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:
Lonesome Hunchback Lucario
Upon one of the many Seafoam Islands, a mysterious figure can be seen. It is wearing a brown cloak, shielding its upper body from the wind and cold. While it has the shape of an adult human, two very hairy and strange black legs protrude from under the cloak, and a mysterious lump is sticking out where nothing but a flat back would be expected. Even though it is right in the middle of the worst storm of the century, it is completely dry from head to toe as the constantly approaching raindrops are all pushed away by an unseen force.
Walking from the beachhead to a large cave covering most of the island, the creature suddenly stops itself. Looking ahead, it sees another strange figure moving through the mist created by the rain. It was a similar creature, also wearing a brown cloak. Although slightly shorter and with much finer black hair covering the legs underneath, it also had a peculiar hump residing on its back.
The new arrival stopped right after the first did, as the two of them stared at each other. Suddenly, both their backs began rustling in an unusual manner, as if something was moving around underneath the cloaks. One of the creatures hunched over slightly, as a small green face looked out from under the hood. The face might have easily passed for a common plant, almost completely featureless aside from two stalk-like appendages. However, there was no missing the two large emerald eyes, or the curious smile that began to form underneath them.
"Mew…?" the face asked, stirring yet another series of movements from the other creature's cloak. A few seconds later, an unexpectedly pink face poked out from under that hood as well. Like the first, it was small and nearly featureless apart from the large eyes, currently far more blue than the ocean and skies ravaged by storm all around them.
"… Celebi?" the new face said carefully as the pink head stuck itself out further, this time making the other cloaked being gasp in surprise.
"Mew!" Celebi shouted happily, flying away from the cloak and towards her old friend.
"Celebi!?" Mew responded in surprise, mirroring her movement as they both nearly collided in midair, stopping just barely a decimeter away from each other. Both of their smiles grew brighter as they looked at each other, Celebi's stalk-like eyebrows twitching with impatience as Mew's tail swished around excitedly. They both had a million things to tell the other, and simply had no idea where to start. Finally, everything broke lose as they started chatting back and forth in rapid succession, leaving everyone but themselves unable to keep up.
Meanwhile, the cloaks they had left still stood tall, seemingly still looking at each other. The cloak Mew had left behind suddenly moved its arms up and pulled the hood back, revealing yet another head. This one was blue, hairy and considerably larger, with a long snout and large ears that began reaching for the skies now that there wasn't anything holding them back. A smile crossed over the creature's face.
"Hey there, Zerobi," Lucario said confidently, remembering well how she looked while wearing a cloak. The other cloak also pulled its hood back and immediately showed a colorful explosion of red, yellow and black. While the head of this creature was slightly smaller, its newly freed wine-red hair stood tall and clashed against the black face which had a tiny, yellow crystal embedded in its forehead.
"… I knew it was you, Lucario!" Zerobi replied cheerfully, returning his smile with one of her own as she ran up to him.
"Heh. What gave it away, the Mew?" Lucario said with a chuckle, before finding Zerobi coming right for him and awkwardly embraced her in a hug, feeling a slight prickling sensation at his back as her claws brushed over him.
"Still keeping your wit sharp, I see," Zerobi snickered, the hug feeling good and making her calm inside, just as it had the last time.
"Still… Keeping your claws sharp, I feel…" Lucario replied slowly with a painful tone, the prickling sensation turning more and more into a sting with each passing second.
Zerobi quickly let go and took a step back. She had not realized how hard she had been gripping him. It had felt good enough for her to want to stay that way for a while, but would not want to risk it never happening again due to actually hurting him. For now, she was happy enough just to be seeing him after such a long time.
"Nice weather we're having," Lucario said with a shrug in an attempt to make the situation less awkward.
"I'm just glad we brought our umbrellas," Zerobi replied while looking at Mew and Celebi, hoping their speedy chattering would not make them forget to keep everyone shielded from the storm. Still feeling dry and seeing the rain seeping down around them as if hindered by an invisible wall, she knew her fears had been unfounded.
"So… What've you been up to?" Lucario asked curiously while scratching his back. Going by how she was doing the last time they met, he had almost expected her to not even be here now.
"I found out who my real parents were, disowned my only sister, rescued a legendary Pokémon, almost got us both killed by a random wilder, reunited with Celebi, and that's not even getting started on the journey here…" Zerobi counted up one by one on her long claws, before turning her face towards Lucario with a nonchalant stare, "You?"
"I had my ribs shattered, declined an offer to lead some big organization, defeated another champion, ran into Mew and found out how I became a Pokémon…" Lucario replied with a somewhat uninterested tone before shrugging, "… Oh, and two prison wardens now recognize my scream."
The two of them stood quiet for a moment, eyeing each other and trying to comprehend what the other had just said. Finally, Lucario broke into a sinister smile.
"You had it worse," he said triumphantly.
"Like hell, I did!" Zerobi argued with annoyance in her voice, "Whatever I went through, at least my chest always stayed in one piece!"
"Don't you mean two pieces?" Lucario pointed out while subconsciously looking down her form, before snapping his eyes back in place and feeling relieved she was too deep in her own thoughts to notice anything, "… Anyway, I was out the whole time it healed, so it was no biggie."
"… Prison wardens? Wait, so right after you told everyone that you'd be able to handle things on your own…" Zerobi grumbled as she continued thinking for a moment, before suddenly raising her voice to a sharp hiss, "… You went and got yourself captured!?"
"Not RIGHT after… A few days had passed, at least!" Lucario replied confidently in order to hide his embarrassment, searching for a way to change the subject, "Besides, sounds like you were busy saving someone else's hide, I simply couldn't wait in line that long!"
"Well, yeah. I came across the legendary Azelf who had been captured, and…" Zerobi began explaining before catching on to Lucario's confused expression, "… You have no idea who I'm talking about, right?"
"Nope," Lucario responded casually, "But that's OK. I've got a story about this guy named Zoroark who you probably don't know anything about, so I get to sound smart for once too."
"Zoro… Ark?" Zerobi repeated, trying to grasp the unfamiliar pronunciation, "What kind of Pokémon was he?"
"Uh… A 'Zoroark', from what I could tell. His appearance reminded me a lot of you," Lucario explained while trying to imagine Zerobi with flowing hair and a snout with a perpetually sinister smirk on it, "If some parts were shorter and others were longer… Or something."
"Are you sure it wasn't just, you know, a male Weavile?" Zerobi asked, ruling out the possibility of Lucario encountering a new species of Pokémon in favor of him being oblivious, like usual.
"Oh, man, don't remind me…" Lucario groaned, the mental image gained during his escape from prison still fresh enough to make him fret and perhaps even worry about where his eyes instinctively flutter, "No, he was definitively his own thing. He busted me out of jail which was cool, but had this huge stick up his ass about humanity."
He suddenly felt like complimenting Zerobi somehow for not being male, but was fairly certain it would be interpreted the wrong way. Instead, he walked forward and gave her a pat on the shoulder.
"… What was that for?" Zerobi asked curiously as the nice, rare gesture remained unexplained.
"Heh, for you being you," Lucario chuckled, amazed by his own smoothness before deciding to continue his story, "… Anyway, apparently he was spying on us during our travels."
"W-What!?" Zerobi exclaimed with shock, "What… What did he see!?"
"Everything, more or less…" Lucario responded while finding her strong reaction unexpected, "What's wrong? We were just wandering around, weren't we?"
"That's, uh, you know…" Zerobi started, but stopped herself as she quietly looked away, "… Never mind."
"Huh?" Lucario asked suspiciously before scrunching up his face, "Were you up to some funny business when I wasn't looking?"
"Absolutely not!" Zerobi shouted angrily as she snapped her head back, "I mean, everyone needs privacy every now and then, but I guess that's just too much to ask… Never mind."
"… Uh…" Lucario started, unaware of what to how to proceed, "What are-"
"NEVER MIND," Zerobi interrupted him immediately, a very stern look on her face. Lucario stood flabbergasted for a few moments, before suddenly moving closer.
"Heheh…" Lucario chuckled before once more putting his hand on her right shoulder, "It's good to see you again, Zerobi."
"You too, Lucario," Zerobi replied, repeating Lucario's action and carefully putting her free claw on his left shoulder. Lucario smiled, as this time the claws felt light as a feather and did not hurt him even the slightest. Zerobi smiled back.
- - - - - - - - -
"Look at the two of them…" Celebi whispered from a distance away, glad to finally see her sister getting along with someone other than herself, "They seem so happy!"
"Yes…" Mew whispered slowly, thinking about everything Lucario had told her about Zerobi, and was surprised to find herself a little irked at their close friendship. Lucario had been with her for several months, but still seemed to have more fun talking to Zerobi than he ever did with her.
"How was it, traveling with Lucario?" Celebi asked, noticing her best friend's downtrodden mood.
"Soooooo slow," Mew sighed quietly as she turned her attention away from them and directed it back at Celebi, "Remember when uncle Giratina took us to see Palika? Much, much worse than that."
"You seem far too burdened for something like that to be the cause," Celebi said before looking down, eyes narrowing at the Lucario who was getting very touchy-feely with her sister, "He didn't… Do anything to you, did he?"
"Not him, but…" Mew started, but choked on her own words as the flood of very unpleasant memories regarding Deoxys came upon her and immediately shattered what was left of her good mood, "… I tremble, simply thinking about it. Let me tell you in private later, I do not wish to worry the others."
"Mew…" Celebi whispered sadly, not knowing what to say. She had expected their reunion to be the happiest day of their lives, sharing stories about their adventures and finally getting the chance to introduce her sister. However, she could feel Mew's psyche weighing heavily upon her, slightly reminding her of Mewtwo's presence.
"… I… I think I finally understand now… How you felt after fighting Pikablu…" Mew spoke slowly and carelessly, feeling like she was at long last able to talk to someone without being forced to keep up an act, "I simply cannot forget what happened, it was so terrible… I thought it would go away with time, but… How were you able to get over it?"
Celebi looked shocked for a moment, thinking back to the time immediately following her perilous battle. At that time, Mew had been the cheerful one while she herself had been a complete wreck. She had been so shaken up that she could hardly think, and much less sleep or work. However, at the same time her head had been filled with several new thoughts and ideas brought about with Pikablu, and by the time she had gone through them, she had finally gotten over everything. She recalled one event in particular being a highly contributing factor, and was not able to help herself as she slightly turned her head towards the ground in embarrassment.
"… Well…" Celebi whispered quietly, a very faint blush appearing on her face, "… Yes, let us save that for when we are in private…"
- - - - - - - -
"Huh… Look at those two going at it," Lucario said while looking up, having noticed the incessant chattering between the two legendary lowering in tone, "Never thought I'd see Mew acting like… Y'know, a little girl."
"That's what a lifelong friendship does to you," Zerobi explained, reminding herself that the same could be said with a lifelong enemy as her encounter in Snowpoint had proven, "Also, Mew is... Less natural than I'd expected."
"I know, right!?" Lucario replied, perfectly understanding what she meant even with her poor description. While Celebi was like a plant with strong radiance, Mew was like something completely out of this world. Lucario remembered how he had once compared her to a cartoon character come to life, something so bright and clean it stuck out like a sore thumb in this plane of existence. He knew this effect to only be a fraction of what she was capable of, as another more urgent thought suddenly hit him.
"Oh, yeah!" Lucario said triumphantly as he pointed to himself, "Check this out! I've learned a new technique!"
"Oh?" Zerobi exclaimed with an interested tone, "Cool. Let's see it."
Lucario immediately struck a pose, holding his arms out in front of him and making Zerobi worry that he was actually going to attack her with whatever he was planning. However, he slowly pulled his arms back towards his body and put his hands together, his eyes closed and his face filled with concentration. After a few moments, he crossed his arms, opened his eyes and looked at Zerobi, a big grin on his face.
"See?" he said confidently.
"… See what?" she responded, crossing her own arms in disappointment.
"I can erase my own aura!" Lucario said loudly before pointing at himself again, "To psychics and those detector-things that busted us before, I'm practically invisible!"
"Uh…" Zerobi stammered, unsure of what to say.
"Hey, come on!" Lucario persisted with a slightly pleading tone to his voice, "This is impressive stuff!"
"Yeah, you've just learned how to do something I attained at birth," Zerobi replied with a snarky voice, "Want me to give you a few pointers on how to walk?"
"Whatever, you'll be jealous in a few moments, anyway," Lucario muttered before regaining his confidence, "That technique's just the warm-up. Let me show you the crowning achievement of my training!"
"Can't wait," Zerobi said before quietly snickering, wondering just how big the explosion of failed aura would be this time.
Lucario leaped back as far as he could, so Zerobi would see the full glory of his new technique. His previous attempt at posing had not impressed her, so he decided to cut out all the useless movements this time. Clenching his fist, he used it as a targeting point as he summoned up strength from every part of his body, feeling a stinging sensation flow through his right arm as he carefully directed it on a straight, harmless path.
For an instant his concentration broke, and a splash of intense pain shot through his elbow as a small explosion of blue flames leaked through. A few months ago, this would have sent him to the ground as a screaming mess, and made the rest of the flow explode into an even bigger and more painful catastrophe. However, his training had been focused at learning how to ignore the pain, and he continued directing the flow of aura through his arm, towards his right hand.
He unclenched his fist as he held his palm skywards, a miniature swirl of blue fire beginning to form above it. The sensation made his fingers tingle, reminding him of just how insanely painful it would be if he were to fail the technique now. Knowing there was no going back, he carefully added more of the restless mitochondrion from his arm to his hand, watching the swirl of aura grow larger and larger into a circular vortex. At this point, it was beginning to take the shape of a sphere.
Finally, the flow that had once filled his entire being was now focused solely in the palm of his hand. Thrusting his hand in front of him, he let go of his concentration, causing the mitochondrion still in his palm to violently explode, sending the blue sphere flying forward at an extremely high speed. It zoomed past Zerobi who did not even have time to react, and continued soaring a few feet above the ground without losing velocity. It kept going for about a hundred meters before weakening in intensity, the magnificent Aura Sphere finally disappearing into thin air.