Stark sat on the curb gently petting Luxray on the neck and back as he awaited the parade to begin. The warm sun beat down on him, leading him to question whether wearing a coat a necessity or just an image he was trying to convey. He hoped that it was the former, but with the weather the way it was, he had to concede that it was probably the latter. Either way the sun was refreshing. Closing his eyes, he soaked in the rays letting them comfort him. A smile slowly crept across his face. It had been some time since he’d had a chance to relax like this.
Luxray meanwhile laid herself down resting her head upon her front paws which were crossed in front of her. The lioness softly purred as her trainer’s hands gently caressed her neck and back as she took in the rare opportunity to spend some time alone with Stark. It often seemed that even though the two of them had been together for quite some time now, they never really had a good chance to have some time just for themselves. There had always seemed to be a battle or some other world ending crisis going on that prevented them from just hanging out together making these moments even more precious to the lioness.
“Oh no…” Stark suddenly said, “I can’t believe I completely forgot about it.” Luxray raised her head to look at her trainer with a look of concern only to see Stark pull a small raffle ticket out of his pocket. “Maybe it’s not too late. If we hurry we can…..”
His words were cut off as another pulse of energy and magenta light exploded into the air on the horizon just like it did earlier during the race. Stark’s eyes went deadly serious as he watched the strange event with interest while a concerned Luxray quickly stood at attention next to him, arcs of electricity bristling through her fur. Within moments the ground itself began to shake like an army of geodude’s using earthquake all at the same time. The cries of children rang out into the streets as people and Pokémon alike tried to keep their balance. Stark steadied himself from his seated position on the ground and was about to try to get up when the tremors suddenly ended. Stark’s eyes once again searched the skies only to find them clear and blue once more. The crowd soon settled down as well, going back to their games and other festivities.
“Curiouser and curiouser,” Stark commented to himself as he watched everyone go back to their celebration almost as if nothing at all had happened. Resigned to following suit, Stark leaned back and lay down on the small patch of grass he sat upon between the curb and the sidewalk. Luxray soon doing the same while curling up next to him as the pair let time slip by.
Before long, the parade began and Stark soon found the strange events of the past hour or so a distant memory. While he wasn’t exactly a huge fan of parades he had to admit that this one was fun. He particularly enjoyed a float with a number of Eevees dancing to a frustratingly catchy tune. The thought of his own newly acquired Eevee brought an even larger grin to his face. The Eevee were soon followed by an array of equally entertaining floats including one featuring the always attractive officer Jenny and another featuring an array of Fire types showing off to the appropriately themed song “Great Balls of Fire”.
Finally, the Hero’s float appeared. Stark had been curious as to what Pokémon Conner had raised during his rise to hero of the people. He had heard about the legendaries earlier in the day, but the rest of the team had until that moment been a mystery. Venusaur, Charizard, Blastiose, and the others. Conner had certainly raised a formidable team. It was easy to see why he was asked to try to save the people here from the terror from the skies. Stark’s mind began to wander as he tried to imagine the great battle in which Connor had been immortalized by when without warning another blast of energy shot out into the sky on the horizon. Only this time, instead of dispersing like the other had done, this one seemed to be arcing towards them all. Stark’s eyes went wide as he got to his haunches. Luxray, already a step ahead of him, stood up once again bristling with electricity.
“Luxray! Light Barrier!” he screamed just as the beam of light slammed into the Hero’s Float in front of him. Three walls of light lit up in front of the lioness as she stepped forward to protect her trainer who had quickly turned and shielded a pair of children with his body as best he could. Waves of energy burst through the light barrier nearly blowing Stark and Luxray back and away like it had so many other spectators. Fortunately, Luxray’s quick response had protected them from the worst of it. Unfortunately, that was when the chaos began.
Men and women, boys, girls, and Pokémon of all types ran panicked through the streets looking for loved ones, an escape route, help, and whatever else they needed. Stark stood up, Luxray ever vigilant taking up position next to him, and watched as the chaos swirled around them. He almost felt like he was in slow motion while the rest of the world moved around him. The two children he had tried to protect now gone off to wherever it was they needed to be. For nearly ten minutes he stood observing the scene around him in disbelief. He wanted to help, but with everything going on, he didn’t know where to start.
As time that seemed like an eternity ticked away the festival goers began dispersing until finally a convoy of military trucks arrived on the scene. The men and women of the convoy quickly jumped into action as they went about using their training and experience in first response action. However, it was an elderly man, and a familiar one at that, who caught Stark’s attention with his words “…. The creature has awoken…”
Stark inhaled deeply as he tried to fight off the flood of fear and emotion that came from the bad news. Swallowing hard, he stepped forward with Luxray to listen to the man’s story. Not that he really needed to. His gut instinct had already told him what he was about to hear. The horror from 80 years ago was nearly free and without Connor here, someone was going to have to stop it.
Almost immediately a number of trainers volunteered. Stark looked down at the lioness by his side, pursing his lips in thought before turning to the elderly man and saying a little over dramatically in hindsight, “Count me in.”