I looked back and remembered this
Precisely! I dropped a few other hints here and there, like back in Friendly Vagabon Lucario where she didn't like being called 'sir'! You know, to create some re-read value!The zoroark species have no gender differences in the games thats why Lucario, who was a human and has trouble telling gender diffrencess between pokemon in the first place, couldnt tell that zoroark is a girl :P
Originally I was going to keep it secret much longer, until I went "what the heck" and made it more obvious in that last chapter. See, the reason WHY and HOW she's doing this is yet to be revealed, and is a lot more interesting...Oi. Zoroark is a girl?! Then the Lucario x Zoroark shipping should come...now. 0-0
I have no idea how I missed that...
... Why even announce that there's a new chapter? You can clearly see that something BIG's brewing down there...
Hopeful Widow Rukario
With his back luxuriating in the burning sun while icy cold wind beat upon his front, the novelty of flying had quickly worn thin for Lucario. The bird he was riding on flew high above foreign places of every sort, ranging from cities and forests to plains and even an ocean. The large stretch of water quickly became the worst of these, as they were unable to set down for the night had had to fly for two days without rest.
Despite the varying scenery, the days passed very slowly, making Lucario wish he had brought something to read or at least someone interesting to talk to. The bird he was flying on insisted on keeping quiet as it would help him focus, and Lucario was not one to tempt fate and gravity by breaking this rule. Far beneath them there would occasionally be strangers in the shape of humans and Pokémon, looking up at them. His wounds from the battle with Zoroark had mostly healed by the fifth day, and so he silently hoped a trainer or wild Pokémon would pick a fight with them, just to give him a chance to stretch his arms.
"Hey…" the bird suddenly said after hours of silence, apparently letting the solitude get on his nerves as well, "… I know a joke."
"… Shoot," Lucario said, keeping his eyes burrowed in the feathers before him to protect them from the never ending onslaught of wind.
"Knock knock!" the bird said.
"Such an intensely flawed attempt at comedy, setting up a pitiful excuse for a 'joke' which takes at least five sentences of our precious time to give form," Lucario muttered in a smarmy manner, looking down on the ground. They were above a field on plains, currently passing by an old man who looked up at him with a curious stare.
"You're supposed to say-" the bird started before getting interrupted.
"I KNOW," Lucario burst out annoyed, immediately forgetting about the man on the ground, "Since we're talking, can't we talk about something important or interesting?"
"… Or…" the bird responded with an equally annoyed tone in his voice, "You can let me finish the joke now, instead of walking the rest of the way."
"… Who's there…?" he responded weakly, having long since given up all hope of entertainment. In order to save his sanity, he pulled his ears down to the side of his head to stop himself from hearing the answer. All that came through was a muffled voice as he sighed out of relief, feeling victorious for some reason.
The muffled voice kept going, however. It seemed the bird was one of those people that enjoyed explaining the joke afterwards. Every missed syllable made Lucario's smile grow wider, like he was dodging bullets.
Suddenly, his entire world rocked as the bird started waving to the left and right, almost making him slip off him.
"Hey, are you awake?" the voice sounded as Lucario let go of his ears to grab onto his violent steed, "I said: We're here!"
By the horizon that stretched in front of them was a truly gigantic mountain, the top of which was hidden within a sea of clouds. Lucario now understood why the Gallade had said that it was impossible to scale. The sheer size of it would have made most other mountains look like pebbles. He was not even sure if this bird would be able to fly to the top. Not that it made any difference to him; he was only going to the foot of it, after all…
"Quite the sight, isn't it?" the bird said, "I hope you know what you're doing, coming all this way…"
"… You seem like a nice guy, so I guess I should warn you…" Lucario mumbled as he recalled how he had gotten here in the first place, "Zoroark might be in a pissy mood when you get back."
"Huh?" the bird asked with a confused voice, "Why?"
"I think he's on his period, or something," Lucario snickered.
"I don't understand…" the bird exclaimed slowly. Lucario knew that he would now have to get rid of this bird somehow, remembering that Mew would probably not be showing herself if there was anyone besides himself at the designated location. Even flying any further than this might be enough to scare her off. If he told the bird that he had been tricking him all this time he probably wouldn't be an ally anymore, but might also attack him out of rage and really compromise his mission.
Lucario's planning was interrupted as something yellow came upon him, the weight of it hitting him squarely in the chest and dragging him off the bird. He gasped and fell down, seeing the seat that had been hosting him for more than two weeks shrinking above him as the ground beneath that had been his background was quickly growing. Thinking himself hit by a solid and clingy bolt of lightning, he tried his best to spin around and stop the fall, but failed and smashed down on the ground on his back with a painful thud.
"GAH!" Lucario shouted while bracing the back of his head with both his hands, pain creeping up his spine, "This- Who- What-"
"Cyon!" a familiar voice came from above him.
"Gah… Grr…" Lucario stuttered as he tried putting two and two together after the brain-scrambling impact, "… I know that voice… And aura…"
"Lucario!" another voice came from above as the bird that had brought him this far suddenly came swooping down, "Are you all right!? Get off him, you witch!"
"I-I just had to get you out of the sky…" Rukario insisted while putting her right hand on her chest in a gesture of defending herself, "I meant you no harm!"
"Yeah, right," Lucario muttered, scratching the back of his head. The pain had already faded away, and Rukario's appearance at least meant that he was back on the right continent again. He looked around and noticed that he was unable to see Mew, which was funny considering how the greatest Pokémon of all time would probably stand out quite a bit. Many questions filled his mind, but he had to put them aside as he needed to get rid of these two as quickly as possible, lest they scare away his target. It was then he figured out a perfect way to get rid of the bird.
"Hey, birdie. It's all right, you can go back," Lucario said, trying to sound cool as possible while being pinned on the ground by a woman, "I'll walk the rest of the way."
"Are you sure?" the bird asked with concern, "What's going on?"
"Just some marital problem," Lucario said jokingly and suddenly hoped that this wouldn't make Rukario get the wrong idea, "It'll be easier to handle with you not here."
The flying-type looked at him for nary a moment before abruptly turning around and quickly flying away. Lucario tried getting up to see him off, but noticed that Rukario still had a tight grip of him, as if she feared that he would instantly run away if she gave him the chance. This made him wonder if she had psychic powers or something.
"Hey, Cyon," Lucario said while facing her, getting a feeling that she would not be as easy to get rid of as the flying-type, "… Uh, no offense, but I kind of need to be alone right now."
"I-I'm not Cyon!" she burst out with a startled voice, "You're Cyon!"
"… Oh yeah," Lucario sighed, "You know you're crazy, right?"
"I-I have proof!" Rukario responded quickly, once again reaching into her pocket to most likely pull out the picture she had shown him before. As her right hand left his arm, Lucario saw his opportunity as he grabbed her other arm and pushed it off him, rolling to the side and quickly getting back on his feet.
"That's not what I mean," Lucario said while holding out his hand in an attempt to calm her down, "I mean that you're crazy, following me like this. I punched you in the face!"
"That's… That's fine…" Rukario whispered as she put back the newly extracted picture in her pocket, "You were just confused…"
"… What the hell are you even doing here!?" Lucario asked with a stern voice, "How did you find me!?"
"We're husband and wife!" Rukario quickly responded, "I can sense your aura from miles away, and I came here to get you!"
Lucario cringed, the idea that she would be chasing him from miles away sounding unappealing at best. At any rate, it didn't seem like she was going to leave any time soon. On the contrary, it seemed like she was planning on staying with him forever!
He was getting very tense. For all he knew his ticket to humanity might be hiding somewhere in the bushes, ready to approach him or flee at a moment's notice. From what the others had told him, he knew that chances were slim that Mew would even come to see him - If someone else was there too, her absence would be pretty much guaranteed.
There was no running away this time. He would have to stand his ground, and get rid of Rukario as quickly as possible.
"… I see how it is!" Lucario said snidely as he came up with a plan, "How pathetic! You're so desperate for a man that you can't even live on your own!"
"… No…" she responded in an unusually calm manner before taking a step towards him, getting dangerously close, "… But I love you. If there's even the slightest chance-"
"There isn't!" Lucario spat as he took a quick step back, "In this body there's no one but me, and I DO NOT like you!"
"Don't say that," Rukario replied slowly while still moving forward, "You are definitively my husband… There must be some way…"
"Seems to me, I'll have to settle this like last time…" Lucario grumbled as he smacked his fists together menacingly, "Beat it, or I'll beat you."
A chill passed through the air, Rukario gasping in shock and despair. Lucario felt worse than the time he had abandoned the tiny penguin in the snowy mountains, but knew that this was for the best for both of them. She was the crazy one, after all…
"In that case… I'm sorry, Cyon, but I can think of no other way…" Rukario said as she reached into another pocket in the back of her highly advanced pants, "Please, forgive me!"
Half expecting her to pull out a knife, Lucario saw that the thing now resting in Rukario's hand was nothing but a completely ordinary spoon.
Complete silence followed. He looked at the spoon, and then looked at the spoony chick that had presented it to him.
"… You were always deathly afraid of spoons…" Rukario whispered slowly, disappointed at Lucario's lack of a reaction.
"That's the single lamest thing I've ever heard in my entire life!" Lucario shouted, furiously knocking the spoon out of her hand, "And if you had even the slightest hint of self-respect, you'd realize that I'm not your husband!"
"That's not true!" Rukario responded while seemingly unfazed, "I still love you, Cyon!"
"At least TRY to listen to reason, will you!?" Lucario growled before groaning at how quickly this conversation devolved into a continuation of the shouting match that reigned during their first meeting. Nothing had worked back then, nothing was working now. The only thing she cares about is this Cyon… Perhaps he could find a way to use that against her?
"The power of love surpasses everything…" Rukario whispered as she closed her eyes, "This will make you remember…" Suddenly, she started leaning in closer to while extending her lips, Lucario standing frozen in place from shock at his impending blight. It was then that he threw all caution to the side. He felt like he was losing control of the situation, and needed to put his newly formed plan directly into action.
"… You know what? Yeah! It's me, Cyon!" Lucario shouted right in her face, "I hated you so much I completely erased your existence from my mind! Thank you for reminding me, you filthy tramp!"
Rukario cringed and stopped herself from leaning forward at the sound of this, her eyes slowly opening.
"You hear me!? I cheated on you with all your best friends, enemies and relatives!" Lucario kept going, his rage fueled by the apparent effect it was having upon her, "Why? Because I always knew you were a pathetic loser who would never be able to live on without me!"
"S-Stop, please…" Rukario whispered sadly, her eyes tearing up.
"That's right! Now c'mere and give me a kiss, hot stuff!" Lucario said while cockily putting his hand on Rukario's cheek, "Embrace the misogynic jerk! Justify every bad female stereotype there is!"
"Stop! Stop!" Rukario suddenly burst out while falling to her knees, "Hearing those words… With t-that voice… Do you know how much it hurts…!?"
Lucario was staring to get the idea as Rukario held her hands to her shoulders while shaking in sorrow. He was not completely unfamiliar with love, and noticing just how pained Rukario was made him realize she had been given the joy of experiencing a lot of it. A joy that fate had suddenly taken away from her…
Seeing this unfortunate woman reduced to tears at his doing devastated Lucario, getting the same impulse to protect her just as he had protected Zerobi after the green snake's verbal abuse. Only this time, he was responsible for it. Even if he regained the form of a human after this, he would never be able to call himself a 'man' again…
"Hey…" Lucario said while carefully approaching her, "I'm kidding. It's still me. You know, the guy who's not your husband?"
"S-Shut up…" Rukario growled while clenching her fists in frustration, "Don't you… Don't you th-think I knew that…!?"
"Uh…" Lucario exclaimed while scratching the back of his head, "Well, with all the crying…"
"You're using my dead husband's body to call me a tramp!?" Rukario suddenly burst out furiously, standing up and facing Lucario directly, "How the hell would you expect me to feel!?" Lucario was completely taken aback by this violent display and made a small leap backwards.
"Go…!" Rukario wailed as she averted her eyes from him, not bearing to look him in the face, "Maybe it's better like this, knowing what a jerk you really are…!"
"Uh…" Lucario responded, the conclusion of this fight turning out to be the opposite of what he wanted, "I can't really leave."
"Get out of my sight, you evil…!" Rukario continued while holding back her tears out of pure spite, "Why do you insist on torturing me!?"
"No, like, I REALLY need to stay here," Lucario explained as calmly as possible, his mind telling him to stay while his instincts told him to get the hell out of there while he still had the chance, "You leave. Seriously, I swear I won't follow."
The two of them stood there for a while, miserable because of each other's company but both too stubborn to leave.
"… Wow," Lucario said after a while, "Awkward."
"Why…" Rukario said with a noticeably calmer voice than earlier, yet still deciding not to look at him, "Why do you stay?"
"For the last fu…" Lucario started, but stopped himself as he realized his rage had only made things worse, and that he'd have to use his smarts to take care of this situation, "… You're right. I'm sorry."
"… You're sorry?" Rukario repeated with a confused tone.
"I mean, put yourself in my position for a second," Lucario tried explaining, "As much as you want me to, I don't know you. I've never met you before in my life."
"But… In Snowpoint…" Rukario said before feeling that she had no need to elaborate on a situation they were both present for.
"Before THAT," Lucario pointed out, "I'm actually human, not a Pokémon. The thought of kissing you… Man! There aren't enough breath mints in the world to fix that!"
Lucario's only response was silence, and so he did not know whether Rukario had become offended or was simply busy containing her laughter from his extraordinary wit.
"Please. You seem like a reasonable person," Lucario lied, "Leave me in peace. If I ever meet this Cyon, I'll tell him how much of a pain… I mean, how much you love him."
"… I am not an idiot, you know…" Rukario finally said with annoyance before looking up into the sky, "Maybe you are right. Maybe I… I have been clinging on to hope when I should not have…"
"… Hope?" Lucario repeated slowly, the word hitting a peculiar note within his mind, "What do you mean?"
"I… I love Cyon with all my heart…" Rukario whispered sadly before sitting down on the ground, suddenly overcome with defeat and weakness, "I would gladly give my life, if he were to return… And meeting you, I thought… I thought…"
"… Hope…" Lucario whispered to himself.
"… What a fool I have been," Rukario continued while harrowingly grabbing at a tuft of grass, "I left my friends and home behind to follow you, just faintly hoping you would turn out to be my husband, despite you having told me otherwise…"
Suddenly, Rukario's persistence did not seem as foreign to him. Her determination for a single, seemingly impossible goal… Recklessly abandoning everything to reach it… Not wavering in the slightest, even in the face of failure…
Her quest to find Cyon… His quest to become human… They were the same.
"… I sympathize, if that counts for anything," Lucario said before immediately wanting to slap himself for expressing himself so poorly.
"… Thank you…" Rukario responded, apparently lenient with anything that wasn't crushing her heart at this point.
"I feel bad, I really do… But…" Lucario said as the mental image of a large, mighty Mew looking down at them from somewhere before turning her back came upon him, "… I'm waiting for someone very important, someone with the ability to change my life. She won't come here if she sees anyone but me here, though."
"Worry not, she is already here…" Rukario said depressingly before finally looking at Lucario for a moment before pointing behind him. Lucario frowned before turning around, suddenly noticing that there was in fact a very faint aura approaching them.
A man was walking towards them.
"… That's not a 'she'…" Lucario said while squinting his eyes against the sunlight that had been upon his back during his long journey.
"You can sense that?" Rukario asked with a curious look, unable to distinguish genders with her aura-based abilities.
"I can only sense one thing…" Lucario said ominously as he mentally prepared himself for what was to come, "… Trouble."
Lucario faintly recognized both the appearance and the aura of the approaching human - It was the old man that he had passed by from above not too long ago, only that from this angle he did not look as old. There were hardly any wrinkles on his face, and his clothing was both modern and spiffy with a leathery look to them. However, more notably than anything, there was a certain color to them that stood out and permeated his being…
Huh? Yeah, I guess it was a bit disappointing. Sorry! Hope this'll make it up to you:
Original Rival Blue
"Oho!" Blue exclaimed before holding his hand up to cover his eyes from the sun, forgetting that it was currently located behind him, "A shiny AND that spikeless Lucario!? I haven't had a catch this lucky in fifteen years!" He then smiled to himself, the memory of the summer when a Feebas swam into his Pokeball by accident always bringing him joy.
"Who is he?" Rukario asked while looking at Lucario.
"No idea," Lucario replied calmly as he saw several Pokeballs attached to the trainer's belt, "But he's human, and he's got Pokémon. Odds are he'll be trying to catch me."
"Ahh, I knew I should've brought a few of my regular Pokémon…" Blue sighed before showing his white teeth in a bigger smile, "… Oh well! It'll be a perfect time to test out my new team!"
"… I can't tell if he's talking to himself or us," Lucario muttered while scratching the back of his head.
"Trainers have a habit of doing that," Rukario explained with a sigh, "Must be from spending too much time with us Pokémon."
"You don't have to stay, you know," Lucario said, naďvely thinking this to be a good chance to get rid of Rukario, "He wants me. Go on, I've caused you enough grief."
"No, I…" Rukario whispered sadly before looking down at her own body, "I am a Shiny. He wishes to capture me. Worry not - I am used to this, and can handle myself."
"Heh… If you say so…" Lucario snickered, trying to remember what Zerobi had told him a 'Shiny' was supposed to be, "All right. We're a united front, then."
Blue kept walking towards them before stopping at about the same distance as Lucas and Silver once had been at, making Lucario wonder if there was some kind of official rule for trainer placement during battle. Blue then swiftly extracted two Pokeballs from both his sides and held them in front of him.
"Hear me, Lucario!" he shouted with a mighty voice, "I am Blue, commander of the Heavens and the Earth! Master of Water and Fire! Bringer of Light and Darkness!"
"Blue…" Lucario repeated, as out of all those words that one in particular stuck out, "… Blue? You're Blue!?"
"So, you DO know him?" Rukario asked, trying her best to figure out what was going on.
"Not personally," Lucario clarified before the weight of Zoroark's story hit him like a ton of bricks, "Whoa, this is bad! He's a champion trainer! He'll kick our asses!"
"A… Champion!?" Rukario exclaimed in surprise, "Are you certain!?"
"This is insane! How do they keep finding me!?" Lucario shouted before remembering what Zoroark told him about gathering information from trainers and started gritting his teeth, "… That little... He must've told them!"
"Brendan has made me intrigued of your adaptive abilities, Lucario!" Blue kept going as he was unable to understand anything the two Pokémon were saying, "Show me what you can do, and I'll reward both of you!"
"Reward?" Rukario repeated with a confused tone, "Does he mean he will let us go free?"
"Not likely. These guys really want me caught for some reason," Lucario huffed as he calmed down, noticing that at the very least Blue seemed as surprised over their encounter as he was, "He probably means he'll give us a berry or something, which in my case means I REALLY can't lose."
"In that case…" Rukario said with a previously unheard voice of confidence as she placed herself into battle position, "… Let us win."
"… Damn it…" Lucario groaned while envisioning himself get struck by piercing icicles, electrical currents, burning jaws, as a flutter suddenly went through his ribcage, "This is going to suck."
"Oh Heavens!" Blue yelled as he threw the first Pokeball into the air, "I summon thee, Skarmory!"
The Pokeball burst open, leaving an already flying Pokémon in its wake. Lucario likened it to a skeletal figure of the bird he had just been riding, much sleeker and thinner with a white, hard material covering its body. Even its feathers were covered in it, making Lucario wonder how it was even flying in the first place.
"Oh Earth!" Blue shouted before tossing the second Pokeball on the ground, "Give us a thrill, Excadrill!"
Bouncing off the ground, a red light escaped the Pokeball and gave form to a large beast. Its body was shaped like a ball with arms, legs and a head sticking out of it. Even so, it was very buff, and the thick broadsword-like appendages it had for hands made Lucario cringe at the thought of its destructive powers.
"Four Steel-types?" Rukario said with a surprised voice, "What an interesting matchup."
"… There is not a single part of your previous statement that made even a lick of sense," Lucario muttered while looking at her, "Four? What, are humans Steel-type?"
"We're Steel-types," Rukario told him before nodding towards their enemies, "They're Steel-types."
"Hey, I'm not a Steel-type!" Lucario yelled and decided to pep himself up for the approaching battle, "I'm a… Winning type!"
"… Oh my," Rukario exclaimed with worry, "You cannot remember anything about this, either? Let me handle the Flying-type, then…"
"… Uuhh…" Lucario replied as he compared the size of the thin bird to the giant mole, "Actually, I'd prefer it if you took on the hulking beast… You know?"
It seems Rukario had taken to ignoring him, as she without warning leaped towards the airborne bird and smacked it one. Lucario became amazed at this display, but did not have time to linger on it as Blue yelled something and the Excadrill started walking in his direction.
"So… Uh…" Lucario stammered fearfully while looking up at the huge Pokémon, just out of arm's length from it, "… Man, you're big."
"… Chatty?" it responded bluntly with a gruff, manly voice, "I hate that."
"You've got a point," Lucario said, hearing his seemingly implacable opponent speak making it seem like a typical enemy instead of the cohort of a champion, making him swiftly regain his confidence, "Let's just do it!"
The Excadrill lashed out with both his arms, but much to Lucario's surprise not at him. Instead, he aimed them at the ground, digging his massive claws into the ground. Suddenly, the claws started spinning around in circles like a drill, pushing layer after layer of dirt aside as he quickly disappeared within a large hole.
"Oh no, not this again," Lucario groaned while memories of the Garchomp came upon him. Even though the giant was out of his sight, he sensed the aura of him burrow itself deeper and deeper underground, and knew exactly what was going to happen in a few moments.
"… You know what? Screw waiting around!" Lucario shouted and decided to break the rules for once. Without hesitation, he jumped down the newly created hole and fell into the ground. Dirt and dust covered his every side as the sunlight faded above him, bring back memories of a very filthy visit he had in a grave once.
"… Stupid…" the Excadrill muttered, making his dangerous arms spin around once more, this time with the intention of skewering Lucario. A quick mental flash of him getting stuck on one of them and having his innards being spilled all over this newborn cavern was all it took for Lucario to swiftly turn his tail and flee.
"Oh no oh no oh no!" Lucario rambled while quickly climbing upwards to escape the approaching menace. Looking below, he noticed that he was outrunning him - There was no longer any dirt between them, so his smaller body was better designed for climbing.
Still rushing up, his hand slipped as it came upon a hard gray surface instead of the fairly soft ground. His toes shivered as he almost fell down, but was able to stop it by pinning himself to the walls surrounding him.
"Too damn close…" Lucario muttered, and noticed that the Excadrill was quite far beneath him. A nasty idea hit him as he started digging away the dirt surrounding the gray material he had found, until it revealed a large rock which tipped into the stretchy chamber he was in.
"Special delivery!" Lucario shouted as he climbed up on the heavy rock, and then kicked it down with all his might. It loosened from its holdings and went speeding down like a comet, not stopping until Lucario heard the sound of something cracking open, which he presumed was his opponent's skull.
He climbed up to the surface as the Excadrill immediately burst out of the ground, covered in dirt and with a furious expression on his face.
"YOU…" he growled, a small river of blood trickling down the side of his head.
"Oh yeah, you didn't want me talking, eh?" Lucario said cockily, "Sorry about that. The rock was OK though, right?"
"RRAARGH!" the Excadrill bellowed as he lost his cool, dashing toward Lucario who easily jumped up on his already damaged head and kicked him into the ground.
"Softhead," Lucario said as he landed behind him, "Is that an insult? If not, it should be."
He casually walked towards the collapsed body of his enemy and sat down on the Excadrill's head to relax for a moment. Feeling no stirring from beneath told him that victory was his. Hearing yells and screams from his side, he turned to see Rukario twisted around a flightless Skarmory, keeping it in a full-body lockdown as Blue shouted commands.
"Metal Sound! Autotomize!" Blue said loudly, while Skarmory could only struggle against Rukario's tight grip, "Excadrill, come here and hel… E-Excadrill!?" Blue suddenly turned around and saw Lucario sitting on his companion, waving at him with a smug grin.
"Excadrill, that's enough! Return!" Blue quickly yelled while holding out a Pokeball which shot out a beam of red light. Lucario flinched as he felt his seat turned gooey before disappearing, and he found himself instinctively leaping to his feet.
"You too, Skarmory!" Blue continued as he used another Pokeball to recall the flying-type, "This isn't your fight!" The Skarmory turned into a being of light as Rukario relaxed her arms and legs.
"Already?" Rukario asked while rising to her feet, "I was expecting more from a champion."
"Wow, way to go!" Lucario said loudly while walking towards Rukario, very surprised at her competence and confidence, "I think I like you better when you're not love-struck!"
"Not now!" Rukario snarled dangerously at him, desperately keeping her mind on the battle to assure they would not be captured.
As she said this, however, she realized that if that were to be the case, they would be together again. Lucario insisted that he was not Cyon, but the fact that they had the exact same appearance and aura told her that there was something more to it that what even Lucario knew. If they were to serve this trainer, she would have plenty of time to find out exactly what… Not to mention a chance to rekindle the romance that she had been seeking for so long!
"Wow, not bad!" Blue suddenly said and snapped her out of her thoughts, "You're both pretty strong! Against a typical trainer, you would've won for sure!"
"We already won!" Lucario shouted at him, "Beat it!"
"The thing is, my team is built to tackle any type of matchups…" Blue said as he attached the two Pokeballs back on his belt and pulled out two new ones, "So… I'm afraid your luck has just run out!"
"He has more Pokémon," Rukario said quietly while still lost in her own thoughts, "Six in total."
"Fiery fire, scorch their bodies!" Blue shouted as the Pokeball in his hand opened, "I know you'll do fine, Arcanine!"
The familiar red flash of light filled their eyes as a large, orange Pokémon on four legs appeared. While not quite as big as the Excadrill, it had a far more magnificent posture as well as a thicker fur. It reminded Lucario of Entei, and seeing how it was considerably smaller he felt confidence take form in him.
"Serene water, guide their souls!" Blue yelled, the Pokeball in his other hand also relieving itself of its inhabitant, "Do your best as well, Floatzel!"
Another orange Pokémon manifested itself, this one standing on two legs and being about the same size as the two Lucario. Its body was curvaceous and covered with very fine fur, and it had two fins sticking out of the back of its hands, much like Rukario's spikes.
"Fire and water?" Lucario said while scratching the back of his head in confusion, "I know you'll chastise me for being an idiot, but that sounds like a REALLY counterproductive team to me."
"… No…" Rukario replied, showing the same amount of confusion, "Actually, this seems rather strange."
"Arcanine! Fire Spin!" Blue suddenly shouted while pointing at the two Lucario, "Floatzel! Mist!"
Immediately following his command, the fire-type's mouth started shooting out small embers of light as a thick gas escaped the water-type. The Arcanine twisted his head around in a circle, making the embers float in front of and behind the two Lucario, who were surprised to see that they did not need to dodge.
"Did he miss?" Lucario asked, the painful memories of the Garchomp's fiery bites being the only thing keeping him from taunting their enemies.
"Fire Spin…" Rukario repeated as the name of the attack was unfamiliar to her, "I wouldn't be so sure. Anything could happen."
The mist slowly laid itself over the area, but neither Lucario nor Rukario were too concerned about it, as they could still perfectly sense the aura of their enemies. They were more concerned about the embers, which as they made contact with the grass ground suddenly exploded and created a large fire on the ground, reaching up to the sky. Before they knew it, they were in the middle of a circle of tall towers of hot flames.
"What the heck!?" Lucario shouted as he looked around, the mist preventing him from seeing anything beyond the veil of fire and smoke rising high above them, "We're surrounded!"
"Shh…" Rukario hushed while trying to keep herself calm, "I have a bad feeling about this. Keep your senses sharp."
A faint flutter in the air was heard as their current area lit up. A fire in the shape of a crudely drawn human came from the veil and sped past them, barely a foot in front of Lucario's face. The intensity of these flames were unlike anything he had felt before, hotness spreading through him as if he had been ignited just by standing near it for a second.
"WHOA!" he burst out in terror while taking a step back, "T-Too close!"
"Cyon!" Rukario suddenly shouted as she moved forward, "Look-"
Another strangely shaped being of fire came out of the wall of flames, taking them both by surprise. This time it was aimed at where Rukario was heading, and just barely missed her.
"Damn it! We can't see in this mist, and the fire doesn't have an aura!" Lucario yelled as the heat of the fires were starting to get to him, "This is SO dangerous! Let's jump out of here!"
Rukario's battle experience told her that this is exactly what their enemy was trying to get them to do, seeing how it was such an obvious way out. She was about to stop him, but was herself stopped by a very sinister voice in her head, reminding her of her opportunities in this fight. Win, and return to a dreadful life where she would never know love again…? Or lose, and possibly reclaim what she herself had lost…?
Lucario spent no time waiting for his partner as he bent his knees, jumping very high into the air and moving past the flames.
"Keep 'em in there, Floatzel!" Blue suddenly shouted, pointing at the airborne Lucario. Lucario swallowed hard as he felt a large beam of water hitting his stomach, not causing much damage but launching him back in the direction he came from. He spun around in midair and landed on his feet, having returned to the circle of fire.
"What-" Rukario started, but was interrupted.
"Gah! That orange thing!" Lucario spluttered while falling to his knees, "It… It shot me back in here! It's making sure we don't jump o-"
Having seen Lucario launched back by its partner, the Arcanine knew exactly where to aim. A fourth flaming human came through the veil of fire behind them, rushing in Lucario's direction. The fire passed through him, disappearing behind the other side of the circle as quickly as it had appeared, only this time leaving a remnant of itself behind.
Lucario's body immediately ignited, and the fire spread to cover him from head to toe in nary a second. He screamed in pain and terror, falling down and rolling around on the ground in an attempt to get rid of it. However, the fire was much too intense to be stopped in this manner, his body just a waning silhouette behind the bright flames. Keeping his eyes closed he stumbled around in complete darkness, finding no escape from the fire eating away at him and his approaching death. A voice echoed from somewhere beyond the fire's crackling noise as he rapidly felt his consciousness fade…
The smoke from the totem pillars of hot fire was beginning to darken the sky, turning the once wonderful day into a hellish scene. Blue was starting to realize just how badly his strategy was affecting the surrounding area, and was just about to have his trusted water-type douse the fire when he suddenly heard anguished cries from within the circle of fire.
"Well done, Arcanine!" Blue said while giving his Pokémon both thumbs up, "Be ready to douse him on my signal, Floatzel…"
"AAARGHH!" Lucario wailed in panic while trying to brush off the fire, having run out of ideas on how to get rid of it. In his mind, he already knew it was over, feeling his thoughts grow foggy as darkness engulfed his being…
"CYON!" Rukario shouted, completely drowning out the sinister voice in the back of her head as she saw her love burning to death right in front of her eyes. With no hesitation blocking it, her mind worked quickly as she ran up to Lucario and grabbed a hold of his flaming leg. She winced from the pain before throwing him away from the circle of fire, Lucario making a startled noise as the increased oxygen quickly increased the intensity of the flames.
However, he did not have to bear with it for very long as he was suddenly struck by a beam of water, getting thrown back into their entrapment and landing on the ground.
"Haahh! Haahh!" Lucario breathed in deeply, the fire previously covering him having sucked up all the air around him, "Argh… Choking AND burning to death…?"
"Cyon!" Rukario shouted as she ran up to him and noticed that he was mostly unharmed, "You…"
"Oh hey, thanks for helping me so fast!" Lucario said while looking at his body with a pleased expression, "Didn't even burn up my fur!"
He was completely wet and had been so even before the fire hit him, so the damage had been minimal. Rukario was about to say something, but stopped herself as yet another body of fire went zooming by them, this time nowhere near where they were standing.
"They're not letting up, are they…?" Rukario muttered, noticing that her hand which had been dry was more badly burned than Lucario's entire body.
"I know!" Lucario burst out as a plan hit him, "Let's jump out at the same time! The Floatzel can't shoot us back at the same time!"
They looked at each other as Rukario nodded, both of them turning their backs to each other before leaping in opposite directions. Lucario escaped the veil of smoke first, and saw the Floatzel beneath him. Once more, the orange being doused him in water and threw him back from whence he came, Lucario smiling to himself the entire way.
As he landed, he saw that Rukario was no longer there. He sensed her aura outside of the circle, colliding with the aura of the Floatzel from earlier.
"Lucario!" a voice came from beyond the veil of fire, "Now!"
Outside the tower of flames, the Floatzel immediately used its pores to lubricate itself in a slippery substance, which made Rukario lose grip of it. Sliding backwards on the grass, it started calculating a way of throwing her back into the raging fires when something very heavy landed on its back and brought it crashing down on the ground.
"This one's mine," Lucario said as he was standing on the Floatzel, "Go do something about mini-Entei."
Rukario looked at him with a strange expression before nodding and running around the constantly burning circle of fire, towards the aura of the Arcanine on the other side. Lucario did not bother to see her off as he felt himself slipping, the Floatzel gliding away under him and making him lose his balance. However, he managed to land on his feet, and slowly started moving towards the Floatzel who was quickly backing away from him with eyes wide open in fear.
"Why are you scared?" Lucario asked while menacingly cracking his knuckles, "I just want to thank you for dousing the fire and, you know, throwing me into it in the first place."
"I-I'm not scared!" the Floatzel stammered, "I'm trained by the great Blue! I'm not scared at all!"
"You should be," Lucario whispered as a dangerous smile spread across his face, "Fire? Dangerous. Water? The opposite. Actually, I'm feeling a bit thirsty, give me a cold glass and I'll let you off easy…"
"… Don't make fun of me!" the Floatzel suddenly burst out, spitting several floating bubbles at Lucario who effortlessly ran around them and grabbed a hold of the Pokémon's head.
"Hahah! Oh, I wasn't making fun of you!" Lucario laughed before pressing down his hand and shoving the Floatzel's head down into the soft soil previously ploughed by the Excadrill, "THIS is making fun of you!"
The Floatzel quickly scrambled to try to get his head out of the ground as Lucario slowly went behind him, charged his leg back and then kicked the water-type so hard that its head was pulled out, making it fly forward and land on its stomach.
"Huh. I always thought a swift kick in the rear end would have the opposite effect…" Lucario sighed while shrugging, "… And people say fighting's barbaric! I'm practicing medicine!"
He looked around and became disappointed that no one was around hear him, and noticed that the fire that had kept him trapped for so long as mysteriously vanished when he was busy dealing with the Floatzel. He then received quite the shock as Rukario came flying in his direction, and jumped up to catch her as a reflex.
"Hey, are you OK?" Lucario said, but stopped himself as he noticed Rukario looking back at him with a surprised expression, "… I mean, uh, that fire circle…"
"I kept him busy," Rukario responded bluntly as they landed on the ground, "He was unable to refuel it."
"Cool. Meanwhile, I totally beat the crap out of that other thing!" Lucario said loudly while letting her stand on her own feet, fishing for compliments as he pointed to the defeated Floatzel.
"Oh. Thank you for knocking our only hopes of dousing a fire unconscious," Rukario sneered, hiding her worries on how to rescue Lucario in case he was hit by the Arcanine again.
"Ha ha ha! No problem-o!" Lucario laughed in response, currently too confident in himself to care about her snide remark, "Let's give this doggy the same treatment, eh? How about we attack him from both sides at once, so he can't get us both at the same time?"
Rukario nodded in response once more as they split off, running towards the Arcanine in an arc. The Arcanine became confused, twisting its head around and being not sure of who to attack first.
"Arcanine! Overheat!" Blue suddenly shouted, holding up his right hand with fingers spread. The Arcanine stomped down on the ground in response, charging up an attack. Just when Lucario and Rukario were about to jump it, the fire-type suddenly exploded into a huge ball of flames. They immediately halted themselves as the area immediately heated up, the intense fire covering the Arcanine while showing no signs of stopping.
"Did he just… Set himself on fire?" Lucario asked while staring at the furred creature, not knowing how to react.
"He might be using Flash Fire," Rukario replied in a calm manner while closing her eyes, "Which means that he is actually becoming far more powerful by doing this."
"That sucks," Lucario muttered while looking around for a large rock to throw at the fire-type, "Now what?" His question was answered by Rukario suddenly opening her eyes again and thrusting her palm towards the bright flames.
A bright blue light crawled around her wrist and began shaping itself around her outstretched hand. Lucario gasped in surprise as the glow amassed in front of her palm as a growing ball of swirling blue energy, becoming as large as a her head before shooting towards the Arcanine at an amazing pace.
The Arcanine was too focused on charging up and did not even see the attack coming from beyond his own veil of fire. He suddenly felt something pass through his body, like an acidic chill. It went through his side and hit his stomach and lungs, immediately making him lose his breath and keel over as he felt like barfing. Unable to continue the fiery attack, the Arcanine felt something very hard strike his head as he immediately fainted.
"Arcanine!" Blue yelled with both surprise and sadness as he saw his companions fallen on the battlefield, "You too, Floatzel!? Both of you, return immediately!"
"WHOA! Was that an aura sphere!?" Lucario shouted with an impressed voice as Rukario calmly turned away from the defeated fire-type, "You've got to teach me how to do it once we're done beating this trainer!"
"Oh…?" Rukario exclaimed hopefully before her voice gained a hint of disdain, "If we manage to, that is… If he is a champion like you said, odds are we will not."
"He's not Blue," Lucario suddenly said while shaking his head, "He can't be. His Pokémon are much too weak for a champion."
"He said something about trying out a new team," Rukario explained, still seemingly completely unfazed over having so easily defeated the Arcanine, "And his tactics are exceptional. Unless we want to refer to him as 'master' for the rest of our lives, we should not underestimate him."
"… A fate worse than death…" Lucario mumbled as once more the mental image of a tough, burly Mew leaving the area hit him, "You're right. Whatever he brings out next, I'm giving it my all to finish this quickly!"
They both fell silent and looked at Blue, who had just finished recalling the two Pokémon. He stared intently at the two Pokeballs in his hands for a moment, before placing both of them on his belt.
"Amazing…" he whispered to himself before suddenly raising his voice, "Just… Simply amazing! I see how you bested both Red and Brendan…"
"Red?" Rukario repeated in confusion before looking at Lucario, "You… Have you fought Red?"
"You know Red, but you don't know Blue?" Lucario replied with a shrug, "Now I know this guy's small fry for sure."
"Still… My brand new, finely crafted team, annihilated by two wild Lucario?" Blue continued talking as he cracked himself up, "Haha! I'll never live it down! I think it's time for my most powerful tag team!"
Shuffling his jacket backwards, the two Lucario saw that Blue had two more Pokeballs attached to the side of his belt. Rukario had fully expected this, while Lucario was occupied with noticing that the colors of these Pokeballs were different from the others. They were both black and white, instead of the regular red and white.
"Darkness, engulf the light! Light, illuminate the darkness!" Blue as he swiftly pressed the two Pokeballs to his sides as if part of a western quick draw duel, making them open up while still attacked to the belt, "Finish this, Umbreon and Espeon!"
Wow. Blue is, er, interesting. I really like this though. Finally, Rukario isn't going crazy. She's an awesome battler.
To be a free Shiny, you'd have to be. And now, for things to come in the next chapter!
Is it just me, or are these previews getting really lazy?
Soon I won't even be bothered to finish wri
o i c wat u did thar.
And, true. Being a shiny isn't easy. And that preview wasn't hard to figure out. It's Blue, yea.
Rukario's the only shiny in the story, by the way, to match their extreme rarity in the games. She kind of looks like the Swedish flag too, which is a bonus!
Next chapter will be done... Wednesday, maybe?
Somber Psychic Espeon
Cheerful Fighter Umbreon
The red lights shot out Blue's balls simultaneously and landed next to him. In their wake, they left two rather matching creatures, both reminding Lucario of Astrid. They were standing on four legs and their bodies were of the same size, but the similarities ended there.
The one to their left had a ruffled fur as dark as the midnight sky, with circular yellow markings on its limbs. It had an odd stance, which Lucario imagined to be the four-legged equivalent of slouching. The one to their right was colored pink, with a more refined posture and finer hair. This one also seemed to have a tail which split in two at the end, both ends constantly moving in separate directions.
"Hey, look!" the Umbreon said with a boyish voice while nudging his head towards Rukario, "A shiny Lucario!"
"… So?" the Espeon sighed with a serene, female voice before giving Lucario an interested look, "The other one… Has no spikes."
"So!?" the Umbreon repeated with a shocked tone, "Dude, we're fightin' a shiny! Do you know how rare they are!?"
"Not as rare as a Lucario lacking spikes…" the Espeon responded with a hint of annoyance, "… Which should not even exist in the first place."
"Espeon! Umbreon!" Blue shouted in an attempt to make himself heard among the two new arrivals, "Attack plan B! This is an important battle, so do your best!"
"Like, who cares about some genetic defect?" the Umbreon asked, seemingly ignoring his trainer before starting to move towards the two Lucario, "We've got a live shiny right. In. Front. Of. Us!"
"The one with the genetic disorder would be the one with odd colors…" the Espeon muttered before she also moved forward, stopping herself a few steps behind the Umbreon, "… The one without spikes is a miracle of nature."
"Oh, man… Listen to their jabbering…" Lucario muttered while scratching his forehead and focusing his internal aura sensor, "… What the hell's this? I sense no aura from the black one, and a very weak aura from the white one."
"They're Dark and Psychic, respectively," Rukario explained while trying to remember the last time she fought an Eeveelution, "Our aura will not function accurately against them."
"Hmm… No relying on aura spheres, then?" Lucario asked with a slightly disappointed tone in his voice.
"Huh?" Rukario exclaimed confusedly, "No, I meant the aura sensing ability. The aura spheres should be as effective as always."
"Man, you know a lot more than I do, that's for sure… What can you tell me about these two?" Lucario said as he suddenly saw the Espeon wink at him and started to stutter, "F-Fighting-wise, of course!"
"Well…" Rukario said while thinking of a way to explain it to her oblivious partner, "Our attacks will be super effective against the Umbreon, and we possess natural defenses against the Espeon."
"Which one's the Uber-eon?" Lucario asked while watching the two Eeveelutions bicker back and forth about some unknown matter.
"… The black one," Rukario said, realizing her explanations would have to be even more simplified in the future.
"… Seems easy," Lucario muttered as he started feeling guilty at what he was about to do to the poor kittens, "But we didn't come this far to lose in a place like this. Let's go all-out from the start."
"Good thinking," Rukario replied in agreement, "In that case, let us gang up on the black one and finish this quickly."
"Sounds perfect!" Lucario exclaimed excitedly before he set off towards the dark-type, Rukario immediately following suit.
"Yeah, come on! I'll take you all on!" the Umbreon laughed as he ran towards the two of them in response. His focus was primarily on Lucario, and rushed towards him in the hopes of striking fast and hard. However, just before reaching Lucario he noticed too late that the Shiny one had ran around him just outside his field of vision, and she quickly delivered a low kick to trip him up. At the same time, Lucario charged his leg, preparing the most powerful kick of his life.
Their plans were halted as Rukario's leg struck a barrier surrounding the Umbreon, leaving him unscathed. At the same time, Lucario felt himself lose balance as he became repelled by an unseen force. Unhalted by their attacks, the Umbreon leaped up and struck Lucario squarely in the chest, bouncing off him and running between Rukario's legs while tripping her up. Lucario flew back with a pained groan while Rukario tried to regain her balance before a crushing force came upon her head, smashing her down on the ground.
"Sorry 'bout this, sweetie!" the Umbreon apologized while turning around and bowing his head courteously to Rukario, "Let me treat you to dinner tonight as an apology!"
"Not in our house…" the Espeon muttered, her voice dripping with venom.
"Argh…" Lucario groaned in a strained manner, "What the hell…?"
"That Espeon…" Rukario said while wiping some dirt from her face, "She's assisting the Umbreon with her psychic powers. They do not affect him, so only we are getting hit…"
"Alright…" Lucario said as he immediately knew what to do, "… Let me take care of that!"
Pounding his hurt chest once for good measure, he set off towards the Umbreon. The Umbreon stood ready to counter his attack, but struck nothing but thin air as Lucario jumped over him, heading towards the Espeon behind.
The Espeon was taken by surprise as she erected a powerful barrier between them. Lucario felt himself become pushed back by an invisible force, reminding him of the time he had fought the Gallade. Since the force came from directly in front of him he managed to keep his balance, and decided to keep moving forward with quick progress. The Espeon reared back in an attempt to get away, but Lucario fully pushed through the invisible force field and tackled her, pinning her down underneath him.
"Go for it!" Lucario shouted to Rukario, who immediately set off against the Umbreon, who in return was heading towards them.
"Oh my…" the Espeon said calmly while blushing at Lucario's touch, "Perhaps in another time and place, you and I could get … Better acquainted."
"Hey!" the Umbreon shouted while running towards them at a speed much faster than Rukario, "Paws off her, you pervert!"
Lucario gulped as he braced himself for impact, and the Umbreon rammed him hard in the side, making him fall off the Espeon. The Umbreon then followed up by headbutting him at an upwards angle, sending him to the sky before crashing to the ground shortly thereafter.
Rukario came behind them, having charged up an aura sphere which she used at point-blank range. It flew half a foot before becoming twisted around and reflected by the Espeon's psychic abilities, burning through Rukario who pointlessly tried to cover her face with her arms, transforming every particle in her head into one of focused pain. Despite having trained herself in the ways of the aura her entire life, it became too much as she screamed and fell back.
"Whoa, whoa!" the Umbreon burst out with a shocked voice, "Be careful! Never harm a lady's face!"
"With a nose that ludicrously large, missing it would be a miracle…" the Espeon replied with more venom in her voice.
"Hey, pick up the slack, you slow…" Lucario growled at Rukario, but his voice changed to one of worry when he saw her still covering her face in her hands, "… Aw man, right in the face!? How're you doing!?"
"… Ugh…" Rukario groaned, the lingering pain keeping her from making any effort of getting up, "… I have been better…"
Lucario sympathized, his side and chest aching like never before. Every hit from the Umbreon, no matter how it was delivered felt like someone beating him with a large blunt object. He shook his head in an attempt to focus, as the thought of actually losing to these two had yet to enter his mind.
"The sooner you give up, the faster we can become friends!" the Umbreon shouted from a distance, "I'm really a nice guy! Honest!"
"Shut up…" Rukario muttered bitterly with a palm covering her face, noticing Lucario shaking his head in the corner of her eye, "… What's wrong?"
"Damn it, I still have no idea how to deal with these four-legged things!" Lucario shouted with his fists clenched, "If they were more human, this would be over by now!"
"I will… Think of something…" Rukario said weakly as she rose to her knees, "Just… Stay back… And be careful…"
The sight of his female counterpart struggling with simply getting to her feet in order to protect him burned through Lucario's eyes, piercing the brain behind them. He gritted his teeth and flexed his muscles, ready to fight once more. But in an instant, all his powers drained as everything around him came crashing down.
Who was he, thinking he could do anything? The only reason he had even survived so far is because others had been there to save him, sacrificing themselves in the process. If not for betraying the small penguin and sacrificing her freedom, he would have become prey at the hands of Brendan. He had already lost count of all the times Zerobi had saved him, when as he had later found out, she had her own worries to deal with.
The Zubat… The Dragonair… Ivy… His many failures seared through his body worse than the aura ever had. Feeling like doing everyone a favor and ridding the world of the blight that he was, he was given the impulse to simply lie down on the ground and die.
"… No!" Lucario shouted defiantly while clutching his head and firmly planting his feet on the ground, "I won't take the backseat! If you think I'll just lie down while some girl steps up and rescues me…"
Lucario felt his anger and determination soar, finally standing up for himself and gaining some reprieve from the haunting visions of the small penguin and everyone else he had let down on his journey. He saw that Rukario was quietly looking at him with a bewildered expression.
"… What!?" Lucario asked, still fuming.
"… Cyon said the same thing…" she whispered slowly while looking into his eyes, at long last seeing her love reflected in them.
"Alright, THAT DOES IT!" Lucario bellowed with rage as he threw his hands out, "Get the hell out of here! Piss off!" Rukario was abruptly snapped out of her daydreaming by his loud voice, having to use her arm to brace herself from falling back.
"Getting captured is not the end, but if I have to spend another minute with you, I don't think that I can survive!" Lucario kept shouting as he felt his anger slowly leave him, "This is MY fight, stay the hell out of it!"
"Uh… What the hell just happened?" the Umbreon whispered back to the Espeon, the hostile atmosphere making him feel uncomfortable.
"I attempted a simple mind destabilizer against the strong one, who quickly broke out of it," the Espeon explained slowly, the vision of her cradling Lucario as he cried like a baby vanishing from her mind, "He seems to have been unaware of it, however… Is this his first battle against a psychic type?"
Lucario now felt as calm as ever, wondering why he had become so mad all of a sudden. He quietly placed the blame with Rukario as he remembered what he had said, and suddenly came up with a plan.
Rukario sat still on the ground, shocked at what she had heard and once more being reminded of how different Lucario was from the Cyon she once knew and loved. However, as her dazzled mind processed what she had heard the Espeon saying, she suddenly realized exactly why Lucario had become so violent. She was about to say something to him before noticing that he was pointing towards the Umbreon.
"Hey, you! The black one!" Lucario yelled with a mocking tone, "How cowardly, needing a girl's help to fight!"
"Says you," he responded quickly, making Lucario cringe.
"I-I mean, there's no need to get the women involved!" Lucario shouted, using a card out of Zoroark's deck, "I say we duel, like real men! No support, no distractions, no holds-barred-beatdown!"
"Huh?" the Umbreon exclaimed confusedly, "We're winning, why would I want that?"
"Come on, don't you see…?" Lucario said as he leaned closer to the Umbreon and lowered his voice, "This is your chance to impress on the girls! Show them what you're really made of, pal!"
"I'm not your pal, buddy…" the Umbreon muttered bitterly before lighting up, "… Still, it'd be more fun than this stomping we're giving you right now…"
"Mm-hmm," Lucario said while nodding feverishly, "Let's duel, and let the best man win!"
"Alright!" the Umbreon yelled excitedly while striking a battle pose, "Sorry, but I'll have to kick your butt now!"
Rukario could not help but smile as she saw Lucario crack his knuckles in excitement. She was impressed at how easily he had turned the battle in their favor. The Espeon and Umbreon duo's power came solely from teamwork, while hers and Lucario's were far from as efficient. They had just recently met, after all. Lucario's chances of taking out one of them in single combat were much higher than otherwise, and after that the rest of the fight should be easy.
"Umbreon, ignore his provocations and stick to the plan," Blue sighed.
"… Spoil-sport," the Umbreon muttered as he calmed down, "Fine, the duel's off."
"… Huh? No, wait!" Lucario burst out with a terrified voice, "You're really gonna listen to him!?"
"Duh," the Umbreon responded with a shrug, "Our duel will have to wait until after you're caught. Actually, I can't wait, so I guess I'll beat the gumsweat out of you preemptively!"
"The wh-" Lucario started, but stopped himself when he saw the Umbreon running towards him, having no idea what to do. His physical attacks were all being halted by the barrier, and aside from that there was not much he could do. However, Rukario's frightened stare from earlier when he had been shouting at her suddenly passed through his mind, and he thought of something.
"HAAAAAHHHH!" Lucario suddenly screamed with all his might, making the approaching Umbreon flinch in terror. Lucario took his chance to kick the dark-type's face, but his leg was stopped by the same barrier from before. Using the same leg, he lifted it above his head and let it come crashing down on his opponent, only this time there was nothing stopping it, to everyone's surprise. The heel of his foot struck the Umbreon's back hard, making him lose his foothold and crash on the ground with his stomach.
"AAHHH!" the Umbreon yelled with a pained cough, "What the hell!?"
"Forgive me!" the Espeon said with a louder voice than usual, "I was distracted!"
"Distracted? You mean…" Lucario said with a smile before opening his mouth wide, "BAAAAHHHH!"
"Ow! My ears!" the Umbreon groaned as he pulled down his ears to the sides of his head, "Knock it off, mongrel!"
"Hah! I bet that barrier doesn't stop sound from coming through, does it!?" Lucario kept going, "YAAAAAHHH!"
"Grr! You want a piece of me!?" the Umbreon growled in response, "I CAN SHOUT TOO, YOU KNOW!"
"GOOD!" Lucario shouted back, not covering his ears to prove that he was more macho than his enemy, "HOW'RE THOSE HUMONGOUS EARS FEELIN', PUNK!?"
"THEY'RE SMALLER THAN YOURS, PIKER!" the Umbreon continued defiantly, as an unseen force suddenly pushed Lucario and sent him sliding backwards.
"Could the two of you stick to fighting, lest you shatter our eardrums?" the Espeon said in annoyance as Rukario could not help but nod in agreement.
"… What?" Lucario asked, clearing out his ears and hearing a rumbling sound. At first he thought he might have developed tinnitus from all the shouting, but noticed that there were thick darkened clouds above them, the sun having completely vanished behind them. His idea of these simply being smoky remnants from the pillars of fire faded as he suddenly felt the faint touch of a rain drop on the tip of his nose.
"She said…" the Umbreon started before leaping up and knocking Lucario straight on the mouth, making him stumble backwards a few steps before collapsing from the heavy blow.
"Ow…" Lucario grumbled, reminding himself of not attempting a bite to pierce through the barrier.
"Easy on the teeth…" the Espeon muttered dangerously, "How will you take responsibility if he loses his heroic smile…?"
"Better give up soon, or your body's gonna be mush once I'm done!" the Umbreon chuckled confidently, "I train by splitting boulders with my head!"
"Wouldn't that cause severe brain…" Lucario said after rising to his feet, stopping himself as the Umbreon looked at him with a vacant stare, "… Never mind."
The Umbreon then came at him again, as he tried dodging but was knocked off balance by the Espeon's psychic abilities. Thinking that the Espeon would be able to knock him down and create a barrier at the same time, he snuck in a kick at the Umbreon as he was falling, only to feel it strike the same force field as usual. What followed was another powerful blow to his head, making him fly backwards in a flip.
"Hahahah! Too easy!" the Umbreon chuckled, his boyish voice making it come off as more of a snicker.
"You sound rather confident…" the Espeon said, not all too happy with seeing her Lucario take such a beating, "… Should I let you handle him alone, perhaps?"
"Oh, man… I am NOT losing to these two idiots!" Lucario bellowed as he got up, filling up with rage that somehow felt more pure than the one he had experienced earlier, "I'm just not. I REFUSE!"
Lucario rushed towards the Umbreon with a mighty bellow, suddenly wanting nothing more than to feel the dark-type's skull crumble under his fist. The Umbreon was more than happy to accommodate as he headbutted Lucario in return, while a barrier blocked Lucario's attack.
Lucario took a step back but soon lounged, attempting another attack. They continued exchanging blows long after Lucario's stamina had run out, his aggressions fueled on sheer spite alone. However, in the end his body would no longer comply with his hatred, as he stumbled backwards and fell to his knees after a particularly hard blow to his stomach.
"Ugh…" Lucario groaned while feeling dizzy from exhaustion. The rain was really starting to come down now, as if the weather itself was signaling his impending defeat. He wobbled as he tried to stand up, and was knocked on his back by yet another blast from the Espeon's psychic abilities, temporarily making the raindrops around him fly vertically.
"Hahah! This is it!" the Umbreon laughed as he suddenly ran towards the collapsed Lucario, who was too weakened to move out of the way. The Umbreon's path suddenly became blocked by Rukario appearing from the side, lifting her leg and getting ready to drop it like a thunderbolt from the skies. However, the mere sight of Rukario's sudden appearance was enough to make the Umbreon hesitate, as he started leaping backwards as a defensive reflex.
"Gah… You… Why're you still here…?" Lucario muttered weakly as Rukario crouched down beside him, his eyes halfway closed in an attempt to block out the rain that was now falling directly on his face, "I told you to piss off…"
"You obviously need my help!" Rukario shouted at him, too taken aback by his brashness to hold back herself, thinking he was barely able to keep his eyes open from exhaustion, "Why will you not see that!?"
"… Don't you… You still don't get it…?" Lucario groaned while looking away from Rukario, her pained expression filling his heart with sadness, looking just like the one he had been forced to endure in his nightmares for so long, "They want me, not you. Run. I… I'm tired of having everyone around me suffer for my own damn problems…"
"… W-What…?" Rukario stammered, not believing what she was hearing.
"If they got you too, on top of everything I've put you through…" Lucario continued with a sad expression, his worries about the helpful yet tragic Rukario genuine, "… Only then, I don't think I could survive…"
Looking down at Lucario with a shocked expression, Rukario felt herself more taken aback by this than anything else he had done so far. This brute that had robbed her of the love of her life, punched her and screamed at her… Did he just say that he was willing to sacrifice himself for her?
Had she judged him too rashly? Was he a good soul, simply thrust into a bad situation? Although Lucario was much less delicate, the kindness that had made her fall in love with Cyon in the first place appeared to still be with him, only hidden from sight. Although she was still bewildered by the whole situation, she now understood that Lucario and Cyon were two sides of the same card.
"… Lucario," Rukario whispered, finally being able to accept the entity beneath her for what it really was, "I promised to help you out. I will not go back on my word."
"Circumstances have changed…" Lucario mumbled as he started planning on how to contact Celebi, so she could return the favor and rescue him from Blue, "We have no hope of winning, but at least you have a faint chance of escaping…"
"… To where…?" Rukario said slowly as she knew there was only one thing she could do to help Lucario now.
"… Not here?" Lucario smirked.
"The journey that brought me here… The only thing that kept me going was the hope of reuniting with Cyon," she said while looking into his eyes, finally realizing that what she could see in him was not something he could see in her, "The journey home… Away from all this… I do not think I can bear it."
She slowly rose to her feet, frightened of what she was planning. Cyon or Lucario, both would have called her insane had she told him what she was about to do. Even so, she knew that if she were to withhold her intervention that could change everything, she would never forgive herself. Her life was already without meaning, this would be a chance to make her delayed suicide something worthwhile.
"But… At least…" Rukario whispered as she shot Lucario one last glance before walking towards the two Eeveelutions, Lucario feeling impressed by her determination to keep on fighting.
The rain had picked up into full storm, pouring down fiercely but without any wind whatsoever to accompany it. All the participants in the battle were silently ignoring the rain, even though the wetness made them all uncomfortable. Rukario knew this would be the last out of everyone's problems in a few moments.
The Umbreon was watching the two Lucario, the sappy atmosphere between the two of them making him feel left out but still wanting to be respectful and not come off as a jerk to his future girlfriend. He realized this might not have been the best of ideas as Rukario's approaching body suddenly started to glow.
"For Lucario's sake…!" she said to herself as every muscle in her started to flex and every individual cell started working overtime, "No… For Cyon's sake…!"
While the insides of her body turned into a flurry of pain and turmoil, the only thing visible on the outside were tiny sparks of blue fire seeping out of random spots of her body. Lucario winced as he recognized the pale blue flames bubbling over her body, remembering just how painful enduring a single moment of them had been. Rukario shared his sentiment and felt like every last inch of her was being covered in acidic fire, the pain of her burned hand and damaged face growing number and number.
Bracing herself, she used all of her strength to jump straight up into the sky. Everyone's neck craned as they saw her soaring above them, glowing like an angel in an aura of blue fire. Her mind entered a state of insanity from the internal suffering she was going through, reasons to both stop and keep going filling her up and helping her ignore the pain a little.
Amidst the sea of painful sensations, she could feel that the attack was finally ready. She thrust both her arms and legs downwards, aimed at the two Eeveelutions who were looking up at her.
"G-GET BEHIND ME!" the Espeon suddenly cried out in sheer terror, as the Umbreon snapped back and started running towards her. Every inch of Rukario's being now wanted them gone, the very hairs on her body stretched out like sharp and hostile spikes towards them.
"AURA STORM!" Rukario screamed with all her might in an attempt to combat the pain overtaking her mind, before she felt her every nerve become ripped apart as she commenced with the attack.
A gigantic beam of bright blue energy left Rukario's body with the sound of a never-ending explosion, striking down on the two Eeveelutions in the matter of an instant. An almost solid-looking wall prevented the beam from fully reaching them, the Espeon blocking the aura with her most powerful barrier as the Umbreon cowered in fear. Five seconds passed before the aura storm broke through the barrier, both of the Eeveelutions screaming in pain as the aura overtook them. The beam covered them completely as it struck into the ground, not even making a dent in the soil but instantly evaporating the grass which lay upon it.
Lucario and Blue were completely frozen, seeing the beam growing thinner and Rukario's aura fading away. Finally the beam went away completely, and as it was no longer keeping Rukario propelled in midair, she fell down to the ground. Lucario quickly rose up in order to catch her, but his exhausted body failed him as he stumbled in the rain. She fell down hard on the soggy soil, alone and with no one to depend on.
The aura had successfully eradicated every bit of growth where it struck but left the ground intact, leaving a peculiar bald spot. In the middle of that spot was the Umbreon, seemingly unharmed but completely motionless and unconscious. By the outskirts of the barren crater was the Espeon, still moving around a little but shaking badly and struggling to get to her feet.
Lucario paid no notice to this as he ran as quickly as he could towards Rukario, who was lying in the rain with her eyes closed. He saw what looked like small cracks in her skin wherever there was no fur to cover it up, and smelled burning flesh.
"Rukario!" Lucario shouted as he fell to his knees, "Damn you! DAMN YOU! I told you this was the LAST thing I wanted!" He was given no response and grabbed a hold of her wrist, struggling to find a vein so he could check her pulse. No matter how hard he tried, he was unable to find any signs of life.
"Stop dying!" he shouted, the raindrops dripping down his face starting to turn salty, "Stay the hell out of my conscience, you… Come on! You can't just…"
An odd yet familiar sound came from behind him, as he realized that Blue had just recalled his Pokémon. His eyes were transfixed on Rukario, so he could not bear to look away from her even as Blue slowly walked up to them in the pouring rain.
"… What a tragic end…" Blue said with a dismal voice, unfitting of his shocked expression, "Why would a wild Pokémon do something like this…?"
"Damn it! Was this my fault…?" Lucario shouted, smashing down both his fists on Rukario's lifeless chest in anguish. The impact from his blow suddenly made her left leg jump as she groaned painfully, making Lucario fall back in terror.
"No! She needs medical care!" Blue suddenly yelled, rushing forward and keeping the two of them separated with outstretched arms.
"She… She's alive…?" Lucario stammered hopefully before realizing that the man responsible for this had just pushed him away from her, "… Hey. Is she alive? If not, get that hand out of my face or I'll break it off."
"… I left all my items at home, but I'll take her to a Pokecenter and hope for the best," Blue said as he bent over and carefully picked Rukario up, the old man surprising Lucario with his strength, "Sorry, but there's no time to waste." The fainted Pokémon was the same weight that he had expected, meaning that his Pokémon would be able to carry the two of them at the same time. As his hands were currently occupied, he decided to summon his Pokémon the old fashioned way.
"SKARMORY, I CHOOSE YOU!" Blue yelled loudly, as one of the Pokeballs on his belt suddenly opened itself, bringing out the Skarmory that Rukario had earlier defeated. It was in bad shape, cracks covering its previously untainted helmet, but was still seemingly capable of flying as its peculiar wings were intact. It looked at Rukario with an annoyed stare before bending its head down and letting Blue place her on its back.
"… Listen, when she wakes up, could you tell her I said…" Lucario said before seeing the confused expression on Blue's face, "… No, I guess you can't…"
"I'll tell her," the Skarmory said with a sharp, almost screeching voice.
"Uh…" Lucario exclaimed, imagining his beautiful words being presented by the Skarmory's horrible voice, "That's OK. I'll, uh… Tell her myself, some day."
Blue sat down on the skeletal bird, holding Rukario down so that she would be secured during the flight.
"She's… Too good for this fate," Lucario said with a pained expression before looking at Blue with a quiet rage, "If you think this counts as you catching her…"
"I swear upon my status as a trainer…" Blue said, getting an idea of what Lucario was saying from the look of his face, "… I will set her free once she has healed."
"You had better. If you don't…" Lucario said menacingly with pure murder in the depths of his eyes, "I will hunt you down, Blue."
"… Time is wasting, but…" Blue said as he thought of something to say, "You are… Extraordinary. I…"
Blue then suddenly kicked the sides of the Skarmory, making it fly up a few feet into the air where it kept itself floating with regulated wing flaps.
"Lucario! This must not be our last meeting!" Blue shouted to him with a determined voice, "I will make sure your friend is healed, and then challenge you with a new team of Pokémon!"
Blue then snapped his fingers while smiling and pointing down at Lucario, who looked up at him with anger. The champion trainer got the idea and quickly secured Rukario before the three of them flew off, leaving Lucario alone on the ground below in a pool of rain and regret.
"… Hey…" Lucario muttered with disdain while clutching his aching chest, "… I could use some medical care too, you know…"
Allow me to supply you with the beginning of the end of this episode.
Ahh, these fanfictions... Decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier each year!
Chapter 32: Epilogue of Episode VI
After searching the area around the foot of the mountain without finding any trace of Mew, Lucario settled down disappointedly. Considering the ruckus that had just taken place at her secret haven, Lucario figured Mew would have disappeared into another dimension by now.
There was no hope of him climbing the mountain either, the foot of it reaching up high and vertically like the impenetrable walls of a castle. The thought made him shrug, knowing that he would be fine just waiting by the foot of it and never having had that mountain-scaling impulse so many people talk about.
He knew that Mew was a shapeshifter, and a very shy one at that. Every now and then a Pokémon would pass by and chat casually, Lucario trying his best to figure out if they were actually Mew in disguise and wondering about it long after they had left. He felt his sanity waning rather quickly, doubt spreading through his mind as the days passed slowly.
Rukario's magnificent display had left quite the impression on him, more so than the destructive aftereffects. Willing to try anything to pass the time, he decided to train himself in the ways of the aura so he could recreate the aura storm. After exactly one attempt followed by a lingering aching all over his body, he decided to that his previous decision would be overturned in favor of taking a well-deserved vacation.
Much to his chagrin and continued survival there were several bushed filled with berries in the area, so he did not have to starve or deal with a pleasurable sensation in his mouth. With nothing else to do and far too much confidence in his own culinary skills, he tried mixing random herbs and spices he found growing nearby into his meals. The various plants added a nice taste, as well as several more days to his recovery when he came down with food poisoning.
Lying on the ground and twisting in agony, he would compose himself whenever someone passed by, pretending to be occupied with something. He felt that nothing would sting quite as bad as the pity of complete strangers. His stomach aching and his body hurting, he slowly begun to realize that free time was posing him with far more danger than anything else so far, and hoped Mew would make her appearance while he was still among the living.
Then, about a gruesomely slow week after he had started his waiting, something finally happened. A rustle in the nearby bushes caught his attention as he walked up to it to see what it was. He was not sensing any aura, meaning that it had to be a Dark-type... Or, as he suddenly realized, someone was just trying to distract him...
"YOU!" a dignified yet soft and sweet voice came from behind him, instead of the backstab he had been expecting. Turning around he saw a small, pink being floating in midair by the foot of the mountain, a little to the left of where he had been sleeping most of the time.
"... Mew?" Lucario asked with a surprised expression plastered on his face, too sick of waiting to care about subtlety in his inquiry, "You're Mew!?"
Her size was the first aspect that left an impact with Lucario - She was barely larger than his own torso, and was the same as Celebi. Lucario became very shocked at this before he realized that taking on a weak-looking form would let her hide her presence as the greatest Pokémon of all time much easier.
Her head contained a set of everything you would find on a normal creature, her eyes blue as both the ocean and the sky. She had short arms and large hind legs, neither being used as she was hovering above the ground in a shimmering yet barely visible bubble. The bubble suddenly faded away as a tail as long as the rest of her body started flailing around behind her, happy to be let out of its transparent confinement.
Even so, her small form echoed of grace, simple yet somehow unnaturally clean and bright, almost like a cartoon character come to life. One would have to be blind, deaf and dumb to miss that this was not a regular Pokémon.
"You remember!" Mew said excitedly as her face lit up in pure joy, "You remember, you remember! I never would have thought-"
"Of course!" Lucario exclaimed confidently, not really sure what exactly she was referring to but getting many a strange feelings from looking at the pink cat, "Hey, Celebi told me you're a shape shifter; this is not your original form, is it?"
"I cannot believe this! For so long, I have been..." Mew continued happily, before trailing off as her expression turned into one of slight confusion, "... Not my original form?"
"Yeah!" Lucario kept going while scratching the back of his head, "I mean, this form's cute! I like that you've got a sense of humor, but I want to see what you really look like!"
"Oh, I see, you are still... But that cannot be..." Mew mumbled while her delighted demeanor slowly faded.
"Don't tell me..." Lucario said as a devastating possibility struck him, "... You're not Mew, after all?"
"Are you... Your mind..." Mew continued while countering his curiosity with her own, "Is your mind human or Pokémon?"
"Human!" Lucario exclaimed with a very impressed voice, "Wow! You really ARE good! How'd you know?"
"But... I... You..." Mew stammered while being unable to make heads or tails out of what was happening, "... Something here is amiss."
"Really? A miss?" Lucario asked, "But you hit it right on the head!"
"This simply cannot be a coincidence," Mew told herself while analyzing the familiar aura, "Tell me, are you suffering from amnesia?"
"Hell no!" Lucario burst out with an offended tone, "My memory's the best there is! I'll recite the periodic table right here, right now!"
"But... You do not remember me?" Mew asked with a worried expression.
"Why would I remember you?" Lucario asked in return, shrugging his shoulders. He wasn't even sure if this Pokémon was truly Mew, having forgotten to ask Celebi for a description. He thought that like genders, normal Pokémon would probably be able to tell who she was just by looking at her, which in turn led to Lucario realizing something.
"Wait... Now that you mention it..." he said quietly while thinking to himself, "All this Pokémon stuff is completely new to me. Yeah, I didn't know anything about Pokémon back when I first woke up in this body."
Mew's response was silence, as she seemed to drift off into another world with a vacant expression.
"... Mew?" Lucario asked, wondering if this was normal or not.
"... Oh! Excuse me!" Mew exclaimed as she woke up, "I... I think I know what is wrong. Tell me, do you remember being human?"
"Well, duh!" Lucario said confidently while thinking of ways to prove it, "I was a brawny guy who loved to explore, I always got straight As in school and my mom would always spend my money when I wasn't looking! I remember every little detail!"
"But you cannot remember anything about Pokémon..." Mew whispered slowly before raising her voice, "And you cannot recall how you became a Pokémon, either?"
"That's true, but... You mean that those two are related?" Lucario said before slapping his forehead, "I mean, uh, of course they are! But how?"
"I should probably tell you," Mew started before looking down on the ground with a worried expression, "... But..."
"... But?" Lucario repeated while also looking at the ground, wondering if there was anything interesting down there.
"... It will change everything," Mew spoke clearly as she lifted her head, "If you are satisfied with life the way it is now..."
"Hell no," Lucario said bluntly, "I came to see you to help me transform back into a human."
"... Oh," Mew exclaimed softly with a blink, "Truly? That is... Hmm..."
"OK, so out of this whole conversation, I understand nothing so far," Lucario muttered while shaking his head in annoyance, "Let's take things from the beginning, shall we?"
"Then, allow me to tell you of what happened..." Mew said, secretly reluctant as she began to tell Lucario her story...
So very close to the end, and yet still left at a cliffhanger. A rather short chapter, but this is an interesting plot twist. And how interesting, Lucario and a Mew. No relation to the seventh Pokémon movie at all?
Hahaha, they've actually made seven Pokémon movies? Probably more, if I'm to take a guess… Stopped paying attention after the first.
Catastrophic Apocalypse Deoxys
Death... Death is beyond our comprehension. The more we begin to understand the complete end of everything we define as existing, the more we realize just how unspeakably horrifying it is. Even so, it is the unavoidable fate that awaits all living things, without any exceptions. Our only hope of survival lies in our ability not to think about it, to appreciate life for what it is and to not needlessly wallow in sorrow over our already decided demise.
This was a peace of mind that Mew came to long as she saw the line of maimed corpses and razed ground heading directly into a city.
She had been out flying this cloudy afternoon for no particular reason, when she had suddenly come across a group of dead Pokémon. They had been scattered around what seemed to be a long line of dead grass, stretching in both directions as far as she could see. Following the line in the direction to her right, she had wondered if she was heading towards or away from the origin point. The fresher corpses of both Pokémon and humans she had come across while following the trail told her that it was the latter, as it now led her into a newly destroyed human settlement.
The city was in ruins, crumbled buildings lying among slaughtered people and Pokémon randomly strewn about. The foul stench of blood and gore lay heavy in the air as Mew used her psychic abilities to disable her sense of smell, keeping herself from vomiting.
Children and adults alike, there was no discrimination. What had once been living creatures were now all but slabs of meat, waiting to rot into nothingness and sink into the earth. The cruelty of whatever was responsible for this knew no bounds, Mew being unable to tell which death had been the most agonizing. A Sandslash with a slit throat and bloodied claws caught her eye, because next to his corpse lay two headless Sandshrew. While pinning this whole disaster on the deceased Sandslash would ease her mind quite a bit, she thought that he must have simply been driven to madness from witnessing the hellish scene.
Mew felt her sanity tearing with every passing moment, and decided to keep on moving. Imagining a single passing would be enough to keep her awake at night; actually seeing so many innocent torn to bits was something far beyond what her mind could handle. She quickly blocked it out and followed the trail of destruction once more, out of the city. Despite being so in love with this world and always seeing the good in everything and everyone, she could not help but feel as if her innocence would never again return.
"Oh no..." she whispered to herself, seeing the trail of destruction leading directly through a forest, the outskirts of which now were riddled with pieces of Pokémon. Silently she prayed that there would even be a single flicker of life still present, for if she would find a survivor she would no longer care for her long kept secrecy and safety.
She would show herself. Anything to keep her from being alone in this hell!
But all she felt was nothingness. Whatever this menace was, it was effective and left no one alive within a radius of hundreds of feet. She had come across Pokémon of every type, size and strength, all dead and frighteningly often mutilated. Neither she nor Mewtwo would be able to cause such extreme carnage so quickly, and if this monster was more powerful than him, even she would not be able to stop it.
It could destroy the world.
No... It WAS destroying the world. This was the apocalypse.
She flew over the forest, sparing herself the horrific sights inside while still being able to follow whatever caused it due to a clear path of withering trees. Whoever was responsible for all this had eradicated all life nearby, but had apparently not considered the surrounding flora as sentient despite technically possessing life. This meant that it was not completely mindless, and the thought brought a shiver to her form - What if this was the cause of someone she already knew? Only one Pokémon would have the potential to be this powerful and mercilessly evil...
Her train of thoughts abruptly ended as something she never thought she would feel again came upon her - The sensation of life. A few miles ahead, she sensed the aura of several humans and Pokémon. She increased her speed and moved as quickly as possible, noticing that the auras were rapidly vanishing one by one. In the midst of the chaos she knew they must be experiencing, there was a faint flicker of a terrifyingly powerful aura, going on and off at an irregular and quick pace.
The long distance took her barely a minute to cover, her determination to rescue them from this nightmare making her move at a speed like never before. Whatever was causing this was not slacking, either - Already the multitude of auras had disappeared, leaving only three more. A scream of agony resounded through the air and hit her ears, as she finally laid eyes upon the source of the auras she had felt.
One was a Lucario, bleeding severely and standing on his knees. He was in bad shape, the spikes usually found on their hands and chest gone and replaced by heavy scar tissue. The other was a Medicham, now in four pieces and scattering herself over the bloodstained area, a permanent expression of terror formed upon her cleaved face. The third one was the origin of the extremely powerful aura Mew had sensed earlier, and she knew without a shred of a doubt that it was cause of this whole situation.
It looked human. It had a human arm, a human head, a human torso and human legs. However, likening this perversion of nature any further to anything remotely definable as "human" would be an insult. Its skin was bubbling, red and irritated, seemingly infected by hundreds of diseases. Just being in the vicinity of it made Mew fear that she would be infected by a quarter of them and die on the spot. While one arm was that of a human, the other one was nothing but two tentacles flailing about restlessly, like the severed tail of a lizard. Two large ears seemed to be sticking out of the sides of its head, but upon closer inspection she noticed it was actually a pair of cancerous tumors, constantly pulsing.
Its face was covered with what looked like a green platter, sown into its skin and nailed into its cranium. The only thing visible of the actual creature underneath was its eyes, as large holes had been cut out for them. They were of the darkest black Mew had ever witnessed, the nightly skies seeming like a sunny day in comparison. The eyes were empty enough to only be comparable to black holes, so non-existent that it nearby objects ran the risk of being sucked in and turned into oblivion.
"No! Stop!" Mew shrieked, making the Lucario turn his head towards her in surprise. The monster did not pay her any notice as it slowly moved towards the Lucario, almost slithering in the way it walked.
"I said..." Mew growled as she unleashed her most powerful Psychic attack upon the creature, "STOP!"
However, the monster was no longer where she had aimed, having completely vanished from her sight. A painful cry struck her ears as she turned her head, seeing the monster now having impaled the Lucario with its two tentacles. Mew shot a speedy Aura Sphere as a reflex, but the monster easily deflected with its human hand, not even turning its head towards her as it was completely focused on the Lucario in front of it.
The Lucario coughed, the sharp tendrils writhing around in his wounds, and Mew could tell that he was quickly dying. He would soon be beyond even her help, while Mew could do nothing but helplessly watch as his life trickled away. His blood splashed over Deoxys, the red liquid sinking into its cancerous flesh and leaving no trace behind.
Mew started to panic as she had never felt so weak before, covering herself in a barrier so strong that the very air around it evaporated into nothingness, creating a miniature vacuum effect. She then zoomed toward the humanoid at a speed comparable to that of light, putting all her power into the attack that had once made even Mewtwo stagger from sheer force.
The monster quickly moved itself backwards from the Lucario, not even turning its head to face her. She was still in full control and turned to the left so that she would still be able to hit it, but suddenly noticed that it had completely vanished once more. Making a swift U-turn, she saw the monster now coming directly towards her, and braced herself for the impact.
Then, the monster was suddenly flying beside her, swinging its tendrils in her direction. Panicking, Mew swerved to the side, only to have it stay right next to her in perfect coordination, as if it were slowing itself down to match her speed. One of the tendrils grazed her face, making her lose all control and unleash her most powerful shockwave, the grass beneath them ripping from the ground and scattering in all directions.
The monster did not even flinch. Instead, it used its own shockwave in response, sending Mew flying against her will for the first time in her life. The power of it even made the Lucario's body fall down and roll over like a ragdoll, despite now being almost twenty feet away from them.
As the last flicker of the Lucario's life faded, so did Mew's hope. It was over. As she had feared, this monster was strong beyond her wildest imaginations, faster than anything she could measure up to and utterly ruthless. She would become another one of its prey, before the rest of the world would follow. The fact that everything she knew and loved was coming to such a tragic end was enough to make her eyes tear up, even though she felt like she had already become emotionally dead from what she had seen on this day to end all days.
In her despair, she did not notice a pathetically weak aura coming up from behind her. A human man was approaching them, stopping himself as he gazed upon the destruction. He was in his 30's, carrying a strong build and unusually hairy arms. His clothing was ragged and torn, wearing common jeans and a brown cloak to cover himself, and he had a backpack which slid off him as he stood stunned in surprise.
"What... On... Earth..." he stammered to himself in disbelief, making Mew visibly twitch as she turned around.
"Human! Flee!" Mew suddenly cried out, looking down at the human as she instinctively floated up into the air for protection.
"Whoa! What the..." the human exclaimed as he looked up and saw Mew, "... Is that... Mew!?"
"Human, you must escape!" Mew yelled loudly while snapping her vision back and forth between the human and the monster, "You will die!"
"You can talk!?" the human shouted out in shock before turning his head towards the creepy humanoid not far away, "Wait, what the hell is that thing!?"
Reaching behind his cloak, he quickly pulled out a small technological appliance, which he pointed towards the monster. The small machine beeped lightly, before giving off a metallic voice:
"... Aw come on, you've got a name for it!" the human cried out as he started rattling his Pokedex in frustration, "Give me something helpful, here!"
Mew was about to say something, but had no time as Deoxys suddenly flew towards them. She raised her most powerful barrier, bracing herself as a mental image of it having no effect and her getting impaled by the sharp tentacles passed through her mind. Instead, Deoxys used its human hand to punch through the barrier with the force of a comet, shattering it with a loud boom as Mew was thrown back.
"Mew!" the human shouted in surprise, "No way, how strong is that thing!?"
"... Run..." Mew said weakly, her mind was still scrambled after the strong impact, "I will... Distract him..."
"Distract!?" the human exclaimed with a panicked tone, "If you can't stop him, who can!?"
"... No one..." Mew continued with utter despair in her voice, "I fear... Human, this is the end of the world..."
The human flinched, hearing these words. He was about to interject, but had to stop himself as he looked at the area around them once more. Terror filled him as he saw pieces of flesh in varying colors of skin lay about, completely unrecognizable from the people and Pokémon they had once belonged to. The once dimmed clouds in the sky had turned hellishly black, as if heaven itself had been corrupted by this unspeakable display. In the middle of it all stood Deoxys, about to murder the purest Pokémon in all existence, seeing her as nothing more than a slab of meat to be chopped up and discarded.
The end of the world...
"... Yeah right..." the human muttered to himself while gritting his teeth, before clenching his fists and raising his voice, "I'm Ethan, the bloody champion of the world! That thing's gonna be sorry it ran into me!"
"I cannot look after you, human!" Mew shouted and completely ignored his bravado, "Leave, or this monster will kill you!"
The two of them looked at Deoxys, whose attention was still solely with Mew. Ethan gasped as he saw a faint yellow spark form beneath the monster's abdomen, recognizing it from the time he had been defeated by Red's Pikachu.
"Mew, look out!" Ethan burst out, "It... It's using Thunderbolt!"
Mew tried to ignore him to keep focused on the battle, but as the words passed through her head, a memory of the charred corpses of a family of Pidgey she had come across earlier crossed her mind as she instinctively tore up the ground beneath with her psychic powers. Manipulating the free floating soil into a circle covering both her and Ethan, lightning suddenly struck as Deoxys exploded into a ball of thunder, gigantic sparks flying in every direction.
Ethan fell back in shock, the bright light seeping through tiny holes in their shield powerful enough to make his corneas burn. Not even Red's Pikachu had been able to do that. The attack stopped as their shield of earth crumbled, Mew breathing out in relief as Ethan noticed a corpse as far as fifteen feet away having turned into charcoal.
"Awawa..." he stammered, "That was a big Thunderbolt..."
"Are you alright!?" Mew asked with concern, amazed to see the human still in one piece. From her experience, humans were not the most durable of creatures, what she had witnessed this day reinforcing that.
"Yeah..." Ethan said as he rose to his feet and rubbed his eyes, "A barrier made out of ground? I've never seen anything like it..."
He looked at Deoxys, trying to make sense out of what it was. All he knew that if it were to touch him, he would probably come down with enough diseases to make him explode into a cloud of germs. Rubbing his eyes once more, he noticed that the area around Deoxys was a lot brighter than before, making it glow in a green light. Keeping his sight fixed upon the unfamiliar fiend, he once more gained a hunch of what was happening.
"Watch out, it's charging up a Solar Beam!" Ethan yelled before pointing up to the sky where the dark clouds had inexplicably separated, "The sun! Cover up the sun!"
Mew followed his finger before quickly clasping her hands together, remembering the technique Celebi had forced her to learn. The air around her hands suddenly began to turn denser, until it became a thick smoke visible to the naked eyes. The smoke quickly rose and spread, covering the sky as Deoxys stopped glowing, but still did not even bother looking up.
"You did it!" Ethan burst out in surprise, this display making the exciting feeling of directing a Pokémon battle return to him after having been absent for so long, "That totally stopped him!"
"Yes!" Mew replied while sounding even more surprised than Ethan, "How did you know what move it was using?"
"The outer skin turned brighter, meaning that it was absorbing light..." Ethan explained as he involuntarily started thinking of his very first Pokémon, "... I've countered that move a thousand times before!"
Ethan shook lightly, the sensation of once more being a Pokémon trainer overwhelming him. The feeling that had vanished and remained dormant for so long came back, as he felt like he was fighting his first gym leader all over again. Somewhere between directing the most powerful Pokémon of his life and fighting the most powerful enemy he had ever faced, his spirit had awoken.
"... Mew, let me guide you!" Ethan suddenly said, looking up at Mew who was busy observing Deoxys carefully, "I'm Ethan, the best trainer there has ever been! Follow my directions, and we've got a chance of winning!"
"Are you certain it will help!?" Mew shouted to him, her eyes never leaving Deoxys. It was just standing there, staring at her and seemingly unable to comprehend why she was not yet dead. She knew that if she were to even blink just when the monster decided to attack, her eyes might never open again.
"What is there to lose!?" Ethan yelled back at her, their depressing situation somehow being repelled by his indomitable fighting spirit.
Mew already felt sick to the stomach, but the thought of adding herself to a trainer's collection made the feeling worse. Even so, by working together they had managed to completely repel two of the monster's attacks, and if there was even the slightest possibility of them winning, there was nothing she would not do... Even if it meant going against everything she believed in.
"... Fine!" Mew said loudly while mentally bracing herself for the Pokeball that was sure to follow, "But it will make no difference! This monster is too fast, even for me!"
"In that case..." Ethan responded, wondering why the small legendary was cringing so badly with each word he said, "Mew, legend has it you can use every move there is, is that true?"
"Yes!" Mew responded, going with a simple answer as this would be the worst time possible to go into too much detail, "Every element! Now, please-"
"Then..." Ethan whispered before stopping, not being able to withhold a dramatic pause despite being in such a dangerous situation, "Use Trick Room!"
Mew turned back and looked at him, suddenly realizing that he was not going to capture her, but simply help her out as an ally. This came as an utter shock to her, having known nothing but trainers rabidly trying to catch her at even the slightest hint of her presence. Scanning his body with her superhuman senses, she noticed that this so-called trainer was not even carrying any Pokeballs with him, the only piece of technology on him being the small machine that had given a name to Deoxys.
Figuring out what this meant would have to wait until a better time, and she now felt more confident about teaming up with the human beneath her. But even so, what he had just said...
"... What is that?" Mew asked, looking bewildered.
"T... Trick Room!" Ethan repeated as his momentum disappeared and the wind was taken out of him, "You know! Speed altering! Psychic! The room where trickery is plentiful and had by all!"
"I have never heard of it before!" Mew replied with a worried tone, cursing at herself for not studying trainer terminology more thoroughly.
"Oh, #%¤!" Ethan shouted while pulling out the Pokedex. His swift fingers had already brought up the menu for recorded attacks by the time the automatic lighting activated.
"C-Create a large fermionic field and, uh..." Ethan read the instructions out loud while realizing that if Mew did not know what a Trick Room was, she would definitively not be able to make any sense out of this, "... Fluctuate the gravitational constant inside of it!"
Much to his surprise, Mew quickly closed her eyes and started focusing intently. A purple translucent box appeared between them and Deoxys, growing at a very high pace. Ethan flinched as the wall of purple consumed him, a very peculiar yet quite familiar sensation passing through him. Deoxys simply stood still, making no attempt at dodging as the seemingly harmless box overtook him as well. By the time Mew was done the box had reached preposterously large dimensions, taller than a skyscraper and wider than an arena.
"... THAT you understood!?" Ethan burst out with annoyance before being taken back by the sheer power of Mew's psychic abilities, "Whoa, what a gigantic trick room... My Misdreavus wouldn't even be able to make one half this size..."
"Brilliant!" Mew exclaimed happily, more impressed by his idea than her own actions, "Ethan, you are a genius! I never would have imagined something like this!"
"Well, I didn't exactly invent it..." Ethan chuckled as he scratched the back of his head, "Be careful though, only his speed is affected! Now, kick his behind with a Zen headbutt!"
"A... What?" Mew tried repeating, quickly forgetting what he had even said.
"I don't know," Ethan growled hopelessly while throwing his hands up into the sky, "Surround yourself in energy and tackle him, or something!"
While removing the distance between her and Deoxys was the last thing Mew wanted to do, her energy tackles were both fast and powerful and would be the perfect course of action, had this monster not been so absurdly powerful. She decided to put her trust into Ethan, and formed a mighty barrier around her as she zoomed towards the monster, not noticing any difference in her own speed.
The Trick Room's effects made itself apparent when Deoxys started moving out of the way, only to feel himself tugged in every direction at once. From his vision, Mew was lagging around the area, making him unable to tell where she actually was. She was about to strike him when he calmly moved to the side in the last second with the same speed she was using, her attack barely grazing him. Mew felt hope return as she made a sharp U-turn, Deoxys trying to follow her like the last time but being unable to move faster than her, getting outrun by Mew's higher velocity. She struck his human arm as she passed by, quickly moving back to where Ethan was before Deoxys had the time to counterattack.
"You've got him!" Ethan exclaimed excitedly while pumping his fist in the air, "Way to go, Mew!"
"Ethan! Beware!" Mew shouted as Deoxys suddenly came towards them. He was moving at a more reasonable speed this time, which led to Mew unleashing a powerful Psychic attack against him. Deoxys was forced to make a long backflip to avoid the attack, so agile that it made Ethan gasp out loud.
"Oh, what the hell!?" Ethan burst out in shock, "He's still THIS fast, despite being in a Trick Room!?"
"Ethan!" Mew said to him while feeling like she could finally finish this, simply not knowing how to go about it, "Please, snap out of it!"
"Huh? Oh, yeah!" Ethan exclaimed before shaking his head, "Hit him with an attack that cannot miss! He won't have the time to counterattack!"
Mew's first impulse was to use the Aura Sphere, but remembered how easily Deoxys had reflected it earlier. Instead, she cupped her hands several times, and each time she opened them there was a round object made out of steel that had not been there before. She felt that making seven of them would be enough, forcing a magnetic field upon her new creations which hovered around her like tiny balloons.
Sending them flying in the monster's direction, he tried dodging to the side as the balls easily followed him, guided by Mew's psychic abilities as well as the magnetic field homing in on the metallic plate covering his face. Mew suddenly pushed the balls forward, making them speed up and attach themselves to the monster's face. The instant the seventh one connect with him, they all exploded in a cloud of white smoke, the blast radius making the ground tremble.
"Magnet Bomb..." Ethan said slowly with eyes wide open, "Whoa, you managed to make seven of them!?"
Mew could still sense Deoxys aura underneath the smoke and knew that he was still alive, but her other senses told her that something very peculiar was happening beyond the veil.
As the smoke cleared, they could see that there was a whole lot less of Deoxys around. He had become thinner, the red infected skin on his body mostly having been replaced by a black armor of unknown material. His double tentacles and human arm had been replaced by slender appendages, looking like the tentacles but were seemingly more firm. The metal plate covering his face was still intact, but his head had been elongated to twice the original size by a massive tumor, looking like a large, malignant hat.
"What..." Mew whispered while looking back at Ethan, pleading for answers, "What has happened to him?"
"... Ludicrous..." Ethan whispered to himself while trying to comprehend what had just happened, "Did he just restructure his entire body...?"
In an instant, Deoxys had closed the distance between himself and Mew, making her raise a barrier in the last moment before one of the tentacles came crashing down upon it, almost shattering it right away. The other tentacle followed, as Deoxys kept himself floating beside her and began pounding her barrier with amazing speed and strength.
"I-Impossible! He made himself faster!? But..." Ethan stammered in utter shock as he saw Mew pointlessly trying to move away from the monster's continued onslaught, "... Mew! Don't give up hope! He's faster, but his body looks more fragile! Try that attack ag-"
"He has become too fast even for that! Something else!" Mew shouted in a very fast voice as she quickly moved back, Deoxys coming upon her once more and smashing his powerful tentacles against her barrier. Each blow felt like one of Mewtwo's vicious Psystrikes, and she knew she would not last long at this rate.
"Give me a moment!" Ethan shouted, trying to collect his thoughts and keep himself from panicking at the same time. He knew that Deoxys could not have made himself faster in a Trick Room, as it equalized the speed of everyone within it. No matter how fast, inside the Trick Room there was a limit to one's speed, which had been reached by these two powerful Pokémon long before.
Instead, he knew it was all in the monster's body switch... While its speed had not increased, this body was more suited for swift movements, letting it land a hit and dodge attacks more easily. Ethan dared not think of what would happen if Deoxys left the Trick Room while in this state - They would both be dead before they could even react.
"Ethan!" Mew cried out, a particularly powerful blow piercing her barrier and making her narrowly avoid being run through by the monster's left tentacle.
"GIVE ME A BLOODY MOMENT, GOD DAMN IT!" Ethan burst out at her, feeling frustrated as he thought as hard as he could without coming up with a plan.
"Have it, then!" Mew shouted back angrily before deciding to attack Deoxys on her own. Tearing several tufts of grass from the ground while heating up the air around them with her psychic abilities, she sent off a burst of fire at Deoxys. The monster dodged the attack by a long shot as it headed towards her once more, striking her barrier once as she flew back.
"... I've got it!" Ethan suddenly yelled with clarity, "He's only aiming for you since he's got a one track mind! There's no way he'll attack me!"
"What are you..." Mew started, but ended up too surprised to continue as Ethan suddenly ran in front of her with arms outstretched.
"Hey! Deoxys!" Ethan shouted with his determination soaring, "You can't even see me, can you!?"
Despite not being directly between Mew and Deoxys, the monster turned its head slightly and looked at him for the first time. Ethan gazed into the empty abyss of the monster's eyes, as the abyss also gazed into him.
"HUMAN" a voice as hollow as space and equally encompassing filled Ethan's mind, engulfing his being. His brain started running haywire as he lost his balance and fell to the ground, his senses dimmed and his consciousness somewhere else.
"Ethan!" a weak noise came from somewhere, "Are you OK!?"
Blood was running out of Ethan's ears as he slowly began to regain himself from the depths of the monster's soul, recalling how to breathe after what seemed like an eternity of choking.
"OK...?" Ethan repeated as he struggled got up to his feet and covered his bloodied ears, "I... I once took a Horn Drill to the chest in the Safari Zone... This is NOTHING!"
"YOU FOOL! Never do that again!" Mew screamed at him, making him lose his previous confidence and take a step back in surprise. Seeing him bleeding led to her remembering that no matter how powerless she was in front of Deoxys, a human would be nothing more than a speck of dust. The corpses of the dead surrounding them would serve as a constant reminder from this point on.
"Uh..." Ethan mumbled in embarrassment, completely forgetting the pounding headache was now feeling, "I-I just thought he wouldn't notice me..."
"Stay back," Mew continued with a calmer voice but a more worried expression, "I need you. You are more valuable in a passive role."
"... Suits me..." Ethan muttered in response, wiping some of the blood away from his ears. She would have to protect him more carefully... But what could she do when she was barely keeping herself alive?
Noticing that the monster had stopped its attacks and was just standing there, Mew tried to figure out if it was preparing its next move or simply catching its breath. This seemed like something Ethan would be able to figure out more easily, but he was too shook up at the moment to contribute.
"What is this thing, anyway?" Ethan muttered while clutching his pained forehead in an attempt to focus, "Why's it doing this?"
"As much as I hate to admit it, it seems to be nothing more than a mindless beast," Mew said with disdain, her mentality that even the most thorough evil had some good in it pretty much shattered at this point, "Nothing with even a shred of conscience could stomach the atrocities he has committed."
"I wonder..." Ethan continued as his vision began to improve, "If it's a mindless beast, why's it not constantly attacking us in a berserk rage and letting us talk?"
"You... Surely you do not think it has a conscience?" Mew asked him with surprise, amazed that he would even consider such a thing in a battlefield riddled by the monster's prey, "That we can converse with it?"
"Well, my gut says no..." Ethan said with a faint snicker as he held a hand up to his aching chest, "... My scrambled, disoriented gut that got damaged when last I tried sparking a conversation with that thing."
They both stared at Deoxys, who was simply staring into space, seemingly having given up on his rampage altogether.
"... Maybe..." Mew whispered slowly, "... I think it is trying to comprehend why we are not yet dead."
"... No..." Ethan whispered back and started trembling for reason unknown, "... Look... It's doing something, all right..."
They both focused so intently on Deoxys that they failed to notice that the purple box around them was becoming more and more transparent. As silently as it had appeared, the Trick Room had now disappeared, the two of them not even noticing that anything was happening before it was too late.
"... H-Holy hell, the Trick Room's gone!" Ethan stammered frightfully as he looked around them.
"... No!" Mew burst out, seeing that he was right and cursing herself for not having been more attentive.
"We're dead!" Ethan screamed in pure terror as hopelessness washed over him, his heart pounding louder and faster than ever before. Deoxys finally turned his head towards Mew again, making her visibly flinch as she was expecting the attack to kill her before she could even feel it.
However, as the seconds passed, they realized that Deoxys had returned to standing completely still once more. Its body shook slightly as if it was in pain, even though telling the emotions of this mysterious creature was more or less impossible.
"... H-Hey..." Ethan said with a shaky voice, "... He's not killing us..."
"... Or moving..." Mew said with a sigh of relief before realizing that currently they had absolutely no chance of winning, "Quick! We need another plan, before he attacks!"
"Alright, a plan! A plan..." Ethan repeated to himself while forcing his brain to work overtime, their poor odds mocking him and making him wonder if there was even a slight possibility of them coming out of this nightmare alive, "... Uh, can we expect any reinforcements on your end?"
"Most likely not, no one has been left alive for miles..." Mew whispered while seeking auras, shuddering to think of just how many of her friends had come across this unstoppable monster.
"Damn it..." Ethan grumbled with regret, "If I'd only brought my own Pokémon... No, it wouldn't have made a difference, he's just too strong..."
Their conversation was interrupted as Deoxys' tentacles suddenly retracted into his body, visibly crawling around underneath his skin. Ethan felt sick to his stomach and Mew winced as the rumblings underneath his skin grew larger and more violent, seemingly expanding the body of the monster right before their eyes.
A red bubbling liquid started seeping through cracks in the black armor protecting his torso, pouring over him and covering Deoxys in a membrane of sorts. They could hardly believe it as the liquid around him turned solid, creating layer after layer of new flesh and finally making his torso look like a ball. Two pieces from where his shoulders once were then broke off from the ball, creating a new set of thick, flat arms.
"This is not transformation... He is actually rebuilding his body to make it stronger!" Mew exclaimed with a worried tone, trying to distinguish exactly what manner of material composed the body of this monster.
"Such a bulky body..." Ethan mumbled, wondering why it would bother with that instead of just rushing in and killing them, "If I were to guess, I'd say his speed has been lowered, but his defense and possibly attack must've gotten stronger."
"... In that case, it shall be his undoing," Mew said with a hint of confidence, knowing that she knew several attacks that completely ignored defense. Even so, she remembered how easily Deoxys had deflected her Aura Sphere earlier, and decided that she would try to land a critical hit no matter what.
"Mew..." Ethan interrupted her train of thoughts with his own as he noticed that Deoxys once more had yet to simply move forward and kill them, "... Going out on a limb here, but since he's not moving, I think he's going to use Mirror Coat or Counter."
"Pardon?" Mew asked curiously.
"It's... It's really annoying, but he'll put up a barrier that either reflects physical attacks or special attacks," Ethan muttered while scratching the back of his head, still thinking this to be much more preferable to dealing with the blinding speed of Deoxys' earlier form, "It's impossible to tell which one he's charged up before striking. Physical or special, you've got a 50-50 chance of hitting him!"
Mew thought to herself, remembering a very long time ago when uncle Giratina had used a similar strategy against her, in order to show her just how superior his abilities were and how strong she could become if she decided to stay with him instead of running off to explore the world.
She responded the same as back then, firing an Ice Beam from her left hand while slashing her right hand at Deoxys, forming a Psycho Cut. The two attacks roared towards Deoxys and collided with him simultaneously, covering him in ice while making a large gash appear over his thick torso.
"Physical AND Special!? Nice one, Mew!" Ethan yelled while smiling and giving both thumbs up. His celebration was short lived as the skin on Deoxys upper body bubbled, covering up the gash and making the ice around him melt away, the monster looking completely indifferent as he stared at them intently.
"That's some pretty impressive defense, all right..." Ethan groaned before perking up, "Still, this is a perfect chance to figure out his weakness! Try something else!"
Mew nodded and struck Deoxys with a Shadow Claw with her right hand while making him burst into flames with her left one. Once more, Deoxys' outer shell simply reformed itself, he himself remaining immobile.
"He's not even reflecting them... Has he given up, or something?" Ethan said out loud while scratching the back of his head, "Healing takes energy, he's definitively going to lose at this rate."
However, a nagging feeling was in the back of his mind as he saw Mew commence with another barrage of powerful attacks, Deoxys not even bothering to dodge or reflect them. He scratched harder, thinking it was a persistent bug in his hair or something of similar nature, but found nothing. Looking very closely at Deoxys, he saw that the monster's usually red skin had gained the slightest tint of white, making him wonder if it was because he was taking damage.
He came to realize that his confidence had clouded his intuition when Deoxys suddenly started turning more and more white, glowing brightly under the darkened skies.
"H-He wasn't using Mirror Coat at all!" Ethan stammered as he stumbled backwards, "He was using Bide! Mew, RUN!"
A blinding light filled the area as Deoxys unleashed his stored powers, the ground beneath him ripping into bits from the sheer power and forming a massive crater. Mew was already holding on to Ethan and fleeing while raising the most powerful barrier of her life when the blast radius came upon them, striking like a million bolts of thunder. In a last ditch effort, Mew shot Ethan ahead of her with all her psychic power, making him outrun the brunt of the Bide as she herself became covered in the force of destruction.
Her barrier shattered as the impact struck her entire body, making her bones creak and threatened to collapse her entire skeleton. Enduring pain that was unlike anything she had felt before, she used telekinesis to keep her body in one piece, her inner workings remaining intact but her outer flesh rending. In the end the pain made her consciousness fade as she passed out, faintly dreaming of a better time and place in her life.
"Ahh..." Ethan groaned, lying down with his ears ringing and his entire body aching. He had flown far away and tumbled around on the ground, and was still feeling dizzy from it. He tried getting up only to notice the small legendary lying on his knees, seemingly resting.
He lightly tapped her head, and immediately panicked when he was given no response. With her many abilities she was a hundred times more powerful than him, but physically he had a feeling that she was much weaker. If she had been hit by that previous attack...
"Hey, Mew!" he said with fear apparent in his voice, "Wake up!"
"... Ooohh..." Mew responded groggily as she stirred, "... I feel... Pained..."
"No time for that!" Ethan shouted, resisting the urge to slap the drowsy legendary back to sense, "He's coming!"
Far away, Deoxys was approaching them slowly, looking quite different from before. At first, he seemed to have reverted to its original form, his body having lost the powerful build of his last form. However, the black armor from the speed form had returned, the slimy skin covering his torso having repositioned itself.
The most noticeable feature of this new form was four tentacles almost as long as his entire body, sticking out his arms should have been with two on each side. Unlike the previous tentacles this creature had sported, these looked far stronger and if possible even more flexible, going from sharp poles to wiggly spaghetti in a manner of seconds.
"He's changed forms again..." Ethan gulped loudly, "... Twice as many tentacles as before? I do NOT want to know what he's planning to do with those..."
"The others..." Mew whispered sadly while remembering the passing of the Lucario she had seen firsthand, "They were penetrated to death."
"Oh hell, are you serious!?" Ethan exclaimed in terror as he involuntarily clenched his nether regions, "Get up, Mew! Fight, for the love of god!"
Mew groaned as she floated off Ethan, never having been forced to deal with pain on such a tremendous scale before. Had this been a regular battle, she would probably just have let the trainer capture her at this point. However, knowing that the fate of the world was at stake, she knew that as long as her mind was still functional this battle would not be ending.
"Damn it! This is all my fault..." Ethan muttered to himself in anger, "All the high level trainers always used Counter and Mirror Coat, I completely forgot about Bide..."
"... Ethan," Mew responded while trying to help Ethan recover his hope, but noticed that she herself had very little left to share, "Do not surrender... I need your help a little longer."
"Almost makes me wish I hadn't asked Arceus to-" Ethan started, but was interrupted as Mew suddenly came back to life.
"Arceus...?" she repeated slowly before raising her voice, "Arceus!? You have met Arceus!?"
"What, even you're impressed?" Ethan said while forcing a snicker, "... It's a long story, but I asked him to erase all my memories regarding Pokémon."
"Wh-What!?" Mew burst out in surprise and confusion, "Why would you-"
"Later! For now, let's focus on the battle!" Ethan interrupted her before noticing Mew's midair posture wavering slightly compared to when he had first met her, "Hey, you look hurt, how're you holding up?"
"It matters not. One tentacle on each side was enough to break my strongest barrier, while two tentacles easily pierced it," she explained with disdain, her mind still burning with questions regarding his previous statement, "With those four tentacles... I will die for sure if he comes near, no matter what."
"A ranged attack... A fast attack... A powerful attack..." Ethan spoke to himself as a thought suddenly hit him, "... Mew, can you use the Aura Sphere?"
"Yes, but it had no effect on him earlier," Mew said with a depressing tone, "He just deflected it with his hand."
"... What hand?" Ethan asked with confusion, looking at Deoxys' multiple tentacles.
Mew blinked, her eyes suddenly brimming with intelligence. Thinking through her plan one last time, she launched an Aura Sphere towards Deoxys. The monster no longer had a human arm with a flat palm, and was forced to dodge to the side to avoid the attack. However, he had grown much slower than before, and was struck right on the chest by the Aura Sphere the size of a coconut, passing through him while leaving a bluish burning residue.
"A-A Critical hit!?" Ethan gasped in surprise, "Wo-hoo! Damn, he's gotten slow!"
Deoxys responded by firing an Aura Sphere of his own towards Mew. This Aura Sphere was four times as large as hers, and Mew just narrowly avoided it by flying under it.
"Mirror Coat!?" Ethan burst out in shock.
"No! That was his attack!" Mew responded quickly before catching her breath and resuming her heart's beating, "The size of that Aura Sphere... If it had hit me..."
"The first form was balanced... The second form was designed for speed... The third form meant for defense..." Ethan counted up on his fingers before pointing the middle one at Deoxys, "... Yeah, this one's got sky-high attack power, for sure."
"Any way of lowering his attack?" Mew asked, hoping for another Trick Room-like solution to their problems.
"... Well..." Ethan mumbled to himself before shrugging, "... I suppose you could try growling cutely at him, or something..."
"This means his other stats are lower than before!" Mew shouted while ignoring Ethan's response, "There must be a way to counter that!"
"... Of course! Just-" Ethan started, but was interrupted as Deoxys suddenly raised his four tentacles threateningly. Mew saw her life flash before her eyes as Deoxys threw them in front of himself, but instead of attacking her shoved them into the ground. Both Mew and Ethan remained quiet and stared, as the monster did not make another move.
"He's attacking from below," Ethan pointed out.
"Obviously," Mew nodded in agreement, wondering if she should pick up Ethan and fly high to avoid the approaching attack.
"This is your chance, Mew!" Ethan said with fists clenched as he was unable to deduct the true nature of Deoxys' attack, "Hit him with your strongest Psychic, while he's charging up!"
"I have a better idea," Mew said as a plan suddenly hit her. Remembering her days in working with tectonics when she and Celebi would make the mountain they lived on impossible to scale, she analyzed the ground structure and noticed that Deoxys had chosen a very poor spot to put his tentacles underground. She knew she did not have much time, and used her intellect to its full extent as she discovered the location for the main driving force, calculated the Earth's rotation and measured the effects of gravity upon their current location.
Ethan hoped Mew was not lying as a mighty earthquake started shaking the ground. He fell on his stomach and held on for his dear life, feeling like he was going to be thrown off the planet by the rumblings while wondering why Deoxys would use a ground-based attack against a hovering Pokémon. The answer was given as a hole in the ground cracked open and a pillar of lava erupted from it, shooting straight up into the sky while spraying drops of lava around it.
"H-He's u-using E-Eruption o-or s-s-someth-thing!" Ethan exclaimed with his voice shaking as badly as the ground, never having seen the attack used at such a large magnitude and knowing he would not be able to dodge the oncoming droplets with the earth's constant movement, "H-He m-melted d-down th-the b-bedr-rock, th-there's a m-molten p-pot of l-lava r-right b-beneath u-us! M-Mew, wh-why're y-you j-just ha-hanging th-there g-god-damn i-it!?"
"Just a minute..." she whispered in response, more pillars of lava bursting out of the ground and threating to roast them both at any moment. The area was heating up quickly, and noxious fumes were spreading around as Deoxys seemed completely unfazed by the nightmarish ordeal, enough to send even the mightiest warriors panicking.
"... There!" Mew suddenly exclaimed while swiftly putting her hands together.
In response to this seemingly simple movement, the planet Earth shook. Even Deoxys' powerful earthquake was like a small trembling in the wake of what seemed like Terra deciding to move itself a few feet towards Venus.
Using the natural force of plate tectonics, she had forced the continent they were standing on to move in order to fill up the newly made cavern in the ground. The earthquake and spewing lava instantly stopped, being pushed much deeper underground while leaving both Mew and Ethan in safety, the trainer breathing out loud as he enjoyed the sensation of immovable soil beneath him.
Deoxys did not have to bother pulling his arms out of the ground, the tentacles that had once been there now completely pulverized by the very planet he was attempting to destroy. Mew now became certain that he could neither think nor feel, the monster simply looking at them without even acknowledging the loss of his two most important limbs.
"Mew! Look!" Ethan exclaimed while pointing excitedly at the unfazed monster, "His arms are gone! He's just a torso!"
"I know," Mew replied bluntly before feeling hope return.
"We... We did it!" Ethan cheered loudly, "We can just leave this thing to die from loss of blood!"
Mew was inclined to agree with him, even though she did not see anything seeping out of Deoxys' massive wounds. She was still relieved to see the monster that had killed so many innocent people and Pokémon finally getting to experience what it was like to be beyond all recovery. However, her inner celebrations were interrupted when she suddenly sensed Deoxys already powerful aura spike, making her shudder as he glowed in white.
"Hyper Beam!" Ethan shouted to her confidently, "Dodge to the side, and then counterattack when he recovers from it!"
Hyper Beam... The term echoed in Mew's mind as she could not help but smile to herself, knowing her response to Ethan would have to wait. With ample time to prepare for the attack, Mew soared high up into the sky and then stopped herself to get ready to dive down and counterattack.
The Hyper Beam had been the decisive move in the first battle between her and Mewtwo, where she had taunted her prideful clone into matching powers in a beam struggle. Both of them knowing Mewtwo had the superior raw power, she simple dodged the Hyper Beam and moved in close, where Mewtwo was recovering from exhaustion as she put him into a non-lethal stasis and won the fight. The time that brains surpassed brawn would soon repeat itself as she saw Deoxys starting his firing sequence.
The beam was twice as big as the one Mewtwo had used, utterly massive in every dimension and larger than a skyscraper. Raising a barrier in panic she was able to move to the edge of the beam before being struck, getting thrown out of it by the sheer force as her brains rattled from the impact.
Breathing heavily in surprise at how close she came to being completely evaporated, she saw her chance and immediately rushed down towards Deoxys, who was bending over. He would be too slow to dodge her, too rigid to defend and too armless to counter. If he were to try countering in any other way, she would be able to see it coming and dodge it in the last second and still have her attack hit him.
This time, the stasis effect would not be non-lethal, but instead designed to implode every particle of this monster. She summoned up her energy she moved towards Deoxys, still crouched over and making no attempt at moving away.
This was it.
However, Deoxys thought otherwise. He suddenly slammed his upper body into the ground beneath them. Mew thought of this as an attempt at suicide, before feeling a powerful shockwave hitting her from below. Caught completely off guard by the direction of the attack, she flew up into the air and past Deoxys, uncontrollably spinning around.
"MEW! DODGE!" Ethan yelled as loudly as he could, seeing what Deoxys was planning. Mew peered through her dizziness to try to see what was happening, and sensing the aura of the monster beneath her skyrocketing there was no mistaking it. She yelped in terror as she swiftly moved in a direction, praying that it was not directly away from the monster as it fired off yet another Hyper Beam.
She was not as lucky, this time. Although she managed to avoid the brunt of the beam, her tail was still running haywire from the spinning and accidently got caught up in the beam. She cried out in pain as the tip of the tail, which was normally slightly thicker than the rest, quickly scaled off from the rest and left a dripping mess of blood.
Mew was unable to focus through all the pain, and started healing her tail as quickly as she could by moving around tissue to cover up the wound. It was a thin and weak layer of skin, but at least it stopped the searing pain.
"Two Hyper Beams and a Giga Impact, all at once!?" Ethan shouted angrily from below while raising his middle finger in fury, "That's cheating, you mongrel!"
"What kind of energy does this monster possess...?" Mew wondered with disdain as she lowered herself to the ground, eyeing the unfazed Deoxys.
"He must have strong special attack as well as physical strength..." Ethan muttered while shrugging with a confident expression, "Not that that last one matters any more, eh? The moment he lost his arms, we won."
Deoxys suddenly looked at him again, making Ethan hide his face under his hands in fear that the encompassing voice would possess him once more. Instead, Deoxys kept his stare on him in silence, as Mew saw something crawling around beneath the monster's skin.
"I think he is changing again," Mew pointed out, wondering what would come out next, "If he uses the speed form..."
"Don't worry," Ethan said and peered between his fingers, "No arms. As long as there are no arms-"
Suddenly, like popping out of a bubble, several new appendages protruded out where Deoxys' tentacles had once been. It did not take long for them to take form, becoming solid as both Ethan and Mew gazed upon Deoxys' new set of tentacles. Furthermore, Mew could sense that Deoxys' aura had not grown faint in the least, showing he was still at full strength despite all their efforts.
"A... A complete... Recovery...?" Ethan stammered with both shock and hopelessness, "That's... That's just not fair..."
Deoxys did not stop there, letting the skin on his body drain into the black armor, instantly reverting to the form he used when he had displayed ungodly speed while inside the Trick Room. Only this time, there was no Trick Room, and he would be able to kill them both in an instant.
"Oh, no..." Ethan whispered sadly, finally realizing that they never even had a chance to begin with, "It's... It's hopeless..."
"Yes..." Mew whispered in return, her greatest fears coming to fruition when she understood the fate that awaited the world. With more luck than they could ever expect again they had still not been able to make a dent in the monster, and so not even if every legendary attacked at once would it make a difference. He was too fast... Too strong... Too merciless...
"I'm sorry, Mew..." Ethan apologized while looking at her, thinking of how absurd this seemingly normal day had turned out to be, "... At the very least, it had been an honor to meet you."
"You too..." Mew responded slowly, wishing that they had met during an earlier point in her life so they could have been friends for real instead of just in combat. She sighed at her own hypocrisy for a moment, realizing that there under any other circumstances she would have avoided Ethan like the plague in fear of being captured. Regret filled her as she thought over her life, thinking that if she had known how soon it all would end she would have taken more risks and probably had a more exciting life as a result.
"... Running is our only hope..." Ethan said with a hint of hope in his voice, "If we run in different directions... One of us might make it."
"... What? No!" Mew burst out with a devastated expression, "We must not escape!"
"Why?" Ethan growled at her, the stress getting to him, "Come on, we did our best, let's run and maybe we can take this monster on another day!"
"There is nowhere left to run!" Mew shouted back in response, "If this monster is not stopped right here and now, he will destroy this entire planet!"
"So, what then!?" Ethan kept yelling with anger, "We're just gonna stand here and let him kill us!?"
"I would GLADLY give my life if it means slowing down this beast for even a second!" Mew exclaimed with a loud voice, hiding her own anxieties, "Preserving the life of everyone remaining in this world for even a second is worth far more than my existence!"
Ethan gasped, taken aback by her words. He had simply come along and found her and Deoxys fighting, wanting to lend a hand against the monster like a true hero.
A naďve hero. Mew had always known what was at stake here, and had been more than willing to give her life right from the start. The thought of dying had never even crossed Ethan's mind, as he had seen this fight as nothing more than a large scale Pokémon battle. He did not require use of his trainer's experience to tell that he had already lost this fight, and soon he would be dead, with the entire population of the world following not long after.
Still, was this truly the end? Was this, as people would say, "it?" The devastation that had led him to this place did not lie. It had been the work of a mindless monster, which now had turned out to be too powerful for even the strongest Pokémon teamed up with the best trainer to handle.
The best trainer... That was him, was it not? Sure, he had been defeated once or twice in the past, and a whole decade had passed since his true glory days, but there was no challenge he had yet to accept or conquer. Had he not been complaining about a lack of new challenges, not long ago? Now, when faced with the greatest and most important one of all, would he miss his chance by cowering pathetically in fear? Would he back down like a craven coward?
"... Mew..." Ethan muttered menacingly while rubbing his irritated eyes, "What is your single most powerful attack, in terms of damage?"
"... It will not work..." Mew whispered, thinking back to better times when she and Celebi used to compete over who could most easily reduce a mountain to rubbles, "Even if in the previous form, he would be too fast."
"If he were still, could you hit him with it from here?" Ethan continued while stretching his arms and legs, making sure they had not taken excessive damage.
"Yes, but..." Mew said with a questioning voice, "... What are you thinking?"
"I've got a plan," Ethan replied before cracking his neck, "Charge up the attack, get ready to launch in approximately 20 seconds."
"Charging it to maximum power will take at least 30, I fear..." Mew responded with a worried tone.
"Better start charging, then..." Ethan said with a dissonant smile, "You'll know when to fire."
Ethan then nodded confidently, making Mew calm down a bit as she started charging up her attack. She thought it would be best not to question his plan, for if it could get them out of this situation she would be willing to pay any price.
She immediately regretted this line of thinking as she saw Ethan strutting towards Deoxys. He felt himself growing more fearful the nearer he came to the brutal monster, wondering if it was still too late to put his idea of running away into action. However, rehearsing what he was about to say in his mind, he knew that he would not want to trade the glory of the approaching minute for anything else in life.
"DEOXYS!" Ethan shouted loudly, hardly five feet away from the implacable beast.
"I am Ethan, the greatest trainer of all time!" he continued shouting while pointing at Deoxys, "Every enemy, I've defeated! Every Pokémon, I've been able to handle! Even if only for a moment, I commanded the mighty Arceus himself!"
Deoxys' tentacles twitched, as Mew gulped loudly.
"There is no Pokémon in this world I cannot control!" Ethan yelled confidently before suddenly running towards Deoxys with arms outstretched, "THAT INCLUDES YOU!"
Deoxys did not even bother to move out of the way as he rammed his two tentacles right through Ethan, making them protrude from his back like slithering snakes.
"ETHAN!" Mew gave off a shrill scream, not realizing that this was his plan along and hesitating with her attack.
"DO IT!" Ethan shouted, the tentacles wriggling around inside his body and widening the holes while damaging the rest of his inner organs. With the last of his strength he latched on to Deoxys, surprised to find that the monster that had given them so much trouble was even lighter than he was. He saw his blood pouring down his body and become swallowed up by Deoxys, who stared at him with the empty eyes that did not seem quite as bad this time around.
"Hah... What a glorious end...!" Ethan whispered weakly before one of the tentacles smashed against his left lung from the inside, making it rupture as he gave of a painful wheeze of blood. He could faintly recognize a loud noise crashing from behind him while staring into the inhuman face of his assailant, which all of a sudden became brightly lit, allowing him to see what was beyond the mask. In his last moment, Ethan started at Deoxys who stared back at him, a strange familiarity sparking between them.
Raw, untarnished psychic force as bright as the sun and in the shape of a fiery beam suddenly came upon Ethan and Deoxys, Mew putting all her powers into the attack. Deoxys tried to throw Ethan away from him as to remove all encumberment before trying to escape the beam, but could not shake Ethan's tight grip. Even in death he held on, Deoxys becoming locked in by the incomparable power of Mew's beam attack.
Had he been in possession of a mouth, he would have screamed. Instead he twisted around in pure agony as piece by piece his body separated, flying back in the stream for a few seconds before evaporating into nothingness.
Mew still kept the beam firing, feeling her energy wane and knowing that she would not be able to keep on fighting after this should it fail. Several seconds after there was no aura but her own in the vicinity, she calmed herself down. The beam trickled away as the huge fluctuation in power made her lose control of her levitation for a moment, and fell down to the ground.
"... Ow..." she groaned at this pathetic display, before instantly lifting her head to see what had happened.
Deoxys was no more. The spot where he had been standing had become a vertical crater reaching miles behind, a remnant from her attack. Her heart jumped in joy, before quickly sinking as she saw a human-sized lump of coal lying next to where the beam had passed by.
She moved closer, fearing the worst as she examined the piece of charcoal, seeing that it was faintly in the shape of a human. Ethan had been within the beam for barely a second, but had still been hurt so badly.
He had died... By her hand.
"Ethan..." Mew whispered sadly, feeling more depressed than ever before, "No..."
The fact that the world had been saved now seemed like a minor footnote as she gazed upon Ethan's corroded corpse. It had been a companionship forged in the fires of battle, but for their short period of time together he had been the greatest human she had ever met, having never taken such interest to another being before. Realizing that he had given his life to save hers, it made her feel like she had lost her most dearest of friends.
"You... You were too good for this fate... You were the only human I have ever..." Mew said while crying faintly, before throwing her hands to her face in an action of defiance, "... No... No! It cannot end like this! There has to be a way...!"
Desperately she scanned his body for any signs of life, failing to feel his heart beating, his blood moving or his lungs breathing. However, much to her surprise, she noticed faint sparks moving around in Ethan's brain.
"But that means... Th-The conversion theory!" she exclaimed with hope as she thought back to one of her many past experiments, "There is still a chance! His body is destroyed, but that means nothing if I can make him a new one!"
She knew that the brain usually survives a short while longer than the actual body, and became utterly delighted by her discovery.
"I will make it just like his old one, but stronger! Faster!" she giggled, barely able to keep herself from laughing out of joy, "He will thank me for it! He has to! And then he can tell me all about what it is like being human, and I can share with him all the sights of the universe! Everything will turn out fine, after all!"
Giddy with herself, she noticed that the brain activity was rapidly diminishing, shutting itself down for one last time.
"... No time to make a new body, his brain will die..." Mew whispered to herself, relieved as she actually had no idea of how to create a new body from scratch, "I have to... Use another one..."
Looking around the area, she saw that she had a large surplus of fresh corpses to pick from. She felt like a kid in a candy store as she soared around and looked at the carnage, barely containing herself with laughter as she saw an Arbok which had seemingly imploded and turned completely red instead of purple. Silly Arbok, dressing up at a time like this!
None of the bodies where in a well enough condition where they could support a new mind. Mew sighed in disappointment before laying her eyes upon the Lucario that she had seen die when she first arrived, far away from the position where the battle had first started. Luckily, it was relatively unharmed apart from the gaping hole in its chest. She wondered if she could manage to heal the wound, lightly giggling to herself at the thought. It's not like she could screw up fixing a patient who was already dead, right?
The healing process went surprisingly well, as she used the surrounding tissue to seal up the hole and reform vital arteries. She gazed over her masterpiece for a moment before moving the body of the Lucario next to that of Ethan. Compared to the state all the other corpses around them were in, the two of them practically looked still alive!
"There you go! Perfect!" she told Ethan with a smile as she prepared herself for the operation, "Worry not! This will have you back to life in no time! I have done this many times before!"
Scanning Ethan's brain structure, she forcibly used her psychic powers to reform that of the Lucario to liken it. Then she started with the transfer, but was having a hard time with it, noticing an awful amount of internal bleeding hindering her progress.
"O-Of course, i-it..." she stammered weakly while losing her focus, "... It never worked... B-But... I-In theory..."
The walls of joy within her mind set up for protection finally broke down, sorrow flooding in and threatening to rip her apart inside.
She already knew it was not going to work.
"... Please... It has to work..." she pleaded with herself, losing her breath for unknown reasons. Her heart pounded with frightening power, making her feel like the rushing blood was tearing up the inner walls of her arteries.
"He's dead," the nearby corpse of a Nidorino spoke sternly.
"No... Only temporarily..." she continued while trying to keep her mind on the transfer, completely losing herself in the procedure. She got rid of some of the skin blocking her way to Ethan's brain, not exactly sure of what to do at this point to restore life to someone already dead.
"He's gone, forever..." another dead Pokémon whispered in her ears, its body mutilated to the point where she had no idea what manner of creature it once was.
"Only I can do this... I cannot let hesitation stop my hand...!" she said nervously as she accidentally struck a vascular in Ethan's brain, spraying her with his blood.
"He's gone. He's dead. You killed him! Your weakness led to his death!" various corpses all started shouting in unison, covering her in blood and guilt as she felt her mind on the verge of snapping.
"I..." Mew stuttered, unable to even speak as she felt the transfer was having no effect, only helping to bring the dead to life in her own mind.
"We're gone. We're dead. You killed us... Your weakness led to our deaths..." the corpses around her started silencing down, returning to their original state of immobility.
"... No..." Mew whispered while shaking her head in an attempt to regain clarity, "I... I am losing my sanity... I cannot..."
She turned her vision downwards, looking down at herself. She was covered in blood, sitting by the now visibly bleeding brain of Ethan and the badly patched up body of a Lucario, neither fit to sustain anything at this point.
"... Wh-What am I doing...?" she stammered to herself as her tears began to appear in the corner of her eyes, "Why... Why...!?"
She moved back away from the corpses in terror, frightened of what she had done. She could not help but start crying as the memories of this horrible day came upon her, her cries growing in intensity with each passing moment. There, among the bodies of the innocent, she wept for several minutes, overtaken by sorrow and anguish unlike any she had ever felt before, tears she did not even know she had rolling down her cheeks in streams.
"Oh, Ethan..." Mew said with a shaky voice when she had finally calmed down, her face wet with salty water, "... Forgive me for making a mockery out of your bravery... Your sacrifice... I will honor it, instead..."
She respectfully bowed to his body, before quickly stopping herself, not wanting to add to her already dubious behavior. All her life she had thought herself immune to the effects of insanity, but now she feared any little thing might put her over the edge.
Luckily, what came next turned out to be a source of relief. Her heart filled with an inexplicable joy as she felt several auras closing in on her position, that of both humans and Pokémon. The humans riding on a couple of very fast Pokémon, no doubt, as she felt pride in having been the one to protect these lives and allowed them to continue.
The source of relief quickly turned into one of worry, as her logic finally spoke up and told her that the arriving humans would probably try to capture her, or worse, think this massacre was her doing. She was covered in enough different blood types to cover the need of any Pokecenter, after all.
She looked down at the sad state of Ethan's body, no longer recognizable as something human from all the damage, her own incessant experimenting not having made things any better. She felt she no longer had the right to touch him, and could not even bear to look at him anymore.
Next to him lay the body of the Lucario, dead but in perfect condition after she had healed his wound. Despite the healing also having been part of her madness, she felt the Lucario to be a better symbol of what she had done this day, and faintly in the back of her mind there remained hope that at least he would come back to life. Shaking her head as she was once more overcome by shameful feelings, she could not help but pick him up with her telekinetic powers before flying off into the dusk, away from the approaching humans and Pokémon that were about to find out that Deoxys was no more.
Sun. Wind. Clouds.
Grass. Flowers. Trees.
The world had never looked this beautiful before. She gazed at its magnificence; feeling like every little piece of it was her own child. Coming to the understanding that this serene landscape and the hellish scene far behind her were of the same world, she dared not even imagine what would have happened if they had failed and the destruction had spread, permanently ending the beauty of this planet. Many had died... But they had given their lives for a good cause. The world would continue existing thanks to their bravery, making them kings in their own right. Their deaths had not been in vain... On the contrary, their deaths had possibly been the most important and valuable since the dawning of time.
Suddenly, the lifeless body of the Lucario hanging beside her in midair seemed out of place with her newly acquired thoughts. Her mind once more filling with shame, she started flying lower. They were in the middle of the field of grass and flowers, and she felt that there was no other aura nearby. Finding a nice spot on a miniature hill, she moved close to the ground.
"I... I cannot do this," she told herself sternly, fighting off the insanity with fierce determination despite feeling so bad inside. She lay down the Lucario on the ground, knowing that she would have to get rid of the body somehow if she were to regain her sanity.
She remembered an old human ritual that she had seen before many times. She had always scoffed at it, but that was back in a time when she was not as familiar with death as she was now. It had never been meant to give closure to the dead - It was meant to give closure to the living.
Using her psychic powers she burrowed a small hole in the ground, carefully placing Lucario's body within it. She covered up the hole once more, and stared at the newly dug patch of soil.
Something was missing.
Looking around, she saw a fairly large rock not far away. She picked it up with her telekinesis and started cutting away from it, until the rock was given the shape of a symbol. The symbol stood for "Bravery", which she had once seen a picture of in one of her books. Smiling to herself, she shove the rock into the ground where the Lucario was lying peacefully, before closing her eyes putting her hands together in a praying motion.
"Earth," Mew whispered respectfully and recalled the process of the human ritual, "This Pokémon fought hard to protect you. Please, take care of him."
Paying her last respects, she sensed another aura coming up behind her. Spinning around and staring far ahead, she saw that it was but an Ivysaur, possibly just out for an evening walk. With one final look at the grave she had created, she flew high up into the sky, once more vanishing into obscurity to hide from the very people and Pokémon she had just saved.
They would never know of what she had done, but she did not mind.
Their joy was gratitude enough.
Lucario was ETHAN the entire time?
Wow. I did NOT expect that. And what's this about Arceus erasing all memory of pokémon now?
And yeah, there are 14 Pokémon movies in Japan, 13 in America now.
Last edited by Ga'Hooleone; 10th October 2011 at 6:20 PM.
Look behind you. hehehe...
Proffesional Zombie Planner
Back to the future, another preview awaits you...
Man, that's some serious sunburn he's got there.
And thus, Gold makes his entrance! Woooo. I wonder how things will change now that Lucario knows that he's Ethan.
Peerless Ace Ethan
"Whoa," was all Lucario could muster to say, snapping out of the haze induced by Mew's story. He came to be aware that he was now in a cave, just faintly remembering having climbed up there, and wondering how on Earth that had even been possible with the unfriendly territory he had spotted earlier. Even so, his focus remained on the tale he had just been told, feeling his stomach tighten as the realization slowly sunk in.
"You mean..." he said with a careful tone, finding no way of making what he was about to say sound sane, "... That Lucario was me?"
"Yes," Mew replied with a nod, glad to see he had understood her story, "Rather, you were Ethan."
"... Whoa..." Lucario repeated, more slowly this time, "You mean, I had the same name as that really famous champion?"
"I am rather certain you were that champion," Mew pointed out as her worried expression returned, "Do you really not remember any of this?"
"I..." Lucario mumbled quietly, having gained a whole new level of empathy for Mew after her valiant story and wishing to tell her something different to cheer her up, "... Honestly, no. But... Somehow..."
Lucario had to redirect his concerns for the legendary for a few moments, as he was experiencing an inner turmoil of his own to sort out. He had absolutely no recollection of anything she had told him, but the events that had been painted up in his mind resounded strangely within him. Thinking back to his most recent memories as a human, he tried to figure out if the story had any plausibility beyond him getting a "strange feeling" about it.
"... I remember wandering around a lot. I think, the last couple of years of my life, I was just traveling places on foot," Lucario said while crossing his arms and thinking to himself, "Searching for something..."
"Arceus, perhaps?" Mew chimed in before feeling her heart start to pound faster in excitement, "You... Would not happen to remember where you found him, no?"
"No..." Lucario said bluntly as Mew sunk down a bit, "I don't even know who that is."
"Arceus is thought to be merely a legend, even among legendaries," Mew explained in the hopes that she might jog Lucario's memory, "He is spoken of in lore from times long, long gone. Should he still be alive, he would be the oldest living creature in the world."
"... What was it he did, again?" Lucario asked confusedly, "Erased my memories regarding Pokémon?"
"Bear in mind that altering a being's mind is impossible, even on a theoretical level," Mew said before suddenly lowering her voice, "But... If anyone could do it, it would be Arceus..."
"Huh," Lucario said bluntly while starting to feel disappointed, "Great, I went all this way to find the greatest legendary of all time, only to find out it's not you, but Arceus..."
"There is no such thing as a 'greatest' legendary..." Mew replied, but was unable to withhold a faint blush from appearing, "But... Why were you looking for me?"
"... Oh, yeah!" Lucario suddenly burst out, realizing that none of this was the reason he had been searching for the small legendary in the first place, "Mew, you've got to make me human again!"
Mew simply looked at him for a few moments, letting the silence in the cave drift around them. She wondered if Lucario would realize that she was not busy figuring out a way to help him, but rather contemplating how to tell him the bad news.
"... Human... Again..." Mew repeated slowly, trying her hardest to not look away from Lucario's hopeful eyes. She hoped they would remain that way just for the duration of her explanation, but knew that to be nothing but wishful thinking.
"Celebi told me you're the master of shapeshifting, and..." Lucario said cheerfully as his heart lifted at the thought of returning to his human form, "... Apparently you're the one that put me in this body in the first place! It should be easy!"
"Easy... Is the last thing it would be, I fear..." Mew said carefully, finally letting her gaze drift down to the ground.
"I'm begging you, Mew!" Lucario continued while putting his palms together, "I've traveled far and wide, fighting for my life every second just to get here... Please! I'll do anything!"
"Will you?" Mew asked with a slightly sardonic tone as she looked up, "The inherent risks-"
"I don't care!" Lucario kept going and interrupted her, not wanting to lose the momentum and steadily growing more frightened of what would become of him if he did, "Luck's been the only thing keeping me from death, so far! I'm fully determined to do whatever it takes!"
"But... Your old body was-" Mew tried to explain, but was interrupted once more.
"Destroyed, right?" Lucario said while giving off a strained shrug as his voice became more and more desperate, "Like I give a damn. Make me a new one, and I'll whip it into shape, no matter how-"
"Ethan, listen to me!" Mew interrupted him in return, also starting to sound desperate, "This is a fool's request! You cannot-"
"Shut up! I'm not going to let you tell me I came all this way for nothing!" Lucario lashed out while throwing his right arm to the side in an angry sweep, "That I have to go find some other bloody deity just to let me reclaim what is rightfully mine!"
"I am not telling you to do that!" Mew said loudly while moving back a little, half-expecting a fight to break out, "I am telling you, you will never be human again!"
Lucario's angry demeanor immediately faded, swiftly replaced by one of surprise and hopelessness. This is what she had feared, and what he had never expected.
"W..." a syllable passed through his mouth, more a small breeze of air than any form of communication.
"I committed myself to some further research about the technique I used to place you in your current body," Mew said, relaxing at the thought of not having to fight but growing more depressed as she saw Lucario helplessly looking at her, "... It has less than a 10% survival rate."
10%. 1/10. One tenth. The term echoed through Lucario's mind, not making any sense. Not for his lack of mathematical skills... Rather, because of them. Never before had hopelessness been expressed so well in numbers.
"When I did it, I was in a... Highly destabilized state of mind," Mew said slowly as the memory forced her to suppress a shudder, "I... I do not think I can ever return to that dark place while keeping my sanity intact."
"... You're kidding..." was all Lucario could say in response, not believing what he was hearing. The very legs he had used to climb this unforgiving mountain now suddenly felt too weak to simply carry his weight, as he slowly slumped down on the ground. Mew's heart ached as she saw his anguished display, never having had to deliver bad news of this magnitude to someone before.
"I cannot make you a new body, either... For the procedure to work, you would require a freshly expired human," Mew continued explaining, deciding to get the whole thing over with so Lucario would no longer cling on to false hope like she once had, "And if you think you I will let you create one of those..."
"... No..." Lucario whispered, seeing an image in his mind of a wild Lucario assaulting and killing a human being like a real monster, before finally starting to come to terms of what was happening, "... No, that's just... This can't..."
"Ethan..." Mew whispered softly while suddenly feeling guilty, letting her joy from having found him still alive seep away, "... No, Lucario..."
"SHUT UP!" Lucario bellowed, suddenly rising to his full height as he felt like his lungs were going to explode from shouting, "I'M NOT A DAMN POKÉMON, I'M A HUMAN BEING! MY NAME IS NOT LUCARIO, IT'S ETHAN!"
However, as the words escaped his lips, he noticed a distinct unfamiliarity about them. Between a name he had been using for several months now and one he did not even remember having been called, it seemed his mind had gotten used to the first. Angered by the reaction of his own body, he repeated it over and over again in his head.
I am Ethan, I am Ethan, I am Ethan...
Slowly, the strangeness surrounding the name began dissipate, each new statement sounding clearer than the last. Amazed by his success, he began thinking back to his life as a human, focusing with his full mind and trying to add the word 'Ethan' into his memories.
Nothing happened. Aggressively forcing the story Mew had just told him into his memories, a faint recollection of the event suddenly began to form. Nothing solid, but rather sensations his senses had picked up during his previous life. It felt like Déjŕ vu, but magnified a hundredfold. It was getting sickening, even painful.
Lucario was faintly beginning to realize that he was no longer freely exploring his mind, but had lost control of himself on his inner journey. The new memories were coming in too fast for him to handle. Struggling to keep them away, they kept flowing in unhindered by his will and made his awareness grow foggy. He could not escape it any more than he could his own head, and whatever was approaching was already beginning to overtake him.
As quickly as he had gotten to his feet, they lost grip of the soil beneath as his mind swirled and the cavern swiveled around him in a blur of grey and pink...
Strong winds whisk by, relieving me of the heat that had been creeping up my every crevice. Time seems to stand still as the fearsome Pidegotto once more tries to rise to its feet, quite successfully this time. I brace myself as it stretches out its wings with a weakened growl, before letting its eyes roll back into their sockets and completely toppling over.
"D-Defeated by a Grass-type...?" Falkner says with an impressed tone, his face showing a mixture of disappointment and interest, "I never would've thought..."
"Never underestimate poison powder!" I shout out, before running up to my beloved Pokémon and lifting her up to give her a hug. For a moment I worry that the pressure of my arms would only add to the damage she had taken, but it all goes away as she with affection nuzzles back into my chest.
"Ha ha! You did great, Chica!" I exclaim, never having been so proud of her before. It had been a long and tiresome journey, but finally...! Finally...!
"Hmm... Such a strong bond between you two..." Falkner mutters to himself while scratching his chin, making him look like a real grown-up despite being only two years older than me, "How long have you known each other?"
"Two weeks, tomorrow!" I reply cheerfully, too happy to hold any grudge against the man that had knocked my awesome Geodude into unconsciousness. Ah, Chica looks happy, too! That leaf on her head is wagging around excitedly... Geez, I hope there isn't any poison powder left on it...
"T-Two weeks!?" Falker bursts out in utter shock before falling to his knees in a dramatic display, "I was defeated... By a total newbie...?"
"Uh..." I mumble, not knowing what to say. He looks really sad, much sadder than the other trainers I beat before getting here. Of course... No one likes losing, especially not when you've got dreams and ambitions... Even so, this is something I have to get used to if I'm going to become a champion! I'll be defeating a lot of opponents, after all!
"You're really something else..." he says while getting to his feet and recomposing himself into the professional I had met when I first entered the gym, "You must be a natural born trainer!"
"... Me? Really?" I ask sheepishly, looking down at Chica. Wait, but Chica's the one who won! I didn't have anything to do with it... Did I?
"Uh, it's all thanks to Chica!" I quickly reply as my Pokémon looks up at me with a worried expression, quickly melting into one of utter pride, "She's been really friendly!"
"You've got great potential," Falkner admits before pulling something small out of his pocket, "Never give up! Let this badge be the first of many!"
A... A badge? For me? But... But... WOW! And it was only my first try! But that Silver guy said... And everyone else thought...
Oh, wow... The badge... So cool to the touch... So shiny...
"... Shiny?" I ask while trying to act nonchalant, "I, uh, didn't even notice..."
Somehow, the atmosphere in the café seemed to be turning sourer than the disgusting berry juice I ordered to not look too out of place.
"Oh, don't pretend!" Rukario says, giving me quite the shock. Uh oh, this really is taking a turn for the worst... Better say something smart!
"I mean, I don't care!" I respond with a much too alarmed voice, "I mean, uh, why should I? What matters is what's on the inside, right?"
"Yeah," my so-called buddy snickers while nudging my side, "All pink, right?"
If I don't die from embarrassment, I SWEAR I'm gonna-
"What do you mean? Blue and yellow are my primary colors..." Rukario exclaims with a confused look. Phew.
"Of course!" I shout while quickly trying to change the subject, "What I mean, is... That..."
Damn, a little too quickly. What the hell, think of something to say...
"... That you and me are the same?" Rukario suddenly says with the confused expression obscured by the permanent beauty gracing her face, "Since you've got no spikes on your chest and hands, you're also different?"
"Uh..." I stammer as I'm taken aback by her comment and appearance, "Well... That's..."
I hadn't really thought of it that way. Man, girls are way too sharp for me! Retreat! Regroup! No, wait, damn it! I'm the guy here, no matter what happens I can't just-
"Really, here I thought I was the only one of my kind..." she says in her normal voice, which in itself sounded sweeter than anything my tongue had ever encountered, "It must be quite rare..."
Rare? Oh, like you wouldn't believe. But not as rare as...
"I don't want any candy, rare or not," I tell the strange man, his eagerness to gain my hard earned cash getting on my nerves. I was expecting lots of wild Pokémon and trainers in this cave, but peddlers...?
"Oh! But this is not just any candy, my good sir!" he shouts in my face while holding up the blue wrapper, "This is GUARRANTEED to boost your Pokémon's strength! Truly the breakfast of champion trainers!"
"Do you have any Ekans oil to go with that?" I say, but seeing the old expression mom always uses glancing by him I decide to clarify myself, "Sorry, mister. I'm not interested."
"But sir!" he continues, making me wish the repel I bought in the Pokemart in Violet would be super effective against salesmen, "Don't you want to make your Pokémon grow strong? Just give them a few of these, and they will become more powerful in an instant!"
"Even if that was the case..." I mutter with skepticism before feeling myself fill up with determination "... I want my Pokémon to become strong on their own! Only that is real power..."
Oh wow, that felt awesome! And look at his face! Priceless! I have to do this more often... Hmm...
Power is what's in your heart! Nah, way too corny...
Power is a privilege, not a right! Wait, what?
Power is not something that you can just... No...
"... It's not fair!" I shout, feeling my face grow hotter than the sun-warmed steel beneath my butt, "G-Girls have more powerful legs!" Ugh, I can't believe I was defeated so easily...
"Making up excuses for losing to a woman?" Rukario says while looking down at me with a disappointed face, "You really are pitiful." Damn it! Not only does she kick my ***, I then start blaming our gender differences for it!? Argh, why am I such an idiot...!?
"I..." I stammer pathetically while slowly rising to my feet, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean-"
"Save it," she growls with dark eyes fixed upon me, "I will not waste my time on a weakling like you. Go away."
Go away. So, that was it. After all the preparations, all the pep talks, all the effort... No, she's right. There was never any chance for a girl like her to be together with a guy like me. I knew that from the start, damn it, why'd I even waste my time!?
"Fine," I huff, trying to regain what little pride I have left, "But one day, you will understand that one's fighting ability isn't everything..."
I stumble away while doing my best not to show just how much my leg hurts. Ow.
"To me it is," a voice suddenly echoes behind me. But it's not a voice of scorn or mocking, but one of mixed sadness and determination. I turn around sheepishly to see Rukario staring at me, beautiful eyes burning like a hot fire, but somehow pleading to be doused by... By...
"Why couldn't Silver have picked a water-type...?" I sigh to myself before falling back on my sleeping bag, way tired from the fight against my rival, "Stupid Cynda-something..."
Chica seems to agree, throwing a miniature fit as she places herself in a battle pose... Wait, she hasn't spotted a wild Pokémon, has she!? Naw, she's just... Showing that she's ready to fight?
"I know you've defeated him before, but he's learning more fire-based attacks for the specific purpose of beating you," I try to explain to her while sitting up as she looks up at me with a confused stare, "But don't worry! The next time, I'm gonna use Geodude instead!"
Her response was the last thing I had expected, as she suddenly tackled my chest and made me fall back on the sleeping bag again. It wasn't painful, but I scramble around in panic anyway, remembering the aggressive Sentret on Route 29 that had gotten way up my personal space.
"Ch-Chica! What're you-" I start, but stop myself as she climbs up on top of me and I see her looking at me with a very angry expression. Did I say something wrong, here?
"Th-That thing about Geodude?" I stammer while trying to make sense out of my Pokémon's odd behavior, "But... But why?"
She then proceeds to start throwing a fit again, leaping up and down on my chest while huffing madly. Aw man, she's really angry at me...
No, wait... That jumping... She's... Copying me? She's acting just like I did when fighting Silver? That means...
"You mean..." I ask quietly, "... That Cynda-something is YOUR rival?"
Finally Chica's expression brightens, before looking at me with fierce determination. Finally... Man, figuring out Pokémon is difficult...
What's so hard about figuring out Pokémon? Now, figuring out women, however...
Not to mention Pokémon women... Wait, what's so hard to figure out about that?
Who am I talking to? Who are you?
Who... Who am I?
Frrrrrrrriday night preview!
"Help! Someone has stolen my spikes and trapped me within an invisible box! My fur is getting jagged goosebumps!"