"This is incredible. I had no Idea that the Sinnoh region was this big or this beautiful." I murmured in awe, gazing out over the vast region from a small rocky outcrop far above Hearthome City.
"It is wonderful, isn't it?" Furyia replied, affectionately rubbing her horns against my neck.
"I knew there was a good reason for climbing this mountain." I happily said, picking up a small stone with my tail and tossing it down the mountain side, watching it bounce away before disappearing in a large bush below.
Furyia simply sighed, taking in the warm afternoon air as I sat spellbound by the magnificent view, basking in the soft orange light from the setting sun above me, and the light reflected off the small lake below me.
Suddenly, I heard a faint crunch of gravel behind me; someone was trying to sneak up on me. Focusing and tilting my head slightly, I listened to the faint whispering coming from where the noise came from.
"Quiet. That Houndoom is just over that hill."
"Is it true that he has silver eyes?"
"Yep: Just think of how much we can get for it for the Boss when we grab it for him."
"Not again." I growled quietly, turning and looking towards where the voices came from.
"What about its mate? Do we snatch her too?"
"Yes; how often have you seen a Shiny Pokemon that didn't have a trainer? It's a perfect present for Saturn and a perfect reason for a promotion!"
"Are you sure? I've done some research, and that Houndoom looks exactly like Furyia: Jack's Houndoom. What if it's her and not a wild one?"
"Well if it is Furyia, then it's a good thing for us, because we'll be able to hold it at Ransom against Jack for more money."
"Furyia, we're being followed." I said, standing up and turning to face her. "It's Team Galactic again."
"What? More Galactic grunts?! I thought they would have gotten the gist from what we did last time!" Furyia growled, getting to her feet. I sniffed the air, taking in the scent that was drifting over the mountain.
"There are four of them: One of them is carrying a net-cannon." I said, analysing the faint metallic odour of steel and rope wafting over the hill. "Care to go for a run?"
Furyia grinned and crouched down, ready to run with me.
"Keep quiet, we don't want to scare it off before we can net it." One of the grunts whispered. I chuckled and ran over to the cliff, stopping at the side and staring down at them, my silver eyes shining brightly in the sun.
"There he is!" One of the Grunts shouted, pointing up at me. I roared threateningly at them before I leaped as hard as I could, flying straight over them and landing in a run, heading straight down the mountain toward Oreburgh City, Furyia close on my tail.
"Stop them before they get away!" One of the grunts shouted, aiming the net launcher at us, and firing.
"Furyia, Left." I growled to her. Furyia nodded and dived to the left as I leaped to the right; the net nailing itself to a tree, barely scratching my tail, but ultimately catching nothing but a very scared and confused Caterpie.
"Drat! We can't let it get away!" the grunt shouted, running after us. I snarled quietly and jumped over a massive fallen tree, promptly skidding to a halt and crouching down behind it, just as Furyia ducked down beside me. I frowned in annoyance when I saw the grunts leap over the log, running down the mountain, chasing a shadow and not noticing that we had stopped.
"For the love of all that's
Being a Houndoom is all well and good, but not if it means that there's an army of grunts after my head because of a few colour differences." I growled at Furyia, who nodded in agreement and then looked at the sky, looking slightly out of breath.
"I'm guessing we don't have much longer until the sun sets, so we had better head back to Peter's." She said, scratching her neck against a low branch.
"Yeah, you're right. Lets head back; he might start thinking Galactic got us if we're late." I agreed, running down the mountain towards Jubilife City with Furyia following me.
I guess I had better give you an update on what has been happening to me. For those of you that are interested, my name's Jack, a Pokemon trainer from the distant Hoenn region, but most trainers know me as 'The Shadow Lord' because of my expertise in training Dark Type Pokemon.
Or used to know me anyway
For those of you wondering what I mean, around five months ago, I was sent a special pendant that changed my life forever from a close friend of mine in Sinnoh: a Lucario Poke-Morph called Peter. He had sent me a Houndoom Fang that he had found beneath Mt. Coronet along with a sackful of similar items, and I decided rather than send my gratitude in a letter, I would surprise him and visit him in person. However; shortly after I arrived in Sinnoh two weeks after I got the fang, I accidentally stabbed myself with it, which turned me into a Houndoom. After I got over the initial shock, I decided to stay in Sinnoh rather than return to Hoenn so I could explore the region and help my friend Peter learn more about the items and their effect on their owners, using myself as a Guinea Pig by trying to hybridise with a Lucario like Peter did accidentally with a Lugia; but after a month of little success (The most the Fur Clipping did was turn my belly and muzzle fur gold instead of orange and turn the rest of it slightly silver), I gave up and helped Peter study the rest of the items.
Without needing to stay at Sandgem or at Peters all the time, I could explore the region with my companion Furyia while Peter does some experiments on the items, but shortly after I started exploring, I was spotted by a few trainers and before I knew it, this group of crooks called 'Team Galactic' were after me and Furyia because of our unique appearances.
The reason for this is because Furyia is a Shiny Houndoom; with her fur being a dark blue and her bone spines being shining silver, and the only cosmetic differences between me and a normal Houndoom are my glowing silver eyes, my gold fur and the fact that I'm missing a bone band on my back (I have two instead of three). I don't fully understand why my eyes glow, but I'm guessing it has something to do with my former Colour-blindness. Either way, when I'm not at Peters, I'm almost constantly on the run from those insane people, but Furyia and I have quite a bit of fun taunting them when they try and get us. The closest they have gotten to catching me is trying to get me with a Master Ball, but I was lucky enough to smack it away with my tail; I'm not sure if I can be captured or not, but to be perfectly honest, I don't want to find out.
Anyway, I'll continue with my story.
With only one interruption before Jubilife from a trainer trying to battle us, we eventually reached the outskirts of the City, where Peter and his companion Latias lived. For the last four or so months, I have lived at Peter's house because I can't exactly stay at the Cabin I rented in Sandgem, for obvious reasons. So Peter collected my gear and brought it to his home (Not that I could use most of it anyway) so that I could help him do his research as well as stay away from prying eyes; I'm not sure how the public would react if 'the Shadow Lord' had been turned into a Pokemon, much less into his favourite one: Houndoom. I have been making myself useful around Peter's home to repay him for letting me stay, such as collecting firewood, keeping the house clean and researching those enchanted Items he found.
"Hey Peter, we're back!" I called, knocking on the door with my horns.
"It's Open, Jack. Just push it." Peter called from inside, apparently working busily on something inside. I shoved the door with my horns, pushing the door open and stepping inside.
"Sorry we took so long, we ran into
WHAT THE- What happened to you?!" I squealed, stumbling backwards upon seeing Peter.
"Sorry, I was poking around with one of those Milotic Scales and this happened." Peter said from somewhere behind a tangle of his new long, red and blue serpentine body that one of the scales had obviously caused. "It might not look like it, but this feels quite good actually."
I stepped back into a corner as Peter's body started shifting and writhing about, moving into what resembled a sitting position. What the scale had done was turn him into a Naga Lucario/Milotic Hybrid; fusing his legs into a long red and blue scaled tail with a furred underbelly and elongate two of his aura sensors into long 'ears' like a Milotic had, but beyond that he still kept his Lucario body from the waist up.
"Dammit Peter, you have got to stop messing around with those things: The Lugia Hybrid was bad enough, and I DON'T want to have to remind you of that little debacle with that Griseous Orb; 'Giratario'." I chuckled, stepping over and dropping the fang which originally transformed me on the table.
"Alright, give it a rest. I know that helping me fix the place was your way of paying me back for letting you stay here." Peter said, picking up the Milotic scale with his finned tail and tossing it back in the bag where he kept the rest of the items. "Anyway, what took you so long this time? Was it Furyia again?"
"Nah, she's fine. We ran into more Galactic grunts: This time south of Coronet near Hearthome."
"Say no more, I know how this turns out." Peter sighed, picking up his computer and setting it onto his scaled tail like it was a handy table. "The Fur clippings on the table in the spare room by the way."
"Any luck with it?" I asked hopefully, walking into the spare room where Latias was in her Human guise, reading a book. When I entered the room, she looked up and smiled at me before looking back at the book and gently stroking her abnormally large belly with her hand.
"Yes actually. I've found out that it won't work on a person that was already hybridised."
"Then how on earth does that explain your situation, because weren't you already a hybrid when you got transformed?" I asked, picking up the clipping and stuffing it into a small fabric pouch around my neck with my tail.
"I told you before: I became a Lucario because I was taken in by the pack and changed over time."
"I know, I know." I said with a sigh of defeat. "I guess if I can't hybridise like you, at least I can become Human again."
"What do you mean by that?" Furyia asked, looking at me with a confused look identical to Peters.
"Latias has been teaching me how to temporarily morph back into my Human form using the Fang that changed me." I said, picking up the fang. "It's hard to do though; it takes a lot of concentration to maintain the form; at the moment I can only hold it for about an hour at the most without the fang."
"What about with the fang?" Furyia asked.
"I dunno. The longest I have been willing to hold it is about four before I changed back." I replied, shivering a little at the memory. Peter noticed this.
"Did something go wrong when you changed with the fang?"
"No. It worked perfectly; turned me physically back into a human; and that's the problem. It felt weird when I changed back into my human form." I said, absently scratching an itch on my head with my tail, which I had learned how to use like a modified hand. "My senses as a Houndoom are vastly superior to what I had as a Human, but since my transformation, when I turn human, I basically bring my new senses with me. I am only just getting used to being a Poke-Morph, but I know what a Human is supposed to be able to sense; being Human with Houndoom senses is plain creepy."
"How long have you been able to do this?" Peter asked, resting his body down on a couch as I lay down on a huge, squashy beanbag.
"About a month: we've been practicing late at night when you two are asleep." Latias called from the other room, apparently listening to our little conversation.
"That explains why I've never seen you do that." Furyia remarked, flopping down on the side of the beanbag next to the fire.
"Yeah, pretty much. I'm getting used to holding the form for long periods." I said, stretching on the beanbag. "The transformation isn't perfect though; I still keep my silver eyes and some of my hair turns the same colour as my fur, which might rise a bit of suspicion back in Hoenn. Not that I don't want to keep them in the first place though."
"Yeah, I reckon going from blue-green to bright silver might attract some attention." Furyia giggled, rubbing her belly a bit like she had indigestion.
"Or my goatee turning silver." I smirked as I sat up and got off the Beanbag, reaching over and picking up the silver PokeNav I brought with me from Hoenn. "Speaking of which; I wonder how my friends in Hoenn are doing. It's been almost four months since I left."
"How about we find out?" Peter said, quickly pressing a combination of buttons on his laptop. "I'm able to pick up signals from Hoenn with this: a little upgrade I made for it a few years ago."
"Nice; that would explain how you are able to call me in Hoenn." I said, standing up and walking over to the computer screen, jumping up onto Peter's tail so that I could see. On the screen was a small image showing a program I used to watch in Hoenn. I smiled as Peter started flicking through the channels; catching brief glimpses of a cooking show, a cartoon, a battle in what looked like the Sootopolis Gym and a News broadcast.
"Wait; Stop. Go back one." I said suddenly, as I heard the reporter say 'Shadow'. Peter obliged and swapped the channel back one to the news.
"-been missing now for almost four months. There have been no confirmed sightings aside from a few dubious reports from the Johto and distant Kanto regions. Although there is no direct evidence to confirm it, the rumours of Jack's disappearance being related to the recent activities by teams Aqua and Magma has been closely monitored by the police, as well as questioning Ms. Sarah Harper: the last person to see Jack before he disappeared. If there is any information about the Shadow Lords whereabouts; please contact us. In other news, the Safari Zone has reported that a large flock of Natu and Xatu have been-"
"Switch it off." I said, thoroughly unimpressed at what I had seen. "Just because I decide to go on holiday to another region, everyone has to instantly assume that I've been kidnapped or something ludicrous like that."
No one replied to this; Furyia and Peter were sitting in silence, locked in deep thought about the situation. I sat thinking about everyone in Hoenn and about how they would react to my change, before I started thinking about my friend Sarah and what would happen if everyone started thinking she had kidnapped me or something. Realising this, I got off Peter's tail and looked at Furyia.
"Furyia; I think it's about time we returned to Hoenn."
I say by myself in the silent, empty interrogation room. I had been locked in here for the better part of almost 2 hours; the only things to keep me entertained were a pencil, some blank paper, a deck of cards and a pitcher of water (My Lucario, Quilava and the rest of my Pokemon were currently being held by the Police for security purposes). This was the fourth time this week that I had been called in for questioning about Jack's whereabouts; despite the fact that I didn't have a clue where he had gone. My only vague theory to where he was; was that he was travelling again with Furyia.
But this still didn't stop some of the public from thinking that I had something to do with it. I was surprised at how much uproar there was after I told the police that I had seen Jack about a week before he vanished, and despite me repeatedly telling them everything I knew, they still kept dragging me back, hoping to squeeze some more non-existent information out of me.
I'm assuming Jack had already told you about himself, so I'll tell you a bit about me.
My name is Sarah Harper. I'm 17 years old and living by myself in Lilycove City with a summer job at the local Pokemon Centre, but I'm also an adept Pokemon Trainer.
I started training my Cindaquil about 4 years ago, but because I was employed at the art gallery, I didn't have many opportunities to compete for Gym Badges. I hated my old job, because I was employed at the local Art Gallery to basically scrub down the walls and sweep the floors, getting paid almost nothing for working almost around the clock, despite Cindaquil helping me everywhere she could.
I met Jack about 2 years ago, while I was going for a trip to Fortree for a holiday. I was mugged by a group of trainers who wanted Cindaquil, but before they could steal her, I was saved by Jack and his Houndour (Furyia hadn't evolved at that stage). After I met Jack, My life started to look up as Jack was an Art Holder at the Museum, with a portrait of him and Furyia on display in the main wing. After Jack visited the Museum the day I was fired (I had supposedly put a scratch in Jacks Painting), the Curator had told me that he was going to sell the portrait to a collector, who everyone knew was uptight and greedy, practically running people who didn't sell him art out of business. After I was fired, Jack intervened; warning that if I was being fired for something that I didn't do, then 'there would be hell to pay'. The Curator thought that he was a mere look-alike and demanded that we left or he would call the police, so just before we left, Jack released Furyia and ordered her to incinerate the portrait.
After this, Jack and I started travelling around Hoenn, collecting Badges and training our Pokemon.
There is a lot more to our times together, but I'll save those for another time.
I heard the lock click and the door squeak open. Turning to the door, I saw Officer Jenny along with a Scribe walk into the room, swinging the door closed behind them. I silently watched Officer Jenny as she sat down opposite me and open a folder, pressing the record button on the small tape recorder she placed on the table.
"This is the fourth time this week that I have been called in to give information; there isn't any more that I can tell you that you don't already know." I said, leaning back in my chair.
"That may be the case, but the public is convinced that you are withholding information about Jacks Disappearance-"
"Withholding Information? He's my best friend; why would I not want him to be found?"
"That is what we are trying to find out." Officer Jenny said, looking me straight in the eye. I could tell that she didn't believe me. "Now, as you are well aware; the consequences of withholding Information from us, with the minimum penalty being-"
"Yes, yes, I know what can and will be done if I don't tell you everything; can we just skip this and get on with it?"
Officer Jenny looked at me with a suspicious gaze for a few moments before looking down at her notepad.
"Very well. Please explain in your own words exactly what happened the last time you saw Jack."
I had pretty much memorised what had happened that night, because I had been asked about it so many times. I took a mouthful of water before I leaned back and started telling them about what had happened.
"I was sitting at my desk in Lilycove City, drawing a picture of my favourite Pokemon: Lucario."
"Now how exactly could you be doing that; you didn't have Lucario at that stage." Officer Jenny said, trying to catch me in a logic loophole.
"That's true. I did however have a photograph of one that Jack had given me a few weeks beforehand. This one; as a matter-of-fact." I said, pulling out the battered photograph that Jack had given me and placing it on the table.
"Very well, continue."
"I had almost finished the drawing when someone knocked on my door. I got up and answered the door, expecting to see the landlord about my rent, but instead I saw Jack, who asked if he could come in for a chat."
"Did you notice anything different about Jack; any specific clothing or a new hairstyle?"
"Besides his usual clothes, the only new thing he had was a white pendant he had around his neck."
"Can you describe this pendant?" Officer Jenny asked as the scribe scribbled down everything we said.
"It was shaped like a tooth. I asked Jack about it and he told me it was a Houndoom Fang he received in the mail. He didn't tell me who had sent it though."
The interview went on like this for the next hour and a half before Officer Jenny seemed satisfied that I had spilled everything I knew.
"Alright, that seems to be everything. If we need any more information from you, we will let you know."
"I'll see you on Friday then." I said sarcastically, knowing full well that they were going to call me back before the end of the week. Officer jenny gave me a piercing look before allowing me to leave. As I left, I picked up my Pokemon from the main desk and left the building, stepping into the chilly, midnight air.
I was about to start heading home when my pocket started buzzing and a musical tone rang out: someone was calling me on my PokeNav. Pulling out the small device, I opened it up and pressed a button.
"Hello?" I asked, wondering who had called me at this hour.
"Why is it whenever there's a rumour about me, it's always unthinkably stupid? Last time was when I was in Johto and everyone thought I was kidnapped by Team Rocket."
"Jack?! Is that you?" I exclaimed, looking at the PokeNav in amazement.
"Yeah, it's me. Sorry I've been away for so long, I paid a visit to a friend of mine and ran into a few issues with return transport." Jack said through the PokeNav, his voice sounding a bit deeper and more aggressive than last time I heard it.
"You've been staying at a friend's house for four months?!"
"He lives in Sinnoh, and I ran into a few problems getting back." Jack said, pausing a bit when he said 'problems'.
"What do you mean 'problems': couldn't you have flown back on Skarmory?"
"Well, that's the problem. His harness got damaged upon arrival in Sandgem Town and I couldn't fly him back: Not without eviscerating my legs and chest on his steel feathers."
"That would explain why you returned everyone except Furyia." I commented, remembering what Officer Jenny mentioned about it from about an hour ago.
"Who told you that?" Jack asked.
"Oh, it was Officer Jenny from Lilycove City. She was interviewing me about what I knew about your disappearance just before you called."
"Well you can call off the search parties if you want; I just left Sinnoh about a week ago on the S.S. Tidal. If all goes according to plan, I should arrive in Hoenn by Saturday morning. And please don't have any huge welcoming committees for me; I hate popularity."
"I won't tell anyone you're coming back. See how long it takes for them to notice." I smirked, walking along the grassy route between Lilycove City and the Safari Zone, looking at the misty silhouette of Mt. Pyre in the distance.
"Well, thanks for keeping my little exploit a secret. How's Lucario by the way?"
"He's fine. I'm starting to get used to the constant trade offers for him though. Thanks for sending him to me, by the way; he must have taken an awful long time to capture."
"That wasn't me; that was Peter." Jack said as Furyia gave a small bark in the background.
"Who's Peter?" I asked, looking down at the PokeNav.
"He's the friend I went to visit in Sinnoh. He sent me the Houndoom Fang Pendant as a present and I decided to go and see him instead of calling. He also was the one that captured Lucario for you."
"Oh, so that's where you got that fang! I wish I had something like that." I murmured, longing for a special Item like that.
"You already do." Jack said simply. He chuckled when I squeaked in surprise and added: "I managed to get a clipping of Shiny Lucario Fur off Peter; I sent it to you just before I left Sinnoh, so it should be arriving any minute now if I'm not mistaken."
"Oh, thank you so much!" I squealed in joy, hustling to Lilycove to check my mail.
"No problem. I'll call you when I get into Lilycove, OK Sarah?"
"OK. I'll see you when you get here." I said, walking toward Lilycove City with a spring in my step.
"OK. See you soon." Jack said and hung up.
I was ecstatic that I had been given an Item like Jack's Fang! A clipping of fur from my favourite Pokemon; a Shiny one no less! I quickly got to my post Box and opened it. There inside was a small brown parcel. I could hardly contain my excitement when I hurried back to my house nearby. Getting inside, I released Lucario like Jack always did with Furyia, sat down and opened the package.
Inside was a folded square of paper and two small silk bags, one rather lumpy and noticeably larger than the other. Going against what I normally did, I decided to read the letter first rather than opening the bags:
Hey Sarah, it's Jack: I guess I had better warn you that I am alive and well, unlike what the Media would like to believe to get a story knowing them.
I have been to Sinnoh to say hello to a friend that gave me the Houndoom Fang Pendant I showed you, and I ran into a few issues getting back. If all goes according to plan, I should be able to catch the S.S. Tidal back to Lilycove by the end of the week.
Anyway, I saw how much you adored the Fang, so I spoke to my friend Peter whilst I was in Jubilife City (Where he lives in Sinnoh), and managed to get him to part with another item. This one I know you'll like; it's a small clipping of Shiny Lucario Fur. I've placed it in the smaller of the two bags I sent you. The other bag contains a variety of Poffins from Sinnoh: their version of PokeBlocks. Peter and I specially made them for Lucario, so they're quite dry to suit his Quiet nature.
If everything goes as planned, I should be arriving in Lilycove by the end of the week, so I hope to see you soon.
There wasn't a signature. Instead there were three black paw prints, all slightly different in shape with a small name scribbled beneath them: Peter, Jack and Furyia.
"Why didn't he write his name?" I asked myself, opening the Poffin Bag. Inside were a pile of about thirty large, pale-blue pastries that were giving off a strong, dry aroma.
"Hey Lucario: tell me what you think of this." I said, picking one up and handing it to him. He took it and gave it a sniff before cautiously nibbling the corner. He paused for a minute, analysing the flavour of the pastry before delving in and gnawing it in delight: he liked it a lot.
I smirked and turned to the other small bag. Picking it up, I could almost feel some unusual presence to it; a feeling that went away as I opened the bag. Pulling out the contents revealed a small clipping of yellow and blue Fur that was incredibly soft to the touch. I held the clipping in my hands and nuzzled it against my cheek, falling in love with the soft texture of the fur.
"Lucar ?" Lucario muttered, looking at me with a curious look in his eye.
" I murmured, oblivious to Lucario's Gaze. Lucario snuck over and placed his paw on my other cheek, which snapped me out of my trance.
"I'm sorry Lucario; nothing could be better than the real thing!" I happily squeaked, hugging Lucario tight and burying my face into his soft fur. After a few minutes, I detached myself from Lucario and walked over to my desk, splitting the clipping into two small bundles: One I attached to my bracelet, the other to Lucario's.
"I know you don't need this, but I reckon it looks good on you." I said, marvelling at how well the yellow fur stood out against his blue fur. Lucario simply smiled, knowing that if it pleased me, then he would be fine with it. It was getting late, so I decided to head off to bed after that, taking a minute to gaze out of the window to the bright, moonlit sky.
If I was looking down, I would have noticed the Fur clipping around both mine and Lucario's wrists glow bright gold for a moment, before dulling down. I was so tired that I didn't notice and simply collapsed onto the bed, Lucario falling asleep next to me.
However, as I slept, the Fur clipping suddenly liquefied and soaked into my arm as The Clipping on Lucario did the same
I watched in defeat as the black Charizard reared its head, charging the devastating Hyper Beam in its fanged maw. I couldn't move, I had no hope of evading and I couldn't muster up the energy for an attack
it was over. I watched as it blasted the deadly beam of energy straight at me
I turned around in horror as Furyia leaped over my immobilised body, directly into the path of the incoming attack!
The Hyper Beam made contact and threw her over my body, landing with a sickening crunch on the sand and sharp rocks. I got up so fast that it felt like I had simply teleported to Furyia's motionless body. I stopped over her, nuzzling her unconscious body with my muzzle
"Furyia, are you OK? Furyia!"
I saw Furyia's eyes fluttered open and she smiled weakly.
That's everything I need to know
" she whispered, her eyes sliding in and out of focus; a large pool of blood oozing out from underneath her, soaking into the sun-bleached sand.
"Come on, get up."
I've gone as far as I can go."
"Come on. I've seen you pull through worse than this, get up!"
Furyia's eyes fluttered closed for a moment before she looked me straight in the eyes.
"I've done all that I hoped to do. You found me, raised me, and saved me at the cost of your freedom, now I am saving you at the cost of my life
"Furyia, I have been looking after you for the past five years, I can't lose you now. Please
it's too late. It was a pleasure to be with you."
Furyia smiled weakly, before saying the words I dreaded to hear coming from her mouth.
"See you on the other side
I watched the life drain out of Furyia's eyes as they slid closed for the last time; never to open again.
"Furyia, wake up." I pleaded, nudging her a bit more forcefully, hoping that she would wake up.
"Furyia, please wake up
But she didn't; her soul had left her body and was heading for the Afterlife. I felt the tears well up inside my glowing eyes as the inevitable truth sank in.
please god, no
She was dead.
I sat for a moment, crying over Furyia's body, then sat up and roared to the night sky, letting my roar speak for all the bottled up pain and heartbreak I had experienced with her.
"Now that she's dead, you're next." The Charizard laughed menacingly while stepping slowly towards me: its colossal feet leaving mighty dents in the sand. I felt a fury that I had never felt before boil up in my heart. It felt as though I was about to burst into flames from all the rage building up in my veins. The fury was so great that it started moulding my body into something new
My claws grew longer; almost 7 inches long and knife-like. My horns sprouted longer and straightened out a bit. I felt my tail explode in pain as it split in two and grew thicker, sprouting a long, bone blade out of the end of each one. The skin along my back split as a multitude of long bladed spines burst from my back and my skull lengthen slightly, with my two front canine teeth growing almost 6 inches long
I looked, and felt like the Sabre-Toothed Tiger from hell.
As I transformed into this monstrosity, I heard a voice whispering to my mind. It wasn't like a disembodied intelligence that was persuading me to do something, or a random babble of incoherent words. This was a dark and sinister voice
a voice that only whispered one word to my enraged mind
Somewhere distantly, I heard the Charizard roar, unleashing a Hyper Beam at me. Acting out of instinct, I held my tails in front of me like a shield, fragmenting the attack and sending the divided beams of energy into the sand dunes behind me.
Before I knew it, I was tackling the dragon to the ground, roaring so threateningly that it literally froze in terror, its skin turning chalk white as every last drop of blood drained from it. My eyes clouded over as I laughed darkly and drove my tails into its wings, nailing them in place, and sank my teeth into its exposed neck, feeling the warm spurt of draconic blood against my tongue
I sat bolt upright in bed, screaming. It took a moment for me to realise that I was dreaming. I quickly glanced at Furyia, who was sleeping peacefully next to me; oblivious to my nightmare. I sighed in both relief and annoyance and got out of bed, intending to take a stroll around the boat while everyone was asleep, but before I left the room, I placed a new log on the fire and blew some gentle blue flames onto it, setting it alight for Furyia.
I had been on the S.S. Tidal now for about 4 days now, heading back to Hoenn with Furyia. Keeping my status as a Poke-Morph from everyone else on board was a challenge; I had already been spotted twice, but I had disappeared before they got a good look at me and assumed that I was Furyia (Which confused her to no end the first time; I assure you). I mostly stayed in my cabin in my Houndoom form with the 'DO NOT DISTURB' sign on the door almost all the time either for me or for Furyia, who seemed a bit more tired than usual, spending a fair bit of time asleep in front of the fireplace. I had on the other hand, been spending as little time as I could with the other passengers in case I accidentally transformed back into a Houndoom around them, which I didn't need to be psychic to know that it would raise so much hell.
I sat on the prow of the ship, watching the wave's crash into the ship below me, with the schools of Goldeen and Seaking swimming alongside us; the icy pre-dawn air feeling very refreshing on my fur.
I was genuinely getting annoyed with this: I've been having the same nightmare for the last five years. It's a nightmare where I'm in this large desert area and I'm under attack by a Charizard with a unique colouration, but not the Black and Red Charizard like it's supposed to be; this one was Black with Sapphire Blue Wings. I later found out that the desert area was part of the Safari Zone, but I never found out what that Charizard was, or who it belonged to. However this was the first time that I had seen myself Evolve. I know that Houndoom doesn't have an evolution; especially not one called 'Houndread', but something told me that this was only the beginning of something bigger. But I felt content with the knowledge that it was merely a dream: A Charizard: Shiny or not doesn't have Sapphire Blue Wings
Unless it was a Ditto
little freaks of nature that they are: they can turn into just about anything.
A small, rather sinister giggle from above me attracted my attention and I instantly knew who it was: The one Pokemon that refused to leave me alone.
"What do you want, Shuppet?" I growled, looking at the tiny Puppet Pokemon floating above me.
"You said that I could stay with you; you really thought you could run away from me?" The Pokemon said, doing a cartwheel in midair and a rather sinister grin on its face.
"I said you could stay with me, but only if you fed on my bad memories, not my good ones. And to be brutally honest, you have the annoying tendency to take my good memories: that's why I left you behind." I growled, my silver eyes illuminating the area with an ever so faint silver glow.
"What's the difference between your good and bad memories?" It asked cheekily. I snarled deeply at these words and grabbed the Pokemon around its neck with my tail and dragged it in front of my eyes.
"Listen you little parasite: I said you could stay with me as long as you fed off my bad memories: which you didn't, so I released you. If it wasn't for me, you would be dead now, so be happy that I was that generous. Now get out of here before I rip you apart." I growled at the little pest.
"Is that so?" The Shuppet taunted. I slammed the little parasite into the safety rails of the ship and stared it straight in the eyes, my face barely an inch away from it.
The Shuppet looked scared for a split second, then grinned evilly.
"I always loved watching your expression when you have that Nightmare. How's Furyia?"
This drove me over the edge.
I slammed the Pokemon into the railing so hard that it gave a loud gunshot like crack and a large split appeared in the timber. After I finished slashing the little parasite into something that looked like it had just crawled out of a wood chipper, I hurled the Pokemon into the air and spat a massive column of fire at it, burning it to a crisp.
"GET OUT OF HERE!" I shouted at the Pokemon as it fled in to the dark, before letting lose a terrifying roar that echoed through the night.
I stood there, breathing deeply as I felt the fury pump its way through my veins like some noxious poison before I gathered enough sense to calm down. I closed my eyes and focused, purging the hatred storming through my body, feeling my heart rate decrease back to normal.
"Jack?" I heard a timid voice from behind me. I turned around and saw Latias looking at me from the deck, looking genuinely terrified at what she had apparently just witnessed.
"I'm sorry you had to see that Latias." I said, slowly walking over to her and sitting down, looking at the decking beneath my feet in shame.
"I've never seen you lose your temper like that before; what did that Shuppet do?" she asked, looking like she was ready to fly away at a moments notice.
"I guess you were going to find out sooner or later
A few years ago, before I knew Peter and you and when I was still travelling the world, I was attacked by a group of Haunter outside an abandoned house in Johto. As a prank, they decided to put me and Furyia to sleep, keeping us locked in the Dream World so that we would stay with them forever, but they were hungry that night and decided to feast on the sweet dreams we were experiencing." I said, my eyes welling up with tears.
"The Haunter were greedy; they didn't know when to stop, so they just kept sucking out all the good memories I had, leaving me with only the bad memories, which was bad enough. Then one of them made the mistake of using Nightmare to get the last wisps of sweet memories out of me, which made all the bad memories combine into a Nightmare like no other."
I paused, trying to clear my head from the vivid memories of the recurring nightmare that tainted my mind.
"So that's the reason you disappeared. I had heard a rumour that you mysteriously disappeared from Johto without a trace whilst you were travelling the world." Latias said, sounding a little bit braver now that I had shown her that I wasn't a threat.
The nightmare traumatised me so much that I broke out of the trance that the Haunter had placed me in, and because they had hypnotised Furyia as well, I believed that she was
." I murmured, a small tear rolling down my muzzle. I straightened up.
"But the moments gone
a dusty relic from my former life."
"If you don't mind me asking, what was the nightmare about?" Latias asked hesitantly.
"I don't want to talk about it." I growled. Latias noticed the ever-so-faint level of aggression in my voice and nodded. "Anyway, when did you get here; Latias?"
"Not too long ago. Peter asked me to drop by to see how you were and to tell you that he's found out some more about the fur clipping you gave to Sarah."
"Oh?" I asked, intrigued by this news.
"Yes. The clipping is activated by Moonlight, so you'll have to warn Sarah not to hold it at night."
"Fair enough. I'll give her a call when I get to-" I froze when I heard the Bell on the ship ring; an alarm for the passengers that it was almost dawn. "We'd better get back to my room. Seeing me like this is bad enough, but if they spot you, we're both in trouble."
Latias nodded and transformed into her Human Guise. I spun around and hurried back inside, slipping silently past the Captains room and literally under the noses of around half a dozen crew members, with Latias following me closely. I slipped into my room, just as Latias hurried in behind me, pulling the door closed and locking it.
"Keep quiet: Furyia's still asleep." I whispered as Latias sat down on one of the arm chairs, placing her hand on her swollen belly, moaning quietly. "Are you alright, Latias?"
"Yes, I'm fine." Latias said, gently patting her belly. "I'm just feeling a little full."
"If you don't mind me asking, Latias: what exactly is wrong? You look like Furyia." I said, gesturing over my shoulder to the sleeping Furyia.
"Oh, you'll find out soon enough. And my name is Aurora, by the way." She said, smiling.
"Aurora? Is that your name?"
"Yes, that's my name."
"Well then Aurora, can you tell me what's happening to you two?" I asked, morphing back into my Human form.
"I can personally assure you that it will be a shock at first, but you'll feel happier than ever before once you understand it." Aurora said, raising more questions than she answered.
"What's that supposed to mean? Could you just give me a straight answer?"
"You'll find out. Now, I have to get back to Peter. Don't forget to call Sarah and remind her about the clipping." Aurora said, getting up and morphing back into her Latias form.
"Wait! Please tell me what's going on!"
Aurora simply winked and vanished in a flash of light.
This left me with thousands of unanswered questions buzzing in my mind, all screaming for resolution. I sat down by the fire, thinking about Furyia and a logical reason why she was like this, when I finally gave in to curiosity and got the S.S. Tidal's Nurse Joy to come and have a look at her: Determined to get a conclusive answer once and for all. I anxiously started pacing back and forth across my cabin for hours as Nurse Joy tested Furyia for dozens of infections and any medical reason why Furyia was like this, but coming up with nothing. Then what Nurse Joy found threw my life into a spin I will never forget. Nurse Joy tried using an Ultrasound to see if there was something wrong with her organs. I was bordering on terrified when she came over to me with a neutral look on her face.
"Well Jack, I've found out what's wrong with Furyia. There is a large obstruction in her body applying pressure on her stomach and lungs."
"Is it able to be removed?" I asked, blanching when she said this.
"There's no need to; it will remove itself in a couple of days." Nurse Joy said, looking at me with a slight smile in the corner of her mouth. I noticed this and got a little suspicious.
"Why are you
? How big is the obstruction?"
"About the size of a football." Nurse Joy said, the smile creeping further onto her face. I knew instantly that something was up.
"You know exactly what it is, don't you?" Nurse joy nodded. "Look, just spit it out."
"It's an Egg."
"Oh, that's good. I thought it was- wait, what?"
"It's an Egg. Furyia's Pregnant."
I was speechless. I quietly walked over to where Furyia lay on the bed, rubbing her belly gingerly with her paw. I gently placed my hand on her belly and felt the hard shell of the egg beneath her warm fur.
"I'll leave you two alone." Nurse joy said, leaving the room and locking the door behind her. I waited until she was gone, before morphing back into my Houndoom form. I jumped back onto the bed and lay down next to Furyia, who lay over and rested her head on my forepaws.
"Why didn't you tell me?" I asked her, speechless at the news. Furyia looked at me, with a loving glint in her eye.
"Because I love you
" she whispered, kissing me on the muzzle before snuggling down and going to sleep on my legs.
I turned and gazed into the fire, watching the flames dancing and flickering in the fireplace. I watched the flames for what seemed like only a few minutes, but in reality, it was a few hours, with my chain of thought about Furyia and her unborn child completely filling my mind, not allowing me to think about anything else.
I turned away from the flickering flames when I felt Furyia twitch slightly in her sleep. In the warm orange glow of the dying fire, it was quite easy to see just how swollen her belly was. I quietly smiled to myself and rested my head next to Furyia's and gently drifted off to sleep, content that now, not only did I have my most loved companion at my side, not that I was now heading back in Hoenn or that I was now a Houndoom; but the knowledge that soon, I was to have a family of my own.
"Excuse me, Jack? Are you awake?"
I awoke with a start: Someone was calling me on the other side of the door.
"Yes, hang on a second." I called, quickly bolting into the bathroom and morphing back into my Human form, tipping a jug of water over myself and wrapping a towel around me to make it look like I had just got out of the shower. I walked over to the door and eased it open a crack. Standing outside was one of the ships caterers.
"Can I help you: because you caught me at a really bad time." I said, looking at the caterer through the door.
"Oh, I apologise sir. I just wanted to inform you that breakfast will be served in half an hour." He said, bowing.
"Thank you. I'll be down there once I've finished my morning ritual." I said. The caterer nodded and walked off. I closed the door, breathing a sigh of relief that he hadn't noticed my skin turning blue from the water that happened to be freezing cold or my teeth chattering. Without another word, I hobbled back into the bathroom and ran a long, hot shower, washed my hair and gave my goatee a trim. While I was carefully snipping the dark silver hairs around my chin, I peeked around the corner to where Furyia was still sleeping, moaning slightly in her slumber and gently stroking her egg-filled belly.
I got dressed in silence so that I didn't disturb her, and slipped on the long black and silver coat I brought with me from Hoenn: the same coat that originally earned me the "Shadow Lord" title because of what it was made of. It was made of this weird experimental fabric I had imported from the Orange Islands that despite remaining perfectly still: it still made a rippling shadow like it was made of water. The scientist that created it called it 'Procella Fur' or 'Storm Fur', but a few weeks after I got the coat, I ran into an old soothsayer, who called "Temera Suraki' or as far as I could translate it: 'Rakai Pelt'. I never made much sense of it to this day.
I quickly jotted down a small note for Furyia on the notepad I kept beside my bed and left the room telling her where I had gone, locking the door behind me and placing the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on the handle before heading down to the main deck, where dozens of tables were set up and around twenty passengers were having breakfast.
I quickly scanned the area, looking for a table, and saw a mother and two kids sitting at the table: one of them I recognised. I smiled and quietly walked over to them, unnoticed by them.
"Remember I told you mum? When James got Furyette, that bully attacked me with Heracross, but Jack pounded him into the ground! And then he told me how to raise Piper properly! I swear, it's the truth!"
"Ian, stop telling fibs. I can accept that you saw Jack that day and got him to autograph your shirt, but I doubt you actually met him." The mother scolded, pouring herself a glass of Orange Juice.
"Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?" I asked, startling the whole table. The mother looked genuinely surprised and shook her head. Ian on the other hand looked delighted when I took the seat next to him.
"Hello again, Jack. Remember me from New Bark Town?" Ian asked, beaming at me as I picked up some cutlery from the pile on the table.
"Ian, stop it. I'm sorry about him; he's just really excited to meet you." The mother said, looking at Ian with a small frown.
"Was that when Furyia and I pounded that little freak with the Heracross into the dirt?" I asked, but knowing quite clearly that it was the truth.
"Yeah, that was it!" Ian said enthusiastically. His mother sighed, thinking that I was merely playing along with him.
"I swear, that kid was an embarrassment. It'd be nice to be able to beat a trainer like him that didn't run away with eyes that look more like a waterfall than anything else." I sighed, taking some toast from the basket on the table.
"You actually have met my son before?" Ian's mum asked, dropping the bit of toast onto her plate in shock.
"Oh yeah: I met him about four months ago in New Bark Town while I was en route to Sinnoh with Skarmory. He was being pestered by that little brat with the Heracross, so I
well; let's just say he learned that I'm a teacher at the school of Hard Knocks." I said, sipping some of the apple juice I had poured myself whilst talking. "A testament to how important it is to raise your Pokemon properly, and not just pump them full of sugary candy. Speaking of which, how's Pidgey?"
"Its Piper now: I nicknamed him. And he isn't a Pidgey anymore." Ian said smiling, pulling out a rather battered PokeBall bearing a faded sticker on the top. "I've been training him like you said for me to, and he evolved into a Pidgeotto a few weeks ago!"
"Well Done!" I congratulated his efforts as he tossed the ball into the air, calling out the magnificent Bird Pokemon, who soared around the deck for a minute, before landing on Ian's shoulder and nibbling his ear affectionately.
"Geotto!" Piper cried triumphantly. Luckily, my Houndoom mind kicked in for a split second, allowing me to translate it: "I'm Unstoppable!"
I was thoroughly impressed at Ian's handiwork in training Piper. I held up my arm like a perch for Piper to stand on. "Do you mind if I have a look at Piper for a sec?"
"No; not at all." Ian said, allowing Piper to flutter over and land on my arm. I checked Piper for his health, giving him a gentle scratch on his neck, before allowing him to fly back over to Peter.
"He's in Magnificent Condition. Feathers are nice and neat, he's a good healthy weight and his claws are nice and sharp. To put it simply; he's a jewel of his species." I said happily, plucking a grape from the bunch on the table and offering it to Piper. "At the rate you're going, you might give Furyia a run for her money before too long."
"You really think my little brother is that good?" the other kid said, looking up from his Pokedex.
"Yes I do, at the rate he's going. I don't believe we've met." I said, looking at him.
"The name's Colin. Nice to meet you." Colin said, shaking my hand. "That's my mum Elena there."
"It's a pleasure." I said, shaking her hand.
"Umm, Jack? If you don't mind me asking; what happened to your eyes?" Ian asked, looking at me in confusion.
"What do you mean?" I asked, looking at my reflection in the back of my silver knife
And saw my silver eyes looking straight back at me.
"They've changed colour."
Crap! I'd forgotten to put my fake Contact Lenses on to disguise my new eyes!
"Oh these? Ah, it's nothing special really." I said dismissively, frantically thinking of an excuse for them.
"But didn't you have bluish green eyes normally?"
"Alright. If you must know; I had a little accident while I was in Sinnoh." I said, saying the first thing that popped into my head.
"A few weeks ago, I was exploring this cave with Furyia and we disturbed something in there. Neither of us were sure what it was, so we went a little deeper to investigate. When I switched on my torch to see what was stirring, it turned out to be a hungry Luxray, who used flash to blind me. Luckily, Furyia was nearby, and managed to stop the Luxray and guide me out of the cave, but after I managed to get back to my friends house to recover, the damage was already done." I said, making up this crap as I went along, but by the look of it, they were swallowing every word: Hook, Line and Sinker.
"The Luxray's Flash attack was so powerful that it practically eradicated every colour pigment in my eyes, leaving me like this." I said, pointing to my eyes.
"That's terrible. Can you still see alright?" Elena asked, looking at me in concern.
"Yeah, I can still see. If anything, I can see even better now. I don't know how, but the attack somehow managed to restore the colour rods in my eyes, so I can see colours now. Come to think of it, it's kind of ironic: While I was Colour-blind, I had blue eyes, but could only see black and white. Now that I can see colours again, my eyes turn black and white." I said quickly, hoping to end the conversation before I made another mistake.
"It reminds me of that new Myth in Sinnoh." Colin said, taking a bite out of a particularly large strawberry.
"What myth would that be?" I said, looking confused.
"Well, there's a Myth floating around in Sinnoh of a Gold Houndoom roaming the country. Apparently its horns are bright gold like the sun at dawn and its fur is dark silver like the sea at dusk. But the main reason it's unique is because its eyes apparently glow bright silver like a torch."
"A Gold Houndoom with Silver eyes: what the hell kind of rubbish is that?" I asked dismissively, but feeling utterly terrified that my alternate form had already reached legendary status.
"No-one can be sure, because no-one has managed to actually capture it. But apparently, a few trainers have managed to get evidence of its existence: A few small hair follicles and one of its claws. However
" Colin said, looking rather smug and grinning ear to ear. "
I managed to get a Photograph of it."
"You got a Photo?" I asked, trying my best to keep my face neutral, but screaming in terror inside my head. Colin Nodded and fished the photo out of his pocket.
"Take a look. You're the expert on Dark Types: you figure it out."
He was right; it was definitely me. It was taken while I was near Snowpoint City about 2 months ago; you could tell because you could clearly see the Snowpoint Temple in the background. But the one thing that attracted my attention wasn't me in the photo, but the fact that you could clearly see Furyia as well.
"Looks like Furyia has a friend." Colin smirked.
"That isn't Furyia: Her horns are a lot longer than that, and her belly sure as hell isn't that round. I'll admit; it does look a LOT like her, but neither of us have ever been to Snowpoint City." I lied, thinking fast.
"Oh, really?" Colin asked, looking rather disappointed. "It would have been funny if there was a Blue and Gold Houndour following you and Furyia around or something like that."
"Ohh, I dread to think." I cringed, but knowing quite clearly that his theory would become reality before too long.
"There's a whisper floating around the ship that it's somewhere on board." Ian hissed at me. I froze in surprise for a moment, but almost instantly changing my expression so that it simply looked like I had realised something: Luckily, no one noticed.
"For all we know, it could be. Might explain that roar two nights ago that woke me up, because it definitely wasn't Furyia."
"It could be. Or you've got a Guardian Angel." Colin snickered. "Think about it: you come to Sinnoh and it's running around. You catch the Tidal back to Hoenn and it sneaks aboard. Might be following you, Jack."
"I've already got one parasite of a Pokemon following me around: I don't need another one." I said dismissively, ending the conversation before it got out of hand. Our conversation branched off to dozens of different subjects while we had our breakfast. Interestingly enough, about a minute after I finished my pancakes, my PokeNav gave a small beep. Looking at it, I saw a small message displayed on the screen: 'NETWORK CONNECTED: HOENN REGION.'
"Attention Passengers: We will be arriving in Lilycove City in 5 minutes. Please prepare for departure." The Capitan announced over the P.A.
"Ah, I'd better go get my stuff ready and Furyia back in her Pokeball. It was nice meeting you two and you again, Ian." I said, shaking their hands before heading back to my room. Furyia was awake, sitting back and moaning slightly: Her belly noticeably larger than it was a little while ago.
"You ready, Furyia?" I asked, picking up my bag and her Pokeball. Furyia nodded and I pointed the ball at her.
As she disappeared back inside her ball, I headed outside onto the docks and pulled out my PokeNav. After a couple of moments, I had dialled in Sarah's number and called her, waiting patiently for her to answer. There was a small click as the call was connected
"Jack?! Is that you?!" Sarah shrieked, terrified of something.
"Sarah? What's wrong?" I called back, Instantly afraid that I was too late
"I don't know. I just woke up and I was- Me and Lucario- We were-"
"Sarah, slow down. I just got a message from Peter about that Clipping: Do NOT expose it to Moonlight under any circumstances." I told her, walking quickly towards her house.
"I already did last night."
"I was standing by the window with Lucario with the Clipping. I felt tired, so I went to sleep with the clipping in my- ARGH!" she screamed as a loud crack came through the phone.
"Sarah?! SARAH!" I screeched, trying to get a response.
"Sarah, I'm in Lilycove. Stay where you are, I'll be there in a few minutes."