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:

Equilibrium (Epilogue of Episode IX)

Perplexed and exhausted,  it took Lucario several minutes to comprehend that he was awake. He sat still, vacantly looking at nothing in particular, everything around him a darkened shade of brown. There was a light tapping against his right foot, but like everything else it was not enough to grab his absent attention. Things were rocking back and forth in a very soothing motion, and it only served to bring him closer to sleep once more. It was not until the room suddenly lurched violently, sending Lucario to the side where he knocked his head against some kind of metal and abruptly came back to his senses.

"Son of a..." he murmured, clutching his sore head. It felt like he had been banging it repeatedly against an unprotected electrical socket, the thought of electricity suddenly bringing his mind up to date. He tried sitting up straight, only to bash his head against yet another hard object. Swearing while clutching his head once more he looked around hastily, expecting to see Raikou or maybe even Zoroark sneering at him from somewhere.

  There was not much to see. All around him was some kind of thick brown cloth, light seeping in through various small holes and cuts. He could see it move in the wind and hear it flutter, but the air was musky and unpleasant. Reaching up to try and lift the cloth, he was stopped by some kind of metallic object in his way. It was difficult to tell in the darkness, but as he inspected the object more closely he noticed that it was bar made out of iron, and only one of the many that now surrounded him.

Lucario growled and bashed his cage as hard as he could, not even making a dent in the hard metal. A decently powerful aura beneath the cage told him he was being carried by some Pokémon, one he had never met before. All of this seemed strangely familiar, and Lucario thought back to the last time a trainer had captured him. Back then he had been unconscious for most of the trip, and worried as to where he was being taken this time. If the scientist wanted him back for more experimentation, he knew he would eventually face the same fate as the poor Dragonair had.

  Realizing the cage was not even large enough for him to sit up straight, Lucario slumped back in defeat. With nothing else to do, he suddenly became aware of something tapping against his right foot. Looking down, he saw a small round object lying on the ground, rolling with the constant motions of the cage between one of the bars and Lucario's toes. Picking it up without really thinking, the upper half of the ball suddenly opened up and exploded into a flash of red light. Lucario tried to back away but had no way of moving around, and the strangely sentient light ended up landing right in his lap. A warm sensation preceded that of something like a heavy pelt taking form upon him as the cage became more and more cramped by the second.

"Ah!" Lucario exclaimed in terror as he had no intention of being crushed against the floor, when the creature from the Pokéball suddenly stopped growing and the red light faded away. He tried to see who it was, his vision now obscured by a sea of red hair as something kicked him right between the ribs.

  "Lucario!?" Zoroark shouted out with a confused voice as he tried to stand up, "Where are-"

"A cage!" Lucario replied as he covered his chest, somehow ending up with a fast elbow against his nose, "OW! Stop squirming, damn it!"

"Get away from me!" Zoroark yelled as he once more tried pushing Lucario away, but failed to do so. He began to realize that there was something behind him both of them, and quickly started to think of another way to separate. Trying to stand up, he ended up banging his head against the top of the cage. Almost falling face first onto Lucario, his descent was stopped by the fighting-type holding his arms in front and catching him in midair.

"Move your hands!" Zoroark suddenly burst out with indignation, his voice filled with rage. Lucario was about to snap back with a snide remark, when he suddenly noticed that his hands were sinking into something unexpected. It was warm, soft and hairy, but had the toughness of firm flesh to it. Zoroark quickly backed out of Lucario's grasp and scratched his aching head as Lucario pondered over the strange thing he had felt. For a moment he thought he'd pushed against Zoroark's belly, and that the dark-type had really gained a few pounds since their last meeting, but closer observation told him that he had definitively been pushing against the upper body.

  There was something familiar about the sensation, like something from a very distant past coming back to him through either Ethan or Cyon's memories. Looking at Zoroark's torso, he saw nothing that could even remotely compare to what his hands had told him. His hair was bushier around his shoulders and chest, and Lucario began to wonder if maybe something was hidden within. Zoroark was busy examining their surroundings and seemed fairly unaware of their situation, and so Lucario saw his chance. Carefully he moved his hand to try to brush some hair aside without its owner noticing, but before reaching his target he felt his hand sink deep into the softness once more. Zoroark and Lucario flinched in unison, and Lucario filled up with horror as he could now feel the strange thing, but could clearly see that his hand surrounded by nothing but air.

"Last warning!" Zoroark growled sharply as he quickly raised one of his spiky hands in a threatening gesture, "If you touch me again-"

"I'm not touching you!" Lucario blurted out in shock, trying to figure out what was going on, "See? There's nothing there, but... But... I feel something!"

  Zoroark glared at him for a moment, his expression slowly turning bitter as he saw Lucario's confusion. Trying not to break eye contact lest the dark-type try anything, Lucario could not help but notice something moving by the edge of his vision. Hesitantly looking down to where his hand was, he saw a faint swirl of darkness surrounding it, connecting his hand with Zoroark's body. He froze up, watching with utter disbelief as the darkness grew thicker and more solid, turning into the color of Zoroark's black hair. It finally took form, the swirl converging into two spherical designs, both symmetrical with one another. It was not until Lucario noticed a small nub at the end of one of the globes that he realized he was currently groping one of Zoroark's surprisingly large breasts.

"Now can you move your hand?" Zoroark sighed, Lucario immediately pulling his arm back and scrambling to get himself in order. Staring directly at the well-developed chest in front of him, he could hardly believe what he was seeing, but there was no denying the first thought that popped into his head.

  "Y-You..." Lucario stammered with a perplexed tone, turning his gaze upwards to face Zoroark with a new set of eyes, "... You're female?"

"Took you long enough to figure out," Zoroark responded quickly and gave off an exasperated huff, "Was it too dark for you to see when I showed you the first time?"

Lucario thought back, remembering how Zoroark had initially promised to show him a secret which he ended up never seeing. Looking down at the bust once more, he realized that while it was quite apparent now, he could easily have missed it in the dim lighting of the underground cave.

"I... I'm no good at telling genders apart, but there's no mistaking the feeling of..." Lucario started before he suddenly realized what he had done and moved further back in alarm, "... Ah! Sorry about that, I thought you were... Or rather, weren't..."

Zoroark gave no response and looked away from him with an annoyed expression, making him lose his train of thoughts. Suddenly, he became very aware of Zoroark's body lying on top, trying to figure out exactly which parts of her he was rubbing up against. He had no way of telling, as everything still just felt like warm, hairy rug.

  "... Why?" Lucario asked after a few minutes, examining Zoroark more closely to see if anything else had changed. Zoroark turned back towards him, an agitated expression still present on her face.

"Long story..." she whispered, before noticing Lucario's eyes on her body and feeling her temper rise once more, "... Would you stop staring!? I'd like to spend my last few hours alive with some manner of digni-"

"I knew it!" Lucario shouted as he clasped his hands together in triumph, having finally come to the conclusion he was looking for, "You... You can turn invisible! That's how you hid your gender, and vanished during battle!"

A moment of silence passed between the two of them, Lucario awaiting a response while Zoroark had no idea what to say. She had assumed Lucario would have figured out her true powers by now, and if her pounding headache was anything to go by, even managed to see through them.

"Wait... You didn't know?" Zoroark exclaimed in surprise, "Then how could you possibly have hit me that last time?"

  "With my fist!" Lucario replied cheerfully, the great sensation of sweet revenge seeping back into him.

"... I know my illusion was perfect, tell me how you managed to see through it!" Zoroark demanded, far from satisfied with his answer.

"Well, honestly..." Lucario murmured as he thought back, "... I guess it was just a lucky shot?"

"Stop playing dumb!" Zoroark growled, becoming very infuriated by the stubborn fighting-type, "I am about to die because of you, at least give me some damn answers!"

"I... I just felt like that point of time would be a good time for you to attack," Lucario said quietly as he tried to remember exactly what he had been thinking about before deciding to lash out with an uppercut, "So I punched to the side, precisely where you attacked me the last time, and to my surprise I actually hit something."

Zoroark was speechless. Something inside her mind told her Lucario was neither joking nor lying. Leaning against the side of the cage, she suddenly felt very weak. Trapped right next to someone she was beginning to hate quite a bit and on her way to certain execution, all while No Man's Land stands unaware and defenseless. Forcing back her tears, she slumped down in defeat. She hoped her life had been as meaningless as it had seemed.

  "... Luck..." Zoroark repeated quietly as she solemnly looked off to the side, "... How I miss the days when I had that..."

"What, you weren't expecting any bad karma after what you've done?" Lucario asked as he also leaned back into a more comfortable position, trying his best not to make their current positions too awkward, "Luck's with everyone else in the world, seeing how this is the end of your stupid revolution."

"... And I suppose you have a better idea for getting humanity to stop treating us like garbage?" Zoroark muttered bitterly, "You know, enslaving us on a whim? Hunting us down and murdering us just because they can?"

"... Uh..." Lucario murmured while trying to think of a good response, "... Did you try protesting?"

"That IS what we're trying!" Zoroark snapped back as she pointed accusingly at Lucario, "They are the aggressors, trying to shut us down through force since they are unable to do it through reason!"

"What I meant was... Violence only creates more violence," Lucario explained, copying what Mew had told him earlier, "The root of the problem is the lack of understanding humans and Pokémon have for each other. All we need to do is sit down and... Uh, talk."

  "Exactly! Again, that is precisely what we are trying to do!" Zoroark continued with her tirade, feeling her spirits return at the thought of the injustices she had been served in life, "The language barrier forces us to show our displeasure through actions rather than words... I mean, just being near a human means they have the right to do whatever they want with you, so every discussion like that would open with a Pokéball and end with a lifetime of slavery!"

"... Alright, so maybe you've got a point," Lucario mumbled, not having given much thought as to how he and Mew were going to fix the relationship between humans and Pokémon, "But that doesn't change the fact that a selfish cross-dresser who hates humanity is SO not the right person for this job. Let someone more qualified handle it."

Suddenly, Zoroark lowered her head, letting an ominous shadow cover her face.

"... More qualified...?" Zoroark snarled intensely as she clenched her claws together, "... I've spent years studying... Researching... Planning... Do you think I would have given up everything for this cause if ANYONE else was able to do this!?"

  Lucario flinched as Zoroark's voice turned into a powerful shout, the dark-type filling up with murderous rage.

"Pfft, given up everything?" Lucario responded casually to prove that her roar had not intimidated him, "Yeah, right, don't give me that bullshit. You're obviously just doing this as a grab for power, to become ruler of the world or something."

"Ruler!? Why, you little...!" Zoroark continued as she suddenly thrust her arms forward and held them right in front of his face, spiked fingers hanging limply at the end, "Look!"

"... Uh, did you change gender again or something?" Lucario asked, not seeing any obvious difference on the dark-type.

"Oh, for the love of-" Zoroark groaned as she leaned forward and pushed her right arm against Lucario's hand, "Feel, then!"

Lucario wondered if she was trying to get him to molest her again when he suddenly noticed that there was something unusual about her arm. It was covered with the same fine hair as the rest of her body, but while the hide underneath was mostly smooth, certain sections had a particularly coarse texture to them. Moving his hand around, Lucario could feel the rough skin stretching over her arm like long cuts, slowly beginning to realize what they were.

  "I got these scars barely a month into the revolution, and was lucky to escape with my life," Zoroark explained with a vicious tone and angry facial expression, "Ruler? I'll be happy to have eyes left to see the fruit of my labor! These scars will never heal... I'm already disfigured beyond recovery, and you dare question my motives!?"

Breathing heavily, Zoroark had no intention of calming down. Her ideas of composure and putting up a reliable facade were all but gone at the thought of imminent death. What difference would it make?

Suddenly, Lucario's hand reached out and grabbed a hold of her arm, pulling it into himself and dragging it firmly across his chest. Before she had time to react or protest, a certain sensation of crudeness upon her wrist made her realize what he was trying to show.

"Welcome to my world," Lucario muttered sourly, "You think you're the only one suffering?"

Zoroark pulled her hand back in surprise, speechless once more. From sight alone there was no way of telling, but beyond his thick chest hair Lucario had more scars than even she. Giant, impossibly devastating scars, signifying a mutilation no living creature could possibly have survived. She knew she must have felt it wrong and decided to examine them more closely, caressing and prodding through Lucario's fur. He seemed a bit discomforted at this, but what she came to realize next shocked her even more.

  "That... That shape..." Zoroark whispered as she felt around carefully and was able to determine the form of one of the scars, "... Caused by surgical tools? By... Humans!? But... Why...?"

Lucario came up short. He rarely thought about his scars, and figured they were just something Cyon had gotten from another Pokémon in the past. He knew two of them were from Deoxys, but the idea that the many others might have been caused by human tools made him feel uneasy.

Zoroark noticed Lucario's changing expression and pulled her hand back, worried that she had made him too uncomfortable with her examination. For a moment, she wondered why she even cared. Suddenly, Lucario no longer seemed like the brash ignorant who had ruined everything, but rather a tragic figure who really did not know any better... Just like she had once been.

Guilt came down upon her with great weight as she realized that she had done what she always hated when others did - Judged someone on face value. After dealing with thousands of different Pokémon each day, she had forgotten that there might be those out there that really are nothing like they seem. Wanting to test Lucario's character and knowing she really had nothing left to lose, she decided to be completely sincere for once just to see where it would bring them.

  "... Listen, Lucario. I severely underestimated you when I said my reason for doing this was because I hated humanity," Zoroark explained while looking Lucario deep in the eyes without blinking to show that she was not lying, "I thought it might get you to join the revolution, since you were hurt so badly by them. You would have been a valuable ally, and I... I did not want to risk losing you."

"If it's any consolation, I wouldn't have joined, anyway," Lucario replied while wondering where her serious expression had come from, "Why am I so important? Cut the bullshit this time around, OK?"

"Because... Lucario... You are not like everyone else," Zoroark continued explaining, "You have no past to sway you from making the right decisions. You have no relatives to dictate your choices in life. It is as if you were born an adult with a mature mind, completely untainted by the opinions of others and ready to see what truly needs to be done..."

Zoroark suddenly felt a bit distressed, realizing that speaking truthfully might come back to bite her in the future. Even so, seeing Lucario's surprisingly interested expression made her decide to go through with it. Most would have shut her out by now, but here he was, listening to every word of her confession as if it really mattered to him. To her, it confirmed what she had felt all along.

  "You are like me," Zoroark said bluntly, giving off a faint smile in confidence, "If it's because you have amnesia or used to be human, whatever. You are the only person capable of understanding what I am doing."

"But..." Lucario muttered, not sure on how to respond, "... I don't understand what you're doing."

"Humans do not treat Pokémon as equals. To everyone in the world this is simply the way things are, and no one believes it is possible to change," Zoroark clarified, a fire suddenly lighting up in her eyes as she rose a bit, "I will make them believe. Humans and Pokémon can coexist as equals."

"... Coexist?" Lucario repeated, the word sounding right to him but not clearing him of his previous concern, "So... No trying to overthrow humanity?"

"Heheh, Lucario..." Zoroark snickered at the strange notion as she shook her head in amusement, "I am merely the leader of an ideology, currently followed by thousands of others. If I deviate even a little from my original plan, they'll abandon or flay me in an instant. It is literally impossible for me to do something like that."

  Zoroark fell quiet, Lucario sitting deep in thought as he considered her words. In the end, their goals were the same - To unite humans and Pokémon. He thought her methods seemed reasonable, and potentially a lot more effective than Mew's dedicatedly pacifistic route. Even so, Lucario found it hard to believe that he could have been so wrong about the revolution all this time, and he knew that he was not exactly the first person to ask when it comes to solving a conflict he had not even known about a year prior.

"... All right," Lucario finally said, "I understand what you're trying to do."

"That means..." Zoroark exclaimed hopefully, "You'll join the revolution!?"

"No," Lucario said bluntly as he shook his head, "But I won't hinder you anymore."

"Heheh... Odd choice of words for someone in a cage," Zoroark snickered quietly, her expression slowly turning into one of depression, "... Damn it. After finally managing to convince you... Why does it have to end like this?"

"What will happen to us?" Lucario asked as their surroundings suddenly lurched, making him feel nauseated.

  "Had we been taken by a common rube it would've been one thing, but..." Zoroark said before stopping herself, "... Hmm, no, I suppose in that case we wouldn't have been captured in the first place. It had to be one of the champions, didn't it?"

A moment of silence followed, Lucario eagerly waiting as Zoroark thought of what to say. Little did he know she was not thinking of what to say, but rather how to say it without getting him to needlessly panic. The day had been rough to the both of them, and she did not know how many more bad news he could take before snapping.

"... Red is being manipulated by a troublesome group," Zoroark explained while displaying a grievous expression, "They call themselves Team Rocket, but that name is just a ruse. They are actually made up of remnants from many different criminal organizations that have disbanded over the years."

"Red? Manipulated?" Lucario repeated, the idea of someone putting a leash on the man who had defeated him twice sounding unreasonable and hurting his pride.

  "The ultimate revenge..." Zoroark whispered with a sigh before raising her voice, "Red was the man who disbanded the original Team Rocket, and now they're the ones controlling him from the shadows. He is but a man and has grown old and feeble, but organizations... They take in fresh blood and stay young forever."

"... I see," Lucario whispered while nodding towards Zoroark, "That's what you're planning for the revolution, isn't it?"

"Hmm... Maybe? Their leader Giovanni stepped down and his son immediately took over... Monarchy really simplifies things, no?" Zoroark mused while contemplating the idea of having an offspring to take things over should anything happen to her, "Speaking of the revolution, I am fairly sure Team Rocket are the ones responsible for experimenting on the Pokémon in the tape. You know about the tape, don't you?"

"Read about it," Lucario said with a nonchalant wave of his hand, "Didn't see it."

"... I envy you..." Zoroark replied with distaste apparent in her voice, "... If we truly are within Giovanni's grasp, odds are we will be starring in a video of our very own before long..."

  "Wait..." Lucario mumbled as the thought of being experimented upon brought back unpleasant memories, "... They're the ones that took me after I was kidnapped by that brat, weren't they!?"

"And I had to rescue you?" Zoroark verified, sadly aware that such an outcome would not be possible this time and starting to imagine the horrors that lay in store for them, "... The poor souls we took away from that place have yet to recover. I... I really don't want to end up like them..."

"... End up like what?" Lucario grunted defiantly and gave one of the iron bars above him a few knocks, "We're not dead yet. Turn invisible and escape when they open this thing."

"It is not that simple," Zoroark muttered with regret and a hint of grief as she leaned back against the cage, "My ability is convenient, but riddled with too many shortcomings to be of general use. There's no way I could use it to trick a master like Red, or a veteran like Raikou."

"Hmm..." Lucario mumbled in response, "What makes you think they'll be there?"

  Zoroark looked at him. Suddenly, her eyes narrowed.

"Wait, who's carrying us?" Zoroark asked with confusion in her voice.

"Dunno, but I can sense its aura," Lucario explained while focusing his senses on the creature beneath them, "It's really not that strong, and definitively not Raikou or Red."

"... It's... It's not Red...?" Zoroark repeated hopefully before sitting up as straight as she could without bumping into the ceiling, "... Then... Then maybe... If only I could get past these bars, I could steer us right...!"

Lucario watched her as she began to examine the cage around them for structural weaknesses. He tried moving out of her way as to not intrude upon too many private areas when he suddenly noticed something tapping against his right foot. Looking down, he realized that he had all but forgotten about the Pokéball that had brought Zoroark there. A thought crossed his mind where he put her back into the Pokéball to get some more stretching room in the cage, but the thought quickly took the form of an idea.

  "How was the Pokéball?" Lucario asked, wondering what transforming into a red light and living inside a container could possibly feel like.

"... I am never going back in that thing again!" Zoroark growled as she looked down at the Pokéball, apparently seeing it for the first time and moving as far away from it as possible. Nothing in this world could have prepared her for the sheer horror that was the inside of a Pokéball, at least to a Pokémon with her incurable affliction. She tried to subdue the fear welling up, but the thought of returning to that hell was even worse than the idea of dying.

"Too bad," Lucario huffed before a smile began to develop on his face, "Might be our ticket out of here."

"It won't fit, the bars are set too tight," Zoroark mumbled bitterly, trying to catch on to Lucario's train of thoughts while drawing attention away from her growing terror, "... And I won't be able to parachute if I'm still in the ball."

"... Huh? I mean, I don't exactly know how they work, but things that come out of it look like thin, red lights..." Lucario explained while hoping he was not completely off with his plan, "... If I hold it between the bars and open it, wouldn't you materialize on the outside?"

  Zoroark thought to herself for a moment. A smile crossed her face as well, but it did not stay long.

"... Aha. Clever..." Zoroark whispered with a frown, "... By sealing me back within the Pokéball, you make sure that I will not find a way to escape, thereby condemning the revolution to a failure... Is that it?"

"... You don't trust very easily, do you?" Lucario sighed, realizing that his original thought actually amounted to something like that before he had come up with the idea. They looked at each other for a moment, trying to read one another. Somehow, the hostile atmosphere between the two had completely evaporated over the past hour, and it seemed almost unreasonable that they had been involved in such a perilous battle right before.

Still, Zoroark was not entirely convinced. She knew she had not made it so far in life by blindly trusting whoever she came across. Now that escape was a possibility, she was starting to feel that divulging her deepest secrets might not have been such a good idea. She needed to be sure of who she was dealing with.

  "Tell me, Lucario..." Zoroark said quietly while giving him a serious look, "What is your purpose in life?"

"... Do I need one?" Lucario asked, feigning an offended tone.

"You struggle and suffer, yet leave behind all the impact of a passing cloud," Zoroark explained with an unwavering stare and harsh tone, "What is your reason to keep on living?"

As decisive as Zoroark hoped the question was, it was nothing new to Lucario. Since finding out he would never become Ethan again, he had asked himself the same thing more than once, weighing out his current situation. How he was a human-Pokémon hybrid that could not find peace in either societies. How he fought and bled for the sole purpose of keeping himself alive. How many others had suffered and sacrificed in order to help him.

Although the last thought brought him discomfort, the answer was more than obvious.

"I'm not a fan of the alternative," Lucario replied. Zoroark continued examining him with her pensive gaze for a moment before accidentally cracking up. She snorted, stifling a laugh from the direct yet unconventional answer.

  "... Alright," she finally said, looking down at the Pokéball and regarding it with equal amounts of hatred and terror. She swallowed her fears and picked it up, careful not to touch the opening that would suck her back into the unending nightmare that dwelled inside. Breathing heavily, she kept telling herself that no matter what unimaginable terror she was to face this time, it would only be for a few moments.

"I will... Enter the Pokéball once more, and trust you to pull this off," Zoroark said as she thrust the Pokéball into Lucario's open hands, a bit woozy at the thought of soon being back inside the infernal contraption, "I am literally placing my life in your hands. Whatever your plans, thoughts or feelings might be... Please, do not waste it."

Lucario nodded assuredly, starting to get the idea of just how much Zoroark loathed being trapped. He held up the Pokéball and turned it around a bit, trying to figure out how to make it work. As Ethan he had supposedly used the things over a million times, but right now he was as oblivious as a child with his first Gameboy.

  "Just... Push it against me," Zoroark muttered, noticing that she was already starting to shake and worried she would soon lose her nerve, "Once I am out, tear that thing in two... I do not want to know what happens if I try to escape while it's still functional..."

Their eyes met one last time, both regarding the other in a new light since having been thrown into the cage. To Lucario it was not an entirely new sensation, having initially regarded Zoroark with gratefulness and even admiration when she had saved him from the hell both of them were about to enter once more. The thought of turning out like the Dragonair made him toss out all inhibitions as he jabbed the Pokéball against Zoroark's stomach, a little too eagerly as she coughed in surprise.

The heavy exhale hung in midair as her body developed a red hue, beginning to shine brightly as it exploded into a beam of red light and disappeared inside the Pokéball. Lucario swallowed hard as he looked down at the tiny ball, wondering if Zoroark could still see or hear him somehow. He moved it to an empty spot between two bars, carefully as to not give her motion sickness, and pointed it to the ground just outside the cage. He did not exactly know what lay beyond the cloth, but knew sending her out there unprepared was not a good idea.

  Fiddling about with the hull while trying to find a way to get the Pokéball to spit out Zoroark again, he found what seemed to be a small indent on the underside. Pressing against it, the lower half of the Pokéball suddenly shot open. The Pokéball leaped out of Lucario's flimsy grip as red light shoot out. It went past the bars and struck one of the makeshift walls around them, beginning to materialize Zoroark once more.

However, as more of her being came into existence, their already unstable prison proved itself not willing to accommodate. She had just reached full form as the cloth she was up against ripped from its foundation. Still glowing faintly red, the figure of Zoroark was immediately sucked outside, disappearing for Lucario's view.

"NO!" Lucario yelled as he reached out and banged his face against the iron bars. The cloth that had obscured their vision all this time now flailed wildly in the wind, and if the clouds outside were anything to go by, he knew without a doubt that he was being transported by flight.

  "Zoroark!" Lucario shouted, wondering what to do. Zoroark had no way of flying as far as he knew, but the dark-type did have many other tricks up her sleeves. For all he knew, she could have an ability that lets her soar, or a parachute hidden somewhere inside her long red hair.

Suddenly, the memory hit him. Zoroark had said something about parachuting while he was busy explaining his idea. Lucario smiled a bit, and could not help but chuckle at the thought of her having realized they were in midair long before he did.

His smile faded, becoming aware that Zoroark was now heading towards the ground and was no longer in any position to rescue him. For some reason, it did not feel as bad as he had feared. She had saved him before, and now he had repaid the favor. Picking up the Pokéball and putting his muscles to use, the top and bottom half came apart fairly easily. Inside the Pokéball was wide array of technology, hidden by the simplistic red and white colors shown on the outside. Sighing in relief, he let the empty lids fall down beside him as he was finally able to lie down and stretch out a little more.

  Lucario hoped Zoroark would not delay in mounting a rescue operation, and began mentally preparing himself for his reunion with Team Rocket and whatever they would try to do with him. His body sore from Raikou and mind exhausted from the very long and eventful day, he closed his eyes with the intent of taking a short nap. Little did he know, he would not be waking up for a very long time.

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