Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction ❯ Wild Horses & Pokegirls - sidestories ❯ Singing in the rain ( Chapter 2 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

Sidestory 2: Singing In The Rain

---Taken from the interview in Apr 299 "Pet Fancy"

I was seven when my parents bought her.

I know: what was a seven year old boy supposed to do with a pokegirl? Well, I'd been sickly for years with lung problems, no friends, and we moved around a lot in those days. Father was a specialist in fire-retardant technology (ie: fire detectors, non-water based "sprinkler" systems, and the like) and moved around quite a bit as work was available.

Some kids were into sports like the League events and rooting for this or that Tamer in those arena based pokegirl battles. Some kids were into racing, the *human* dominated sports where a human and some type of machine competed against similar opponents. I wasn't.

Like a lot of people, geneology figured into my interests a little. Like most people, I had a pokegirl in my ancestry - my grandmother on my father's side was a Kitten.

Most people don't get tested, but with my health being poor I was tested at age five by a Nurse Joy. I had the signs of two Blood Gifts and a Blood Curse. My Blood Gifts were psychic in nature, some nebulous form of the esper gifts. Not even the Espea at the center could determine what the gift was other than it was minor and still dormant. This might have suggested my future career would be a Tamer, but the Blood Curse dashed that. Frail Constitution. Which was why I had actually been taken to the center in the first place. I would always get ill easily and tire quickly. With work I could buid myself up to nearly human-normal levels, but I'd never be able to develop the levels of stamina that a Tamer required.

Naturally, once the results got out there was a great deal of teasing, which further distanced me from my peer group.

So my parents, not sure what else to do with me, got me a pokegirl "pet". Their reasoning at the time was that this way they wouldn't be leaving me alone and I'd have a sort-of friend.

As you know, the League discourages having a pokegirl pet. If one *must* take a pokegirl as a pet, there are certain acceptable breeds: those who have proven themselves loyal even under extreme conditions such as occurred during Mao's Rebellion. There are also some breeds that just do not take well to having *pet* as an occupation, Amazon-chan and Elf for example.

My parents took me to the local Breeder's ranch, and at the time I had had no idea *why*. They left me alone for a time while they spoke with the Breeder, and I was left to my own devices.

While much of childhood was a blur, I still remember bits of that day. Teenage and adult pokegirls would look on me with wonder and delight, children - particularly human children having that effect on them. I was uncomfortable with the attention, of course. I was used to being excluded from any groups at school and having no friends.

Then *she* found me.

I know, you expected me to find her. Tamers usually select their pokegirls, but then I've never claimed to be a Tamer. It was definitely the other way around. I was fidgeting a lot when I felt a soft hand touch my shoulder.

She was gorgeous even in a ragged-hem orange sundress. Oh, she was obviously a pokegirl even at age seven. Long delicate ears jutting out from either side of her head, tail nervously twitching behind her. Her hair, a blonde mane, was in disarray. And her first words to me weren't special, just an invitation to play and the cards in one hand indicated what the game was.

Then *it* happened. It rarely does, but it is said that the first Tamer had it happen to him. When it happens to a Tamer it is considered the worst thing that can happen to him or her, effectively ending the Tamer's career.

It was an almost physical click as we stared into each other's eyes. This little blue-eyed Kitten looking back in confusion as she felt it too, as if we were two parts of a puzzle that had just fitted perfectly together. The old term was based off of something in a pre-Sukebe popular story: Recognition. As if two people recognized that they had just met someone who completed their soul.

Her name was Mineko, named after a character in that pre-Sukebe manga that had been recovered and reprinted back in my parent's days. Her ears went briefly flat at some of the whispers around us, then sniffed me up and down and declared we'd be friends forever. Son of a snorlass if she wasn't right.

We played Old PokeMaid while waiting for my parents. They came out, saw us together while ringed by various older girls. The Breeder explained that pokegirls, even domesticated and the more intelligent ones, tended to act on instinct. The others were there to protect the young couple.

My parents purchased Mineko and some things to take care of her. Grooming equipment, medical supplies, a book on Kittens and their care, and a set of equipment for when she got a little older.

I read the book. I knew its importance though much of it went straight over my head at the time.

That began a golden time for me. Mineko was bright and vivacious, clumsy as her namesake in some things, but her cheery nature and overwhelming cuddliness made up for a lot.

There were events that stood out. The time she followed me to school and snuck into class. It wasn't until she fell asleep and snoring that she was found out, and that was two hours into class. Boy, did *I* get chewed out.

Though it worked out in an odd way. Mineko had been allowed to stay the rest of the class, and at one point the teacher asked a question. Mineko answered, correctly I might add.

The teacher had later come clean that his idea had been of having Mineko as an example. Here was this dumb animal but she provided the incentive for everyone to do better than her. Mineko picked up the praise part and that she would be allowed in class, and so was happy.

Mineko slept a lot, enjoyed PE, and generally tried to be the class cheerleader. It wasn't until the last class of the day that she changed everyone's opinion of the "dumb animal."

I stunk at Music. Always have, always will. Everyone laughed at my attempts to sing the school song, but I've never claimed to be a singer either. Everyone else got through it, some nearly as bad as me. Then after the last kid had gotten done, Mineko scampered up to the podium to give it a try. I'd planned on waiting until we got home and then trying to explain to her how they were making fun of her behind her back and she shouldn't come again. When she started singing everything changed.

She did the school song. Perfectly, with all the little range changes and stops intact. And, well, you know what her voice is like and its range. Mineko left everyone in awe as she sang for the first time and did it so well that even those who had referred to her as a "mangy little fleabag" were staring in wide wonder by the time she got to the end.

Our teacher, Mister Jonz, was very into music. He heard her voice and gave her another piece of sheet music, and groaned when it was obvious she couldn't read it. I read it to her, and used the piano to give her the melody. After hearing it once, she had it.

Mineko's first concert, and her first experience with applause. She ate it up like it was the finest tuna. Mineko was invited back to school, and this time there was not any hidden agenda or desire to ridicule her. Her performance on tests, yes. She was far more accepted than I was and a few guys tried to convince her that she'd be much better off with them.

We went through school for a couple of years like that, with Mineko sort of being the unofficial class mascot. She couldn't officially play any sports with human girls, but loved practice. Especially volleyball for some reason. She'd occasionally embarass me by getting sleepy and curling up asleep on my desk or under it, but a lot of times she'd really try to understand this 'school' stuff.

There were also a couple of bad times. When we studied Sukebe's War and Mao's Rebellion she'd look at the pictures and get a bad case of the sniffles, or she'd try to hide in my shirt. (It was amazing how much of her she could get to fit.) It got so that on those days I'd have a little warning and arrange for her to stay home. Once the connection was explained she didn't have a lot of trouble with this.

Our family was going through some tough times on my eighth birthday, and I'd gotten a little money for a birthday present. Not much, but I was also working part time as a bicycle courier in town for the printers. Instead of getting a videogame, what I got was a silk ribbon that I gave Mineko to tie her hair back with.

I know she's taken the ribbon off since then to wash it, but she almost *always* has that ribbon with her.

It took a lot longer to get the other thing I'd been putting money down on. Collars are not cheap. When I showed her the collar in the store she nodded and looked at it. When I told her that I had been saving for a year to get it for her, well, at first I thought I'd somehow insulted her. She just went absolutely still.

After that, she practically grafted herself on to me and accidently bit me she was so excited.

For several days after that she was strutting around and baring her neck to show off that collar.

We had briefly gone into the city, mainly I wanted to check on the possibility of an ident-chip, when she stopped strutting. She'd been on the leash, not wanting to get seperated, when she sniffed the air and pulled me into a building. Curiosity almost killed the Kitten. We got our first look at the brutal world of Underground Fights. We got out as soon as we could, but Mineko slept a little less peacefully after that, and we went back to sleeping together. No, not like that, we still weren't that old.

When we were both eleven things began to change again. Mineko had been banned from school. A new administrator had insisted on following little rules like that. So I brought stuff home for Mineko so she could still learn and practice music. I got her an old six string guitar and that helped take her mind off the fact that she couldn't come with me to school any more.

A few months later, an uncle of mine sent us a note about a little girl who'd recently gone through some hard times. She'd been a student at an elite school and she'd started going through Threshold. Of course they'd disbarred her immediately and she had no place to go.

As she was showing signs of being a Kitten, and everyone in the family knew about Mineko being in school until recently (and actually passing her courses though by a whisker), our house was elected for her to come to terms with the change until a Breeder or Lab could accept her. It would also be some company for Mineko.

Well, you know the story.

Her name was Ami, short for Amiedra. She was quiet and depressed. All she had known was school and now she was banned. Pokegirls weren't typically allowed in academic institutions. She could go to a *pokegirl* school and be taught to become a pokegirl nurse, and that was what she was currently planning.

Mineko of course exudes friendliness. She became Ami's friend within the first half hour.

I was picking out a collar for Ami a month later and had my second pokegirl. Even though we weren't old enough for Taming or anything we were all friends. It was just safer to register her as my pokegirl. Unusual to have one pet, let alone two.

Because I'd always been in the country or suburbs while we moved around, I didn't understand what it was like in the cities. Ami had been in the one city all her life and the relationship between Mineko and Ami was a little "city cat/country cat" between the two. In the city: they didn't usually have pets, there were lots of thieves, and pokegirls were *not* people. At least to the majority of city dwellers. In the suburbs there were pets. However we were in the country at that time, and the little towns tended to be a bit more openminded. Pokegirls were used on the farms all the time: when the harvest comes around you don't care too much that an extra pair of hands happens to have fur on 'em.

Hmmm? Oh, the principal? Well, you run into his sort every so often. They talk about hidden agendas and pokegirl conspiracies and hidden bases and plots of genocide against the human race. I'm not one to knock other people's beliefs, but if there *were* a pokegirl conspiracy and hidden cities and the like, don't you think the League would step in? Besides, I've always played straight with my 'girls and they've always been straight with me.

Anyway, I continued to bring home schoolwork for the two kitties and the music teacher got permission somehow for Ami and Mineko to use the music room after regular school hours. Ami spent most of her time at the keyboard of a computer, but quickly learned the principal *did* check up every so often and so found herself at another keyboard just to cover for her presence.

It wasn't too long before Ami's early Threshold turned out to have a nasty little cause. It had been considered strange by all concerned that she went through Threshold before hitting puberty since it's always a year or two after puberty that Threshold hit.

I'd left for school, my father was out on a job, my mother was called off to help watch some kids at a neighbor's house. It wasn't a Team Rocket type of group. The attack was brutal but efficient. Neither Mineko or Ami were really combat trained, the closest was Mineko's volleyball and Ami's time learning rhythmic gymnastics. The only thing they had going for them was their collars, which kept them from being captured in pokeballs. By the time my mother found out that the neighbor's kids were OK and that nobody there had called her, the thieves had already broken in and were trying to catch the two with shock prods.

I still don't remember the whole thing. I was just suddenly aware that Mineko and Ami were scared and in pain. I ran out of class and all the way home, I guess. Don't remember. I *do* remember feeling the panic die out suddenly and seeing some really big guys carrying two limp bodies out. Then I don't remember anything more for awhile.

Yup. Those latent psychic abilities. The Blood Gift of Boost. Neither I nor either of them remember it. That's just as well actually. Mineko is a friendly person, Ami is shy and gentle. Remembering the bloodbath would have been extremely bad. As it was, the two ended up crawling into bed with me for several nights thereafter. It took several nights before Makoto or M'rei started joining in.

Oh yeah, these thieves hadn't come empty handed. What was left of their car was searched and turned up two pokeballs and two other girls who had been forced through Threshold prior to puberty. Which pointed out to the local researcher, a Doctor Deviance, that it had to have been artificially induced.

Nothing else much happened for some time. Until puberty finally hit. What a mess *that* was.

Mineko hit it first. Though their breed doesn't officially change, it's sort of a slow-motion evolution. Usual with Kittens, it was her nails that were the first thing you noticed changing. Instead of human style nails, they got thicker and narrower, longer and sharper, and had that orange tint coming in stronger. Over the space of three months, she got moody, taller, slightly more curvy, and even more moody. Ami was next, then Makoto and then M'rei.

It was rough going. Not so much for my folks, but I was suddenly hit with all four of them alternately wanting to slap me around or cuddle with me or just run around the house screaming in frustration. They spent a lot of time practicing their music and getting cold showers.

When it all finally hit the fan, the Doc took me aside and explained what was going on. And what I had to do.

Nervous? You bet your sweet bippie! These were two friends and two acquaintances that were getting more towards friend status all the time. I knew the basics of course but a scared barely fourteen year old boy was about to do *that* and possibly lose up to four friends. Though if I didn't, then I would *definitely* have lost four friends.

Mineko, of course, was first. After we'd discovered that her nails *had* made the change to the more functional claws of a Kitten, and I'd recovered from the blood loss and Ami had packed the wounds, we got down to the Taming.

After that, and treatment for dehydration and exhaustion, we began working on the rock group. "Mineko and the Pussycats."

We weren't an overnight sensation by any means. It took over two years of working clubs before we got to be more than a novelty act. Then we got to do the opener for Baka Street Boys. People started noticing us, and we put out that first song that started getting decent attention: "Tamer's Blues". We'd stayed away from the whole angle of Tamers and the League to begin with, but that was our first hit.

After that, another six months before we got a decent break with "Archeon's Lament" and we followed it with the still-popular "We Gotta Rock." That one was joined by "Everyone's Looking For Someone" and you know how darn well *that* sold.

There's been a couple of groups that have followed us, notably Jem & The Holograms and their rivals the Misfits, but ours was the first pokegirl rock group unless you count the ones that still do novelty acts at carnivals.

We added, as you covered in that article last year, Sakura, Maya, Hotaru, Setsuna, and Honey. Nice article, by the way. It cut down on the questions as to why we were still "and the Pussycats" when we had just added a Fighting, a couple of Normals, a Magic, and a whatever-you-classify Honey as. Virtual? Whatever. Honey is Honey. Heck, if *that* were a consideration you should see some of our roadies.

We're still quite popular, and if it weren't for the success of our newest: "Train Of Thought" we likely wouldn't be having this interview. Following that Team Rocket attack on our concert, and Makoto and Mineko putting the two in the hospital, we're taking a sabbatical right now.

We *have* managed to change perceptions a bit, though some still regard us as just a lucky fluke for a novelty act. The girls have proven that keeping them in their old tired roles is not necessary or even a good thing. A Kitten is a lot more than a walking purring sextoy and that pokegirl battles isn't necessary for them to develop.

Of course, from what I've heard of this Ranma Saotome fellow, if we've begun changing perceptions then he's just bloody well kicking the legs out of the conventional wisdom. To which I say: good for him!

On to the business end of things, I suppose.

We've got the Heroic Legends disc coming out in a month, which will have "Train Of Thought" as well as the girls' individual "theme" songs.

Oh and no, I have no idea why they keep trying to get me to wear a tuxedo.

==========

Mamoru Tengoku was the manager of "Mineko & The Pussycats" from 297 to 305. He and the Pussycats retired from active performances in early 305 and set up the Neko University & Boarding School after the development of an anti-Feral drug usable on Kittens in 304.

Mineko Tengoku (Alpha, registered) Catgirl. Singing 4, Play Guitar 5, Volleyball 2, Acrobatics 4
Ami (Amiedra Stall, Threshold Girl) Kitten. Research 3, First Aid 4, Play Keyboard 3, Singing 2
Makoto (Makoto Rawlings, Threshold Girl) Tigress. Martial Arts 3, Cooking 3, Acrobatics 4, Play Guitar 3
M'Rei (Mary Phelps, Threshold Girl) Cheshire. Psicraft 1, Singing 4, Art 3
Sakura. Amazonlee (Edo League variant) Sword 4, Singing 3, Cooking 1, Martial Arts 3
Maya Tono (Threshold Girl), Tomboy. Play Drums 4. Martial Arts 1. Carpentry 2
Hotaru, Titmouse. Play Violin 2, Singing 1, Dance 2, First Aid 1
Setsuna, Megami. Play Saxophone 2, Play Bass 3, Singing 1, Psicraft 3
Honey, Ditto???, Disguise 4, Singing 3, Play Violin 3, Martial Arts 2

All have collars and ident chips.


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