I haz cookie! Yay!
This was a fun one to write. The Drowzee entries that I didn't pick were odd, though. Did you know it eats dreams through your nose? It makes odd sense, as that would be the thinnest part connected to your brain cavity. And you're welcome for that gross-out moment.
In Process: Ekans/Koffing
On Deck: Dratini, Drifblim, Ivysaur, Linoone
Reserve: ???/??? (#246-7)
DROWZEE AND DARKRAI
He was in a bad situation. His Psychic powers were being damped by something that he couldn’t identify, or locate. Due to the foggy moonless night, neither he nor his Trainer could tell what was coming up along the forest path. And this island wasn’t large. If they weren’t careful, they could walk off into the ocean and not know it until they hit the water. But then, how were they to find their way back to the boat?
Gripping his Trainer’s arm tighter, the Drowzee said, “<Dan, you should give up so we can get out of here alive.>”
“Don’t be so nervous, Baku,” the teenager said. He kept looking in the trees for some sign of activity. “If we’re patient, one might show.”
What came from the trees, though, was a deep and menacing voice. “You should not have come here,” he said. Then the night came alive and tore Dan out of Baku’s grip. Before he could run after his Trainer, the Drowzee was drowned in the darkness as well. But he didn’t die. He simply woke up.
Baku opened his eyes wide and sat up. Immediately, the brightness of the sun against the ocean waves caused him to cringe. He spent a moment looking at the white paint of the boat and the yellowness of his skin to soothe his eyes. He felt Dan’s presence nearby, so his Trainer was fine. At the moment, the teen seemed to be happy and excited. But, was this dream a premonition?
When he could look out across the water comfortably, Baku got up and went to the control panel, where Dan was driving the boat. “Hey, you finally woke up,” the teen said, tweaking the Drowzee’s ear. “This boat is pretty easy, once I figured it out. We should be there soon.”
He took the human’s arm and shook his head. “<This may be a bad idea,>” he said. His telepathy wasn’t strong enough to work on an awake human yet, but he had been with Dan for several years. Usually, the teen knew what he was saying.
“What’re you nervous about now? We’re just hunting down another Pokemon for the team. And to show up that jerk.” Dan smiled. “He made a mistake in telling us there were rare Pokemon at new Moon Island. It’ll be another step up for us.”
Baku had been excited about the prospect earlier. His current teammates were good friends, and a new one would be welcomed as one of the group. However, he’d never had a dark premonition before other captures. What was so different about this one?
A few minutes later, an island came into view. It seemed like any of the other islands around Sinnoh, a small patch of land bearing a great many tall leafy trees. It wasn’t civilized, though, as there wasn’t even a dock. As they approached, they saw that the beaches were rocky. Dan slowed the boat and circled around the island, careful to watch the map radar for underwater snags. At one point, they found a large black rock that jutted out into the ocean. They brought the boat up there to get on the island.
Dan checked his GPS. “This is the right coordinates. Odd though, that this named island hasn’t been built on yet. Full Moon Isle even has a dock, and it’s hardly bigger than this place.”
“<There’s something creepy about this place,>” Baku noted. Sure, it looked like any other forested island, but there was something off here. For one thing, his mental senses were stopped dead right at the tree line. And the undergrowth was lush, grasses and shrubs that apparently had little to check their growth here. He couldn’t even hear the little buzzes and hums of micro-bugs. There was just the steady ocean tide.
However, the teen wasn’t worried. “Let’s go check things out. I’ve got my walking stick to clear the brush out.”
Baku tried one last time, grabbing Dan’s shirt and looking at him seriously. “<There’s something wrong with this place.>”
“Something bugging you?” He looked into the trees quietly, his expression losing some of the excitement. “There is something weird about those trees. Maybe it’s Ghost Pokemon, or Dark ones, that are freaking you out. Or Bugs. Well don’t worry; I’ll recall you if something you can’t handle comes up. Like always, right?”
“<I suppose,>” Baku relented, rubbing his snout. His Trainer could be stubborn at times. “<Let’s be careful.>”
“You keep close to me, and warn me if anything’s gonna jump at us.” Dan then led him into the woods of New Moon Isle.
The trees provided an almost total leaf canopy, letting only fragments of sunlight hit the forest floor. Due to this, dark tolerant plants grew in abundance. Baku watched, but never saw anything. The total lack of activity came to be a worry, though. Anywhere else, there would be micro-bugs and other lesser animals scrounging about, wary of humans and Pokemon. There would also be wild Pokemon around, calling to each other or coming up in curiosity. But there was nothing here.
No. Not quite. Baku sensed one being here. He didn’t so much sense it as sense the absence in the aura he could feel. That had to be some Pokemon of the Dark type. And immensely powerful at that, if the space of that absence was a clue to that. At first, he tried to keep Dan from entering that absence space.
After circling the edge of the isle twice, Dan looked over their boat. “This is really weird,” he said. “We should have run into something. But night’s falling, and nothing has appeared. Have we checked the middle of the island?”
“<You don’t want to check the middle of the island,>” Baku said, although he figured his Trainer wouldn’t listen.
“Let’s go check. We could camp on the boat if we had to, but I’d rather not, or set back out to Canalave this close to evening.”
Feeling a sense of dread, Baku followed his Trainer nevertheless. He entered the Dark aura expecting to be repelled by something painful. But that didn’t happen. It simply slid around him like oil, all around the Drowzee yet not enough to disorient him. Why? No Dark Pokemon that he had ever met was so generous with others. None had ever had this degree of control over their power either. So was this one being welcoming? Or, was it all one of their infamous tricks?
In the center of the isle, there was an open meadow. The grasses here were more controlled, not growing everywhere like a savage’s hair. It was just a quiet place. No mystical monuments, no mysterious signs, no shrines, no sign of human hands. Just a quiet, peaceful meadow which was almost entirely barren of life forms from the animal kingdom.
“This would be a nice place to set up camp,” Dan said. “But there’s just… something creepy going on. Normally you hear the calls of the Starly family everywhere, or even Hoothoots. But there’s none of that here. And I’m not sure about setting up a campfire anywhere with all this grass.” He turned around, looking.
A feeling of panic welled up in Baku. “<No, no!>” he called, crossing his arms. “<Camping here is a bad idea.>”
“What’s up with you today?” Dan asked, patting him. “If there’s nothing here, there isn’t anything dangerous. We’ll leave tomorrow. Looks like this trip was a waste. Still, we might be able to drop by another island. Oh, look, there’s a hole in the ground. It would be useful for a fire.”
Baku turned around. He had been certain that the meadow was all grass. However, there was now a nice shallow pit near where they had come in. And the grasses seemed even shorter. How could he have missed that? Or was it another trick?
Alarmed by all the strangeness, the Drowzee remained alert while helping to set up a campfire and a tent. He remained alert while they ate some simple dinner under the darkened sky. And he remained alert when Dan went to sleep. As the minutes drifted by, there was only the wind stirring up the leaves and the distant rhythm of the tide.
Nothing happened for the first hour. Then, his sensitive snout picked up on something. Dan was fully asleep now, and entering the phase where he dreamed. The scent of it drifted from the human’s nose. It was always the nose, although other Pokemon thought that specific dream scent was non-existent. To a Drowzee or Hypno, that scent told many things. Usually, Baku would take a bit of Dan’s dream energy to consume every night. It never hurt him, so there was nothing wrong with it.
But this night the dreams had a bitter tinge of nightmares. It wasn’t very strong, but it was enough to make his stomach queasy. Nightmares always disagreed with him later, and there were tales that a Drowzee that ate too many nightmares would fall horribly sick and die. That was a theory that he didn’t want to put to the test.
Instinctively, he knew that the Dark Pokemon residing here was causing this. Baku crept into the tent and tried some things to stop it: making significant signs on his Trainer’s forehead, trying to unsettle the dream stage of sleep, blocking off all of Dan’s senses temporarily. But his efforts seemed to do nothing to the dense aura.
Baku then left the tent and looked around the meadow. He couldn’t see any strange movements in the grass. Aside from the bitter nightmare, he smelled nothing out of the ordinary. He couldn’t feel anything in the aura because he could not feel the Dark aura. It had to be out here. But where?
“<Come out of hiding, you,>” Baku called into the meadow. “<I know you’re hurting my human, and I won’t allow that.>”
“You should not have come here,” a deep voice replied from behind him.
He turned and saw the stranger by the campfire. Only a foot taller than the Drowzee, the Dark Pokemon was some kind of black phantom with long white hair and leathery wings. Although Baku couldn’t read its thoughts or feelings, it didn’t seem aggressive. Still, Baku felt defensive, if only for Dan’s sake. “<Why not? And who are you to forbid anyone from doing something?>”
It switched from human speech to the language all Pokemon shared. “<I am Darkrai, of the new moon. I came here to be alone many centuries ago. No one is to disturb me here.>”
“<We haven’t heard anything like that,>” Baku replied. Although he felt cautious (any Pokemon that could claim it had been alive for centuries had to be strong and talented), he would still stand up for his Trainer. “<And you didn’t give any warnings, so you have no right to be hurting him like you are. I know it’s you! Don’t deny it.>”
“<I won’t. But I am holding back; I do not wish your human any true harm. I do not wish you harm either, so do not try to battle me. It would be fruitless for both of us.>”
Although puzzled by Darkrai’s words, Baku could see that it was being honest. It showed no signs of aggression as it floated by the fire. It turned its eyes to the fire now, as if watching something unusual and curious. Still, the situation unnerved Baku. Dan was still emitting a bitter dream scent.
“<But if you won’t deny giving him nightmares, and you don’t wish to harm us, then why is he having nightmares due to your power?>” the Drowzee challenged. Even if it would be tough, even fruitless, he wouldn’t stand down and do nothing.
“<That is why I came to be alone,>” Darkrai said, still watching the fire. “<My power is to control nightmares. There have been those who abused my power for evil purposes, causing war, despair, fear, tragedy. Others hated me for it, even though it was not under my control and I had no desire to be evil. So I forsook the society of everyone. He came looking to capture a Pokemon, didn’t he? I am the only one here.>”
Baku looked back to the tent. “<He’s not evil,>” he defended for his sleeping Trainer. “<He just wants to be a strong Trainer, like many others.>”
“<Even if his intents are not evil, he would still be bringing my power back into civilization, where it would hurt everyone around him, including you. I want you both to leave tomorrow. But I watched you today. I have seen that he can be stubborn and ignore the signs that gave you fear. I will hold back for him, but I will also make certain that you leave in the morning.>”
“<Can’t you just leave a clear message then? Or do nothing; he’s planning on leaving anyhow because he didn’t find any Pokemon today.>”
Darkrai moved its hand forward, barely keeping its fingers out of the sinking flames. “<People are more likely to avoid fire if they’ve been burned touching the flames. At least, that is the philosophy that I have followed. I managed to keep up a good rumor that this island was cursed. Perhaps I’ve been neglecting that as of late. More people have come the past few years, even as I dissuade them. Still, I will not allow myself to be captured and used again.>”
Baku clenched his hands. “<I still don’t like this.>”
“<I understand. But he will be able to sleep tonight, or else he won’t be able to pilot the boat back to the mainland.>” It looked back at him finally. “<You are not entirely convinced of my intentions, it seems.>”
“<You’re hurting my Trainer and friend,>” he retorted. “<Of course I’m not fine with that.>” He could put this strange Pokemon to sleep; that wasn’t an ability it could block. Then he could eat its dreams, so that its power over dreams would be broken. If he took all the dream energy from someone, that person or Pokemon would not be able to concentrate.
Raising its hand up, Darkrai wove a strange pattern in the air with its fingers. At that, its aura ceased to be like oil and came to be like water, like the energy usually was. It overwhelmed Baku’s mind, giving him a flashback to his own nightmare during the day. With his psychic senses being drowned in the Dark aura, the Drowzee could hardly tell up from down, left from right. He looked at his five-fingered hands and felt disconnected with them.
It only lasted a second, though, as Darkrai retracted the aura so that it acted as oil again. Then it looked back into the fire and was silent. From that, Baku felt like it had been reluctant to do that. He didn’t want to bother the Dark Pokemon now. Instead, he stayed by the tent and made sure Dan was okay, besides the nightmares.
In the morning, Dan seemed nervous as he cleaned up the campsite. “I think you were right to be nervous about this place,” he told Baku. “I had some weird dreams. Maybe there’s some Pokemon here, but it doesn’t want us to be here. We’d better leave it alone.”
“<That’s for the best,>” the Drowzee replied. He hadn’t seen Darkrai since the sun came up, but he knew it was out there, somewhere under the dark canopy.
Drowzee Leaf Green entry: Puts enemies to sleep, then eats their dreams. Occasionally gets sick from eating only bad dreams.
Darkrai Platinum entry: To protect itself, it afflicts those around it with nightmares. However, it means no harm.