It's all fun and games until someone robs a town.

Yeah, yeah, it's a oneshot. Everyone's got like fifty of them. Mine's a Western.

~

The only noise in the savannah was the tapping of light paws across the grass. Until a disturbing thump came, and the tapping stopped.

"Damnit." Breathed the Magmortar. He flipped the collapsed Manectric with a toe, and sighed when it didn't move. The air around Magmortar became boiling hot, and the lifeless Manectric began to burn.

Later, still picking bits out of his teeth, Magmortar headed off at as fast of a pace as his legs could go.


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"What took you so long?" Magmortar thought that the sheriff's hat looked ridiculous atop the Electabuzz' head, but he decided not to comment.

"My ride died." And it had been a good one, too.

The Electabuzz beside him took a drink from the mug he was nursing. Sneaking a quick glance around, the useless sheriff leaned in as if to tell Magmortar a secret. "Well Sam, if you're looking for a new one, I might have something you would want." He leaned back now, to let Sam think in peace or something. Right.

"…" Sometimes, the best way to inquire was silently. Sam simply focussed his attention on the Electabuzz, letting his heavy gaze meet the electric type's eyes.

With a grin, he began to get up. "If you want to see it, come meet me 'round back." And with that, he walked out the front door of the parlour. Magmortar slowly got up, waiting for the Electabuzz to leave through the old-timey batwing doors before showing that he was following. He ignored the other customers sitting around at tables or at the bar, and went straight out.

Before he turned and walked across the boardwalk to the back of the saloon, Sam made sure to reign his control over heat completely. He glanced out into the horizon, trying to keep the picture of rolling grassy hills in his mind instead of the trashy shaded crawlspace that he had to squeeze into.

Thankfully soon, Sam came out near the back with only a tiny amount of grime coated on his red body. "Now this is a real beauty," said the Electabuzz. He hadn't even introduced himself, and yet the offer of a hardy and fast vehicle had been enough to bring Sam into this town and down a back alley into a concrete clearing with a stranger. Electabuzz was standing in front of some ugly blocky grey thing.

With a flourish of his yellow hand, Electabuzz ripped off what turned out to be a tarp and revealed a shining metal…thing. A big circle of steel was the base, and it had an even shinier (it amazed Sam just how much light could fit in this shitty little alley) circular bottom, which it balanced upon in a way that made it look unsteady. There was a chair set above the ball, and primitive joysticks were attached by hinge to the chair and set into dulled steel, like armrests.

"Been working on this for a while now, and it's good enough now to be used for real. I won't go into specifics, but this is pretty high-tech. You wouldn't want to put too much electricity or heat into it. However, I can give you this sweet thing for free, on one condition." At this point he squinted as seriously as a giant striped yellow plug could. Sam just kept his silence, knowing that he wouldn't have to ask for this information.

"You have to promise me that you'll take in the rogue who's been going around stripping people of their belongings. Promise me that, and you can have this fine method of transportation for the one-time price of free."

Ah. A bounty. Predictable.


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A face stared up at Sam. It was one of the Hypno species, and he was named Daniel. He had no blemishes (or at least, none that this arist thought were mention-worthy), and it was obvious that the blank features had been slightly perverted into something fearful. A flash of fang here, a curl of the lip there. A bit more red in the eye. Just enough to turn a regular citizen into a monster.

But apparently, he rides a Tauros. Now, won't that be fun.

Getting onto his new machine, Sam decided to try it out. It was a tight fit inbetween the control panels, and turning around, he felt like he was in some nightmarish Trapinch's jaws. His claws could barely reach the joysticks, as well. He just set his sights on the horizon, straighted the machine to aim towards them with the left joystick, and then pushed forward with the right one.

The motion was instanteneous; he flew into the seat, and didn't even have time to mentally thank the Electabuzz for the soft cushion before he slid the joystack back into neutral to stop it. With a nauseous lurch he felt his insides push against his belly, and would've flown right out of the machine without the control panels holding him in. This could take some getting used to.

The last thing Sam heard while he floated out of town at high speeds was a yelled "GOOD LUCK, SAM!" carried on the reluctant wind that rarely blew through the savannah.

The wind had begun hurting Sam's eyes and ears after only a few minutes of driving, but it wasn't as if he could go back and look for goggles. One thing he could complement the machine on was this; it was quiet and inconspicuous enough to allow Sam to get a moving shot on targets, which he had never been seriously able to do before. He practiced on some of the local fauna a bit before he moved up to game.

By the end of the afternoon, he had covered as much distance as he usually did at full-tilt running, and he had even charred a meal out of some grazing quadruped. By the end of the next day he would be at the next town, at this rate.


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This place was obviously much better off than the last town had been. The greeting of a cheery Lombre greeted him. "Welcome to Dodrio City!"

Ignoring him, Sam found a convenient corner just within the brick walls (they even looked fairly new, so they weren't just inherited) and parked his ugly vehicle. It had lost most of its shine, and had a burn mark from when Sam had been overexcited for a second, not to mention the atrocious shape of the cushioning from his back. Nobody would steal this.

Finally freeing himself from the metal contraption, Sam waddled over to talk to the slightly put-off looking Lombre, who had been watching what was likely his only visitor today do an odd ritual with his metal steed. "Howdy. Do y'know where I could talk to the mayor if this fine city here?"

The Lombre brightened yet more, as if he had just been given a puppy made of candy. "Sure! I could take you to him now, if you like, or we could go see some other sites. I get paid by the hour, don'tchaknow." Comforting to know that this lackey was, at least, experienced in making people fit in.

"I'll hold over on the place to stay, I'm only here for business. The mayor's, then?" He made to walk in the direction of town. The Lombre leapt forward in agreement, and Sam had to waddle fairly fast to keep up with his stubby legs. "So what's your name, big guy?" Asked the energetic water type. "I'm Jonas, but all my friends call me Jude."

"Nice to meet you, Jude. My name is Sam." Being friendly and honest never hurt.

"Sam, huh? I already know a few Sams. I'll call you Red."

Within a few minutes, the two reached a set of long stairs, which, while not even a whole story in height, still winded Sam to keep up with Jude while climbing. From there, it was a short walk to the central building in the town, the Mayor's office.

"I'll be leaving you here, Red. If they ask who brought you just tell them it was Jude. Call if you need anything, I'll be back in my spot." Sam was only a little happy to see the happy little thing leave. It messed with his funk.

Sam walked through the sliding doors of the blue building , heading towards the Pokemon in the indoor pond. Stopping before the water, he called out to the blue blob. "Come on, buddy, I don't have all day. I have a Hypno to catch." That seemed to catch its attention. With a Herculean effort, it got up and turned to face Sam, massive stomach-swirl and blobbish anatomy and all.

"I am Corin, mayor of Dodrio City. You say you're hunting the Hypno? Then we have much to discuss." He spoke slowly, the words of a Pokemon who knew the effects of his words.

"I'm only here to rest up for the journey, but any information you can give me about his location would help." Not that I expect much. But don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Somehow, the navy pokemon managed to puff itself up even more. All hot air, surely."Yes, in fact. I know exactly where that thief will be going next. If you truly are hunting him down, then you will definitely want my help. I only hope we can catch him before he hits the next town." On a Tauros? Fat chance. He's probably there now, hypnotizing all the citizens.

"Do you have a map? If we can chart where he's going, I can catch up to him." Apart from the green-tinged pond in the middle, this place is your average steel building. A bit more colour, but it's all in shades of blue.

"Of course; come right this way." At least he's useful. Sam followed him to the backroom, where the two counselled and planned a path to cut off the Hypno.

This time, when Sam went to slow down the landcraft, he smoothly slid the lever backwards. His velocity crept down with it, and left him in a silence that felt forced.


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Here he sat, not ten steps away from the entrance to Pyrite Town, signified only by the aging wooden sign outside with foreign graffitis covering it. He got out of the metal jaws, careful to not click the metal bits together. Skittish targets are hard to shoot.

Trotting further on in the town was a Tauros, with a yellow humanoid riding atop it. If there had been a breeze his furry white mane would blow in it. It looked as though he had his pendulum tied to a stick that he held out in front of the Tauros, guiding the way without having to use any energy at all. This was obviously not your average idiot robber.

Sam crept over to the slowly moving pokemon, knowing that there was no chance of Hypno seeing him or even anyone else helping him (from the eerie silence in town, everyone with windows had already seen the proliferous robber). By moving only slightly faster he was catching up and could soon take aim for a shot.

Going down onto one knee, Sam prepared himself mentally and physically to blast the Hypno through the back. He had never been told to take him alive, after all.

The shot came like a cannon from Sam's arm, burning through the air with an intensity that was incapacitating on its own. For an instant, everything in Sam's vision bent to follow the compression shot; colours from the the sides of his eyes faded, noise dimmed to nothing, the universe itself watching this reaction of chemicals, skills, and evolution.

Perhaps it was the universe's attention, but something alerted the rogue Hypno. With a jerk to the left he dropped himself off his steed instantly, but he wasn't quick enough. The shot had only just grazed him, but where there had been an upper arm there was now a hole burnt instantly through the side, leaving bone burnt and fragile.

The Hypno cried out, but he wasn't done. In the time it took Sam to leap forward to finish the job, he had taken aim with the pistol that seemed to magically appear in his hand, and before Sam could blink he felt as though he had just opened a door into a hurricane. The gunshot blew him off his feet and reversed all of his inertia, leaving him woozy for a moment. Before Hypno could take aim again, however, Sam pushed his aching muscles into a roll, working through the crippling pain in his gut to take aim and fire another shot.

This time, the recoil was unbraced, and so as a football-sized fireball ripped through the air Sam's arm also cracked backwards at the shoulder, cleanly dislocated. His roar of pain, however, was masked by the gruesome sound that Hypno made by trying to scream while a fireball tore through his trachea.

After what seemed like an eternity to Sam's adrenaline-fueled senses, a light thump came from the direction of the Hypno. His Tauros had run off after the first shot had been fired, so it must've been the psychic-type.

Holding his uninjured arm over his bleeding stomach and favoring his dislocated arm, Sam got up and began hobbling over to the body. Just as he caught sight of the massive hole in the yellow-furred Pokemon's throat, it began to change.

Sam felt as if the ground had moved under him. Unthinkingly, he began to pull his arm up to shoot again. Before he could react, a dark spike shot from the body, straight into the center of Sam's red chest. He silently fell forward onto the spike, and in only a second it retracted, before he could impale himself further, and allowed him to faceplant in the dirt.

All was silent as the red and blue form of dubious shape and even more dubious identity morphed again, becoming a perfectly shined Electrode and kicking up a storm of red dust in its escape from the town.


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"I'm afraid this will hurt quite a bit."

A yell broke the silence, scaring wild Wingull and Pidgey from rooftops.

"Damnit, why didn't you move that in the first place? Of course he's going to breathe fire when he hurts!"

"Sorry, professor. Didn't think about it."

"Now all we've got to do is pick out that bullet. This won't feel much better, I'm sorry to tell you."

None of the other citizens left their houses that day; the scuffle had been scary, but the screaming afterwards was worse.


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"Thanks again, Professor Louis. I guess I'll see you around."

"I did take an oath. Just don't get hurt in this town next time; I'm not sure that stuffed Pidgeot will ever recover."

"Sorry."

And with that, Sam flew on his machine out of town. He had gained a few rolls of bandages and a new appreciation for making sure targets stay down, and along the way he got a sweet ride too. Maybe he would take up thievery, or some other low risk job.

~

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