AGNPH Stories

The Human Species by RingsOfSaturn


Story Notes:

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 Pokèmon 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:


Wild Monster Hunter

Three days had passed since Lucario and Zerobi had reached the mainland once more and said farewell to Celebi. It had been a tearful goodbye with many promises to reunite as soon as possible, most of which coming from the side of the small legendary. The duo was steadily making progress towards No Man's Land, currently moving across a field west of Fuchsia City and far away from civilization as to avoid running into the police or anyone else out looking for their blood.

Their plan had worked a little too well. No matter how far they wandered, the lands were completely devoid of both humans and Pokémon. It left Zerobi with an uneasy feeling while Lucario did not mind in the least, far too happy over not being attacked by random strangers anymore. The grass beneath their feet was warm and dry, a stark contrast to the permanently soggy ground they had been forced to endure on the island of the legendaries. The sun had apparently done its job well, and was retiring for the day by the edge of the horizon.

"Nice to be able to enjoy the scenery," Lucario said dreamily before snapping himself back to reality, "You know, without worrying about some murderous legendary dog popping up in the middle of it."

"… Not to burst your bubble or anything, but that might still happen," Zerobi replied, breathing chilled air against one of her claws and then letting it run through her warm hair. The cool sensation felt pleasant, but it did little to comfort her since she knew the sweltering heat would only get worse the closer they got to the equator. Even though the exotic temperature was something she knew she would have to get used to, she would make sure that they avoided having to pass through the scorching Safari Zone at all costs.

"Sure, but now I don't need to worry about it anymore!" Lucario responded while lightly bashing his chest a few times, "I've completely mastered the Aura Sphere! Heck, I hope they appear, that way we can take revenge! You're up for that, right?"

"Lucario…" Zerobi sighed, wondering just how much trouble Lucario's inflated confidence would get them into this time, "I know you're proud of new abilities and all, but you can't go up against a legendary. It's suicide."

"I can hear that you haven't seen the Aura Sphere in action yet," Lucario said with a smile, Zerobi wincing for reasons unknown to him, "It's too fast to dodge, completely ignores defense and hurt like HELL!"

"It's pretty scary, I'll admit that…" Zerobi muttered as she ran one of her chilled claws past her back to soothe the sudden burning sensation, "How many have you defeated with it so far?"

"Everyone I've used it on!" Lucario replied without thinking, "… Which, coincidentally…"

"… Is none?" Zerobi filled in for him, wondering why she had even bothered to ask.

"Unless you count rocks, yeah," Lucario said, suddenly feeling distraught, "But… By the end of my training, I was able hit even pebbles with perfect accuracy, so if it's my aim you're worrying about…"

"I worry about a lot…" Zerobi whispered truthfully. She had seen firsthand that Lucario was a very powerful and clever warrior, but she knew that his own naivety, lack of experience and unfounded confidence was bound to do him in some day. She would just have to make sure she was there to pull him away from the danger zone and escape when it happens.

"Hey!" Lucario suddenly exclaimed as if on cue with her thoughts, "… Someone's coming!"

Squinting his eyes to avoid staring directly into the twilight of the sun, Lucario saw a figure approaching them from the side. With the setting sun to its back it was impossible to tell what it was, but it appeared to be vaguely humanoid with several appendages sticking out from it. The figure became less of a silhouette and more of an actual being the nearer it came, but strangely enough it was actually turning less recognizable. Some appendages became spikes, others became horns. The grey monotone faded to display nearly every color of the spectrum strewn over its body. Lucario wondered what it could be as Zerobi decided to look more closely, immediately eliciting a stifled gasp.

"Fucking sicko…!" Zerobi hissed with a disgusted tone, surprised to find that there was still something in this world so revoltingly grotesque even she could be staggered by it.

"What the… What kind of Pokémon is that?" Lucario asked, and for the first time since they had met Zerobi herself had no idea. She had never seen anything like it before, and she wondered if this is how confused Lucario felt every time they would encounter a new Pokémon. It was like a mass of gore which bore certain spots which she faintly recognized, but after inspecting it carefully with her keen eyes she was finally able to tell what it was.

"Human," Zerobi gasped with a stunned expression, "It's… It's a human!?"

"Really?" Lucario asked while crossing his arms, "Doesn't look very human to me."

Zerobi agreed. The human wore a silvery helmet with spikes protruding out of it, and it covered most of his face. Still, its appearance had a very familiar feel to it, and Zerobi tried to figure out why. The more she looked, the more she realized the likeness the helmet bore to the head of an Aggron, excluding the lower jaw. Where the jaw should have been was a purple chest piece with similar spikes sticking out from the shoulders, something she had expected to find on a Cloyster.

"He's… He appears to be wearing the skin and body parts of a bunch of Pokémon," Zerobi explained slowly as she herself was busy comprehending what she was seeing, "Like… Those red gloves? I think they're the claws of a Scizor, like the one we fought when rescuing sis."

"You mean…" Lucario mumbled as he tried to make sense out of what he was seeing, "… He's wearing them as a suit of armor?"

There was no doubt that the human had some kind of business with them, having already spotted them and starting to move closer at a higher pace. Approximately fifteen meters away, he stopped himself and straightened up his back as he started intently at them. They did not have to wonder long if he had hostile intentions or not, the human suddenly reaching behind his back and pulling out two objects. Nearly as long as the arms holding on to them, the strangest thing about these tools were that they were something Lucario could instantly recognize.

"Oh, look," Lucario said as he smiled to himself, "Sworn'ds."

"Wh-What?" Zerobi stuttered as she looked back and forth between Lucario and the human, "You know what that is? What kind of human is he?"

As Lucario inspected the strange being under the pretense that it was actually human, he was starting to see the connection. Even though the human's get-up would have made him passable for modern art, the shape of his body and general stature was definitively humanoid. For a moment the scene reminded Lucario a lot of his own childhood, when he and his friends would grab whatever sharp utensils they could find before running into the woods to hunt trolls and monsters. While that had all just been pretend and child's play, Lucario could tell from the atmosphere that this human meant serious business.

"If you ask me… He looks like a bit like a hunter," Lucario said before gazing at the human in sudden admiration, "Hey… You told me humans didn't use weapons! I could've been using awesome swords all this time!"

"Weapons?" Zerobi repeated as she looked at the human. She agreed that the tools he was carrying looked awfully sharp, but he was still just human. Outmaneuvering his lumbering form and wresting them from his noodly arms would be easier than subjugating an Oddish, and that was if she decided not to be a spoilsport and simply freeze him solid from a distance. A peculiar thought hit her as she looked over the hunter once more, focusing on something other than his armor this time.

"Wait!" Zerobi exclaimed after she was finished with her inspection, "He's not carrying any Pokémon!?"

"… Well, he is…" Lucario said with a snarky tone, "Just, you know, not in any Pokéballs."

"He's gonna try to fight us on his own!?" Zerobi continued before lowering her voice and looking disappointedly at Lucario, "Also, what the hell? Not funny."

"Hmm…" Lucario murmured to himself as he reached out with his inner senses, barely noticing anything in front of them, "… His aura's pretty weak."

"He's human, what did you expect?" Zerobi asked with a shrug, the hunter eyeing her carefully but still not making a move.

"Hey, I take offense to that…" Lucario muttered as his and Zerobi's eyes met for a moment, "… Well, not really. How hard can I hit him without killing him?"

"Pretty hard, considering that grotesque armor he's wearing," Zerobi mumbled while thinking that even if he was just a weak human, not even a saint among saints would be able to show such a psychopathic monster any mercy, "Break his leg or something, and we'll drop him off at a hospital in the next town… If we have to."

"… Eh, I can probably just scare him off with a bitch-slap or something…" Lucario whispered to himself, again drawing parallels to his childhood and feeling sympathetic towards the fellow human. He took a step forward and the hunter twitched in response.

"Sorry, dude," Lucario muttered, "Maybe if it was a Rattata you would've stood a chance, but with me you're way out of your league."

The human suddenly held up the two swords like a cross above him, starting to run towards them. Zerobi moved back as Lucario sighed, his current opponent moving much slower than anything he had been forced to fight so far. He wondered if this is how poorly he would have help up in a real battle back when he was human too. Standing motionless, he let the human run up to him as to give the guy a fair chance before knocking him out cold.

The hunter initiated his attack by swinging the right sword vertically down towards Lucario, who easily avoided it by leaning to the side. The very next moment his other sword followed and came aimed at Lucario's throat, and he was forced to duck to let it miss. However, this time Lucario felt a stinging sensation scratch his side, the first sword coming back impossibly fast and slashing him. He instinctively made a small hop backwards, but the hunter had apparently anticipated this, already following him by thrusting both swords forward.

Still in midair and with no hopes of dodging, Lucario was hit squarely in the chest by both swords. He thought for a moment that he was dead, the hunter putting all his weight behind the attack to pierce through his body. However, as he stumbled back, he noticed that the pain was nothing compared to that the small Pokémon under Silver's control had inflicted in the same spot, and the slash to his side was barely noticeable compared to when Zoroark had cut through him. Looking down, he saw two visible marks where the swords had struck, slightly bleeding but just barely having gone beyond breaking the skin. The hunter came at him again as Lucario jumped back further this time, landing several feet away.

"Whoa, what the hell!?" Zerobi screamed as she felt the muscles around her neck tense up in sudden fear, "Quit playing around, he's good!"

"It's… It's fine!" Lucario yelled back while inspecting the rest of cuts to confirm that what he was feeling was accurate, "He's fast, but he's really weak; those knives are just grazing me!"

"Get yourself together, he's not just swinging around those things aimlessly!" Zerobi shouted, recognizing the hunter's attack pattern as something she herself had made use of in the past, "He turns them around halfway through a stroke to retain velocity! Don't stand around in the same spot, or you're dead!"

"… Get MYSELF together!?" Lucario shouted back as he turned around with an annoyed expression, "You get YOUR lazy ass into the battle! Come on, let's both attack him at once!"

Zerobi hesitated, still shaken from having seen Lucario nearly get impaled just a few seconds earlier. However, she realized that no matter how skilled the human was, beating him would still be a lot easier than many of the battles that lay ahead of them. She decided it would be a good chance to practice their teamwork and prepared herself for combat.

"All right," she said bluntly as she starting running, "I'm faster, follow my lead!"

The hunter remained immobile as Zerobi dashed towards him, the nimble Pokémon leaping back and forth in a zig-zag formation to throw him off. She knew one well-aimed slash would finish it, but worried that human blood would affect her as badly as the blood of Pokémon. The only time she had tried it was during her last stand outside the Cerulean Cave, and she had been so jacked up on blood back then she had not even noticed any difference. To be on the safe side, she decided to go with her original plan and grab a hold of the weapons to throw them away. With her hard and durable claws, grasping even the sharp point would not be a problem.

Sparks flew as the hunter blocked her strike, swords and claws grinding against each other with a quiet hiss as Lucario approached from behind. Zerobi quickly closed her claws around the blades and started pulling, knowing that some steel on a stick could never match up to her fully maneuverable hands. However, no matter how hard she pulled, the human would not let go. She looked down at his hands and saw the claws of a Scizor she had pointed out earlier tightening around the handles, wondering if they were what was giving the human his abnormal strength. Suddenly, the swords gave away all resistance, slipping out of her grasp as she stumbled forward by accident.

The hunter spun around as he narrowly avoid the tumbling Weavile, noticing the spikeless Lucario coming from the left and throwing a punch. Mustering up all his strength, the human shouted as he started swinging his swords both left and right, cutting through the two of them at the same time while bracing himself for what was to follow.

The blow of the Lucario struck him straight in the chest like a bolt of thunder, but the shell of the Cloyster he had once killed protected him well and absorbed the brunt of it. Even so, the powerful strike knocked him back a little as he ignored the pain and continued his attack, slashing the two of them a few more times. The Weavile imitated his strategy of taking hits in order to continue attacking, and he felt something sharp grazing the back of his right calf. If not for his armor, he knew he would have found himself a leg short.

Lucario and Zerobi did not give up, hoping to knock out or at least exhaust the human. His cuts were weak, but were also quickly building up all over their bodies as he continued letting his swords flail madly around him. They were now standing on both sides of him, hitting him with all they had while getting slashed in return. With a swift turn, Zerobi abandoned her previous inhibitions and spun around the hunter to try to pierce him through the back, quickly putting an end to it all. A clinging noise sounded as her claws were deflected by a very hard material, something she noticed was even stronger and sturdier than the armor he was wearing. A chill ran through her as she saw that whatever it was, it was bigger than the human carrying it and also completely smeared with dried up blood.

"TIME!" Lucario finally shouted as he grabbed a hold of the hunter and threw him away, hoping to get some reprieve from the onslaught of attacks. The human was a lot heavier than Lucario had expected, but was still no match for the Pokémon's unbridled strength as he flew through the air and fell hard on the ground. The hunter quickly got to his feet again, but could not stop himself from wobbling slightly in weariness. Lucario breathed heavily and saw Zerobi mimicking him, both of them fatigued and bleeding from many different cuts.

"Hah! He's pretty good, but I'd say we hurt him more than he hurt us!" Lucario exclaimed happily, tired but still fired up from the exciting battle, "Hmm… You don't go mad after getting splashed with your own blood, do you?"

Zerobi did not respond, and did not even look in Lucario's direction. He was suddenly reminded of the time she had turned around and slashed his throat, and feared that he had overlooked something. If she had cut the hunter too carelessly, or if even a single drop of his own blood had come into contact with her, he knew it might happen again. He cursed himself for having let her jump into such a bloody battle, and readied himself for what was about to happen.

Zerobi's breaths were coming slower and less frequently, all while a strangely familiar sensation coursed through her. It reminded her of her final moments in Cerulean City, the memory still fresh like it had happened yesterday.

A very nasty feeling was spreading from her right arm; numbing it and making her feel uncomfortable. She looked down at it, and noticed that underneath all the small cuts, it was beginning to develop a slightly pink hue. Eight long years had passed, but she had never forgotten the indescribable terror that had once led to her demise.

"P… Poison…" Zerobi stammered while realizing that even though Lucario had been hit by the swords even more than her, he was immune and had not even noticed anything, "… Goddamn it…"

A loud thud sounded as Zerobi suddenly fell over, her muscles growing weaker with each passing second. The world around her turned into a blur as her head pounded painfully. She tried to move, but her arms and legs were no longer responding to her commands.

"Zerobi!" Lucario screamed while running up to her, cursing himself for having misread the signs. She wasn't going mad from blood, she was dying from poison! He bent over to examine her when he felt a faint aura approaching, which was immediately followed by the sight of two swords swinging towards him.

"Whoa!" Lucario exclaimed while stumbling backwards in surprise, completely taken off guard by the hunter having returned to go on the offensive. He braced himself for the inevitable follow-up to his sloppy dodge, but it never came. Instead, the human looked down at Zerobi, before suddenly raising his swords up high and thrusting them down towards her.

"H-Hands off!" Lucario shouted in terror, quickly leaping towards the hunter and trying to tackle him, anything to get him and his weapons away from the exposed Zerobi. The hunter saw his charge coming and rolled out of the way, leaving something behind him as he did. Lucario looked down and saw a small canister made out of wood lying next to Zerobi, a faint sizzling sound emanating from it.

Zerobi was too badly poisoned to move out of the way, but her panicked expression told Lucario everything he needed to know. Acting swiftly, he kicked the small canister away from them as it suddenly exploded in midair. Burning pieces of wood scattered all around them, and Lucario was too worried about his bleeding wounds to shield Zerobi properly. Luck was with them as they were left unscathed, except for a single piece of debris which fell down and struck Lucario hard on the top of his head. He groaned painfully and bent over for a second, before looking up again to see the hunter standing still and eyeing him carefully.

The human was not trying to capture them. He was not even genuinely fighting them. He was outright trying to kill them, and was simply using every means available to do so. Lucario looked down at Zerobi, whose eyes were dilating irregularly from the poison coursing through her. Even if he ignored the potentially lethal dose she had been infected by, he realized how close she had come to being gutted and having her face blown off.

The mere thought made Lucario loathe himself for having allowed things get so bad in the first place. Finally, he understood the kind of danger they were dealing with, and saw that defeating the hunter was not going to be as easy as he had hoped. What had been the point of all his training if he refused to put it to use when it was needed the most? What was the point of his continued existence if he was to become the cause for even more misfortune to those that trust him? The faces of Rukario, the small penguin and everyone else he had let down in the past burned clearly in his mind. Swallowing his pride and realizing that he would never be able to live it down, he still knew exactly what had to be done to ensure the safety of his friend.

"Damn it, I didn't want to use this against a fellow human, but you've left me with no other choice!" Lucario yelled at the hunter, who appeared to be unfazed. Focusing on his training and ignoring Zerobi's occasional twitches as to not be distracted, Lucario let the energy in his body flow through his right arm. If he was to be responsible for the death of a human, he knew that at the very least he should make sure that the Aura Sphere that killed him was nothing short of perfect.
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