Running may be the best option for a pidgey, but you were always taught to stand your ground against an ekans, especially when you have electricity. You firm your stance, spark electricity, and growl into the bush, “come and get it, ekans.”
The grass in front remains quiet. Your heart beats incredibly fast. Every second feels like an hour. He sounded so close, yet you can’t see him at all. All at once, a flash of purple and yellow strikes from the brush to your left.
“Pika-CHUUUUUU!” Your Thundershock lands home, sending the ekans reeling in pain back to the grass. But the ekans recovers quickly and before you can get ready to unleash once more, strikes again. It all happens in slow-motion. The maw of the ekans opens wide, revealing the pink moist insides. Two fangs jut from the roof of his mouth and streams of venom shoot from the tips. This is it; the ekans is well on its way to dining on pikachu tonight.
“WHAAAK!!!” In a flutter of brown and cream feathers, two tiny talons crash into the ekans’ head. Ava has decided to help! Ava’s counterattack disrupts the trajectory of the hungry maw, leaving an opening for you to dodge your fate. The ekans sails wide left.
With cheeks recovered, you take this time to follow up with another Thundershock, “Pika-CHUUUUU!” This time, the electrocution looked like it hurt him twice as bad. His purple noodles writhe and twitch. He recovers soon though and strikes again. A second pidgey from the other side flies in and stops the ekans’ bite. He misses to the right. When he recovers, he coils himself in a defensive position.
The ekans bleeds from his head and electrical burn marks char his body. He hisses, seething with anger, “SSSo, the pidgey decided to go soft-hearted. Did you forget a hungry predator means danger to little birdies like yourself? Why not feed me the pikachu so you can rest easy for a couple of nights?”
Two pidgey land on either side of you; they puff their feathers out and spread their wings. Ava peeps, “or how about we kill you and rest easy forever?”
The defeated snake says nothing in response. He lets out one last dissatisfied hiss, then disappears into the brush, empty coils. The pidgey yell, “yeah! That’s right!” “get out of here, freak!” “Wait till we evolve, then we’ll show you who’s the food!”
They giggle together for a bit and Ava looks at you, “uh, sorry for not wanting to help initially. But I never faced an ekans head-on like that."
"That's okay, I understand. But I'm glad you did help. I don't think I would have won." You tell Ava.
"Well, it's the least I could have done. Ekans like to lurk around nests for days before they make their move. Who knows how long he's been eyeing our nest. We've lost a nest to an ekans a couple of years ago; I would hate to lose another. Oh! This is my mate, Flappy, by the way."
You turn to Flappy. He peeps, "nice to meet you! Looks like I returned home just in time. What's your name? I would like to know to whom I owe my chick's life."
"Nice to meet you, Lulu! Where are you headed? You're pretty far south of your home."
You tell them of your quest for a Thunder Stone and ask them if they know the way to Thunder Mountain.
Ava tells you, "Hmmm, Thunder Mountain? Sorry, I don’t really know. I’m not up on my pikachu mythology. There are some mountains to the west. But you would have to cross the river for that.”
“Is there any way to cross the river?”
“The only way is to keep heading south. Eventually, if you keep following the river south, you’ll get to a swamp. There’s a rough human path with some footbridges, but it’s still dangerous as hell. You think the forest is bad, wait till you meet some of the Pokemon living there. But that’s the only way unless you make a water friend to swim you across. There’s also a cliff up ahead. You’ll have to get down that too, then you’ll be in the southern forest and that place makes the central forest look like a paradise. I don’t know what else I can tell you. Any other questions?”
“I guess not.”
Ava says, “Let me give you one last piece of advice If you travel much further south, you’ll be in his territory.”
“A noctowl, big mother fucker and loves eating rodents. Can you blame him though?” She shrugs her wings. “Anyways, he hunts at dusk and night. If you get caught out during that time, he will dine on pika tonight. Your electricity won’t matter if he puts you to sleep first. I don’t know how, but he has a way of sapping the energy out of his victims. I would hate to see a yellow owl pellet on the ground tomorrow morning after you helped me today.
"Hey! Why don't you stay with us tonight? We don't have enough sunlight to move the nest tonight anyway. There's plenty of room in the tree. Might be a bit uncomfortable but safe enough. Then you won't have to deal with that noctowl. And if you head back north, that ekans might be looking for revenge."
You don't see any reason not to. “That sounds nice. Thanks, Ava.”
You spend the night with Ava, Flappy, and their chicks. You talk about life in the tribe and they talk about life as a pidgey. Every day is a struggle for them. If they land next to the wrong bush, then they are dead meat. They make sure to tell you just how much they despise vulpix. If a pidgey is taken down, it was most likely a vulpix. If they are lucky, the chicks in this nest will be grown in a month, and they can start again. They tell you they have three nests a year, but one is inevitability raided and the others usually lose at least one chick. But that is just life as a pidgey.
It's nice to have company for the night and you talk to them till dark. The tree is a bit stiff and cold but you find a nice enough crook to curl up for the night. You wake to hungry peeping birds. Ava has already grabbed some grub for the chicks and is currently vomiting milky grime into their mouths. The sight is even more disgusting up close and you gag a little. But you guess pidgey probably thinks sucking on a tit to feed young is gross as well, so you don't make a fuss about it.
Flappy soon comes home with a beak clasped around the stems of a paw full of oran berries. He hops over to you and gives you the berries. “Here,” he says, “this is for the trip.”
“Thanks!” You munch on the berries. While eating, they tell you they have to move the nest or the ekans will be back. They have a few abandoned nests around the forest and Flappy is going to scout them out. Ava will stay and watch the nest. The tree wasn’t very comfortable and you ask can you stay a rest a bit longer until they move, and they say sure.
Flappy leaves and Ava stays to watch over her chicks and you. You crawl down to the ground and sleep at the base of the tree. With Ava watching, it is plenty safe. You wake up to Ava on the ground in front of you.
“Hey, Lulu. We’re about to leave.” Flappy is standing by the nest; One chick has already been moved. “Uh… thanks again - about the ekans. We pidgey can come off as harsh to strangers. The way I acted when we first met was rude. It’s just because life for us can make us crass. But maybe you showed me something; if every Pokemon in the forest was like a pikachu, like someone like you, then maybe this place wouldn’t be such a hell.
“Ah but there I go getting all touchy-feely. Good luck finding a Thunder Stone, Lulu.” Ava flutters up to her nest. Ava grabs a chick and flies away. Flappy nods to you then grabs the remaining chick and disappears above the canopy. With the tree now empty of pidgey, the forest around is quiet.
It is now mid-morning. You are at full rest and strength. There were a few close calls yesterday, but you came out on top. Thunder Mountain doesn’t seem so far away. You strike off south, reinvigorated in your quest.
You travel for an hour with no interactions until water drops on your nose. You look up to see a rain cloud moving in from the north. Low rolls of thunder shake the trees and an ever-increasing breeze bends the branches. It’s about to rain hard, but it doesn’t look like it will last long. Your journey will have to take a break until the rain passes. You find a healthy bush and sit under a big leaf. The rain starts to come down in waves.