Sorry for the long absence; I've had a lot of things to do, a massive amount of writer's block recently (The latest Karistaa Usko chapter's presently in Limbo), and a complete overhaul of my mythos, so I decided to do one more in the general Pokemon universe. As the July contest inspired me a bit to write this chapter, it's a contest entry (or, at the very least, Nowhere and Everywhere is since I'm not certain how long this inspiration will hold).As usual: Pikachu, Pokémon, Mother et al. are the property of Nintendo. The characters are mine, as is the plot.
*)Private Glade - June 13, 2009 - 21:39(*
The omulosis all filed into the glade after Nicolau, followed by the two abnormally large Raichu. The glade was very large and ovoid, and was roofed by the large tree canopies from the many spruces and oaks that formed the border of the glade. The floor was a mix of sphagnum and dirt, and gave a little bit under the feet of both the true Raichu and the humans. In the center of the long glade was a fallen log that served as a table, with a simple wooden seat at the head of it for Nicolau. Every other Raichu made do with standing room, and Lori and Eoin both sat down.
The log was already covered with several berries in a long continuous line, with nuts removed in three spots down the line (where Eoin and the two allergic Raichu sat). A variety of berries, many of which Eoin and Lori had never seen before, met the eyes of everyone at the table. Both watched Nicolau, as did the rest of the table, waiting for his order to start in, which came quickly. Almost immediately, the table fell into the sounds of munching, snacking and gentle table conversation.
The Raichu on Lori's right tried to make casual conversation about what was going on in the storm, so she just sat there and listened, apologizing repeatedly about her ignorance. However, this helped her glean some insight into the inner workings of the storm, namely that every other day twenty Pikachu, led by one of the omulosi, went out on foraging trips for various berries and the occasional Pidgey or Spearow.
"Y'know, come to think of it, I've never seen you around here before," said the Raichu after Lori's fifth non-response response.
"Just came in the other day. Name's Lori." She bit into a Berry shaped like a squared radish and almost gagged on the sweetness. "Pardon my Gardevoir, but what the fuck is this?"
"Drash berry," said the Raichu. "I'm Kweku." He shoved the Cornn berry into his mouth as Lori looked across at Eoin and noted him removing the auril from a Chilan berry. She turned back to Kweku and looked down towards his crotch (since Kanto's Raichu did not develop sexual dimorphism, she could not determine via the tail). She noticed two rather large testes between the legs, so she quickly looked back up and silently made a mental note, intending to piece names to genders. She bit again into the Drash berry, and noticed a distinctly sweet aftertaste.
Meanwhile, Eoin kept his eyes focused on the berries in front of him, and he kept his eyes well away from the head of the table, where his tormentor sat. After dehulling the Chilan berry and eating it, he reached for a random berry, unwittingly grabbing and biting into a Pamtre berry. He instantly gasped and almost fell over, grabbing an epipen out from a concealed chamber in his suit's foot and injecting himself as his vision swam.
Lori, Nicolau, and two omulosi ran over and helped Eoin back up as the anaphylactic shock passed. He shook his head as Nicolau, Lori, and the omulosi picked him up and took him outside to get some fresh air and clear his head.
The sun was almost completely down when Eoin had his episode, and the whole storm was covered in twilight as he was set down outside. Eoin gasped and wheezed a bit, vomiting up the Palmtre bite he took as well as the Chilan berry and a Coba berry he'd snuck earlier. Lori removed the epipen from his costume and put it into a knothole.
"Wh... what happened?" asked Eoin lamely.
"You bit into a Palmtre," said the omulosi closest to his tail end, a female.
"F-fuck," stammered Eoin as his head laid against the ground.
"Are you going to be alright, Eoin?" asked Nicolau, patting Eoin's chest a bit.
"I-I think I will," he said. "I got an emergency injection into me, so I'll be good so long as I don't randomly grab."
"An emergency wha?" asked the male omulosi near his upper body.
"I'll explain later," said Nicolau. "Can you walk, Eoin?"
"I think I'll be able to after a few moments," he said. "Just let me clear my head. You guys head back in."
With that, Lori, Nicolau, and the two other Raichu went back into the private glade. Once this was done, Eoin unzipped the back of his costume's head and breathed deeply.
Five minutes after they'd left, they returned. Nicolau took his position back, while Lori sat where Eoin was, her appetite lost due to Eoin's allergic reaction. The female omulosi that had left took her place, and the male took the female's spot.
"Omulosi..." started Nicolau shortly after everyone was settled. "I have some news to report."
The Raichu all looked up, including Lori.
"You may have noticed that there are twenty-one Raichu here tonight, counting the one that just had a seizure," said Nicolau. "The two newest Raichu are, in fact, humans."
The revelation caused a lot of murmurs, whispers, and looks both out the door and at the 5'3" Raichu at the end of the table. Lori gulped, and nervously reached for a Wacan berry.
"Do not be alarmed. They do not mean us any harm, and I am assured that they do not have any means to capture or tame us... quite the opposite, I'd imagine," he said, smirking. Lori quickly divined his meaning - they were in his world now, his rules. "Their names are Lori and Eoin, and I wish you not to harm them."
A minor outrage welled up amongst the Raichu, most of them threatening to run the two of them out on a rail or use them as a lightning rod. Their unified voice was broken, though, when Kweku spoke. "Listen to me!" All eyes turned to the Raichu, who was amongst the shortest there (at a paltry 2'2"), and paid him their full attention. "We should not judge these humans by their intent without knowing what it is first!" He then focused his attention on Nicolau. "What did they come here to do, O Kabaka?"
"They are college students from a bit further afield, studying us since, as far as dhoruba go, we are the purest example," said Nicolau. "Their possessions are right outside the copse; they did not bring them in because they did not wish to cause undue panic. But, they do not have any means of capturing us."
The talk flared up again, a more positive, but still questioning, tone. Lori stood up. "Please... if you're going to threaten me, do it to my face." With that, she unzipped her costume and stepped out of it. She wasn't wearing anything, primarily because the suit was all but skintight. "I can handle whatever threats you give me."
With the translator node no longer fed into her ear, all Lori heard was various intonations of Raichu speech. One of them, which she recognized as the female Tish directed her to, walked up to her. She kneeled down, and the omulosi gently placed her paws around hers, in what Lori construed as a symbol of trust. The Raichu spoke something to her, nodded, and returned to her seat.
"Rai?" Nicolau gestured to Lori's costume. Lori understood and put it back on, zipping it back up and once more concealing the zipper beneath a flap, which had hooks that caught on eyes inside the flap. "Thank you, Lori." Lori sat back down. He then turned to address the nobility again. "So long as they are living amongst us, they are to be treated as omulosi, even if that means you have to share living space with them." Lori sensed a sly hint in his smile as he said those words, and she had a strong feeling he was referring to Eoin. "However, as far as political processes go, they are not allowed a vote in any matters, though they may attend such meetings should they wish."
The crowd listened intently, then was interrupted when Eoin entered the room, still looking a bit green, but otherwise alright as he came in and sat down in the only available spot. He looked and noticed the seat was much closer to Nicolau, and he couldn't help but notice that the Kabaka was again eyeing him.
"Anyhow, treat these two as you would any other omulosi," Nicolau finished. "Apologies for the interruption; continue eating if you wish." Most of the Raichu present did just that, as did Eoin, who made sure not to grab anything touching a tree nut and again kept his gaze on the table, thankful his suit was hiding the embarrassed blush on his cheeks.
At about ten PM the group dissipated, the omulosi all going their separate ways, each to a hut they shared with a few other omulosi. Kweku's group was kind enough to add Lori in it, and as she looked about she hoped to see Eoin in another group. No such luck. She looked back and saw Nicolau and Eoin arguing.
"Have you no decency, Kabaka? I've told you I want nothing to do with you or your sexual desires!"
"I'm asking you to live with me, not moan on command," retorted Nicolau, keeping an even tone to Eoin's exclamations.
"But, sir, with all due respect, you practically raped me earlier! R-A-P-E!" growled Eoin.
"Look, Eoin, I'm not sure of the major cultural divides between us and humans, but if I know anything it's that here, if someone sees someone they love..."
Eoin was speechless. "Y-y-" he choked.
"... then they've every right to, right then and there, mate them."
"You actually love me?!" said Eoin, stunned.
"Yes," he said. "'Love at first sight', as you humans say."
Eoin was again struck speechless. All he could do was have his jaw dropped as he heard the Kabaka's words.
"And that love was... reinforced... by the sex." Nicolau carefully selected his words.
"Well, sir... The feeling's not mutual. I don't love you."
"Is it because I 'raped' you?" came the response.
"Amongst other things, but, for a human and a Pokémon to have sex..."
"Bah! Legislating morality; haven't you humans learned all that does is lead to wars?" Nicolau dismissed the concern with a wave of his paw.
"It's not just moral; we humans find it physically repugnant as well. It's kinda like bugchasing without the bug."
"What is this 'bugchasing' you speak of?"
Eoin cursed, having forgotten that the likelihood HIV was present here was virtually nil. "It's complicated; I'd rather not talk about it."
Nicolau opened his mouth as if to press the issue, then stopped. He looked up into Eoin's costumed face, the smitten look still on his face.
"Sir, did you even hear a word I said?! I don't love you. End of!" growled Eoin.
"I'm not asking you to have sex with me again, Eoin. As far as I'm concerned, that's on your terms, not mine." Nicolau kissed Eoin's belly, and he felt the kiss on his testes due to the disproportioned costume. "But, in any case, I'd rather you stayed with me, in my glade, during your stay."
Eoin sighed. There was no way he was going to be able to talk himself out of being with Nicolau. "Fine... just don't start referring to me as your mate," he said, dejectedly walking with Nicolau towards the glade.
"I don't intend to," said Nicolau. His mind added a postscript: Yet.