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:
Awkward Fairy Azelf
The first thing Lucario noticed about the small legendary next to Zerobi was that fact that it had a large crystal embedded in its forehead, just like she did. It was red, and the rest of his body was in a grayish blue color. The supposedly organic piece of glass had to be more than just a coincidence, and he wondered if the two of them were related somehow. He noticed similar crystals stuck at the tip of the creature's two tails, something he hadn't seen on his friend before, and wondered if maybe he just needed to look harder.
Lucario marveled over the synchronized movement of the two appendages for a moment before realizing that the small legendary was examining him as well. Its head was severely misshapen, but in an aesthetically pleasing manner, making it appear to be wearing a hat made out of its own flesh and blood. Its yellow eyes were beady, at least when compared Mew and Celebi's humongous optics. The rest of the legendary looked much like them, but its body was even smaller. It was holding an unfolded newspaper in one of its short arms, and the paper itself could easily be used as a bag to cover it up entirely.
"Azelf, this is Lucario," Zerobi introduced him to the Pokémon beside her, whose eyes opened up in sudden realization.
" Ah, Selphie?" Lucario said as the voices from earlier came to mind.
"That is Only Zapdos calls me that," Azelf replied with embarrassment before getting a grouchy expression on his face, "But she makes up names for everyone! I tried calling her Zapi once, but then she got mad!"
The three of them stared at each other for a while, apparently having run out of things to say already.
" Want to tell him about how I saved your life?" Zerobi asked with an irritated tone, nudging Azelf's side.
"Oh! Right!" he exclaimed before looking at Lucario with determination, "She, uh Saved my life!"
Lucario snickered quietly as Zerobi carefully put her palm to her forehead, using her free arm to aggressively poke the head of small legendary who in turn seemed to grow more nervous by the second. A strange feeling suddenly crept upon Lucario, slowly realizing that the three of them were not the only ones in the vicinity. He saw a fourth creature sitting on the ground, one that had completely slipped from his notice until now.
A clear pattern formed in his mind as this new creature was just another one in the line of very many legendaries that reminded him of Mew and Celebi. This one was so similar to Azelf they simply had to be related, the only difference being that its hat-head was yellow instead of blue, and the fact that it was sitting down. However, Lucario quickly realized that this new creature was nothing like the one he had just talked to, and had a good idea of why it had slipped his notice in the first place.
Ever since arriving in the cave, Lucario had felt that he was no longer sensing anyone's aura. Mew had explained it to him that there was a legendary Pokémon capable of masking everyone presence, and as such was always present at legendary meetings. He had made a point of remembering the name of such an important Pokémon, making up for the fact that he had forgotten those of the rest. That way, he would at least appear smart to one of them.
"Oh! This is " Azelf started as he noticed Lucario looking at his brother, but stopped himself as Lucario held up a hand.
"Don't worry, Mew's told me all about you " Lucario said as he prepared for his moment of glory, " You're Uxie, aren't you? I'm Lucario, nice to meet you!"
Uxie did not budge. Actually, it was not even looking at him, just sitting completely still and keeping its eyes closed.
"Weak," it finally spoke after a few seconds, its voice hazy and bland.
" What!?" Lucario shouted, any hopes of kindling a friendship immediately shattering, "I'll have you know, I've trained my ass off just so I can kick YOUR ass off if-"
"No, no, no, you misunderstand!" Azelf flew between them to protect his brother, "He only means you don't need to weaken your aura on purpose anymore, it's something he can handle for you."
"Oh, um " Lucario mumbled while scratching the back of his head, feeling somewhat embarrassed, " Thanks?"
"Stupid," Uxie uttered, still remaining motionless.
"What's he saying this time?" Lucario asked, not wanting to jump the gun again as Azelf gulped loudly.
" He, uh, thinks you're stupid," Zerobi said from behind him, looking at Azelf who nodded carefully in response. Lucario sighed in defeat, wishing he could go back in time and focus on learning the name of a cooler legendary, like Zapdos or Moltres. He looked back at where he had last seen the two birds, and was surprised to see Mew on her way towards them. Moltres was still perched by the entrance, pecking at his wings with his beak and looking more relaxed than before.
"Hello, Azelf!" Mew said as she completely flew past Lucario without even giving him a look, "Do you have any news regarding the situation?"
"Hello, Mew! Yes, big, big news!" Azelf chimed happily as he opened up the newspaper and started reading, "Have you heard anything about the soaring shark?"
Mew thought to herself for half a moment before shaking her head.
"Apparently, this soaring shark is a new species of Pokémon," he continued with a tone of importance and pride before holding the paper in front of him, "It says here, soaring shark assembled a crew and went to town on humanity! That's pretty bi-"
"Zoroark," Lucario interrupted with a casual voice.
"Excuse me?" Azelf asked, peeking out from behind the newspaper.
"It says 'Zoroark', and it's pronounced 'Zoroark'," Lucario muttered as he pointed to the part of the article he was currently reading, "It also says he assembled an army and occupied a town of humanity."
"You You can read human writing that well!? Amazing!" Azelf exclaimed as he turned the paper back to himself, and both Lucario and Zerobi suddenly crowded around him to read. The small legendary suddenly went rigid as the two of them accidentally rubbed against him, his face betraying him as his eyes leered to the side, his mouth drying up and his cheeks starting to blush.
"I'm pretty good, too," Zerobi pointed out as she continued reading further down, wondering if Azelf had completely given up on reading since he was looking at her instead of the newspaper, " And from the looks of this, it really does seem like he went to town on humanity!"
"There is an article about Zoroark?" Mew asked as she also moved over to Azelf, hovering above him and trying to remember what Lucario had already told her about Zoroark, "What does it say?"
" Ah, shit " Lucario muttered reluctantly as he began to understand the content of the article, " Listen to this "
Lucario proceeded to read the article out loud to everyone. It detailed the ongoing revolution, the rise of No Man's Land and Zoroark's role behind everything. The descriptions were all fairly vague, as not even the writers themselves knew much about the situation and the mysterious new Pokémon. When he was finished, Lucario recounted his personal experiences with the revolutionaries, leaving out minor details such as Astrid and the fact that he was defeated and had to flee like a coward.
" No " Mew said to herself after Lucario had finished talking, drawing out a worried gasp from Azelf.
"I... I had expected something like this, as a worst case scenario," she continued as she tried to focus and get her rampant thoughts under control, "It is happening much sooner than I had thought, however."
"Man, Zoroark actually pulled it off " Lucario said, voice a bit hoarse from talking so much, "Busting me out of prison's one thing, but taking over a whole city? I doubt it'll improve the relation between humans and Pokémon."
"This... This changes everything " Moltres said, Lucario flinching as he had not even noticed the firebird standing right behind him, having chalked up the sudden rise in heat as a bodily reaction to his urgent need for water, "Mew, what is your verdict?"
Mew became quiet, knowing that explaining her thought process would slow her down immensely, and there was no longer any time to spare. She had been expecting a development like this, and feared that she would come to the same conclusion as the last time. After several minutes of intensive thinking, searching through every loophole to assure herself that the potential disaster could never come to pass, she knew her fears had been correct.
" War," she said bluntly, eliciting a reaction from everyone present.
"Wh-What!?" Zerobi exclaimed in shock, her reaction being the loudest.
"You've got to be kidding!" Lucario jumped in with a confused expression, "War? Over something like this?"
"I fear that it is indeed a possibility, one weighed out by many differentiating factors " Mew explained as she closed her eyes.
"Diff Different factors?" Lucario tried to repeat before shaking his head, "Like what?"
Mew smiled as she opened her eyes and looked at him.
"Us," she said with a clear voice before falling silent. Her words had taken away whatever else was on everyone's mind, and they were all busy trying to comprehend what the future held in store for the world. Both Azelf and Moltres were looking longingly at Mew for guidance, while Zerobi hated herself for wondering if she could somehow take advantage of the surplus of spilt blood that was sure to come from this. Lucario groaned inwardly, and had a feeling Mew was doing the same. This was not going to make their plans any easier.
"No, there is no time to waste," Mew suddenly said as she knew something had to be done about it, preferably as quickly as possible, "Moltres, summon your sisters! We must commence with the meeting immediately!"
"Right now?" Azelf asked with a startled voice, sounding even more like a little boy than before, "But everyone isn't here yet!"
"We will have to manage without them," Moltres said while calmly shaking his head, making a few embers fly off in both directions, "Mew, Celebi and dad are already here, and I doubt the rest of us can add anything to their decisions."
"Please, you know we listen to what you have to say," Mew said hopelessly as she wished she had any time to comfort him and especially the heavily troubled Articuno, "I will inform your father. Tell your sisters to come to the chambers and make the necessary preparations."
"I understand," Moltres said with a courteous nod before looking at Lucario, "I'll see you around, Ethan."
Moltres took off into the air, flying towards the ceiling as Mew flew off deeper into the cave. Lucario reached out as if to follow her, before realizing she was moving way too fast for him to catch up, and slumped back.
" Ah, I had a feeling there were more of you," Lucario said as he remembered what Azelf had said and looked at him, "Who are we missing?"
"You mean Intentionally or unintentionally?" Azelf asked, giving off a curious stare.
"Uh Intentionally?" Lucario answered with a confused voice.
"We didn't invite everyone. Mew says that even in our most dire hour of need, only a few legendaries can be located in the same area at once," Azelf explained, glad to finally be of any use, "If something were to happen to all of us, the effects upon this world would be disastrous, and we can't take that risk."
"You forgot to answer him," Zerobi snickered, before turning quiet once more. She had not said anything for a while, and Lucario could see that something was obviously bothering her.
"Currently, we are expecting the Latis-twins, Reshiram and Jirachi," Azelf said, his voice getting progressively less interested before it was more like a sigh, "Odds are, the last two will not even consider showing up."
Azelf suddenly twitched as if he was struck by something.
"Oh, right!" he exclaimed, "I need to go tell my sister about all this! I'll, uh, I'll see you later!"
He dove down to pick up Uxie, and instantly disappeared from Lucario and Zerobi's notice as if he had never even been there to begin with. He sighed, wondering how his brother could stand being treated like this all the time as they quietly flew away. Zerobi and Lucario hardly even noticed that anything happened, both of them much too busy thinking to themselves.
"Jirachi ?" Lucario repeated as the name struck a strange note in his head, "I've heard that name before."
"Oh?" Zerobi exclaimed in surprise, "You mean you were actually listening to me when I told about the legendaries?"
"You or Mew, kind of hard to keep track of at this point," Lucario said with a shrug and gave up on figuring out where he had picked up the name from. He knew he had more important things to be using his head for than going through the list of hundreds of names that had been imprinted there. There was only one name that was important for him to never forget, anyway.
" Ethan, Ethan " Zerobi suddenly said, startlingly Lucario as he wondered if she had read his mind " You know, I could've sworn Moltres just called you Ethan."
"Well, you know how he likes to make up names for everyone," Lucario replied quickly, trying to figure out just how much Zerobi knew.
"That was the other one," Zerobi pointed out sternly, remembering how Celebi had confused Zapdos into thinking her name was Sis and then kept referring to her as 'Sissy'.
"Was it, really?" Lucario said with a condescending tone, trying to confuse her as best he could, "In that case, why would he call me Ethan, hmm?"
" Don't tell me That famous trainer you used to be " Zerobi muttered before raising her voice as the realization hit her, " It was Ethan!? Ethan, the peerless ace!?"
"Hey, bingo!" Lucario replied, dropping his charade and feeling happy that she had finally gotten it right, "I know the name's not as big as Brock, Brock, dumb as a rock-"
"No way, this is much bigger!" Zerobi exclaimed while grasping the absurdity of the situation, " Also, 'no way' in general! How the hell could someone as clueless as you be the greatest trainer of all time!?"
"Like I said, I forgot about everything related to Pokémon " Lucario explained, wondering if he should start counting how many times he needs to repeat it, " Which, as it turns out, was a whole lot."
"Oh yeah?" Zerobi exclaimed and scoffed at the convenient excuse, trying to remember everything she knew about Ethan in order to disprove his claim, "Where were you born?"
"A nice little place called New Bark Town," Lucario answered as he thought back to his childhood, "Right in the middle of a forest, which we weren't allowed to go deeper into. I did it every day, anyway."
"Uh " Zerobi mumbled, impressed that he got it correct and decided to move on to more personal questions, " What were your parents like?"
"Can't remember my father, although that might just be because he had something to do with Pokémon " Lucario muttered and got the distinct feeling that he was just a lousy parent who was never home, " Wish I could say the same for my mother."
" If you honestly were the real Ethan, that means your mother's still alive," Zerobi said as she calmed down a bit, the story sounding surprisingly accurate to what she could remember, "You You're not planning on seeing her?"
"Eh. I'm sure she'd just complain my new hairstyle," Lucario muttered, stroking through the fur on his chest, "And, well, I've already got enough problems without her piling on. Maybe later Much, much later."
" You have your reasons, I suppose " Zerobi whispered disappointedly, feeling a sudden longing for a parent that was neither captured nor dead. She wondered if her adoptive parents would even recognize her if they were to meet, or her them in the same situation. She shook the thoughts form her head and continued with her inquiry.
" Well then, what about your vast army of super-powerful and extremely loyal Pokémon?" she asked with a smirk appearing on her face, "Planning on contacting them at some point?"
" I can do that!?" Lucario suddenly blurted out in shock, "Hot damn! How?"
"As far as I remember, Ethan is famous for releasing all his Pokémon before fading into obscurity " Zerobi mumbled, wishing she had kept a copy of the magazine detailing Ethan's life, " They're all scattered, but you're bound to run into some eventually if you ask around."
"But Damn it, I don't have any concrete proof that I'm Ethan " Lucario muttered in disappointment, imagining trying to convince people like Red and Raikou of his identity through words alone. He figured he would have approximately 3 seconds before getting shocked and captured.
"That's Problematic. You'll just have to convince them to believe you," Zerobi said with a shrug, obviously thinking along the same lines as him, "But hey, if you got a legendary like Celebi or Mew to vouch for you, it'd definitively boost your chances."
"Yeah, that'll happen " Lucario groaned sarcastically, having a hard time imagining the extremely shy and careful Mew coming out of hiding just for his sake, "So Do you believe me?"
"I guess so," Zerobi said, wondering if it even made a difference since his memory was in shambles, "Teaching the greatest trainer of all time everything he knows about Pokémon will look better on my record, anyway."
" Zerobi!" Lucario exclaimed in surprise, overcome with happy feelings that someone would recognize him for what he really was, "You You really are a great friend!"
Zerobi wondered if maybe she could use this as a get-out-of-jail-free card if he ever found out about her true identity, but found her thoughts trailing off as Lucario put his hand on her shoulder and looked her straight in the eye. It felt as if no matter what happened between them, their friendship had formed a bond that would never break. The two of them looked at each other for a while, the atmosphere around them growing denser by the second.
"Now, come on," Lucario said with a smile on his face, "I've got something very important I want to do with you."