It was a quiet night when Deoxys descended from the heavens.
Believed to not be of this world, it went on a rampage, leaving death and destruction in its wake.
Finally defeated by an unknown force, the tragedy of unparalleled magnitude it created remains in the heart of every human.
To make sure that something like this will never happen again, every wild PokÃ¨mon powerful enough to cause such mayhem must be captured, controlled or killed.
Needless to say, this year has been a bad year for Legendaries. This year has also been a bad year for Champion Trainers.
But my year... Has been... THE WORST!
Author's Chapter Notes:
Loyal Vigilante Entei
The streets were fairly empty, nothing but a small amount of Pokémon exploring deserted homes and stores for things that might be of use, and liberating them from a destiny of gathering dust. Without the stream of people constantly rushing around, Zoroark thought it looked quite peaceful for exchange. The humans had been so busy with their own tiny isolated worlds that they had barely even noticed the magnificent tall buildings they had once constructed with such hard labor. Being able to sit like this and enjoy it… Zoroark knew their assault on the town had been violent and destructive, but the current stillness of their one safe haven proved the means truly justifies the ends.
As Zoroark continued dreaming away, he barely noticed the peculiar booming sounds coming from behind a building in the distance. Shrugging them off as one of the brutes showing off his or her powers, he was given an abrupt wake-up call as a very familiar sight zipped past the building and headed in his direction.
Brown, rugged fur with a tuft of white hair flowing behind him. A dirtied mask of unknown origin covering his face. A size compensating only for the fact that everyone and everything looked so small when next to it. There was no doubt about it - The legendary dog Entei had come for a visit.
Zoroark leaped away from the window and started running down the corridor as the alarm sounded, reminding himself to reprimand the guards for being so late with it… If there was still anything left of them. Entei had shown himself sooner than expected, but Zoroark had been certain to prepare everyone else for it the instant they gained control of the city. He knew his allies were already leading the legendary into this building, all he had to do was follow the plan through and not crack under the pressure of Entei's overwhelming presence.
Entei leaped over the guards and ran into the building, as per the instructions he had received from the easily frightened Beedrill at the gateway. The guards did not follow him, but scattered in all directions or fell to the ground, trembling. Their over-the-top reactions might have made any other warrior stop himself after realizing that something was wrong. However, to Entei these kinds of reactions were actually quite common, and besides, he already figured this to be a trap.
He welcomed it. Being the unstoppable force of nature he was, the only troublesome enemies were the ones that kept themselves in hiding. Trap or no trap, Zoroark would find out as so many non-Legendaries had found out before, victory was his and his alone.
Running up long stairs and through short hallways, Entei noticed this particular path had been constructed to fit a creature of his bulk. It was most likely unintentional, seeing how his every step shook the very foundation of the building, making him wonder if it had been rigged to collapse at some point… As if something like that would be enough to stop him.
When he had reached what he imagined to be the top of the tall construct, he turned a corner and was greeted by the sight of a large office-like room, surprised to see his target casually sitting in a chair and reading a newspaper behind a mahogany desk.
"Zoroark," Entei said bluntly as he stopped himself, expecting a less confident response from the dark-type. Trap or not, showing himself unguarded like this was nothing short of suicide. But as his master had always taught him, he analyzed the enemy from head to toe, searching for anything that might be out of place. However, everything looked just as it did the day in Saffron City when Zoroark had just barely escaped with his life.
"Entei," Zoroark responded calmly without even looking up from under his newspaper, "I see you finally came to your senses and decided to join our revolution."
Entei's ears twitched in an involuntary reflex as he quickly spat a ball of fire against the enemy ahead of him, taking advantage of his opponent's leisure. The ball exploded as it came into contact with the table in front, creating a miniature whirl of fire that engulfed Zoroark's side of the room, reducing both paper and furniture into cinders.
"Or not," a familiar voice came from behind Entei, who decided against turning around. By showing his back, he might lure Zoroark into attacking and cover his entire body in a veil of fire. Even so, he had been taken by surprise by the dark-type's quickness in managing to move behind him without him even seeing it. Not since challenging Red's Pikachu had he fought anyone that fast. However, just like back then he would prove that he could overcome even the most extreme speed with a properly executed counterattack.
"The legendary Entei, a traitor to his own kind…" Zoroark said quietly, keeping his distance from the dangerous dog. Entei was no longer looking at him, which might instill a sense of security in any other Pokémon. To Zoroark, however, it meant the exact opposite, since it meant the legendary no longer needed to see him in order to attack him. Zoroark had hoped to stay out of the line of fire quite a bit longer, but knew he would have to continue stalling the beast if his plan was to work.
"I will kill you and end this madness," Entei responded coldly, showing no emotion in his voice whatsoever.
"If killing me were stop the madness of humanity…" Zoroark said while shrugging, trying to see if Entei could still sense his movement somehow, "… Then be my guest."
"War is not the solution," Entei growled with an angry huff of flames escaping his mouth, "It will only bring needless causalities."
"Wrong. It IS the solution, and none of it will be needless," Zoroark argued before letting his own emotions swell up, "… And don't you talk to me about causalities! You just tried to murder me, asshole!"
"Your death will prevent that of others," Entei replied before slightly lowering his head, his ears starting to twitch rapidly, "As a defender of justice, I will do what I must."
"Well said!" Zoroark burst out triumphantly, seeing that his plan had finally come to fruition. The tension dissipated as he relaxed, still keeping a wary eye on his opponent. While even he would be reluctant in calling himself safe at this point, he was certainly in a lot less danger than before.
"I suppose that burning me to death is your own special brand of justice?" Zoroark asked sarcastically, playing along as he felt his confidence rise.
"You may surrender to spare yourself a painful battle, but I am afraid you must still die," Entei growled with an even more deep and serious voice than usual, "I cannot risk that you continue this war, no matter what."
"Surrender?" Zoroark said before forcing himself to exclaim a short laughter, "Why would I surrender? I've already won."
"I will make certain that your ideals die with you," Entei responded defiantly, "Your followers will lose their way and quickly return to their normal lives. Your victory here will not even be a memory."
"No, see, what I meant was that I've already won this battle," Zoroark answered, thinking he should move in front of Entei or tap his back or something, but not feeling confident enough to openly taunt the monster, "I guess it's hard to notice these things when you're not moving, no? Go on, try doing something."
It was then Entei felt something was wrong. His neck felt stiff when he moved it, and his muscles around it seemed strangely worn out. Making minor adjustments to his position, he could feel every part of his body growing more unresponsive with each passing second.
"Stunspore, sleep powder, poison powder and a fourth thing that causes minor involuntary muscle spasms… You know, as a signal," Zoroark counted up with a wink towards Entei's ears, both of them twitching occasionally, "Daily fresh and supplied by the kind status-inflictors of No Man's Land. Tell me, do they meet the regulation standards?"
Entei quickly spun around to attack Zoroark, but his right leg gave way under the weight of his body as he collapsed and barely kept himself upright. He growled angrily as he found himself involuntarily kneeling before Zoroark, who gave off a quick snicker.
"Released them the moment you entered the room. These things are airborne, and…" Zoroark said before tapping something that sounded like plastic by the front of his face, "… I've got protection."
Entei noticed a strangely shaped mask covering Zoroark's snout, one that he had not seen the dark-type wearing before. He wondered how he might have missed it after analyzing his foe so carefully, but cursed himself for it none the less.
"This… Is your idea… Of a trap…?" Entei growled deeply as his vocal chords slackened and started to give out, "I am… The Legendary Entei… You think… Simple stunspore… Will be enough… To stop me!?"
"Legendary or not, you move with your muscles and breathe with your lungs," Zoroark told his enemy what he had told himself so many times before, "The only thing your 'Legendary' status did was make you overconfident, and gave me the opportunity to win."
"The one who… Is overconfident… Is not me… Zoroark!" Entei roared loudly as his body became engulfed in fire. Zoroark took a cautionary step backwards, not sure of how capable the Legendary might be even in this weakened state. Entei's roar and flame grew more intense as a mist of black powder leaked out of his mouth and hung in the air in front of him. He suddenly reared up on his hind legs, gnashing his fangs together and igniting something as the black mist scattered and several explosions filled the room.
Zoroark quickly leaped into the corridor just outside, his ears popping from the combined noise of the explosions and ferocious roar. His previous feeling of nervousness returned as he looked back into the room and saw Entei standing upright once more, glaring back at him. Zoroark did not know how or why, but his plan had turned out to be a complete failure.
Quickly turning around, he started to run. He did not lack confidence in his own skills, but if the investigation he had conducted was correct, fighting Entei directly would be like trying to punch and kick the sun out of submission. As he was planning his next step, it became interrupted when a waist-high obstacle around the corner that had never been there before halted his progress. He tripped over the surprisingly hard surface, skillfully rolling on the ground in order to retain his momentum, but was still forced to stop himself as he turned around and saw what, or rather who it was he had tripped over.
"Zoroark!" Astrid chimed in surprise, the peculiar Eeveelution still wearing a black cloak to cover his entire body, "I heard an explosion and came as soon as I could!"
"You idiot!" Zoroark shouted angrily at him and making him recoil, "We went through this before; you are supposed to be waiting outside with the rest!"
"Oh… I know!" Astrid replied as he nodded, "I'm here to help, anyway! Let me at 'em!"
Astrid started running towards his previous destination, yet only managed to round the corner before freezing at the sight of Entei, barely a few feet away from him. Zoroark cursed under his breath and also started running, but in the opposite direction, ready for Astrid's inevitable cowardice to kick in and turn him catatonic.
"Hey, you!" Astrid shouted bravely, seemingly undaunted by the intimidating legendary, "You're Entei, right? Give up now, and I'll go easy on you!"
"Step aside, boy," Entei growled with a low tone, "You will not hinder me. Nothing will."
"Oh…" Astrid replied distraught, before quickly regaining confidence, "I mean, uh, I've heard that one before! You're in for a world of pain!"
Zoroark could barely believe what he was hearing. He wondered if someone was playing a trick on him, for once. He felt that had to be the case, because if in reality someone were to talk to Entei in that manner-
His thoughts became interrupted as he heard what he had feared – A mighty roar of fire smoldering the walls and anything between them. Zoroark looked back and saw the corner he had just rounded turn black with soot, small patches of fire still dying out on the floor. He hesitated and thought about returning, but stopped himself as he knew there would be nothing left of his friend to pick up.
"Y-Your weak fl-flames cannot h-harm me!" Astrid stuttered triumphantly as the smoldering ashes of what had once been his tunic dissipated into a slight breeze, coming from one of the windows. This time, Zoroark threw all caution to the wind and quickly ran back to where the voice was emanating from.
"… What are you?" Entei asked with a perplexed tone to his voice, examining the small mystery before him. As one of Ethan's most frequently used Pokémon he had seen many different species and easily recognized Astrid as an Eeveelution, but one he had never thought possible. Only a pure Rock-type could have escaped his attack unscathed.
"Y-Your worst nightmare, p-punk!" Astrid stammered a scream while fastening his feet to the ground, trying to stop himself from shaking as he saw Zoroark appear in the corner of his eye, "Z-Zoroark, fall back! Let me handle this!"
"Idiot! Run!" Zoroark hissed at him with both anger and panic, feeling the heat from the dissipating fires, "You are no match for him!"
"I'm rock, strong against fire!" Astrid shouted as he felt his confidence return, "I've been training, too! Let me show you what I can do, please!"
"Absolutely not!" Zoroark yelled, forgetting that he was revealing himself to Entei. However, at least for the moment, Entei's attention was completely fixed upon Astrid.
"Boy," Entei growled as he stared intently at the tiny creature before him, "What is your purpose in life?"
"Oh…?" Astrid exclaimed with a confused tone before courteously giving an answer without really thinking, "… To make this revolution work!"
"No! He doesn't mean that!" Zoroark shouted in panic, but it was already too late. He fell back as the room instantly heated up, a large spray of red magma coming from around the corner and covering Astrid. Zoroark felt like he was going to burn up, just sitting next to it, as Astrid simply remained motionless, still undaunted. However, as the magma melted through his outer layer of rock, the once brave Eeveelution began screaming, flailing about and trying to get it off him.
The struggle was short-lived as he suddenly slumped over, unable to give resistance to the molten rock eating through him. As it reduced the body he had trained so hard into little more than a burnt husk, the magma suddenly cooled off and hardened, clamping onto what was left of him like a mockery of his previous shell of rock.
"ASTRID!" Zoroark yelled, and against his better judgment ran up to the devastated pile of coal that now lay before him. He had not expected the magma to turn cold so quickly, and wondered what manner of fluid it really was Entei had used.
"… Z-Zoro… Ark…" a weak, hoarse voice came from the unrecognizable mess, Zoroark finally finding Astrid's badly burned face within the rubble.
"You idiot! You weren't supposed to do that!" Zoroark shouted at him, barely comprehending how unreal everything seemed and far everything had strayed from what he had planned, "Why!?"
"Oh… It's OK…" Astrid replied slowly with his eyes beaming, "I'm… I'm healing!"
"Wh-what!?" Zoroark yelled in shock. Like him, Astrid was indeed a unique species of Pokémon, there was no telling what manner of abilities he might possess, and compared to everything else that had just happened…
"Y-Yeah…!" Astrid continued as his voice became more and more quiet, "I feel all the pain… Going… Away…"
Zoroark's heart sank, and he slowly composed his inner feelings. Everything had suddenly become all too real. This was nothing like how he had envisioned his encounter with Entei, but it was still happening.
"Astrid…" Zoroark said quietly while resting a hand on Astrid's shoulder, sill quite hot from the hardened magma, "You… You should have told me you weren't a coward anymore…"
Astrid smiled in return. A childish, much too happy smile, unbefitting of his destroyed body. He never closed his eyes, and Zoroark could see the exact moment life slipped away from him. Everything was quiet, except for the small breeze coming from the window.
"He has my condolences," Entei said with a voice lacking all emotion, "It seems my attack was too powerful. What manner of Pokémon was he?"
"… My friend…" Zoroark whispered slowly. A wave of memories carrying a flood of sadness came upon him, but he instantly pushed them all away. There would be time for that later.
"Ignore your sorrow," Entei continued as he took a step forward, "I swear that your death will be the last one today."
Zoroark put the rage that welled up in him to use, not by attacking but by running. As luck would have it, this corridor was very short and split off into two directions, allowing him to turn at the corner and leave both his expired friend and the dreaded monster behind.