February 14th, 2010 (6:15 AM).
One day, the Brass Tower burned down.
b e a s t s . l i k e . u s
This was quite a pity for Tabitha Winston, Eusine Barone, and Spike Lobbof. For, though they had escaped the flaming monstrosity with their lives, they were not sure the same could be said for their Pokémon. Indeed, after they had all returned to their homes in various parts of Kanto and Johto, all three children spent days mourning the disappearance of their dearest friends. Tabitha, back in Terracotta Town, would stare longingly at the Pokéball that used to be home to her Flareon every night without fail; Eusine would spill out all of the adventures he and his Vaporeon shared in the streets of Celadon to his grandfather; Spike would spend at least one afternoon in Goldenrod crying on the shoulder of his older brother Sheath, who had loved Jolteon just as much as his twin did. They had all deluded themselves into thinking their dear friends were dead.
The truth of the matter, though, was that the three Pokémon had only been dead for about five minutes.
Suicune was (re)born falling.
He was (re)born falling from what must be a suicidal height, with every second posing another deadly opportunity for the burning Brass Tower to take a punch at his already-singed skin. By the time his body hot the ground – and it was a true miracle his body still existed to hit it – he immediately got up and ignored the pain coursing through him as surely as the blood did. Right after that he began to stagger away at a speed that could hardly be considered running, but was truly all he could muster at the time.
He made the foolish mistake of looking up; when he did, the only thing to reward him for his trouble was the image of a giant winged creature soaring off into the night sky, wailing with the sort of intensity only found in mourning.
And there he heard a voice, spoken softly – like a mother to her child – but understood clear as day.
“I have given you new life, for your old ones ended prematurely! Take this rebirth… and live with it!”
Suicune, who was then not in the body of Suicune at all but of a lowly Vaporeon, opened his mouth to respond to the call, but the smoke soon filled his mouth and it snapped shut again. ‘Suicune’ returned to ducking his head to try and breathe.
He made the foolish mistake of looking around. Two other Pokémon, one with a spiky silhouette and one with a remarkably fuzzy one, ran to his left and right, both in bad condition – but not as bad as his own. ‘Have you no pity?’ thought the then-Vaporeon, releasing his attention from getting out of there to channeling some well-deserved anger towards someone else. ‘You both seem to be in relatively living condition, and yet you forsake the life of one near death in order to rescue yourselves?’
However, the concept of fire catching at his heels spurred the four-legged Pokémon, with an abundance of fins decorating his head, to ignore his numerous injuries, misfortunes, and disgusting fellow survivors in order to run harder, faster, and farther. This, too, was a foolish mistake.
After long periods of exhausting running in horrible conditions, the muscles of all creatures tend to grow tired; fire does not. It was due to this principle that, somewhere in the forest, the Vaporeon’s body gave up on his immense willpower and directed the creature to stumble to the ground on the bank of an enclosed body of water, simply forsaking its captive soul to die from the fire now closing in like a pack of wronged Houndooms.
However, the fire never quite got to its intended target – fire doesn’t do too well in those few (but definitely present) instances in which its intended target falls into a lake.
The charred carcass of a Vaporeon fell, as all objects heavier than water do, to the bottom of the lake.
A couple of startled and curious Water Pokémon poked at the Pokémon over the few hours it sat there, wondering how one of their own kind could possibly ‘drown’ in a body of water… much less drown in a flurry of blood surrounding his carcass like a haze. They soon figured that the Pokémon had fainted – gone into a state of suspended animation, where body functions still ran but there was no input or output from the brain – in a particularly violent manner, and simply swam away, not wanting to be the next victim of whatever horrendously powerful Fire-type had done it to him.
They trusted that he would be alright, that the Soulkeepers would collect his life and keep it safe until something spurred it back into the proper body.
He had not fainted. He was too far gone for that.
Eventually, though, the mysterious Vaporeon at the bottom of the lake caught the notice of a certain oceanic god. Said oceanic god was, fortunately, one of the more benevolent ones – it was one of the sacred Phione clan, the collective spawn of Manaphy.
This Phione had been drifting along in the lake lazily, minding all its own business, when it had run across the unsettling visage of a Vaporeon with his eyes closed and a multitude of burn wounds lying on the seafloor. Immediately giving out a cry of alarm, fearing for his fellow Water-type’s wellbeing, the small antennae-clad Pokémon zipped over to him.
After a worried look-over of the Pokémon’s current state, the Phione looked around; he was alone.
The small Pokémon craned his neck towards the top of the lake and made a strange cooing noise, stopping only after it had been making noise for a full minute. As the Pokémon remained staring at the same spot of water above him, there echoed a deeper voice that seemed to echo from the very water around him. It spoke in a Pokémian dialect composed mostly of gurgling noises.
<Father Kyogre, master of all under this water and all waters besides…>
<Yes, Phione? I don’t have all day.>
Phione gulped. <Um, yes, sir, but I’m sorry, I had to do it, since that’s the traditional ceremonies when I’m requesting a favor of you and all…>
<You have permission to speak freely. What do you need?>
<I need you to save this Pokémon’s life.> The Phione looked down at his many-finned acquaintance, still lying unconscious and charred.
<Phione, you know full well that I can’t just go around healing every fainted Luvdisc you…> He paused as, presumably, Kyogre finally realized what Phione was dealing with. There was silence.
<…Oh,> said Kyogre after more hesitation. <I see.>
<Can you help him?> begged Phione.
<Normally, I would not do this… but Ho-oh has also informed me of his situation. Therefore,> responded the Sea Basin Pokémon, <I believe I can.>
‘Suicune’ was quite sure he was dreaming.
Here stood he in his perfectly unharmed Vaporeon body, in a mysterious cave bathed in blue light. Floating in front of him was an immense blue-and-white creature with a network of red lines squirming around its body and fins that looked like they could smash a skyscraper with ease.
<Hello, young Vaporeon,> said Kyogre blankly.
‘Suicune’ was too busy bowing his head in respect to reply. That is, he was bowing until Kyogre insisted that he really didn’t have to do that right now, because he had been called on request of a friend and had something much more pressing to do right now.
His relatively small counterpart straightened up immediately.
<Thank you,> said Kyogre. <Now, as I said before, I was called at the request of a friend. He claimed that there was a severely battered Vaporeon lying at the bottom of a lake in… oh, what do you civilized Pokémon call it… ah yes, Johto. Lying at the bottom of a lake in Johto. You’re still there.>
<Am I dead?> asked ‘Suicune’ intelligently.
<Dead? No, you’re not dead,> replied the giant Legendary. <Call it ‘wandering soul mode’, if you will. Your body has simply demanded you evacuate in preparation for shutting down. This does not mean that right now you are dead, but only a soul trying to remain in a body for as long as possible. However, on request of my previously mentioned friend as well as another Pokémon, I am giving you a second – or, as it is, third – chance at life.>
‘Suicune’ barely stopped himself from bowing again. <Y-yes, sir. Thank you, sir.>
<However, you must be informed that you will be quite changed in body and mind,> continued the Legendary, <and that we will likely meet again. You are now falling back asleep. Farewell.>
Everything cut to black.
The first thing Suicune noticed when he opened his eyes was that he was still underwater.
The second thing Suicune noticed when he opened his eyes was that he was no longer in possession of a set of gills.
The Pokémon gave a gasp of air and practically sprang to the surface of the lake, flailing all the while and breaking the surface of the water like an air-breathing Magikarp. When he had finally filled his lungs with a sufficient amount of air, the Pokémon paddled to the edge of the lake and, once his paws touched ground, walked out. It was not an easy ordeal; though his new physical appearance was the same in principle, there were still multiple differences that he would need to get used to.
A little [i]splash[i] signified that he was not alone.
Suicune whipped around (trying not to trip himself in the process) to face a tiny blue head bobbing in the water.
<Hi,> said Phione.
<H-hello,> replied Suicune shakily.
<You now have two gifts,> said Phione. <Did you know that?>
<Yes, one from yours truly and one from that other mysterious ber… barra… benefactor who also asked the Deep Sea God to let you go on living. They’re quite impressive, if I do say so myself.>
<Do I?> asked Suicune, taking a few wobbly steps closer. <What are they?>
<Well, you can purify water from me,> said Phione. <Don’t know what the other one did. I think I’m done here. Bye!> The head slipped underwater again.
<Hey… wait!> Suicune jumped in to follow, but found much to his surprise that his paws were sitting upon the softly rippling surface as if it was a solid object. For a second Suicune admired this ability; he then lost his concentration and fall in with an obnoxiously loud splashing noise.
‘Well,’ noted Suicune thoughtfully, ‘that’s something, I suppose.’ He looked around in pursuit of the mysterious little bobbing head, but found nothing and pushed back up for air. As he did so, though, his face was met with a powerful gust of wind.
Suicune reeled back to duck his head, but as soon as he moved to defend himself the wind died.
Suicune furrowed his eyebrows in concentration and closed his eyes in wait. Indeed, a second later, the same powerful gale met his face again. But this time, instead of hiding his face from the wind, the dog-like Pokémon simply walked forward onto dry land and let the gales dry his fur.
Thus accomplished, a little part at the back of Suicune’s mind figured he didn’t really need the wind anymore.
The wind died.
Thoughtful and thoroughly interested in this, Suicune turned around to face the lake and get a good look at himself. Well, Lord Kyogre had said that he was going to look a bit different, so had his size just increased or—
‘Oh no,’ realized Suicune at once upon gazing at his reflection, lit by the rising sun. ‘No, nothing like that.’
For one thing, Suicune had gotten bigger. His underbelly had turned white with the rest of the fur – fur? It felt strange to have actual fuzzy fur that didn’t simply cling to his body – being light blue. His head-fins had been dropped in favor of a rather strange-looking headpiece set that involved an elaborate crystal-shaped formation sticking up from his forehead, a hole set in the middle so that it looked almost like a loop. From the back of his head waved a long purple mane, and even as he stood there two white ribbons squirmed up and twirled around his forelegs. Suicune realized with a jolt that these must be his tails.
His attention drifted to the scene behind him, of the charred trees from the remains of the fire. It somehow looked less menacing now that a few hours had passed…
<Oh,> figured Suicune out loud. <That must be because there’s no fire now.>
And then a totally bizarre thought struck him: What of the tower? Was it still standing from the horrendous nightmare that was last night?
Intending to find out, Suicune followed the path of destruction back through the forest – but not before turning around to face the lake again. He took a tentative step onto the water’s surface, and then another. Soon he had made his way to the middle of the lake with not so much as a ribbon-tip getting wet. Figuring he could congratulate himself on this feat when he was in solid ground, Suicune craned his head upwards to the sky.
Suicune’s age ticked ever higher as time did as it would, but even so the Pokémon soon realized that he seemed to gain no nourishment from food or drinking water, and in the spring of his thirtieth year as the Keeper of the Northern Wind he found out why.
Now, Suicune had never been one for purifying water. It was a handy ability when the only source of water was a rather dirty puddle, yes, but how could clean water help him when he gained none of the nourishment required for life? That in mind, he tended to only purify such bodies of water when they were exceptionally dirty and not too far out of his way.
This spring day, though, Suicune didn’t have much choice.
He had been feeling some of the frequent bouts of malnourishment – aches and pains, a dizzy gait, shaking limbs. Indeed, he was far from the majestic creature he was designed to be, but that was hardly on the Pokémon’s mind as he staggered closer to the rather unfortunately-polluted lake – the only source of water around.
‘If I can’t drink it,’ thought Suicune as he laid down on his side, ‘I may as well let the other Pokémon here reap its benefits.’
Staring into the water, he somehow found a new scent. It certainly smelled like how he imagined the water to smell like – dirty, populated with humans (and smelly ones at that), dust and harsh chemical smells abound – and Suicune almost believed he was smelling the water itself, until he remembered:
Water has no scent.
The Pokémon shuddered. It must have been a hallucination…
He stuck one paw into the water and closed his eyes, focusing all of his energy into that one appendage. Channeled through it, Suicune attempted to release more of his power from his forepaw to the surrounding water, cleaning it of all impurities as he did so. The impurities, though, had to go somewhere – and that somewhere just so happened to be Suicune’s body. The Pokémon simply ignored the rancid presence he felt in his body, just as he had ignored it before…
Suicune’s eyes shot open.
The fatigue… the dizziness… the aching…
It had all disappeared when the contaminated energy entered his body.
Rather concerned about this, Suicune returned his concentration to the forepaw in the water. In realizing just what dirty water energy did to his body, he had shattered the channel between him and the water, stopping the purification process halfway. As he returned the energy swap to its operational state, Suicune definitely did feel a change in his well-being. All of the things, all of the components and nutrients of a healthy life, that he couldn’t find in perfectly clean food and water had all of a sudden been located in the slimy, mucky mess before him.
An hour later, Suicune left that lake feeling immensely pleased with himself.
However, his mood soon darkened again as he heard the angry chattering of what could only be forest-dwelling Pokémon, disrupted from their normal serene lives by some injustice. Suicune crept silently around the forest he had treaded in so many times before, now cautious of whatever monstrous intruder had interrupted the usually-peaceful residents. As he set his paw down on the way up a rocky cliff, though, he found the source of the fury and discovered that he had been dearly mistaken.
Five human beings – one he recognized as a dweller of the Towers’ City* clad in blue, and another as a frequent visitor to the Towers’ City dressed in purple – were being ganged up upon by a colorful variety of irritated wildlife. Suicune’s eyes darted to the left, and he soon saw the reason: three Crystal Bells were propped against a tree, ripped from their posts back atop the Standing Tower**, and the shards of a fourth made it quite evident what happened.
‘However…’ Suicune crept closer, and urged a small breath of wind to direct their scents in his direction. Just as he had thought – they reeked of the city, not of the tower or the forest. And besides, the two who often visited the Fire Tower** he knew were both not harmful or malicious towards it, and the others… well, they were merely children. He sent another gust of wind in his direction, this time from a slightly different origin point, and picked up yet another scent…
…it was the scent of the Fire Tower. The scent of the Crystal Bells. But who bore that scent?
Suicune took a few steps to the left and saw more people and Pokémon, previously hidden by the trees they were dangling from; two adult humans, a Meowth, and Wobbuffet, all hanging from cocoons of Ariados string. (He did not fully understand them, and wouldn’t for some time.)
It became a little bit clearer… had the forest-dwelling Pokémon misunderstood the situation? Were they punishing mere travelers or intervening heroes for the crimes of others, who had been pushed aside and wrapped up like innocent bystanders?
No. This was not going to be tolerated.
<Stoooop!> he demanded in a much louder tone than was absolutely necessary.
The Tangela now threatening the innocent humans looked around in confusion, as did all the other Pokémon. None of them seemed to have noticed him in their rage… all the better for his desired course of events. Suicune used a Mist attack, willing it out in waves by way of small gusts of wind and ripping apart the multitude of Ariados webs that had collected on the ground, in the trees, and sprawled over the entire city. He would get to the rest later; for now, there was justice to be served.
He watched with amusement as the guilty party toppled to the ground.
Suicune trooped onto the cliff, where he had thought he would have been hidden from the multitude of tree cover. However, judging by the looks of awe the humans were now giving off from staring in his direction, Suicune could only assume that he had been incorrect in his assumption, too.
<Stoooop!> Suicune called again, not directed towards these particular Pokémon but the others he had noticed trooping around the Towers’ City. He prayed his voice would carry that far, so that he wouldn’t need to be around such settlements much longer. He had been pursued by a multitude of humans in his life, and he didn’t particularly enjoy the experience.
The Pokémon scattered. Suicune heard the irritating sucking noise of a Pokémon container, and the dog-like Pokémon turned its head to find out what had gone down. He soon understood, and he wasn’t pleased about it. There was now a giant purple snake with an imposing face on its stomach sitting where empty air had been before, releasing a pint of poisonous venom directly at him.
Suicune simply bounded through the attack and retaliated with an Aurora Beam, hoping the blast of rainbow-colored ice energy would halt the Arbok and do no more. What really happened, though, was that all four guilty creatures screamed in unison and were sent soaring off into the distance, accompanied by a mess of smoke.
‘Was there an Electrode somewhere in there?’ wondered Suicune confusedly. ‘Well, no matter… I should be taking my leave.’
He started walking calmly to the edge of the cliff, peering down into the clearing below and judging a leap, when one of the children came dashing out from the bushes in some ridiculous attempt to talk to him. Suicune looked downwards to face the boy; he wore a black ‘shirt’ under what Suicune believed was called a ‘coat’, of the blue variety, and there was a fuzzy yellow Pikachu perched on his shoulder.
“Suicune…” the boy mumbled, in English.
<Wow…> noted the Pikachu in Pokémian (Pichu Dialect).
Suicune did not respond. They were at a standstill until a third member joined the little discussion – the one decked in purple, the foreigner who always visited the Towers’ City (and especially the two Towers). Suicune paid no heed to him until he said, in a voice far too imposing for his (admittedly squeaky) speech:
“The time has finally come.”
Oh. Now Suicune got it. He turned his head to face the man, with a disapproving frown upon his face. Had he been wrong once again? Had he misjudged the purple-clad human as one of the innocent travelers who so often come near the Towers, when he was truly just another person just trying to capture him with one of those mysterious devices?
‘Well,’ thought Suicune bitterly, ‘that, too, will not be tolerated.’
“The legendary Suicune of the North Wind… at last, you’ve shown yourself to me! And from now on, you will be mine!” boomed the new arrival.
‘Oh, yes,’ thought Suicune as he glowered at the man, almost daring him to do something else. He definitely sought to capture him with one of those mysterious devices.
The others from before burst into the clearing and gave a general cacophony of protest, including the Towers’ City dweller. Suicune picked up what could probably have been a name in the dweller’s protest… was this seeker of the Northern Wind maybe called ‘Eusine’?
An Alakazam appeared from another one of Eusine’s mysterious devices, which he beckoned out with an overly-dramatic “Alakazam, GO!”. He didn’t waste any more time, though; Eusine immediately demanded that his tall, tan-armored Pokémon try a Disable attack. A burst of vaguely-glowing red energy emanated from the Psychic-type’s mystical eating utensils and directly towards Suicune.
‘Oh, no,’ thought Suicune with a snarl. ‘Not this time, sir.’
And he flicked his head to put up a Protect, negating the attack.
“Didn’t work…” muttered Eusine in a recoiled position, which was a sure-fire sign that he intended on finding something that did. And, yes, there were his next words: “Alakazam, use Confusion!” Alakazam’s slanted eyes began to glow red in preparation for a severe mental beatdown. Suicune, not about to take any of this, promptly retaliated with a Roar.
He watched as Alakazam staggered backwards and was forced into his containment device.
“What happened?” exclaimed Eusine, staring at his Alakazam’s containment device in honest confusion.
‘What a fool,’ thought Suicune, who watched in disapproving observation as the others scrambled over to help Eusine find his bearings lost by failing to capture Suicune. ‘Though, somehow, his stupidity seems almost comforting…’ Suicune reeled his own head back at this thought. ‘No. There’s no reason for that… ridiculous.’
Suicune walked away without a word.
<How strange,> he said aloud. <I should get to cutting down the webs… surely the kind humans of the Towers’ City would be needing to move around by now.>
As he walked, though, the Pokémon suddenly felt colder, like he was hiding in the shadow of a building, looking in. And though there were none around, the scent of flowers and Vileplumes filled his nostrils.
Suicune, miraculously, did not see Eusine again for a year.
However, the year did pass, and they were apparently destined to cross each other’s paths once again. This time, though, it had not been by happenstance or luck as it had been before, but first by intention and second, almost immediately afterward, by necessity.
That morning, Suicune had woken up as he did every morning – sitting in some sort of secluded cave area, surrounded by nothing but darkness and the occasional wandering Pokémon. Today, and for the last few days, the cave he had chosen was a large system of caves which seemed t have branched out into a large human settlement, but deep within harbored the clan of Unown. All of the walls were coated in Unown, posing as mere symbols on the wall. (For this reason, Suicune decided to call it the Cave of Deception.)
For the last few days, he had been making his home near the Cave of Deception; the human settlement was always chugging away with their polluting machines and dumping the waste into a nearby lake, so Suicune found his source of power. (It was also worth it to watch the humans’ faces as they came to the lake every day, expecting a dark mess, and finding crystal-clear water instead.) For lately the Northern Wind Pokémon had felt the desire to find a place to dwell, permanently, instead of wandering constantly.
As soon as the humans left, he knew, he too would have to leave. Of course, who knew how long it would take for them to leave?
Despite this, Suicune had found himself rather bored with wandering around inside the Cave of Deception and making small talk with the countless Unown passing through (to where, he never found out). He decided to take more forays out into the open than his usual daily cleansing ritual in the dead of night, and so he slipped out one of the less populated exits and sat himself down on the edge of a patch of wild grass.
He watched the small, green, birdlike Natu flit around in the treetops; he watched the agile and Berry-juice-covered Smeargle have their fun on the cave walls. Suicune smiled – this was pleasurable, to sit down in warm sunlight and watch others mind their own business.
Suicune found a nice, sunny rock that overlooked the festivities and laid himself down to watch. Eventually, the Pokémon’s eyes got heavy and he dozed off to sleep.
After what had seemed like just a few minutes, Suicune arose to the sound of footsteps crunching gracelessly on rocky ground and the cacophony of cursing that accompanied it.
The Pokémon looked around bemusedly, figuring one of the researchers had simply lost their bearings and came stumbling into his little part of the universe. Despite himself and his better judgment, Suicune gave a little grin and figured he’d might as well let that sad little researcher find something of interest today. This in mind, Suicune got off his rock and stretched for a few seconds.
His exercises were interrupted by a triumphant and very feminine “Ha!”.
Suicune swiveled around to face the direction he had just had his rear to; standing there with his arms crossed and a smug grin on his face was a human dressed in gray and red. His hair was a flyaway mess that Suicune knew the Unown – being Gravity Gods and all – would certainly disapprove of, letting giant locks fly off in all directions. Though his chest was flat, which suggested to Suicune that he was indeed male, the heavy eyelashes, long hair, and feminine voice suggested otherwise.
Suicune dropped into a fighting stance and growled.
“I’ve found you,” said the… thing. “It doesn’t matter if your accomplice had run off from our last meeting, but I’ve finally found you.” The human pulled out what looked like a camouflage-patterned bazooka cannon. “And what would happen if your Thunder Wonder found out that its sibling was in danger!” It posed this as an exclamation, not a question. This was extremely unnerving when taken into account that the venom-tongued adversary sounded an awful lot like a teenage girl.
Suicune now had enough evidence to come to a conclusion: this thing didn’t need a gender, so long as it and Suicune were very, very far away from each other.
For this reason, Suicune turned and ran.
At the same time, the gray-haired human fired the bazooka, which sent a net hurtling towards him. Suicune took a high leap, letting the interwoven mess of rope simply fly to the ground underneath him and snag a group of rather unfortunate Smeargles. The human cursed again and aimed another shot, before thinking better of it and making the weapon disappear as if it was returning the sword to its sheath, slung across the creature’s shoulder.
“Hammerspace,” it laughed in its disgustingly effeminate voice, whipping out a much smaller object with an injection needle sticking out menacingly. “How did we Rockets ever live without it?”
The thing followed Suicune into the forest, boots pounding against dirt and cracking everything that got under them – twigs, exoskeletons, or otherwise. “Now listen up!” called the thing (rather stupidly, added Suicune in his mind). “I’ve got five shots here, mutt, and you’d better get hit with one before I take out the truly painful things!” Yet again, this threat was posed with a deceptively high-pitched and squeaky voice, something Suicune would later recall and smile at goofily.
Right now, however, there was no time for smiling or any other facial action. Suicune was too consumed by the desire to remain free and, ultimately, alive.
All of a sudden, there was a flash and an image in Suicune’s eyes. It was of a boy and a four-legged Pokémon, hiding in a crate in some sort of dark place. Suicune held the picture in his eyes until the continued yelling of the weapon-wielder reached him.
“And believe me,” continued the thing, “Team Rocket excels spectacularly in truly painful things!”
‘Ah,’ thought Suicune briefly. ‘Team Rocket.’ He had dealt with them before… but they had been pathetic humans who actually did some respectable act of villainy but were a few minutes later suspended from a tree. This creature-of-indeterminate-gender seemed like an honest threat.
Honest threats, no matter how confusing they seemed, were often best when served a defeat.
This principle prompted Suicune to skid around on his heels, ignoring the rips and tears that his paws were currently sustaining, and gave a loud, barking Roar. The thing staggered back for a second, but soon regained its composure and was otherwise unfazed. It began running again.
Suicune scowled as he swiveled back around to run once more; he had taken a chance and lost. The only thing to do now was to make up for lost time, and Suicune did just that. For each enormous leap and bound he took, for each immense gale of wind he sent flying back as his pursuer, it didn’t stop chasing.
Suicune took another glance back.
The thing was now mounted upon a giant brown bird with feathery spikes sticking up from its head – a Fearow. And it was pointing its tranquilizer gun right at Suicune.
He yelped and ran faster. The swear word that sailed out from behind him suggested that the needle-wielding Rocket had missed. The victory was small, and they both continued to run. Each time Fearow got a lead and swung near Suicune, he tried to put on another burst of speed in order to race ahead.
The Rocket wasted three more darts and lost his mount (who had fainted from exhaustion) within the next thirty minutes. They were both stuck with running again, and panting heavily. Suicune’s chaser, who had been riding on a flying Pokémon for a considerable part of their run through the seemingly never-ending forest, was now gaining the upper hand and closing in on Suicune. Indeed, the Northern Wind had used up almost all of its energy and felt like he was about to suffer the same fate as the Fearow… or worse.
“One shot left!” remarked his pursuer in some sort of cross between a yell and a gasp for air. “Do stop now!”
Just as he was letting his body do the moving and letting his brain ponder these recent devopments, there was another yell from somewhere beyond Suicune’s line of sight.
“Hello again!” the voice proclaimed in an accent Suicune had perhaps heard spoken in Almia.
Suicune ran right past Eusine, seeing only a flash of purple to suggest he was there at all. There was a gasp of surprise – no, make that two – and the frantic footfalls that had sounded as the gray-haired thing ran suddenly stopped.
Suicune turned around, chest heaving. His eyes were met with his chaser, breathing just as frantically, standing behind an Alakazam. A few feet away from them all stood a man decked in a purple suit, with a short white cape around his shoulders and one flyaway lock of brown hair hovering over his eyes.
“I’m sorry,” said Eusine to the panting creature of indeterminate gender, “but I’m going to have to ask you to stop.”
“And what authority gives you the ability to do that?” snapped the silvernet(te).
“The authority I have as a researcher of Pokémon and eternal pursuer of… Suicune!” Eusine pointed towards the gasping, crouched-over animal as if to prove a point that knowing what Suicune’s name was made him more worthy of catching him.
“Oh yes, very good,” said the Rocket member. “You can identify a Suicune. Very good. Now leave; that Pokémon is mine.”
“What’s your name?” demanded Eusine, crossing his arms.
“Hun,” said the creature-newly-identified-as-Hun. “Don’t try searching it. My real name has been forgotten by even me.”
“Oh, well, that’s too bad.”
“Shut up,” snarled Hun, pointing the tranquilizer gun in his direction. “This stuff is lethal.”
“Is it really?” asked Eusine, observing the weapon. “So why are you trying to kill my incredible Suicune, then? From the emblem on your chest, don’t you want to catch and use him for your own selfish gains?”
“You do, don’t you?” asked Eusine with more force.
Hun snarled. “It’s none of your business what I’m doing!”
“But you are clearly doing something to my dear Suicune!” yelled Eusine. “And I will not allow that to happen!”
“Listen,” said Hun. “I’m on a mission here. Now shut your mouth and back away or I’ll shoot.”
“But if you shoot me,” said Eusine, “then can you shoot Suicune?”
“Sure I can,” said Hun smugly. “I can get more weapons. I can just reach back into Hammerspace and pull out any little member of my extensive arsenal that I like.” To prove his point, Hun reached his arm up and began to curve it behind his back. Eusine wasted no time in taking his own fist and slamming it into Hun’s gut.
As the figure doubled over and gasped for air, arm still behind his back, Eusine said, “Disable, Alakazam!” The tall Pokémon obeyed, twirling its metal spoons in a decidedly showy fashion and pointing them at Hun. A red flash of light was aimed towards his shoulder.
Hun brought himself back to a standing position, glaring daggers and laser beams at Eusine all the while. “And what do you think Disable is going to do? All it does is makes a Pokémon unable to do the last attack it…”
“Key word: Pokémon,” said Eusine with a sly grin. “What do you think it does on humans?”
Hun’s eyes widened. Soon after, the silvernet(te) cursed loudly. “You… you… Argh! My arm… won’t… move!”
“You will regain use of your left arm in one to eight hours,” said Eusine pleasantly.
“Fine, then,” said Hun, snarling. “Okay. I can play it your way. Fine. You can Disable me all you like. It won’t stop me from doing this.” He held up his right arm (still holding the tranquilizer gun), leaped to the side in order to see Suicune better, and fired.
From there, a lot of things happened in a short period of time: Alakazam, who was too surprised and busy trying to analyze the situation to react, simply turned around to watch the bullet on its way; Hun grinned devilishly; Hun’s mouth turned from a devilish grin to a perfect O; Eusine dove for the flying projectile reached out his arms; the tranquilizer dart struck him on his right palm.
Everyone watched in stunned silence as the Trainer staggered and collapsed.
Hun, making spluttering noises, turned tail and ran.
Alakazam and Suicune shared wide-eyed glances.
<The poison is going through him right now,> said Alakazam.
Suicune staggered to his feet from the previous half-sitting, half-standing position and walked over to the crumpled body that was Eusine. He couldn’t even breathe.
It had nothing to do with the run.
<C-can you teleport?> he finally stuttered.
<I can. Should I alert the authorities?>
Alakazam’s body disappeared in a flash of light, and Suicune found himself alone. The embodiment of the Northern Wind looked around, feeling a rather strange feeling near his eyes, and sat down over the man’s body.
<You saved me,> he said. <Thank you. Thank you…> The word ‘Eusine’ choked in his throat.
The vision, the scents, the ‘hallucination’. He remembered now.
The armored Psychic-type Pokémon appeared then, with a small troupe of Officer Jennies behind him. They were looking around, searching for what Alakazam had shown them telepathically – a man lying spread-eagle on the ground with an injection dart through his hand.
What they found was a dog, crying at the foot of its master.
I've always loved the legend and Legendaries of the Brass Tower.
'For Ho-oh the Bells Toll' was one of my favorite episodes ever, due in part to the fact that I watched it on my GBA Video cartridge thingy all the time. I've always wanted to write something concerning that legend at least in part, and this exhaustive one-shot is the result of that wish. I worked on this a lot, and I hope that someone enjoys it.
Happy Valentines', guys.
*Towers’ City = Ecruteak City in Suicune lingo.
** Fire Tower = the Brass Tower, the one burned down in a fire and Suicune’s (re)birthplace. Standing Tower = the Tin Tower, the one where the Crystal and Metal Bells are hung.
if you love me
i’ll protect you
however i can…
February 14th, 2010 (10:50 AM).
*DING!* So Legendary Gerbils Beasts == Former Eeveelutions, huh? Pretty nice story to try and add some narrative into this kind of fanon theory. First among its kind I read.
It is filled with little interesting details that make it enjoyable after reading one too many Pokédex entries.
One thing that I liked was how you dealt with the things that were done to the Vaporeon-then-Suicune: whatever sense of urgency was there to revivify the three creatures, was kinda crushed under the heels of a sort of Frankestein-esque will-to-experiment: it wasn't much as "Oh, three dead creatures, I shall use my might to revive them" as it felt more like "Oh wow a creature! let's just revive it!".
Seriously... Don't these Legendaries sorta be careful about using their powers? OK, I can understand that they're Pokémon and they're supossed to be awesome, leap some Australian mountain in one go or race the sun in the longest day, but the narrative made it sound like they were revivied out o a whim or for the fun value. Not that it may have been inexact, as the tone of "Ho-oh" says something about that...
I liked the scene where the Vaporeon-now-Suicune acknowledged his reflection and his new shape in the water. I've always had hard time describing Pokémon. That scene, despite implying that for Suicine it must have felt incredibly weird, made it sound so simple that actually if it wasn't part of the implying and the larger scene where he discovers his "gifts", it would have been detrimental to the believability of the scene itself.
Then the story explores on the new Suicune's life deepr and longer, and I'm actually quite amazed when upon mention of the Towers and the cocoons I realize that the story seems to be ocurring in animeverse. Not that there's anything bad with that, but one (or at least me) expects different things from animeverse stories. Like, you know, Team Rocket and implausible feats of human flight...
All there and with the adventures of Suicune and how he met Eusine a couple of times made it an interesting and beautiful story, strangely and platonically adequate for the current holiday. The pursuit was ell-carried with the use of the Fearow and the tranquilizer gun and *DING HAMMERSPACE! -- I chuckled the first time you mentioned it.
The ending felt kind of strange, maybe stuck in between a cliffhanger and a definitive ending with the "dog" crying at the foot of its master.
All in all... Thanks for this story.
Last thing: you had torouble with your BBCode: didn't close your [i]'s so they showed as-is.
February 14th, 2010 (11:29 AM).
Actually, when you were talking about how the Team Rocket forest scene didn't seem very anime-like until the Rockets blasted off, I was laughing pretty hard - that scene had been taken almost directly from the anime, with just a little Suicune-y bits in between! XD Tabitha was a totally random girl, and in actuality her name was stolen from the Firehead of the same name. Spike and his brother Sheath are canon characters, but I gave them names myself. (They'll likely appear in Delta Species sometime, though...)