in a few days. Then again, they both seemed to be listening to Professor Oak as hard as they could, taking in every word. He sighed, maybe he could change their minds.
“…You have these three days to get to know each other! Who knows, you could be battling in the future!”
With that Professor Oak left the room, skipping happily.
“It sounds good doesn’t it?” Bulbasaur said.
Squirtle nodded, “It really does! I hope I get picked by a good trainer!”
Charmander thought he was mishearing. Did these Pokemon really want to be ordered about for the rest of their lives?
“I just hope they don’t hold us like that old man did!” Bulbasaur laughed.
Squirtle giggled also. She had a very high pitched giggle.
Charmander sighed loudly to get their attention.
“Are you looking forward to your trainer?” asked Squirtle.
Charmander frowned. “I’m really not.”
“Why?” asked Bulbasaur.
“Because why would I want to be a slave to the human kind for all of my life? I could be free in the wild, living my own life!”
Squirtle and Bulbasaur looked at him, as if he was insane.
“The wild?” asked Squirtle, “I don’t know, it’s so dangerous!”
“How do you know?” asked Bulbasaur.
“Well, it’s a very long story, involving some horrible humans!” began Squirtle, encouraging Charmander to listen more closely. Maybe he could use what she said to his advantage. “I was only young; my whole family was out in the river as a treat. Mother never usually let us stray so far away from home. We were swimming when some humans came on a small fishing boat. I hid from it, the loud noise scared me. There were gunshots and when I came out of hiding I saw…I saw…” Suddenly she burst into tears. Charmander had only to guess what she had saw as she had came out of her hiding place. Humans wanting the rare Pokemons’ shells to sell for themselves, more proof of their selfishness.
Two vines came out of the bulb on Bulbasaurs’ back. They wrapped around Squirtle, one of them rubbing her side, to comfort her.
“I’m so glad I was never in the wild,” he said sadly.
“You were never in the wild?” asked Charmander.
“No,” Bulbasaur replied, sighing, “I was born in a breeding center. I’ve never known my parents, only my brothers and sisters. One by one they were sold off to shops and Pokemon labs until I was the only one left. I was so lonely, but a few days ago I was sent here.”
Charmander nodded, “How cruel humans can be.” He had said it under his breath, but purposefully loud enough for two to hear him.
“Cruel?” asked Squirtle, confused.
Charmander looked up, shocked. “It is you who should realise that the most!” he said angrily, making her step backwards, “You’re family were killed by humans! They did not care for their lives, only for the shells on their backs. All they care for is money! And you!” he cried, looking at Bulbasaur, “You’re eggs were probably taken from a nest! You never knew your parents! You were kidnapped!”
Squirtle was just staring, in total shock. Bulbasaur, however, asked Charmander an interesting question.
“And why do you hate them?” he asked, stepping closer.
Charmander then began to recall the events of his life. From when he was born in the wild, right to his days in the lab. He told them all that he had learnt from his mother and what he had seen, leaving the two Pokemon in absolute shock.
Squirtle sat down, trying to take it all in.
“Aren’t these cruel humans just an exception?” he asked.
“No, they’re not.” Squirtle said suddenly.
Charmander smiled, he had at least persuaded one of them.
“Squirtle is right. You have it the wrong way around Bulbasaur. It is the good humans that are the exception.”
When he said that, Nurse Joy jumped into his head, her voice ringing in his ears.
“You know Charmander, you’re my favourite patient so far!” Nurse Joy said cheerfully.
Charmander smiled. He was looking out of the window at the snow that fell down beautifully to the ground covering the city with a white blanket. He had taken to looking out of the window whenever he could. The though of freedom was overpowering, he stared at the outside world every day wishing he was out there to enjoy it.
“Charmander! Char!” he said happily. “Thanks, if only you could understand me!”
Nurse Joy walked towards him and picked him up, “I’m going to miss you.”
“Char?” he asked, “Miss me?”
“From telling us all this,” Bulbasaur said, continuing his argument, “how are we meant to escape?”
Charmander smiled, “There is a way.”
They gathered close together and Charmander began to tell them the plan he had been plotting for so long.
Hope you like the new chapter! (: