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:
Selfish Gunslinger Silver
The music slowly faded to nothingness. Lucario expected another generic classical piece to follow, but was met with only silence. Silence, and the thoughts of an offer he had definitively not expected.
"... A duel?" Lucario repeated as a sneer crossed his face, eyeing his rival carefully, "Fighting against some monster you trained is not what I'd refer to as a 'duel'!"
"Of course not," Silver replied before straightening his composure and gesturing for Lucario to stand up, "That is why we will be fighting the old fashioned way... Man to man."
Lucario's mouth opened, but quickly closed again. Silver still referring to him as a man was strange enough, but had his former rival gone so mad with power that he actually thought he could win in a brawl with a Pokémon?
"Pokémon is a game for children," Silver explained, noticing Lucario's addled reaction, "Do you honestly believe a man in my position has time for that? I stopped training Pokémon ages ago."
A moment passed as Silver waited for Lucario to do something. Even though he was still confused, Lucario decided to get up from his chair and walk away from the table. He hoped things would be easy for once, envisioning his rival whistling and summoning one or all of the legendary dogs to his side.
Shrugging, Lucario thought back to what Zoroark had told him. Apparently she had not been right on the money with her assessment, something he would enjoy rubbing in her face later.
"I was given it out of fear," Silver said as he held up a hand with the palm wide open, "I do not require Pokémon to fight or kill. I destroy everything with my bare hands alone."
Lucario examined Silver with skeptic eyes. Fine clothing aside, the man had very little going for him, and in the muscle department he was actually rather lanky. Worrying that he might be carrying a knife or something, Lucario realized that he had spent the past month with someone who had six of those for hands, and she had been the least dangerous of his encounters.
"Fisticuffs? You against me?" Lucario asked while crossing his arms, starting to feel uncomfortable about the concept of beating up a weakling, "Are you serious?"
"... Well, perhaps not BARE hands..." Silver corrected himself, "Technology is the weapon of us humans, after all."
Lucario flinched as Silver reached into his inner pocket, thinking he was about to drag out a Pokéball. To his relief it was something completely different, something he had never seen before.
"Tell me... Do you know what this is?" Silver asked as he held up the object in his hand, which Lucario immediately deemed to be strangest contraption he had ever witnessed. It looked like a long, hollow pipe attached to a handle, vaguely shaped like a boomerang. The pipe section gleamed in silvery metal, while the handle was pitch black and seemed to have a leathery texture. Connecting the two sections was an elongated button, looking like some sort of trigger. As odd as it was, he could not help but feel that he had seen it somewhere before, thinking it must have something to do with Pokémon.
"It is a weapon of obscurity, something I liberated from one of my less fortunate targets and greatly improved upon," Silver explained while idly stroking the side of the object, "A cylindrical block, equipped with chambers for carrying projectiles... A barrel for accuracy, as to where the projectile will strike... And a hammer, striking the projectile with unimaginable force, strong enough to pierce even the toughest hides."
Lucario paid notice to every word, yet was unable to attribute any of it to the tiny little thing in Silver's hand. However, the whole thing still made him uneasy, since Silver would not be asking for a duel in the first place if he was simply faking its fighting capabilities.
"I suppose... If you have a major degree in engineering or happen to be as savvy with technology as the old Team Rocket executives, you might remember this being called a revolver," Silver muttered before picking off a strand of red hair that had gotten stuck inside the barrel, "Single-action, to be precise and thorough... And believe me, it is. I know. I built it."
"You... You seriously expect to fight me with that tiny little thing?" Lucario asked, the reality of the situation crawling up on him as his chin dropped further with each syllable, "I... I've fought monsters. Legendary monsters. Two seconds into this 'duel' and I will punch your head clean off!"
"I do believe there was a fragrance of concern in your voice, there..." Silver muttered while wagging a finger almost sheepishly, "Worry not. Choose whatever attack you may find suitable to finish me off."
Suddenly, the very same finger moved down to the trigger-like section of the revolver. There was a metallic clicking noise as Silver took a tight grip around the handle and pointed the muzzle directly towards Lucario.
"I do suggest, however..." Silver said confidently, "... That you make it extremely fast."
Conflicting emotions coursed through Lucario. As much as he wanted to sock it to Silver for threatening him with death, a punch with full force might actually kill the frail man. Much like the hunter he had faced, the idea of killing another human did not sit too well with him, and he had only done so back then in order to protect Zerobi. Even so, he had not forgotten how underestimating the hunter had led to him nearly losing everything as a result. The more he considered it, he realized he would rather end up killing a guy who was more or less asking for it than put himself at risk again.
"Go ahead... Attack..." Silver whispered quietly, his finger tapping the trigger impatiently. Deciding to go all out right from the start, Lucario breathed in as he charged the human with great speed.
An explosive bang sounded, so loud that Lucario immediately lost his breath and his sensitive ears began ringing. A force comparable to one of the Umbreon's tackles struck him in his right shoulder, making him involuntarily twist his torso as he took a step back. A very cold breeze passed through his shoulder, exactly like the time Suicune had pierced the exact same spot with an icicle. Then, the pain finally struck.
"G... GAAAHH!" Lucario howled as he clutched his right shoulder, now sporting a small hole of severed muscle tissue and damaged nerves. He looked at Silver with hate and fury, his confident rival opposing his expression with satisfaction and triumph. For an instant he felt his gag reflex kick in as the pain made him sick to his stomach, but the sensation disappeared as something else took its place. The picture book. The loud bang. The hole. It all pointed towards another memory that had nearly been forgotten, yet a memory that was not related to Pokémon at all.
"That's no... Revolver...!" Lucario growled as he felt warm blood trickle through his fingers, contrasting the chilled and aching insides of his shoulder, "... That's... A gun...!"
"Semantics, I assume?" Silver responded happily while waving the weapon around, his wrists still shaking a bit from the powerful recoil, "This is a revolver. I know. I built-"
"YOU SHOT ME!" Lucario burst out angrily, adrenaline pumping through him like never before. The pain was crippling, but it also served to fuel his rage. It was not as severe as what he had withstood against the Garchomp's fiery jaws, Raikou's thunder or even himself when failing to use the aura correctly, but still enough to make him swear thousands of curses upon the smug human and his little gun. The morality of punching Silver's head off no longer seemed important as Lucario lounged forward, roaring and running with all his might.
Silver pulled the trigger once more, realizing the danger and aiming at Lucario's head for a quick kill. However, as the revolver shook with the force of a hundred stampeding Tauros and the loud bang sounded again, Lucario's head immediately jerked downwards as a reflex, both his ears twitching violently. The bullet pierced through his left ear, only serving to make Lucario's constant roar even deeper. Understanding that his opponent's sensitive hearing would make the head a difficult target, Silver grit his teeth and aimed downwards, letting his finger squeeze the trigger. This shot hit Lucario squarely in his left kneecap, making his leg to limp as he began to fall. However, using the retained momentum and incomparable spite, he pushed himself up again with his right leg and flew towards Silver, who had no time to brace himself for impact.
Heavy as a rock, Lucario fell over Silver, easily bringing the human with him down to the floor. Noticing an explosive pain in his left ear and not able to make his left leg stop shaking, Lucario knew he would not be getting up any time soon. Taking the opportunity he had created, he grabbed a hold of the stunned Silver's hand and wrest the gun away from him. Throwing the revolver against the wall and then pulling back his left arm, he punched Silver right in the jaw.
"AH!" Silver exclaimed in pain as he flailed about, trying to get the violent Pokémon off him, "Stop!"
"Ooh, what's the matter?" Lucario said with a mocking tone, feeling like he wasn't able to put any real weight behind his blow due to his crippled shoulder and leg, "Big baby didn't expect to get hit? What's wrong, you gonna cry?
"You... Insolent...!" Silver grunted as he reached up and threw an uppercut against Lucario's chin, rattling his already shaken brain with even more pain. Lucario responded with an elbow to Silver's chest, making his rival lose his breath before kicking Lucario in the stomach, almost making him barf.
In an instant, all pretense of finesse was gone. Wrestling with each other on the ground, they were biting and scratching, punching and wailing, tussling and struggling. To a regular onlooker it would appear as a man being mauled by a wild Pokémon, but to them they were as children again, like two boys fighting over who was going to get to use the cool toy next. Memories of similar fights with Silver from his past flashed in and out of Lucario's head, yet he barely even noticed them in his flustered rage.
"Your mother is a whore!" Silver screamed, taking a punch to the gut before lashing out and headbutting Lucario's nose.
"GAH! Your dad's an asshole!" Lucario snarled as he reared back from the blow, spitting a wad of blood in Silver's face.
"ARGH! At least I know who he is!" Silver yelled while wiping the slimy blood away from his eyes, "My father is better than yours!"
"Go ahead then, call for him!" Lucario shouted and started laughing a bit, "His rigid old ass would probably put up a better fight than you!"
He immediately stopped laughing as Silver mounted a mighty kick against his lame leg. The sudden spike in pain caused Lucario to howl and stagger, as Silver sat up and jammed his fingers deep into Lucario's shoulder wound. Screaming in pain, Lucario fell back as Silver rolled away towards where the revolver had been thrown.
Lucario fell on his back and was just about to get up when he noticed just how badly his leg had been damaged. He grunted in agony as the pain he had been able to ignore all this time came back in full force, amplified tenfold by Silver's last assault. His rage was quickly seeping out of him, replaced by a strange coldness emanating from his gunshot wounds. He noticed the heat all over him dissipating and suddenly felt feverish and weak, like he was going to suddenly puke his guts out before passing out.
Before he knew it, a hot and unyielding metallic object pressed up between his eyes. Looking up, he saw Silver glaring at him with pure rage.
"Wretched cur, know your place!" Silver bellowed, a trickle of blood running down the side of his snarling mouth, "I will flay you and use your hide as a carpet! That way, you shall lick my soles forever!"
Inhaling sharply, Lucario knew there was no hope for him to simply lie down and give up this time. Even so, he could do nothing but stare at Silver as the muzzle of the revolver pushed harder against him. His rival's hateful face suddenly gave off a delighted expression, and without another moment's hesitation, he pulled the trigger.