In which Shorty opens his gift from Duncan and realizes it wasn't quite as advertised. ALSO WE GOT SLIGHTLY META ON THE NAMING HERE.
Shorty was so happy! Not only was he going to visit Mister Duncan's family, which seems to be growing larger with each new DexNet entry, but Mister Duncan got him a WICKED COOL TEAM ROCKET!! Pokeball, too! He said something about a Pony, but Shorty was too excited about the AWESOMELY NEATO ball to realize that Duncan may have had something inside the pokeball.
He had been at Mister Duncan's house for a while now. They had already had dinner and were not far away from heading to their beds for the night when Shorty recalled the ball. He forgot to thank Mister Duncan in his excitement! Oh gosh!
So Shorty went to find Mister Duncan, and once he did so, he'd say something along the lines of "BY THE WAY THANKS FOR THE AWESOME POKEBALL I CAN'T WAIT TO USE IT!"
Duncan had opted to spend the night on the couch since his old room had since been taken over by siblings under the age of ten. At least he got to pull his "I'm the oldest" card to kick anybody else off the couch.
But, just as he was finally settling in, there was Shorty. He sighed, opened his eyes to look up at his partner, and said, "There's a Pokémon inside the ball, Shorty."
OH MY GOSH THERE'S A POKEMON INSIDE THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER OH MAN MISTER DUNCAN YOU ARE THE BEST.
Is what Shorty would have said if he wasn't temporarily STUNNED.
"T-that's what you meant by Ponyta! Golly! Those are really neat! I'll go ahead and let it get some air then!" And with that Shorty let out the Ponyta, too excited to realize a Ponyta in the house is a bad id--
...That's not a Ponyta.
That's not a Ponyta at all.
Nope. The thing that emerged from that PokéBall was something those in the PokéBusiness like to call "An Arbok."
Duncan propped himself up on an elbow and just watched for Shorty's reaction.
Shorty studied it a moment before realizing it was an Arbok. Oh right snake-thing.
"Is... Is this mister Rhys? Cause that would be the most ironic thing to happen to me this week."
The Arbok looked around questioningly. Was one of them its master?
"Is it--No. Shorty, no. It's your standard, run-of-the-mill arbok." He turned to face Shorty, setting his feet on the floor (sitting, now, instead of laying on the couch). "You said you wanted one."
He did...? Shorty looked at it for a moment. It didn't seem as scary in person...
The Arbok studied him. Who was this person?
Shorty continued to study the Arbok.
And the Arbok jumped onto Shorty.
"Augh!!" Shorty yelped.
The Arbok had found its new master! Yay!
Duncan actually cracked a smile. "Aw, it likes you!" (Obvious jerk factor present.)
"Oh gosh is this the end I have so many things I wanted to do I haven't made a game or gotten a girlfriend! I haven't even been to L--"
Shorty wasn't dead. It wasn't even choking him. After hearing Duncan's words, Shorty had to respond.
"It could have killed me, sir!" Though if it was going to eat Shorty, it probably would have done so.
"Relax, Shorty." He got to his feet and walked over to him. Reaching out to pet the arbok, he said, "I worked with this guy before. He was part of a control group for one of our experiments. I wouldn't give 'im to ya if he was gonna hurt you." There was a bit of a slip into the standard country accent most everyone else in his family exhibited, somewhere toward the end there. Being around them so much today was starting to show.
That's right. Shorty had to be more trusting of Mister Duncan! Wait. Experiment? Accent!? Shorty's world was turned upside down in one sentence!
"Wh-what kind of experiment? AND YOU SUDDENLY HAD AN ACCENT WHAT WAS UP WITH THAT?!"
UH WAY TO NOT SHOW ANY MANNERS OR SUBTLETY SHORTY.
The Arbok continued to relax on Shorty's shoulders contently.
He froze, pulling his hand back from the arbok and staring at Shorty. "Have you...uh...heard anybody else in this house talk, Shorty?"
"Come to think of it... they did all have accents! But you never seemed to have one yourself so it kind of surprised me! Also what experiments?" Shorty was starting to really get curious about what this Arbok had been through.
The Arbok stuck out its tounge, "smelling" Shorty.
"Yeah, well." He got rid of it to avoid sounding like a moron. "It comes back every now and again, especially if I'm around it a lot."
He turned back to the arbok, watching it acquaint itself with its new master. "He wasn't experimented on. Like I said, he was part of the control group.
Control group... Maybe Mister Baxter was right about school. Shorty had no idea what he meant by that, but was relieved when it meant this arbok didn't have to be experimented on.
"So this happens sometimes? Like some kind of EVIL CURSE?" TACT, SHORTY. TACT!!
"A-anyway, sorry I was just so surprised! Both by it and the Arbok!" But, looking at it... Shorty was starting to not be afraid of it. I mean it kind of had a good several minutes to end Shorty's life had it wanted to...
"Uh...no, not like a curse at all, Shorty." He stepped back, shoving his hands into his pockets and looking from the Arbok to Shorty. "The accent's not a big deal, just forget it. If you have any questions about taking care of arbok though, ask me anytime."
Shorty felt kind of guilty now. Maybe he had gone too far... again.
"Okay...B-but I was just surprised. It's not a bad thing at all! And the longer I look at this Arbok, the more I realize he's going to be the coolest pokemon EVER! A snake that won't kill me automatically makes it awesome! Thanks, Mister Duncan!" He couldn't wait to show this to Mister Baxter! But he was a little reluctant to let it go near Tilly...
He hadn't, but Duncan preferred not to call attention to the fact that he originally sounded like a complete yokel. "Arbok are pretty cool. They're actually not too hard to train, either, so I figured it'd be a nice pick for you."
Shorty hugged Mister Duncan, carefully not squishing the poor Arbok.
"Gosh... Thanks, Mister Duncan. I'll take really good care of him!" Shorty held back some very manly tears. A COOL POKEMON FROM THE COOLEST GUY TO WALK THE FACE OF EARTH OH MAN
Shorty wondered what to name him... Arby didn't seem to convey the feel of AWESOME (or adorability) that Tilly and Gliggy did. (Shorty had a Gligar? He really should let it out more...)
HUGS. ARE SO AWKWARD. He wasn't quite sure how to react to it so he just sort of stood there and waited for Shorty to stop hugging him.
Once Shorty stepped back, he waited a minute before asking, "Know what you wanna name it yet?"
"I-I'm not sure yet." Shorty thought for a moment.
"Arabo? ...Aboriya?" Shorty was clearly struggling very badly on this one.
Shorty those names were lame. "How about Kaa? Asmodeus? Whiplash? David?" (Hello any fellow MGS geeks who actually got that last one.) "Or you could ditch theme naming and just go with something cool like Fang or Killer."
"Indeed I could! But... I kind of like the thought of it starting with an A." Shorty thought about it some more...
"Ala... no... Amma... hmm.... Ari...?"
"Ari...stophanes?" Shorty had never heard a name quite like that before. Aristophanes... It'd be Ari for short which was just SO CUTE. No wait. Aristophanes because it's cool. Not cute. Cute isn't manly.
"I'll just call it Ari for short!" Oops. Guess cuteness won again. Ari now had a name! He seemed pleased! Or at least he was growing fond of how warm and snugly Shorty was.
"Aristophanes was a Greek playwrite who was famous for--" He cut himself off. Sigh, he really was a nerd, wasn't he? "Anyway." He reached out to pet the arbok again. "It's a good name. Much better than Subject Four. He'll like it."
Ari was happy at all this sudden attention! But he also was eager to be fed. Mmmm... Rattata...
"I hope you enjoy my gift too, sir. Maybe now I'll be that much closer to being a MAN and you'll have fewer headaches!"
Seriously. Mister Duncan seemed like a walking migraine at this point. Shorty felt kind of bad about that, too.
Pause. "Yeah." :|
"Anyway, I'm going to sleep, Shorty. Good night." He went back to the couch, settling in his previous position once more.
"Good night, Mister Duncan!"
He returned Ari to his SUPER COOL TEAM ROCKET!!!!!!! ball and made his way to where he'd be sleeping that night. This pokemon was certainly not a Ponyta, nor was it Mister Rhys, but maybe it would indeed lead Shorty one step closer to his ultimate goal. Failing that, it was one more friend he could snuggle with at night.