Why Me?: (Wynaut [Easiest])

He had been trapped on this island for two days now, and already Bewear Grylls was confident that there would be no rescue, that he was going to die here.

Grylls’ fears were not necessarily due to his geographic location; his crew was only a few miles away on a nearby island, probably waiting for their erstwhile boss to arrive. Instead, odd as it may have sounded, there was something off about the island. He had seen planes flying overheard and ships passing by tantalizingly close, but they had not paid any attention to him or to the island, no matter how loud he had shouted or how many clothes he had taken off to wave at potential saviors. Grylls was not a particularly proud man when the chips were down.

He knew now that things had gone horribly wrong, and yet also horribly right. The next season of his hit survival series was supposed to include an episode set on Hoenn’s mysterious “Mirage Island”, but instead of faking it with dramatic narration, top-notch editing, and thirty-five professionally trained Wynaut, he had gone off course somehow and crash-landed on the genuine article. Karmic retribution for a career built on lies, or a random accident? He didn’t know.

What Grylls did know was that he was painfully hungry. For all of his fraud, a few lines from his show had stuck in his memory: “Food means energy, energy means movement, and movement means survival.” He had quickly taken care of his complimentary bag of peanuts and without his usual catering service he had been forced to subsist on a strict diet of Liechi berries. He was sick of the sweet fruit, but there was nothing else on the blasted island, except for…

Grylls looked away from the ocean on the horizon and back to his prison, and its inhabitants. There was a thriving community of Wynaut on the island; fat and happy with a virtually endless supply of food and no predators. They would be easy pickings for a desperate television host.

When he had first landed on the island, the Wynaut had regarded him with curiosity, but after two days he was just another part of their home. He could use that familiarity to his advantage. There were a lot of the little blue Pokémon, however, and they might not take too kindly to their giant uninvited guest roasting one of them over an open fire. So, Grylls decided that his first goal was to get one of them alone. A test case really. Once he had worked out how to kill and cook Wynaut, he should be set for weeks, certainly long enough for a rescue to come.

For the next hour, he scouted out a nearby pack of twenty- or thirty-something Wynaut and plotted his next move. Cooperating to gather food, sunning themselves on rocks, and playing indecipherable games, the smiling Pokémon gave every indication of sticking together. But as the sun began to lower from its zenith in the sky, one Wynaut, an unusually big one too, wandered away from the group – right into the bushes where Grylls was hiding.

As soon as the diminutive Pokémon was close enough, two huge hands sprung out from the greenery and dragged the Wynaut in. At first, the startled Wynaut was crying “Wy! Wy!” in earnest, but then one of the hairy hands closed over its mouth.

If the other Wynaut noticed their friend’s abduction, they gave no sign of it to Bewear Grylls. Besides, his mouth was already watering in anticipation. Under his sweaty hands, the captive Wynaut felt slick and rubbery, but Grylls contented himself by starting a mantra in his head that soon slipped out past his lips: “Tastes like Torchic, tastes like Torchic”.

When he brought the Wynaut up to his face to smell it, the small Pokémon saw a chance for escape and whacked him solidly in the nose with its black tail. More out of surprise than pain, Grylls released his hold on it and the Wynaut landed with a bounce on Mirage Island’s grass. In an instant it was off running further into the protective coverage of sparsely populated woods.

Grylls was after it at once. His progress was not elegant, but the speed with which he could barrel through the flimsy barriers of wood and leaf that the Wynaut was nimbly ducking through made it more than an even race. The small Pokémon was crying out for help as it fled, but all Grylls could hear was the pumping of blood in his ears and the three words that were tattooed on what was left of his conscious mind: Tastes like Torchic, tastes like Torchic.

They were nearing the edge of the island now, and the Wynaut slowed its speed in order to plot its next route. Its pursuer was hindered by no such compunctions and sprung on it, burying the tiny Pokémon under his unwashed bulk. His eyes were alight with victory and hunger, but something human returned to them when he looked behind him and saw a ring of Wynaut closing in on him, cutting him off from the rest of the island.

“Wy-Naut! Wy-Naut!” they bellowed with uniform smiles even as they beat their tails on the earth in a pounding rhythm.

And suddenly Bewear Grylls found himself wondering what he tasted like.