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:


Grassy Starter Meganium

Ethan was thoroughly enjoying himself. Leaning his head back against a pillow, he wondered how something so simple could feel so great. What was the point of dreams and ambitions? He already had everything he could ever want. A soft bed stuffed with feathers, carrying a permanent indent of his body. A window through which the sun could peek in, eager to share her warm and beautiful light with him. A fragrance, something like a summer's breeze carrying a wide assortment of trees and flowers with it. The familiarity of it all made him sigh in relief. This was his room, and at long last, he had returned home.

"Good morning," a tender voice echoed from somewhere, as everything around him suddenly melted. Half expecting to see his mother when opening his eyes, Lucario was instead greeted by the Meganium that had been nice enough to let him stay in her house. The feathery contents of the bed had transformed into a stack of hay, still soft but rather itchy and prickly. The walls were made out of rammed earth and the window was now just a hole, installed as if mocking the skies to dare cause rain and fill the entire room with water.

Only one thing remained unchanged. The fragrance.

"Your friend seems to be doing better," the Meganium continued with a smile as Lucario sat up hastily.

"Good…" Lucario responded while feeling a great weight lift from his heart, "It's only been, what, three days?"

"The poison was apparently very persistent," the Meganium explained, remembering how carefully the Weavile had to be treated as to not let it affect anyone else, "Something you would only find in the worst Toxic a Muk could possibly produce."

"Really? Hadn't noticed," Lucario replied sourly, scratching the cuts on his arm and feeling grateful for his own immunity. After that, the drowsiness left behind from his fleeting dream instantly disappeared as his mood lightened at the news of Zerobi's recovery. He leaped to his feet and stretched his sore legs.

"Hey, thanks again for helping us out," Lucario said while casually patting one of the Meganium's petals, "Don't know what might've happened if you hadn't come along!"

"Well, SOMEONE had to come save that poor human!" the Meganium responded sarcastically as the flower around her neck twitched slightly, "I doubt he could have lasted another second against you!"

"Uh, yeah…" Lucario mumbled quietly while scratching the back of his head in embarrassment. He knew he had screwed up at the end, but was surprised and happy to get at least some acknowledgement for his effort.

The two of them became silent as they could hear a light pitter-patter coming from outside. Suddenly, a tiny Pokémon came running in through the door, completely out of breath but still quite energetic. It looked like a smaller version of the Meganium, the flower still just budding out of its neck and a great leaf sticking out of its forehead.

"Mom!" it shouted, frustration apparent.

"Yes, dear?" the Meganium asked while bending her head down to nuzzle against her child. However, it pulled itself away from her and showed an aggravated expression.

"No, mom, this is serious!" the small flower continued while shaking its head violently, "We're playing explorers, and Meowth took our flag again! It's not fair!"

"You need to protect your flag, sweetie," the Meganium said reassuringly before lowering her head while whispering as if telling a big secret, "You already know he will try to steal it, right? This time, stand near it and pretend not to see anything, until he's only focusing on the flag… Then, you leap up and stop him!"

The small flower looked up at her with a strangely bewildered face. Then, it turned around and immediately ran outside again.

"I'm in, best out of nine!" they heard it shouting eagerly as the voice grew weaker the further away it got, "You're goin' down!"

"Nice kid," Lucario said, smiling as he saw the pear-shaped Pokémon moving a little too excitedly and accidentally stumbling over its own legs.

"One of many," the Meganium said as she gave off a prideful nod, "My oldest has already defeated the Elite Four. He will be home soon, stay a few days and you'll meet him!"

"Hmm… Sorry, but we're on an important mission," Lucario muttered, thinking about returning in case they were unable to find Mew or get anything accomplished in No Man's Land, "Just being here is costing us precious time, but… Hey, sure beats dying."

"In that case, times of reprieve must be rare," the Meganium said with a meaningful tone to her voice, "Enjoy these moments while you can, they are what you'll come to cherish as you grow older."

Nodding solemnly while remembering the homely sensation he had felt earlier, a completely different feeling suddenly hit Lucario as a deep growl emanated from his belly.

"About time, I haven't seen you eat anything since you got here," the Meganium chuckled as Lucario clutched his empty stomach, "We have a lot of food in stock, feel free to have some."

"Let me guess - Berries?" Lucario asked sarcastically.

"Well, yes," the Meganium responded with a confused expression, "Were you expecting something different?"

"I'd be lying if I said I was," Lucario muttered sadly, contemplating using whatever rough surface he could find to grind off the taste buds from his tongue and lessen the misery that was to come, "… Fine. I'm hungry. Let's eat."

Lucario followed the Meganium out of the small hut and then went in through another entrance. He figured this to be some manner of pantry, berries and bottles of berry juice neatly assorted in various piles. Each new sight brought him distaste, like he was walking through a gallery of gore and mayhem. He looked around to try and pick out whatever looked the least horrible, when in the corner opposite to where the Meganium was heading he saw the absolutely last thing he had expected to see in there.

"… But… That's…" Lucario stammered in shock, his breaths coming short and his heart beating rapidly, "… It cannot be…!"

"What?" the Meganium asked, turning around to see Lucario's stunned expression. In the corner where he was staring laid a tiny sack, its small white contents poured out slightly across the ground. Right next to it stood an even smaller canister, marks of yellowish orange powder strewn across the edges.

"Oh, don't let that rice and curry spoil your appetite," the Meganium said while nonchalantly waving one of her vines around, "It's just that I've personally developed a taste for human cuisine over the years. Want to try some, just for fun?"

"I love you," Lucario whispered quietly, a single tear rolling down his cheek where it blended in with the waterfall of saliva pouring out of his mouth. Time halted itself in expectation of what Lucario knew was to be the greatest moment of his life as a Pokémon. Before he even knew it he was sitting down and eating, his hands digging wildly into a lovingly prepared meal of rice and curry.

The exquisite flavor brought life to the mistreated sandpaper he had once referred to as his tongue. Pure euphoria coursed through his body with every swallow, each bite gently caressing inner organs he didn't even remember having. It was as if he had been crawling through the sandy dunes with a parched throat for years, before finally tripping headfirst into the waters of an oasis. Then, he had spent the rest of his life beneath the surface, hating himself for having to come up for air every now and then, and dreaming of the possibilities of replacing the blood in his veins with the water around him… And even if he were to drain the entire oasis of every single drop of water, it would still not be enough!

"Haha! Either this type of food isn't new to you…" the Meganium laughed at Lucario's gluttonous display coupled with his enlightened expression, "… Or you became accustomed to the taste even faster than I did! It's good, isn't it?"

"… Well, yes! But…" Lucario said loudly, interrupting himself as he saw it necessary to grab another bite before continuing, "… There're so many other great meals that humans eat, even better than this! Like… Pasta! Spaghetti with marinara, tons of spices and side-dishes!"

"Oh, that's funny! I knew someone who used to eat that every day!" the Meganium continued laughing, a mild sneer suddenly appearing on her face, "Couldn't stand the stuff, personally… But he constantly insisted on giving me some!"

"Of course!" Lucario grinned as he swallowed down another bite, "I mean, after cooking a meal like that, how could you not want to share it? Good food's not something you experience alone!"

"My thoughts exactly, which is why I always ate it!" the Meganium said while nodding in agreement, "And when it was time for rice and curry, he always did the same for me… I remember now, he used to look so disappointed!"

"Didn't know what he was missing," Lucario responded as he held his empty plate in front of him, "Of course, to a guy customary to spaghetti… Can't really blame him! Anyway, more! Lots and lots more!"

They continued talking as they shared the meal, Lucario eating way past the point of bursting and only stopping when he realized that there were no reserves left. The Meganium sighed and muttered something about having just gotten home and needing to go to the store again. Lucario apologized profusely, despite her insisting that it was worth it to finally meet someone with the same taste as her.

After a few minutes of digesting, they went to another house to see Zerobi, this one also made out of rammed earth. Lucario wondered if all the dirt kept things sanitary enough to call it a hospital, only somewhat recognizing that the same could be said for the food storage he had just looted. He walked through the door and saw his friend sitting upright in a bed, seeing her awake for the first time since the perilous battle.

"Hey, Zerobi!" Lucario exclaimed as he stared at a slowly healing cut right across her forehead, "You look… Great."

"You too," Zerobi responded sarcastically, pointing at a particularly large gash on Lucario's arm before suddenly recoiling away from him "… Ugh, what's that stench on your breath!?"

"Genuine food," Lucario said mockingly as he leaned in closer, opening his mouth wider as he spoke, "Aahh'd let youhh haaaave soooome, buuut weeee're cooooompleeeeetely oooout."

"Good. I'm already poisoned enough as it is…" Zerobi muttered, moving to the far edge of the bed as to avoid the hideous smell. Lucario started laughing as the Meganium gave Zerobi a sympathetic look. Zerobi returned it and calmed herself; there was something she had been aching to know.

"… What happened?" Zerobi asked as she stared down into the bed, "That human… He poisoned me, and everything after that's just like a feverish nightmare where Lucario was an idiot who did stupid things."

"Uh… Yeah. What a strange dream," Lucario replied while uncomfortably scratching the back of his head, "At any rate, this awesome flower here made him fall asleep and saved us, so everything worked out fine!"

"Yeah, we've already met, thanks again," Zerobi said while nodding towards the Meganium before staring eagerly at Lucario, "But… Wait, you got him to sleep, and then what?"

"… Uh, we went here?" Lucario answered, not sure of what she was getting at.

"You… You just left him there!?" Zerobi shouted as she clutched the sheets with an angry expression, "That psycho tried to kill us! He'll do the same to someone else if we… If we don't…"

Zerobi suddenly became quiet, realizing what she was saying. Parroting the words of others, she remembered that she had been on the other end of things with Snivy and Umk, both of them agreeing that she was too dangerous to be kept alive. It put her stomach in a twist, the understanding that she had been as monstrous as the hunter combined with the awareness that even she would not have forgiven someone responsible for what she had done, had it been someone else.

"Defeat has the potential of teaching even the strongest warrior humility," the Meganium suddenly said, "We might never see him again… Or the next time, he might even be our ally."

Again drawing parallels to herself, Zerobi recognized that she was currently trying her best to do good, but despite her efforts she was always just one splash of blood away from killing again. The thought made her wonder if perhaps she would come to regret surviving being poisoned this time as well…

"I'm not so sure I agree with that…" Lucario muttered before shrugging, "… But it's a good excuse for not having to kill anyone, and a good outlook on life too, I guess."

"Thank you," the Meganium responded as she lowered her head, "… It's something an old friend of mine used to say. It took me a while to understand what he meant, as well."

"I mean, someone attacks you, you somehow manage to win and then they just go looking for revenge!" Lucario exclaimed while thinking about Suicune and holding his arms in front of him, "It's like, no! I already won, what else can I do to get you to stop following me!?"

"Oh, don't remind me! I've just finally managed to get all my self-proclaimed 'rivals' to stop bothering me!" the Meganium laughed in return before bringing herself down to a regular smile, "And as it turns out… Even rivals can make for rather nice friends."

Zerobi watched the two of them talking back and forth, surprised to see how much they appeared to have in common. It made her temporarily forget about her inner turmoil, but the sight of Lucario suddenly holding his arms out brought more pressing thoughts to mind.

"Mooooooom!" a voice suddenly yelled from outside.

"… I suppose I should leave you two in private…" the Meganium said calmly before turning around and running outside, "Coming!"

The two of them watched her leave as things became quiet, and Zerobi realized this was her chance. She knew it would not be a fun conversation, but definitively a necessary one. They had both suffered enough.

"Lucario…" she whispered quietly.

"My breath isn't that bad, is it?" Lucario chimed happily, still jacked up form is previous conversation, "Because if you think I'm ever washing the taste out of my mouth-"

"If you use another one of your 'secret techniques' or 'ultimate attacks' again, I swear…" Zerobi said with a menacing voice before jutting a sharp finger in his direction, "… I will never, ever forgive you."

"Huh? But…" Lucario stammered as he realized this was serious, "… Sure, they're kind of risky and might not work all the time, but practice makes perfect!"

"It's not 'practice' if it results in us dying!" Zerobi shouted accusingly as she grabbed a hold of the sheets again, mostly just ribbons now after clutching them too hard during her previous inner struggle, "Using an untested ability with horrible repercussions in a battle between life and death… Are you insane!?"

"Well…" Lucario muttered, not sure of how to defend himself, "That's what using the Aura Sphere was like, and I eventually learned from tha-"

"No, you learned it from Mew, who could easily protect you even if you were to screw up," Zerobi explained, realizing she needed to be as harsh as possible to get him to understand, "But with me, I'm depending on you as much as you depend on me, and I for one will NOT die because of a stupid mistake like that."

The two of them looked at each other, and Zerobi saw a moment of regret crossing Lucario's expression. She could tell her reasoning was working, but she had no intention of making him permanently hate her and decided to ease up.

"Try learning it outside of battle, or at least when I'm not in danger," Zerobi continued and sighed as she leaned back into the bed, "You can risk your own life if you want to, but don't risk mine."

"… Fine," Lucario said after thinking to himself for a long time, "I'll stick to the basics, and maybe an Aura Sphere or two. I pulled that one off pretty well, right?"

"You held your arm out, a blind person could see it coming a mile-" Zerobi started, but was interrupted by Lucario.

"APART from that!" he shouted while shaking his head, "I'll keep it subtle the next time, I swear!"

"You'd better…" Zerobi sighed again, becoming quiet for a moment before raising her head, "Hey, Lucario…"

"What?" Lucario asked, wondering what else she could berate him for.

"Good fighting," Zerobi said bluntly while giving off a faint smile.

"… Yeah," Lucario replied while returning her smile, "You too."

The next day came along, and Lucario together with Zerobi knew they had to get back on track with their journey. The Meganium showed them the best route towards No Man's Land and went to see them off, somewhat disappointed that would not be staying longer. The two of them said farewell and had a difficult time giving up the alluring hospitality she had offered, especially Lucario who almost brought the empty canister of curry with him just to be able to sniff it.

"You two seemed to get along pretty well," Zerobi said behind a smirk as they walked along the road, seeing their temporary home grow smaller behind them.

"Well, you know what they say, right?" Lucario replied while grinning broadly, "The way to a man's heart is through his desolate and tortured stomach!"

"… Really?" Zerobi asked, suddenly gaining a very interested expression.

"… Well, apart from that, she just happened to be a great person, too," Lucario admitted as he closed his eyes, "I guess… It's for people like her that we're fighting to stop the war. Hmm, you think that's enough pay for the food and lodging?"

He started wondering if maybe he could start charging everyone for his good deeds to buy genuine food, when suddenly a terrible thought hit him and his eyes shot open.

"… Damn!" Lucario exclaimed while slapping his forehead, "All that time, and I didn't even catch her name! I can't keep calling her 'Meganam' or 'big flower' forever!"

"Huh. Even I had the courtesy to ask, and I was dying from poison," Zerobi snickered as she thought back with a curious expression, "… It was a little strange, but hey, what's in a name?"

"What was it?" Lucario asked, eager to know.

"Hmm… How did she pronounce it, again…?" Zerobi continued thinking before putting her hands together in realization, "Oh yeah… I think it was 'Chica'."

Lucario felt as if his brain had ceased to function. Instantly, a thousand memories roared around his mind at once, each more familiar than the last. He was a child, lying on a grassy hill and reading comics. He was an adult, running away from a rampaging Tauros. He was a teenager, sitting on a chair in a Pokécenter while nervously twiddling his thumbs.

But no matter who or where he was, there was always someone beside him. Someone who had supported him all throughout his life, someone so close to him it was like an extension of himself. There was so much love between them; everyone he had met before and after losing his humanity were like complete strangers in comparison. Tears welled up as Lucario could not understand how he had forgotten the most important being in his life, wanting to run back to see her again with his newly awakened mindset.

However, as quickly as the memories had appeared, they vanished. As if absorbed into a black hole, his treasured past with his cherished friend was completely gone before he had even noticed it. His will to see her again disappeared as the only thing on his mind was the journey towards No Man's Land and Mew. Not a single shred was retained of his old companion, and all he had left to remember her by was a strangely nostalgic sensation and a full stomach.

"Chica, huh…?" Lucario whispered as he smiled to himself, "… Good name."
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