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View Full Version : Pokémon Origins: The Johto Saga (PG-13 for mild language)


RaikouRider243
June 1st, 2005, 05:42 PM
Pokémon Origins: The Johto Saga
Originally posted on Serebiiforums
Rated PG-13 for violence and minor language

Prologue

Long ago, when humans first started to tame Pokémon, the world had not seen war for hundreds of years. The world was a peaceful and prosperous place. But all of this happiness needed a source. That source was Ho-oh, the guardian of all Pokémon. Ho-oh brought with it great abundance to the world.

When humans first realized that Pokémon could be trained to assist with helpful tasks, the world advanced. Time flows on, and technology advances. As kingdoms grew, so did potential sources of conflict. All that was needed was a spark to begin a conflict. Then...it happened.

A massive war broke out between two of the greatest kingdoms, and the Pokémon were turned against each other. Shortly into the war, both sides discovered that Pokémon were excellent fighters. More establishments were drawn in and defeated quickly at the hands of the Pokémon. As the war drew on, the units left had stronger and stronger Pokémon. The powers of their Pokémon became so strong that much of the population and establishment could be wiped out.

When all hope was lost, three mysterious warriors rushed in from the horizon, each mounted atop a large beast Pokémon: one a tiger with lightning-bolt stripes, carrying with it storm clouds; another, a tough, fire-spewing lion-like creature; another, a blue cheetah-like creature with an icy crystal on its head. The beasts could run far faster than any horse man had known, and attacked viciously, using the elements of fire, water, and lightning.

These three brave warriors stayed true to the Pokémon. They were known as the Beast Riders. After the war had reached its climax, they rode throughout the land, spreading justice and peace, just as Ho-oh did. Upon their return to Tin Tower, they met Ho-oh for the first time, and swore upon their lives to guard it forever. But the people thought they wanted war. What was left of the armies of trainers stormed the Tin Tower, killing the three warriors and their legendary Beasts. After the army retreated, Ho-oh flew above the tower, weeping in memory of the three brave warriors. This all happened about seven hundred years ago.

Just a scant thirty years later, Ecruteak's Brass Tower burst into flames as a result of lightning striking it. Lugia, the legendary bird Pokémon that was said to roost atop it, fled to the southwest swiftly, never to be seen again. The fires raged for three days and three nights, causing the tower to collapse into the ground. After the three days and three nights, a miracle befell the city: a torrential downpour put out the flames, revealing a smoldering ruin of what was the home of Lugia.

When the downpour ended, Ho-oh flew above the ruins of the tower, shining a rainbow straight into what was left of the tower basement. This light branched off into beams of yellow, blue, and red. As the different lights changed shape, it was evident what Ho-oh was doing: giving new life to the legendary Beasts that sacrificed their lives for Ho-oh. However, the revived Beasts were but dwarves of their former selves. In times of trial and tribulation, three warriors chosen by Ho-oh will ride across the land, quenching war and promoting peace. They are the Beast Riders, and they are the guardians of Pokémon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 1: Pokémon Scholars

It was a beautiful spring Friday afternoon in Ecruteak City, as three young adults studying to become Pokémon Historians continued their research into Ecruteak's past. The professor of the class was a renowned expert in the field of archaeology, and had contributed to the discovery of many legendary Pokémon, some of which are rumored to roam the world today.

"That will be all for today, my pupils. I shall remind you that your compositions for this class are due in three weeks. I am not accepting late papers," he announced as the class was dismissed.

Out of all the students of his entire Pokémon Legends History class, Aravan was by far the most excited to leave class that day. A junior hoping to someday become a master of Water and Ice Pokémon, he stands six feet strong. He has enrolled in the Pokémon Legends History class to learn more about his favorite Pokémon: Suicune, the legendary Beast said to be the north wind reborn. When he is not busy with his schoolwork, he trains his Pokémon in an effort to locate, battle with, and capture the legendary Pokémon he idolizes so much.

"Whew. I'm glad the weekend is here! I need to catch up on my training!" Aravan joyfully announced to his friends, Josh and Ace.

"Me too. I'm sick of listening to that old cur babble!" Ace remarked smartly.

"Ace, he's an expert in the field, and he's not a cur. Maybe old, but not a cur. You may not like him, but I do. If you knew you would have to put up with such a 'cur', as you put it so smart-alecky, then why did you enroll in the class?" Josh asked Ace.

Ace was puzzled with himself over Josh's question. "Gee, Josh. I never really gave it much thought. It's just some filler class to get elective requirements."

"Ace, you could have taken a much easier elective than this. This class is in-depth, as you know quite well. There has to be another reason."

Ace, still puzzled, struggled to come up with a response to Josh's indirect question. Ace is a lover of fire Pokémon, and is in great physical shape. He has a desire to play professional soccer, but also has a passion for heated Pokémon battles. Though he does not enjoy the class as much as Josh or Aravan do, the professor gets Ace's attention almost instantaneously when he mentions Entei during a lecture. Ace does not look into the legendary Pokémon much, but his favorite is Entei. That has been reflected in the topic for his research paper for Pokémon Legends History: the significance of Entei in the history of Pokémon Origins.

"Josh, I have something to tell you, and you alone." Ace subtly said to Josh.

"And what would that be?" Josh replied. But he then remembered that Aravan was with them, and instinctively slapped his forehead with his hand. "Oh, that was a stupid question. Where do you want to talk about this?"

"How about my room, at seven o'clock tonight?" Ace suggested.

"Fine with me. I'm not doing anything anyway. I will be in the library until then. If you feel the need to talk about this earlier, that's where I'll be."

"See you then!" Ace replied in agreement as he ran off for his dorm.

Aravan, curious about Josh's conversation with Ace, slowly walked over to Josh. From the nervous look on his face, there was obviously a lot on his mind.

"Josh?" Aravan asked, hoping to get Josh's attention.

"Yes?"

"What were you and Ace talking about?"

"Aravan, that is none of your business. Why do you have to be so nosy all the
time?"

"That was rude, Josh."

"OK, Aravan, OK. We were talking about his research paper that's due in three weeks. But that's all I'm going to tell you. I'm going to the library," Josh quickly stated as he ran off for the library downstairs.

"Josh, wait! ...He's already gone. Oh, well. Time to catch up on my training."

And so, the three eager students went their seperate ways. Eager to train his Croconaw and Houndour, Aravan immediately left campus for the areas surrounding Ecruteak City, where wild Pokémon and skilled trainers were itching to battle. Ace left for his dorm, where he wasted away the rest of the afternoon reading books. He never even thought about his assignment once. Josh, on the other hand, could think about nothing but the assignment, and consequently, spent the rest of the afternoon in the campus library. The entire time he was there, he could never get his mind off Raikou, the legendary Beast of Thunder. It is said to have the ability to achieve land speeds unmatched by any other Pokémon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About two and a half hours later, it was nearly time for Josh and Ace to have their conversation about class that afternoon. After researching many related legends, Josh came to an astonishing conclusion that he thought would get him a Ph. D. in Ancient Pokémon History. Excited to report his findings, he frantically darted through the building to Ace's dorm.

"Ace, you will not believe what I just discovered from my research! It could be revolutionary!" Josh exclaimed, unable to hold back his joy.

"Josh, why are you working on that now? The paper's not due for another three weeks! Oh yeah, you're being the overachiever you always are. What?" Ace replied, trying to get Josh to speak softer.

"Sorry about that hollering, Ace," Josh apologized, heavily breathing in and out in an effort to douse his excitement. "I looked into the history of the Beasts along with a couple of other legends, and I came to an astonishing conclusion. It ties together the Ecruteak legends and the origin of Pokémon battling. I checked out all four of the books I referenced in composing this idea. That way, we have them for future reference. Listen carefully."

The idea immediately got Ace's complete attention. "I'm all ears, Josh," he confirmed.

"All right. Let me retell the story of the Legends of Johto, all of which once resided in this very city. There were once two towers in Ecruteak City; the Brass Tower to the west, and the Tin Tower to the east. Each tower was the roost of a powerful, legendary bird Pokémon. But one day, a tragedy befell the Brass Tower. A massive lightning bolt struck the tower, and the two bird Pokémon fled immediately. The lightning bolt sparked a tremendous fire that raged for three days and three nights. After the third night, when the sun was about to rise, a massive storm came up out of nowhere. This storm produced torrential rainfall, putting out the fire. The once beautiful Brass Tower was now but a smoldering ruin.

To make matters worse, three legendary Pokémon resided in the Brass Tower when it burst into flame. The three Pokémon were said to have been born of lightning, water, and fire. Those three Pokémon died in the tragic fire. After the torrential rainfall subsided, the legendary bird Pokémon of rainbow colors shined a spectrum of light into the smoldering tower, reviving the three legendary Pokémon. They are said to sleep in that tower to this day, doing nothing but testing mankind by letting certain individuals get close."

Ace was in shock over what he had heard. Though he had heard this legend from the professor before, he had not heard it in such a fashion as to be so easily understandable. "Wow, Josh. You must be obsessed with the legendary Pokémon to know the story this well. That answers all the questions I had for you after class this afternoon."

"Excellent. Now let me tell you about the origin of Pokémon Battling. This legend occurs shortly after the one I just told you, about seven centuries ago. It demonstrates how corrupt we are as human beings."

Ace became confused at Josh's last sentence. "Corrupt? That's not what I have learned here. According to the professors that teach me here, man is basically good."

Josh quickly refuted Ace's point. "If man is basically good, then how can you explain what I am about to tell you? Anyways, I do not want to start a religious discussion; those can go pretty haywire."

"Fine, Josh. I'm listening." Ace snapped back.

"Many centuries ago, the world was a free, peaceful, and prosperous place. This was when humans first tamed wild Pokémon and brought them into their families. They helped with many tedious and difficult tasks, causing the civilization to progress. Now keep in mind that they didn't have Poké Balls back then--"

"They didn't?! Then how did they capture the Pokémon?" Ace inquired loudly.

"They befriended Pokémon that are weaker and easy to capture," Josh answered. "Any strong Pokémon, like the ones we have now, were too dangerous to tame. Heck, my Charmander would probably be too dangerous for an ordinary family to bring in. Anyway, back to the story. But one day, a group of wild Pokémon were attacking a few random people, when suddenly, a Spearow belonging to one of the families flew out in front of the attacking Pokémon and drove them away with a few Gusts of wind. It was this one freak accident that caused the aristocrats to do a great deal of secret research into this incident. They reproduced the incident many times, using different Pokémon to defend against the attacks. After many months of research, the aristocracy discovered that Pokémon were excellent fighters.

After this incredible discovery, the government of Ecruteak began to slowly turn away from a peaceful aristocracy into a militant totalitarian dictatorship, with surrounding establishments in terror of the abilities of the Pokémon. Little did they know that another civilization, supposedly located where Goldenrod City is located now, had made a similar discovery almost simultaneously. When that establishment was invaded by the Ecruteak military, a fierce battle took place between the two armies. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, human and Pokémon. That was the beginning of the Great Pokémon War, the war that started Pokémon battling."

Ace listened intently the entire time Josh retold the legend. By this time, it was already dark outside. "So mankind discovered Pokémon battling through a vicious power struggle? And today it's a very popular sport?" Ace asked Josh, with the intent of confirming his reasoning.

"That is exactly what I have read, and when you think about it in today's context, it is quite sickening. Using Pokémon to win a power struggle... Well, that goes to show you that power corrupts."

"I will agree with you on that, Josh. Too much power in the hands of a single individual does tend to make that person corrupt," Ace agreed.

"Then you just refuted your own point that man is basically good. If man is basically good, then power should not corrupt; instead, that man would use his power for the benefit of mankind. But that does not happen. Take a look at world history. Just under a hundred years ago, a power struggle overseas lead to a world war that nearly wiped everything out. Millions of lives were lost in a short period of time, just to stop the regime of one power-hungry individual. Think about what that was like, only with Pokémon. That's what the Great Pokémon War was like."

The point Josh made seemed to penetrate the mind and soul of Ace. No matter how hard he tried, Ace could not imagine a world war of Pokémon battles in an effort to end a power struggle. He was nearly speechless. The response he gave several minutes later was a struggle for him to utter. "Though you have given me plenty of time to visualize such a war, what I can imagine cannot even come close to how you described it."

Josh was getting more and more anxious to get to his point, and started speaking more rapidly as a result. "Back then, the powerful Pokémon we know today, like Charizard, were weapons of mass destruction. A single one could wipe out an entire village almost effortlessly. As the war dragged on, the battalions left had stronger and stronger Pokémon. This war never seemed to end. The sources I looked at never gave any details about how the war actually ended; however, I have come to my own conclusion, and it makes more sense than any other idea I have tried to come up with. This idea ties both of the legends together. This is why I was in a rush to meet you tonight."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Josh started to wrap the two legends together, someone knocked at Ace's door.

"I'll get it, Josh," Ace offered.

Ace opened the door, only to see that Aravan had dropped by after finishing his training for the night and grabbing a bite to eat. He immediately let him into the medium-size, fairly clean dorm.

"What's up, guys?" Aravan wondered.

"We're discussing the legend--"

Josh interrupted Ace again. "After I went to the library to research for my composition assignment due in three weeks, I came to an astonishing conclusion. I was building up the context, and was about to share my point with him--when you walked in the door."

Aravan all of a sudden became curious about what Josh had researched, and wanted to go to the library to look up information about Suicune's role in the legends, but Josh pleaded him not to leave; Josh said he could tell it better than the books in the library can. They squabbled for a few minutes, until Aravan finally gave in. He then muttered in a defeatist tone, "All right, Josh, you win. Tell me about your conclusion."

"Thank you," he replied. "Now, here is where I believe the legends tie in together. Listen carefully, or you will not be able to follow this. From the moment the first Pokémon was commanded to attack in the Great Pokémon War, the power struggle was vicious, and only got worse as lives were lost. Clearly, individual battles were being won, but neither side had an overall advantage for the vast majority of the war. The locations of war lines shifted from time to time, but no one side could really gain any significant advantage over another. It was absolutely brutal. With each confrontation, the lives of hundreds of people and Pokémon were lost, as both sides took no POWs."

"I'm not a war person," Ace declared. "What's a POW, Josh?"

"A prisoner of war," Josh answered.

"So what happened to civilians that lived in villages that were captured by the enemy?"

"The women and children were killed, and the men either had to join their army or be killed. The Pokémon the families might have would be used for the war effort, as were any rations and other supplies the family had. Anything that could be used. It could very well have been "total war", but I doubt it got that far before it was broken up. That's what I am about to get to with my story."

"Oh my god!" Aravan and Ace exclaimed at the same time.

"It is scary, isn't it? The idea of total war," Josh replied, unphased by his friends' reactions. "Both sides were running low on men and supplies, but the men left all had very powerful Pokémon; also, the war was mainly concentrated east of Ecruteak City at that point in time. The tide of the war was beginning to shift at this point. When the losing army, which I will hereafter refer to as the rebellion, became boxed in around the east side of Johto, it seemed that the rebels were doomed... until three warriors in yellow, blue, and red armor, one in each color, came rushing in on the backs of extremely large four-legged Beasts."

"Whoa! I don't believe it!" Aravan was in utter shock over what he had just heard.

"Let me finish my story," Josh requested. "I'm almost done. Anyway, these three warriors, mounted atop incredibly fast Pokémon, rushed to the aid of the rebels. The powers of the warriors' Pokémon far outclassed the Pokémon the enemy generals had. Though the generals tried to retreat, they could not even make it back to Mahogany or Azalea before the Beasts caught up to them. Knowing the powers they were up against, the entire enemy regiment surrendered, ending the war. The world was at peace...for a time. For that period of time, these warriors were praised for saving the Johto region from a war that could have engulfed her in complete destruction.

Some time after the war, the warriors and their Beasts were summoned to Tin Tower. There they met the guardian of the Beasts, the flying Pokémon of rainbow colors. That day, the warriors swore upon their lives to guard this Pokémon. But there were still some trainers loyal to the recently defeated enemy. They gathered other trainers not affiliated with the warriors yet, and stormed the tower. This skirmish resulted in more deaths, including the deaths of the three warriors who so gallantly rode in from the west to save many, many people from dying at the hands of the enemy Pokémon. The three Beasts were so enraged that whoever didn't retreat from the tower immediately was a dead man."

"You're talking about Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, right? And Ho-oh is the guardian?" Ace asked in a confirmatory tone.

"Yes, and yes," Josh replied.

Ace and Aravan were both speechless at Josh's conclusion. To them, it seemed too fantastical, yet at the same time, it made a great deal of sense. It was a paradoxy, in that sense. Josh, however, was still grinning in his excitement. There was a passion in him not present in anyone else Aravan or Ace had met in their lives. A passion that appeared not to be just a fantasy.

"It's running on eight o'clock, and I should start organizing my notes for my research paper. See you," Josh said as he headed for the door.

That reminded Aravan of something he wanted to do back at his own room. "I should get going too, Ace. See you in class Monday!" he remarked as he left the room, following Josh.

On the way back to their rooms, Josh summarized to Aravan what he discussed with Ace before he got back from training. It was a long walk down the winding hallway, giving Josh plenty of time to adequately explain to Aravan how he came to the radical conclusion he was still excited about. He begain to wonder how he could get to sleep that night.

"Josh, I can imagine how you feel. I wonder what will become of this next week," Aravan wondered.

"Well, my room is down this hall to the left. Looks like we will be going our seperate ways now. See you, Aravan," Josh said.

"Later, Josh!"

Aravan and Josh headed their seperate ways, back to their rooms. Aravan was ready to retire for the night, but Josh couldn't help wondering about his discovery. He was on the computer, analyzing and outlining his notes until nearly ten o'clock in the evening. In an attempt to get his mind off the legends, he turned on the ten o'clock news, only to his dismay. This was the top news story of the night: "A distant chain of islands directly south of the Johto region has been conquered by a mysterious group of trainers allegedly linked to an underground criminal syndicate. The sudden attacks were conducted for no apparent reason. The central police force agency of the Johto region has sent spies to get insight on the sudden political takeover. All we know is the group appears to be a radical, militant band of trainers building up a sizable military force on these islands. Speculators suggest that Johto could be the syndicate's next target, with Ecruteak City as the main target of the invasion. In other news..."

Josh immediately turned the television off in anger after hearing the headline. Normally, this kind of news would only affect a person closely following current events, but Josh could not get his mind off the potential development of this syndicate after hearing the form of the enemy and doing all the research he did.

"**** it!!" he exclaimed in his anger, trying to vent his frustration. "Whatever this criminal syndicate is, it can't be good news! If this is going where I think it is, this will be World War III--or worse, the Great War all over again! The police better get this situation under control before it hits the homeland. This is starting to scare me, but I should not be surprised. Like all my professors have taught me: 'If you do not learn from history, it will repeat itself.' Well, those police better have learned from history--we may not be so lucky this time if war becomes imminent!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm going to be posting 1 or 2 chapters a day since I'm going to be gone shortly.

RaikouRider243
June 2nd, 2005, 05:50 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 2: Legacy Hunters

(Accompanying Music: Shinra Inc. Theme [FF7])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/ps1/ff7shinra.mid

Indeed, there was a criminal syndicate at work on the Sevii Island chain south of Johto. This syndicate, known as the Legacy Hunters, had its roots dating back centuries, all the way back to the Great Pokémon War. Every Pokémon-related criminal syndicate in existence to the present day can trace its roots back to the Legacy Hunters. Team Rocket, Team Magma, Team Aqua, even Cipher. You name it, it originated from the Legacy Hunters. Though nearly everyone in the world had heard of these organizations, the name "Legacy Hunters" would be foreign to most people if asked about it.

The goal of the Legacy Hunters since the Great Pokémon War has been to conquer areas of interest to them, such as cities with ancient Pokémon-related landmarks. The reason why they have been so inactive up until now was that they have been planning an invasion of Johto; this way, they could gain control over Ecruteak City, home to two of the most significant historical sites in the entire world.

The night after the news broke about the Sevii Islands falling to the Legacy Hunters, the top executives of the criminal organization were finalizing their long-awaited plans to invade the Johto region. A plan in the works for over twenty years was to be finalized that night. The president of the syndicate walked into the board room of their secret hideout located on Birth Island, a very mysterious island shrouded in a dense fog. "Over twenty years of hard work and innovation...and we are merely a matter of hours from conquering the world! HAH HAH HAH HA!!" a short, intelligent-looking black male proclaimed before loudly cackling in an evil fashion.

"Indeed, Travis, sir. After waiting so long for this day, our plan is foolproof!" Maxie, leader of Team Magma, replied. "Though our plan to capture the legend of the earth, Groudon, has failed, we will have enough power to do anything we want after this!"

"Yes," Travis agreed. "If all goes well, each and every one of you leaders present in this board room will have more power than you have ever imagined to this day. Ernest, do you have our plan of attack ready?"

The human resource manager immediately responded, "Yes, sir, I do," then inserted a compact disc into a computer linked to a projection screen. Several minutes later, a modified graphic of the Johto region appeared on the large projection screen at the front of the board room. Travis then got up out of his seat, pushed his tall chair in, and walked up onto a stage where the projected image was located. He then called Ernest to join him in explaining the plan of attack. Travis was anxious to go ahead with the invasion plans, and immediately handed the presentation over to Ernest.

"OK everyone...behind me you see a map of the Johto region. The area circled in green is our main attack target, Ecruteak City. Also note that there are only three main ways to enter Johto... except by flying, of course." Ernest moved the pointer on the screen to various landmarks in Johto, which were circled in yellow on the map: first of all, Olivine City; secondly, Tohjo Falls; and finally, Goldenrod City. He then began to explain the importance of these three locations.

"As you can observe, the only sea route into Johto is via the port in Olivine City. It is also very close to our destination, that being Ecruteak City. If we can take Olivine City, we can put a virtual embargo on all sea traffic into Johto.

Secondly, let me explain the significance of Goldenrod City. As many of you already know, a bullet train runs between Goldenrod City in Johto and Saffron City in Kanto. This is not nearly as important as controlling Olivine Port, especially if you consider that Goldenrod City is a much longer distance away from Ecruteak as opposed to Olivine." Ernest then took a few deep breaths and a few drinks of water before resuming his presentation.

"But, if we do not take control over that train, we could have a huge army of skilled rebel trainers down our throats, including the legendary Indigo trainers known as the Elite Four. I don't know about Travis, but I know I possess some of the strongest Pokémon that the Legacy Hunters have available, and the Elite Four have Pokémon whose strength would overwhelm mine. Let me reiterate that I do not know how strong Travis' Pokémon are, but I don't think they could match up to those of the Elite Four. We may be able to take one of them, but that would really be stretching it.

Thirdly, we should try to cut off Kanto from Johto by taking over the Tohjo Falls checkpoint linking the two regions. It would be best to do this after we have made well-established positions in both Olivine Port and Goldenrod City. That way, if we don't have the resources to hold a position there, we can still attack Ecruteak from the west and the north. This minimizes the number of reinforcements the enemy can get to Ecruteak. But we cannot spread too thin, or we will be attacked from too many sides at once."

Maxie immediately stood up and asked Ernest a question. "Ernest, sir, exactly what are your plans once we take over Ecruteak City, and why would it be necessary to double-team them like this?"

Ernest snapped his fingers for a few seconds, then replied, "Many of the trainers at Ecruteak City are sages who have been training Pokémon since before I was born. These sages live there in great numbers, and have very strong Pokémon. If we divide their attention between our forces attacking from the west and south, we should be able to handle them. As far as your other question, Maxie, only Travis would know the answer to that. You will have to ask him. But please save any further questions until after I finish. Now, for my plan of offense." With that, Maxie took her seat again.

He then advanced the slide show to the next slide, which was a zoomed map of the west side of Johto. "My plan is to perform a night raid on Olivine Port. There is really only one powerful trainer in Olivine: the Gym Leader, Jasmine. If we blitz them well after dark, we should be able to take over the port well before she realizes what's happened, and certainly well before daybreak. Once we have that place occupied with a sizable force, we can move a small portion of them toward Goldenrod City, which isn't too far from water. After that, we can double-team Ecruteak, or try to shut down Tohjo Falls. How is it, Travis, sir?"

Travis was delighted at the idea of a night raid, and quickly approved of the plan submitted by Ernest. He then asked if there were any questions.

Maxie stood up again and asked, "Exactly how are we going to attack Goldenrod City from the water? The shore is surrounded by cliffs!"

Archie, leader of Team Aqua, answered Maxie's question. "I have a school of Lapras that will do the trick. I also think that instead of taking our bulky watercraft to Olivine Port, we should use all of my Lapras. They will be much harder to spot."

"Archie, that's an excellent idea. I commend you for that," Travis complimented.

"Thank you," he calmly replied.

Ernest then asked Travis a question on his mind during the entire presentation. "Travis, could you explain to us how we can rule the world by taking Ecruteak City?"

Travis thought about the question for a second, then started laughing. "Don't you get it? Ecruteak is the homeland of many legendary Pokémon! If we can take over the city, all those legendary Pokémon are good as ours! With that kind of power, no one in the world can stop us! We'll make a fortune and have so much power we won't know what to do with it all!!" He then started cackling loudly, rejoicing in the evil cataclysm he was about to revive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Josh, Ace, and Aravan wasted much of the afternoon playing with their Pokémon, and of course, battling each other to get stronger. Though they were all strong trainers, Aravan's diverse and well-raised team defeated both Josh's and Ace's Pokémon. The only other notable event was that Josh's Charmander evolved into Charmeleon, a much stronger and much more aggressive fiery lizard than its former self.

For once, Josh was able to get the legend and the recent news about the Legacy Hunters off his mind. After dark, Ace and Aravan started compiling their notes into an outline, while Josh used the outline he made the day before to start writing his research paper. By eleven o'clock that night, Josh had already written three pages of his paper. At that point, he called it a night and went to sleep. That night, Josh, Ace, and Aravan all had dreams. Strange, clear, and very similar dreams.

Each one was dreaming about being in an intense Pokémon battle with a trainer far more skilled than he. None of their battles were going well at all. It seemed that the opposing trainer's Pokémon were ready to counter everything sent at them. All of the dreams were very similar to one another, so it would be sufficient to narrate only one of them.

(Accompanying Music: Rival Battle [Pokémon Gold/Silver])

"Golduck! Finish Manectric off with your Ice Beam attack!" the female trainer cried. The blue, kappa-like monster immediately fired a white, freezing beam at the four-legged electric Pokémon, which was cornered on the right side of the arena. There was nowhere for Manectric to dodge. The cold beam landed its mark, and its target immediately collapsed from exhaustion.

"Manectric, return!" Josh called out as he recalled his Pokémon back into the Ultra Ball he used to capture it. He then began muttering to himself, "Argh... All I have left is Charmeleon, and it's too weak to battle. Ah well. I have never been known to give up, and I'm not about to start now." This gave him a sense of inspiration, the spark he needed to keep fighting. "Charmeleon, let's give this a go!" he yelled as he released his final Pokémon from its ball.

(Accompanying Music: Gym Theme [Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire])

Much to his surprise, a massive, yellow, tigerlike Pokémon appeared in the arena. The six-foot-tall Pokémon, boasting vicious fangs eight inches long, stared down its enemy with its fear-inducing red eyes. Upon being released, it let out an ear-deafening roar that sounded like crashing thunder. Everyone in the vicinity was stunned.

"Oh...my...god..." Josh slowly said, in absolute disbelief at what he had just witnessed. "Could someone tell me what the hell just happened here?" He then fell backwards from the utter shock of the appearence of the legendary Pokémon, Raikou. Without any command from Josh, it began generating a large ball of intense electrical charge.

"Golduck, get away from it and try to counterattack with a Hydro Pump!" the girl suggested. Golduck began to run to the other end of the arena, but it was hopeless. With the electrical sphere surrounding it, Raikou lunged toward Golduck with such incredible speed that everyone there was in awe. The high-speed electric charging attack landed a direct hit on Golduck. Golduck never recovered from the blow for the rest of the match.

"That is awe-inspiring power," the girl reacted. "I know that whatever I do with my remaining Pokémon, they can do nothing when pitted against something like that. I submit." With that, she surrendered the match to Josh.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(End Gym Theme)

After she and the spectators left the arena, Raikou walked over to Josh and slowly rubbed one of its paws against Josh's arm. This caused him to regain consciousness.

"What just happened here...GAAAHHH!! Where did you come from?!" Josh was too scared to say anything else. Raikou turned around, then sat down on its hind legs. Josh looked back at Raikou, still too scared to say anything. The beast looked back to its left, then jerked its head up.

"You're kidding me. Are you saying you want me to...to climb on?" Josh carefully asked.

Raikou did not look back at Josh again; the beast simply nodded its head in approval. At that, Josh overcame some of his fear of Raikou, and climbed atop its back. The huge saber-tooth tiger then stood back up on all fours. It took Josh a few seconds to get comfortably situated atop Raikou; but afterward, he promptly let out a sigh of relief, mumbling to himself, "Now that wasn't so hard, was it?"

Raikou slowly walked out of the arena, carrying a still-nervous Josh on its back. After they left the arena, the Beast of Thunder began to pick up speed and run off into the distance. Then things began to get blurry. It was time for Josh to awaken from his slumber.

"What a strange dream that was," he said as he woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning. "I know I was...wait! Was I indeed just dreaming?" With that, he immediately got dressed and cleaned himself up. After exiting his room, he left a note for Ace and Aravan, to identify where he was in case they needed to talk with him. He hustled outside the building to an open field on campus grounds and released all of his Pokémon. "Come out, everyone!"

(Accompanying Music: Route 101 [Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire])

He sent out all five of his Pokémon: Charmeleon, a mean-looking fiery lizard about half the size of Josh, boasting a flaming tail; Pidgeotto, a bird of considerable size; Manectric, a four-legged animal constantly discharging electricity from its mane; Poliwhirl, a large land-based tadpole lacking a tail; and finally, Sudowoodo, a rock-hard Pokémon that always pretends to be a tree. Josh was disappointed that his battle alongside the Legend of Thunder was but a dream, a fantasy. He was tempted to simply recall his Pokémon and take the long walk of shame back to his dorm, but he didn't. Instead, he walked back to the door with his Pokémon, then went back to his room to get food not only for his Pokémon, but himself as well. After they all ate to their hearts' content, they spent the rest of the morning playing with each other.

Ace and Aravan had had similar dreams that night. They quickly got dressed and left to talk to Josh about their dreams; they had never dreamt about anything even close to what went on last night after they fell asleep. The first place they checked was Josh's dorm. All they found was this note attached to the door: "I am on the southeast side of the campus, playing with my Pokémon. If you need to talk to me, meet me in the open field on that side. It's south of the soccer field. --Josh."

"I thought for sure he'd be talking to the professor about our little discussion Friday night. I guess he's not the overachiever we thought he was. He's slacking off for once!" Aravan remarked.

"'Playing with his Pokémon...'" Ace read. "I think we should go back to our rooms and get our Pokémon. It's been a while since they've been able to spend a lot of quality time together," he suggested.

Aravan was delighted at Ace's suggestion. "That's a great idea, Ace. Let me run back to my room. Meet you where Josh is."

"Got it," Ace responded. With that, the two of them hastily walked back to their rooms. About ten minutes later, Aravan found Josh, sitting under a tree while watching his Pokémon play. Manectric was showing off the beauty of its Spark attack.

"Hey, Josh!" Aravan said, trying to get Josh's attention. Josh flinched, not expecting anyone to find him.

"Aravan, you scared me! I wasn't expecting anyone to meet me out here. How are you doing today?" Josh asked Aravan.

"Wonderful. I saw the note you posted on the outside of your door. When I noticed you said you were playing with your Pokémon, I decided to let my own Pokémon in on the fun. Let's go, everyone!" he remarked as he released his five Pokémon: Eevee, a squirrel-like Pokémon said to be capable to evolve into one of five different Pokémon; Tropius, a dinosaur-like Pokémon that can fly using the leaves on its back as wings; Houndour, a black dog with a skull on its forehead; Croconaw, a water Pokémon whose jaw muscle strength makes that of a crocodile seem like that of a baby human being; and finally, Vibrava, a Pokémon with underdeveloped wings that can be vibrated at over one hundred times per second. It is also said to possess DNA belonging to dragons.

"Your Pokémon look good still. I'm surprised that your Croconaw hasn't evolved yet after that rough battle we had earlier this week," Josh noted.

"Thanks, buddy. I can't wait for it to evolve. I also can't wait for my Vibrava to evolve either. Flygon is so cool!" Aravan replied.

"How long have you had Vibrava, Aravan?" Josh asked.

"About...twelve weeks, I guess," Aravan answered after thinking for a few seconds. "Why do you ask?"

"If you continue to train it at the same rate at you have been, I'm thinking it's going to evolve into Flygon in a little less than a month. I think that Salamence is cooler than Flygon in the family of Dragon Pokémon, but Flygon's still awesome. Say, did you have something on your mind? You wouldn't come all the way out here just to say 'Hi.' What's up?" Josh asked.

"I wanted to talk to you about this crazy dream I had last night, but I talked to Ace this morning, and he also had a crazy dream last night. I'm waiting for him to show up. What could be taking him so long to get here?"

Shortly after Aravan asked, both him and Josh could hear something that sounded like a galloping horse in the distance. "What is that noise?" Aravan wondered. As the figure got closer, he identified it as Ace riding a Ponyta. The Pokémon was engulfed in red flames, but they didn't seem to bother Ace at all. "Josh, that's Ace!" Aravan noted to Josh. Josh then yelled, "Ace! Over here!" and began waving his arms. It got Ace's attention, and his Pokémon slowed to a stop, right next to Aravan and Ace.

"That felt good!" Ace proclaimed. "It's been a while since I've done that!"

"I didn't know you had a Ponyta, Ace. But being a lover of fire Pokémon, it befits you to have such a swift Fire-type," Josh replied.

"Sorry I'm late, guys. But I wanted to wow all of you by making an unexpected entrance, as well as have a little fun," Ace apologized. "I guess I shouldn't let my other Pokémon be left out of the little party going on."

"I was wondering what took you so long, Ace!" Aravan remarked as Ace released his four other Pokémon: Scyther, a five-foot-tall preying mantis with scythe-like arms; Growlithe, a fire-type, black-and-orange-striped dog; Ninjask, a flying Bug-type Pokémon with ninja-like speed; and Quilava, another fire-type with the ability to make the quills on its back flare up. All fifteen Pokémon had a merry time while their trainers began to discuss their dreams last night.

Ace began the discussion by recalling and summarizing his dream last night. "In my dream last night, I was in a battle with you, Aravan. But your Pokémon were much, much stronger than the ones you had in our real battle Friday afternoon. My team managed to take them all down--except your final Pokémon. It was a Lapras, and it was using strange attacks."

Aravan noted, "I don't even have a Lapras. But I want one! What kind of attacks was it using?"

"Thunderbolt, for one."

Josh immediately was taken aback by Ace's answer. "Thunderbolt?! What the hell have you been smoking, buddy? A powerful electric attack like Thunderbolt can cause severe, even permanent damage to a Lapras! How can it use such an attack?"

"Beats me," Ace answered. "But anyway, that Lapras didn't even use any of its water-based attacks on my Pokémon, and it was still beatin' the crap out of 'em. Yet, I won the battle. And you will never believe how it happened. When I went to send out my last Pokémon, my Ponyta, Ponyta never emerged from the ball. The Pokémon that emerged from the Ball was...Entei."

"Oh my god!" both of them yelled in great surprise. "I dreamt almost exactly the same thing you did...except my Pokémon was Suicune!" Aravan added.

Ace resumed his narration. "Upon the apparence of Entei, everyone in that arena, myself and Aravan included, were in total shock. The battle resumed as normal. Lapras was powerful, but Entei was legendary. Though it could shoot water attacks and Ice Beams and Thunderbolts with amazing accuracy, Entei was so fast that none of the attacks could hit their marks, not even from close range. Entei then let loose the most powerful Flamethrower attack I had ever seen before. That attack caused Lapras to belly up a few seconds after being hit. Aravan then recalled his Lapras, and everyone left."

"When I first heard Ace's dream, I thought it was just a weird coincidence," Josh said. "But now that I have heard the similarities between both of your dreams and my own, I realized this is no coincidence. I, too, had a similar dream last night. Ace, do you remember what happened after everyone left?"

"No."

"Well, I have a hunch that if I tell you about what happened after my battle, it will make you remember what happened. But let me rewind to when Raikou appeared. When I saw the beast that was my favorite Pokémon, I just collapsed from the shock of the fact. Though the enemy Golduck was strong, Raikou took it out somehow; I don't know how. When I got back up from collapsing, Raikou was standing right next to me. It then turned around, sat down on its hind legs, and told me to hop on. I was too scared to do anything else, so I climbed on, got myself situated on its back, and rode off into the distance. That's when I woke up from the dream."

"I remember riding Suicune at the end of my dream. It was a struggle to stay on its back, but I managed to get going pretty fast," Aravan recalled.

"Come to think of it, that's not what I remember happened to me. Entei and I walked out of the arena together, but it never let me on its back," Ace said.

"After hearing about the criminal syndicate last night on the news...this is definitely not coincidence. I believe this series of dreams is a prophecy. Johto will come under attack, and much of the world will be at risk. If nothing is done soon, this syndicate will take over the world. Remember that legend I pieced together Friday night?" Josh asked Ace.

"You mean all that bee-ess I had to put up with that night? Just kidding, Josh. Yes, I do remember." Ace confirmed.

"Well, I think history is trying to repeat itself here. If I am interpreting our dreams and the recent series of events correctly, everything in the legend has been accounted for."

"The rebel army of trainers?" Aravan asked.

"That would be the Johto police force currently investigating these events."

"The empire?"

"The criminal syndicate."

"The Beast Riders? What about them? Explain that, Josh!" Aravan refuted.

"The three of us."

Alana
June 2nd, 2005, 10:18 PM
Awesome fic RaikouRider243! ^_^ You have excelent grammer and spelling and the story itself is great. I'll be looking forward to the next chapter.

RaikouRider243
June 3rd, 2005, 09:38 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 3: Prophecy

Once again, Josh's piecing together of information had delivered a shocking reality to his friends. After several days of explanations, he had come to the conclusion that the three of them were destined to become the Beast Riders of this generation. The legendary warriors that saved the world in the past... and now, three young scholars have been chosen to save the world from the Legacy Hunters who have terrorized human and Pokémon alike for centuries.

"This changes everything about my life," Aravan said. "I just wanted to become a trainer of water and ice Pokémon, and I'm destined to put my life at stake? What luck I must have..."

"I've been waiting for an opportunity like this since I was a child. I'd seen Entei dozens of times in my life, but only in books. Now with all this
happening, I might be able to see a real one!" Ace delightfully announced.

"Me too. I am excited to see a real Raikou in person, but I am more concerned about putting my life in jeopardy. This is war, people. It is dangerous stuff!" Josh remarked. "But we have no choice. We are the ones chosen to protect the legendary Pokémon of this town. Our destination is the Burned Tower, located north of here."

"If those idiots are planning an attack on Johto now, then we should go to the Burned Tower immediately!" Ace replied.

"It's already late in the afternoon, and furthermore, no one is going to believe us. Not just anyone can get into that tower. You know that Raikou, Entei, and Suicune sleep there. There are sages guarding that tower, or what's left of it, all the time. They won't let you in without a good reason."

Aravan interrupted the discussion, anxious to put his suggestion up for discussion. "Ace, Josh, I can see both of your points. It is late in the day, and it will be close to sundown by the time we get there. But I am also concerned about missing class tomorrow."

"Oh yeah! I completely forgot about class! I hate to miss the lecture tomorrow, but we have little choice. Let's rest up and go to bed early, so we can be refreshed and get a head start on things tomorrow," Josh added.

Reluctantly, Ace and Aravan agreed to Josh's idea. They recalled all of their Pokémon, except for Ace's Ponyta. He then mounted his Pokémon and dashed off for the gym, leaving Josh and Aravan completely in the dust.

"If it's this bad now, Josh," Aravan started as he began walking back to his room, "imagine what it will be like if he gets Entei!" Both of them burst into laughter at Aravan's joke.

"You know what, Aravan, I don't even want to think about it."

After a walk that seemed to take forever, Aravan and Josh made it back to their rooms, ready to work on their research papers before they went off to bed at an unusually early eight o'clock at night. Ace spent most of the early evening in the gym, practicing his shooting, trapping, and juggling skills for soccer. He, likewise, came back at about eight to get a good night's sleep before the big task ahead of him tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Accompanying Music: Shinra Inc. Theme [FF7])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/consol...1/ff7shinra.mid

Five hours later, the Legacy Hunters' first wave of troops set to invade Olivine Port were about to arrive. The group of thugs were having a radio conversation highlighting attack maneuvers for the invasion. Heading the invasion plans was Archie, leader of Team Aqua.

"OK guys, here's the plan," he announced over the radio. "Our first target is the port itself. We should divide our forces between the lighthouse and the port entrance. That way, we will have a secure hold on the entire city. And another thing, let's stay away from the Gym. We don't want to attract Jasmine's attention."

"Roger that," most of the comrades reliped.

"Once we control the city--wait, I've got a better idea. Let's take the lighthouse, then take Jasmine as our prisoner. That way, we can run the whole city however we want without any meaningful threats. It will be like taking candy from a baby!"

"Roger that," they replied again.

"When you have the city under control, notify me. I will relay the message to Master Travis. Over and out," the leader commanded as the radio connection closed.

(Accompanying Music: Bombing Mission [FF7])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/ps1/bombing2.mid

About twenty minutes later, the evil gang reached Olivine Port--without so much as being noticed by the police, despite Olivine Lighthouse running at full power. Upon hitting land, Archie recalled all of his Lapras. The entire battalion of trainers then released all of their other Pokémon and commanded them to lay siege to the port. Physically strong Pokémon damaged the infrastructure of many of the buildings in the area, while other Pokémon shot streams of fire, ice, electricity, and many other elements at nearby buildings.

By the time the Early Warning Siren was sounded and the police were alerted to the attack, most of the structures at the port had already taken collateral damage. The buildings that hadn't fallen to the ground from physical abuse were ablaze from not only the flames and electrical attacks, but also explosions sparked from the disturbance of volatile substances such as gasoline.

The fire department was also alerted to the attack. They brought several water Pokémon with them to put out the fires, but there was simply too much damage for them to reverse. When the invaders saw the effort to douse the flames, a few of the units stopped attacking the port and shifted their attention to people and Pokémon working for the fire department. Shots of flame and crackling electricity were fired at the rebels, causing their effort to dwindle massively. About three-fourths of the crew fighting the blaze were wounded in the attack, and two of them were killed, both by electric shock.

By the time the press had arrived at Olivine City, the Legacy Hunters had stormed the lighthouse and put the Ampharos serving as the power source out of commission. The story was being broadcast all over the country.

"It is about two AM, and I am standing far north of Olivine City. As you can clearly see, the entire southern half of the city is completely ablaze, and the beacon of Olivine Lighthouse has shut down. As speculators suggested, a criminal syndicate recently identified as the Legacy Hunters is behind this unsolicited attack on the only port in Johto. The entire region is on high alert, and the national government has declared Olivine City an official 'disaster area.'

The entire civilian population is presently being evacuated by the local police. The city is officially in a state of emergency, and has requested additional police units from surrounding areas as current units are overwhelmed by the power of this mysterious gang of attackers led by one of Hoenn's Most Wanted: Archie, the leader of Team Aqua. It is unknown at this moment why he is allied with the Legacy Hunters, nor is it known where they plan to strike next. North of Olivine City, I am Jamie Madison, reporting for Channel 10 News."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Josh, Ace, and Aravan were fast asleep in their dorms, totally unaware of the tragic events taking place to the southwest. But they were far from restless. Again, all of them were having strange, clear, and seemingly prophetic dreams. They were all taking place where the ones last night left off: right after the legendary Beasts appeared and turned the battles around.

"Am I just seeing things, or is that really Suicune in front of me?" Aravan questioned himself as he found himself staring into the face of his favorite legendary Pokémon. Suicune simply sat down on its hind legs, right next to where Aravan was standing. It looked mysteriously interested in the fairly young trainer. In this position, the Beast of Water looked unusually tame.

"Well?" Aravan asked Suicune, trying to get a response out of the large, slender creature. It made another friendly gesture toward Aravan, this time walking even closer to him. It then turned 90 degrees before sitting down again.

"You want me to ride on your back or something?" a puzzled Aravan struggled to ask.

(Accompanying Music: Overworld Theme [FF1], best heard from the GBA)
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/nes/walk1.mid
Suicune nodded its head in approval, and the crystal on its head began glowing. Aravan quickly ascended Suicune, bracing himself for what would come. The beast slowly walked out of the arena as the glow of its crystal dimmed. Upon exiting the arena, it started picking up a little bit of speed, but this was nothing Aravan couldn't handle. When it reached a large, open field, Suicune generated a strong gust of wind behind itself, and suddenly leaped up into the air, picking up incredible speed.

"AAAAHHHHHHH!! Suicune, not so faaaaaaast!!" Aravan yelled, frightened as he struggled to stay atop the speeding water-type. When the beast landed from its high jump, Aravan let out a sigh of relief, even though Suicune was still running at well over ninety miles per hour.

"Suicune, no more jumping like that, alright?" Aravan requested, barely able to talk with it running as fast as it was. Though his heart was still pounding from that dramatic leap into the air, Aravan appeared to be enjoying the freedom of riding Suicune. The beast then made a slow U-turn, heading in the direction of Ecruteak City's burned tower. It accelerated a little more upon exiting the turn. Aravan could do nothing but let out a joyful "Woo!" as the two rapidly approached the tower.

After a few more fun minutes of riding Suicune, Aravan had the beast gradually slow down as they approached the Burned Tower. Upon entering the sacred sanctuary located in the tower basement, he found Josh there, atop Raikou, the Legend of Thunder. But Ace and Entei were nowhere to be found. Suicune signaled to Aravan to jump off its back, which he promptly did. Everything else then blacked out as Suicune spoke directly to Aravan: "You are the destined Rider of Suicune, the one who will carry on the legend of the Beast Riders. You must come meet me at the ruins of the Brass Tower, located at the northwest end of Ecruteak City. The fate of the legendary Pokémon of Johto is in your hands..."

(Cut Music)

At that, everything simply froze. It was time for Aravan to get up.

"What a weird dream. Yet...now I am sure of it. No doubt about it, I was chosen to wield the power of Suicune. I have to tell the others," Aravan said to himself as he prepared to meet his friends at such an early hour in the morning. It was just after sunrise. Upon exiting the building fifteen minutes later, he was taken by surprise to see his friends outside, waiting for him.

"Where were you, you lazy bum?" Ace sarcastically asked Aravan. "Just joking. Did you have another crazy dream last night, too?"

"Yeah. I was dreaming about Suicune. It was in the same arena that my last dream was in. Except this time, it was a little different. I was riding on Suicune's back, just as before. But instead of running around the town, it took me to an open field. I then felt a huge gust of wind behind me, and Suicune jumped up into the air really high. It absolutely scared the hell out of me. Until it landed back on the ground, I was struggling to hang on to the beast. Then it ran straight off into the field for a few minutes at like, a hundred miles an hour. I rode the speeding Suicune around for a while longer, then it turned around for the Burned Tower. I can only remember one thing after that. Suicune spoke to me, telling me to go to the Burned Tower's sacred chamber."

"I had a similar dream about Raikou, but there's no time to explain. Let's beat feet, to my car!" Josh said as the three ran toward the parking lot. It was a fairly short drive to the ruins of the Brass Tower. The three of them immediately got out and hustled for the Burned Tower entrance, when a sage stopped them.

"What business do you have here?" the old man asked.

"We were called here in a dream. We are to meet with the legendary Pokémon: Raikou, Entei, and Suicune," Aravan answered.

"But I cannot let just anyone in. I'm doing this for your own safety."

"You have to let us in, or those poor Pokémon will be at great risk!" Josh hollered. "If we don't do something, the security of the entire continent could be in jeopardy!!"

The sage noticed something special about these three visitors. "I sense an aura around you...an aura that suggests you will handle yourselves responsibly down there. I sense you have indeed been brought here by fate. Fine. You may pass."

The wise man opened the way into the tower as Josh, Aravan, and Ace hustled to the tower basement. Upon arrival, all three of them witnessed the legendary Pokémon said to be the fastest of all Pokémon on land. This caused them to stop immediately.

"Wow," said Ace. "I was pretty sure they were real, but I didn't think I'd ever be an eyewitness. Those Pokémon are huge!"

Noticing Ace's comment, Entei stepped forward, welcoming Ace to the sacred chamber.

"I did not expect the warriors to who we submit to be so young. But indeed, you are the ones destined to save the world with our powers. Welcome."

Josh, throwing all caution to the wind, ran up to Raikou, thinking about nothing but riding on its back swiftly. But when he approached the sacred altar, the saber-tooth tiger's thundercloud started glowing white, filled with electricity. This caused him to stop.

"Now don't think you will be acquiring our powers so easily! First, you must each prove yourselves worthy by defeating us in battle, one at a time. If you pass, our powers will be yours to wield."

"And what if one of us fails?"

"Nothing happens. You just do not receive our powers. Also, there is no limit on the number of times you can try. All you have to do is succeed once. Josh, fated Raikou Rider, do you wish to have the honor of proving yourself worthy first?"

"Bring it!"

"Then...it begins!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EDIT: These are direct cut/pastes from Serebii. Just highlight the yellow text to read what Raikou has to say in the fic.

NazfoMo-
June 3rd, 2005, 10:49 AM
Very good story. Great grammar, wonderful spelling and absolutely murderous cliffhangers x_X. I shall be wating for more. A suggestion though, could you change Raikous font colour? Its a tad too bright for me to read.

RaikouRider243
June 4th, 2005, 04:55 AM
I have found that Chapter 4 is going to be extremely long, so I have decided to make two or three seperate posts. This way, my fans won't be waiting for days upon days for this part of the fic.

Chapter 4: The Beast Trials

Accompanying Music: The Legendary Beast (FF8)
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/ps1/the_legendary_beast.mid

After a short conversation, Josh and Raikou were ready to do battle. "I think I will start things off with my Pidgeotto. Get going!" Josh announced as he released Pidgeotto from its Ball. Raikou immediately took to the offensive with a lightning-fast tackle. Both Josh and Pidgeotto lost track of the swift beast--until its attack connected. The speed of the attack left Josh in awe for a couple of seconds as Pidgeotto recovered from the hit. "Since Raikou is way too fast to follow, just focus on dodging those attacks. Pidgeotto, strike when Raikou drops its guard!"

Listening to its trainer's advice, the bird hovered in a defensive position, ready for Raikou's next assault. The saber-tooth beast launched another speedy attack, but Pidgeotto was ready for it, and just barely got out of the way. "Now!" Josh cried.

At that, Pidgeotto used one of its special abilities called Mirror Move. The ability lets it make an attack similar to the one its foe last made: a lightning-fast, air-piercing strike. But despite being in an awkward position, Raikou was able to get out of the way. By now, Raikou had caught on that using just brute force was not working. It then jumped up at Pidgeotto to attack again. But instead of ramming its body into its adversary, the beast lept up with its eight-inch, super-sharp fangs wide open. This assault, too, failed to hit its mark.

Again, Josh called out to Pidgeotto, telling it to take advantage of Raikou's awkward position. This time, the bird used its own swift assault: a diving attack known as Aerial Ace. Though it was not very strong, it does not fail to hit its mark often. Raikou tried to get out of the way, but this time, luck was not on its side. Pidgeotto's sharp talons brushed Raikou's body, causing minor damage. Hardly phased by this, the beast jumped back up, fangs wide open again. The attack landed a direct hit on Pidgeotto's soft spot, and the bird came tumbling down, never to arise again in this battle.

"Wow," Josh said. "Brought down in one attack. The rest of my team better stay away from those fangs. It would be wiser to try and attack from a distance. Charmeleon, your turn!" He then sent the fiery lizard into battle to avenge his fallen comrade.

Raikou then reverted back to its old strategy of darting at its opponent at high speed. Charmeleon, unfortunately, was not nearly as agile as his avian comrade. The attack brushed the lizard's right side, but it could have been worse. It then counterattacked with a stream of flame launched from its mouth. Raikou jumped into the air in an effort to dodge the burst, but its lower-left foot got caught in the fire.

Landing from the jump, the Legend of Thunder began to change its strategy. It then stood defiantly in the center of the arena, charging up an electrical sphere. Josh yelled for his Pokémon. "Charmeleon, it's charging up its Spark attack, a powerful electrical tackle! Get out of the way, fast!"

Just after the large tiger began charging toward Charmeleon, the lizard ran well to the left of the attack. Raikou had missed again, and was wide open for a physical beating. Charmeleon, taking advantage of this, slashed Raikou's side with its claws, causing significant damage. When the fiery Pokémon attempted a multi-slash combo, Raikou bit straight into Charmeleon's left arm. It then threw the lizard high into the air, only to come back to the ground for a hard fall. This was too much for him to handle. Josh then recalled his Pokémon, only to send out the Water-type Poliwhirl. Raikou was confused by this.

"Why that Pokémon?" Raikou asked. Without even giving the water-type a chance to dodge, Raikou quickly built up a small electrical sphere around itself, then lunged at its target. Josh's Pokémon was hit so hard by the attack that it whizzed by his right side as it hit the wall behind its trainer. Poliwhirl was out.

"Time to get serious. I think Sudowoodo can fill in nicely!" he remarked as the tree-shaped rock Pokémon emerged into the fight. "Fight defensively!" he added.

For the fourth time in a row, Raikou launched a lightning-fast attack at its foe. But the rock-hard Rock-type resisted the Quick Attack and only received minor damage. "Mimic!" Josh commanded. Using its ability to imitate things, Sudowoodo copied Raikou's Spark attack. But that did Josh little good, as Raikou has few problems with electric attacks. The beast then tried to crush Sudowoodo with its fangs. The attack landed a hit, but it was not a very effective means of attack.

"Try tripping Raikou with a Low Kick!" Josh suggested.

Sudowoodo just stood still. Raikou charged at the Pokémon again, right into its trap. Sudowoodo extended its left leg to try and trip Raikou, but it turned around and ran the other way, preparing for the next assault.

"I see this isn't going to work," Josh muttered to himself. Raikou then let out an ear-deafening roar, summoning a rainstorm to the arena. Sudowoodo, being a Rock-type, didn't particularly like the rain. The beast began charging towards Sudowoodo again, enveloped in a ball of electricity.

"Raikou, if my Pokémon's going down, you're paying a price! Self Destruct!!"

The Pokémon then blew itself up, creating a large explosion. Raikou was close to the center of the blast, and thus received considerable damage. Sudowoodo then collapsed, and was promptly reaclled by its trainer.

"Manectric, I'm counting on you! We haven't lost in a while, and we're not going to start now! Go!!" Josh yelled as he brought his final Pokémon into battle.

Raikou was simply amused at the appearance of Manectric. "So this is it. We shall see exactly how well you know it."

"Have a taste of your own medicine! Manectric, Spark attack!"

Manectric surrounded itself in a ball of electricity and charged at Raikou. The beast almost effortlessly dodged the attack, then returned fire with a Spark attack of its own. The attack hit hard. It was not the electrical part of the attack that hurt Manectric, but instead the force of the tackle. The smaller four-legged Pokémon was slammed into the wall by the sheer force of the charging beast. Josh then yelled for his Pokémon out of concern that it was taking an unusually long time to recover. Raikou, once again, took advantage of this by launching another lightning tackle. Manectric was able to get out of the way of this one. Josh's electric Pokémon prepared to launch a counterattack, when its trainer thought of something.

"Manectric, try to track its movements by picking up on its scent!" he suggested.

And indeed, the Pokémon picked up on Raikou's scent. This would greatly improve the accuracy of Manectric's future attacks, as well as reduce the accuracy of those of Raikou. For some time, they charged at and bit each other, back and forth. Eventually, one of Raikou's vicious Spark attacks slammed Manectric into the wall again. Manectric was clearly running out of energy.

"I honor your valiant effort, Josh, but this ends here," Raikou told Josh. The beast then rushed into the center of the arena, and let out another thunder-like roar. The roar summoned a thundercloud, ready to strike Manectric with a lightning bolt. Josh's Pokémon looked ready to dodge the attack, when...

"Manectric, don't!" Josh yelled out. "Take the Thunder attack! Just trust me!"

Bracing itself for the worst, Manectric let Raikou's Thunder attack connect. But something unexpected happened. Manectric did not faint; instead, its life force increased from being hit by the massive lightning bolt. Raikou then disbanded the thunderclouds, causing the rainfall to end.

"What's going on?" Aravan asked. Raikou had stopped attacking the wounded Manectric. Impressed at Josh knowing that Manectric would absorb the Thunder attack, Raikou honored Josh's creativity.

"That was what I was looking for, Josh. I wanted to see if you could use your Pokémon to the fullest extent by not only considering your first instincts or the instincts of your Pokémon, but also thinking outside the box. Not just any trainer would let their Manectric or similar electric Pokémon take such a vicious lightning attack only to have them absorb the electricity, actually increasing the Pokémon's life force. The point of this test was not to see if you could defeat me in a battle. It is impossible for the unaided man to defeat me, even with the most powerful ordinary Pokémon. But Josh, you have proven yourself beyond an ordinary man. Recall your Manectric and come over here. Climb on my back, Raikou Rider, and watch your friends' trials against the other Beasts of legend."

Josh then recalled his Manectric, but was still hesitant to approach the Legend of Thunder. "Really? You want me to jump on?"

"Come here and do it. I know that you've dreamed of it, and have always wanted to do it. After your fellow destined get their chance to prove themselves, you can ride like the wind, as fast as you want."

At that, Josh let out a joyful scream. As he ran across the ruins of the tower, Raikou sat down on its hind legs; that way, it would be easier for Josh to scurry up onto the beast's back. Upon reaching Raikou, Josh did exactly that. He could barely contain the joy in his heart. After all, he was in control of a legendary Pokémon; furthermore, in control of his favorite Pokémon. The beast stood up, then walked to the back of the chamber, where Entei and Suicune were awaiting their challengers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suicune stepped forward. "Aravan, it is your turn. Prove that you can handle the powers of Suicune."

"I think it would be best to save my stronger Pokémon for the end of the battle," Aravan noted from Josh's battle. "That's what Josh did, and it worked for him; perhaps it will work for me. Eevee, let's go!" To open up the battle with Suicune, Aravan sent out his Eevee and nearly commanded it to use a Take Down attack, but saw a huge spray of water headed towards the squirrel Pokémon from Suicune's mouth. The attack just barely missed.

"Eevee, just focus on dodging those water attacks...and use Swift in-between!" Aravan commanded. Seeing an opportunity to attack, Eevee whipped its tail behind its back, producing several star-shaped, heat-seeking shapes that homed in on Suicune. Though the attack hardly phased the blue cheetah-like beast, it was making progress. Suicune, not falling for the same tactic twice, pretended to charge up another Hydro Pump blast, but instead generated a potent gust of wind. This lifted the light Eevee up into the air, throwing off its balance as well as causing damage. While Aravan's Pokémon was still recovering its balance, Suicune fired an arctic, white beam at Eevee. Luckily, the target managed to stumble out of the way. Recovering its balance, Eevee launched another Swift attack. This time, the attack was deflected by another one of Suicune's watery blasts. The pressure of the blast sent Eevee flying high into the wall. Upon landing, the Pokémon looked lifeless.

Aravan recalled Eevee, replacing it with the earth-based Vibrava. Vibrava also possessed dragonlike qualities, including the ability to resist many elemental attacks, including water. Ice, however, wasn't one of them. Being both dragonlike and earth-based, if Vibrava even were to be brushed by one of Suicune's arctic beams, it would certainly fall.

"Vibrava, this is pretty much going to be touch and go. Dragonbreath!" Aravan told his Pokémon. Suicune attempted to deflect the attack with an Ice Beam. Though the two attacks contacted each other, they simply passed each other by, hitting their targets almost simultaneously. Vibrava became encased in a large block of solid ice, while the shock of the breath stiffened Suicune's muscles, limiting the beast's mobility for the remainder of the battle.

Suicune noted Aravan's strategy and commended him for it. "You, like Josh, think outside the box. You may have lost an ally, but you put an even bigger dent in one of my big strengths. Perhaps you are stronger than I thought."

Aravan knew the compliment was a sign that he'd have to blow it terribly to fail now. Using a similar strategy, he sent his Tropius into battle with the expectation of launching only one attack.

"Tropius, Magical Leaf!"

Several leaf blades were fired from the dinosaur-like Pokémon's sides. Suicune fired yet another Ice Beam at it, causing it to drop; however, because of the arcing pattern of Tropius' attack, Suicune could neither dodge nor deflect it. Yet again, Aravan had sacrificed one of his Pokémon to inflict significant damage on Suicune. Next, he sent out his Houndour.

"I can see what you are doing. You're going to try to make another hit-and-run attack. That will not work a third time," Suicune defiantly commented as it shot another Hydro Pump blast toward the new adversary. Houndour ducked out of the way, then turned nearly invisible.

"Faint Attack!" Aravan yelled.

Houndour planned to strike Suicune under cover. It made no attempt to dodge the attack, but instead, shot another Ice Beam out of the crystal on its head. Houndour's attack landed a blow, but so did Suicune's. Despite Houndour being a fire-type, Suicune's attack was so powerful that like Vibrava, it too became encased in ice.

Aravan, nervous about what Suicune was thinking of his battle strategy, sent out Croconaw. He then crossed his fingers for the rest of the battle. Suicune continued to fire Ice Beams relentlessly, but Croconaw kept getting out of their way. The two continued to exchange volleys of biting attacks and Ice Beams. Eventually, one of the attacks threw Croconaw off guard, and Suicune lifted it into the air with a huge updraft. It then shot an Ice Beam straight at the center of Croconaw's body. The midair attack connected perfectly. The Pokémon didn't freeze solid, but it was out for the count. Aravan recalled his last Pokémon, and fell to the ground in disappointment.

"**** it!! How am I supposed to fulfill my destiny now? How am I supposed to use Suicune's power if I cannot clear its test for me first? It is not possible! I did everything according to plan, and the plan was the best I could come up with...Why, Suicune?! Why?!"

Suicune, noticing Aravan's sorrow, walked over to where he was laying on the ground, and comforted him. "Aravan, do not despair. You tried your hardest and used your Pokémon as a team, not as individuals. That was a very good last-ditch effort made by your Croconaw. Here. Let me revive him. Send out all your Pokémon."

Suicune's crystal gave off an intense blue glow as a blue light surrounded Aravan. He promptly did as he was told. The blue light refreshed the life force of all his Pokémon, and even Aravan himself felt refreshed.

"What?! All of a sudden I feel refreshed!" Aravan noted aloud. "Like I just woke up from a good night's sleep!"

"The crystal on my forehead is filled with healing energies stemming from water, as well as an icy essence that can chill foes to the bone. And..."

"What else?"

"Aravan, you did not fail. In fact, you did better than I expected you to do. Had you not used Vibrava's attack to reduce my agility, you would never have done as well as you did. That was what I was looking for. Now, Aravan. Come here, climb atop my back, and accept your destiny as the new Suicune Rider. We'll cheer Ace on together."

As Aravan began to recall his Pokémon, Houndour and Croconaw started glowing a bright color. Aravan let out an excteful "Oh my god!" as he realized his Pokémon had evolved into Houndoom and Feraligatr. After evolution, Suicune walked toward the newly-evolved Pokémon. Aravan jumped off Suicune to take part in a group hug, then remounted Suicune and recalled his Pokémon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ace ran up to the altar and yelled, "Entei, I challenge you!"

"Very well."

"I'll counter speed with speed! Ninjask, go! Raise your attack power!"

Ninjask turned invisible to Entei, then used a techinque called Swords Dance. This gave the ninja-like bug enough offensive power to crack through Entei's stubborn defenses. Entei did nothing but fire incredible bursts of flame from its gaping mouth. Ninjask avoided them one at a time and continued to raise its offensive power. Eventually, it accumulated enough attack power to deal significant damage. Ninjask tried to read Entei's moves, but they were too fast to follow. Eventually, Ninjask took the offensive with a slashing attack. This hit Entei's weak point, but also left it open to a close-range Flamethrower attack. Entei wasted no time taking the bug out.

Faced with a dilemma, Ace then tried battling with his Scyther, the only Pokémon left with him that could deal significant damage to the beast; all of his remaining Pokémon were fire-types. Rushing into battle without thinking, Ace told Scyther to launch a combination attack with its scythe-like arms. It could only get one hit in before Entei incinerated it with fiery breath.

All three of Ace's remaining Pokémon, Quilava, Ponyta, and Growlithe, used similar tactics to battle with Entei: a direct assault. With only fire Pokémon at his disposal, it was about the only thing he could do. But brute force alone would not work against such a physically strong Pokémon. Entei simply outmuscled the remainder of Ace's team. The beast then gave Ace a brief lecture about respecting others.

(Cut Music)

"Your battling style shows it clearly, Ace. Though you are the destined Rider of Entei, I cannot allow you to command me."

"But...why, Entei?"

"In everything you do, you think about what it will benefit you. You always want to show off. Through your battle style, which is a straightforward assault, all you demonstrate is a need to show off your power. When you have a new attitude towards your Pokémon, as well as your future as an Entei Rider, come see me. Then and only then shall we meet again. Begone, Ace!"

"But--" With that, Ace ran up to Entei in an effort to plead with the almost seven-foot-tall lion. It then began charging up a flame blast from its mouth, aimed directly at Ace. Josh then intervened. "Ace, get the hell away from Entei!"

Ace just remained silent. Josh jumped off Raikou's back, grabbed Ace, and got him out of the way of Entei's flaming breath. "Raikou, can I let Ace on your back for a little while?"

Raikou, also peeved with Ace's behavior, responded to Josh, "I don't really care, just get him out of here until his attitude changes."

Josh then turned his attention toward Ace. "Ace, you are not welcome here right now." He then remounted Raikou. "Climb up here with me. We need to get you out of here." At that, Ace, Raikou, and Josh left the sacred chamber and the tower, with Suicune and Aravan not far behind.

After they left the tower, Raikou and Suicune ran towards where Josh parked his car. Upon arrival, Josh and Ace jumped off Raikou's back. Josh started up his car, then told Ace to drive it back to the campus. Ace pleaded again. "Josh, why can't I ride Raikou with you?"

"Someone has to drive my car back to the college. Besides, Raikou doesn't particularly like you riding on its back. I can see the dissent on its face. Just get the car back to the campus parking lot. Aravan and I will follow you on our Pokémon."

"All right. Fine."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With that, Ace drove back to the college. Aravan and Josh rode their Pokémon to the left and right of the car, respectively. It took little time to get back to the main lot; the tower was not far from the college. After Ace parked Josh's car and returned his keys, Josh and Ace had a chat about the destined Entei Rider's misbehavior that morning.

"Our Pokémon history professor will wonder why we didn't show up for class today. Class is already over, so I'm going to try and get him."

Several minutes later, Josh walked into the Ancient Pokémon History room, finding there an impatient professor. "I didn't see you in class today, nor your buddies Aravan and Ace. Where were you this afternoon?"

Josh responded, "Sir, I can explain everything. Just come to the front of the building. There, everything will make sense. Actions will speak louder than my words.

The professor warned Josh, "OK Josh, but this had better be good, or I'm deducting ten percentage points from your research paper."

Josh replied, "You can make all the threats you want. Just follow me to the entrance of the building." With that, he ran out of the room, trying to get there in time to mount Raikou before the professor arrived. He hustled down the hallways for a couple of minutes before making it to the exit and scurrying atop Raikou's back. Aravan waited patiently astride Suicune, while Ace stood between the two of them, feeling sorry for himself.

The professor made it to the door a couple of minutes later. After opening the door and witnessing two of his students riding legendary Pokémon, he was taken completely aback, and asked Aravan, "Where...did you find those Pokémon?! Their existence has not been reported outside of legend! Is this just a scam or something?

Aravan was insulted at the professor's denial. "Does this look real to you?! Suicune, use Gust now!" Suicune reared up a little bit, then the wind briefly changed from a calm south breeze to a vicious northwest gust of 45 miles per hour. This gust was sustained for several seconds before dying down to the southerly breeze that was going on before.

The professor was shocked, yet astonished at witnessing the reincarnation of the north wind. "So it is true that Suicune has control over the local winds. But that doesn't explain you, Josh. What about Raikou?"

Josh became delighted at the doubt of the professor. "Glad to," he smartly answered. "Raikou, use Thunder!!" The beast rushed past a nearby tree, and a storm came up in seconds. It then let out another ear-deafening, thunder-like roar, and the tree was immediately struck by lightning. The storm then subsided as quickly as it came in.

The professor was so shocked at the demonstrations that he left the area for his classroom. He was speechless; he even forgot to ask Ace his reasons for skipping class. "Now that that's over with, I'd like to have a conversation about your attitude today, Ace. Aravan, I'd like to show you a huge field I found the other day; it's one that would be perfect for practicing your beast-riding skills. But until then, just have fun riding Suicune around the edges of the campus grounds."

"I will do that," Aravan replied. "C'mon, Suicune, let's go!" With that, Suicune started to run off at a good pace; about the same pace it ran on the way to the campus from the tower. Josh, meanwhile, stayed atop Raikou's back to keep Ace's attention.

"What did Entei say to you, Ace?" he asked.

"Entei said that I am a selfish person who cares about no one but himself and people of interest to him. He said that is not the attitude the Entei Rider should have."

"That makes our discussion a lot shorter. All I can say now is you have to pitch that attitude of yours. It's going to get you nowhere. One way to help fix the attitude is treating your Pokémon with a little more respect in battle. You just sent them all into a world of hurt; quite a bit more hurt than was necessary. Think about them. Think about others...and stop thinking about your **** self. Becoming a Beast Rider isn't about you; it's about Pokémon and mankind as a whole. I'm going to ride with Aravan. Think about what happened today and how you can do things differently next time. Goodbye. Raikou, let's run! Go, go, go!!!"

With that, Raikou and Josh chased off after Aravan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alana
June 5th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Excelent! I'm not sure wether to feel sorry for Ace or not. I guess I do and don't. Confusing. Lol Anyway please post the next chapter soon.

RaikouRider243
June 12th, 2005, 06:15 AM
Note: I will only be posting links for new songs. Go back to find the old ones.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 5: The New Heroes

(Accompanying Music: Shinra Inc. Theme [FF7])

Meanwhile, back at the captured Olivine City, the Legacy Hunters were ready to dispatch units to the strategic and finanancial metropolis of Goldenrod City. Everything was going according to their plan, and they had thus far encountered little resistance. Ernest was still at their base, located at the fog-shrouded Birth Island. He radioed Archie with this transmission: "Ernest to Archie. Do you copy?"

Archie pulled out his receiver and responded, "Archie to Ernest, yes I do copy. What is it?"

"It is time to begin Phase Two of this operation. What's your status regarding Olivine?"

"Couldn't be better. We have the city completely under our control. The police are powerless to do anything, and we have Jasmine as our prisoner. No one can get into the city. I saw our little intrusion on the news this afternoon, and the reporter was many miles away."

"Excellent. Dispatch some of your troops to Goldenrod City from the port. About half of your total force will be needed. Assault the city from both sides and you should be fine. Over."

"Out," Archie replied as he closed the connection. About an hour later, he called together about half his troops for a war meeting. "I got word from Master Ernest that we are to go ahead with the next phase of the plan."

"And what would that be?" Matt, the third-in-command of Team Aqua, asked.

"Invade Goldenrod City from the west. The idea is to come at them from just north and south of the city. That way, we will have the city surrounded, and the rebels will have nowhere to retreat. The place will surely be under tighter-than-normal security tonight. We should wait until dawn to attack."

"That is a brilliant plan. The city won't know what hit her!" Matt complimented.

"And more importantly, the rebels cannot receive reinforcements from the other side of Mt. Silver. That is all. Resume your posts until zero-five-thirty. We will leave for Goldenrod then." At that, Archie disbanded the meeting, and everyone went back to their posts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Cut Music)

That afternoon, Josh was riding his Raikou around campus grounds, chasing after Aravan. He was also trying to ease himself into the speed the tiger-like beast boasted. After a couple of minutes, Josh sighted Aravan and Suicune, doing the same thing: easing into the speed. "There he is!" Josh exclaimed. "Raikou, faster! Catch up to Suicune!"

At that, the beast picked up the pace a bit, quickly catching up to Suicune. Aravan noticed Josh and Raikou race by, and waved. Josh's Pokémon then fell back, running side-by-side with Suicune. "Aravan, what do you think of riding Suicune?" Josh asked.

"It's even cooler than I dreamt it would be. And Suicune's not even running that fast...probably about thirty miles an hour. Was there something you wanted to tell me?" Aravan asked back.

"Yeah. I found a vast, open field that would be perfect for training ourselves to adapt to the awesome speed of our beasts. It's just north of the campus, on the other side of those trees."

"How did you find that out?"

"When I was looking for you, I had Raikou turn into there. I found a gap in the trees and went through it. On the other side was a huge field that would take even Raikou a while to cross. This way, we can train ourselves to handle the amazing speed that will become invaluable if we are to thwart the Legacy Hunters. Just follow me, Aravan," he finished as Raikou sped up again.

"Wait!" Aravan yelled. "Suicune, catch up to him!" The beast followed Josh and Raikou to the spot he had talked about. The two legendary Pokémon were very impressed at how their riders were handling them. When Aravan reached the field, he was surprised at the size of the clearing.

"You're right, Josh," Aravan said. "This would be perfect for Raikou and Suicune to run. With this large an area, it will still take a while for them to cross it, even at full speed.

"Josh!" Raikou said directly to his rider.

"Yes? Do you have an idea?"

"This clearing is perfect for our training, Josh. With this much space, I have an idea for speeding up the training process. When I run around this field, I will slowly increase my speed. When you can't take it anymore, say so and I will quit accelerating. Then I will just run around the field, letting you get used to the speed."

"That is a great idea!"

(Cue Music: Overworld Theme [FF1])

Aravan and Suicune had a similar discussion regarding their training. Anxious to ride like the wind, Aravan had Suicune summon a large gust of wind behind itself. The water-type cheetah then made a low jump with the wind at its back, causing them to quickly accelerate to roughly forty-five miles per hour. The strong wind remained at Suicune's back, and intensified at the beast picked up even more speed.

Josh's ride was less dramatic, but he seemed more interested in racing his beast than Aravan did his. They got a much slower start than Suicune, but picked up speed at a higher rate. By the time they caught up to Aravan and Suicune, the two beasts were running at about seventy miles per hour. Though that is fast, the two riders had a long way to go. Shortly after Josh passed Aravan, the speed was too much for either of them to bear. Josh and Raikou fell back, with both beasts leveling off their speed at eighty miles per hour.

When the two of them reached the end of the field several minutes later, Josh wanted to ask Aravan a question, but he then realized the message would not reach him. The air around them both was moving too fast to hear a conversation. A good fifteen minutes of nothing but fun-filled racing across the field at high speed were Josh's and Aravan's to enjoy.

By the time they returned to the campus grounds, it was late afternoon. Ace was waiting for them outside the soccer field. "Where the hell have you two been? It's been hours!" he yelled.

"Josh and I have been out riding! It's a blast!" Aravan answered.

"It was the most fun I've ever had in my life! Everything just zipped by! Raikou had to be running at least seventy miles an hour!" Josh could not contain his excitement.

(Accompanying Music: Rose's Theme [Legend of Dragoon])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/ps1/LODROSE.MID

"Sorry about yelling at you back there, but I've been thinking about the way I've been treating you two, especially Josh. I've grown up the best in my neighborhood, so I felt that I had bragging rights wherever I went. Then when I saw you two mount your beasts while I simply drove your car home, I have held a grudge against you. But after you two left, you looked like you had so much fun riding your Pokémon. In the last half hour, I have come to have a change of heart toward you. I am sorry for the way I acted, and I promise I will try to be more humble."

Josh was relieved at Ace's apology, and accepted it gratefully. "Ace, that is the first good thing I have seen you do in a long time. Do you realize what you just did?"

"What did I do?"

"You just thought of someone other than yourself. You put others before yourself. That is exactly what a Beast Rider does. Practice this with not only your friends, but with your Pokémon as well. When you feel you are sufficiently ready, Raikou can take us back to the Burned Tower. But before then, you should try to defeat me in a battle first."

"But that wouldn't be fair. You have Raikou, Josh!"

"Of course I wouldn't use Raikou on you. That would defeat the purpose of the battle. I just want to see if your Pokémon will be up to the challenge. I'm going inside to finish up the rough draft of my paper. See you later. Raikou, let's get out of here." He then left for his room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Josh, Ace, and Aravan, tired from their battles with the Beasts, went to bed especially early that night. And it was a good thing they did, too. For they did not know that the Legacy Hunters were to strike Goldenrod at dawn's light the next day...

(Accompanying Music: Bombing Mission [FF7])

"It is time. Break off to the sides and take over the town!" Archie commanded. The assault team immediately broke off into two units, ready to surround the city. The police force outside the Radio Tower noticed the group prepare to attack the city, and promptly radioed the main station for reinforcements. The station also sounded their Early Warning Siren. Unfortunately, in this attack, many of the city's residents could not flee the city; there were Legacy Hunters on both city borders.

Their first target was the train station. Police put up significant resistance, but were forced to defend other parts of the city as the Legacy Hunters' Pokémon wailed away at the large commercial district. The invaders slowly gained ground as police personnel were forced to fire several shots. Two Team Aqua members were wounded, as well as several Pokémon. Aquatic and electric attacks were fired at the police defending their city. Many of them were killed.

Ten minutes later, there was a breaking news story broadcast on all major news networks. Josh happened to wake up at this time, going to the TV to check the time, when he stumbled upon this tragedy being broadcast. "What? Another city under siege?!" Josh could then hear Raikou's voice in his mind.

"Josh, Raikou Rider! Listen to me!"

"Raikou?!" Josh was startled to hear the voice, because the beast was outside.

"The Legacy Hunters have struck Goldenrod City! You need to get Ace and Aravan up, now! This is an emergency situation!"

"Raikou, I'm right on it."

It took some doing, but Josh managed to get Ace and Aravan up out of their rooms. They all changed, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and met outside the building, where Raikou and Suicune were waiting for them.

"What's going on that's important enough to disturb my sleep?" Ace asked while yawning.

"The Legacy Hunters have struck Goldenrod City! If we don't do something right now, they will capture it, just like Olivine!" Josh responded, full of fear over what would happen if the evil syndicate were to take over the city.

"What can we do?" Aravan asked.

"Aravan, this is what we have been training for! You are a Suicune Rider, remember?! It is your destiny to save Johto in trying times such as these! Quickly, climb on Suicune's back! We need to head south, fast!"

Ace was confused as to why Josh awoke him. "I don't have a legendary Pokémon like you two do. How am I supposed to help?"

"Ace, we need all the help we can get! Ride Raikou with me! Come, quickly!" Josh replied. Both of them quickly scurried atop Raikou's back. Both beasts took off for the south, quickly accelerating to a swift eighty-five miles per hour.

"Raikou, slow down!! You're going too fast!!" Ace screamed as the speeding beast raced southward.

"Ace, I can't slow down! Time is of the essence!" Josh replied. He wished he could go faster, but he didn't want Ace to fall off. "Jost hold on until we get there!" Ace then tightened his clutch on Raikou's back.

About twenty minutes later, the swift beasts arrived at the northern end of the city, only to find it ablaze. Much of the southern end was simply demolished. Slowing down as they approached the city, Josh found Matt; his Pokémon were attacking the eastern sector of the city. "Hold it right there!" Josh yelled. Raikou reared up slightly, startling Ace, then let out a loud roar.

Matt jumped at hearing Raikou's roar, then turned around only to stare into the saber-tooth tiger's red eyes. "Who the hell are you?" he asked.

"I don't need to tell you; all you need to know is that I am the Raikou Rider destined to take you out," Josh defiantly responded as his mount made another scary face.

"You looking for a fight, boy?"

Josh jumped off Raikou's back and responded, "Very well."

Battle Music: Boss Theme 2 (Legend of Dragoon)
Found At: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console.ps1/LODBossBattle.mid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I posted the fight theme for the beginning of the next chapter.

RaikouRider243
June 15th, 2005, 06:00 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 6: Utter Failure

Battle Music: Boss Theme 2 (Legend of Dragoon)

With the Raikou Rider's first real test imminent, there was no backing down from the battle with Team Aqua. Josh then realized that Ace was still on the beast's back. "Ace, go with Aravan. He'll need your help," Josh asked. Ace promptly left, and climbed on Suicune. Aravan didn't even have to ask. The two of them sped off toward the other end of the city, leaving Raikou and Josh to deal with Matt.

"I don't like the looks of this..." Matt thought to himself. He then pulled a dirty trick: he called all three of his Pokémon into battle at the same time. They were Crobat, a four-winged bat; Sealeo, a blue Pokémon that lives in arctic waters; and Gyarados, a twenty-foot sea serpent with enough power to completely level even a major city. Though Raikou was clearly more powerful than any of Matt's Pokémon individually, three of them together could be a threat.

"This will be easy, Raikou," Josh remarked. "Just focus on hitting them with gigavolts, one at a time!" Crobat was indeed very fast, but having wings on all four corners of its body hampered its agility, and Raikou was about to take picture-perfect advantage of it. "Track Crobat's movements and keep dodging those attacks!"

Gyarados and Sealeo fired water bursts at Raikou, but they both missed by a very large margin. The tiger stared at Crobat for a few seconds, then struck the enemy Pokémon with a massive bolt of lightning. Crobat fell to the ground like a rock. "Next one, Raikou!" Josh yelled.

"That's not going to happen again! Sealeo, Hydro Pump!" Matt commanded. The aquatic Pokémon fired a stream of water from its mouth, but as with its previous attack, it missed by a large margin. But it was a trap. Gyarados had already fired a second water attack straight to where Raikou had dodged. Though Raikou was clobbered by the attack, it recovered quickly and darted toward Sealeo with a Spark attack.

"Counter with an Ice Beam!" Matt yelled. The Pokémon fired a cold beam at the charging beast.

"Tsk-tsk. Jump and dive at it!"

Raikou, demostrating incredible agility, jumped over Sealeo's Ice Beam attack and still managed to hit the attacker with a lightning tackle. Miraculously, Sealeo survived the attack.

"But how?! Nothing can survive a blow like that!" Josh exclaimed. Matt completely ignored the comment as Gyarados sneaked up behind Raikou. In a surprise attack, the serpent slammed its tail down on Raikou. If it weren't for Raikou's glowing thunderclouds to shock its foe, it would be down for the count after such an attack. Gyarados collapsed after taking the electrical blow, with Sealeo's energy also expiring at the same time. Raikou won this confrontation... barely.

"I have to retreat for now, but we'll be back!!" Matt yelled in his haste as he retreated toward the city coast, where he could return to the Birth Island base. Josh then thought of his friends. "I think they could use some help!"

(Fade Out Music and Fade In "Bombing Mission" theme)

Josh had made his battle with Team Aqua quick, mostly due to Raikou being the Legend of Thunder. With its electric assaults, none of Team Aqua could stand in its way, or Josh's way. Aravan and Ace, however, weren't so lucky. Unbeknownst to Josh, the two of them got ambushed by several Aqua members, and there was nowhere to retreat. The many battles against Team Aqua were wearing allied Pokémon down, and Suicune's watery and icy brutality was of little use against common-type foes. Josh climbed on his now slightly wounded Raikou, and took off for the other end of the city, where his friends were fighting.

It was worse than he expected. The entire southern edge of the city was completely demolished. Furthermore, Aravan and Ace were exhausted from the battles, not to mention their Pokémon. Speeding to the rescue, Josh and Raikou knocked two Team Aqua members out of the way. "There are too many of them! We need more help!" Josh said.

"But where are we going to get help?" Ace asked. "We have the most powerful Pokémon available to us!"

"Not all of them. We need Entei's power!" Josh replied. "You have changed since that day, Ace. Go see Entei and claim the power of Fire! We have no other choice!"

"Fine, then. I guess it's worth a try. Better than getting creamed by these guys."

"Fall back, Beast Riders! Ace, climb on with me! It's the fastest way out of here!"

Ace and Aravan ascended Raikou and Suicune, respectively, as they made a swift retreat back to Ecruteak City.

(Cut Music)

"Should we follow them?" A Team Aqua member asked.

"No," responded Shelly, second-in-command of Team Aqua. "Our old enemy, Team Magma, should have that covered. They will be arriving at Ecruteak City from Olivine sometime tomorrow or the day after.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About a half hour later, the group returned to the college, ready to relax and let their Pokémon recover. Josh wanted to have Ace tackle Entei's test today, but he didn't feel like it. No one did. For the rest of the day, they did nothing but relax and have fun. That night, Ace had a third dream calling him to the Burned Tower to face Entei.

"Entei! Finish Tropius with your Flamethrower attack!" Ace yelled. The huge lion spewed a huge spray of fire straight at the grass-type dinosaur. Aravan quickly recalled his Pokémon before its body was consumed by the raging flames.

"Ace, you have changed since that day before," Aravan acknowledged. "I submit. I also believe you and Entei make a great team." He then left the arena.

(Accompanying Music: Overworld Theme [FF1])

"Ace...indeed, you have changed quite significantly since our previous meeting. Let us race off into the open...together. Climb on, and race across the land like the Beast Rider you are!"

"You mean that?" Ace asked.

"Absolutely. Now, the time has come, Ace." Excited from the bottom of his heart, Ace jumped for joy.

"Yahoo!! Entei finally accepts me!" he cried as he mounted the fiery legend. The two of them sped off into the distance at just over eighty miles per hour. Unlike Aravan and Suicune, Ace had the beast completely under control, and was even tempted to push the Legend of Fire faster.

"Did you want to go faster?" the beast asked.

"I was thinking about it...but why not? Entei, faster!" Ace commanded. Entei sped up to roughly 110 miles per hour. The rush of the beast was an awesome feeling for Ace. It ran several laps around a large, open field before making a turn toward the Burned Tower.

(Cut Music)

"Ace, you need to come to the sacred sanctuary where we first met. I will be ready to test you again. But for now, let us continue racing toward the tower." The beast continued toward the tower at the same pace as before. Arriving at the tower several minutes later, Ace jumped off Entei's back, and went down the stairs to where the two had their battle several days ago. "Ace, do you see that carving of a flame on the back wall over there?"

"Yes," Ace responded.

"Push in on it." Ace walked over to the end of the chamber and did as he was told. When he pushed the loose wall panel, a trapdoor opened behind him, revealing a staircase leading downward.

"Down those stairs is the key to your survival. It's up to you now..."

That was the end of Ace's dream. He woke up and looked at the clock, then realized it was only half past six; so he went back to sleep for another hour and a half before waking for real. Looking out the window, he saw Josh and Aravan mounting their beasts, socializing while waiting for him. He quickly grabbed a bite to eat, changed clothes, and cleaned himself up before meeting with his friends.

"Guys, I have some great news," Ace announced. "I had another dream like the ones we had about three days ago. And this time, I was riding Entei! There's also something else it showed me, but we need to go to the tower first. Josh, could you have Raikou give me a lift?"

"That's great news, Ace!" Aravan replied.

"Indeed, very good news. And I'm sure Raikou will be glad to give you a ride to the tower," Josh added. After Ace got situated atop Raikou, the three of them took off for the tower. They went closer to the edge of the city this time, where they could push their beasts faster without running a big risk of hurting people. Though it was a longer distance, they got there in a slightly shorter amount of time. When they entered the tower basement, they saw Entei already waiting for Ace. "I see you have returned, Ace. I can see...a change of attitude in you. Battle me and I will join you."

(Accompanying Music: The Legendary Beast [FF8])

"Entei, let's make this fast," Ace replied as he sent his newly-evolved Typhlosion into battle. This Pokémon was a much fiercer Quilava that stood up on its hind legs.

"So Quilava evolved back at Goldenrod, did it?" Josh asked.

"Yep. Thunderpunch it!"

Entei dodged the initial attack by jumping over its adversary, but was caught by a second electrical punch. This inflicted an electrical burn on Entei, significantly reducing its mobility. The beast rammed at Typhlosion to counter the attack, but that effort failed; in fact, it allowed Ace's Pokémon to counter with an electrical uppercut.

"You've done well. Only trainers who truly love their Pokémon can attack like that. Keep it up, Ace."

With only one move left, Entei tried a stomping attack. Typhlosion was able to get out of the way of the beast's huge paw, and deliver more punching attacks. At this, the beast could do nothing else. Being crippled by the electrical attack, it quickly surrendered to Ace.

"Your attitude has changed, Ace, as has your battling style."

(Fade Out Music)

"What the hell?!" Josh exclaimed. "It's already over?!"

"So can I ride on your back now?" Ace asked the Legend of Fire.

"Not quite yet. There is something I need to show you and your friends. Does that wall panel look familiar?"

"There are three of them over there now!"

"One for each of the Beast Riders. Do you understand how you are to instruct your friends?"

"Yes," Ace responded. He then turned to Josh and Aravan. "Get off your Pokémon and come over here. Listen carefully." The two of them did just that. "Entei called me here in a dream last night, and in the dream, he told me to push on this wall panel. The one with the carving of a flame. When I did that, the carving started glowing red, and a trapdoor opened. Josh, do you see that panel to the left; the one with a lightning bolt on it? And Aravan, the one with a snowflake on it, to the right? On three, we push on those at the same time."

"Right," they both responded.

"One...Two...Three!" On the word "three," they simultaneously pushed the loose wall panels. They started glowing yellow, red, and blue, in correspondence to the element of their legendary beast. Right in the center of the altar, a very large trapdoor suddenly opened.

"It has been seven hundred years since this power has needed use."

"It is a very potent one, and can destroy the user if not harnessed correctly."

(Accompanying Music: Dart's Theme [Legend of Dragoon])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/consol...LODDARTv1_1.mid

"But it is the only hope for the legendary Pokémon right now. Riders, climb on, and let us descend into the depths where the ultimate power of the legendary beasts awaits their fated riders!!"

With that, the three riders mounted their beasts and descended into the secret passageway that the trapdoor revealed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know that was short, but I promise Chapter 7 will be a lot better. In planning the fic, Chapter 7 was my favorite!

Molten_Gravel338
June 18th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Exelent fic RaikouRider243 so realistic
and no spelling or grammar errors
keep up the good work

RaikouRider243
June 22nd, 2005, 05:48 AM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 8: Hide and Seek

Taking advantage of the Legacy Hunters' retreat, Josh and his fellow Beast Riders were able to catch up on their daily lives, including an impending research paper due in two weeks. The three of them got away from the dangerous task of protecting Johto and back to education, relaxation, and of course, training their other Pokémon. Knowing the conflict was not over, Josh worked on his paper for several hours per day for nearly the whole week.

When the three of them walked into class to discuss their papers that Friday afternoon, there were always someone's eyes on them. Though they wanted to remove their equipment, their beasts pleaded with them to leave it on. Most professors would not admit students into class looking like warriors, but he was already aware of why this would be so. After the discussion ended and class was dismissed, the professor called Josh to his desk, aware of the papers in his hands. "Josh, your suit of armor is...intriguing. I understand the reasons you have for wearing it into class, as well as that of your friends. I never expected some of my pupils to have power over the mythical Pokémon we are studying. Usually, I do not give personal attention, but I am looking forward to reading your research paper. Is that what you have in your hands, Josh?"

"Yes, it is. I am nearly finished with it; I would hand it in today, but I want to check it once more for spelling and mechanics."

"I want to have a look at it. You looked so enthusiastic about it when you first showed me your Raikou. Just the thought of that is fascinating."

"Fine. Tell me what you think of it," Josh said as he put the stack of papers on the edge of the desk. "When do you want me to come back?"

"It probably won't take me this long, but come back in an hour."

"Fine. I am going to edit my paper and likely turn it in to you. See you in an hour," he said as he left for his room. For the next hour, Josh was on the computer in his room, finalizing his research paper. When he printed it out, Aravan knocked on the door. "Come in!" Josh responded. The guest walked in the door and greeted Josh. "Oh, it's you, Aravan. How does it feel to have some time on your hands?"

"It's great. How's that paper coming along? I'm nearly done with my first draft," Aravan said.

"Thirteen pages of finalized research are currently being printed at the printer. The professor wants to see it in about twenty minutes."

"Personally review your paper? You must be unlucky. Is working on your paper all you've done these past four days?"

"On the contrary, I'd like to see exactly what he thinks of my idea...er, how I pieced together the story of the Beast Riders from what I found at the library. I would love to use our experiences, but that's not a valid source. Say, what you been up to in your free time?"

"Besides riding Flygon, I've been mainly training my other Pokémon. Suicune's plenty strong right now. Say, could you do me a favor when you get the time?"

"What?"

"Give my Eevee a little tap with your sword. If Ace's sword is forged with the essence of Fire Stone, perhaps yours is forged with Thunder Stone. Can you do this?"

"Sure. Been out riding Suicune any?"

"A little bit. It's still very fun, and I've been going faster every time I head to that field you showed me. What about you and Raikou?"

"I should get going now. And no, I really haven't had the chance to go out on Raikou like I should be doing. Seen Ace outside of class yet?"

"Yeah. We had a battle Tuesday morning."

"I really have to go now. So could you leave as I grab my paper and lock up?"

"OK," Aravan confirmed as he left the room. Josh grabbed his finalized research paper, his five Pokémon, and a couple of pens as he walked out the door and locked his room up. Surprisingly, he ran into the professor on the way to his room from the library. "Didn't think I'd run into you out here. After I read your paper, I looked at your sources, both online and from this library. You must really have a passion for the legendary Pokémon to write such a fantastic paper. The idea of humans riding the legendary Pokémon to stop a world war is outstanding." Josh then cut him off.

"Sorry to interrupt, but I suggest we continue this discussion in your room. We can still talk on the way there."

"That's not a half bad idea," the professor said as they began walking down the hallway to his room. "In all the years I have taught this class, I have never seen this idea in a paper. Though I would not accept it as a source right now, I have seen the recent news stories about you, Ace, and Aravan. Your idea of there being three Beast Riders that saved mankind from being destroyed by the power of Pokémon seemed a little far-fetched at first, but now that I have seen your resources, as well as you, there is irrefutable evidence for this theory not to be dismissed as a mere fantasy. This could have happened, and there is great reason to believe so. It is being played out right now, with you three."

They chatted for several more minutes before reaching the professor's room. "I hate to bug you about this, but what do you think of my paper as a whole?"

"I don't see any reason to give you any less than an 'A' for this paper. In fact, you could become famous for this idea, Josh, if you hand it to the right people."

"If anyone else was listening to this conversation, I don't think I could get the press off my back for weeks. Ace, Aravan and I might not be in class for the next couple of days. Though as you know full well, the Legacy Hunters have been chased out of Johto...there is something Maxie said that makes me feel a bit uneasy. She mentioned summoning the 'Guardian of the sea,' which I imagine is some legendary Pokémon. The syndicate, ever since it started seven hundred years ago, has been after nothing but legendary Pokémon. That's the reason why they attacked Ecruteak, and that's the reason why I haven't been in class. Anyway, would you have any idea who this 'Guardian of the sea' is?"

"Let me think about it for a minute," the professor responded as he turned toward his computer. He opened up several data files before finding the one that would help. "The legend of the two towers speaks of two legendary birds. When the Brass Tower burned down, the bird fled the city, never to be seen again. It was said to have fled in the direction of...the ocean."

"The ocean?!" Josh responded, catching on to what Maxie was referring to that afternoon.

"I have studied legends of mythical Pokémon from all around the world, and I have found only two Pokémon that fit the condition of being a 'Guardian of the sea.' The one more commonly referenced by such a title would be Kyogre, but that Pokémon was said only to reside in the Hoenn region. Few people outside of that region even know about the existence of the Pokémon. The only other Pokémon that could be described by such a title--" He cut off his statement after realizing what it meant was to happen if the Beast Riders did not interfere. "Josh, I have just discovered some terrible news."

"Did you figure out what Pokémon Maxie was talking about?" he responded. Josh and the professor were clearly disturbed by the thought.

"It is the legendary Pokémon of Johto that is said to dwell at the bottom of the sea. The legendary bird, Lugia."

(Cue Music: The Seal [FF6])
Found At: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendoo/snes/seal.mid

"Lugia?! Say it ain't so!!" Josh yelled upon realizing what the enemy was up to.

"Ever since the day of the tragedy that befell the Brass Tower, Lugia has held a grudge against Ho-oh. The bird has also had a grudge against Raikou, Entei, and Suicune--the same Pokémon you and your friends control. If the Legacy Hunters manage to snare Lugia and get it under their control...that would actually be better than if it were released into the open. If released and wild, it would use its powers to obliterate the entire Johto region, starting with this very city. Its rage would unlock a power unfathomable by the entire human race. Even the strongest of ordinary Pokémon cannot break through Lugia's nearly impregnible defenses."

"So how do you beat the **** thing?!"

"I don't know if you can. Though the power of the legendary beasts is a force to be reckoned with, it is miniscule next to that of Lugia. Only Ho-oh has enough power to clash with Lugia. I suggest you, Ace, and Aravan go to the Tin Tower and plead for Ho-oh's help."

"Thanks. And I will tell them. But not until late tonight. I want to be fresh, in case we encounter any resistance." With that, Josh left the room and the building. He knew that he had to train his other Pokémon as much as he could before the big day tomorrow. When he was riding Raikou to the large field behind the campus, he got a glance of Aravan out of his right eye, and instinctively slowed the Legend of Thunder to a stop. "Aravan, what's up?" Josh asked from atop his mount.

"Actually, I was letting my Pokémon battle each other, waiting for you," he replied. "Now that you're here..." He turned toward his Pokémon and hollered, "Eevee! Come over here!" The squirrel Pokémon came to Aravan's side as Josh drew his sword. "So you remembered too. Anyway, let's get this done with. Eevee, stand still for a few seconds."

Josh touched Eevee with the wide end of his sword. A few electric sparks came out of the blade. Eevee jumped back from the electricity. It then started glowing brightly. "I thought as much. You will now have a Jolteon." Upon finishing its evolution, Aravan's Pokémon got slightly larger. Its fur also changed from brown to yellow, with spines covering its entire back. These spines were electrically sensitive, capable of blasting out 10,000-volt lightning bolts after accumulating enough negative ions in the atmosphere.

"Thank you, Josh," Aravan said. He then noticed a look of concern on Josh's face. "Something's not right, is it, Josh?"

"Yeah. The professor and I had a long discussion about this 'Guardian of the sea' that Maxie was referring to several days ago. What we could potentially be up against is what disturbs me. We could be up against Lugia."

"Huh?!" Josh now had Aravan's complete attention. "But how?"

"That's the 'Guardian of the sea!' The one the Legacy Hunters are trying to summon!"

"Aw, hell no! What can we do?!"

"There's only one thing we can do, Aravan. And that's stop the Legacy Hunters before they awaken Lugia. I need to train my other Pokémon. We will go to the Tin Tower at nine A.M. sharp. Be there or be square. Also, tell Ace about it. We need him there, too." Josh then took off for the open field north of the campus. For the remaining daylight hours, he trained himself for Raikou's speed while letting his other five Pokémon battle with each other to strengthen them. Again, Josh used the approach of accelerating until he had enough. To be safe, Josh slipped down the transparent visor on his helmet before taking off.

(Cut Music)

(Accompanying Music: Overworld Theme [FF1])

With wind in his eyes not a concern, Josh had nothing more to worry about. The field seemed shorter than before, even before they had started exceeding their previous record of 130 miles per hour. "This visor is helping tremendously. Raikou, let's speed up!" After another lap, Raikou was running so fast that it felt like the ground beneath them was shaking. It had previously taken Josh and Raikou about fifteen minutes to cross the field; now, it took less than that amount of time to make a full lap. The beast was racing across the field at an awesome 180 miles per hour for two more laps. Still unphased by the speed of the tiger, Josh started to get excited. "I think one more lap should do it," he thought to himself. When they made the wide left turn to reverse direction and start the final lap, Josh braced himself for the worst. "OK Raikou, this is it. Full throttle!!" the rider yelled.

"Josh, I am astounded that you have mastered riding on my back so quickly. All right. Hold on tight, Josh! Here we go!"

The Legend of Thunder discharged a large static bolt from its tail, and blazed forward at its highest land speed, a bone-jarring 220 miles per hour. The rider's teeth chattered for a few seconds before he relaxed and uttered a loud "YAHOO!!!" At last, Josh had become a master of the Beast of Thunder, Raikou. The scenery around him was merely a blur. As they passed the south turn, they rushed by Aravan, but he was so blurred from Josh's vantage point that he didn't even notice him. "****! That's fast!" Aravan said to himself. After passing Aravan, Raikou and Josh turned into the middle of the field and slowed down carefully. It took the beast nearly two minutes to stop next to Aravan while keeping Josh comfortable. When the rider jumped off, he was dizzy for a few seconds before noticing Aravan.

"Geez, Josh! I'm surprised you survived that! I knew that Raikou was fast, but I didn't know...****, it's fast! I actually measured your speed that last time around. It still doesn't add up how you could survive something that fast."

"So, how fast is Raikou, then? It was running full speed ahead on that last lap."

"An average speed of two hundred sixteen point seven four miles per hour."

"Whoa." Josh didn't know what else to say; he thought Raikou wasn't running faster than one hundred fifty. He then turned his attention to his other Pokémon. "Let's call it a day!" Josh's Pokémon stopped battling with each other, then turned to Josh. When he went to recall all of his Pokémon, Pidgeotto started glowing, ready to evolve. "I have been waiting for this moment for so long!" Josh exclaimed. He knew what was going on. After evolution, Josh's bird Pokémon had more than doubled in size. It had evolved into Pidgeot, a large eagle slightly bigger than Josh. The eagle was so strong that it could let Josh climb between its wings and fly him into the skies.

"What a big day for you, Josh," Aravan noted. "Congratulations." Josh ran up to Pidgeot and hugged the huge eagle. There was certainly a sense of friendship between the two of them. It could sense Josh's desire from the moment it had evolved into Pidgeotto so long ago. Trying to fulfill that desire, the bird turned around and stretched out its wings. The trainer walked to the bird's left side, lifted his right leg over the bird's body, and sat atop his newly-evolved bird. It looked back at him, then started flapping its wings and took off, leaving Aravan behind.

(Cut Music)

"Hey, this would be a good opportunity..." Aravan mumbled as he walked over to Raikou. The beast didn't move. "Say, could you give me a lift back?"

"Ah, Josh, you never cease to amaze me... Very well." Raikou sat down on its hind legs. Aravan climbed atop Josh's beast; it was different than riding Suicune.

"Not so fast this time, OK?"

Listening to Aravan's comment, Raikou ran off after Josh and Pidgeot more slowly than it did when Josh was atop it. The saber-tooth tiger simply jumped into the air to gain speed. Upon landing from the jump, Raikou steadied its speed, allowing Aravan to get a feel for Josh's legendary Pokémon. By the time they arrived at the building, it was already dark. Suicune had followed Raikou back to the base, arriving as Josh jumped off Pidgeot and recalled it. The two of them each went to his own room. Aravan worked on his paper while Josh played a few games. By the time Aravan went to bed, he reminded himself of Ace. "Shoot! I forgot to tell Ace about Josh! But there's nothing I can do now."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning, Aravan got up early to tell Ace of the news. "Ace, Josh got a lead on the Legacy Hunters' plans! We need to go to the Tin Tower!" This time, Ace was already wide awake and ready to go. "Is Josh already outside?" Ace asked.

"I don't know, but we can find out." Both of them rushed outside, only to find that Josh was not there. However, they didn't have to wait very long. Josh was on his way out, locking up his room as Ace and Aravan met outside. By the time he made it outside, Ace and Aravan were already astride their beasts, arms crossed. "You're late!" Ace announced. "Demerit! ...Just joking, Josh. You weren't that late."

"We need to go to Tin Tower. It's the only way to stop the Legacy Hunters!" Without further explanation, the three of them took off for Tin Tower, far to the east. Again going along the city edge to minimize the chance of injuring bystanders, the three of them rode next to each other for the first part of the road. After a while, Josh got impatient, threw his visor down, and pushed Raikou to maximum speed. Ace was both shocked and amazed. "**** it, Josh! Wait for me!!" Entei and Suicune picked up the pace to try to avoid losing sight of the yellow beast, but to no avail. It was just too fast.

(Accompanying Music: Tower of the Magi [FF2])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/nes/ff2jshrine2.mid

When Josh arrived at the tower alone and Raikou stopped, he looked back. "Oops, looks like we went a little too fast..."

"Well, it shouldn't be too long of a wait. Besides, you appear to be enjoying the speed."

Josh sat there on Raikou for several minutes before the others arrived. "OK, so what are we doing here?" Ace asked.

"We are here to ask Ho-oh for help. I am sure it is aware of the current crisis. We just need to ascend to the roof of the tower, where the bird roosts."

The three of them entered the tower, still atop their beasts. Being careful not to slip, they ran up the large stairs at a slow pace. It seemed to take forever to find their way to the top. After their beasts climbed what seemed like thousands of stairs, Ace, Aravan, Josh, and their Pokémon met the legendary bird of rainbow colors. Apparently, it was expecting them.

"I am aware of the current crisis, and am aware that my cousin could be causing some trouble. I have been searching for the Legacy Hunters' base of operations, and it is Birth Island, an island far south of here. It is shrouded in a dense fog." All three riders jumped off their Pokémon.

"But how are we supposed to get there? And how can we tell if we actually make it?" Aravan asked.

"I don't like doing this, but there is little alternative. You three will have to ride on my back, and I'll fly you there."

"But what about Suicune? And Entei and Raikou?"

"Yes. I cannot lift them all into the air; they are too heavy. But I do have a solution." The rainbow bird screeched, then generated a solid rainbow in the exact direction of the distant island. "That rainbow is solid. Try stepping on it."

Aravan stomped his foot on the rainbow; the foot stopped at the surface, and he felt a force push back on the foot, as if the rainbow were solid ground. "Yep, it's solid alright." The huge bird lowered its neck, letting Ace, Aravan, and Josh climb atop the rainbow bird Pokémon. Raikou, Entei, and Suicune ran across the rainbow as the Beast Riders watched from overhead.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alana
June 22nd, 2005, 10:16 AM
Awesome RaikouRider243! No mistakes that I could see and the story is coming along great. I can't wait for the next chapter. ^_^

RaikouRider243
June 25th, 2005, 08:57 AM
The battle sequence was a pain to write. This and the next chapter will have a lot of battling in it. I will keep you in suspense until the end....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 9: Storming the Base

(Accompanying Music: Shinra Inc. Theme [FF7])

By the time the Beast Riders and Ho-oh began their trek to Birth Island, the data the Legacy Hunters had pooled their data together onto one compact disc. Maxie had given the data to Ernest, who then handed it to Travis. For much of the previous night and into the morning, Travis did nothing but evaluate the data. Several hours before the Beast Riders had awakened, he found within the data the key to summoning Lugia; a picture of an ancient tablet that should have been sealed away for all time. But the language on the tablet was ancient and corroded; he could not decipher the meaning of the sacred writing alone, nor could Ernest.

Having expected such a problem to arise, Travis saved a copy of the image onto the computer's hard drive, then opened up a program. The purpose of the program was to digitally reverse the corrosion of the tablet, as well as decode and translate the sacred text on the tablet. Though the program had been running since one AM, it had returned no results even at midafternoon. "Ah well, like they'll find us here," Travis chuckled to himself. "We have all the time in the world!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~

That same late afternoon, the Beast Riders and Ho-oh were coming closer to the Sevii Island chain. The rainbow bird suggested a strategy for infiltrating the base. "The main priority is to stop them from releasing Lugia. When we arrive, I will keep watch outside. You three are to enter the base and divert their attention. Defeat the leaders before they awaken Lugia." With that, the bird increased its speed, arriving at the fog-shrouded island in a half-hour.

To temporarily dissolve the fog, Ho-oh shot a massive fireball directly at it. The dense cloud broke up in a small area, allowing the rainbow bird to make a landing as the three beasts jumped off the rainbow path and onto the seemingly deserted island. When the bird deposited its passengers on the island, it wished them good luck before flying away to watch for its cousin.

The three riders climbed atop their beasts, hoping that they could sense the secret opening. After looking around the island for a few minutes, Ace noticed a medium-sized pyramid-shaped red object. "Guys, look at this!" he called for his friends.

"What did you find, Ace?" Josh asked. "I see. This must be some sort of password." Ace tried pushing the red block, but to no avail. Entei then charged at it, but still nothing happened. "Flamethrower attack!" The crimson lion shot a burst of fire straight at the object. It slid toward the other end of the island. Josh then heard something click, then a rumbling sound. A large piece of sod had rotated 180 degrees, revealing a large entryway leading down. The staircase was metallic. "Jackpot!" Josh announced. "This is the base of the Legacy Hunters. Time is of the essence! Let's go, Beast Riders! Let's end this!" With that, the three of them rushed down into the base.

(Accompanying Music: Castle Pandaemonium [FF2])
This MIDI is not a good reproduction of the song. The real song from the GBA game is much more dramatic than this one. Here is the link anyway...
http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/nes/Pandemonium.mid

Surprisingly, the hallway was empty. The place looked abandoned, but Josh knew better. "I thought this place would be full of Team Magma and Legacy Hunters. But they are nowhere in sight. Keep your guard up!"

Back in the board room where Travis was analyzing his data, Ernest rushed into the room with an urgent message. "Travis, sir! The Beast Riders are here!" Upon hearing that, Travis turned to one side and spit out his beverage in disgust over the news.

"**** it, Ernest, we still don't have the tablet translated! Buy me some time!" Travis snapped.

"But how?"

"Battle with them! Anything to allow me some time to figure out how to summon Lugia! Go, NOW!"

"Right away, Travis, sir!" At that, Ernest rushed out of the room, headed for a large arena situated close to the board room.

The riders found an elevator leading down. But much to their dismay, they could not use it without abandoning their beasts. "Shoot. Looks like we have to find the stairs around here," Josh noted. The stairs were just around the corner; unfortunately, Tabitha was waiting for them there. When they turned the corner, she spotted them.

"Well, well, well. If it isn't the gallant heroes of legend, trying to save their precious town," she remarked sarcastically.

Aravan knew there was no time to lose. "Suicune, attack!" The blue cheetah fired an Ice Beam from its mouth, straight at Tabitha. She was able to release her Pokémon, Blaziken, just in time. A fighter with birdlike agility, it would ordinarily be a difficult Pokémon to take down; but Suicune's Ice Beam was so cold that Blaziken froze solid. Though the enemy Pokémon could not fight, Aravan was still skeptical. He had Suicune run up to the frozen creature, letting Aravan smack the frozen Pokémon with his icy sword. The blade's power created another layer of ice around Blaziken. Tabitha had no choice but to let the three of them pass.

"Thank you," Ace said to Tabitha. Turning to Josh, he told them to hurry. They took the stairs down to the bottom floor, where the board room was located. The level was empty, but there was an eerie aura about the area; it was as if Travis had found the way to tame Lugia. "Do you hear chanting?" Aravan asked.

Josh stopped to listen for a few seconds. "I do hear it. Could we be too late?!"

"We can't think that way!" Ace corrected Josh. "We have to hope for the best! Entei, forward!" The three of them rushed forward, Ace and Entei in the lead. After checking most of the level, Josh found the entrance to a large room. "Guys, the chanting's getting louder. This way!"

(Accompanying Music: The Empire [FF6])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/snes/empire.mid

Entering the large room, they found it to be a battling arena. Ernest was on the other side. Aravan wanted to know what was going on. "Who the hell are you?!" he asked as all three riders drew their swords.

"I am Ernest, second-in-command of the Legacy Hunters. You must be the Beast Riders of legend. Though your ancestors defeated us once, we will not let that happen, for this time, we have the ultimate power!"

"No! They're already summoning Lugia!" Josh cried.

"Master Travis is translating the ancient text as we speak. If you want to stop him, you have to get past me first!"

"Fine," Ace responded. "We have more than enough power to take you down."

"There are three of you, so it's only fair that I use three of my Pokémon at once."

(Accompanying Music: Garden Vs. Garden [FF8])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/sony/ps1/garden_battle.mid

To begin the battle, the human resource manager unleashed Absol, a black-and-white quadruped known as the "Disaster Pokémon"; Gardevoir, a green psychic Pokémon that seemed to wear a white dress; and finally, Porygon2, an enhanced version of the manmade Pokémon, Porygon. Both consisted entirely of programming code. The three beasts and their riders prepared for battle. All three of them immediately went on the offensive. Raikou charged straight at Porygon2 in an attempt to shock it with a Spark attack. Porygon2 teleported to one side before the attack was to hit. Josh attempted a counterattack with his sword, but the creation of man simply teleported out of the way again.

Entei and Suicune focused their combined efforts on Absol with water blasts, fireballs, and physical abuse. Suicune's Hydro Pump attack went wide left, and Entei's huge foot missed its mark. As Absol jumped out of the way of Entei's paw, Ace slashed at the Pokémon with his flaming sword. There was no escaping this attack. Absol was scorched, but not out of the fight by any means. Instead, the foe backed away from the Beast Riders and performed a Swords Dance. This increased the sharpness of its claws.

Porygon2 generated a wild ice storm after Ace's attack. The combination of wind and snow pushed back the efforts of Raikou and Entei. Suicune, however, seemed to like the attack. Because the attack was split among three targets, the beasts shook it off quickly. Gardevoir closed its eyes, then a blindingly bright beam appeared around Suicune. This was Gardevoir's Confuse Ray. The light would cause foes to turn on each other. But it didn't seem to work on Suicune.

Instead of individual attacks, Raikou and Entei tried to catch Porygon2 in a trap by having Entei bite at it, which would cause it to teleport away...right into Raikou's eight-inch fangs. Unfortunately, Porygon2 teleported to the other side of Entei; it was the side that Raikou was not guarding. Seeing that it went the other way, Josh quickly slashed in Porygon2's direction, and a large static bolt appeared. This effort caused the virtual Pokémon to take significant damage.

Diverting Ace's attention from Gardevoir and Absol, Suicune and Aravan were ripe for the attacking. Gardevoir fired a strange beam at Suicune. The blue cheetah jumped out of the way--only to be slashed by the claws of Absol. Aravan's left leg also got caught in the crossfire. "God!!!" the rider yelled upon being wounded by Absol's claws. Suicune immediately counterattacked with a vicious Hydro Pump attack. But this attack was directed at Gardevoir, not Absol. Not expecting this, the psychic-type took the full force of the attack and was slammed into the ground. That was not the end of Gardevoir, though. The Pokémon counterattacked with its psychic ability. It lifted Aravan and Suicune into the air and sent the two flying. Suicune threw Aravan off its back before the two of them hit the wall. It was a good thing, too; if Aravan was still on Suicune after the attack, he would have been crushed between his beast and the steel wall. After the attack, the rider in blue armor could not stand up. He was barely able to get up on his knees.

"Aravan!!" Josh yelled for his friend. "Raikou, make Gardevoir pay!!" The yellow beast darted straight for Gardevoir, fangs wide open. Again caught off guard, Gardevoir could not get out of the way. The combined power of Raikou's long, skewering fangs and Josh's electrical sword drained the last of Gardevoir's energy. It then collapsed.

Ernest sent out Sceptile, a grass-type Pokémon with ninja-like agility and great physical strength. The six-foot-tall green Pokémon charged at Raikou, preparing to attack with its blade-like claws and leaves. The double-edged attack delivered a massive blow to Raikou and its rider, but Sceptile accidentally hit itself with some of the attack's force. Both sides took considerable damage.

Suicune could see the trouble its comrades were in. In an attempt to rectify the situation, the beast's blue crystal started glowing, and a refreshing aura surrounded the entire party. It was an aura that felt like soothing water; an aura that replenished the life force of each one of its allies. Suicune and Aravan, as well as Josh and Raikou, recovered from the assault and were able to stand up. He mounted his saber-tooth tiger again, preparing to get the Beast Riders back in the fight.

Teaming up with Ace and Entei once more, Raikou darted toward Sceptile, ready to sink its fangs into the Pokémon. At the same time, Entei launched a powerful burst of fire from its mouth. Panicking, Sceptile dodged the fire blast, but it dodged right into Raikou's gaping maw. The beast made several incisions into Sceptile's body with the fangs before retreating to avoid a counterattack.

Absol had trouble finding a time to attack. It just stood on the edge of the arena, waiting for the time to strike. Meanwhile, the wounded Porygon2 retreated into the back of the arena, then increased its energy with a technique called Recover. Ace immediately identified the technique and let out a big sigh. Still atop Raikou, Josh commanded it to call down a large lightning bolt straight over Absol. The bolt struck the dark-type in the center of its body, causing it to collapse.

Running out of options, Ernest used his steel-type bird, Skarmory. The wings of the metallic bird were light and hollow, enabling it to fly close to 190 miles per hour. Its wings also double as extremely sharp blades, and can be used to make swords. Upon entering the arena, it whipped up a nasty sandstorm. In response, Raikou chased the sandstorm away with a stronger thunderstorm.

Sceptile ran up to Suicune and tried to slash the water-type with one of its Leaf Blades, but the beast backed off before firing another Hydro Pump blast at Porygon2. Again, it teleported out of the way. It returned fire with a lump of dark energy known as a Shadow Ball. This was fired at Entei, but the crimson lion jumped over it, landing on Porygon2. This stomping assault slammed the virtual Pokémon into the ground before it had the chance to teleport away.

Skarmory would normally fear an electric Pokémon like Raikou. However, it had an advantage in a swift attack called Aerial Ace; it was an undodgable flying assault. The metal bird swooped down at Raikou and Josh, talons wide open. The talons slashed Raikou, but the armor Josh had on saved his skin from being torn apart. Raikou reared up reacting to the injury, scaring Josh a bit. The rider did not lose his grip, however, and fired an electrical beam from his sword. It missed. Entei shot another fire stream at Skarmory. It also missed.

In an effort to take down Suicune, Sceptile charged at the beast for another Leaf Blade slashing attack, but Suicune shot an Ice Beam before the grass-type could make it. The foe was encased in ice, and recalled by Ernest immediately. "You will pay for this, you..." the Admin muttered as he released Dragonite, a friendly dragon bearing great resemblance to dragons found in fairy tales. Though it was friendly in nature, it can be easily angered in battle. If it were to reach such a state, the dragon's rage would multiply its power.

Porygon2 attempted to cause a weakness in Raikou by using one of its Conversions, but it failed to work; the Legendary Beasts could not be given a new set of weaknesses. Busy with Raikou, Porygon2 paid no attention to a massive fireball from Entei's mouth, headed straight at it. The flame was so hot that it slightly melted its foe's body. Aware that its systems would be destroyed if it stayed in battle, the virtual Pokémon shut itself down.

Only Dragonite and Skarmory remained, but they were indeed worthy opponents. The flying behemoth was collecting massive amounts of energy near its mouth. "Everyone, brace yourselves!" Josh warned. The dragon released the energy as an extremely fast, orange beam of pure power known as a Hyper Beam. The beam hit Raikou and Josh directly. "No! Josh!!" Ace yelled. He reached in Josh's direction with his right arm. Raikou let out a roar of intense pain as the beam knocked Josh off his beast. Both of them hit the steel wall and collapsed. Aravan started crying.

"**** you, Ernest!!!" Aravan yelled. "I will KILL you if Josh is dead!!"

Entei and Ace were the next targets of Skarmory's Aerial Ace attack. The attack hit with perfect accuracy, but seemed to bounce off both of them. The backlash stunned the metal bird long enough for Ace to slash at it. The hot metal connected with the bird, as well as the flaming line the sword shot out. Skarmory burned and dropped to the ground.

Dragonite shot a weak static bolt at Entei in an attempt to rob it of its speed and agility. Entei simply shook the attack off, and Ace wasn't affected by it either. The two beasts pooled their strong attacks together to create a violent mixture of fire and ice. The dragon flew out of its way before returning fire with another fast beam, this one targeted at Aravan and Suicune. The beast jumped out of the way just before the attack was to hit. "If only Josh were here..." Aravan groaned.

"Do not worry, Aravan," Suicune comforted its rider, then let out a roar. A blue light appeared over Josh, jump-starting his life force and energy. Realizing that individual attacks would not work, Aravan suggested a combination attack.

"Cling your two swords next to mine and prepare to attack Dragonite. This should be more than enough power to take it down." The three blades started glowing with their respective colors, and let out beams of yellow, red, and blue. The powers of each blade were directed into a sphere of elemental energy. Dragonite wondered what was going on. By the time it figured out that it was a massive attack, it was too late. The intense, white beam powered by the legendary beasts seemed to cut right through Dragonite's defenses. The blast was so powerful that it forced Dragonite right through the steel wall on the left side of the arena. Knowing there was nothing he could do, Ernest got out of the way of the Beast Riders. Suicune revived Raikou in the same way it revived Josh, and drenched the team in its Cure Water.

(Accompanying Music: The Empire [FF6])

Out of the silence came a loud "NEE-REU-DEEN-TAA!!!" from the next room. It paralyzed Josh, Ace, and Aravan with fear.

"**** it all!!" Josh exclaimed. He then cursed again. "Are we too late?!"

Entei rammed into the back door, swinging it open. Josh climbed on Raikou and took off with the others. Aravan and Ace were just as worried as Josh was. "We better not be too late," Ace said. "We have to stop this madness!" The three of them rushed through the door and the hallway behind it. Beyond the hallway was the board room of the Legacy Hunters.

The three beasts slowed to a stop before approaching the board room, then quietly walked in to see what was going on. Travis, the leader of the Legacy Hunters, was chanting an ancient text to summon and unleash Lugia. "CRO-MAN-YON!! CRO-MAN-YON!!" he continued.

"End of the line for you!!" Ace yelled as the three Beast Riders made a dramatic entrance into the room.

"Who are--" Travis said while turning around. "If it isn't the three Beast Riders of legend who are supposed to save Johto in times of peril! I didn't think you would find me here. The retreat from Olivine was not in our initial plan, but we got what we came for: the power of the ultimate Pokémon!!"

"I knew it," Josh replied. "You are after Lugia's power. I cannot allow you to unlock such a power that could be used to destroy this land! Raikou, fry that computer!"

The beast's thunderclouds became flooded with electricity. It then released a lightning bolt at Travis' computer, destroying it and all the data on it.

"I see you are quite the brave lads. I also see you want to end this conflict the hard way. Very well. I am Travis, the CEO of the Legacy Hunters. We shall battle to determine the fate of Johto," Travis said confidently. He then pushed a switch under the table. The ceiling opened up, and the room, except for the stage in back, rose to the surface of the island.

"Fate and history are on our side, Travis! You cannot defeat us!" Ace contested.

"You little beast-riding punks..." the leader muttered. His tone of voice then changed to become loud and threatening. "Go to hell! All of you!"

The final confrontation between the Beast Riders and the leader of the Legacy Hunters is at last happening. If Travis finished the ancient rites needed to summon Lugia, there would be little hope for the Beast Riders, and for Johto. They need to stop Travis from finishing the ritual by quickly getting past his powerful Pokémon team!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alana
June 25th, 2005, 09:56 AM
Man I hate the suspense. ^_^ Please post the next chapter soon. I can't wait to see what's going to happen. *sits in corner and waits for next chapter*

RaikouRider243
June 25th, 2005, 10:47 AM
Alana, since you're my only reviewer, I will post the next chapter now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chapter 10: The Final Confrontation

(Accompanying Music: Sentinel Battle [Golden Sun: The Lost Age])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/gba/MenardiBattle.mid

The Beast Riders knew they had to conserve their strong Pokémon for the end. Instead of rushing into battle atop their Pokémon, they used their other Pokémon to deal with Travis' Charizard, an orange, European-style dragon about as tall as a large human adult; Machamp, a gray Pokémon boasting powerful muscles and four arms; and Scizor, a large, red mantis with a metal coat.

The Beast Riders each used one of their other Pokémon: Josh used Sudowoodo, Ace used Arcanine, and finally, Aravan used Flygon. Arcanine took to the offensive by launching a fire stream from its mouth. Scizor got out of the way quickly. Flygon started its assault with a powerful dragon's breath attack. It burned Machamp's upper-left arm, putting it out of commission for quite some time. However, setting up this attack opened it up to a slashing from Charizard's nail-like claws. Somehow, the claws missed. Flygon didn't even know it was being attacked. The enemy dragon slashed at it again, and would have hit Flygon if it weren't for a blinding tackle from Arcanine knocking it out of the way.

Sudowoodo was far less mobile than the other two allied Pokémon. Machamp got behind it and smashed the rock Pokémon with two of its arms. It was out of commission. Josh then was forced to use Manectric to replace his fallen Pokémon. It quickly fired an electric shot at Machamp, but the attack missed wide right. Charizard shot a flame line at the former attacker, but it too missed wide right.

Scizor, focusing on Flygon, generated a strange wind with its wings. This wind brushed by Flygon. It not only caused plenty of damage, but seemed to increase Scizor's strength.

Machamp attempted to Cross Chop the electric Pokémon with the three arms it could use. Manectric dodged out of the way and countered with a close range electrical attack. This injured Machamp badly, but also allowed Charizard to launch another flame burst at the attacker. This blasted the light Pokémon far backwards, but detracted its focus from an impending breath attack from Flygon. Charizard ended this domino effect by flying up out of the way. Arcanine managed to finish off Machamp's effort by charging into it at blinding speed.

"Hmmm..." Travis thought. "Indeed, their Pokémon are well-trained. Ah, well, this is just a stall for time anyway. Salamence, go!" With that, he sent out a short, but strong, blue dragon with red wings. It gave an intimidating glance at the opposing Pokémon, causing them to become the slightest bit fearful.

All three allied Pokémon were close to each other when Salamence took the offensive with a ramming attack. The attack just missed, allowing Manectric to bite at the dragon...just as Travis planned. A massive Flamethrower attack came flying out of Charizard's mouth, causing Manectric to collapse.

Running out of Pokémon, Josh sent out Pidgeot. It was clearly much weaker than Arcanine or Flygon, let alone Travis' Pokémon. Aravan came up with a plan. "Arcanine, jump out of the way!" Though Aravan wasn't its trainer, the huge dog leaped into the air. Flygon then unleashed a massive earthquake, causing the area around the dragon to shake violently. Most of the Pokémon there could fly, and thus were unaffected by the attack. Scizor, however, was the target of the attack. The Pokémon was at the mercy of the shaking ground, and received massive damage. While this was going on, Salamence flew high into the air, then made a slashing dive at Flygon. Though dragons are strong, they cannot bear each others' attacks. Flygon collapsed, and Aravan replaced it with the nearly eight-foot-tall water-type, Feraligatr.

The massive Pokémon fired a ferocious Hydro Pump attack at Charizard. It could not get out of the way this time, and fell. Predictably, Travis sent out an electric-type to deal with it. This one was Electabuzz, a yellow-and-black, human-shaped Pokémon most often found near power plants. It tried to retailate with a lightning bolt, but Feraligatr got down on all fours and swiftly dodged the attack. Arcanine, using its nearly sure-fire Extremespeed tackle, hit Salamence hard again. This time, however, the dragon read the dog's movements and rammed it. This defeated Ace's Pokémon with one blow. Ace replaced it with Typhlosion.

Scizor generated another Silver Wind. Landing a blow to Feraligatr's weak spot, it crashed down to the ground. Now that Charizard was down, Aravan reasoned he could use his grass-type dinosaur, Tropius. Electabuzz fired another lightning bolt, this one at Pidgeot. It missed. Taking advantage of the lightning, Pidgeot used its ability to duplicate the move, but aimed it at Salamence instead. This one struck its target.

By this time, Silver Wind had grown very powerful. Scizor launched another one at Tropius. The grass-type let out a roar of pain, alerting Typhlosion to burn the attacker with fire. Being a metallic bug, heat was lethal to Scizor. It dropped to the ground as well. Electabuzz also got caught in the intense fireball, and dropped as well. This prompted the evil madman to release his final Pokémon, the rock-armored brute, Tyranitar. It could easily change the landscape of the entire island using but one of its hands. However, all of this came at the expense of agility and attack accuracy, which it would pay for dearly.

The Pokémon slashed at Tropius with its claws, but the attack missed. Salamence tried doing the same thing to Typhlosion, but that effort was for naught as well. Aravan's grass-type then tried a clever ruse to take out Tyranitar: firing a series of heat-seeking leaf blades, an attack called the Magical Leaf. The attack made some large chinks in Tyranitar's armor. Pidgeot duplicated Salamence's Dragon Claw attack with its talons, slamming the foe into the ground unconscious. Tyranitar tried slicing Tropius with its claws again, but to no avail. The dinosaur countered with another Magical Leaf. This time, it was enough to cause the heavily armored Pokémon to drop.

After Tyranitar had collapsed, the three Beast Riders recalled their other Pokémon, then rushed to the other end of the island, only to hear a cackling Travis.

(Accompanying Music: Zieg's Theme [Legend of Dragoon])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/sony/ps1/LODZIEG.mid

"All your efforts have been for naught," he said. He then turned to the north and recited the translated text of the ancient tablet. "Great beast of the sea, rise up and listen to me! Though man and beast hath felled your tower, we can avenge you with almighty power! Destroy the descendants of those who destroyed your home, so you shall be honored as second to none!"

Josh knew what was going on. He knew that there was nothing that could prevent Lugia's awakening. "**** it!! Why us, why now?!"

Raikou tried to calm Josh's anger. "There is nothing you can do to stop Lugia. That bird has held a big grudge against us and the Beast Riders of the past. We will have no choice. We must fight it, though I doubt we will be able to defeat it."

"Well, that's real encouraging, Raikou."

"Well, it's the truth..."

A few minutes later, the legendary, dragon-like bird arose from the water around the Whirl Island chain, just south of Olivine. It flew to the southwest, where the summoner was calling it from. By the time the bird arrived, the three Beast Riders drew their weapons and braced themselves for the worst.

Upon arrival, the three-story-tall bird knew what Travis' intentions were: to take over Johto and capture the legendary Pokémon. The two of them had a brief chat. Travis started by tossing an Ultra Ball at the bird, but it just shot the ball right back at Travis with its gargantuan wings. "Travis, you are a sick man. To think you could use me as a tool for your own selfish desires? Out of the many ones who have tried to use my power, even some that were the purest of heart could not measure up to my standards. Do you know what happens to people like you?"

Travis was still determined to take Lugia for himself, and threw another Ball.

"You can attempt to capture me a thousand times, and you will never succeed. I do not know how you discovered those words. Travis, it's time to say your prayers. May you die with all the evil you have brought into this world!!!" With that, the bird shot an orange blast from its mouth, but it wasn't a Hyper Beam. It was clearly much stronger than a Hyper Beam, even if one would consider that it came from the most powerful Pokémon of all. The beam was an Aeroblast, a special technique exclusive to Lugia. The beam shattered Travis' Ultra Ball. Before he even got a chance to react, the beam engulfed the evil leader, killing him almost instantaneously. The creature glanced around the island and noticed three human figures atop three large land Pokémon which were shortly identified as Raikou, Entei, and Suicune. The humans were the Beast Riders, and this got Lugia very angry. "I do not believe it! He brought those accursed Beast Riders here as well?! Who did he think he was? He was just asking to hand over his life!"

"Lugia, we're not your enemies! We came here to save you!" Aravan yelled toward the large dragon-like bird. "Travis is the one who started all of this, not us!"

"Liar! You are the reason why I had to leave my cousin, the rainbow bird Pokémon, in the first place!"

"No! We have done nothing to your tower!"

Josh intervened. "Aravan, do not anger it. In a sense, Lugia's right. We didn't burn their tower down, but our ancestors did. So Lugia wants to get its revenge by taking it out on us. We have little choice but to fight." At that, the Beast Riders all drew their swords. Their Pokémon also looked ready to battle.

"I guess we can settle this the hard way, then. Very well. Die!!!"

"I will not allow you to kill them. At least not without you killing me first! How, then, can you kill your own cousin?" Ho-oh had heard the voice of Lugia. Out of concern for the Beast Riders, the rainbow bird flew over to all four of them.

"Where did you come from?!"

"If you want to kill them, you have to kill me first!"

(Accompanying Music: Final Battle [Golden Sun: The Lost Age])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/gba/DoomDragonV2.mid

"We can't hold back anymore!" Josh yelled. "Raikou!"

"Entei!"

"Suicune!"

"Let's go!!" all three of them shouted together to boost their spirits before they did battle with the beast of the sea, Lugia. Once again taking a speedy offensive, Entei launched a powerful fireball at Lugia. The attack hit, but it didn't even phase the target at all.

"What the hell just happened here?" Ace asked. Raikou tried to strike Lugia with lightning, but instead of taking the attack, Lugia got out of the way. The bird retaliated with an Aeroblast directed at Raikou. The attack barely missed.

"Let me try something," Aravan volunteered. "Suicune, Hydro Pump!"

The blue beast shot a high-pressure spray of water toward Lugia. It simply hovered there taking the attack, and got out of it unharmed.

"Raikou, try it again!" Josh yelled. The Pokémon shot a lightning bolt at the drenched Lugia. This time, the huge foe was hurt from the attack. Then all of a sudden, Ho-oh fired a holy flame toward Lugia which inflicted some damage on the bird.

"How dare you attack me, Ho-oh! Boy, are you going to suffer..." the bird muttered as it shot a Hydro Pump blast at Ho-oh. This blast made Suicune's attack look like it came from a Goldeen by comparison. The bird flew up out of the way, revealing Entei as the other target of attack. It made a quick leap to the right, testing Ace's ability as a Beast Rider. The Beast of Fire tried counterattacking with another fireball, only to show the same result as before. "Fire isn't working, Ace," Josh observed. "Just stay out of harm's way until I think of something. If Lugia dives at you, try hitting it with your sword and see what happens."

Suicune shot a chilly beam at Lugia. Though it tried to get out of the way, the Pokémon's left leg and tail got caught in the cold. This pattern of attacking with ice and lightning continued for several more attack vollies, after which Lugia started to get angry. "You guys have spunk, I'll give you that. Now die!!!" The bird roared, and a line of boulders rose from the island, each with a radius of approximately ten feet. Ho-oh managed to dodge this blow, but Entei and its rider did not see the attack coming. One of the boulders threw the two of them high into the air. This threw Ace off Entei's back, and the two of them came crashing down onto the ground, with the rider nearly lifeless. The Crimson Blade stuck into the ground, with the flaming blade pointing straight down.

"Ace!!! Noooooooo!!!" Aravan screamed. He then turned toward Lugia. "You're no guardian! You're no protector! You're evil!"

"Such interesting last words coming from you. Well, time to die, Aravan." With that, the bird launched another Aeroblast from close range. There was no escaping the attack...until a ray of hope emerged for Aravan. Entei raced to Suicune's rescue by darting between it and the attack. Though the huge lion was blasted back and fainted as a result, its sacrifice gave the Beast Riders a second chance.

Another series of volleys went back and forth between the two forces for another twenty minutes. By this time, the Beast Riders, Raikou, Suicune, and even Ho-oh were getting fatigued. "I don't...know how much longer...we can keep this up!" Josh said, panting. At this, Lugia fired another Aeroblast, this one at Ho-oh. This time, though, Ho-oh was too tired to dodge. The searing beam blasted through the rainbow bird, nearly cutting off its right wing. "It's now or never, guys!" Aravan yelled. Then, he commanded Suicune to revive Ace with its Cure Water. The trainer picked up the Crimson Blade he had dropped, and listened to Aravan's plan.

"There is only one thing we can do right now." At that, he pointed the Crystal Brand straight up into the air. "Touch your swords with mine and point straight for Lugia. If this doesn't defeat Lugia, nothing will, and we will...die." The thought of death struck fear into the hearts of all three of them.

"It's better than what we're doing now. Let's give it a try!" At that, Josh and Ace held up the Lightning Sword and the Crimson Blade high up into the air, touching Aravan's blade. The three of them started glowing and shooting massive elemental energy into a ball. As energy was drawn from the weapons, the ball got bigger and bigger until the Beast Riders launched it at Lugia. The weapon of mass destruction put Lugia in tremendous pain from the repeating cycle of intense electrical shock, flames, and icy cold.

"**** you...Ho-oh!! **** you...Raikou...Entei...Suicune... Beast Riders... **** YOU ALL!!!" At that, the bird, completely out of energy, collapsed into the ocean. The Legacy Hunters had been defeated...forever. The endless cycle of war had finally been broken.

(Accompanying Music: Credits [Golden Sun: The Lost Age])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/gba/gs2credits2_0.mid

"I must congratulate you all on the tremendous effort you have put forth. Without the combined efforts of the legendary beasts, their riders, and myself, we could never have tamed the guardian of the sea. Let me give you three a lift back to Ecruteak City." At that, the rainbow walkway the Beast Riders used to get to Birth Island reappeared. The three beasts ran out on the path, headed back to the town. The three brave Beast Riders put their swords away, mounted Ho-oh, and soared off in the direction of Ecruteak City as the sun shined through the storm clouds created by Lugia. Sun-filled skies would dominate the area in a short time.

"It looks like our mission together has come to an end. But when we get back to our homeland, let's celebrate!" suggested Raikou.

"I may have a solemn duty to fulfill, but that doesn't stop me from having a little good fun every once in a while," Suicune added.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the end of the Legacy Hunters and the end of the battling, but not the end of the fic. There is one more chapter to come, but it is more of an epilogue than a chapter. It wraps some of the final plot details together.

Alana
June 25th, 2005, 11:20 AM
Only one more chapter? Oh well all good things must end. It's a great fic RaikouRider243. I don't usually stick with a fan fiction to read it all the way through unless it's a one shot. I've only read all of the fic a couple of times. So in my opinion it is a very very good fan fiction and I'll be waiting eagerly for the final chapter. ^_^

RaikouRider243
June 27th, 2005, 06:57 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 11: Aftermath

When the three Beast Riders returned from Birth Island to Tin Tower, dozens of townspeople were waiting for them, ready to exalt them for their leadership, power, and courage. They had already heard about the defeat of the Legacy Hunters on the news. After the three legendary beasts had crossed the tower, Ho-oh deposited the three brave warriors on top of the tower. The legendary bird congratulated them once more.

"I am much indebted to you for your tremendous bravery. Now that the Legacy Hunters have been permanently dealt with and Lugia has retreated back to the ocean bottom, we have nothing do worry about for a long time. For that reason, I will stay atop this tower until something comes up again. If there is a reason you need to see me, you three are more than welcome to come and take care of that business you may have."

"O great rainbow Pokémon, there is no imminent, or even predictable, danger that the region will be in for years and years to come. Since that is the case, could we please stay with these people?" Raikou asked. "I understand that there is a rule stating that we cannot allow ourselves to be captured, but I also believe there is no reason to keep this tradition anymore. We may be guardians, but with the Legacy Hunters gone, there is really no one left to guard against. Considering that, will you let Josh capture me? It will benefit both myself and him. This is not out of any kind of selfishness; he wants to be with me forever, and I with him. Will you please consider making this exception? I am sure Entei and Suicune would agree with me."

Suicune responded, "Very well put. I also want to be with my rider forever." Entei also said the same thing in agreement. "With the three of us in agreement, will you at least consider making just one exception?"

"I concur that there is overwhelming evidence to allow yourselves to be captured by these three young men; they are by far the most skilled Beast Riders to this day. As a matter of fact, I wish I could tell you to let them capture all three of you, whether you wanted it or not. But we must remember that man has a tendency to do evil things. Though they are indeed very pure of heart...on second thought, these three would never turn evil. Still, I cannot dismiss the fear that something regretful will happen if your immense powers are completely entrusted to them. I believe that is the true reason for the rule. In conclusion, as much as I hate saying this, I must say no to that."

All six of them, beast and rider, were disappointed at Ho-oh's response to the request. "Can't we at least stay with them for a little while longer? Just another week or two, even? Surely there is nothing preventing us from doing that!" Raikou pleaded.

"Hmmm... I can't see any harm in it. You three don't really get to interact with people very often, simply because of your immense power. But these young men are vastly different. If they saved Johto using this power, I think they can be trusted. I grant your request. You can be with them for one more week, starting tomorrow. Once that week is up, you must return to the Brass Tower and sleep once more. Josh, Ace, Aravan, did you hear me? You are allowed one week with the legendary Pokémon. Once that week ends, you must go back to the chamber beneath the Brass Tower. There, you are to return the swords back to their pedestals, and seal the chamber once more when you exit. Then, you must part with Raikou, Entei, and Suicune."

At that, the three riders mounted their beasts and headed down the stairs leading to the base of the tower. People from all over the town, including most of the students and professors at the college, made the long trip to the tower just to see the three legendary Pokémon and the three warriors. Several of the people in the crowd wanted the riders to draw their swords. The three of them took out their swords for a few seconds, letting the crowd take pictures. Even after the riders sheathed their blades again, the camera flashes kept coming relentlessly. After about an hour of interviews, the three heroes found their way out of the crowd and ran off for the college campus. The students and staff that didn't go to the tower were outside, waiting for them. They wanted to talk with the Beast Riders about what happened at Birth Island, but they had little energy left and wanted to rest.

Over the next two days and the morning after that, Ace and Aravan worked on finishing their research papers, knowing that they only had a week with Raikou, Entei, and Suicune. It was about midday Monday when the two had finished their papers. They were only about ten pages each, not nearly as long as Josh's. The two of them wanted Josh to evaluate their papers before they turned them in. Walking down the long hallway to Josh's door, they encountered each other and talked about their papers before coming to the door and knocking. "Who's there?" Josh asked from inside.

Aravan opened the door about halfway, revealing Ace and himself to Josh. He was sitting on the floor, playing a videogame. "Oh, it's you two. What's up?" he asked as he paused the game.

"I...er, we, that is, both of us, just finished our papers. And we want you to look at them," Ace answered.

"No problem. Because of what's going on, the professor doesn't want his class meeting until the paper is due. Nothing was going on in the class this week anyway, according to him, so he wanted the class to talk to us about our experiences with the legendary beasts. It even fascinates him. I was planning on going into that field on Raikou tomorrow, but I have nothing planned today. Sure, I'll review your papers. You see, I told everyone here that if they wanted to ride Raikou with me tomorrow through Thursday in the afternoon, I would. You doing anything those three afternoons?"

Both of them repiled, "Not that I can think of. Besides, it'll be fun."

"How long will it take to review our papers?" Ace added.

"Give me a half-hour for each one. But while you're here..."

"Yeah?"

"I've been playing F-Zero GX for the past hour or so before you came, and I have two extra controllers. Want to join me?" Josh asked both of them.

Aravan and Ace accepted. "I'm kind of bored anyway. I have this game, too. I don't know how good you are at it, but I don't think I'm very good," Ace added.

"I used to play this with my friend last year all the time. Though it was his game, I kept beating him for some reason," Aravan recalled.

"I don't know how good you are," Josh replied, "but I think this will be a good match. How long do you have to stay here?" He then looked up at the clock. "It's about half-past four now."

"If you want to order pizza, we can stay as late as you want, up to a half-hour before lights out."

"We won't need that much time. I think I'll review your two papers at about nine and get them back to you tomorrow morning. But let's forget about those and get this baby started!" At that, Josh turned on the game console, and the three of them began playing together. When they saw how many machines and tracks were available to them, they knew what kind of skill they were up against.

"You've unlocked the Diamond Cup?!" Ace exclaimed.

"Yep, and I've also been working on unlocking more machines for you. A few weeks before the professor announced the papers were due, I unlocked the Cosmic Dolphin, the Silver Rat, and Rainbox Phoenix, and the Dark Schneider for use, as well as a few custom machines. Do you use custom machines?" he asked Ace.

"Shoot," he responded quickly.

"Don't worry about a thing. The game is in your room, right?"

"Yeah, of course it's there."

"Then go get your memory card real quick."

"Sure. Be back in about ten or fifteen minutes." With that, Ace rushed out the door. While he was gone, Josh and Aravan practiced on some of the easier tracks. They could only get a few runs in before Ace returned with the memory card. Josh shut the game off, put Ace's memory card in the other slot, and turned it back on. About a couple of minutes later, the three of them had already set everything up in-game.

"How about we set up a huge Grand Prix with just the three of us and one computer player?" Josh then explained the system. "We play all 20 tracks one time each. First place gets nine points, second place six, third three and fourth one. Whoever has the most points at the end wins."

"Sounds good, except on one condition. The two of us have never played any of the Diamond Cup tracks. We each have one practice run on those tracks before the one that counts," Ace requested.

"Fine. We'll pizza break at the halfway point. Now, let's race!"

For the rest of that night, the three Beast Riders played that racing game. All of them had a lot of fun with it. Early in the Grand Prix, where the tracks were easier, Josh started off badly, losing points to Ace. Aravan couldn't get much together at the start, and worsened as the night went on.

After the pizza break, however, Josh's polish started to show on the more difficult tracks, especially on the four-star, five-star, and six-star rated tracks. Though Ace continued to get off to quick starts every race, he had to slow down to keep his machine on the track after the first lap of every race, allowing Josh to blow past him. This really showed on the Trident track, where Josh smoked Ace, finishing almost twenty-five seconds ahead of him.

By the time they finished, it was half past seven. "I had a lot of fun, even though you guys smoked me. In a real race, that wouldn't have happened," Aravan said defiantly.

"Is that a challenge?" Josh wondered.

"You bet! No way is Suicune going to lose to you!"

"Oh, so it's that kind of challenge!" Josh seemed interested in Aravan's trash talk. "If that's the case, you're on!"

"Well, neither of you are going to win, because Entei and I can smoke both of you!" Ace said in the same defiant tone as Aravan.

"Well, you two have plenty of time to train yourselves--you have tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings to get up to speed. The race will be Friday, and it will start at high noon. I'm going to post a public announcement on the bulletin board tomorrow. Thanks for coming over; I had a lot of fun. See you tomorrow."

For the next three days, Ace and Aravan went out to the open field north of campus, ready to train themselves for the challenge on Friday. The two of them got so involved in their training that they forgot about their peers wanting to ride with them. Josh had to handle it all alone each of the three days. Only a few people outside of the Pokémon Legends History class got to ride Raikou with Josh. All of them enjoyed the experience, even though Josh didn't push the Legend of Thunder very fast at all. Though the tiger never ran faster than forty miles per hour, Josh still had a lot of fun. Even the professor climbed up on Raikou with Josh. Despite that he had to wait until late Thursday to do it, it was still an experience he would never forget. "I wish I could go fast like you do all the time, Josh, but I would probably fall off and break every bone in my body. Still, that was a nice experience for me. I appreciate your patience and sharing."

"Thanks," Josh responded. "I'm sorry that I couldn't get to all of you these three days, but...I told Ace and Aravan to be here to help, and they never showed up. But perhaps it's for the best, since they've probably been training for the race tomorrow. If they've been training this hard, I assure you it will be a good race."

"So that's what all of that painted grass is out there for... to point out the race path. It's all over the campus grounds," the professor reasoned.

"Precisely. I tried to make the course a challenge to run. If it weren't as curvy as it is, this wouldn't be a contest. I'm trying to make the course fair to all three of the Beast Riders. I'm looking forward to this."

Meanwhile, Aravan and Ace had just finished up their training. Both of them had raced across the field at their beast's respective top speeds. When they exited through the gap in the trees, they noticed part of the white line that was the outside of the race track. "This wasn't there before. What do you suppose it is?" Aravan asked.

"The only thing that I can think of is..." Ace cut the sentence off. "Looks like Josh wants to make this race a really big event, if he's getting track markers set up. I suggest we follow this line. That way, we will know the course."

Both of them turned their Pokémon to the right and started following the line. It weaved around many of the buildings and sports fields on campus, including the soccer and football fields, the gym, the main parking lot, and the main building. The two legends and their riders made two laps around the track before calling it a day. After the riders went inside for the evening, all three beasts were a little bit concerned about being in this race the next day.

"Are you sure we should be doing this? We are being used in a human competition. Isn't that against the rules?" Raikou was concerned, recalling the deal the three of them made with Ho-oh five days before.

"That may be, but this is clearly a private event with no prizes of any kind," Suicune recalled. "This is just a fun event for everyone, us included. I highly doubt we will get in trouble for this."

"I'm with you," Entei agreed. "As long as they don't get anything else out of this, I don't see why we should be restricted from racing. I never got a chance to do this before, and I don't see why I should put it off any longer."

"Oh... All right, you win."

(Accompanying Music: Intro [F-Zero GX])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/gamecube/F-Zero_GX_Intro.mid

That next afternoon, there were red plastic barriers set up all around where the white lines were, except around the dorm building; there, the barrier was only on the outside. There were students from the campus lined almost all the way around the outside of the track, but the biggest crowd was along the start/finish line, located just outside the dorm building. A half-hour before the race was scheduled to start, the three Beast Riders were discussing the regulations with the referees. These referees were volunteers from the student body.

"The red barriers that wind around the campus grounds mark the track bounds. You are not to jump over them or intentionally knock them down, or you will be disqualified. Extremespeed and/or Quick Attack boosting will be prohibited during the first lap of the race. You may not intentionally attack or ram other racers. The first one to complete five laps around the track will be declared the winner. Is that clear?"

All three of them nodded their heads to indicate that they knew the rules. Another official came forward and showed the participants the course map. "The course has been designed carefully so that each of you has an approximately equal chance of winning. It does not come down to the attributes of your Pokémon; instead, it will be how you use those attributes to your advantage that will determine the winner of this contest. It has also been designed so that you can maintain top speed for much of the course; however, there are enough curves such that you will not be able to take them at such high speeds."

About twenty minutes later, the three Beast Riders came in atop their Pokémon. The beasts jumped over the outside wall and made their way to the start/finish line. About five yards off the ground was a time, lap, and position display for the crowd to reference. As the swift beasts came in, the time display read 0'00"000 and the lap display read Lap 1/5. The position display was blank. When they stopped at the start/finish line, the crowd started cheering for them wildly and took more pictures of them. An official with a microphone came onto the the track and made an announcement before the start of the race.

"Please disable the flash on all your cameras now. If you cannot do so, then you must put the camera away. Also, please do not throw anything onto the track." He then left for trackside. "Let's get this race started!" At that, the three beasts walked up to the start/finish line and made serious, competitive glances at each other. They were ready to race just as much as the riders were. When the three participants were ready, the position display lit up, showing Aravan in first, Ace in second, and Josh in third. The same official, now at trackside, yelled into the microphone. Meanwhile, the three riders were trash talking to each other after they put the visors on their helmets down.

"Three!"

"I'm going to go by you two so fast, you won't even be able to see my dust!" Josh gloated.

"Two!"

"Of course I won't be able to see your dust. That's because I'll be in front of you the whole time!" Aravan responded. Suicune started generating a vicious wind behind itself, ready to jump with it.

"One!"

"Try to keep me in sight. Entei runs faster than wildfire spreads!"

"GOOOOOOOO!!!"

RaikouRider243
June 27th, 2005, 06:57 PM
(Accompanying Music: Lightning [F-Zero GX])
No MIDI of this song is presently available. If you want an alternate music theme for this race, PM me.

When the official said "Go," all three beasts darted down the opening stretch. The wind Suicune generated vaulted it forward at 70 miles per hour in the first few seconds of the race, causing Aravan to take an early lead. The first five seconds of the race was a chance to get up to speed. Suicune's control over the wind gave it explosive acceleration performance. The first curve, about six seconds into the race, was a mild S-curve. This obstacle was no problem for any of them, especially at their slow speeds.

The next portion of the track was fairly straight, with a gentle left turn seperating two straightaways about four seconds each at maximum speed. All three beasts used this straight stretch to increase their speed. Entei and Raikou didn't have near the acceleration performance Suicune had, but they also had a much higher maximum speed than Suicune. Using this short straight section as a speed-increasing opportunity, the three beasts increased their speed to well over 100 miles per hour. Raikou and Entei, however, were faster here than Suicune was. Though Aravan was still in first place, he lost ground on this section as Raikou passed Entei. Both of them, however, were still a good four tenths of a second behind Aravan and Suicune.

After the straight stretch, the track featured another S-curve. This one was smoother than the one before, but more drawn out. Though all three speeding beasts took it with no problems on this lap, it would come to haunt them on future laps, when they would be running much faster. Suicune went on the outside before heading through the second turn back to the right. It bolted through the apex of the turn, accelerating out of it. What Aravan forgot is that turn continued past the S-curve. The water-type ended up on the outside of the big turn back to the right, and gave up considerable ground to Raikou. Ace also had trouble interpreting where the turn ended, and lost ground to Raikou, but gained ground on the leader.

The next section was a straight stretch about as long as the previous one, but it had a 90-degree left turn at the end. Ace and Entei fell to the outside, gaining ground on both of their competitors. Knowing that this turn was ahead, Josh was afraid to speed Raikou up. When the three of them came into the turn at about 140 miles per hour, Suicune stayed in the middle of the track. Raikou sped into the turn and wound up on the outside of the track. Being on the outside edge of this turn gave Ace an advantage. He went into the turn early and passed the apex of it, coming out of the turn roughly 30 miles per hour faster than either of his rivals. Consequently, they passed Josh. "Crap!" Josh muttered to himself as he found himself in last place.

After a shorter straightaway following the 90-degree turn to the left, there was another similar turn fast approaching. Raikou slowed down a touch to get good position out of the turn. Following this turn was the longest straight stretch of the entire track. Coming out of that last turn on the inside of the track, Josh told Raikou to book it. And it did. Rushing across the straight stretch at nearly 200 miles per hour, Raikou rushed past Ace and even Aravan. Both of them started speeding up, close to maximum speed as well.

Josh wished he could get to the outside, but Aravan was too close to him to go there. He would have to let him pass or slow down going into the 90-degree curve at the end of the stretch. He chose to slow down at the curve. Luckily for Josh, Aravan and Suicune didn't pass him, despite the fact that he ended up on the outside of the turn.

Two more 90-degree turns, with short straightaways in between, tested the mettle of the Beast Riders once more. Suicune, demonstrating incredible agility, took them down the center of the track, losing hardly any speed and passing Raikou again in the process. Entei took one of the turns perfectly, but lost a lot of speed trying to get through the second one.

The track transitioned into a gentle turn to the left. All three of them were able to take the gentle curve at top speed, allowing Josh and Ace to repair some of the damage done from the last series of curves. When Aravan increased his lead to about a quarter of a second, the track suddenly started turning back around to the right, at a slightly larger angle. This threw Aravan and Suicune in the back of the entire turn, causing Raikou to whiz by in the middle of the track. It was so bad that even Entei caught up to Suicune.

Just over a minute into the first lap, the track narrowed coming into a straightaway similar to the one at the beginning of the lap. This allowed Raikou to extend its lead slightly, with Aravan and Ace now about eight tenths of a second behind.

The rest of the track was composed of gentle turns and an absence of straightaways, until the last turn on the track approached; it was a brutal, thin S-curve. Josh pulled back on Raikou hard, causing its speed to drop significantly. This was necessary to get through the turn without rubbing the outside wall. The rider then noted to himself to direct Raikou to the outside of this turn on future laps. Entei drifted through the turn, passing Suicune. This final turn gave Aravan a hard time. Suicune's feet seemed to grip the ground like bubble gum. The beast turned through both sections of the S-curve so quickly that it jerked the rider to the other side after the second turn. This caused Aravan to become slightly disoriented and lose a little more time to Entei as all three Beast Riders crossed the start/finish line, advancing to the second lap. A message flashed on the second screen a short distance from the starting line. The message read, "Booster OK!!" Behind that message was Josh's lap time of 1'31"772.

Not surprisingly, the first few turns of the second lap were much harder than the first time around. After all, the three beasts were running close to 200 miles per hour this time. Boosting strategy would now play a role in the race. The long, gentle S-curve would prove to be a nightmare turn for the remainder of the race. Knowing how the curves would come, Suicune stayed in the center of them, only occasionally drifting outside. Raikou and Entei could not take that curve at the same speed, and thus lost ground to Suicune. Coming up to another straight stretch, Aravan knew he had to get ground back. He had Suicune enter a brief Extremespeed Boost. Suicune's crystal was glowing for the time it was in the boost, racing past the other two beasts at 215 miles per hour.

Suicune slowed down enough to take the two 90-degree left turns. Picking up a lesson from Entei, Raikou drifted through both turns, gaining ground on both competitors far ahead of him. On the long straightaway to come, all three burst into Extremespeed, and Suicune's lack of boosted speed started to show. Josh's 250 mile-per-hour tiger darted past Suicune, and Entei caught up to the adversary. By the time everyone fell back to normal speeds, Josh and Raikou were more than a second ahead of Suicune. That ground was made up quickly in the curvy backstretch of the track. By the time the third lap rolled around, Josh was still in the lead, but Ace and Aravan were coming strong from behind. The second screen showed Josh's lap time of 1'25"658, as well as the short time interval of a tenth of a second between him and Ace.

After Raikou and Entei zoomed by him on the second lap, Aravan caught onto the fact that Suicune's boosted speed was not very high. This lap, he would try using Suicune's boost on shorter sections of the track, like the one near the beginning. It seemed to work well, as Aravan regained the lead. Suicune took the long S-curve beautifully, just as on the previous lap. On both sections after the long turn, Aravan had Suicune boost again. Raikou and Entei could not take the turns as closely as Suicune, nor could they boost in the places it did. All this added up to about a one-second lead for Aravan.

The long straight stretch next to the open field was where Josh and Ace cut Aravan's lead down. Both of them boosted past Aravan. With Entei having a higher boosted speed than either of them, Ace took the lead. Drifting through every corner perfectly, the fire-type pulled far away from the other two Beast Riders, adding up to a nearly two-second interval at the start of lap four. The three beasts ran essentially the same route on the fourth lap, and in the same amount of time. Suicune and Raikou were running neck and neck when the white flag wove--two seconds behind Ace and Entei.

When the two of them crossed the start/finish line at nearly the same time, Aravan yelled at Josh, "See you later!" After taking the mild S-curve, Suicune zoomed past Raikou, leaving Josh and his beast far behind. "We can't give up yet," Josh said. "There is some way to make up all this ground. We have to be aggressive."

They did get more aggressive, boosting where they didn't before. After the long turn back to the right, Raikou came out of the next 90-degree turn in Extremespeed, cutting Ace's margin in half. Suicune was also making a last-ditch effort, going up to boosted speed on nearly every straight stretch; but it wasn't going to be enough to catch up to Entei in time. But Ace choked. He came into the 90-degree curve before slowing down enough, and lost much of his lead. Because of this mistake, it was now anyone's race, but Suicune had an advantage; the curvy backstretch of the track was all that was left. Taking the curves gracefully and precisely, Suicune passed both of its competitors and held the lead all the way to the checkered flag. Raikou and Entei finished second and third, respectively.

(Cut Music)

The crowd was cheering not only for Aravan, but for all three riders, as well as their beasts. Most of the people there had never seen the legendary Pokémon before, let alone seeing them run that fast.

The next morning, Raikou informed all three Beast Riders that their time together was up. "It's been a very fun week, and that was a fun race yesterday. But we have to return to the tower now."

(Accompanying Music: Terra's Theme [FF6])
Found at: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/snes/Awakening.mid

Aravan was a little bit sad that he had to part with Suicune, as were the other two riders. They got together and climbed astride the legendary Pokémon for the last time. Suicune then spoke to them.

"Before you leave the tower, you must lay the swords to rest in the pedestals you found them, and close the seal to this chamber. You will not be able to leave the tower with us." All three riders shed a few tears on the way to the tower. Upon arrival, the three of them descended into the secret chamber. Rushing through the three passages, they reached the three empty pedestals. The three riders jumped off their Pokémon and slowly walked over to the same pedestal they pulled their respective swords from. One at a time, they stuck the blades back in the pedestals. When they did, their light armor fell off and mysteriously vanished without a trace.

"Well, let's go." They climbed back on their Pokémon, headed back for the main chamber.

"It truly has been nice being with you, Josh," Raikou acknowledged. "I can hardly bear to part with you, but it's a rule I have to follow."

When the three Pokémon reached the main chamber, the riders jumped off and walked out the entrance to the tower. All three of them looked back as the beasts sent one final message to them. "See you again!" they cried back.

To get back to the campus, they all flew on their Pokémon; Josh on Pidgeot, and Ace and Aravan on Flygon. Josh then remembered about the research papers he was supposed to review. "Crap! I forgot all about those papers!"

For their entire flight back to campus, Ho-oh was watching from the tower above. "They handled it so maturely, even after that intense competition after the fighting. They truly are legendary heroes. Perhaps I was wrong to make them part. They were closer to the Pokémon than anyone else in history. It would be worth considering to let those young men capture the legendary Pokémon. It's something I would never have conceived before. Perhaps I should talk about it with them if they come up here to visit me again..."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


THE END



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, that is the end of Volume I of this fic. Volume II will begin in a few days.

Alana
June 27th, 2005, 09:18 PM
Bravo RaikouRider243! ^_^ Great fic. I can't wait for volume two. I hope it gets posted soon. I'll definatly be reviewing it. Until it's posted I'll re-read this one. ^^