After spending the six months of winter in Lumious City, the Team was back on the move on Route Sixteen. Over the winter, Shade and Luke evolved, and they got the Voltage Badge from Clemont. They agan veered off the path and walked the woods, but then Luke got the team's attention.
"Somethings wrong." He said.
"What is it?" Nex asked.
"Sorrow like I've never seen before. Almost familier though. We need to check this out."
"Lead the way," Nex said. "But everybody stay quiet. I get the feeling they want to be left alone."
The silently walked for several minutes and up a hill before Luke signaled them to got down. They looked down from the top of the hill and saw a small clearing. At the bottom of the hill was a pile of stones carefully organized into a square, at the oppsite end of the clearing was a small stream, and in the center was a Cubone, sitting and staring into the woods. The Cubone was deadly thin, and in front of it were patches of dried blood.
"There she is." Luke whipered.
"How do you know it's a girl?" Ciera asked.
"Aura sensing, remember? Now be quiet so I can listen."
"When do you think she last ate?" Rey asked. "It looks like me before Nex found me."
"I don't know," Luke said. "But I don't sense any hostile or controling auras in the forest that would be withholding food. I think she's starving herself, but why?"
"Look around," Shade said. "Looks like someone close to her died, pretty tragically, if I had to guess. It must of destroyed her."
"Maybe we should talk to her." Flare said. "Make sure she doesn't go through with this."
"Sounds like a good idea." Nex said. "But we'll watch her for a few days first. See if she eats on her own. Luke, you stay here and watch her, Flare and Rey, go ask around, see if you can find out what happened. Shade, Ciera, and I will set up camp."
Everyone went off to do their assigned task. In a few hours, everyone met back at camp. Luke said the Cubone made no movments since they arrived, and Flare and Rey only found out that the Cubone didn't respond to anything, but attacked anyone who tried to go near the rock pile. After eating a short meal, Nex went to watch the Cubone, and they did this for three days. Eating and watching. The only movments the Cubone ever made was to drink in the stream or lie down, but it always went back to the center of the clearing.
"Her aura is getting faint." Luke said. "She only has a few more days."
Nex took a few moments to ponder this. "Alright." He said. "Ciera, I want you to go down there and try to invite her to dinner."
"She doesn't respond to anything, remember?" Ciera said.
"I know, but I'm hoping the calming sense from your ribbons may be a bit more welcoming than others who have tried."
"Ok, I'll give it a shot."
Ciera got up and went around the side of the clearing. She walked over the stream and sat down, keeping her distance.
"Hi," She said. "I'm Ciera."
"I know." Cubone said, not moving. "Your group have been stalking me for three days now."
"Oh, you noticed us, huh?"
"It's kind of hard not to. The forest is silent, and your voices carried."
"So you know why I'm here?"
"Yes, and you can go tell your trainer I'm not interested in eating with you."
They sat in silence for a few moments.
"Why are you talking to me, but no one else?" Ciera asked.
"I guess you're the only one who's taken interest in my well being. Dispite my want to left alone."
"Can I ask why you're doing this?"
A few more moments passed.
Cubone sighed. "A week ago, two humans came into this clearing. They were upset about something, and-" her voice cracked. "They took it out on my mother, while I hid in a bush. They- they just killed her. For no reason."
They sat in silence as Cubone steadied her breathing.
"I'll eat with you." Cubone said. "But I don't want any of you to speak to me unless spoken to."
"Alright," Ciera said, getting up. "I'll come get you once it's time."
Ciera walked back to the camp and sat down.
"Did you hear all of that?" She asked.
"Yes," Nex said. "And I'm suprised that she told you about her mom."
"And I'm suprised you didn't think to lower your voices." Cubone called.
"Point taken." Nex called back.
"Let's just start dinner and get this over with." Shade whipered. "The tension is killing me now."
"Alright," Nex whipered back. "Berries and apples?"
"Berries and apples." Flare said.
A few minutes later, as Nex and Shade were preparing everyone's meals, Cubone came up the hill and sat down away from the rest of the group. As she requested, no one spoke with her. No one spoke to anyone for that matter. When Nex gave Cubone her plate, she nodded respectfully, but remained silent. Dispite not eating for several days, Cubone ate slowly. Several minutes into the meal, Cubone spoke.
"Why are you doing this?" She asked. "What have I ever done for any of you?"
"We were worried about you." Nex said.
"Why should you care what I do with my life?" Cubone demanded.
"I understand what-"
"Don't even!" She yelled marching up to Nex. "How can you act like you know what its like? All humans ever do is capture random pokemon and take out their problems on other pokemon like they did with my mother!"
"Every member of my team had the choice to come with." Nex said calmly. "The only time I've ever tried to hurt them was while I tried training with them, and I got beat bad. As the mother front, my life hasn't exactlly been perfect, either."
"What? Did she not let stay up past bedtime? Or maybe she didn't give you seconds on dessert? At least she's still alive!"
Nex's gaze turned cold. "Only if."
Cubone temper cooled. "Oh." She said.
"Now." Nex said, calming down. "We have important things to talk about."
"What do you mean?" Cubone asked.
"First of all, you know all of our names, so might we know your's."
"Fair enough. Second of all, we need to discuss what to do with you."
"What? What makes you think you can choose what happenes in my life?"
"Are you going to starve yourself again once we leave?"
"Maybe I will, but it still has nothing to do with you."
"Did your mother reveal you to the humans?"
"Oh, you've some nerve-"
"No, but what does-"
"Do you think she would have wanted the humans to find you?"
"No, but I still don't-"
"Knowing this, do you think she would want you to commit suicied?"
Cubone stared in silence. "No." She said softly.
"So, will you starve yourself again?"
Cubone looked to the ground. "No."
Nex looked at Luke and mouthed 'Was that true?' Luke nodded his head.
"So," Nex said to Cubone. "What do you want to do?"
"What- what are my options."
"You can either stay here, or come with us."
"Why would I want to go with you?"
"My only good answer is that we're going to do a lot of traveling, and you'll be able to see the world."
"I... I'm gonna go think about it." Cubone said, and walked down the hill.
Everyone remained silent as Cubone went down the hill and sat in the center of the clearing.
"So," Luke said. "That's why her saddness felt familier."
"Leave it alone, Luke." Nex said.
"Are you sure? That sort of thing bottled up-"
"If I wanted to talk about it, I would of already."
They all sat in even more silence.
"Ok," Nex said. "It's getting late, you all get some sleep. I'll stay up a little longer in case Cubone comes back."
Everybody remained silent as they went to their tents, and eventually, Nex drifted to sleep as he sat staring down the hill. The next, Cubone was at the camp before any of the others woke up, but she didn't speak until everyone was up.
"I'll come with you," She said. "But there are two things I want set in stone right now."
"Of course." Nex said.
"First of all, if I ever decide I want to leave, I get to leave."
"And second. If we ever find the two that killed my mother, no one here holds me back."
"If that's what you want."
"Alright. Get the pokeball."
Nex took a pokeball out of his pocket.
"My name is Terra, by the way." Cubone said, touching the button of the pokeball.
Terra was sucked into the pokeball. then it shook, and clicked.