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The Twenty-Three Left/One

< The Twenty-Three Left

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One. After the storm.

___It was several hours after the storm cleared that Drilbur returned to consciousness. He didn’t like the ocean. If he’d had any say in the matter, he’d never have gotten on the boat. But he was a pocket monster, or so his trainer was so fond of reminding him. It was not his place to consider these things.
Drilbur found himself tied to the mast of the ship. A quick glimpse around revealed he wasn’t the only one; other monsters had bound themselves to the nearest object in hopes that they wouldn’t be swept away.
The humans, of course, were safely belowdeck. The monsters had been ordered to stay above and guide the ship through the storm. They had done an excellent job of it- at least, those that hadn’t been forced to tie themselves onto parts of the ship to avoid being thrown overboard.
Drilbur had been hit by something shortly after he had tied himself down. He didn’t know what it was; it had struck so suddenly and so hard that he had blacked out instantly.
He used his claws to slice through the ropes, and then got to his feet.

___Samurott’s job was not one to be envied. He swam in front of the boat, which he was connected to by two thick cables. Though many monsters worked to move the ship forward, he had the most important role: guiding it. After all, if not for him, they would be stranded in the middle of the ocean.
Unfortunately, that was what had just happened. Samurott had no idea where in the ocean he and the boat he guided had ended up. The storm had been horribly confusing. The rain had blinded him, and the powerful waves had bucked him up and down so much that he nearly passed out.
He was tired, cold, and miserable- but that was the least of his worries. Samurott felt something brush up against him, and it took a moment for him to realize that it was a human body.

___Calvin was sleeping well belowdecks. He had had some experience with the sea before, so his stomach was not nearly as perturbed by the storm as his fellow trainers.
There were four trainers on the ship: Calvin, Alexander, Bernard, and Catherine. Twenty newly-discovered monsters had been divided up and assigned to each trainer. The monsters, under the observation of the trainers, were to be shipped off to the mainland for scientific examination.
Calvin was fond of the ones assigned to him, but not particularly worried about their safety. He was perfectly willing to let them risk their lives abovedeck in the storm. After all, they were pocket monsters, and they had to learn to serve their masters obediently.
He rolled out of his bed and stumbled to his feet. Calvin glanced around the cabin, paused, and muttered, “Where the hell is Alexander?”

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