"I hadn't seen you there either. Must've had one hell of a beating, in that state you're in. What happened to you? Undead?"
Seneca’s ears flicked back, annoyed as the vulture spoke. Who was she to criticize him!? With that creepy skull on her head and the notorious ‘beauty’ of her species, the zoroark was slightly offended that she had instantly picked up on his bedraggled appearance. Then again, he couldn’t deny that he had stopped caring. His body relaxing, he looked himself over. He saw a stranger. The Seneca he knew was immaculately groomed, silky fur, a human fragrance mingled with his natural scent and famed for his popularity amongst the ladies. The canine that had taken his place was matted, injured and had given up on life. His expression fell, a certain sadness emerging in him at the realization of how pitiful he had truly become.
His cold, blue eyes returning back to the avian, Seneca ushered a half-hearted smile.“Is it that bad?”
The canine replied with a forced chuckle, the disappointment hideously apparent in his aristocratic tone despite his attempts at making light of the situation. He sighed, shuffling on the spot as he contemplated an explanation. She looked wild, probably too simple to understand the human world in which he was born and raised.“Let’s just say I got fired,”
Seneca’s words were true, the bitterness that suddenly emerged hinting that it evoked painful memories. “I showed some compassion and the human thought I should die for it,”
The frown that suddenly flourished over his face said it all, his lips curling back in disgust as the memory of the traumatic attempt on his life. The ungrateful bastard.
After everything he’d done – all those years as a member of the family, all that training to evolve, all his work in the tournament – he’d made one mistake, an act of kindness
and the man had condemned him to death.
Controlling his growing anger before it could overwhelm him, Seneca’s scowl returned to the bird.“What’s your story, then?”
Seneca questioned somewhat demandingly, his temper flaring at having to dwell on the past. He cleared his throat, realizing how bitterly his words had emerged. Ashamed, he looked away. “Sorry,”
His voice was controlled now, softer as he grew determined to keep his composure, presenting the avian with his signature smirk. He wasn’t going to become one of those barbarians – he wasn’t a wild
pokémon. “I mean, what’s with all the bones? Rather macabre, don’t you think?”
The sudden appearance of colourful leaves flittering pleasantly in the wind would have usually been a sight Seneca would have admired – his reaction now, was the complete opposite. Alarmed, hackles raised, the zoroark embodied his natural instinct to retreat at the sight of the attack. Although harmless, meant only as an attractive spectacle, the canine wasted no time in slipping back into the shadows, eyes frantically searching for the magical leaf’s source. His illusory abilities kicked in, betraying the canine’s tragic flaw. His attempts at producing an illusion of a bush had spectacularly failed. He remained in clear view behind a dull, flickering image that only succeeded in casting an emerald light on his battered form. The disappointment written on the canine’s face was heartbreaking."Unless you two just enjoy piercing rain and hurricane force winds, I suggest joining us inside!"
Seneca’s blue orbs found the roselia, his fear instantly washed away at the creature’s nonchalant, almost alluring demeanour. Exchanging an uneasy glance with the creepy vulture, the canine remained motionless, watching silently as the stranger trotted away. He certainly seemed peppier than the bird and judging from his little ‘performance’, the dark-type harboured a suspicion that he’d had experience with humans. Calmer, Seneca straightened himself out, his faulty illusion dismissed with an abrupt flick of his head.“I suppose we go,”
The canine spoke quietly, not entirely sure of himself. Whilst he was hesitant about joining the group from the beach, the grass-type had a point. Last time he’d checked, he wasn’t particularly keen on piercing rain and hurricane force winds. With a final glance at the mandibuzz, he cautiously followed the roselia, his limp emphasizing his already fatigued gait.
Seneca finally emerged to witness the gathering in the process of entering the large mountainous structure of the island. He caught glimpse of the flower’s disappearing form, suddenly fearful that this might be some kind of set-up. Hastily looking around, his slim body tensing once more, the zoroark’s eyes soon fell onto the water-serpent that had attracted the whole troupe of pokémon in the first place. His glacier eyes widened. Now the milotic was at a closer distance, an ugly recognition soon flourished in the zoroark’s mind. Of all the creatures to meet, it had to be a tournament victor.“Finnick…”
Seneca mumbled in a whisper, his heartbeat accelerating as he stared terrified at the majestic shiny before him. The milotic had competed in the months after his ‘firing’ and whilst not actively evolved in the competition, Seneca had religiously followed the games he adored. Finnick had won those monstrous battles for a reason, his power unquestionable. Seneca’s mouth was dry, his body frozen. He was caught in the headlights, utterly lost for words. Praying that his infamy remained a mystery, the gamemaker mustered a weak smile. “Um… hello…”