Humanity has finally gotten fed up with their fragile position in the world of Pokémon. Gathering the best of trainers, they have decided to subdue or dispose of every powerful Pokémon in existe...
Zerobi sighed in relief as both she and Lucario exited the store. Snowpoint City was fairly rural and by no means a large town, located within the harsh climates north of Sinnoh. Most shopkeepers would refuse to serve Pokémon, but as long as they have a good demeanor and most importantly money there will always be a place or two that wouldn’t turn them down.
She knew they had been lucky to find such a store so quickly, and couldn’t help but feel that her cloak and Lucario’s pants had something to do with it. Perhaps it was the fact that he had bought a human backpack to store all their newly bought items in? She sighed once more as they began walking down the street, unhindered by the snow on the ground as it had already been trampled solid by waves and waves of various creatures.
“I’m never going shopping with you again” Zerobi mumbled with disdain.
“Oh, excuse me for prioritizing provisions and transportation in front of some stupid magazine!” Lucario snapped back, adjusting the large blue backpack so that it would sit more comfortably on his shoulders.
“It’s not stupid!” Zerobi shouted while giving him an angry glare, “For all we know, it might have contained the answer to your transformation!”
“You can always read this one once I’m done with it!” Lucario laughed, pointing to the charred and blood soaked remains of her favorite paper which had been tied around his upper arm to cover up his wound.
“… I don’t want it…” Zerobi wheezed in a disgusted way. Seeing the minute amount of money she had saved for the past years being used up to buy travel supplies made her realize that the peaceful and carefree times she had gotten used to were finally over.
“My entire collection… Gone. My home… Destroyed” she mumbled depressingly to herself, “My cloak is all ruined, too…”
“Uh… Don’t you think you should do something about that last one?” Lucario mumbled, not being able to help himself and casting a quick glance between her legs, “… It’s pretty dirty, you know?”
“Yeah…” Zerobi sighed, thinking he was referring to the cloak as she took a gander between his legs in return, “You know, I’ve always wondered… Where’d you get those pants from?”
“Huh?” Lucario exclaimed surprised, “They were on me when I woke up.”
“… Can you take them off?” Zerobi continued, too curious to care about any deeper meanings of what she had just said.
“Of course!” Lucario responded confidently before a thought suddenly hit him, “… Hmm, they’re not the pants I had as a human, though… Maybe I should be wondering who put them there in the first place…?”
“… You have to ask?” Zerobi asked snidely.
“Hey! Wearing clothes is natural!” Lucario said loudly, realizing that since he was a Pokémon now the question was not that out of place, “To me, anyway… Waking up naked? That would’ve been a shock!”
“… I don’t get it” Zerobi muttered, and was about to ask a follow-up question when they were both interrupted.
“Lucario!” a high pitched voice sounded directly behind them. Halting himself, Lucario was not sure if he should even bother to turn around and see who it was or just spin and strike it down with a roundhouse kick right away.
“Are you Lucario!?” the voice sounded again, this time at a lower elevation than before. Lucario slowly turned around to face whoever it was, only to see nothing in front of him. A crowd of strange Pokémon were standing a few feet away, staring at him intently.
“Huh…?” he mumbled before feeling a tugging on his pants. He looked down and saw a few large blades of grass sticking up at him. Looking closer, he noticed that they were growing out of some kind of purple ball with huge glittering eyes. For some reason it was looking back and forth at his hands and staring at his chest, before a happy mouth suddenly appeared beneath the eyes.
“… It IS you!” the plant exclaimed in pure joy, “Lucario! I watch your show every day!” Lucario was instantly reminded of the penguin he had met back when he took shelter from the mighty blizzard, but couldn’t help but stare at the strange thing. He saw a set of feet sticking out of the purple ball, but with no legs or arms to be seen anywhere.
“Can I see the aura sphere? Are you two a couple? Say ‘Watch the power of aura!’” the grassy being continued endlessly while bouncing up and down in joy.
“Hey… You know this Oddish?” Zerobi leaned closer and whispered to him.
“…Eh? Uh…” Lucario mumbled, completely entranced by the bizarre creature, “No… But yeah, it’s pretty… Odd-ish…”
“I apologize for this” a Vileplume giggled delightfully as she moved over to the Oddish, “My son simply can’t stop talking about that Wholesome Wanderer Lucario!”
“No, mom! It’s ‘Lonesome Wanderer Lucario!’” the Oddish corrected with a horrified expression, “Look! No spikes!”
“Hmm?” the Vileplume exclaimed as she too began staring at Lucario’s hands and chest, “Why, you’re right! People must have the two of you confused all the time!”
“D… Seems that way…” Lucario said in a strange way, not paying any attention as his brain was busy wondering how on earth a creature without legs could hop around so easily.
“Again, I apologize” the Vileplume said while turning around to leave, “Come now, if you don’t get home in time you’ll miss the show!”
“B-But…” the Oddish stammered before running after her mother, “Mom! It was really him!” The two of them become more and more distanced as Zerobi suddenly jabbed Lucario’s side.
“Didn’t know you were famous” she said with a sinister smile.
“I’m not” Lucario muttered, “Yet everyone seems to think they know me, for some reason…” He could not stop thinking about how he had been moments away from making a big mistake. At the very least he knew that a roundhouse kick would not have hit such a short target, but even so the shame was something even he could not dodge.
“Well, you do look a bit unique…” Zerobi said while quietly looking him over, “… What happened to your spikes?”
“My spikes?” Lucario asked as an image of his teeth popped up in his head, “Covered by my mouth, like usual.”
“No, I mean the ones on your hands and chest” Zerobi continued, pointing at his chest. Looking down at it, Lucario only saw a patch of long yellow chest hair that currently had a sharp claw hovering dangerously close.
“… My fur?” Lucario asked again, not really sure what was going on and getting a chill at the thought of the claw piercing him.
“No!” Zerobi shouted with a hint of anger in her voice, “Lucario usually have big spikes sticking out of them! Where are yours?”
“Must’ve forgotten to put them on this morning” Lucario snickered, much to Zerobi’s annoyance. She was about to keep going with the verbal rant, but noticed that a few Pokémon had stopped as well and were now staring at them.
“Oh yeah…” Lucario whispered as he too noticed the scene they were making, “Is it really OK for us to be walking around in public like this?”
“Nope” Zerobi responded before lowering her arm. They both stood quiet for a while before they started walking again.
Finally alone with himself, many odd thoughts and theories filled Lucario when he walked through the city. There were bizarre monsters everywhere he looked, the second more bewildering than the first. He had no idea how so fundamentally different species could even comprehend co-existing, especially not when he himself had spent so little time in this place and already been hunted and almost killed twice. He once again tried to chalk it up to the humans of this place being evil, but was able to gain faint remembrance of the very first encounter he had when he woke up in his new body…
A sharp defensive mechanism suddenly pushed away the thought from his mind as he once again began staring at the Pokémon passing by. He found it strange that neither Zerobi nor the other Pokémon seemed to pay much notice to each other, like a rhinoceros made out of rock or an animate tree was something they saw every day.
“… Made me use Pay Day over and over again! For cash!” he heard a cat on two legs shout a few feet away, talking to what appeared to be a gathering of animate eggs. He saw that the cat had a large coin lodged in its head, and wondered if it was natural or just a freak accident.
“… Needed a Sun Stone, but he kept insisting that I’d evolve if I just stayed in the sunlight…” a small thing that seemed to be made out of wood with a puffy bush sticking out of its head said to a black horse with white spiky mane. Apart from the color, the mane of the horse reminded Lucario quite a bit of Raikou, and he silently made a promise to himself not to rush into battle the next time as they walked past them.
“… And so I told him that he was twice as annoying as a rash-inducing tickle and only half as worthy of laughter…” a slender yet unusually short reptile carrying a bag said to an equally short cat with brown fur. had a sudden urge to hug nuzzle his face into the fluffy being, but repressed it. Seeing how these were far more intelligent than your average pet it might not purr in response, but instead consider it sexual harassment or something.
The instant the reptile and cat passed them by, a powerful chill ran through the air. Zerobi muffled a startled sound and looked like she had just swallowed dung. The reptile received a similar effect that moment, barely casting a glance at them as he kept on walking.
Lucario was lost in his thoughts and did not notice that Zerobi was slowing down. Behind them, the reptile suddenly stopped, making the cat stop as well.
“Impossible…” the reptile whispered to himself in anguish, as his partner looked at him with confused eyes. Then she noticed the black creature that they had just passed by. She made a soft whimper and began hyperventilating.
“Z-Zerobi…!” she stammered with panic, feeling like her heart would stop at that moment or at the very least be crushed by the pressure building up in her chest.
“No…” the reptile said in disbelief before turning around with a furious look on his face, “… Umk, that blundering fool! I knew he couldn’t be trusted with anything!”
“You must have me mistaken with someone else…“ Zerobi said in a far more depressing voice than any of them had ever heard before. It sounded like the sorrowful wails from beyond the grave of a coldhearted killer, completely unlike her usual demeanor.
“I have seen your face in my nightmares for the past seven years…” the reptile muttered before shaking his head in an attempt to comprehend the situation, “Don’t tell me… During all this time…”
“… No! You can’t still be alive!” the cat shouted in terror, making Zerobi flinch. The words pierced her heart and her head begun spinning as she was once more reminded of that horrible time of her life when the blood of others were flowing through her.
“… Eve…” she whispered sadly as she looked at the cat, revisiting their time as friends a short time before seeing her defeated form cringing in terror before her blades.
“… And Snivy…” she continued before looking over at the reptile, and once again she was in the storm of sharp leaves cutting at her from every direction while her mind was fogged by a red cloud of warm blood and insanity. For a moment her entire body began itching as from an acidic substance before being replaced by the wonderful feeling of life rushing through her, unwittingly fueling her existence, looking for an escape, pleading for a death that would not come-
Fulfillment collided with suffering. Pleasure with disgust. Acceptance with loathing. Her mind shattered and her world collapsed as she fell to her knees, crying.
“I…” she stuttered while tears from in her eyes, “I’m… I’m so… So… Sorry!”
“You freak…!” Snivy spat reviled, “You think you can-“
“It wasn’t me!” Zerobi kept going, the tears now flowing down her face as she looked at two Pokémon in front of her, “I… The blood made me insane! I’m normal again!”
“Hmpf…” Snivy huffed while crossing his arms, “Apparently, you’re still as crazy as ever… If you think there’s any hope for redemption after what you’ve done.”
“I-It was the blood, it…” Zerobi continued futily, searching for forgiveness but already knowing that she would find none, “… It controlled me! I became addicted to it!”
“… All the more reason to end you right now!” Snivy shouted as he gave up on keeping things cool and threw the bag he was carrying to the side, “Eve! Run! Get backup!” Eve instantly turned around and ran as Zerobi helplessly reached out a hand to try and stop her. Meanwhile, the leaf at the end of Snivy’s tail was growing larger, as he suddenly did a backflip causing the giant leaf to detach from him and fly spinning vertically at Zerobi. It roared like a buzz saw as she noticed the attack coming, but seeing Eve fleeing in fear and the angry Snivy ready for the kill in front of her she simply could not bring herself to avoid it. Instead, she lowered her head and closed her eyes, prepared to face her long overdue judgment.
While she had expected to be cut by the leaf, she was instead hit by a blunt strike. Opening her eyes momentarily she saw an elbow leaving her face, knocking her back on her ass. Standing in front of her was Lucario, gripping the sides of the large whirling leaf between his hands.
“Yeah. That’s not going to happen” he said confidently as the leaf stopped spinning and Snivy’s mouth dropped in shock.
“Y-You protected her!?” he yelled in utter disbelief, “Who the hell are you!?”
“I don’t know what went on in the past between you two…” Lucario said calmly while seeing the brown cat disappear around the corner of a house far away, “… Or three… But if you think I’m going to just stand by and watch you execute a crying girl…”
“Girl!? That word has never been less fitting!” Snivy shouted before pointing at the stunned Weavile, “She’s a complete monster!”
“Hah! Coming from someone like you, that’s an insult!” Lucario scoffed, “Then again, I’d expect nothing less from a slimy reptile!”
“MOVE!” Snivy bellowed and took a step forward, “I don’t have time for this! She must not be allowed to live!”
“Like I already said, that’s not going to happen…” Lucario snickered before realizing what he had just said, “I mean, that’s going to happen. She’s going to live. I owe her my life, after all…”
“N-No, Lucario…” Zerobi whispered, feeling suicidal at this point, “You don’t understand…”
“Just stay there” Lucario said triumphantly with his back facing her, “It’s time for me to repay the favor.”
Lucario’s highly clichéd behavior took Zerobi by complete surprise and hit her like a truck, momentarily bringing her out of her shell of self-hatred. She had been willing to die just a few seconds ago, but after being struck by his ridiculous behavior she couldn’t help but give off the faintest of smiles. Meanwhile, Lucario was feeling very cool and prepared himself for battle as suddenly a very loud noise echoed through the sky.
“CITIZENS OF SNOWPOINT! A POWERFUL POKÉMON HAS BEEN DETECTED WITHIN THE CITY BORDERS!” a strangely metallic voice said in a calm yet decisive manner, “PLEASE RETURN TO YOUR HOMES AND AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS!”
“Oh…” Snivy said as a faint smile began developing on his face as well, “Looks like they’ll be the ones to beat you up. This is going to be fun to watch…”
“What the hell was that!?” Lucario shouted angrily while covering his big ears, “Argh! Damn that was loud!”
“… No!” Zerobi said as she suddenly stood up in panic, “The detectors! But how!?”
“Hey! Are you OK?” Lucario said as he turned around to meet her face and noticing that signs of tears were still present on it.
“No time!” Zerobi yelled while searching for an escape route, “Crap, we’re in big trouble… We have to run before they get here!”
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