Crepe's Short Story Bin
-~-~-~~-~-~-Hello, everyone. Crepuscular here.
In an attempt to gather ideas for Pokemon stories (and to keep myself from going inactive on this site again), I will be starting a thread for a series of personal writing challenges and whatever other Pokemon-related stuff I feel like writing! Expect sporadic updates for a while.
** Feel free to leave feedback; don't worry, I won't bite.
- Two trainers are looking for supplies and end up crossing paths.:
Author Comments :: This story was a a challenge to see if I could get a short story done in one day. Not much to say about this story, but it is definitely a good first attempt. The end of the story could have used some better elaboration, but this was supposed to be a one-day challenge. Nonetheless, this was a good exploration into character interaction. Expect some errors, as I do not have any time to edit tonight. Total Estimated Time :: approx. 6 hours.
Another day, another risk. That's what she gets for entering one of Hoenn's towns. The dilapidated buildings of Rustboro could hide many secrets both good and bad. The only reason she has come to one of these forsaken places is to find some replacement supplies. The blade of her hatchet is going dull on her after a few months of use, and food has been scarce in this section of Hoenn for many miles.
After a quick scout around the edges of the town, she has a plan of attack. The town itself is only partially intact; the roadways have been disturbed by multiple earthquakes, and some of the buildings have been ruined after extended use as survivor defenses. With her entry and her exits planned out, she and her two pokemon enter the town.
The Human's bare feet do not welcome the transition from smooth, soft dirt to hard, rough asphalt. She chose to enter an alleyway between two intact buildings under the close cover of the surrounding forest. She steps carefully around a patch of broken glass. Along a sash at her side, her Honedge companion Brandy shifts to her careful gait. He is ready to cut anyone or anything that appears. In her arms, she cradles a young Riolu. Even though his eyes are closed, he is as tense as her as he scans the surrounding area for other sources of aura.
The riolu shifts uncomfortably in his trainer's arms. The feeling was mutual; the only sounds they could here were the nearby shoreline and the coastal winds. She could only imagine what he must be feeling right now. The Human goes up a small flight of steps leading to a backdoor entrance to the building on the left. Is it safe, Sue? She wonders. The riolu opens his eyes and returns a feeling of approval. She carefully tries the door's hinge. It is unlocked. She opens the door, looks around in the darkness. She creeps inside, keeping the door partially open behind her.
The inside of the single-floor warehouse smells fresh. The house itself is a veritable fortress of crates, bags, and pallets. Many of them have been opened. She puts down Sue and investigates the closest ones. Inside she finds nothing but packing foam and torn fabrics.
"Brandy, can you help me find some supplies?"
"Yes, Miss Calvin." The honedge withdraws from his scabbard and begins investigating any open crates he can find.
"Sue, keep watch. There's no telling what could be hiding here."
A few containers later and still no dice. All they found was more packing foam and some useless supplies. She grumbles and carefully sets down yet another empty crate. Surprise crosses her face as she sees something just in the corner of a far set of crates: A nice, large crowbar sits against a large stack of crates, basking in the light beaming from a breach in the nearby wall.
Calvin steps about the crates in her way and makes a beeline for the precious tool. She holds it up to the light, giddy at the sight of her new favorite weapon.
Her smile disappears when a feeling of dread falls upon her. Recognizing it as a warning from Sue, she immediately crouches down beside the crates. She can hear something rustling at the far end of the warehouse. As soon as the three of them had dove for cover, all sounds at the other side stopped. Shit, she thought. Don't tell me someone heard us?
Sue trades concerns with her. They do not know what else is in here with them. Whatever it is, it isn't Undead; Sue can sense those things even from far away. Maybe it's an early infected or, less likely, other survivors? Another sound echoes through the warehouse; this one sounds much closer than the previous. Whatever it is, it's moving fast and in their general direction. She draws up the crowbar and warns Sue to alert Brandy. Looks like they are going to have to improvise an ambush.
The sounds stop just a few feet away from her position, on the other side of the crate stack. Readying her crowbar, she keeps careful watch on the corner and on her barrier, in case they try to topple them on her.
As soon as she sees something round the corner, she rises up and sends the crowbar downwards. An unseen force forces the weapon to a halt and then yanks it from her powerful grasp. She can hear an audible swing as Brandy flies past her and clangs against a metallic surface. Something throws itself out from the other side of the crates. She is now standing uncomfortably close to a Machoke. Before he can seize her, a ball of energy slams into the right side of its face and temporarily dazes it. She turns back and makes a desperate leap across the pile to her right. The jump nearly causes her to crash into a mountain of metal debris. After regaining her momentum, she turns around. Only for her to stare down the remorseless barrel of a pistol. The man wielding it seems very displeased.
"Call off your Honedge, woman. Or I will shoot."
In the distance, she can see Brandy locking swords with the arms of a Gallade. He is currently winning.
"I said call him off." The man impatiently repeats.
"Brandy, stop fighting!" He acknowledges her request, and both he and the Gallade make plenty of space between each other.
The man seems to loosen up a bit, but he keeps the gun drawn to her head. "Now, who the fuck are you?"
She keeps her posture straight, and remains calm. "Calvin Mikal. Survivor and former ranger."
"Frederick Preston. Former pokemon breeder. You're here for supplies?"
"Yes. Just for supplies."
The sudden collapse of a nearby set of crates draws his attention away from her. His pistol whips from her head to Sue, who had gotten just a bit too curious about the situation. Sue's eyes go wide with fear. "Mom!" In an act of desperation, Calvin wrestles with the man for his gun. The firearm goes off as it slips from his hand, the bullet nicking a section of her hair. She quickly draws out an emergency switchblade from her belt and brandishes the blade to his neck while she pins him against a large box.
"And maybe something to kill, since you nearly shot my child."
"Mom, don't hurt him!" The words hit her hard, but she keeps her stance. "Silence, Sue."
"Listen to your kid, Calvin. Please."
"Please, mom." She hears Sue pattering closer. She is staring widely at the man. "He's afraid. He was just surprised. He just wants to talk this out."
The man is beginning to sweat. There is not much he can do without sustaining grievous injuries.
She looks to his waist. There are no weapons visible. She might have disarmed him. He's still got the advantage, though. Those Pokemon are powerful.
"First, tell your Pokemon to get back."
He does so. She can hear them making distance.
Working against her better judgement, she relaxes herself. With the knife still drawn towards him, she backs off of him. He makes no movement until she makes room for him to safely return to his Pokemon. After putting her switchblade back in its proper place, she touches at the place where the bullet grazed her head. Fortunately, the only thing it managed to damage was her hair. She picks up Sue, and hugs him in relief when she sees no injuries on him. Brandy gives a brief bow of thanks to Calvin, and then returns to his scabbard.
She sighs away her stress, and walks forward. The man also walks forward, his pokemon close behind him.
She offers a handshake to him. He receives it, and smiles kindly. Sue smiles back to him.
"You have a good kid there, Calvin. Sorry for the rough-up."
"It's alright, Frederick; mistakes happen. And thank you." She gives her best grin, which isn't saying much given how embarrassingly crooked they are.
"You can keep the crowbar if you want; I've already got one of my own."
"Really?" He chuckles at her eagerness. She grimaces, though, when she realizes something:
"I... uuh, don't really have anything to give to you. We're sorta starved on supplies. That's why we came to Rustboro in the first place."
Frederick nods understandingly. "It's fine. I know how it feels; I was here for the same reason. Feel free to take some stuff from here; I've already got what I wanted." He leans against a nearby object. "Me and my team will be leaving Rustboro soon. We're looking for a new place to set up camp."
"Really? So soon?" She frowns, and sits down on a nearby crate. He does the same. "If you help me find the supplies I need, you could set up camp near my own for the night. We have plenty of defenses there, and the additional support would help us both."
He contemplates her offer for a moment. "Yeah, that could work."
They continue talking as she and her team go about finding the supplies they need. Sue and Brandy enjoy conversing with Frederick's companions, Mary the Machoke and Paulson the Gallade. After about half a day's work of browsing the warehouse, both teams found what they wanted and returned to Calvin's camp for the night. The chance to be on friendly terms with another team made for a pleasant change.