AGNPH Stories

Rukario Romance by XD385


A Face from the Past

"WEEEE!!! SAFARI GAME! SAFARI GAME! Ummmm, what's a Safari Game anyway?" Sapphire wondered as her father proceeded to the main desk to register. After just meeting and befriending a wandering Lucario named Lucy, Ash had finally reached the Safari Zone and was determined to not blow his chances like last time.

"I'm here for a Safari Game!" The warden looked over the desk, "OK, but are all of you here for one?" Ash replied, "Nope, just me. My friends are just along for the ride." The warden noticed Ash's Pikachu, as well as the Riolu and three Lucario with him. "You DO know that it's illegal for Pokemon to battle in the Safari Zone, right? It's all up to chance here." Ash nodded, "I thought so. Don't worry. I'll make sure they don't attack at all." The Warden grinned, "That's good to hear. You look like a responsible kid. Well, here ya go!" The Warden handed Ash a sack full of Safari Balls.

"Whoa, Jungle Camouflage. Uh, wait, how much?" The Warden laughed, "Oh, that? Large groups like you get in for free! Have fun!" Sapphire beat Ash to the punch and shouted, "Thanks, Mister!" The Warden jumped when he saw the little Riolu talk, but Ash snatched her up and ran through the doors out into the Safari Zone.

"Pssst...Shadow. Got a minute?" The trusty male Lucario walked over to Ash and asked, "What's up?" Ash whispered, "Your clan... Do they come through here now and then?" Shadow grinned, "Fortunately, no. They know better to wander in here due to the danger of being captured by Trainers. We won't see them out here." Ash breathed a sigh of relief, "Thanks, Shadow. Now then, let the hunt begin!"

As he led the group in search of wild Pokemon, Ash reminded his wife and friends, "Now remember, don't attack anything. We'll get kicked out if that happens!" Ruby blushed, "Thanks for the heads up. That's exactly what I was gonna do!" Ash shook his head, "You don't have to be so protective of me, Ruby." Lucy added, "But I think it's cute how protective she is of you, Ash." Ruby smirked to herself, (She has good taste.)

After an hour of searching, Ash started to notice something wasn't right. He hadn't seen, or even heard, any Pokemon at all. Shadow was able to smell them out, but whenever the group arrived at the spot he led them to, there was no one there.

"Man, what's the deal?! Are the Pokemon just toying with us?!" Ash grumbled as Sapphire laughed at her father's frustration. Shadow scratched his head, "It's weird. Could it be that they know we're coming and hide before we get there?" Max added, "Maybe that's the problem. It could be that there's just too many of us and that they're hiding in fear." Ruby looked at him like Max was a hero. "That must be it!" Ash added, "Well, I'm tired after all this running around. Who's up for a break?" No one was against it.

After searching around while following directions on the back of a pamphlet, the group made their way to a resort in the middle of the Safari Zone. It was named the Safari Oasis. Several other guests were relaxing there after having their share of fun in the Safari Zone. It seemed that a Safari Game includes a one night stay at the Safari Oasis, but further stays must be paid for by the guests.

"Never thought I'd find a hot spring in here. How's it feel, Shadow?" Ash looked over to the left as Shadow reclined with his arms stretching over the edge of the pool. The canine Pokemon smiled, "Oh yeah, this hits the spot. What better way to bond with your friend than some time in a hot spring?" Max, Brock, and Pikachu sighed in contentment. "Are you boys enjoying the dip?!" May's voice yelled from the other side of the bamboo fence that separated the men and women sides of the hot spring.

"Yeah, it feels great! Is Ruby, Lucy, and Sapphire over there?" A voice replied, "Yes, Sapphire and I are here too. Ruby hasn't come in yet, though." Ash replied, "OK. Look after Sapphire for me, Lucy." Shadow then asked, "Where do you suppose Ruby is?" As if to answer that, a pair of blue shorts landed on Ash's face!

"Pffffbbbttttt-hahahahahahaa! Nice one, Brock! I never considered using my own shorts for that!" Shadow burst into laughter as Ash yanked the shorts off his face, not knowing what hit him. "Um, that wasn't me." Ash asked, "Not you? Then who...huh?" The sound of water rippling was heard as a figure entered the pool, the steam from the water obscuring the view. Everyone was silent as the figure seemed to disappear under the surface.

"Did anyone see what that was?" Max asked, putting his fogged up glasses back on to see more clearly. "Nope. But I think...MMMPH?!" Ash blushed as he jumped from something. "What? What is it this time?" Ash muttered, "Something just grabbed my....." Brock asked, "Your what?" Ash blushed as he looked off to the side, "Uhhh...never mind." Shadow suppressed a laugh as he made his way to the edge. Brock asked, "Where ya going, Shadow?" He smirked, "I think Ash needs some time alone. You are coming?" Max and Brock looked back at Ash and noticed bubbles coming up from beside him. They grinned funny and climbed out and headed back inside.

"That's weird. Where're they going?" A familiar voice whispered, "Maybe they just wanted us to have some time alone?" Ash looked to his left to see Ruby with a whimsical smile. "Gack...Ruby?! You know these hot springs don't have mixed bathing! If someone catches you here, I'll get in a lot of trouble!" Ruby shushed him, "That's IF they find out. Look at me now." Ruby submerged herself until only her head was visible. "Could you tell that I'm female just by looking at me?" Ash couldn't see anything that could blow her cover, except for her feminine eyes. "I guess I see your point. But why did you come here?"

Ruby stood up and leaned against him, "I think it would be cruel if our child couldn't be with his father at all times. Don't you agree?" Ruby led Ash's hand down to her stomach. He blushed as he felt her smooth belly, knowing that although he couldn't tell just by feeling, she was pregnant and he truly wondered if it would be a boy this time. "You're beautiful." Ruby looked at him in surprise. "What? Don't tell me you don't think so?" Ruby suddenly looked away with a melancholy look on her face. "Ruby?"

Ruby was silent for a moment, but she looked up at her husband, "I have a confession to make." Ash looked concerned, "What's wrong?" Ruby looked as if she was going to cry, "The only reason why I'm always so happy and confident is because you're with me. You give me motivation and I want to protect you. If you were to die....." Ash embraced his fiancé. "I.....I can't stand the thought of losing you. I don't want to go back to being that pitiful little girl I used to be." Ash smiled and whispered into her ear, "I promise that I'll always be there for you. Don't worry about losing me. If I get in a tough spot, I'll find a way out. It's a little trait I'm really good at for some reason." Ruby seemed to completely change her mood right there and laid her hand on Ash's shoulder, "Your never fails to calm me. Somehow, I always know that when you say that we'll be all right, I know that it will become truth." Ash blushed, "Hey, things always work out for me in the end, so things will work out for you, too."

A little later that night, Ash was trying his luck at catching Pokemon in the dark while Sapphire and Shadow accompanied him. Ruby had chosen to stay behind and was observing herself in a full length mirror.

"Hmmm, I wonder if Ash thinks I'm sexy." Ruby shook her head, "Of course he thinks I'm sexy! He wouldn't have given me the honor of receiving his child if he didn't! I have to stop thinking such silly thoughts." Ruby giggled as she looked over her beautiful figure. As she ran her hands over her smooth belly, she blushed, "I'm so smooth now, but I'm gonna get bigger. I'm gonna get a big, beautiful belly before long." Just then, Ruby's gaze fell on her eyes. "Hmmm. I see how Ash came up with my name......huh?!"

As she stared at her reflection, Ruby staggered back as she thought she saw Lucy in the mirror instead of herself! "What the...I need to try that again." She walked forward and gazed into her eyes in the reflection. "Stay calm...don't move..." This time, Ruby didn't budge, even though Lucy seemed to be in the mirror again. "Her eyes...where have I seen them before?" Suddenly, Ruby could almost see glimmers of her own troubled past. Her life of neglect and ridicule.

Ruby took a few steps back and suddenly knew where she had seen Lucy's eyes before. "Of course...I really have seen those eyes before." Ruby then looked down, "I've seen them myself." She then heard footsteps coming from the roof. "Lucy...I don't know what happened to you, but..." She then made her way to the window. "We're the same."

(The night is lovely tonight...) Lucy sighed as she rested on the slanted roof of the resort building. She always enjoyed the cool night air. The moon was full tonight and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. A gentle grin covered her face, pleased at the tranquility. However, she heard very light steps just behind her. "We need to talk."

Lucy stood up in an instant and turned to face her intruder. "Ruby..." However, Lucy was surprised to see a relatively sad look on her face. "What's wrong? I've never seen you so sad." Ruby was silent for a moment, but then asked, "Lucy. Why did you leave your clan?" There was an audible gasp as Lucy backed away. However, she spoke, "Isn't this such a romantic evening?" Lucy smiled as she looked at the sky. However, her smile had all but disappeared when she looked back at Ruby, who was starting to look worried. Lucy was silent as she realized that her attempt to change the subject didn't work this time.

Ruby sighed, "I'll go first." Lucy frowned and knew that Ruby was about to introduce herself in detail. Not wanting to interrupt, Lucy took a seat and listened. "I came from a clan here in the Hoenn region. When I was still a Riolu, I was treated normally. I had fun with all the other children and was taught many things about combat and other essential arts. However, when I evolved, I did not grow any of the three spikes that you have. I was treated as worthless from that day forth. After a decade of abuse, I managed to gather enough courage to leave my clan in pursuit of a better life."

Lucy wiped her tears away from listening to Ruby's awful past. "Now, it's your turn. Why did you leave?" Lucy stood up, but remained silent. "I'll ask again. Why did you leave?" Lucy remained silent, but it was obvious that she was holding back tears. Finally, Ruby walked up to her and tenderly embraced her. "You're not alone." Lucy was taken aback by this show of affection, seeing as how Ruby had previously reacted to her presence in a rather hostile manner.

"You don't have to say anything. You and I have the same eyes. Even though I can't imagine exactly what happened in your past, I can tell that our reasons and pain were so similar, it's frightening." Ruby released her grip on Lucy and stood back, seeing that the young female was in tears by now. "I won't force you to tell me your past, but if there's someone you want to tell, I highly recommend that you talk to Ash about it. He will listen, that I promise." However, as Ruby turned to leave, Lucy shouted, "WAIT!"

Ruby turned and asked, "What's wrong?" Lucy smiled, "Thank you for your kindness, Ruby. Please, stay. I'll tell you at least a little about me. I'll tell you of how I came here." Ruby spoke, "That's right. Ash said that you're from someplace called Sinnoh, right?" She then took a seat and listened with great curiosity. "Indeed. Are you comfortable? Then I shall begin."

Lucy took a deep breath of the refreshing night air and spoke, "Just after leaving my clan, I encountered a passing Trainer. Since I am not able to use any moves, he had little trouble capturing me. It didn't take him long to discover that I couldn't fight. After a few weeks with him, we eventually came to Hoenn. By now, he was completely fed up with me and released me not far from Lilycove city. That was a few months ago." Ruby stood up, "I see. Well, that makes sense." Ruby then turned to jump to a nearby tree to get off the roof, but stopped and said, "If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, Ash has that shoulder!" As Ruby disappeared down the tree, Lucy smiled, "Ash...I will remember that. Thank you, Ruby."

"Morning, ladies!" Ash greeted his daughter and fiancé, as well as his new friend Lucy, as he approached the cafeteria in the lobby. "Morning, dear. You sure slept late." Sapphire squealed, "Morning, Daddy! I saved a doughnut for you." Ash smiled, "Mmmm, glazed. My favorite!" He gave Sapphire a sweet little kiss.

Lucy asked, "No luck last night?" Shadow sighed, "I can't figure it out. I was able to pinpoint the locations of Pokemon all around us, but they seemed to know we were coming." May added, "Maybe they're just too smart." Ash grumbled to himself. Why was he not able to find any Pokemon?

Later that morning, Ash gave it another try. However, he suspected that having more than one human around would scare off the Pokemon, so May, Max, and Brock stayed behind in the resort while Ash went off with Lucy, Ruby, Shadow, and Sapphire. Shadow once again put his nose to work and managed to detect Pokemon hiding in the brush, but they still seemed too smart for him.

"My clan would be ashamed of me if they found out I was missing so many prey." Shadow groaned. Just then, Ash thought of something. Most Trainers travel with their Pokemon concealed within balls, making them look like they're alone. Could it be that his Lucario companions were scaring them off?

"Hey, guys? Got a minute?" The four Pokemon looked at Ash. "I think I know what's wrong here. Since Pokemon are forbidden to battle here, Pokemon that live in the Safari Zone are freaked out when they see Pokemon traveling with Trainers. I think they get scared around you guys! I'm gonna head off alone to search for some. I think I'll have better luck that way." Sapphire pleaded, "No, Daddy! Take me with you!" However, Shadow agreed, "I see your point. Maybe we are intimidating them." Ruby spoke to Sapphire, "Don't worry, dear. Daddy will be back before long. I promise." Sapphire groaned, "OK...don't be long, Daddy." Ash gave his little girl a pat on the head and set out into the Safari Zone alone while the Riolu and three Lucario decided to stick it out nearby.

Somewhere within the Safari Zone, there was an impressive waterfall that fed into a stream that made its way towards the ocean. However, today was a little different. Resting on the shore of the waterfall basin was a magnificent creature. Her beautiful blue mane flowed over her back as it wavered in the wind. However, the creature herself was not happy at all. As she gazed into the water, tears fell from her eyes.

"Why...why can't I die?" The beautiful creature wept. "All these years, and you couldn't stay with me. Why must I live on if it means that I would never see you again?" She collapsed to the ground in heartache. "Why must I be cursed with this immortality?! If I had never met you, things would be different, but..." The creature buried her face in her paws, "My lord and love.....what must I do for us to be together again?!"

Suddenly, the creature looked around at the snap of a twig. "Someone's coming! Must hide!" She quickly dove into the waterfall basin and immediately sank to the bottom. (For once, I'm glad that I can't swim.) She told herself as she stood on the bottom while looking up at the surface. Her natural blue coloration made her tough to spot when motionless.

"Wow! What a view!" Ash exclaimed as he came to a waterfall. "I never knew this was here! I'll bet lots of Water type Pokemon hang out here!" Just then, Ash removed his hat and wiped some sweat away. "Sure is a hot day. Better keep this off." Ash slipped his hat into his backpack and proceeded to the basin's edge. "Looks clean. Guess I better get a drink while I can."

(Stay calm. Whoever it is will be gone soon.) As the beautiful creature remained motionless, she saw a figure stand at the edge of the basin. With its eyes closed, the person stuck its whole face in the water and gulped away. It was at that moment that the creature noticed his face, and her heart was shocked.

(This can't be...could he truly...this isn't possible...) Ash pulled his soaked face out of the water and sighed, "Nice and cold! That felt great! Well, back to the hunt!" He turned and headed off back into the brush, but as he went, the creature at the bottom of the basin peaked out of the water and looked at the boy who was walking away. "My think that you still live..."

As he walked through the brush, Ash wondered if he was looking in the wrong place. "At this rate, I don't care what I come across. If I don't catch something, this whole trip will be wasted!" Just then, a woman's voice spoke from all around him. "You caught my heart ages ago, my love. You seem younger than before, but I could never forget your face." Ash looked around in a bit of a panic, "Who...what are you?! What do you want?!" The voice spoke, "I'm not surprised that you don't remember my voice, darling. But I'm certain that my form will remind you." Suddenly, Ash heard rapid footsteps coming from behind and turned to see a large blue creature leap at him!

"Huuhhhh...It's quiet when Ash isn't around." Lucy sighed. "That's because Sapphire doesn't have her father to play with." Ruby joked, knowing just how noisy the two could be together. Suddenly, everyone froze at a scream! "HWWWWAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!" Shadow panicked, "Oh man, I should've followed him! He's in danger!" With that, Shadow leapt through the trees in the direction he heard the scream come from. "Wait for us!" Lucy and Ruby, along with Sapphire holding on to her mother's tail, followed in hot pursuit.

"He's not far...there!" Shadow dropped from the trees and ran west. Lucy and Ruby dropped down and followed. After a moment, Shadow came to a screeching halt and turned right. "Hold it! If you want him, you' the...?" When Ruby and Lucy caught up, they asked, "What's wrong?" Just then, Shadow fell over laughing himself silly. The two females looked at each other funny and turned to face whatever made him laugh. Lucy looked simply baffled while Ruby seemed completely freaked out with a hint of anger on her face as she watched what was unfolding in front of them.

"My's been...mmph...too long! I can't describe...mmph...the heartache I had...during all our time apart. But now that you've returned to me, I couldn't be happier!" A Suicune was lying on top of a shocked, and apparently traumatized, Ash while kissing him passionately while sweet talking him! " Ash sure is popular with the ladies, isn't he?" Lucy giggled as she watched her friend getting smooched by a total stranger.

Despite Ash's 'pleasant' treatment, Ruby wasn't the least bit amused at the fact that a completely random woman was making out with her mate! "You...get away from him, you slut!" Ruby lashed out with a kick and sent the Suicune sailing away from her lover! "Ash, speak to me!" Ruby shook Ash for him to come to his senses while Sapphire pleaded, "Daddy, please wake up!" The Suicune climbed to her feet, a bit shaken from the surprise attack.

"Oof...who..." The Suicune gasped as Ash came to his senses and looked around. "Ruby...what happened?" She pointed at the Suicune, "This is what happened!" The Suicune looked as if she had seen a ghost. "Ruby...? Could it really be you?" Ruby was a little baffled, "How do you know my name? I've never seen you in my life." The Suicune spoke, "But it must be you! You're the only Lucario I've seen who never had the three spikes!" She shook her head, "That is my name, but you must be thinking of someone else." The Suicune tried to make sense of this situation. However, she turned and, with tears in her eyes, apologized, "Forgive me." With that, she was gone.

"Hooo...that was just too funny! You OK, Ash?" Shadow chuckled while wiping tears from his face. "That Suicune...who was she?" Ash asked. "Don't know, but she thought she had met me somewhere before." Ash thought for a moment, and then said, "You all head back to the entrance. I'm gonna finish something up here and head back too." Ruby nodded and carried little Sapphire with her. Once they were gone, Ash headed towards the waterfall he saw, certain that the Suicune had gone there.

It didn't take long for Ash to make his way back to the waterfall. As he expected, the Suicune was laying at the edge of the basin, weeping bitterly. At first, he thought that this was the same Suicune he saw while in the Johto region, but he quickly dismissed that possibility. The Suicune he saw there had a lavender mane while this one's was a deep blue. He then walked up beside her and took a seat.

"So, what's wrong?" The Suicune suddenly looked up at him with a frightened gazed, but Ash chuckled, "Oh come on. If I was gonna hurt you, don't you think I would've had an easier time when you didn't know I was here?" The Suicune calmed down when she saw that this boy meant no harm to her. "I'm sorry...I must have scared you terribly..." Ash stroked her face, "Don't worry about it. That wasn't the first time I was mistaken for someone else."

The Suicune sighed, "The way you stroke my face...I find it so hard to believe that you're not him..." Ash was confused even further. "Just who are you? Do you have a name?" She looked at him, "My name is Aurora." Ash grinned, "Kinda makes sense, seeing as how you're identified as the Aurora Pokemon. But who did you mistake me for?" Aurora sighed, "My lord and love. His name.....was Sir Ashton."

Ash wondered if he heard that right. "Did you say SIR Ashton?" Aurora nodded. "Just when was that?" She frowned, "Exactly 500 years ago. He was a knight in service to the Kingdom of Rohta." Ash was blown away, "Whoa...a knight?! Man, that's so cool!" Aurora smiled a little, "Indeed. There was no knight in the entire kingdom who could match him. He was handsome too. He was quite popular with the women of the village."

Aurora continued as Ash listened with great interest. "I wasn't the only girl who had feelings for him. There were seven other females that lived with us, and every one of them harbored powerful feelings for him." Ash asked, "Just who were they?" Aurora surprised Ash with a pleasant smile, "Well, first, there was Zandria. She was a Zangoose who had quite a talent for cooking. Ever the tomboy, she had a quick temper, but was always charming to Ashton. She also had a strong rivalry with Cassandra, an Absol who was skilled in gardening. Unlike Zandria, she was very sweet and a hopeless romantic. She was madly in love with Ashton and she got into many arguments with Zandria over who would claim him as her mate." Ash laughed, "Whoa, sounds like it was never dull there! Did he ever figure it out?" Aurora giggled, "Not for a while. He was fairly oblivious to the true feelings we had for him, but he was still very kind to us and thought of us as family."

Ash asked, "He thought of you as family? What about his real family?" Aurora frowned, "I never met them. His parents were claimed by a dreadful virus less than a day after his birth, so he had no memory of them. However, he was taken in by a Gardevoir named Starlet and her mate, Siegfried, who was a Gallade. It just so happened that Starlet gave birth to a daughter just minutes after Ashton was born. She was named Serenade and the two of them bonded quickly. She grew up to be a very graceful and caring Gardevoir. However, her feelings for Ashton blossomed and she sought to marry him."

"I'll bet she was quite a sight. Who else was there?" Aurora continued, "There was also Laura, a Latias, who was absolutely obsessed with Ashton. She was in charge of restoring the art of the manor, but her obsession over Ashton made her somewhat irksome. Sometimes, she would even forget what she was going to say when speaking to him." Ash laughed hard, "I'll bet she was one wacky girl!"

Aurora took a quick drink of water to moisten her throat and went on. "Then, there was Chiara, who is a midget Lugia. She only grew to be about my size, but what she lacked in size, she made up for in knowledge. She studied many books and became quite knowledgeable about the world. She was very elegant, but could be rude if someone seemed too ignorant for their own good. Out of Ashton's other seven servants, Chiara is the only one who still lives." Ash asked, "She's still alive?" Aurora nodded, "Yes, but I haven't seen her in quite some time. I know that she is just as heartbroken as I am, so it's possible that she may have ended her own life."

After a moment of solemn silence, Aurora continued, "Then, there was Laika, an albino Mightyena. The poor girl...up until she met Ashton, she had never smiled in her life. She had gone through constant pain and abuse while moving between ownership." Ash yelled, "Abuse?! How could anyone treat someone so terribly for so long?!" Aurora was silent, but she whispered, "Back then, Pokemon were not respected as they are today. We were seen as mindless animals and were labeled as 'Beasts' instead of Pokemon. Ashton was especially bitter about this. If someone referred to us as Beasts, he would slay them without hesitation. In fact, it was Ashton who took the first step in improving treatment of Pokemon. He worked hard to prove that we had souls like humans and, thanks to his efforts, equality between humans and Pokemon eventually became law."

Ash asked, "OK, but I can't figure out how you knew Ruby's name." Aurora grinned, "That's because there was a Lucario who Ashton brought that had all the characteristics as the one with you. She was named Ruby as well. She was such a sweet girl. Being the youngest, she was quite curious and I even began to view her as a little sister. She was with Ashton often, and they were very close."

Lastly, Ash asked, "Just one more question. Could you tell me everything you know about Ashton?" Aurora had a sorrowful look in her eyes, "I shall. He was raised by the parents of Serenade and learned that Pokemon are people too. He inherited the estate of his family and served as an independent knight, fighting to protect what he thought was worth saving. He fought in several epic battles that had the fate of this world on the line. No matter how you looked at him, he was a true hero. He was Ashton Ketchum of Green Mile." Ash suddenly gave her a dumbfounded look. Had she just said that his last name was KETCHUM?!

"Aurora, what was his last name again?" She sighed, "It was Ketchum." Ash surprised her with a sudden outburst, "NO WAY! I can't believe this Ashton Ketchum guy is my ancestor! I'm descended from a hero!" Aurora looked up at him in shock, "Your ancestor?! Just who are you?!" Ash smiled, "My name is Ash Ketchum." Aurora gasped, "It's no wonder I mistook you for him. You're the spitting image of my lord. You must have the same blood running through your veins as he did."

Aurora stood up and bowed, "Ash Ketchum. I have but one request to ask of you." Ash asked, "What is it?" Aurora gave him a very relieved smile that she had not shown in centuries. "Since you are the descendent of my lord, I wish to serve you as I served him. Please, allow me to accompany you wherever you venture." Ash asked, "But why?" She cried, "You have all the qualities that made me love him. I do not wish to see you go either. Even if I never fall in love with you like I did with him, I wish to at least be with you at all times." Ash smiled, "How could I say no to such a beautiful lady? Sure, you can stay with me. Shall we?" Ash held out a Safari Ball. "I'm ready. Keep me by your side, Lord Ash." The boy then tapped the ball on her shoulder, causing it to pop open and suck her inside in a beam of light. The light on the front stopped flashing immediately as Aurora allowed herself to get caught.

As he picked up the Safari Ball, Ash whispered, "Aurora, I hope you can hear me. I promise to make you happy as Ashton did for you. I promise." With his new friend in hand, Ash headed back towards the entrance of the Safari Zone.

"There's Daddy! Over here!" Sapphire waved at her father as he approached the group. "So, Ash, how many did you catch?" May asked with interest. Ash held up the lone Safari Ball, "Just one, but it was all worth it." Max asked, "Must be a really rare Pokemon to be worth all that trouble! What is it?" Ash smirked, "You'll just have to wait and see!" "Aww, you're no fun!"

As the group left the Safari Zone, Brock asked, "So, where to next?" Shadow added, "There's a monument not far from here called Mt. Pyre. Sounds like it's worth checking out." Ash nodded, "OK. Let's check out Mt. Pyre before heading over to Mossdeep!" However, as the group headed off in search of Mt. Pyre, a trio of troublemakers were watching and waiting.

"Come on, Ash! Let me see it! OK, just tell me the specie! Uh, just the name then?" Ash caved and said, "Her name's Aurora. Now knock it off!" Just then, there was an explosion ahead as a hulking figure rose from the ground!

"So then, are you ready to hand over Pikachu yet?!" Ash recognized the voice immediately. "Would you guys just give it up already?!" However, once the smoke cleared, everyone gasped at the sight of a 50 foot tall robotic Machoke. It seemed a step above the other robotic vehicles they had seen so far.

"I'll handle this." Shadow stepped forward and began to gather energy between his palms. "Hadoken!" He then unleashed a wave of blue energy at the hulking mech. As the blast hit it head on in a flash, Shadow laughed, "Heh, Childs play!" However, his smile disappeared when the light receded, revealing a seemingly undamaged robot!

James spoke, "So then, do you want to know why you haven't seen us lately?" Ash yelled, "Sure. Spill it!" Jessie explained, "We've been observing you and gathering data on just what it is that lets you beat us every time. The boss has been curious of just how we keep failing and chose to have a special team of scientists develop a machine that can take anything you throw at it!" Ash yelled, "We'll see! Pikachu, use Thunder!"

As instructed, Pikachu sent a blast of lightning at the mech, only to see nothing happen. "Ya know, this whole lightningproof thing has gotten pretty routine. Why haven't you twerps picked up on it yet?" Meowth asked. However, Ash reached for the Safari Ball at his belt. "OK, Aurora! Time to see how tough you are!" In a flash of light, the same Suicune from before stood before the group, much to Ruby's dismay.

"What is she doing here?!" Aurora replied, "I'm here merely to defend my master." She gracefully bowed her head to Ash. "Lord Ash, what are your orders?" Lucy giggled, "LORD Ash? That sure is formal of you." Ash blushed, "We can discuss it later! Aurora, take down that monster over there!" Aurora turned and was stunned by the sight of the mechanical creature ahead. "I've never seen a Machoke get that big! Was it through sorcery?" Ash laughed, "Man, you really have been out of touch with this world for a long time, huh? Whatever. Just take it down!"

Aurora focused as water seemed to appear at her feet from nowhere. "Whether this creature is beast or craft, it won't matter against a tidal wave." A colossal wave began to rise in front of Aurora as everyone marveled at her power. "Farewell!" The wave went crashing down on the robo Machoke with a boom. "That should've worked." However, the robot stood unscathed.

"Looks like it's our turn!" The Machoke mech sent its massive fist straight at the group. "Aurora, move!" Aurora leaped sideways, but the fist slammed right into Ash and sent him rolling a good distance away! "DADDY!!!" Sapphire and Ruby ran up to him, fearing the worst, but they were surprised to see Ash climb to his feet as if nothing had happened. "Are you OK, dear?" Ash brushed himself off, "Yeah. It only grazed me."

"So, twerps, ready to give in? We're not above smashing you to pieces if you refuse!" Ash groaned at the fact that Team Rocket had actually come up with something that he couldn't stop. That is, until he had an idea. "Torkoal, use Heat Wave!" Ash released the teary tortoise from his ball, who then unleashed the deadly Fire type blast at the mecha Machoke!

"Nice try. Heat shields up!" Some sort of panel came up from the Machoke's 'belt' and covered the chest area. The blast of fire flared into it, but when it died down, it wasn't even scorched! "Told ya so! We thought up everything that could be used against this baby and came up with some way to counter it! Just give it up!" By now, Ash truly felt hopeless in the presence of this superior robot juggernaut.

"This can't be happening...but I can't give in! I'll never hand over my friends and family to you punks!" Team Rocket cackled at Ash's defiance. "Well, don't say we didn't warn you. It's time to end...what the?! What wrong?!" The robotic Machoke had started to sink in a large bog of mud that no one had noticed before! "GAAAHHH!!! We're sinking! Pull the legs up! Don't let it go under!" However, Team Rocket didn't have to get so freaked out as the mecha Machoke stopped sinking at 25 feet, leaving the entire upper body untouched.

"Man, you guys always were a buncha sticks in the mud, but this is ridiculous!" Ash burst into laughter at the sight of Team Rocket stuck in a massive mud puddle. Everyone else burst into hysterical laughter as well, except for Aurora. She stared in silence at the muddy bog that seemed to appear out of nowhere. "This is..." Ash stopped laughing at the sound of Aurora's voice. "What's wrong?" She whispered, "This is...Earth style: Dark Swamp..." Ash was puzzled, "Huh? Earth Style?" She added, "But that' just can't be..."

Just then, ropes of fire seemed to come from all directions and converged on one spot! "What the?! What kind of attack is this?!" However, as the flames began to shrink, a figure shot skyward out of the blaze! Soon, something shiny fell from the sky and was embedded in the ground with a crash! "That...that sword's huge!" Aurora gasped, "The Flamberge? But that's..." Suddenly, a form stood next to the massive sword and took it in hand and placed it on its back. It seemed to be a very young man in his mid teens.

"Hey, who're you?!" Ash yelled at the stranger. With his back turned, he spoke, "500 years and you haven't aged a day." The mysterious turned slightly and looked over his shoulder. "It's been too long, Aurora." Ash was utterly speechless at the face of this guy. (The heck?! He...he looks just like me! Who is he?!)

Aurora was silent in disbelief as she gazed into the eyes of the man she thought she had lost forever. He was long dead, and yet, he was standing before her. Tears began to flow down her muzzle as she whispered, "My I have longed for you..."
Chapter End Notes:I'm gonna stop here for a while since going any further would involve revealing spoilers for the prequel
No comments posted
No reviews posted