Author : mew_trainer_rose
Second half of New Friends, Old Memories.
Suddenly, Houndour stopped in his tracks and perked his ears forward. Maria also stopped and listened as hard as she could. Only then could she hear the occasional faint sounds of battle up far ahead, a yelp of pain or a pokemon's battle cry. Both she and Houndour quickened their pace, and Pidgeotto flew for a while so it wouldn't weigh Maria down. They traveled for a while, the sounds of the brawl getting louder with each step. When they were almost in sight, Maria stopped and called the pokemon to her. "Listen, I've got an idea. The other Houndour would count me as an enemy as soon as they saw me, right?" Houndour nodded. "Well, if you went ahead of me and told the other Houndour that I'm not going to hurt them, they probably wouldn't hurt me, right?" Houndour thought for a moment, then nodded slowly. "OK, then. You go first and tell them that I'm not going to hurt them. And," she added as an afterthought, "that Pidgeotto won't hurt them, at least not on purpose." Houndour nodded once more, and began walking toward his pack. Maria followed, telling Pidgeotto, "You'd better use Gust mostly, and any other Flying-type attacks you might have on the Fighting-type pokemon. They have a weakness against Flying-type moves." Houndour stalked silently until he was right on the fringes of the clearing where the battle was taking place. He then suddenly leaped into the clearing, Biting a passing Machop in the leg. He then spoke out in a series of barks that only Houndour understand before continuing his attack on the Machop. Maria walked up to the edge of the clearing also, and sent Pidgeotto into the fray. Maria looked around, looking for a place to take shelter from the mass of battling pokemon in front of her. She noticed a little cave set into a hill across the clearing from her. Inside were the most injured of the Houndour fighters, and the pups who were too young to battle. It seemed the best shelter in the area, and she could use her Potions to heal the wounded Houndour. She set her mind to finding a way to get to the cave. She saw Pidgeotto diving at a group of Fighting-types who were ganging up on a Houndour, then sending the attackers flying in all directions by flapping its wings fast enough to form a small, short-lived tornado, a Whirlwind attack. Suddenly Maria had an idea. She called the bird over to her, and explained what she wanted it to do. "Do you think you can do it?" Maria asked her pokemon. Pidgeotto nodded, and went to carry out the plan. First, Pidgeotto called out to the Houndour, warning them. The Houndour between Maria and the cave got out of the way of their avian ally as it unleashed another Whirlwind attack, making the attack stronger so it would last longer. The cyclone again picked up any pokemon in its way, leaving a small path in the fighting behind it, which Maria ran through to gain the safety of the cave. Pidgeotto guided the twister to another clump of Fighting-types before it collapsed, so the pokemon caught in the high winds were dumped on top of the ones on the ground. Then it soared off to see where else it could be of help. Maria watched it for a moment, then looked around at the cave. It was low-ceilinged, so she had to crouch or sit down in order to avoid bumping her head. The injured pokemon looked at her from where they were resting, but did not show any visible signs of aggression. The mother who was watching over the puppies, however, did not seem to regard her as harmless, but growled a warning as she stood between Maria and the pups. Maria reassured the Houndour that she would harm the young pokemon, but the mother still looked wary, even after she stopped growling. Maria turned her attention again to the injured fighters in the cave. She knew that her stock of Potions could help them, but did not know how to offer it in a way that would not be interpreted as hostile. Finally, she took off her backpack, pulled out the bag of potions, and took out the container of Berries. Perhaps they would be more likely to accept these, which they were already familiar with, instead of man-made Potions. Carefully and slowly, so the Houndour guarding the puppies would not regard the action as a threat, Maria pulled off the top of the container and removed a few off the Berries from it. She crawled over to the nearest Houndour, and offered it the bright red fruits to it. As hurt as it was, it refused them, wincing in pain as it slowly shook it head. Maria left it one anyway, and offered Berries to the other injured warriors. A few of them accepted, others didn't. When she saw how fast the Berries would be used at that rate, she asked if any of them would mind if she used a Potion on it instead. There was silence in the cave for a moment (besides the noises from the battle outside), then one of the first Houndour to accept the Berries from her shakily lifted it's head and nodded. Maria pulled out a Super Potion and sprayed it carefully on the Houndour's injuries; a gash on a hind leg and various bruises, scrapes and cuts. The Houndour winced as the healing liquid stung in his open wounds, but the bruises soon faded and the cuts soon closed, with only a thin scar where the gash had been to show he was injured at all. The Houndour stood up carefully, decided it was again able to battle, and nodded a thanks at Maria before leaping back into the fray. After seeing the good it did to their comrade, the other Houndour also wanted to be healed. Maria sprayed the last few squirts of the partially used Potion on the next Houndour before staring another. From then on, the Houndour came to her when they were too hurt to battle any more. She was careful to conserve her supplies to make them last longer. All of a sudden, a pokeball flew out of the bushes bordering the clearing and hit a nearly-fainted Mankey, capturing it. Almost immediately, a second flew out and hit the Houndour it had been battling, imprisoning it, too. In a moment, pokeballs were flying everywhere, hitting Fighting-types and Houndour alike. When the thrower stepped forward to get a better shot, Maria recognized him. Although she did not know his name, it was Mike. "Quick," she told the Houndour she had just healed, "tell the other Houndour to get out of his range." The Houndour nodded, then barked loudly. The other Houndour, those not captured or too weak to move fast enough, ran, limped, and jumped to the other side of the cave. The pups, shepherded by the mother Houndour, moved deeper into the small cave. Mike looked around to see who was interrupting his fun, then noticed Maria and smirked. "You again. Well, you're not going to stop me any more!" He called out and pulled out a pokeball from his pocket. "Go, Poliwrath!" He shouted as he threw it in front of the cave to release the Water/Fighting type. "Water Gun attack!" Mike commanded, and the pokemon reared back, preparing to unleash the Water attack. Both people had momentarily forgotten about Pidgeotto. The bird dove down at Poliwrath and chopped down on it with its outstretched wing, a Wing Attack. It must have learned it during the battle, Maria thought as the Water gun went way off target, harmlessly into the bushes above the cave. The Poliwrath, angry at the interruption, turned to Pidgeotto and began to shoot Water Guns and streams of Bubbles at its flying foe, who Quick Attacked to stay out of their way. "No, get the girl, you stupid pokemon, the girl!" Mike yelled angrily at his pokemon. Poliwrath obediently turned away from Pidgeotto, who promptly dove down in a Quick Attack, administered another Wing Attack, and flew back up to avoid its adversary's continued attacks. Mike, frustrated with his pokemon's noncompliance, raised its pokeball to return it, when a Machoke ran up behind his and Low Kicked the back of his knees. Unable to stand, Mike toppled to the ground, where he looked behind him. He swore at what he saw, and Maria turned to look, too. All the uncaught Fighting types had released the captured pokemon, who in turn had released others, until all of them were free, and all of them turned angrily to Mike. Mike frantically grabbed another of his pokeballs at random and released the pokemon, a Rhyhorn. The Fighting-types ganged up on it and it was down in seconds, due to its type disadvantage. Mike again threw out the first pokeball his hand touched, revealing a Hypno. It lifted its pendulum to use hypnosis, but the Houndour dove at it, fangs first, and it was down after only a few Bites. Mike, terrified, tossed out yet another pokeball, revealing a mean-looking Rapidash. Mike calmed down somewhat, but grew even more panicked when it, too, went down quickly under the sheer strength of the group of pokemon. Mike let loose one more pokemon, an Ampharos. It begin building up electricity, but before it could let loose its attack it was also set on by the mass of angry pokemon and fainted. Mike reached again for his pocket and realized he had no pokemon left. As the pokemon saw this and begin to form a circle around him, he saw he was completely doomed and began yelling at the top of his lungs, "HELP! Police, somebody, anybody, Help!" alternated with, "NOOO! Please, don't hurt me, NOOooo!" and other calls of those natures. Maria turned away from the sight, wishing she could turn away from the sound, too. She was just in time to see her pokemon release one last Gust that slammed the Poliwrath into a tree, fainting it. The exhausted pokemon flew down to Maria who dug out a couple of Berries for it and let it eat them before returning it. Mike's shouting had turned into wordless screams of terror. Maria turned back to the yelling man and his attackers, feeling slightly sick. "Wait, stop!" she yelled suddenly, unable to take it anymore. The pokemon ceased the attack and turned toward her. Maria felt even more ill when she saw blood on the Houndours' muzzles and on the feet and fists of the other pokemon. "Um... even he doesn't deserve something this bad," she said just to say something. She then saw his ripped and bloody T-shirt, a black one with a large, dark red R on it. "Well, that explains it," she said, remembering hearing about Team Rocket, a gang dedicated to stealing, and often mistreating, pokemon. "Listen," she said to her audience, "the police are looking for men from his group. Letting them take him, alive, will help them stop attacks like this. If you stop attacking him and let me get word to them, it will benefit you more than just killing him, and he WILL be punished for all he's done." She waited to see how they would react. One by one, they saw the wisdom of Maria's suggestion, and backed away from Mike slowly, but not too far. Knowing that she'd never be able to run to the police fast enough to save Mike's life, let out Pidgeotto and sprayed it with a Super Potion before haking her request. "Pidgeotto, will you fly back to town and bring a message to the Police Station?" Her pokemon, though tired, nodded. Maria rupped the paper label off a used Potion, then dug through her backpack and found an old pencil stub, which she used to write a short note on the back of the label. She rolled up the note, message out, and handed it to Pidgeotto, who grapped it in one clawed foot. "When you give it to a police officer, lead them here, OK? And try to fly as fast as you can without hurting yourself, please," she told the bird before letting it zoom off toward the town. While she was waiting, she told the pokemon to get as much off Mike's blood off themselves as they could, and used her Potions to heal any of the pokemon that seriously needed it. After the worst of the pokemons' injuries were healed, Maria went over to Mike, and tentatively sprayed a little of a normal Potion on some scratches on one of his hands. She was not too surprised when they did not heal, like a pokemons' wounds. When Officer Jenny came, followed by a few emergency paramedics and escorted by Pidgeotto, Maria told her of all Mike's attempts to catch Houndour she had first saved from Mike, the other Houndour, and the Fighting-type pokemon. She told how Mike had told his pokemon to attack her, and how Pidgeotto asved her. She told how the other pokemon had beaten Mike's pokemon and attacked him, and how she called them off and sent for the police when she saw he was a Rocket. The paramedics then announced that he would live, and Officer Jenny thanked Maria, and the pokemon, for their help in capturing the criminal. Jenny then offered to escort Maria home, since she must be tired. "In a minute," Maria replied, there's one more thing I have to do." She called Pidgeotto, who had perched in a tree, to her, and walked to the other side of the clearing, away from everybody else. "Pidgeotto," she began quietly so that only her pokemon heard, "you can go free, if you want, and becone a wild pokemon again," she said indicating the forest in front of them. "Or, if you wish, you can stay with me", she said holding up Pidgeotto's pokeball. "You were a great pokemon, and a good friend. I'd be happy to let you stay with me, but if you'd rather go back to your family and friends, I won't stop you." Maria stopped talking and waited to see what Pidgeotto decided. Pidgeotto looked at the pokeball, then at Maria, then turned and looked at the battlefield, then twisted around to look at the forest behind it, then looked up at the sky above, which was beginning to turn red, since dawn was nearing. Then Pidgeotto looked back at Maria. It stared at her face for a long moment, then pecked the pokeball she held out and let itself be sucked inside. "Thank you," she whispered to the pokeball, as a tear rolled down her cheek, happy that Pidgeotto had decided to give up its chance at freedom and stay with her. Maria kept the pokeball in her hand as she walked back to the other people. No one asked what went on. The paramedics called for a helicopter to fly Mike to the hospital, and the helicopter also flew Maria and Officer Jenny back to the police station.
Epilogue When Officer Jenny brought Maria home, they were initially frantic with worry at seeing their daughter, who they thought was still in bed, brought to the door by a police officer. They calmed down after Officer Jenny told them an abbreviated version of the story, accenting Maria's courage and bravery, and glossing over the danger Maria had been in. Though relieved, they still grounded Maria for bringing a wild pokemon in the house, running off in the middle of the night with it, although she was only grounded for a few days. With the information they got from Mike, the police were able to find a major Rocket base and arrest most of the gangsters. This forced the Rockets to go into hiding for a while, and they were not heard from, besides petty crimes, for a while. Maria afterward, would sometimes go to the Houndours' den and camp there with them. She was always welcome. Maria found that helping others reminded her of what she liked most about her late Growlithe; his friendly, helpful nature. After then, she became and avid volunteer, giving her and Pidgeotto's services to help others wherever they could. And most importantly, Maria never forgot her friends, old and new.