“Xander,” you say softly.
He seems to have totally broken down, eyes glazed over, rambling, “a pidgey… a pidgey… pidgey…”
You reach out and place your paw on top of his gently. He looks up into your eyes, his with a look of terror and shock. You smile and tell him, “it’ll be okay, Xander. Just tell me what happened, from the start.”
“I-I…” light comes back into his eyes and his voice becomes his own rather than a prerecorded message, “after I left you, I went hunting the next morning… at the watering hole; I admit it. B-but not a pichu. I’ve been hunting pidgey and caterpie there for the past couple weeks. The prey is so easy because they know of the treaty and don’t expect predators. But honestly, I like the thrill more than the meat; I hadn’t been hungry since I failed in the rut.
“I set up in a bush nearby and waited. The pichu came to the watering hole shortly after for the morning play. That’s where I first saw you, Lulu, watching the pichu play. But I guess that doesn’t matter. The pichu started to play when I heard the fluttering of pidgey wings. Just like the others before, the bird didn’t expect a hunting vulpix there and its guard was down. I killed it. I-I don’t know why, but I didn’t take it away like I should. I should have carried it away and ate it somewhere peaceful, but instead, I took it back to the bush where I first hid.
“While I was eating, I heard crying. I looked up and saw a pichu, nearby, hiding behind a tree, crying into his paws. I… I-I didn’t think much of it. He hadn’t seen me and I’d already had my meal, so I was no real threat to him. I had only eaten a few bites of the pidgey and was already full, so I was going to eat one more bite then leave.
“But as I was just about to go for the bite, I heard a pichu scream that it was being eaten. I froze for a second, but I knew I had to get out of there or they would find me with the pidgey body and I’d be dead either way. But when I looked down, the pidgey was gone! How? Where? I don’t know. Truly. One second, it was resting between my paws, and the next, it was gone like magic.
"By the time I had collected my thoughts, and decided to bolt, a pikachu found me and shocked me. Then the others came… and… and… I-I don’t want to think about that. They didn't believe me. How could they? A pichu was missing and my snout was bloody. But it was pidgey blood… pidgey, I swear…" his eyes fill with tears, and he descends back into madness.
You try to get more answers from him, but he completely shuts down, eventually going into a catatonic state. You've figured he's been put through so much abuse that you were lucky to get that much from him. You depart from the den with more questions than when you entered.
Once outside, you look around; the sun is late in the sky, but there may still be time to ask around a bit more.
What do you do?