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:

Elusive Trickster Zoroark

Night had fallen upon the city of No Man's Land. The evening's cool and refreshing air replaced the sweltering heat which had lingered at daytime. Even so, Lucario knew everything would turn dense and rich with unpleasant odors once he went deeper into the woods, and took the moment to enjoy his current surroundings. Running through the forest, the strong moonlight filtering through the leaves and branches was the only thing illuminating his passage and stopping him from tripping over a root or crashing headfirst into a trunk. Soon the thick crowns would fully block out the sky, and he wondered how much longer he would be able keep going before the forest became too dark to move through.

Zerobi was leading the way, relying on her fairly adapt night vision and gleaming claws to beacon a route for Lucario to follow. Normally she was only a little bit faster at running than he was, but with Mew in his arms and quite the troublesome terrain to navigate in the dark, she felt like she could be running circles around both of them without breaking a sweat. Still curious as to what could possibly have incapacitated Mew, she had no intention of slowing down to find out. Instead, she was busy trying to decide if her paranoia had returned at the worst possible time, or if there really something behind them.

  "Is someone's chasing us?" Zerobi asked, deciding to check with Lucario. Lucario looked behind them for a moment, then shrugged.

"Probably not... I'm not sensing an aura," Lucario responded while panting a little from the exhausting run, realizing that his statement was not entirely true. He was still sensing many aura from No Man's Land, the extraordinarily strong one from underground grabbing his attention once more. As he reached out with his senses, he could not help but notice that the familiar aura he had noticed outside the city was currently on the move. He tried to pinpoint exactly where it was heading, but was suddenly interrupted.

"STOP!" a loud voice came from behind. Lucario snapped out of his thoughts and looked back, almost dropping Mew in surprise as he saw a black and vaguely red figure coming right at them.

"It's Zoroark!" Lucario screamed as he recognized the voice, "Shit! He's fast!"

"THAT'S Zoroark!?" Zerobi shouted as she spun around to look for half a second before turning her face forward again and speeding up, "Come on, keep running!"

  Lucario tried to speed up as well, but noticed he was already at his limit. Mew stirred a little as he jumped over a root, and he could hear Zoroark quickly closing in from behind.

"Lucario and Zerobi! I do not care about you two!" Zoroark yelled with surprisingly clarity despite running at top speed, "Hand me Mew and I will let you go!"

"Sounds trustworthy!" Lucario replied sarcastically, noticing that his panting was becoming heavier and more labored. Zoroark was catching up fast, and he had no hope of dodging or fighting him while carrying Mew. Growling menacingly while putting all his powers into a spurt, he increased his speed a little and ran up beside Zerobi.

"Z-Zerobi, here!" Lucario gasped as he held Mew's sleeping body towards her, "T-Take Mew and r-run! I'll stop Zoroark!"

"Wh... What!?" Zerobi exclaimed, moving a pace away from Lucario before ducking and narrowly dodging a low branch, "You can't be serious!"

"He's t-too fast, I can't outrun him!" Lucario continued as he moved closer and forcefully pushed Mew towards her again, "I can't fight while holding Mew, either! Take her and let me kill this asshole, I'll catch up with you later!"

  "But... But..." Zerobi stammered, unable to think of what to say as she noticed the pricks of deep red across the tiny legendary's back, "... I can't carry her, she's bleeding! If that gets on me-"

"Just from behind, hold her the other way!" Lucario yelled as he flipped Mew around far less carefully than he would have wanted to, starting to panic as Zoroark was now closer than ever before, "NOW!"

Zerobi muttered a curse as she held her arms out, turning the sharper side of her claws downwards. Lucario tossed Mew's body into her chest, making her recoil as she repositioned the legendary as to not drop or accidentally cut into her. Letting Mew's body rest upon her outstretched arms, Zerobi steadied her run and could not help but pensively eye the blood trickling down her sides.

As soon as Mew left his arms, Lucario let both his feet hit the ground, stopping and turning around. Zoroark was heading straight for him.

"No!" Zoroark suddenly yelled, a panicked expression crossing his normally confident features while his eyes followed Zerobi and Mew, "Don't let them get away!"

  "Go ahead, try to follow them!" Lucario shouted with a smile before letting the aura flow through his arm, "Let me introduce your back to the Aura Sphere!"

Zoroark flinched as a thousand conflicting thoughts ran through his head at once. While most told him that Lucario was bluffing and he should keep running, his back was already quite familiar to the Aura Sphere and knew exactly how badly it hurt. The thought of getting knocked out and possibly killed finally made Zoroark halt himself a few feet away from Lucario, hastily trying to think of what to do. Before he knew it, the Weavile carrying the legendary had disappeared out of sight into a sea of trees and bushes ahead.

"You... You idiot!" Zoroark burst out with an exasperated voice while clenching his claws together in rage, "Do you realize what you've done!?"

"Yes!" Lucario replied with a sense of excitement that surprised even himself, letting the aura flowing through his arm settle down as to not misfire and ruin his valiant stand. At long last, he felt like he was making a difference. He felt like he was selflessly protecting someone he cared about, and his worries and doubts about himself began to vanish as Zerobi and Mew managed to get further and further away. Although neither had an aura for him to sense, he knew they would be fine on their own.

  "You left the legendary Mew in the care of that murderous psychopath!?" Zoroark shouted, watching his plans go dreadfully wrong and once more ending up with the death of Mew.

"... Who? Zerobi?" Lucario asked after thinking for a moment, "Hah! I think you've got it mixed up, YOU'RE the one who's trying to kill Mew!"

"I don't have time for your bullshit!" Zoroark kept going as he impatiently waved his arms in front of him in a threatening gesture, "I mean Mew no harm... And her blood will be on your hands unless we stop Zerobi!"

"Yeah, not going to happen," Lucario said before shaking his head and striking a battle pose, "Come on, you could at least put some effort into lying."

"You... You goddamn fucking dumbass motherfucker!" Zoroark suddenly burst out, finally fed up with Lucario's misinformed views and unreasonable confidence, "Why do I even give a shit trying to explain anything!? You're so deluded it's just... Not possible! You're impossible!"

"You should've realized before that I'm way too smart for your trickery," Lucario replied with a smile while continuing to ignore Zoroark's words, "Face it, you've met your intellectual match!"

  "I will not let Mew die because of your stupidity!" Zoroark growled as he prepared himself for combat, "Last warning! Move!"

"Fine... As you wish!" Lucario shouted as he cracked his knuckles and ran forward. He took a swing, his fist whishing through the air as Zoroark reacted quickly and crouched down. Coming in low, Zoroark countered by aiming his claws at Lucario's right leg. Lucario pulled his leg back and spun around in a clockwise motion, a mighty kick striking Zoroark in the side.

"GAH!" Zoroark coughed as he hopped sideways, the painful blow reminding him that he was no match for a fighting-type in direct combat. Even so, it only served to make him more indignant.

"That was for last time!" Lucario exclaimed cheerfully while putting his hand to his own side, the successful attack bringing him extreme satisfaction, "... AND the time before that, might I add! Get ready for more, I've got so many skills for kicking your ass I don't know where to start!"

"For your sake..." Zoroark whispered with a grim, loathsome expression, "... I hope none of them rely on you actually knowing where your enemy is."

  In an instant, Zoroark was no longer there. Lucario's eyes widened and he choked on his own gasp in surprise, turning around to examine the area. Not seeing anything and still not able to sense the dark-type's aura, he finally turned his head upwards as if expecting to see him hovering above.

There was nothing. Out of nowhere, Zoroark had completely vanished. There were only trees and bushes around, all of which provided ample hiding places. Lucario wondered if Zoroark was just waiting for the right opportunity to strike, or if he had gotten past him and was already trying to catch up with Zerobi and Mew.

The latter thought seemed to be the most likely and troublesome as Lucario immediately took off in the direction where Zerobi and Mew had disappeared, neither of them providing an aura for him to track. Instead, all he could sense was the aura that had been roaming the outside of the forest. It was definitively on the move, closer now than before and seemingly inside the forest. Not only that, but there was something else there... Something approaching quickly from behind...

  Spinning around and thrusting out his elbow, he felt it connect with Zoroark's snout. However, he had not been fast enough, as something slashed across his chest before the dark-type staggered backwards with a pained cry. Both of them were taken by such surprise that they just stood and stared at each other for a moment.

"H-How the hell did you...!?" Zoroark snarled viciously while clasping his hand around his nose, realizing that he was bleeding. His own attack had drawn blood from Lucario, but had not done nearly as much damage as he had hoped.

Lucario smiled while reaching up and flicking his ears a bit.

"These aren't just for show, you know," he said confidently, suddenly grateful to finally get some use out of having such large ears. So far, all they had done was bump into things overhead and force him to cover them whenever a loud noise sounded. Zoroark had moved both quickly and quietly, but the light pitter-patter that would have gone unnoticed by anyone else had alerted Lucario to his presence.

"... Damn it!" Zoroark huffed angrily, having hoped for a quick and easy resolution instead of a drawn out battle. Every second that passed, Zerobi was getting further away, and the bandage part of the Sphygnomanometer had already fallen off Mew's tail, so soon he would have no hope of finding them. Not that it would matter, Zoroark thought, not knowing just how many moments it would take before Zerobi started digging into the poor helpless legendary. A wave of guilt ran through him, and he knew that he had to try anything to rectify his mistake in incapacitating Mew.

  "... You know what? Screw this!" Zoroark suddenly snarled as he dropped his stance, "I've got better things to do, damn it. I am willing to call this a draw if you are."

"A... A draw!?" Lucario burst out in surprise, having expected the battle to continue for quite a bit longer, "Uh... I'm keeping you busy so the others can escape, remember?"

"You are all free to go for now," Zoroark muttered as he waved his hand and turned around, "Go ahead, before I change my mind."

Lucario looked at him with a confused expression for a while, before also dropping his guard.

"... Alright," he said while nodding in agreement, "It's a draw. Good bye."

Also turning around, Lucario and Zoroark stood with their backs to each other. Hesitantly, they both started walking away.

After nearly three steps, both of them turned around again and charged each other, clashing together in a violent slam.

"... So?" Lucario asked expectantly as he took a step back.

"I... Changed my mind," Zoroark mumbled before raising his voice, "You were planning on attacking me too!?"

  "Hah! You think I'm settling for a draw after coming this far?" Lucario chuckled as he struck his battle pose again, "No way! I'm kicking your ass!"

Something sinister passed over Zoroark's face. His angry features began to melt away as his usual confident demeanor crept forward. It was obvious that he had just gotten some kind of idea. In a flash, he zoomed one of his arms through his hair, his claws clutching a small vial containing a clear yellowish liquid as they came out.

"Kicking? MY ass? I never knew you thought so highly of yourself," Zoroark mused as he uncorked the vial and gave the contents a quick whiff, "Mmm... Tell me, which flavor of defeat would you prefer? Paralysis, sleep or poison?"

"... Poison?" Lucario responded, hoping Zoroark did not know about his inherent immunity to poisoning. He remembered how he had been taken down with a single blow when paralyzed, and how the scientist Zoroark had put to sleep had faced a similar fate.

"Ahaha... Clever," Zoroark snickered, trying to draw things out as much as possible, "No, I think paralysis would do nicely, so you can lie here and mope while thinking about what you've done."

  Before pouring the liquid over his claws, Zoroark looked down and realized they were covered in blood. Some of it was his, and some of it was Lucario's.

"Hey asshole, you think I'm going to let this happen?" Lucario asked, realizing that this was a perfect opportunity to cancel his enemy's preparations, "You know I can attack at any moment, right?"

"Oh, I wouldn't suggest that..." Zoroark mumbled while holding up his bloodied hands, "Do we share the same blood type? If not, stabbing you with these would probably kill you."

"... How considerate of you..." Lucario grumbled sarcastically, the wound on his side that had been pierced by the same claws twice aching a bit. Zoroark produced a towel from his hair which he used to wipe his claws clean, using his tongue to lick up the last remnants of blood. The flavor was iron-like and strong, and he could not comprehend how Zerobi could be so passionate about it. Something told him that understanding her twisted mentality might actually be worse than not.

Meanwhile, Lucario had his own problem to worry about. Focusing his senses, he noticed that the powerful aura that had been on the move was definitively heading directly towards them. At first he had thought Zoroark was an idiot for stalling the battle, since he needed to catch up with Zerobi and Mew as quickly as possible... But the more he thought about it, he realized Zoroark was probably just waiting for some kind of backup from No Man's Land. The aura came from the outskirts of the forest, so it was probably some kind of guard... A very strong one, judging by its ferocious and strangely familiar aura.

  "You ready, or what!?" Lucario yelled impatiently, knowing he would have to end the battle quickly before having to fight two foes at once.

"Oh... Almost..." Zoroark whispered as he was finally given what he had been waiting for; a light, cold and wet tap on the nose.

Lucario felt something touching his head, and he looked up. It was difficult to tell in the darkness, but the steady stream on water falling into his eyes told him it was starting to rain. In just a few moments it was as if the skies themselves had dumped a bucket over them, the rain coming down in a violent shower. The darkness around them became covered in grey scratches, illuminated by the moon's pale light.

"Hmpf... Heheh..." Zoroark snickered, a sinister smile appearing on his face. Lucario braced himself for what was to come, wondering what possible use his opponent could make out of regular rainfall. If anything, it should wash the poisonous coating from his claws before long.

"... You've got good hearing, do you?" Zoroark asked gleefully as he ran one of his hands through his bushy red hair, water dripping down his face and matting down his fur, "I wonder... Can you hear this?"

  Zoroark then stepped down with his foot on the wet soil. It made no splash and left no mark, and whatever miniscule sound it might have caused was drowned out by the millions of raindrops falling all around it.

"No? I guess those ears really are just for show!" Zoroark shouted triumphantly while shaking his head, several droplets of water flying off to the sides. Lucario tensed up, finally realizing what Zoroark was getting at. The dark-type snickered as he finally turned the vial upside down and coated his claws with the strange yellowish fluid. It was done both swiftly and efficiently, for he was no longer waiting for the rain to start.

"Take a deep breath, Lucario. I hear gargling mud is a fairly disgusting experience..." Zoroark said, and then he was gone. Lucario was just about to rush him, but stopped himself when realizing he had missed the opportunity.

Immediately he began thinking of a way to counter the attack, but nothing obvious came up. He really had no way of seeing, hearing or otherwise detecting Zoroark's location anymore. He thought of using the Aura Sphere, but while the attack was both destructive and accurate, it wouldn't matter much if he didn't know where to aim. It had missed once against the hunter, and this time a miss would result in defeat.

  Lucario suddenly thought about the hunter. He remembered how the fairly slow and heavy target had still managed to dodge his Aura Sphere. He suddenly had an idea. It would be quite risky, but it was still better than nothing.

Closing his eyes, Lucario dropped his hands to his sides. Both his arms were flexed, and ready to attack at a moment's notice. However, even so he tried to relax as much as possible, attempting to figure out when to strike. At any moment he could be pierced, paralyzed and left for dead on the wet ground. The rattling of the rain made it seem like it had already happened, and he was completely still while lamenting over his defeat. Knowing Zoroark was already moving on. Knowing he would take Mew back to No Man's Land despite her near death experience. Knowing Zerobi might not even make it that far before being killed off. Knowing that he had failed to protect the only two people in the world he genuinely cared about.

He would not have it. Not this time.

"YAAH!" Lucario burst out, putting all his weight behind an uppercut to his right. His fist connecting with Zoroark's chin like a volcanic outburst, sending the dark-type flying upwards in a graceful arc. Zoroark's mind went numb as he flew back and fell down on the ground, instinctively getting to his feet but still not capable of any rational thinking.

  "Wh... What the..." he stammered through his dizziness, the pain pounding against his head and making it seem like he was being hit over and over by the attack, "How the... How could you possibly...?"

"Take a deep breath, Zoroark," Lucario said with a confident smile as he charged, "I hear kissing the ground's not all that great, either!"

Zoroark wobbled a bit, trying to get out of the way but still too dazed to make a genuine effort. Lucario was just about to slug the dark-type once more when a very strong feeling overwhelmed him, making him halt and grit his teeth in anger.

"That's... That's not fair! I'm winning, damn it!" Lucario yelled before pointing accusingly at Zoroark, "Hey, you're not a coward, are you!? Tell your backup to piss off so we can continue this fight in peace!"

"My... Backup?" Zoroark repeated with a curious expression. His mind began to clear as he heard a booming crack somewhere within the woods. It sounded something like a branch breaking in two, but many times louder.

"Yeah! I've been sensing that thing ever since getting here!" Lucario continued, feeling the immensely powerful aura coming up right upon them, "You know, one of the guards you put outside No Man's Land?"

  "... I didn't put any guards outside..." Zoroark whispered and stared into the forest, a very bad feeling spreading through him. He heard yet another explosion-like snap, closer this time.

"... Huh?" Lucario exclaimed in surprise, "But... That can't be! I recognize this aura, I just can't remember from where! You mean... It's NOT one of yours?"

Both their curiosities were answered as one final blast sounded, and one of the trees they had been staring at broke around the middle and came crashing down. Behind it was an incredibly large creature, one that both Lucario and Zoroark recognized all too well. It approached them with footsteps so heavy that they could be heard even through the pouring rain.

A figure suddenly emerged on top of the beast, crawling out from under its fur. As astounding of a sight as the monstrous creature was, the one thing that drew their attention was the color emanating from the trainer on top...



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