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:
Electric Tiger Raikou
A crash of thunder sounded somewhere in the distance, and Lucario felt his heart skip a beat in shock. Zoroark sobered up in an instant at the terrifying sight before them. In the middle of the forest where they had fought now stood the legendary dog Raikou, carrying the eternal champion Red on his back.
Raikou looked as intimidating as ever, perhaps even more so in the darkness of the night and pouring rain. Yellow fur covered his massive body, one that was not as enormous as that of Entei but still more than twice as big as Lucario's. His four legs were long, but rather than lanky they were all thick, muscular and extremely sturdy. Droplets of rain dripped down the crest covering his forehead, disappearing somewhere within the white mane covering his face or the purple mane reaching across his back in a wavy patter. The water that came into contact with his spiky tail was not as lucky, instantly evaporating into tiny blue explosions.
Red sat on Raikou's back, nestled within the purple mane as if it were a classy robe. His beard had been trimmed and was shorter than Lucario remembered, but it was still quite prominent and did not hide the old trainer's advanced age. The red cap on his head was slightly different this time, but just as unfitting for a man of his position. However, his stature was as powerful as ever, radiating assurance and evoking a curious sense of respect from both Lucario and Zoroark.
Lucario did not know whether to cower or straighten himself up. The utter defeat he and Zerobi had faced the last time against the legendary and his masterful trainer still burned fresh in his memory, as did the unparalleled voltage that had left him paralyzed for days. He had trained and fought with the hopes of one day claiming revenge, but simply thinking about it was nothing compared to actually standing there. Raikou stared him down like the implacable beast he was, and Lucario could already feel something sinister in the air. It reminded him of static electricity, except it seemed to be flowing freely all around him. His hairs stood on end, partly due to the electrical currents and mostly due to the combined fear and excitement he was experiencing.
"So..." Lucario whispered as he looked back at Zoroark with a hopeful expression, "This is the part where we put our difference aside and team up to fight a common foe, right?"
Zoroark drooped, wondering when this extremely long day would finally end. Between nearly killing Mew, getting beaten up by Lucario and somehow running into the most dangerous enemy in existence by chance, his only wonder was if he was to die from a heart attack before the rest of the world succeeded in one of their many attempts to do him in. Shaking his head, he finally realized the severity of the situation and felt his adrenaline start pumping again. He knew he had survived worse, and refused to accept such an unfair end to his life.
"Not a chance," Zoroark replied bluntly as he took a step forward, "Stay quiet and let me talk to him."
Instantly he regretted moving, Raikou's piercing gaze quickly falling upon him. The giant canine's red, volcanic eyes reminded him so much of Entei, he felt an involuntary shiver run up his spine. Raikou was supposedly every bit the fighter Entei had been, the main exception being that he was guided by the greatest trainer of all time. Zoroark knew there was no tricking this experienced duo, and even if he wanted to there were few geographical advantages to make use of in the middle of the forest. He knew that actually defeating Raikou was not an option, and his only hope was to do what he was best at. If it had worked against both Entei and Mew, what were the odds of things being any different with this legendary?
"Hmm? Lucario..." Red muttered with a facial expression of mild curiosity as he looked at Zoroark, "... Is it the Weavile who has evolved into this strange, new species...?"
"Raikou!" Zoroark suddenly shouted, staring at the legendary while completely ignoring the aged trainer, "I bring a message from your brother Entei!"
Raikou returned his stare without giving off any hint of a response. For a moment, Zoroark felt like he was talking to Connor, slowly realizing just how much more intimidating the silence was when trying to communicate with a dangerous foe.
"He said..." Zoroark continued as his posture turned sharp and his voice gained more confidence, "... No, he demanded that you do not hinder this revolution!"
"... Foolishness..." Raikou suddenly responded, to both Lucario and Zoroark's shock. Even Red seemed to be taken slightly aback, wondering what the Pokémon could possibly be discussing to actually get a reply out of his normally mute guardian. Raikou's voice was rough and dry as the desert, yet not nearly as deep as Entei's had been.
"It is the truth!" Zoroark yelled, glad to finally get a reaction and possibly even a chance to escape the encounter unharmed, "As proof that I have earned his trust, he showed me what was behind his mask! I know what lies beyond yours, as well! He would never let someone he did not trust know about something like that!"
The legendary's eyes widened. A troubled look crossed his face for a moment as he seemed to contemplate what to do next.
"Raikou..." Red said with a dull tone as he petted the side of his Pokémon's head, "... Charge."
Suddenly, Raikou's bemused expression was no more. He continued staring down Zoroark with cold, uncaring eyes as his upper body began to give off a faint glow. The hair around his face rustled quietly, and his purple mane slightly lifted from his body. Lucario could see the legendary's yellow hair moving in ripples, and was suddenly struck by a feeling of unease all over his body. Looking down, he gasped as he noticed that his own fur was also in motion, dancing to the powerful pulses of static electricity emanating from Raikou.
"Are the negotiations going well, or what!?" Lucario yelled to Zoroark, but was not given a response. The once confident leader stood completely frozen, not budging an inch or making any effort of either talking or attacking.
"... What the hell am I waiting for!?" Lucario growled to himself, remembering his vow for vengeance against the legendary monster that now looked like fearsome lantern in the dark woods, still only partially lit. Not knowing how much time he had to spare before Raikou had finished charging up, Lucario quickly amassed as many mitochondria in the palm of his hand as he could. They burst and formed a glorious sphere of deep blue, contrasting against Raikou's white shine which was lighting up the night.
"HAH!" Lucario shouted, throwing his arm out towards Raikou and letting the Aura Sphere fly. The glowing hound suddenly looked up from Zoroark, Red harshly pulling a tuft of hair to signal a warning. Raikou did not even have time to recognize the Aura Sphere before struck him right between the eyes. Lucario smiled, knowing what was to come next. Had he taken more time to stabilize the sphere, it would have pierced right through the overgrown dog. However, such was not his intention, this time.
Raikou howled in pain as the Aura Sphere suddenly exploded, a flare of blue fire covering his head and burning both outside and inside his helmet. He staggered and took a large step backwards, Red holding on tightly as to not fall off.
"GOTCHA, BITCH!" Lucario yelled triumphantly while Raikou's sparkling fur began to tone down, and the light quickly diminished as the legendary lost his focus and stopped charging. Teeth bared in hostility, Raikou glared viciously in Lucario's direction.
"See? Let's team up and show him how it's done!" Lucario said confidently as he turned around to look at Zoroark, still quite still and quiet. He had a hard time making out the dark-type's features in the darkness of the night, and the lack of any response made him feel strangely alone in his fight against the legendary.
"Ah... I see you have mastered the Aura Sphere," Red said quietly while stroking through the large mane beneath him in an attempt to calm down his Pokémon, "... Raikou, prepare maneuver Surge-two. Show the boy proper use of a projectile."
After hearing this, Raikou's angry expression settled down as he crouched down and once more started glowing with increasing intensity. Lucario got a bad feeling, but knew the Aura Sphere was by far his most speedy attack, and a large beast like Raikou really should have no possibility of dodging it. He let the aura flow through his right arm again, charging up while ready to react at a moment's notice. To his surprise, Raikou seemed to be doing the exact same thing.
"TAKE THIS!" Lucario shouted as he thrust out his left arm, trying to fake out Raikou. The legendary stood completely unfazed as Lucario two seconds later threw out the arm carrying the sphere, shooting it directly towards Raikou's body. It was already halfway there, and Lucario thought another direct hit was inevitable.
In an instant, Raikou made a short hop. To Lucario's utter disbelief, Raikou turned himself around like a corkscrew in midair, the Aura Sphere just barely grazing past the mane whishing through the wind. Watching the bulky body move with such impossible grace was enough to throw Lucario off, and he failed to notice Raikou opening his mouth. While still upside down in the air, the legendary spat out a surge of electricity which instantly took on the form of a thunderbolt. In a flash, it raced towards Lucario who did his best to leap to the side, but everything had happened to quickly for him to fully comprehend.
Lucario's world turned white and yellow as the thunderbolt struck, electricity coursing through him and causing a burning pain throughout his body. He felt his legs give way as he fell to his knees, confused and disoriented. A deep thud told him that Raikou had landed, realizing that all this had happened within the timespan of a small hop.
"Despite his size, Raikou is actually quite agile..." Red said, peeking up through Raikou's mane with a somewhat disappointed expression, "... Raikou, discharge."
A roar filled the skies as Raikou suddenly threw his head up, releasing the charge he had been building up. Red ducked within the mane as the legendary exploded in a brilliant flash of white, sparkles of slightly blue electrical currents stretching out over the area. Powerful thunder leaped between trunks and branches, chaining themselves together like a highly advanced and lethal spider's web. Stray leaves exploded into flames as a bolt of lightning struck Lucario, lying on the ground and shaking uncontrollably as if his every nerve had caught on fire. Unable to shut his eyes due to the intense pain, he could not help but see an even stranger sight unfolding before him.
Several feet behind the shimmering Raikou, a previously obscured figure stood illuminated in the middle of the electrical current. The creature became more and more visible with each passing moment, as if fading into reality. It rattled violently with painful twists of its upper body, before falling forward and landing squarely on its face. It was then that Lucario looked back and realized that Zoroark was no longer standing where he had last seen him. Before he could examine the figure more closely and confirm his fears, another bolt of stray lightning struck. The indescribably strong electricity claimed his very being, leaving his mind in a scrambled, panicked state up until the point where it finally gave out and he fainted.
After a few moments, the lightning diminished as the last of the stray bolts crawled after deeper into the forest, growing weaker with each passing tree. Raikou lowered his head calmly as Red peeked back up, witnessing the destruction around them. To his relief, he noticed that the fires had already gone out thanks to the rain, so there was no need for him to worry about an impending forest fire. To his disappointment, however, he also saw that his two opponents both lay on the ground, unmoving and utterly defeated.
"I knew it would be overkill..." Red sighed with pensive melancholy, having hoped for a better challenge and deciding to pick a weaker Pokémon the next time, "Raikou, you have done well. I demand that you take a vacation once we are finished."
Raikou lowered his head further, remembering how boring his last vacation had been. While thinking of a way to stay longer with Red, a painful cough sounded behind him. Turning around, the legendary saw Zoroark lying down, struggling to get up.
"You new species are all the same..." Red muttered as he examined the dark-type with chagrin apparent in his voice, "... Using whatever unique ability you were blessed with, thinking it makes you invincible... So boring."
Zoroark looked up, a terrified expression on his face. His attempt at escape had failed, and he knew there was nothing he could do about it. Quivering heavily while trying to stand, he remained lying down as he could no longer move or even feel anything below his waist.
"I... Will not..." Zoroark said with a trembling voice, reaching into his hair to grab a hold of a vial. He tried to drag it out, but dropped it as his hand continued shaking and refused to get a good grip. Red sighed once more as he patted Raikou on the side, the massive legendary beginning to walk towards Zoroark. The dark-type panicked and scrambled to get up, once again to no avail. Coughing ferociously, he stretched out towards a nearby root and tried to drag himself away.
"... No Man's Land..." Zoroark wheezed indignantly as Raikou and Red came up behind him, "... Is not ready... To survive... Without me... I can't... Not yet..."
"Who would have thought it would be this easy...?" Red said quietly as he reached into his backpack, pulling out something that Zoroark needed no closer inspection to recognize. He struggled harder, actually managing to pull the full length of his body ahead as Red jumped down from Raikou and walked up to him.
Only then did he realize that it was all over.
"N-No...!" Zoroark pleaded one last time as a round, metallic object touched the back of his head. In an instant, his being transformed into crimson light and was sucked up by the Pokéball. Red left the ball lying on the ground, watching it bounce back and forth as its captive gave his one last display of refusal, trying his best to escape the advanced contraption.
"Three... Two... One..." Red counted down, and precisely on the last beat, the movement of the Pokéball stopped. With that, the leader of the revolution was no more. All that remained as yet another addition to Red's sizable collection of Pokémon. He had caught Zoroark.
"You will get used to it," Red whispered reassuringly to the Pokéball as he picked it up. While he was still disappointed at how easy it had been, he felt relieved that at least one of his targets was able to fit inside a Pokéball.
"As for you, my friend... I am afraid the easy way is out of the question," Red said as he walked back to Lucario, seeing that the fighting-type was already unconscious and not about to make a final stand like Zoroark had tried. There were a few things he wanted to tell Lucario, but knew there was little time to spare. Carrying his body and placing it on Raikou's back, they began their journey towards the outskirts of the forest.
Red looked back in the direction of No Man's Land. For a moment, his boyish spirit for adventure awoke as he wished he could have seen the acclaimed city of Pokémon at least once. With its leader and founder resting quietly in his backpack, he knew it would not be there for much longer.