Glitch City Laboratories Forums
Lab ζ: Le Café du Chrysacier Hameçonné => Creative Movements => Writing => Topic started by: Bert on February 02, 2015, 08:01:27 pm
So this is a thing I started a little while ago: an episodic series about a crime fighting Meganium. It takes place in a Mystery Dungeon-like universe, without humans. Comments, criticism, and such are welcome!
UPDATE 5/8/2016: Editing out profanity because I seriously don't know what I was thinking. Let me know if you spot any.
Meganium Man #1: A Hero is Born
There are many stories circulating about people who decided to make a difference. Some turned to charity, some started organizations for specific causes, and others travel the world raising awareness for their cause.
This is not one of those stories.
We’ve all heard the typical superhero tale: something tragic happens to the main character, giving them a reason to don the cowl and/or cape, and they go out to stop the bad guy. Now, that’s all fine and dandy, but wouldn’t it be cool to see someone do it, just because they can? Sure, they still want to make a difference. They just decided to be spontaneous about it.
Harley the Meganium was watching TV, flipping through channels and hoping to find something to watch other than reruns of stuffy drama shows. Sitting on his black couch and flipping the ‘up’ channel button on the remote control with a vine whip, Harley was quickly losing hope in finding something to watch. Everything he came across was so aggressively boring, it drove him a little bit closer to the edge of sleep.
“Y’know, it’d be really nice just to see a rerun of Fresh Prince of Goldenrod City,” Harley complained. Flick. Reality show. Flick. A drama show. Flick. The news. Wait, what’s this?
On the screen was a Kricketune, with a microphone clipped to his left blade-like arm. Several police cars were behind him, scattered throughout a parking lot. Kricketune’s fabulous moustache was looking as dapper as ever, but he was less famous for his news reporting abilities and more for his galloping egotism.
“This just in: I’m awesome,” Kricketune said.
A Quilava pushed Kricketune aside, stood on his hind legs, and faced the camera. Somebody off screen handed him a microphone of his own.
“Now for the real story. Moments ago, a Crawdaunt stormed into the Cherrygrove City Bank and, based on what we have seen through the windows, has taken everyone inside hostage.”
The camera panned over to a shot of the police cruisers. A Zangoose, a mongoose-like Pokémon famous for the red stripe across its belly, was standing at the frontlines with a megaphone.
“Whoa,” Harley said in awe. “This is television!”
Chief Zangoose held the megaphone up to his mouth. His voice gritty and a slightly nasally, he bellowed, “Crawdaunt! Let those innocent Pokémon go! What do you want?”
A window was shattered from the lobster’s punch, and glass dropped from the sill and onto the ground.
“Whaddya think I want?!” Crawdaunt screeched back. “I wanna be rich!”
Zangoose looked to his partner, a Seviper. The snake shrugged, a motion which involved bringing its back hunches together, and then releasing them quickly.
“Um… all right. Well, how about this, Crawdaunt? Let those people go, and you can keep any money you’ve already stolen!”
Inside the bank, two hiding tellers, a Heatmor – a red, yellow, and brown anteater – and a Graveller – a large rock with four arms, were quietly talking to each other.
“The heck, is he serious? What’s Zangoose doing?” Graveller asked Heatmor. His voice had a hint of a cockney accent.
“No clue,” replied Heatmor. “But it sounds like a trap.”
Despite whispering, Crawdaunt heard them loud and clear. “HEY!” the lobster bellowed. “Pipe down! The cops and I are having a chat!”
Harley was glued to the TV, even inching closer to it to get a better look. The gold star on Crawdaunt’s head shone in the sunlight. Zangoose and Seviper had no idea how to proceed, but at least Crawdaunt was stuck in the building.
“Holy smokes! Someone’s gotta do something,” Harley commented on the situation. He remembered he was a grass-type Pokémon, which had an advantage over water-types such as Crawdaunt. Being the only local grass-type, he felt like a shining beacon of hope. Shining like the star on the lobster’s noggin.
But Harley couldn’t just go out and try to save the day. He needed a disguise. Something to hide his identity, so nobody would know who this mysterious crusader really was.
“This looks like a job for…”
The sauropod bolted upstairs to his bedroom, snatching a blue pillowcase and blue bedsheet from the nightstand on the right side of his bed. Then, he returned downstairs and pulled a pair of scissors out of a kitchen drawer, and cut out four holes out of the pillowcase: two for his eyes, and two for his yellow antennae. Harley tied the sheet around his neck, underneath the red flower petals, and put the new, heavily modified pillowcase around his head.
Trying to save the day is extremely noble. Foolhardy, but noble. Harley’s only advantage right now was his type advantage, but even water-types could pack a lot of bulk. Not that he cared, since the dinosaur was on a serious adrenaline high.
Meganium Man opened the sliding door leading to the backyard, poked his head out, and looked around. His neighbors weren’t out, so he was in the clear to go through the woods without being spotted.
Venturing through the underbrush, Meganium Man headed east for Cherrygrove City, walking behind the scenes of Route 29. The walk was far from ideal: the woods were cramped, he tripped over branches, and things pricked him.
“Hyurk!” he groaned after stumbling over yet another branch and hitting the ground. Looking right, he saw a familiar sight: the police cars, the news reporters, and the bank. He had arrived at the outskirts of Cherrygrove City! Now he just needed to get into the bank and stop Crawdaunt. The lobster wasn’t anywhere near the windows, and Harley could only hope the crustacean wouldn’t see him.
Meganium Man would learn the phrase, “easier said than done,” the hard way.
The hero walked to the site, asking Chief Zangoose, “Any progress, Chief?”
“None!” the mongoose replied. “Crawdaunt’s just holding tight for now. We want to go in and get ‘im, but we…don’t know…how we’d do it,” he trailed off when he saw who he was talking to. “Erm… are you lost, son?”
“Lost? No, Chief!” Meganium Man replied. “I wanna help you out!”
“…Riiiiiight,” Zangoose said. “Look, kid, it’s great that you wanna help, it really is! But this is a job for the police, not a rank amateur.”
“Chief, with all due respect, me being a grass-type Pokémon can wall his water-type moves. I can take him down quickly with my Razor Leafs!”
Zangoose turned to face the dinosaur directly and asked, “And what happens when he knocks you out?”
Meganium Man, smiling, replied, “Then you can haul my butt to jail for interfering! I’ll go peacefully, quietly, and I’ll make sure I enjoy doing hard time. But, not at least letting someone who has an upper hand is a mistake.”
Seviper hesitantly added, “He has a point, Chief. Your Thunder Punch means you have to be real close, which means Crawdaunt could hit you with a Beam attack. Distance is key.”
Zangoose sighed. “What if you get hurt? What if you get killed?”
“Don’t worry, Chief Zangoose. There won’t be any blood on your hands.”
The mongoose had no idea if Meganium Man was serious about anything else, but he knew the dinosaur meant that. He just had one more thing to ask the green sauropod.
“Son, are you totally crazy?”
“Crazy is my middle name.”
Zangoose said to Seviper, “You and I will distract that walking seafood special while the Green Goofus here rescues the Pokémon inside. That sound all right with you?”
“Works for me,” said the viper. “My Glare technique will freeze the poor crab in place from fear!”
“Knock ‘em dead, kid,” Zangoose said, flashing the sauropod a thumbs-up.
“It’s Meganium Man, chief,” Harley replied, smiling.
Little did they know that Crawdaunt knew about the plan. He was watching the news footage on a TV behind the counters, and was more than ready to take down Meganium Man. He had no reason to go to the window now!
“You fools! It’ll take more than an angry expression and a bag of leafs to take me down.”
Harley had entered the bank, using a Vine Whip to open the door; the bells alerted Crawdaunt to his presence. He saw Crawdaunt watching the news, and the lobster turned to face his foe.
“So, Meganium Man, is it? What a nice name. Your moniker isn’t enough to frighten me!”
“Maybe you should look out the window.”
“Why would I want to look at Seviper’s ugly mug when you’re right here?”
Meganium Man now knew that Crawdaunt learned of the plan.
“That’s right, bucko. It’s all out in the open. They might’ve cornered me, but there aren’t enough of them to take me down. My little crime spree isn’t over yet!”
“Well, then you should’ve started somewhere other than a bank. In the middle of the day.”
“SHUT UP!” the lobster yelled as the star on his head began to glow. An array of smaller, sparkling stars shot out from it and pelted Harley, shoving him into the wall behind him. The star’s edges were sharp, and slashed and nicked Harley little by little. When the stars faded away, he was covered in small, but noticeable scratches.
Grunting, Meganium Man got up, eager to take down the bank robber. Crawdaunt’s Swift attack wasn’t going to keep him down! He walked towards Crawdaunt, who started backing off, but clearly had other things in mind. Meganium Man could see it all on the criminal’s face. What was he planning?
When his back hit the wall, Crawdaunt danced. It was an unusual dance, full of bizarre hand motions nobody would even think of performing, even at gunpoint. Crawdaunt’s body moved and shimmied in odd ways, and his feet kicked around wildly. Meganium Man stared, confused, at this display.
“That was strange.”
Faster than a speeding Bullet Punch, Crawdaunt aimed his right claw at Harley and shot a large, winding blast of water at him. Hydro Pump, just like Swift, shoved Meganium Man away but at a much more violent speed, and the dinosaur collapsed before even hitting the wall. Panting and nearly choking, Harley couldn’t focus on his enemy for the time being, which was the perfect chance for Crawdaunt to attack again.
He bolted over to the subdued hero and kicked Meganium Man’s belly with his left foot, whopping him onto his back. The attack was a hefty one and left Harley without any air to breathe in, something Crawdaunt used to his advantage: the lobster placed his right foot on Harley’s chest and pushed down just a little, incapacitating the caped crusader.
“So! This your first day as a moron?” Crawdaunt sneered. Harley spit at him, a little dab of saliva landing between the crustacean’s eyes. “Why you little…”
Crawdaunt leaned down, opened his right pincer wide, and rested it against Harley’s neck.
“Snip, snip, you’re dead. Is that all you got?”
Realizing his right foot was in the perfect position; Harley brought it up and kneed Crawdaunt in the groin.
“Oof!” the lobster heaved, moving his claw away and tipping over in agony.
“Haha!” Harley breathed in. While Crawdaunt recovered, Meganium Man opened the door and said to the staff and customers, “Hurry! Get out while there’s time!”
Soon after the customers and tellers left, Crawdaunt groggily got up. Getting kneed in the crotch is not an easy thing to recover from.
“All right, no more games! I was taking it easy on you before, but now you’re gonna be one dead dinosaur!”
Before Crawdaunt could attack, Harley picked up a nearby chair with his vine whips and chucked it at the lobster. Crawdaunt pushed it away with his Hydro Pump attack long before it came near him.
“You’ll have to do better than that, Meganium Man!”
Meganium rushed forward, hoping to get up close and personal with his enemy. His head was lowered, his nostrils were flared, and his teeth were bared as he barreled towards Crawdaunt.
But Harley had a plan. Crawdaunt stepped out of the way just before being tackled, which gave Meganium Man the chance to quickly turn and kick the crab with his two hind legs. Whap! It worked, and Crawdaunt was pushed back towards the window Zangoose and Seviper were stationed at.
“…He’s almost got ‘im!” Zangoose said.
“Let’s finish this, Crawdaunt!” Meganium Man declared to his enemy, taking a defensive stance. He spread his legs just a tad and angled his head. He was now facing the window and could see part of Zangoose’s left shoulder, but Crawdaunt’s back was turned to it.
Crawdaunt’s pincer started glowing light blue and was ready to dish out the Crabhammer to end all Crabhammers. He jumped into the air, screaming like a ravenous banshee, determined to deliver the killing strike.
WHAM! Crawdaunt slammed his pincer into the ground, just missing Meganium Man as he jumped back. The effort the lobster exerted into the attack wore him down instantly.
Meganium Man’s leafs shredded themselves up and formed little blades no bigger than a shaving razor, and shot themselves in Crawdaunt’s direction.
“AAAARGH!” the criminal screamed as leafs slashed his skin; it was much worse than when Harley had been hit by Swift. It was super effective against him, due to the type advantage. Eventually, the attack ended, and the leafs returned to their place around Harley’s neck. Now an injured, defeated, and discombobulated mess, Crawdaunt, due to the inability to focus from exhaustion, turned around, facing the Chief and Seviper.
The viper flashed Crawdaunt a menacing glare which paralyzed him from fear; something in the lobster’s brain snapped at the sight of it. His eyes were widened, his mouth formed a vile grin; Seviper’s glare was angry in ways that defied anger. That’s how terrifying it is!
“Wow, he actually did it!” Chief Zangoose complimented. He and Seviper barged into the bank with handcuffs, shifted Crawdaunt’s arms behind him, and arrested him. The snake moved the lobster out of the bank, a difficult task since Crawdaunt couldn’t move his legs, while Zangoose stayed behind temporarily.
“So, that was fun,” Meganium Man huffed, tired from the brawl.
“That was some good stuff, kid! Nice chair toss, by the way.”
He and Zangoose returned to the steps of Cherrygrove Bank, waving to the cheering crowd that had come to congratulate them.
“Well, Meganium Man? What’s next on your agenda?” asked Seviper, returning from loading Crawdaunt into the patty wagon.
Taking on a boastful and confident tone, Harley declared, “Where trouble lurks, I will be there to smite it! Where criminals gather, I will flush them out! When evil arrives, I will slam the door in its ugly face! Beware, Johto! There’s a new crimefighter in town, and his name is MEGANIUM MAN!”
“He almost answered the question,” Chief Zangoose said to Seviper.
The end of Episode #1!
I liked this one, but not as much as the Glitchy chronicles. I tried writing one about Y:196 (Xuxu) but I couldn't think of any ideas?
I liked this one, but not as much as the Glitchy chronicles. I tried writing one about Y:196 (Xuxu) but I couldn't think of any ideas?
When I wrote The Story of Glitchy, I based the titular 4. . on one I had on my Yellow Version, who kicked ass and took names. If you ever write it, I'd love to read it!
Meganium Man #2: It Just Bugs Me!
On Route 35, north of Goldenrod City, is National Park. It is home to a wide of assortment of Pokémon, most famously bug-types.
Those familiar with Pokémon know that most bug types are daintier than a wet tissue, but that isn’t always the case. The likes of Scolipede, a massive red and purple centipede, will give you a run for your money if you anger it. Butterfree, one of the most iconic bugs, also is known for being able to tear down tough enemies with its Confusion attack and its assortment of powder-based moves.
National Park was a common area for couples and friends to hang out; it was a lush field surrounded by fine grass and towering trees. In the middle of the park was a grey tiled fountain, surrounded by grass patches to resemble a Poké Ball.
“Let’s just take ‘em by surprise!” declared Beedrill, clanging his two spear-like arms together. “Don’t give ‘em any time to prepare for our uprising!” The wasp’s voice was naturally buzzy.
“No, Beedrill! Going out in the open like that could undo all we’ve worked for!” replied Scyther, a green, bipedal mantis with bladed arms. Scyther’s voice was quite throaty and sounded almost teen-like. Despite this, Scyther was one of the most feared bug Pokémon in the world, owing to its skills with its scythe-like arms.
“Well, we oughta do something!” commented Pinsir, a brown beetle with two iron curved horns covered in thorn-like edges. “If we don’t, then our plans might be discovered!”
“I am well aware, Pinsir. Look at it this way, though: anyone who finds out will be killed. That is for certain.”
Butterfree floated non-discriminately nearby, wings slightly flapping. She was Scyther’s right-hand bug and had all the tricks of the trade for dispatching of intruders. Her favorite tactic was to destroy the minds of others with her Confusion attack, or by slowly whittling their life away with Poison Powder. It really just comes down to what her mood is.
“So, then what do you suggest, fearless leader?” Butterfree asked.
“I’m glad you asked! As I’m sure you all know, Johto is turning three hundred years old in a few days. The region is planning to hold a huge parade in the streets of Goldenrod City.”
Ledian, a ladybug Pokémon, laughed. “Oh! Oh-ho-ho! I like where this is going!”
“Yes, precisely, Ledian! While the Johtoites are celebrating in the city, we storm the city and take down everyone in the streets. Once Goldenrod is under our control, the rest of Johto will fall when we turn the city into our utopia! The Order of the Insects will conquer the remaining towns of Johto, and we will reign!”
“HAIL SCYTHER!” the insects chanted in unison.
Scolipede, the red and purple centipede that dwarfed the rest of the bugs in the park, spoke up. “Wait a minute. What do we do when they pick fights with us?”
“We fight back, obviously. Or am I missing the point?”
“Well, Sir, surely you’ve heard about—”
Scyther barked, “I don’t want to hear another word about Meganium Man! Even if he somehow defeats the rest of you, my scythes will hack and slash him until he’s nothing but shiskabobs! That caped buffoon defeated Crawdaunt, but that was due to a type advantage. We will not make the same mistakes that lobster made!”
The meeting was adjourned then, and the bugs returned to the depths of National Parks’ forest to rest. Butterfree joined Scyther to discuss the matter of Meganium Man.
“Let’s assume Meganium Man does make the scene. What will we do then?” Butterfree asked.
“The same thing we always do to our enemies: kill them.”
“Shall I take care of that?”
“Of course, Butterfree. But I wouldn’t waste too much energy on the runt.”
At his home in New Bark Town, Harley the Meganium was busy at work looking for a place to put the newspaper clipping of his triumph at the bank. He wandered from room to room, unable to make up his mind.
“Who’da thought indulging my own ego would be so difficult?” the sauropod asked to nobody. He held up the paper against the wall with his vine whips, but none of the rooms seemed appropriate. The clipping had been framed and all.
Deciding to just tack it in his bedroom, Harley retrieved a hammer and nail from his house’s basement and ventured up to the second floor. He chose to hang it over the bed, and hammered it in as such.
“Perfect!” the dinosaur commented when he saw his work. Then he went back downstairs to his living room to watch some TV, flipping over to the news channel. As usual, there were a Quilava and a Kricketune at their desk, with the graphic “JOHTO INTERNATIONAL NEWS” between them.
“This just in: I am better than your kids,” Kricketune sneered. The camera, which was in a wide shot, quickly cut to Quilava.
“And now for the real story: celebrations are underway for Johto’s three hundredth birthday! The city of Goldenrod is preparing for the upcoming parade within its streets. We’re now going live with Mayor Miltank for a quick interview over the events.”
A split screen showed Quilava on the left and Miltank on the right. The pink cow was standing just outside Goldenrod’s Town Hall.
“Mayor Miltank, what preparations are being made for the upcoming anniversary of our fine region?” asked Quilava.
“We’re pulling out all the stops, Quilava, but I’m not going to divulge many details. Let’s just say the party is going to be a tough act to follow!” Miltank’s voice was almost motherly.
“Oh, this sounds exciting! I can’t wait to be there!” Quilava replied.
As the interview continued, Harley’s phone rang. He picked up the receiver and said, “Y’ello!”
“Meganium Man? It’s Chief Zangoose. I got a job for you.”
The sauropod was on his way upstairs to retrieve his cape and cowl from under his bed. “Ooh, wazzit?”
“Well, you and Seviper would be in Goldenrod City this Tuesday. Your task would be making sure nobody attempts to disturb the anniversary parade. Think you’re up to it?”
“Absolutely! Wow, this is quite an opportunity!”
“Yeah, I thought you’d like it. We recently got a tip from someone that some bugs might try and ruin the fun, but I doubt they’d try anything in the open.”
Harley stuttered, “B-bugs?”
There was a brief pause on Zangoose’s end. “Yeah, bugs. You think you can handle that?”
The hero was terrified of bugs. Bug Pokémon often carried moves like Poison Sting and Signal Beam, which were super effective against grass types. Type matchups are weird.
“Uh, yeah! Definitely! If there’s trouble afoot, there’s nothing I can’t handle!”
“That’s the spirit, lad! Okay, on Tuesday, swing by the station here in Violet City. You and Seviper will be given your posts then. Sound good?”
“Sounds great!” replied Harley. “I’ll see you then, Chief!”
“A’ight, take care.”
Harley turned off the phone, but then sat on his bed, worried. He dreaded going up against insects, even harmless ones like Caterpie and Kricketot. Who were these scoundrels threatening to appear during the festivities? They must be rotten to the core if they weren’t afraid of being out in the open like that. What did they want? If they were going to appear during the parade, they must have something huge in store for the city.
Little did Zangoose, Seviper, and Harley know what they were up against.
Back in National Park, the bugs were putting the finishing touches on their scheme.
“It appears we have been found out!” Scyther remarked. “The police know of our plan to take over Johto.”
Butterfree wondered, “Are we making ourselves known ahead of time?”
Scyther shook his head. “No, no. Our assault goes as scheduled. But if the cops know, then it is likely Meganium Man knows as well. So, here’s what we do. Beedrill, gather up some Weedle and come with me.”
The wasp rallied up a few Weedle and joined Scyther near the edges of the woods.
“What is it, Scyther?”
“I want you to get rid of Meganium Man and the cops. How sneaky can Weedle be?”
Beedrill replied, “Very. Shall we kill them while they sleep?”
The mantis nodded as the brown, barb-headed worms crept closer. “Precisely. Make sure the Weedle use all the poison at their disposal. We can not take any chances.”
“Very well, Scyther. I shall see you later tonight. Me and my boys got some work to do.”
Beedrill lowered himself to the ground so the hairy worms could slither up on his back for the ride.
“Perfect. With the cops and Meganium Man out of the way, nobody will stop me!”
The wasp knew the police were stationed in Violet City, but had no idea where Meganium Man was. Since he knew where one of his targets was, he decided to take care of them first.
The police station was on the east end of Violet City. Beedrill approached the building and peered in through its windows, finding his first two targets. Seviper and Zangoose were asleep at their desks. He dug one of his speared hands into the thin gap between the window and windowsill, and pulled up. With the window open, a couple Weedle crawled off Beedrill’s back and into the police station.
“Now to find Meganium Man. Hmmm.”
Beedrill hummed and hawed while deciding where to go next. He remembered that Meganium Man first appeared in Cherrygrove City, so Beedrill deduced the sauropod couldn’t be much further than that.
“New Bark Town. I’ll start there!”
He flew towards the quaint little town while the Weedle approached their targets. New Bark Town wasn’t a big place and was home to 50 people, making finding Meganium Man an otherwise easy task.
Using Supersonic, Beedrill glanced through darkened bedrooms on the hunt for his target. He fluttered from house to house while the Weedle started growing restless.
“Easy, easy! We’ll find him,” the bee said to the worms.
There was only one house left, now: the one near the lake connecting Johto to Kanto and Tohjo Falls. He looked inside and saw who he was looking for. Beedrill opened the window carefully, trying not to awake the sleeping vigilante. He spotted the newspaper clipping over Harley’s bed.
“Wow. What an egotist.”
The Weedle slunk to the ground and crept up Harley’s bedside, their barbs ready. He was sleeping comfortably, dreaming about…whatever the below is referring to:
“Fifty percent off a Zamboni? How can I say no?” the dinosaur said through slurred speech. His dreams were beyond strange and instead started out with Twilight Zone-like weirdness.
He bolted awake when he felt the worms’ little pink feet squirming on his neck.
Quickly turning over, the Weedle on Harley’s neck was flung off and to the ground. The one still on his bed turned around for the window. In his panic, Harley rolled out of bed, just barely missing the Weedle he’d subdued. He saw what had crawled into his room.
“W-W-W-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDLE!” Harley shouted, bolting out of his room and storming downstairs to find something to crush the insects with.
“Gotta go!” Beedrill said to himself. Dashing into the room when Harley was gone, he scooped up the worms and departed from the house. The dinosaur stormed back up the stairs, wielding a hammer, only to find the Weedle were gone.
Harley sighed when he realized the danger was gone, dropping the hammer as well. “Phew! That was something. Hang on,” he trailed off as he looked out his bedroom window. “This was closed when I went to bed. Why is it…?”
The dinosaur went down to his living room again to call the police station. Seviper picked up on the other end. “Johto Police.”
“Seviper! I think someone tried to kill me!”
“You ain’t the only one. Zangoose and I just took down a couple of Weedle down here. Real pesky ones, too. I’ve never seen any Weedle act like they did.”
“I just faced a couple of Weedle in my bedroom! Someone opened the window and they slithered in. They’re gone now, but I don’t know where they came from or where they went. D’you think this could be a warning from the bug Pokémon?”
Seviper shrugged. “Could be. Weedle’s an odd choice, though.”
“What should we do?”
“Just hang tight, Meganium Man. The parade is tomorrow. Get here early and we’ll try and solve this debacle.”
“Okay, officer. See you in the morning.” He hung up the phone, went back upstairs, and looked out his bedroom window.
“I don’t know who’s out there, or what they are. But I’m gonna stop you.”
It was Tuesday, the day Johto turned three hundred years old. Meganium Man was at the Violet City police station, talking to Zangoose and Seviper about last night’s events.
“So it was obviously a threat, albeit a poorly thought-out one,” officer Seviper commented.
“Why Weedle? Anyone can slake off their poison nowadays,” Chief Zangoose added.
The police and Meganium Man were sitting at a table, drinking coffee. After taking a sip, Meganium Man said, “When I went back to bed after getting a hammer to squash ‘em with, they duo was gone. They couldn’t have crawled out my window that fast.”
“Whoever did this wasn’t thinking hard enough,” Zangoose said. “I’m positive the bugs are behind this. We put some men at the gates of National Park just to be safe.”
Seviper piped up, “We should probably get going. The parade starts at noon, and it’s an hour drive there.”
Zangoose and Meganium Man nodded. The snake and Apatosaurus were going to be stationed on the roof of the Goldenrod Department Store, the tallest building in the city. At this location, they would have the perfect lookout spot. Nobody would escape their sight.
Upon arriving at the city, the two immediately hiked up to the rooftop to begin lookout duty. Zangoose was going to stay behind the scenes, while the rest of the police would carry out business in the city like usual. Parade floats were ready to roll, stationed on Route 34 and would enter Goldenrod at 12PM exactly. Streamers, lights, food and drink stands were set up all around the city, the former two connected to building roofs. The city was jam packed with Johtoites from all over the region.
None of them knew what was coming.
The bugs counted down from the woods.
The floats all represented the towns and cities in Johto, with the Mayor from each city resting in a chair on each one. Each float was styled after Pokémon native to that town or city, and the edges featured a mini scale replica of the location.
The marching band in front of the floats readied their drums.
The floats started their engines.
The police turned their attention to the streets.
The bug Pokémon stormed the gate of Route 35, taking down officers Raticate and Furret in their rush. Scyther led the way to Goldenrod City with Butterfree just behind him, the remaining insects following suit.
As Violet City’s float and Mayor Pidgeotto entered the city grounds, Meganium Man noticed the stampede in the distance.
“Seviper! They’re coming this way!”
The viper looked to his right and saw the army of bug Pokémon making a mad dash for the city. Radioing his superior, Seviper warned, “Chief Zangoose! Get as many officers to Route Thirty Five’s gate as possible!”
“Roger that!” Zangoose replied. He and officers Togetic, Sunflora, and Quagsire were in the middle of the sidelines. “You three, head on over to Route 35! The bugs are coming this way!”
The trio instantly blitzed for the gate to try and stop Scyther and his army, but the sheer number of bugs overwhelmed them as well. Once they reached the gate, the mantis crashed through the door with the others just behind him, blindsiding all three.
Meganium Man watched Quagsire, Togetic and Sunflora get knocked down from the storm of buzzes and wings. He had to get down there, but how? He was too high up to jump down.
He saw one of the cables the streamers were hanging off of was connected to the department store’s rooftop. With a vine whip, Meganium Man pulled out the tack fastening it to the building and swung down to the city streets.
“Hey!” Seviper called, but Meganium Man didn’t hear him. His cape bellowed in the wind behind him.
It was utter chaos in the streets as Scyther and his gang attacked everyone and everything in sight. Meganium Man’s swing took him into Pinsir’s path, and the crash knocked the stag beetle over onto his stomach. The hero lost his grip on the cable and dropped to the ground, but the large insect beneath him softened the blow.
“Nice catch!” the hero mocked while getting back on his feet. Zangoose’s officers were battling it out with various bugs that were daring to attack the city, all while the parade went on. Nobody had any idea what to do about the floats. Mayor Pidgeotto clutched the lever in front of his float’s chair and pulled it towards him, halting it. The other Mayors did the same thing, stopping their machines.
They joined the good fight.
Kingdra, Blackthorn City’s Mayor, pelted a Heracross out of the way with a blast of her Dragon Rage attack, a thin burst of a fiery energy. The seahorse Pokémon’s attack sent Heracross toppling over and rolling across the road.
“Don’t let them get to Route 34!” Zangoose screamed above the chaos as he punched a Scolipede in its bulky chest. The only one who heard his message was Meganium Man, who was dealing with a pesky Leavanny. Leavanny was a slim creature covered in leafs and looked somewhat feminine due to its curvy frame, but wielded an assortment of deadly moves like Aerial Ace. Those hands are leafs, but they’re sharper than a razor blade.
Eager to get to Route 34, Meganium Man attempted to trip Leavanny by reaching for his skinny legs with a vine whip. Just before he was snagged, the leafy mantis severed the vine with his left leaf hand, which had a hook shape due to a hole on its side.
“Hng!” Meganium Man groaned.
“Tut-tut! That was such a predictable move.”
WHAP! Seviper struck Leavanny from behind with his tail, which was covered in a violet film. Leavanny groaned in pain as he was mowed down.
“Thanks!” Meganium Man said to his rescuer.
“Ain’t nothin’! Any signs of Scyther?”
“Here I am!” the mantis declared as he snuck up behind Meganium Man, pressing his left arm blade against the caped crusader’s neck. He pressed the flat side of his right arm ‘s blade on the dinosaur’s lower neck.
Seviper slithered in, ready to take down Scyther, but a group of Heracross interfered with his dash. The beetles tackled the snake back into the chaos, away from Meganium Man and their leader.
Meganium Man pushed down slightly with his hind legs, and then jumped up a little bit, catching his enemy off guard. Scyther and Meganium were propelled to the ground back-first, the hero body slamming the mantis when they collapsed.
“Oof!” Scyther heaved as the two hundred lbs. dinosaur pounded him to the cement road. Quickly, the hero rolled off Scyther and backed away, but Scyther was just as speedy and hauled himself up.
Lashing out with a vine whip, Meganium Man was hoping he had enough time to ‘punch’ his enemy with its thickened tip. Before it could reach his face, Scyther swung his right hand over his head in an arc motion, cutting the vine. The severed end fell to the ground, while the rest retreated back to Meganium Man.
“Ow!” the hero grunted as the blade sliced his weapon.
Scyther clanged his scythed hands together, taking a wide stance. “I look forward to proving your victory over Crawdaunt was a fluke!”
“Fluke this!” Meganium Man retorted, an insult so grand, it would later be placed on his gravestone. He charged for Scyther, who also barreled towards the sauropod in a tackle that would look like a car crash.
But the mantis was nobody’s fool. Before he and Meganium Man could butt heads, he leaped over the hero, staying just low enough to slash the green machine’s back with his left arm. The blade cut through the fabric, blue bedsheet cape like air and carved a nasty cut in Meganium Man’s back.
“Aaargh!” the hero screeched as he felt the cold, hard steel dig into his flesh. He could feel a line of blood dripping out from the wound. He had no way of knowing how deep the cut was, but that line of blood was joined by several others. The vigilante needed to heal before Scyther could either do more damage, or he passed out and possibly died from blood loss.
There was only one move he could think of that would heal the wound, but it was a massive risk: Synthesis. Meganium Man would need to focus on the battle and the sun, to absorb its rays, for the wound to heal. With the way things were going, he could only do one.
Turning to face the lunatic mantis, Meganium Man realized just how badly cut he was: everything around him was going blurry. Unless he did something fast, he was toast. He had to keep fighting. It was the only option. Maybe now he was delirious.
Ready to kill the Apatosaurus, Scyther rushed for the defender once more, his blades prepared to decapitate.
“LOOK OUT!” a creaky, elderly voice shouted. Meganium Man tried to find the source, but his vision prevented him from seeing anything properly; it looked like there were triples of everything around the city. This made the sight of fifteen rock spears rushing for, and then skewering Scyther and thrashing him aside, extra jarring.
Piloswine, a brown, furry Pokémon with a pig’s snout and small white tusks, approached the woozy hero.
“Are you okay?” the Mayor of Mahogany Town asked.
Meganium uttered a long line of nonsense in response. “The coffee mug is waiting to dance under the over sun with a bag of walks.”
“Riiiiiight,” Piloswine replied. “Son, you focus on healing that nasty cut. We’ll deal with Scyther for now.”
All Meganium Man understood was “healing,” which brought him out of his trance. The rosy flower petals around his neck started waving briskly as they absorbed the rays of the sun, and slowly, the gash on his back started to heal. Piloswine stood guard as his ally recovered, but the group of Heracross that blocked Seviper’s path were now heading towards the pig and dinosaur.
Rearing onto his hind legs, Piloswine slammed back down on his front ones, sending a minor shockwave throughout the area, catching the Heracross goons off guard. They stumbled for balance as the puny earthquake rattled the nearby houses, but it was a mere distraction for what Piloswine really had in mind.
He blasted the Heracross with a thick beam of ice, sending them crashing through a large squadron of combatants, taking them down as well.
Scyther had recovered from the Piloswine’s brutal Ancient Power attack, but he was still in good shape.
“What? How?” Piloswine asked the insect.
“I’m assuming that was supposed to defeat me instantly, because we bug Pokémon are so dainty, correct? Typical. When you’ve been in as many battles as I have, it’ll take more than some pointy rocks to kill you!”
By now, Meganium Man’s wound had mostly healed, and he could focus properly now. He heard Scyther talking to Piloswine.
“Speaking of killing… I’M GONNA KILL YOU NAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOO!” Scyther declared, rushing for the Mayor of Mahogany Town. Piloswine backed away slowly, but just before the mantis could slice and dice him, Meganium Man snagged his right arm with a vine whip.
“N-no!” Scyther uttered. Meganium Man twisted the arm back with as much force as he could muster, hearing a loud crack as he broke the bug’s arm. “GAAAH!”
“Piloswine, go back to the fray! I’ll deal with Scyther!”
The pile o’ swine nodded and left Meganium Man to finish his clash with the bug Pokémon’s leader. Letting go of Scyther’s arm, the mantis brandished the left blade.
Meganium didn’t even see the insect move as Scyther tackled him into a building’s wall. The impact was heavy, almost like he had been body slammed by something weighing twice as much as him. Out of shock, Meganium Man slumped to the ground. Never in his life had he been hit so intensely.
Scyther raised his left blade high, and then brought it back down towards the dinosaur’s head.
The sound of steel hitting steel rang out through the city, as Beedrill rushed in just in time to block Scyther’s fatal blow. Meganium Man came out of his trance.
“WHAT ARE YOU—” were Scyther’s last words before Beedrill drove his other spear into the mantis’s head, impaling and scrambling his brain, killing him instantly. Scyther’s lifeless body crumbled to the floor.
Meganium winced at the violent display of defense. The bugs stopped fighting to see what had felled their King. The police, Mayors, and townsfolk alike joined them.
“Whoa,” was all Meganium Man could say.
“Are you okay?” Beedrill asked the caped crusader.
“Uh, yeah, I think so,” the hero replied, standing back up.
Someone was clapping as they approached the grisly scene.
“Bravo, Beedrill! Bravo! You never cease to disappoint me,” Butterfree complimented the wasp as she nudged her way to the frontlines, fluttering over the dead mantis.
Confused, Beedrill asked, “What’re you going on about?”
The butterfly responded, “You’re easier to read than a children’s book. I knew you would betray Scyther long before you even left to ‘assassinate’ the police and Meganium Man. Same with killing our leader. Doing it here was the perfect opportunity to flee before anyone saw you. And now with the mantis out of the way, I’m in charge!”
Butterfree fluttered high above the crowd before anyone could retaliate to stop her.
“And now that I’m in charge, you will all get to watch as I turn the world into the perfect utopia for bug Pokémon!” she declared, as she started releasing orange, paralyzing spores from her wings upon the townsfolk. “Scyther wanted to use brute force. That never works! Although the parade was the perfect opportunity, it was doomed as long as Scyther was leading us. He lacked vision! A cold, calculative approach is the way to go. So, thank you, Beedrill! Without your betrayal, I couldn’t have put my plan into action!”
The wasp charged after her, his speared hands aimed forward. “You son of a—”
Just before he could impale Butterfree’s round body, the butterfly’s eyes twinkled once as she used her Confusion attack, sending a mind-shattering wave into Beedrill’s brain. The bee fell back to the ground, dead.
“You’re too easy, Beedrill. Enjoy the afterlife!”
The Pokémon were running in fear, trying to avoid the Stun Spores, running into buildings for safety. Many were left stranded in the panic, succumbing to the spores as they dug into their flesh, entered their bloodstream, and left them unable to move. The bugs were unaffected, however, but remained in the open.
“Hahahaha! Run, kiddies! Run!” she cheered as the spores continued to rain down.
Maneuvering around the spore storm, Meganium Man was daring to try and take down Butterfree through any means necessary. He refused to go after her another day.
“Oh, how cute! The masked man himself wants to perish by my hand! Very well!”
Her eyes flashed a variety of colors as a long wave of technicolor circles blitzed towards Meganium Man. Jumping behind the float based on Violet City, the Psybeam attack was rendered ineffective against it.
“Hiding isn’t going to save you, Meganium Man! Only death will!”
Discreetly, she fluttered over to the float, perching herself on the summit of the Bell Tower replica, which was still tall. Peering over the side, one of the hero’s vines shot up and smacked her face. Meganium Man’s ‘punch’ was an admittedly decent one, for a vine. Butterfree stumbled off her perch and into the Mayor’s seat, as Meganium climbed aboard to join her for the final battle.
“Yeah, take that!” Meganium Man declared. He pulled the lever in front of the seat with another vine whip, activating the float. It started moving forward.
Butterfree wasn’t one to waste time; Meganium Man saw her eyes twinkle once.
“Uh-oh!” he uttered, as he turned around and jumped off the front of the float, lying down on the ground.
“…So your whole plan to defeat me involved killing yourself? Good job!” Butterfree mocked as she approached the front, to make sure Meganium Man hadn’t tried anything sneaky. “Everyone else who resists me could learn a thing or two from you!”
WHAP! A vine whip lashed out from the left side of the float, shoving Butterfree to the right and over the edge. Meganium Man had tricked her: by resting in the middle of underneath the float, he avoided the wheels by miles. He saw Butterfree’s shadow at the front of it, which was his cue for his sneak attack.
Horrific crunching sounds invaded his ear as the float’s front wheel ran over Butterfree. Meganium Man quickly returned to the float, pulling the lever and shutting it off. Scyther’s and Butterfree’s loyal subjects looked on in horror at their leaders’ mangled bodies. They had no leader now.
Despite wanting to confirm it, Meganium Man knew nobody could survive what happened to Butterfree. The police and townsfolk who watched the struggle from inside buildings came out to see the aftermath of the war.
“Jeez,” Chief Zangoose solemnly uttered. “Arrest the bugs.”
His officers went to work incapacitating the insects and hauling them away, while groups of three removed Scyther, Beedrill and Butterfree from the premises.
Meganium Man hopped down to report to the Chief.
“Chief, I-I’m sorry, I never wanted—”
Zangoose gave the hero a sorrowful look. “It’s fine, lad. You did what you felt was right.”
After a pause, Meganium Man added, “So this is how Johto’s three hundredth birthday will be remembered. A day of bloodshed.”
“So it would seem. Look at it this way, though: you stopped those buggers.”
The Chansey who worked at the Pokémon Center was going around checking on the victims of Butterfree’s Stun Spore attack.
“Well, the good news is, they’ll all be fine!” she told the Chief. “I can get them all fixed up at the Pokémon Center.”
“That’s great news, lass. Hop to it!”
Chief Zangoose and Meganium Man walked around town, realizing that what transpired would be more famous than the milestone.
“Mulling it over won’t do us any good, Meganium Man. Trust me, I wish this happened tomorrow, but not today.”
“It was such a cunning plot. Even if they lost, the bugs knew the battle and aftermath would destroy the celebration.”
Zangoose nodded. “The world is a harsh place, lad. Things happen in it we can’t do anything about until it’s too late. We didn’t start the fire, but we sure can douse it.”
The two of them stood at the border of Goldenrod City and Route 34, looking down the grassy road.
“So, what’s next for you?” Zangoose asked the hero.
“I think I’m just gonna go home for now.”
“D’you need a ride?”
Meganium Man replied, “No, no. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.”
The End of Episode #2!
Meganium Man #3: Would?
A full three days had passed since the chaos in Goldenrod City. Scyther’s and Butterfree’s army were arrested and awaiting trial, all of them facing jail time for the assault. The corpses of the mantis, the butterfly, and Beedrill had been buried. Beedrill was given a small hero’s burial for his treachery against Scyther which, despite having serious consequences, nonetheless was considered ballsy. Zangoose’s words, not mine.
Nobody had seen Meganium Man since the fiasco. Chief Zangoose was the last Pokémon to talk to him before the vigilante returned to New Bark Town for rest and to think. Everything that had transpired that fateful Tuesday shook his faith in himself; despite taking down Butterfree, the act itself was what rattled him. He had never killed another Pokémon before, and didn’t want to do it again.
The dinosaur was sitting in his living room, eating a bowl of cereal and watching TV, as usual. He couldn’t bear to watch the news that morning, but it was the first thing he saw after turning on his telly. Kricketune and Quilava were at their desks, reporting on the catastrophe.
“This just in: DELELELELE WHOOOOOOOOOOP!” Kricketune reported.
“Now for the real story,” Quilava began. “It was just three days ago the Johto region turned one hundred, but, as many know, the day was far from celebratory. In the wake of the events, the hero who stopped Butterfree, Meganium Man, has not been available for comment.”
Back at the Violet City police station, Chief Zangoose was watching the report in his office. He was leaning back in his chair, feet stretched out on his desk.
“Bleugh,” the mongoose huffed to himself. “We could really use him right now.”
Girafarig, the giraffe Pokémon with a head on each end, walked into the Chief’s office. “Sir?”
Zangoose turned to face her. “This’d better be good news.”
Trembling, the giraffe replied, “N-no, far from it. Quagsire is reporting that his son has gone missing, as well.”
“BLAST IT!” her superior barked, getting out of his chair. “How does this keep happening?!”
“Quagsire said, when he went to wake his son up for school, he wasn’t in his bedroom. Sir, that’s the fifth child taken in such a sort amount of time.”
Pinching the gap between his eyes, Zangoose replied, “I know, lass. We still don’t know how the two on Route 30 were taken.”
“Should I put out an APB?”
“Yes, for sure. This has to stop.”
“Yes, Sir,” Girafarig said, leaving Zangoose’s office. The Chief looked at his phone, worried about making a certain call. It’s just his luck someone goes around kidnapping the police’s children just after what happened in Goldenrod City. His force was stretched to its limit trying to get everything back to the way it was, and then this happens.
He picked up the phone to call Meganium Man.
Harley’s phone rang several times before he picked it up. Checking the number, he saw it was from the precinct. With a vine whip, he grabbed the phone and brought it over to the right side of his face.
“Hello,” he solemnly said.
Zangoose went right to business. “I don’t suppose you’d be up for helping us again, would you?”
Tripping over his words, Harley couldn’t get out a response and instead stammered for a few seconds. Stopping, the dinosaur took a moment to collect his thoughts.
“Chief, uh, maybe I’m not the right Pokémon for the job.”
“What’re you talkin’ about? You handled the situation in Goldenrod masterfully.”
“But I murdered someone. I don’t think I can do that again.”
Chief Zangoose’s suspicion was confirmed. “Lad, if it helps, I’m going to make sure you never have to again. But I want to say something: you should’ve known the risks before you donned the mask.” Zangoose’s voice became demanding. “You should’ve known it doesn’t happen like in superhero movies, where the villain just gives up after getting thrown in jail. Things happen, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”
He heard Harley sigh on the other end. The dinosaur was staring off into space, unable to properly focus.
“Will you at least hear what’s happening before saying no?”
After a long pause, Harley replied, “Okay.”
“Some sick wacko is going around kidnapping the policemen’s and women’s children. One of them was taken from their bedroom while asleep.”
There was a knock on his office door. Chief Zangoose turned to see Meganium Man, looking shaken up, but desperately trying to appear confident. The dinosaur had a stern look on his face; it was a shock compared to when they first met, where Meganium Man looked happy as a clam. Meganium Man was still bruised from the battle with Scyther and his cape had a large cut in it, but his wounds were starting to heal.
“What’s this I hear about missing children?” asked the caped crusader, his voice deathly serious as he walked into Zangoose’s office.
The Chief was trying to figure out how the dinosaur got there so quickly.
“Y-yes, like I said, many of our force’s children have been kidnapped.”
“But just your children? Nobody else’s?”
Zangoose shook his head. “Nope. Whoever’s doing this has got a bone to pick with us. The worst part is, we have no leads.”
Meganium Man touched his chin with the tip of a vine whip, like he was thinking. “Is there anything we could use to our advantage? Like, where they disappeared?”
Zangoose repeated that Quagsire’s son, Wooper, was taken from his bedroom while asleep. The children of officers Furret (Sentret), Camerupt (Numel), and Golem (Geodude) were snatched while playing on Route 30, which was southeast of Violet City and neighbored Cherrygrove City. Girafarig’s daughter had been taken while at her school’s playground.
Meganium Man had one question to ask: “How did nobody see this?”
The Chief replied, “Aside from Quagsire’s case, they happened in broad daylight, so you’d think at least one Pokémon would’ve noticed. But they were just pulled into the ground, and that was all she wrote.”
Meganium Man tried to imagine the scenario, but it still made no sense.
“Camerupt, Furret and Golem state it happened ‘in the blink of an eye,’ so whoever did the deed did it fast.”
Constable Quagsire stood in the doorway of the Chief’s office. “Sir, there’s been another one.”
“Oh, no,” Zangoose huffed. “What happened?”
“Well, officer Porygon-Z was with his child when it happened. He’s trying to fill out a report right now.”
Chief Zangoose told Meganium Man to follow him, and the duo headed down the hall to find the corrupted beaker bird hovering at a table with a police report in from of him. Porygon-Z’s torso was spinning around erratically, like normal, but it wasn’t writing anything down.
The mongoose pulled the report away and sat down in the chair across from the bird. “What happened, lad? How did it happen?”
Porygon-Z’s voice was highly mechanical and rippled, like it was being spoken through a voice box. “I do not know. I was taking him out to breakfast, when suddenly he was gone. He just vanished into thin air.”
“So you came here first?” Meganium Man asked.
“No. I went looking for him myself, blasting the ground with a Tri-Attack out of desperation. But there were no traces of him!”
Zangoose and Meganium reeled back in their seats.
“Just what kind of sick nut are we dealing with?” Meganium Man asked the Chief.
The window behind Porygon-Z’s seat was shattered when a rock was thrown through it, landing on the table. A piece of paper was strapped to the rock with an elastic band. Zangoose picked it up and took out the paper, which read:
THE KIDS DIE
Zangoose’s and Meganium Man’s eyes widened in fear.
“GLISCOR!” the Chief called out. The blue, vampiric scorpion bat was at the front desk when he heard his named being barked. Gliscor flew over to the Chief.
He was given the note.
“Take this to the forensics lab and scan the note for fingerprints. Now!”
“Yessir,” Gliscor said before turning away and leaving for the lab.
Returning to his office, Zangoose picked up the phone to make a call. He pressed the fifth button on the phone’s speed dial.
“Who’re you calling?” Meganium Man asked.
The phone rang several times, but there was no answer. Instead, the answering machine picked up.
“You’ve reached the office of Detective Flygon! Leave a message at the beep.”
“Yeah, hi Flygon, it’s Zangoose. We got a real nasty situation goin’ on here, and badly need your assistance. Several children have gone missing and none of us can get any leads on who might be taking ‘em. Gimme a call back the instant you get this message.”
He hung up the phone and turned to tell Meganium Man something, but when he faced the dinosaur, Zangoose saw the familiar dragon walking down the hall to the mammal’s office. Detective Flygon was no ordinary Flygon, for he was shiny. The dragonfly’s thick, green antennae were blue instead of dark green, and his goggles and wing brims were orange instead of red. Flygon was wearing a grey sports coat.
The detective sauntered into Zangoose’s office.
“How the bloody heck does this happen twice in one day?” the Chief asked, referring to Flygon’s and Meganium Man’s ridiculously short arrival times.
“Chief! How long’s it been? Four, five years?” Flygon asked.
“Somethin’ like that. Look, there’s somethin’ real wicked at work.”
“I heard, Chief. This is a real vile criminal, for sure.” He removed a pen and paper from his coat’s pockets, ready to jot down necessary information.
Zangoose took the detective around the precinct to interview the parents whose children had disappeared. The worrisome batch repeated their stories to the green dragonfly, who feverishly wrote down everything they told him. He was baffled that nobody saw the kidnapper, which quickly ruled out large Pokémon like Steelix as the culprit. If the children were pulled into the ground at such speeds, it was possible a Dugtrio could be behind it, but that doesn’t explain how nobody would notice their child being pulled under.
Returning to Zangoose’s office to look over the details, Meganium Man, Flygon, and the police chief were still without any concrete clues to the culprit.
“That’s six children in few days!” Meganium Man observed. “Zangoose, did you recognize the writing on the note?”
Flygon turned his head to the chief. “What note?”
Zangoose explained that a note attached to a rock had been thrown in through the window, and Gliscor was examining it for fingerprints.
“One million dollars? Really?” the detective asked, shocked.
“Yup. The station, maybe even the force, would go bankrupt.”
“Whoever’s behind this must’ve known that,” Flygon commented. “Did he say where to deliver the money?”
“Half of the children were abducted on Route 30, near the pond,” Meganium Man replied. “So they might be expecting it there.”
“So we have a destination, but what about the money?” asked the chief.
“It’s a tall order, but it’s certainly doable,” the detective said. “Wait! I’ve got an idea! Was there a time of delivery requested on the note?”
“Nope, just the demand.”
Gliscor swooped into the room, his pincers covered in latex gloves. He was holding the note in his right claw.
“Sorry, Chief, note’s clean. No marks.”
Zangoose muttered, “Figures,” under his breath.
When Gliscor left, Flygon asked, “How heavy d’you reckon a million dollars is?”
Zangoose finished stashing the last package of blank white paper into the red leather suitcase. Each package had 500 sheets, and four in total had been slipped into the bag, giving it some weight that each of them guessed was how heavy a suitcase stuffed with a million bucks would be.
“That’s the last of it!” the Chief said.
“Are you sure this will work, Flygon?”
“It’s not supposed to work the way you think. We just need to get the kidnapper out in the open.”
Night had taken over the Johto region, and it was time for Meganium Man, Chief Zangoose, and Detective Flygon to leave for Route 30. Flygon went ahead, soaring high above them towards Route 30’s pond, while the hero and chief followed.
“You ready for this?” Zangoose asked Meganium Man. He nodded.
“In this instance, I am. Whoever’s doing this deserves what’s coming to them.”
The mood was somber, the unknown statuses of the missing children weighing heavily on their minds. It was unfortunate, but the parents were admitting the worst may have happened to their children. Zangoose had granted them early dismissal that day just in case, and refused to let any of them come until they had found out what happened.
Walking down Route 30, the road was alive with the chirping of Hoothoot and the nattering of Rattata. A light breeze blew Meganium Man’s cape behind him as he and Zangoose walked to the pond. They could hear Poliwag bouncing around in the water in the distance.
Upon reaching the pond, Zangoose set the briefcase down beside a neighboring tree, and then he and Meganium Man left to hide somewhere. Flygon was high above the ground, and swooped down to join them as they hid in the woods.
“Any signs?” Meganium Man asked the dragon.
They waited and watched the briefcase, eager to take down whoever the kidnapper was.
A shadow crept into their view, but none of them could see who it belonged to. Not even Flygon’s goggles could see what the shadow was attached to, which meant it was not a regular Pokémon. The shadow approached the briefcase, and then, to their shock, emerged from the grass.
It was a Haunter.
“Chief, is that--?” Flygon started to ask.
Haunter sauntered up from the ground and clasped the suitcase’s handle tight, giving a quick look around to see if someone was nearby. His eyes couldn’t see a whole lot, and had no idea that he was being watched.
The ghost’s disembodied right hand reached out for the briefcase’s handle, which was Zangoose’s time to strike. He stormed out from the woods, sights locked on the kidnapper.
“Wait!” Meganium Man called out, but the chief had already taken off.
“There goes the plan.”
Haunter could hear footsteps rushing in from behind and turned to face the Pokémon rushing towards him. Zangoose struck dead on with his black, metal claws, slashing the gaseous ghost’s face. Two visible, dark cut lines stretched across Haunter’s big, white eyes.
“Gah!” the ghost grunted, floating aback.
Zangoose snarled, “You! Where are the kids?”
Meganium Man and Detective Flygon stepped out from their hiding place to join the chief and the kidnapper.
Haunter opened his eyes when he heard the voice; he recognized it.
“Oh, Chief Zangoose. I thought those claws felt familiar.”
The chief struck again, this time even harder, using the night as his energy. He swatted Haunter aside, the ghost hitting the ground.
“I’ll ask you once more: where have you hidden the children?” Zangoose loomed over his enemy, claws ready to deliver a killing blow.
Getting up, Haunter replied, “Chill, Chief. The runts are fine and dandy.”
“CHILL?!” barked Zangoose as he prepared to strike again, raising his arms. Meganium Man and Flygon pulled the chief back.
“How do you two know each other?” Meganium Man asked.
“This little maggot used to be a part of my force,” Chief Zangoose explained. “But he was too enthusiastic about accepting bribes. So I fired him.”
The caped crusader and dragonfly let go of Zangoose’s arms.
“We all gotta make a living somehow, Zangoose.”
“Which is why you’re asking for one million dollars. You wanted to bankrupt the police department, prying on every parent’s biggest fear to do so,” Flygon added.
Haunter tapped the area between his eyes with a finger twice. “Good job, Detective Idiot. I knew you’d all comply with my demand once I had the perfect bait, since it’d be foolish to put your offspring’s lives in danger.”
Flygon was staring up at the stars, his head just slightly raised to do so.
That one. That one’ll do nicely.
“Fine, Haunter. You got the money. Now, take us to the children,” Zangoose demanded.
But the disgraced cop was nobody’s fool except his own. Floating over to the briefcase, he flipped open its two bronze clasps, the lid opening up like a door. The stacks of paper fell onto the grass.
“Money. Right. What kind of a moron do you take me for? I knew you would try to trick me, and that’s why I came prepared.”
He reached into the ground with his right hand, pulling out Girafarig’s daughter from what seemed to be just underground. The youngling was shivering and whimpering. Haunter pulled her close and created a baseball-sized ball of shadowy mist in his left hand.
“One move and the calf gets it!” he warned.
“You wouldn’t dare,” Meganium Man replied, stepping forward. “She’s collateral. Putting her life in danger is a detriment to your plan.”
Haunter looked aside, trying to understand what the dinosaur was implying.
“No, no, I specifically said in my note that unless I get a million bucks, the children are going to die. I really couldn’t have made it any clearer.”
“But you didn’t put a deadline for when the cash was to be delivered. You knew the police would do anything to ensure their children’s safety, which is why you left out that little detail,” Flygon deduced.
“With that in mind, you have no choice but to let Girafarig go. Not doing so cancels the deal, and you will face justice for this act,” added Zangoose.
Haunter hummed over what was being explained to him. “No, I don’t!” he replied, turning his attention to the calf. The ghost was ready to launch the shadow ball at her, which would kill her instantly if it was strong enough.
Girafarig’s back head, which somewhat resembled a Chain Chomp, bit down on Haunter’s gassy hide, sinking its razor sharp teeth into his wispy form. It sounded like the fangs were digging into plastic wrap.
“GAH!” Haunter howled as Girafarig Jr. pulled away from the ghost, and rushing over to the heroes. “You little rat! I have several more of you where you came from!”
Flygon’s orange goggles flashed brightly, focusing his raw draconian influence on a car-sized comet close to Earth. The previously aimlessly floating debris barreled its way towards Route 30, becoming coated in blue flames as it breached the Earth’s atmosphere. It was hurdling towards them at ultrasonic speeds, and was on a crash course for the kidnapper.
He reached down to the ground again, but stopped when he saw the shadow of the comet making tracks for him.
Zangoose, Flygon and Meganium Man were high-tailing it back to Violet City with Girafarig Jr. in tow, stopping halfway up the hill to watch the spectacle unfold.
Flygon’s Draco Meteor crashed into Haunter, pounding him into the ground. Large clumps of dirt were thrown every which way as the comet embedded itself into Earth from the impact. The trio watched to make sure it crushed Haunter, Girafarig Jr. turning away, unable to watch. It sounded like a thousand cannon balls had been dropped on the planet when the comet made impact. The suitcase was destroyed in the crash, for those wondering.
And that was all she wrote for Haunter. Although still alive, the ghost couldn’t move his fingers, or any other part of his body, even the portions that weren’t buried beneath the giant rock. The impact had completely paralyzed him. Zangoose called the police station to arrest Haunter, telling Seviper their location and where the comet was. Once Seviper and Officer Druddigon (a blue, rocky dragon with a red face and rigid wings) arrived, Zangoose asked Girafarig Jr., “Lass, can you tell us where he’d stashed you and the others?”
Weakly nodding, she took the duo to the east end of Route 31, leading them to a house surrounded by trees. The house was one floor, was made of yellow bricks and had a mauve roof. Upon reaching its front door, Meganium Man tackled it open to find the missing children huddled in a corner, cold and hungry. All five of them were present. The trio exchanged joyous glances.
Chief Zangoose made a phone call to the worried parents with his cell phone, informing them of the happy news. Excited cheers and shouts rang out from the other line, the ones from Quagsire very, very shriek.
Soon, every child had been collected from the house and taken back home. Meganium Man, Flygon, and Zangoose returned to the station immediately after to file a report on Haunter. The chief had given the parents an extended break to spend time with their children, to help them get better after the trauma, and in general, relaxation.
While lounging in Zangoose’s office, drinking coffee and going over what happened in that standoff, Meganium Man asked Flygon, “How’d you know that would work?”
“I didn’t, really. Actually, I might not’ve done it at all, depending on how the rest of the encounter went down. It just boiled down to chance.”
“It’s hard to believe someone would go to such extremes just for money,” observed the caped crusader.
“Yeah, well, Haunter was the twisted kind. He had it coming, methinks,” the chief commented.
“Maybe dropping a piece of space junk on him was a bit much, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do,” Meganium Man added.
Half an hour went by before Detective Flygon got up to leave. “Well, gents, it was nice working with you. May our paths cross again!”
“Same to you, detective,” Zangoose replied. Flygon left the station and flew away somewhere. Meganium Man was the next to leave, but before the sauropod walked out the door, Zangoose stopped him.
“Before you go, I need to know something: what made you change your mind?”
Meganium Man shrugged. “I don’t know, chief. I really don’t know. Maybe it’s because the circumstances were different. Missing kids, possibly being harmed, I wish I had an answer. But I don’t. Some things just get your attention and you gotta do something about it.”
Zangoose nodded, understanding where the vigilante was coming from. The explanation reminded him of why he became a police officer in the first place.
“So, are you gonna stick around? Or is ‘Meganium Man’ done?”
“As long as filth like Haunter exist, I’ll be there to wipe the streets clean. Good day, Chief. I’ll let you get back to work now.”
Zangoose waved goodbye to Meganium Man as the dinosaur returned to the city streets to fight crime.
Haunter churned about in his cell. He could still float freely, and his fingers were starting to heal, but it was impossible to get out of his cell. The walls were made of a special kind of glass that negated his ghostly powers, rendering escape impossible. He could hurl all the Shadow Balls in the world at it, and they wouldn’t even leave a scratch. These sorts of walls were always used, depending on the Pokémon’s type.
The ghost tackled the wall, but he just bounced off it and hit the ground. “Gah!!”
Getting up and floating over to his cell’s bed, Haunter made a vow of vengeance against Zangoose, Flygon, and Meganium Man.
“You’re all gonna get yours. Mark my bleeding words, this whole REGION will get what it deserves.”
Umbreon, one of the prison guards, heard Haunter’s little spiel. The black catlike animal approached his cell.
“Is there a problem, Haunter?”
“EEK!” the ghost uttered when he saw the dark type standing outside his room. Haunter retreated under the bed sheets, and Umbreon went back to standing guard.
“Silly ghost,” Umbreon chuckled.
The End of Episode #3!
I just noticed that the entire episode didn't get posted. Sorry!
Meganium Man #4: Gang Related
The streets can be a scary place at night. It’s when the beasts and goblins come out to do the Monster Mash, when petty crime lords emerge from society’s underbelly to do their shady jobs, and, in this instance, when gangs make it their turf.
Ecruteak City is smack dab in the northern middle of the Johto region, home to a majority of the region’s history. Famously, it is home to the Brass and Tin Towers, the former of which destroyed in a fire when a lightning bolt struck it a long, long, long time ago. To this day, the charred, ruinous building still smells of pungent smoke which would choke anyone who entered its now nonexistent doors.
Well, almost anyone.
Anyone who’s seen a 1950’s movie or Police Academy 2 knows that ruffians like to make their hideouts the seediest of places. This episode is no exception.
Despite the noxious conditions of the burned tower, anyone willing to take the risk of dying from some kind of cancer is more than welcome to try and make it their home. When the fire was doused by a rainstorm, Pokémon such as Koffing, Weezing and Magmar did just that, the formers’ natural gasses turning the already dreadful living conditions into utterly hostile. Magmar’s hellish heat turned its smoky warmth into what felt like an industrial furnace. The floors are covered in holes, including the basement. Nobody knows where the basement pits go to, but nobody wants to find out.
But some Pokémon are into that sort of thing. Especially in the case of a certain rat and his chums who have since made it their quarters.
“Heheh, boss! Boss!” chortled Poliwhirl, the swirl on his belly rotating a few times. “What’re we gonna do next, huh? Huh?”
“I’unno,” Raticate replied lazily. He, like the rest of the gang, was wearing a black leather jacket. The middle whisker on the left side of his rodent face had been cut in half from a previous scuffle, and his fur was ratty and unkempt. The rat’s leather jacket had stringy shreds hanging off the shoulders that draped down to his long, whip-like tail. “Anyone know of a place deservin’ a good whack?”
The rest of the gang shrugged in indifference.
“I-erra, have an idear,” piped up Bagon, a little blue creature with three, grey ridges covering the top of his head. His jacket lacked sleeves, and he had the most unusual speech mannerisms. “Why don’t we-err, attack New Bark Town?” His voice was almost monotonic.
“New Bark?” asked Raticate, whimsically. “New Bark! Wow, that’s a name I ain’t heard in forever. Hyuk! Let’s do it!”
Raichu, the orange rodent with a tail tipped like a lightning bolt, looked up to the hole in the above floor. No light was coming through the shattered windows or any of the building’s many holes.
“Eh, you sure ‘bout that, boss? I think it’s nighttime,” asked the rodent.
“Why not? We don’t work on a set schedule. Our bikes got lights.”
“A’ighty, then!” Raichu replied. The gang headed to the back of the room, where their motorcycles were stashed. All of them (barring Bagon, who instead rode with Poliwhirl) drove around on black motorcycles, because that was the cool thing to do in the 1970s. It worked for Meat Loaf and Rob Halford, didn’t it?
Now all revved up with someplace to go, Raticate was the first to depart from the tower, driving up an uneven pathway he and his goons had set up along the walls when they wanted out of the Brass Tower. He blitzed through the doorway and into Ecruteak’s streets, with Raichu not too far behind. Behind the mouse were Poliwhirl and Bagon, behind them the otter-with-a-yellow-floatation-device Floatzel, and behind him the blue, robed fighter Sawk. A few more Pokémon – the ferocious Vigoroth, the hardy Golem (who rolled instead of riding a bike), and last but not least, the fists-for-ears rabbit Diggersby joined the group on their upcoming rampage.
The snarling of motorcycle engines wove throughout the antiquated city, as anyone who was awake knew there was trouble afoot. Cackling like schizophrenic hyenas, Raticate and his gang made tracks for New Bark Town, unaware of what awaited them in the quaint city. As they drove, the group talked to each other in wild cacophony that nobody could understand, but they pretended to anyway before going back to howling with laughter.
They veered left at Route 36 to enter Violet City, where the police station was. As the cyclists laughed, Zangoose, perturbed by the noises, stood in the doorway to watch the gang zoom by.
“It’s ten at night!” he hollered to them. “Idiots.”
Raticate and his group didn’t hear the Chief’s insult and kept on driving to New Bark Town, ready to raise hell, smash stuff, and call everyone stupid. The streetlights guided them to their destination; anyone in their way was forced to dive out of their path or risk getting trampled by the wheels and/or Golem. Reaching into his coat pocket, Raticate pulled out his trench knife, a weapon with a curved blade and a D-shaped guard that protects the knuckles. It was his favorite thing in the entire world, and if anyone dared to take it from him, they’d be sorry.
“There-erra, it is!” Bagon shouted as they drew closer to the town’s entrance.
“YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAW!” Raticate cheered upon entering New Bark Town. Right away, he and the others drove around in a wide circle in the town’s middle, like they usually did before wreaking havoc. As Golem spun around, he sent rocks and pebbles flying every which way, shattering windows and lodging them in the metal mailboxes. “A’ight boys! Let’s paint the town red!”
They broke the circle and started going after whatever they felt like. Poliwhirl picked up a metal garbage can and chucked it through a window belonging to a house on the southwest side of town, then drove somewhere else.
Golem rolled into a streetlight’s pole, tearing it from its foundations and toppling it over onto Route 29. Raticate was hanging back, watching the chaos unfold. He had the tip of his trench knife touching his free hand’s index finger, and twirled the blade slightly. Raichu aimed a Thunderbolt attack at a house near the lake, hitting its satellite antenna. CRA-KOW! A loud, quaking thunderclap rolled through the town.
In the midst of the lunacy, the daring hero appeared, standing on his house’s roof.
“STOP RIGHT THERE, CRIMINAL SCUM!” Meganium Man declared. His cape was blowing in the wind, even though there was no wind to do so. The gang stopped their antics to face the caped crusader.
“How’s about you make us?” Raticate dared, driving forward. “There’s nine of us and only one of you!”
Accepting the challenge, Meganium Man jumped down from his roof, landing in the streets with a minor thud! He was not used to such movements; his feet gave out right as he landed, and the dinosaur fell over.
“GAHAHAHAHAAAAA!” Raticate and company laughed, their howling shrill as ever.
“What the heck was that?!” Vigoroth wondered, his voice always sounding enraged.
“Man, that was-erra, stupid!”
“What kind of hero can’t get the basic ‘jump-from-rooftop’ move down?” Golem mocked.
Undeterred from these insults, Meganium Man got back up, ready to protect his town. He shook off the dirt and paid his minor injury no mind.
Instantly, Raticate and his cronies started homing in on him, staying close to corner him at the lake leading to Tohjo Falls. The hero had no intentions of going down without a fight, but before either side could make a move…
“He said, ‘stop right there, criminal scum’!” shouted a woman’s voice from behind. Looking back, Raticate, Meganium Man, and the gang members saw a Typhlosion standing on the rooftop of the house Poliwhirl attacked. Her flame collar was much more wild than usual, and curled down like a cloak, even draping around her arms and hiding them. Typhlosion was wearing a black mask around her eyes, and black gloves and boots; these were her only disguise other than her flames.
“And if you don’t, we’ll make ya!” hollered another voice, this one a man’s. A Feraligatr clad in body armor and a knight’s helmet was standing on the roof of Professor Elm’s research lab, at the northwest of town.
Typhlosion jumped off the roof and turned into a ball of fire, landing just inches away from the gang. Feraligatr hopped off the lab’s rooftop to join her.
“Who are you two nimrods?” Raticate asked in disbelief.
It can’t be! Harley thought to himself.
Typhlosion declared, “I am Typhlosion the Triumphant! Defender of the meek!”
Feraligatr puffed out his chest and announced, “I am Fighter Feraligatr! Guardian of the helpless!”
Diggersby observed, “Those titles need lots o’ work.”
“It’s an ambush!” Raticate exclaimed. “You’re heroes, where’s your sense of honor?”
“There’s nothing honorable about petty thugs like you, Raticate!” Typhlosion retorted. “Now, get out of here, or else you’ll be leaving in a hearse.”
Oh, jeez, it is.
The rat had been threatened before, but never like that. He clenched his knife tightly, wondering if he should strike or not. Instead, he tucked it back in his jacket.
“Fine, you win this round! But we’ll be back!” Raticate vowed, revving the bike. Putting the pedal to the metal, the rodent veered around the echidna and alligator, heading down Route 29. His buddies took after him once again, bummed that their rampage had ended so soon.
After making sure nobody was within earshot, Feraligatr asked, “You okay, Harley?”
“Wow, what’s it been? Six, seven years since I saw you guys last?” Harley asked, now out of costume. He, Typhlosion, and Feraligatr were in a diner in Cherrygrove City, drinking coffee and eating a late night snack.
“At least,” replied Feraligatr, taking a sip of his coffee.
“That was quite a way to reunite,” added Typhlosion. “And I thought you were the cautious one.” She pointed to the sauropod. Both of them had since taken off their uniforms, like Harley did.
“So what made you come back? I thought you two moved to different regions.”
Shrugging, Feraligatr replied, “When we heard about all the insanity ‘Meganium Man’ had gotten into, we couldn’t believe it and had to see it for ourselves. I know every kid dreams of doing that, but you don’t hear of them actually doing it that often.”
Typhlosion nodded in agreement, but added, “He should really watch himself, though. The fiasco in Goldenrod City would shake even the most hardened Pokémon.”
Harley avoided Typhlosion’s statement, refusing to explain his actions in the city. After taking a bite of his brownie, he asked, “Why did you two, y’know…?”
“We felt inspired by what he did and wanted to see if we could pull it off,” Feraligatr answered.
“Hang on, Vic, that’s not entirely true. The timing was more if a coincidence, really. But the inspiration part is true,” Typhlosion replied.
The dinosaur felt warm and fuzzy inside, but had doubts over his influence on them. Although the trio played superhero often as children, Harley was actually living it. What Vic the Feraligatr and Ari the Typhlosion said really made him see it in a different light. Before, Harley donned the mask and cape out of boredom. Now, Meganium Man was a way of life.
At that point, he had an idea.
“How would you guys like to help me take down that gang?”
“You’re really not the same Pokémon we grew up with,” Vic whimsically said.
To Harley, that was a yes. Ari didn’t respond, but he knew she’d be up for it. The Typhlosion was the adventurous one of their group, taking them down previously uncharted paths of Route 29, 30, and 31. Even as a Cyndaquil, Ari was a hothead. Vic, well, was sort of the glue that kept the trio together. He had a good head on his shoulders and wasn’t as prone to taking risks as Ari, but it didn’t take much to convince him that cave really doesn’t have electric types, for real.
“Oh, man, this is gonna be awesome!” Vic cheered.
“We’ll need a plan, though. I’m not even sure where they’re from,” Harley cautioned.
“How about we follow their tire tracks? That’ll take us right to them,” Ari replied.
“Or just follow the scent,” Vic added, jokingly.
The answer, a mind bogglingly simple one, hit them all at once.
“Or ask the other witnesses!”
Harley left a $20 bill on the table, and the trio ducked out of the diner.
Once again in costume, Meganium Man, Typhlosion the Triumphant and Fighter Feraligatr went around Cherrygrove City, asking everyone if they saw where Raticate and his pals were going. An easy answer: Route 30. The motorcycles’ roaring woke up most of the citizens, who saw the furball and company tearing up the road.
A Donphan, an elephant like Pokémon out for a late night walk, told the trio he saw some “hooligans on bikes” driving towards Violet City.
“They wouldn’t be dumb enough to make their hideout anywhere near the police station, would they?” Meganium Man asked to nobody.
Donphan answered him, “Ah dun think so. But ya never know with them ruffians. They’s the spontaneous kind. They sure smelled funneh, though. All smoky and fiery and whatnot.”
The trio had to think about that one.
“I can’t think of anywhere around here like that,” Typhlosion wondered.
“Unless they’re at…” Feraligatr trailed off, then headed further up Route 31.
Meganium Man thanked Donphan, saying, “Thanks, sir! You might’ve just given us the tip we need!”
“Ain’t nothin’! Good luck!”
Typhlosion and Meganium followed Feraligatr, who was sure of where the gang had stationed themselves. It wasn’t too far from Violet City, he told his comrades. The gator was too excited to even think about stopping to tell them exactly what he was thinking.
Heading northwest up Route 36 and 37, the trio saw the looming, Tin Tower up ahead. It still looked magnificent, even three hundred something years after being constructed, illuminated by the moonlight. Standing at Ecruteak City’s and Route 37’s border, Fighter Feraligatr pointed just slightly to his left.
The Burned Tower.
“There? Why there?” asked Typhlosion the Triumphant.
“I could be wrong, but the Burned Tower is the only place I could think of that smelled like Donphan described. Smoky, fiery and whatnot.”
“Hiding in plain sight!” Meganium Man declared, enlightened. “Of course! Nobody would ever think to go inside the tower, except them.”
Meganium Man led his friends to and up the Burned Tower’s crumbling steps, entering the smoldering skyscraper. Typhlosion’s fiery cape provided light for them to see inside the wretched darkness, but it alerted a certain rodent to their presence.
“Hey! Is the tower on fire again?” Raticate shouted from the basement. He looked up to see a familiar group standing at the edge of the hole. “Oh, it’s you three! Scram! We’ve got havoc to wreak in the morning!”
Bagon joined him. “Yes, erra, havoc!”
“You’re not gonna be wreaking anything, Raticate!” Meganium Man declared. “’Cause we’re gonna stop you!”
Meganium Man wrapped two vines around a piece of scaffolding above him, intending to make up for his sloppy entrance in New Bark Town. Swinging from the metal, the uneven scaffolding came loose and collapsed; Meganium Man swung, hit the basement wall, and hit the ground.
Once again, Raticate and his gang laughed like loonies at the display.
“So not only did you fail to jump from your roof dynamically, you also botched the ‘heroic swing into action’ move, too. What a legacy you’re gonna leave behind!” Raticate jeered. He stormed over to Meganium Man, who was dazed from his collision with the wall. “Get up!” the rat demanded, grabbing a clump of fur on the back of the dinosaur’s head. Pulling up, the hero rose from the ground, covered in soot and dirt. Raichu and Floatzel had preoccupied themselves with Feraligatr, having type advantages over them respectively. Raticate removed his trench knife from his jacket.
Bagon, bored and wanting something to do, asked his leader, “So-erra, what’re we gonna do-erra with him?”
The rat was clutching Meganium Man’s lower neck petals tight. “I’unno, Bagon. Whaddya think we should do?” he raised the knife to the dinosaur’s neck.
“I say we-erra, cut up the petals! Make nice-erra, gifts!”
Raticate lost all hope in Bagon at that moment. The rat dished out an uppercut with the hand holding the knife, punching Bagon’s lower jaw and sending him tumbling backwards.
“Hey, nice one!” Meganium Man commented.
Raising the knife high, Raticate declared, “I’m gonna kill you!”
The fight was on! While the remaining goons went to deal with Typhlosion and Feraligatr, Raticate thrust his knife straight for Meganium Man’s eyes. Ducking, the steel missed the green one’s face and the blade lodged itself in the walls; the building was in such poor shape, a clump of cement and plaster fell when Raticate’s knife stabbed the wall.
Typhlosion found out how much of a punch Bagon had despite his small size. The little dragon headbutted her with his heavy noggin, pushing her back and away from Feraligatr. “Oof!” she yelped. Bagon’s three head ridges had left a minor bruise on her stomach.
WHAP! Feraligatr swung his tail at the runt, smacking Bagon aside and tumbling over. Raichu, who had stored thousands upon thousands of volts of electricity in his cheeks, unleashed the lightning storm upon Fighter. The dazzling array of lightning bolts surged over Feraligatr in an arc, but before they could electrocute the gator, Typhlosion came to the rescue with a blast of fire she shot at Raichu. Upon hitting the electric mouse, the lightning fizzled away, and sent Raichu violently hurdling aside.
Raticate swung and lunged his knife at Meganium Man with reckless abandon, unable to land a nick on the dinosaur.
“Quit moving so I can cut you!”
Jumping into the air, Raticate spun around and swatted the hero across his face with his long, rat tail. A clear red mark was visible across Meganium Man’s eyes, and the crack could be heard by everyone in the basement. Quickly retaliating, Meganium Man returned the favor when Raticate landed and slapped the rat across the face with a vine whip.
“Hey, stop that! That stings, y’know!” the gang leader complained.
“So why should I let you hit me, but I can’t hit you?”
“Because shut up, that’s why!”
Switching to something Meganium Man would have difficulty countering, Raticate dished out a punch, punching the dinosaur’s upper chest, between his front legs.
Meganium Man’s knees buckled from shock, involuntarily crouching down. This was the rat’s cue to punch him once more, this time in the face. Whack! Meganium Man fumbled aside from the rodent’s strike.
Vigoroth channeled his adrenaline into wild and frenzied attacks, swiping at Feraligatr, his claws scraping and scratching against the blue beast’s armor. Chalky white lines adorned the metal, his claws digging into it and just touching Feraligatr’s chest. Fighter’s fist lowered its temperature and was soon encased in a block of ice; the vigorous sloth was too focused to notice. It wasn’t until he felt the frozen fist of Feraligatr wallop his right side that he realized something was about to happen. With a yelp, Vigoroth moved away from Feraligatr to try and recuperate, but that’s Diggersby swung overhead with one of his long, bulky ear arms and brought it down on the gator’s noggin.
“Yow!” Fighter heaved as Diggersby’s attack smacked him to the floor.
Golem and Floatzel were sauntering towards Typhlosion, relishing that they both had type advantages over her. Just to be cruel, Golem kicked a large, nearby stone at her, but the Triumphant jumped out of the way. The stone rolled across the ground towards the wall behind her.
“Man, that was dumb. Follow my lead!” Floatzel chastised Golem, firing a helically wrapped burst of water at the fiery echidna, or whatever Typhlosion is supposed to be. She booked it, moving left to dodge the water, but Floatzel followed her path. Turning around faster than the naked eye could see, Typhlosion dashed towards Floatzel in a zigzag pattern and tackled him head on, knocking him to the floor.
Desperate to get the knife out of Raticate’s hands, Meganium Man tried an odd maneuver and, with his right front paw, shoved the rat away. It was a flimsy sort of punch, but it worked and Raticate lost his grip on the blade, dropping it. With a vine whip, Meganium Man quickly picked it up and brought it to himself, tucking it away in hammerspace.
“C’mon, Raticate! Let’s fight like men!” Meganium Man chortled, sauntering to the gang leader. Looking behind, the rodent saw he was behind a wall. Jump backwards and planting his feet against it, Raticate launched himself forward for the mother of all tackles, crashing into Meganium Man and knocking them both to the floor. The dinosaur’s head was hanging over the edge of a pit, which was Raticate’s chance to climb on top of him and take hold of the green one’s head, keeping it in place.
“See that? See what’s down there?”
“Good! That’s where you’re goin’!”
Before he could try and shove Meganium Man down the hole, the remains of the tower started shaking from all the attacks and beams being exchanged. The walls shook and cracks started appearing on the basement ceiling, which everybody saw.
“We better get outta here!” Sawk warned as a chunk of the ceiling collapsed.
“Every man for himself!” Raticate shouted. The Pokémon started running up the motorcycle ramp and thoughtlessly running across the crumbling first floor to get out of the building. Seconds after the last Pokémon, Bagon was out of the tower, the first floor crumbled and collapsed into the basement. The building let out a pained moan as a part of it perished. A small dust cloud seeped out from the doorway, but it didn’t even reach the heroes, who stood a few feet away from its entrance stairs.
“Our home!” Raichu jeered.
“Our bikes!” Vigoroth added. Sawk smacked him upside the head.
“Yeesh,” Feraligatr huffed.
The group stood and looked at the still standing tower, but Raticate showed little concern for what had happened to their hideout.
“Hmph. Are you happy now?” he asked, turning to face the trio.
“Well, uh, not really, no,” Meganium Man stammered. “What was the point of making your hideout such an unstable building, anyway?”
“There ain’t many other places to make one. I mean, that shop in Mahogany Town has an abandoned basement, but it isn’t quite the same.”
Bagon walked up to Raticate and asked, “So-erra, where do we go-erra, now?”
Raticate didn’t have an answer to the question, but replied, “Well, I guess we’ll just find somewhere else to hang out. I hear Veilstone City has a bunch of empty warehouses.”
“A warehouse? Killer!” Sawk exclaimed. Talking among themselves, the gang walked away from the tower towards Route 40.
Meganium Man, Fighter Feraligatr and Typhlosion the Triumphant watched blankly at the gang as they left Ecruteak.
“What an odd bunch,” Typhlosion said.
“Really,” Fighter added.
They also left Ecruteak City, heading down Route 36 and back to southern Johto.
“Well, that was fun! We really should do this again,” Meganium Man said to his friends.
“Absolutely! The three of us could form an organization of crimefighters and call it the Justice League, or something like that!” Feraligatr replied. He was later sued for copyright infringement.
“But first,” Meganium Man added, “I could really use a vacation!”
Nobody in Johto saw Raticate or his gang after that night, and nobody knows where they went. Except for the poor souls in Veilstone City’s Game Corner, whose staff doesn’t have enough Clawitzer Cocktails to make them happy.
Daaaaa na-na-na-naaaaa, da-na-naaaaaaaaa! A slot machine played its victory chime as one of the gang members hit the jackpot once again.
“WOOOOHOOOO!” Sawk cheered as the coins started pouring out from the machine. “Boss, checkit! Think this is enough for that Sharpedo doll?”
Raticate was standing behind him, surrounded by coffee cups filled with gold coins. There were 4500 coins in total, and Sawk’s winnings made it 4600.
“No need!” Bagon said, standing in the doorway. Beside him was a large doll of a torpedo-like shark. “They-erra, said they’d give it-erra, to us for free if we-erra, just left! I said-erra, sure, got the doll, and-erra, they fell for it!”
“SUCKERRRRS!” Raticate shouted. He and his friends screeched with laughter over this ridiculous victory and went back to playing the slots.
The End of Episode #4!
Meganium Man #5: Rawr and Stuff!
The following episode is presented to you by CAPS LOCK.
CAPS LOCK: When bolded and italicized rambling ISN’T ENOUGH.
Lake of Rage has become one of Johto’s most famous landmarks, but also its most dangerous. North of Mahogany Town at the end of a forest, the lake was created by a swarm of angry Gyarados, ferocious water serpents whose anger can’t be tamed. In the event you encounter a calm one, the best course of action is to stop doing things, because nobody can ever tell what sets them off. Maybe they do, but the Gyarados eats them moments later.
Originally taking up less than 1/10th of Route 43, the lake has expanded over the years, and is now half as long as the path and stretches several miles down Route 44, east of Mahogany Town. Its size has not increased in over fifty years, but Mahogany Town is on high alert regardless.
This is not to say those living on the opposite end of Johto are safe. If there is any large body of water around, it could be home to a Gyarados, or possibly more. Cities have been laid to waste by their rampages, and particularly bad outbursts are why Lake of Rage has become so large.
Speaking of tangentially related details, our hero, Harley, was vacationing in Olivine City, a port town on Johto’s west end. The city was famous for its lighthouse, essential for safely guiding ships to its port. An Ampharos, a yellow, bipedal sheep-like Pokémon, was responsible for the making sure boats arrived safely in the city. Being a port, Olivine City was conjoined with Johto’s largest body of water.
Harley was on the border of the city and Route 40, fishing rod in his vines. Sitting back on a lounge chair, the herb Pokémon watched the waves wash up on shore. He had never fished before, and thought Olivine would be an excellent place to give it a whirl. He bought the fishing rod from an enthusiastic Krabby at the city’s north side. The fishing rod was in good shape, nothing spectacular.
Enjoying the tranquility of his first day on vacation, the fishing lure suddenly pulled away from Harley.
“Whoa!” the dinosaur exclaimed in shock. “A bite! Cool!”
Holding the rod in his left vine, he started turning the reel with his right, excited at seeing the brain dead face of a Magikarp the dinosaur likely caught. There was almost no resistance as he brought in his catch, so it was certainly nothing of value.
The line touched the shore of the city, meaning Harley could collect on his haul. Maybe it wasn’t a Pokémon he snagged? Maybe he snatched a rare shard of some kind, which he could trade for a nice, hefty fee. Or a shopping cart. He’d always wanted one of those.
Just before getting out of his lawn chair, Harley’s catch brought itself to him. A large, red snake with a perpetually open mouth and a trident on its forehead emerged from the sea, whiskers dangling.
“RAWR AND STUFF!”
The Gyarados had the fishing line in its mouth, the hook caught on its inner cheek. Nearby Pokémon gathered up their things, screaming, running for the hills.
To Harley, the sea creature was larger than life, its long red torso stretching up into the heavens. He dropped the fishing rod, awestruck at Gyarados’ presence; it was impossible to take his eyes off the great beast.
“WHO DARES TRY TO CATCH ME?!” Gyarados bellowed.
“Me, I guess,” Harley replied, absent mindedly.
Slinking down to inspect the green Pokémon closer, Gyarados replied, “YOU ARE BUT A COMMON MEGANIUM. WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO FISH FOR MY KIND?”
Trembling and backing away, Harley replied, “I-it was an accident! I s-swear! This was my first time f-f-fishing!”
“YOU CAN’T EVEN DIGNIFY ME WITH AN ORIGINAL RESPONSE. TELL ME: WHAT WERE YOU HOPING TO CATCH, IF NOT ME?”
“Uh, I don’t know, a Magikarp?” Harley was still somewhat absent minded.
Gyarados continued, “OKAY, FINE. AND WHAT WERE YOU GOING TO DO IF YOU CAUGHT A MAGIKARP? I EVOLVE FROM THOSE, YOU KNOW.”
“Throw it back into the ocean,” Harley replied, confident that his answer would diffuse the situation.
“THROW IT BACK?! WHAT IS IT, GARBAGE? YOU INSOLENT MORSEL! JUST FOR THAT, I’M GOING TO MAKE YOU WATCH AS I DESTROY THIS FINE CITY!”
Closing its mouth, Gyarados snapped the fishing line in half and yanked the rod away from his enemy.
“BE THANKFUL THERE’S ONLY ONE OF ME. I MIGHT JUST MISS SOME OF YOU IN MY ONSLAUGHT!”
Pulling back, Gyarados distanced himself from the shore to breathe in for his first attack, one of the many to follow. Harley could see something orange forming in its jaws, a sure sign of death. Thinking fast, he picked up the lawn chair with his vines and hurled it at Gyarados, a move so feeble, the serpent didn’t even dignify it with impact and continued moving away. The chair splashed and sank into the ocean.
Gyarados’ upper body violently lunged forward as an orange, sparkly beam shot out of its large mouth, instantly demolishing the deli behind Harley and continuing forward, ripping up the ground from sheer force despite being above it. The Apatosaurus watched as Pokémon fled the city, but one of them, the rock tree Sudowoodo, tripped over a rock and fell. Hyper Beam eventually fizzled out, but the snake had his eyes on the tree.
“OH GOODIE! I LOVE HARD CANDY!”
Dashing forward to save the walking log, Harley helped the felled Pokémon back onto its feet before attempting to escape as well. Gyarados slithered onto the smooth, stony ground as he really began his rampage, swatting over streetlights, crushing signs, and plowing through buildings. The serpent had a one track mind and kept moving to Route 39, following his prey. To him, Harley and Sudowoodo were wranglers and deserved to be devoured first.
The fleeing Pokémon went every which way on Route 39, some going straight, some heading east to Route 38 and Ecruteak City, some just running around in a blind panic.
“RUN, RUN, RUN, AS FAST AS YOU CAN. YOU CAN’T STOP ME, ‘CAUSE I’M A GYARADOS!”
“Isn’t that supposed to rhyme?” Sudowoodo wondered.
“YOU WANT IT TO RHYME? OKAY. RUN, RUN, RUN, YOU LITTLE RUNTS. YOU CAN’T STOP ME, I’M A GYARADOS, YOU—”
A pin struck and lodged itself in Gyarados’ red skin.
“OW! WHAT WAS THAT?”
He looked right and saw a Corsola, the pink and white coral Pokémon, standing about half a mile away. Its back was covered in long, thick spikes of coral, and their edges looked sharper than normal. Basically, it looked like a Chansey made of Lego.
“That was brave,” Harley observed.
“BRAVE BUT STUPID. REALLY, TRULY STUPID.”
Corsola started hopping forward, her stubby legs too small to walk with. Her eyes had a sharp gaze to them, and were locked on Gyarados.
“I shan’t let you destroy this city!” she hollered.
“THEN YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN PIN MISSILE.” Gyarados lightly shook his body, flinging the stuck pin to the floor. “IF I HAD A HEALTH BAR, IT WOULDN’T HAVE DECREASED AT ALL. THAT’S HOW PATHETIC THAT ATTACK WAS.”
Feeling a bit randy, Harley attacked Gyarados with his Razor Leaf attack. The pink petals around his neck shredded and pelted the serpent, and then returned to their regular form.
“How about that?”
“THAT WAS SOMETHING, DEFINITELY.” Gyarados looked at his chest, noticing it was covered in scrapes and cuts. “MY HEALTH BAR MIGHT HAVE DROPPED A LITTLE, BUT NOTHING SUBSTANTIAL. KUDOS, I GUESS.” His voice was turning gargly, like something was caught in his throat. “BUT PITHY MOVES LIKE THAT WON’T BE ENOUGH TO DEFEAT ME!”
From his mouth issued a gushing flow of water, not in beam form. The churning waves of Gyarados’ Brine attack swept up the trio and carried them back to the heart of Olivine City, leaving them amongst some wreckage. Debris surrounded them, among it streetlights and building remains.
Harley and Corsola watched Gyarados turn back down Route 39 to continue his rampage, but Sudowoodo was on the verge of unconsciousness. Rock types hate water like grass types hate fire. The fake tree was shivering from the dampness, and his rock hide was blotched from water.
“We gotta get him to a Pokémon Center, now!”
“Take him I shall. Thou shall distract that vile serpent!” Corsola replied. Harley had never heard anyone talk this way before other than in plays written by William Shakesmeargle. Nonetheless, Harley nodded in agreement. The coral carried Sudowoodo on her head, using the gaps between her spikes as support, taking him to the Pokémon Center which was still standing.
Now that nobody was around, Harley felt safe donning the mask and cape. He reached into hammerspace with a vine and retrieved the costume, tied the cape around his neck, and placed the cowl on his noggin. Once again, Meganium Man took off to save the day. Somehow.
He trekked up Route 39, devising a plan. The dinosaur needed to get Gyarados somewhere he could defeat him instantly, but the species was burly enough to withstand a variety of attacks. Gyarados have been known to shrug off Thunderbolts from sheer anger, making matters worse.
It hit him! Meganium Man returned to Olivine, entered the lighthouse and headed up its many flights of stairs, praying that his answer was up here. It was a long climb, and he spent each step thinking of possible alternatives to defeat the beast.
The top floor of the lighthouse is a circular room with a bed in the middle, where Ampharos sleeps. Sure enough, there was the yellow sheep creature, standing at his lookout spot.
“Ampharos! We need your help!”
“Yes, I saw all that. Bloody predicament, really.”
Meganium Man wondered if he had been seen.
“Hang on, did you see me change?”
“Aye, but you have nothing to fear. Your secret is safe with me.” The superhero sighed with relief.
“I need you to help me defeat Gyarados. You’re an electric type, so you can take him down, or at least badly wound him. There’s not much time!”
Without hesitation, the sheep nodded. “Do you have a plan?”
Meganium Man told Ampharos that he didn’t, but asked if there was somewhere they could lure Gyarados to get the snake away from any major cities.
“The only place like that would be the ocean, or maybe Mt. Mortar. But those Gyarados, they be an angry bunch. The sea won’t help at all.”
“Mt. Mortar is just east of Ecruteak City, right?”
“Aye. We might be able to trap him there for a wee while and get everyone else to safety, but it’s a risk.”
“Risk or no risk, it’s worth a shot!”
Meganium Man and Ampharos went back downstairs and rushed to Route 39, seeing a large swath of destruction. Trees had been knocked over and split apart, the grass had been flattened, and the ground had been torn up. A path was clearly visible from the attack and they could see Gyarados breaching the gate of Route 38 and Ecruteak City.
“HOORAY, ANCIENT HISTORY!”
Like everything else, Gyarados tore the gate down with its slithery motions and entered the antiquated city. Pokémon who saw the behemoth approaching bolted inside their houses for safety, or if they were too far from their homes, hopped in the pond by the Tin Tower’s gate.
“Gotta go faster, gotta go faster,” Meganium Man chanted to himself as he and Ampharos hurried to the city. Gyarados swung his tail at a nearby house, smashing its roof and snapping it cleanly in half.
“THERE IS NOTHING WORTH DESTROYING HERE!”
Now in the city grounds, Meganium Man kicked a small stone at Gyarados that was on the street. A light ‘plunk!’ was audible when the pebble hit the serpent’s skin.
Gyarados saw the two in his peripheral vision. “WHAT DO YOU WANT? I’M BUSY GOING CRAZY HERE.”
A frightened Meganium Man replied, “I bet you can’t catch me!”
The giant snake cocked his head. “IS THAT A CHALLENGE?”
“You bet it is!”
“OKAY, I’LL GIVE YOU A THREE SECOND HEAD START. THREE!”
Meganium Man and Ampharos rushed to Route 42, storming through the gate. Route 42 was mostly mountainous, its natural road separated by midsized bodies of water. The entrance to Mt. Mortar was just to the left of the route’s entrance.
The duo was short on time and knew Gyarados was not going to count down to one. Going with their gut, both headed into the mountain so they could execute their nonexistent plan.
“Oh, jeez! We don’t have a plan!” Meganium Man realized.
“Nay, but just keep running! I have an idea!”
Gyarados was hot on their trail, having seen them enter the mountain. Roaring, it bore through the entrance hole, making it bigger.
Ampharos was leading the way now, taking the caped crusader up a long path. The cave was dark, but Ampharos created light by storing electricity in his horns, penetrating the darkness.
“So, what’s your idea?”
“This mountain was shaped by Graveller using Selfdestruct, hence why the path is so uneven. Luring Gyarados into here and getting that to happen could rattle ‘im!”
“That’s a horrible plan.”
“Hush up and keep running!”
Meganium Man followed Ampharos up a steep slope covered in jagged rocks and holes. Upon reaching the top of the hill, the two saw nothing there but a dead end. The wide floor stretched out to three, surrounding walls that made the spot look like an arena. Guessing, the walls were at least 70 feet long and the ceiling was 50 feet high, ideal for the red snake to trap them.
“Dang it! The mountain’s been reshaped more than I thought,” Ampharos complained.
Ka-boom! An explosion caught their attention, but it was in a different part of the cave. That meant nothing, as they felt the floor shake and fragments of the ceiling were jarred loose from the rumble.
“We’re gonna have to be really lucky for this to work!” Meganium Man commented.
“HELLO, BOYS! I FOUND YOU!”
The atrocious serpent was slithering up the slope, plowing through the jagged obtrusions like they were nothing.
It was difficult to pinpoint the location of that explosion, but it was much closer to them. The tremor was much more violent and bigger, heavier chunks of the ceiling and walls crashed down. Gyarados stopped in his tracks to recuperate from the shaking.
“YOU’VE LED ME INTO A TRAP! CURSE YOU, CURSE YOU BOTH!”
“No, it i-isn’t what you think! We just needed to subdue you for a while! We don’t want to kill you!” Meganium Man explained.
“TOO BAD, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW, I CERTAINLY WANT TO KILL YOU TWO!”
Gyarados’ incessant bellowing caused weak tremors of his own, rattling the walls slightly. Powerfully whipping his tail, Gyarados churned out a weak, but potent twister that picked up the fallen stones for debris. The vortex swirled around Meganium Man and Ampharos, tossing the rocks at them like it was sentient.
“Yow! That stings!” the dinosaur whimpered as a rock cut across his muzzle.
It wasn’t long before it dissipated and the airlifted stones fell again, but Gyarados was capable of much worse than that. He slithered around the two like a predator taunting its prey, his mouth turning into a wicked grin for added fear.
As he sauntered around them, Meganium Man saw another Hyper Beam being prepared. Ampharos’ left fist electrified, and he rushed forward, punching Gyarados’ lower body sections. Small bursts of lightning flashed from the punch as the snake lost focus, halting the Hyper Beam’s preparation; the snake grunted in discomfort.
“GAH! YOUR THUNDERPUNCH WON’T STOP ME NEXT TIME I TRY THAT!”
The electric sheep was backing away now, but was watching the crimson creature’s every move. Gyarados was ready to use a new beam attack, one he could use right away. He fired a pulsing blue and grey blast at Meganium Man, but the dinosaur jumped out of the way and rolled aside; Dragon Pulse tore up the ground as Gyarados relentlessly kept it up, catching the hero off guard and pelting him into the wall.
Ampharos ran over to make sure Meganium Man was okay, taking notice of the grey and blue burn mark on him. The hero was wincing in pain, trying to fight it off and keep fighting. With the sheep’s help, the green Apatosaurus was lifted back on his feet.
“SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PICK ON A BIGGER FISH?”
“Technically, you’re a serpent,” Meganium Man retorted.
“DON’T CORRECT ME, IMPUDENT BOY!” Gyarados shouted, causing yet another small tremor. Many rocks and small pieces of the ceiling were jarred loose and fell around the combatants.
“Forget the fight! We hafta get outta here!” Ampharos warned. He and Meganium Man took off for the slope, but Gyarados was much faster than them and beat them to the edge. He was prepared this time.
Roaring with hate, Gyarados fired the Hyper Beam at the lighthouse keeper and vigilante, but before it could hit them, Ampharos set up a wall of reflective light to protect them, but he took the brunt of the attack and was violently shoved back. The wall stayed up against Hyper Beam’s raw power, thankfully. Meganium Man took matters into his hands and fired his Razor Leafs at Gyarados, much more forcefully than before. They were launched with such energy, the barrage shoved Gyarados backwards, over the edge of the slope.
He kept up the beam, but it was now being fired at the ceiling. Many slabs of stone came crashing down upon the serpent, burying him at the foot of the hill. Only his head and tail fins were unburied in the aftermath.
“UUURRRR,” Gyarados groaned in defeat. His eyes were closed in agony.
With the snake down for the count, Meganium Man returned Ampharos’ favor and headed to the back of the ‘arena’ to help him back up. He wrapped his vines around Ampharos’ torso and pulled him up on his feet once more.
“You all right?”
“Aye, just a flesh wound,” Ampharos replied, pointing to the gash on his left arm. It only bled lightly, and was nothing to really worry about. He and Meganium Man carefully walked down the slope to see how grievous Gyarados’ condition was, avoiding the remaining jagged stones and being mindful of falling rocks.
Once they reached the bottom, Gyarados weakly said, “GO AHEAD. FINISH ME OFF.”
Shaking his head, Meganium Man replied, “No, I won’t kill you. I made that mistake once and don’t intend on making it again.” He and the sheep started pulling and pushing rocks off Gyarados, learning just how battered he was. His entire body was bruised black and blue and blood, although nearly blending in with his crimson skin, was clearly visible. The serpent’s breathing was heavily labored and sounded like he was near death, but the duo knew otherwise.
When the last of the rocks was pulled off him, Gyarados tried desperately to get up. He could only lift his front so far before wincing and grunting in pain.
“Can you move? Like, at all?” the dinosaur asked.
“MAYBE.” Gyarados weakly and uncomfortably slithered forward, adding, “YES.”
“Okay, we’re gonna try and get you back to Route 42, but you absolutely need to work with us.”
“I’LL DO WHAT I CAN.”
Getting Gyarados out of the cave was a huge workload; the snake was much, much heavier than Meganium Man and Ampharos combined, and he was exerting a lot of pressure to stay balanced. Meganium Man’s vines were wrapped tightly around his serpentine body and Ampharos’ hands were pressing against the front of his chest to keep him up. Slowly but surely, the trio weaved back from where they came towards Route 42, eager to get Gyarados out safely.
The entrance was just up ahead, and they could see the sandy ground of Route 42. Gyarados upped the ante, trying to make the remaining stretch less stressful for his defeaters. His slithering became less wonky, to their delight, and it cut their travel time down a tad. Upon returning to the outside world, Gyarados approached the nearby pond for rejuvenation, but stopped.
“WHY DID YOU TWO RESCUE ME?”
Meganium Man replied, “It just seemed like the right thing to do. There wasn’t much of a point letting you die in there.”
Turning aside to think about what had transpired and what he’d done, Gyarados popped something loose from the section connected to his head. A red shard landed at Meganium Man’s feet.
“What’s this?” he asked, picking it up with a vine.
“IT’S A RED SHARD. NORMALLY I’M VERY PROTECTIVE OF IT, BUT I THINK YOU DESERVE IT. YOU CAN SELL IT FOR A BUTTLOAD OF MONEY IF YOU WANT.”
“Um, thanks, I guess? What’re you gonna do now, Gyarados?”
“MAKE MYSELF SCARCE. BUT BEFORE I GO, I WANT TO THANK THE BOTH OF YOU FOR MAKING ME COME TO MY SENSES. WE GYARADOS ARE A VIOLENT SPECIES, BUT WE DO HAVE REGRETS. AND IF ANYONE CAN KNOCK SOME SENSE INTO US, IT’S YOU TWO.”
“Take care, Gyarados. May we meet again!” Ampharos said, waving.
“I’M SURE WE WILL!” Gyarados replied, and then jumped into the water and swam away to destinations unknown. He smiled at the help he received from the two; others normally run in fear when Gyarados show up, but Meganium Man and Ampharos were more than willing to get him to safety.
“Well, so much for my vacation,” Meganium Man joked.
“It isn’t too late, lad! You could always start again.”
“Ha! True. But first, there’s someone I should go and visit.”
Meganium Man and Ampharos headed back to Olivine City, but while the vigilante’s destination was the Pokémon Center, Ampharos returned to the lighthouse for his ship guiding duty. Stepping inside the building, he saw Sudowoodo covered head to toe in blankets, and Corsola beside him.
Stepping up to the seat, he asked, “How’s he doing?”
“Oh, hello, thine hero! Has that wicked serpent been felled?” Corsola asked. Meganium told her that he and Ampharos managed to subdue him. She then added, “Sudowoodo’s going to be fine. He just has to stay warm and away from water.”
“Brrr,” the fake tree shuddered. “That’s what I get for living in a port.” His skin blotches were starting to fade.
“I’m sorry for indirectly getting you involved, Sudowoodo. I really am.”
“Oh, that’s all right. Actually, I may’ve died if you hadn’t picked me up. Thank you for that!”
Meganium Man reassuringly nodded. “So, what’s gonna happen now?”
Corsola replied, “This fine city shall be repaired as need be. Are you going to stay and help us rebuild?”
“Absolutely. I’m responsible for pissing off Gyarados, so it’s the least I could do.”
He shook Corsola’s and Sudowoodo’s hands before departing the Pokémon Center, surveying the damage. It was going to be a lot of work rebuilding and cleaning up debris, but it was absolutely worth it.
…And then his vacation would start. Maybe.
The end of Episode #5!
Meganium Man #6: Here be Dragons
Harley stood at the edge of the river, looking down at the rushing water. He could see many Magikarp and Dratini swimming upstream, north to Blackthorn City, where the latter lived.
“You can jump…” the sauropod began, becoming less decipherable as something formed in his mouth, “but you can’t hide!”
And he spat out a glowing, yellow seed, and then another, and another, as a Dratini leapt through the water and in an arc. Every single seed missed Dratini by miles, and either didn’t go very far or landed in the water. The blue serpent dove headfirst into the river but immediately turned around, poking its head out.
“You’re awful at this!” he scolded. “I mean, yeah, there’s a big ol’ space, but come on!”
The Meganium sighed in disdain. “Hey, I’ve never even used this attack before. It’s not my fault I suck at it.”
“All right, let’s try something. Meet me at that bridge over by the little waterfall just south of here.”
Harley looked to his left, asked, “Which one?”
“The first one. It’s the closest.”
The two headed south, down Route 45 – a long, mountain road. It had many branching paths accessible by ramp-like ledges and a river ran through the middle of the road. Wooden bridges were over the river to connect both sides of the Route, although the west end had a few cave entrances. If one continued south, they would arrive at Route 30, and east of that is New Bark Town.
Soon after reaching the first bridge, Dratini jumped up and landed on top of it, standing in the middle.
“Okay, I’m gonna stand perfectly still. Right in this spot. You stand at the end of the bridge and try shooting your Bullet Seeds again.”
Harley shrugged, readied some seeds – his cheek puffed as he did so – and fired. When Dratini realized that none of the bullets were going to hit him, despite being just ten feet away from Harley, the blue serpent hung his head in disdain.
“Clearly, I’m a master marksman,” Harley joked.
“I’ve seen better marksmanship when bullets weren’t even involved!” Dratini teased, looking at all the seeds around him. “Why am I helping you with this, again?”
“Maybe we’re going about this the wrong way. Have you tried aiming at a wall? It might help the whole ‘accuracy’ thing.”
Harley smacked himself on the forehead, replied, “That’s a great idea!” He turned around, Dratini slithered up beside him, and Harley took aim at the mountain wall. “Here goes nothing!”
Unlike before, the bullets reached their target, albeit weakly. An expert Bullet Seed shooter could bore right through the wall, but Harley’s seeds just bounced off and onto the ground. A rapid fire ptewptewptewptew was heard as the seeds were fired, but Harley was forced to stop due to the lack of expellable air.
While he caught his breath, Dratini commented, “Better.”
A woman’s voice added, “Much so!”
Harley and Dratini turned around and saw Kingdra, Blackthorn City’s Mayor, approaching them. She hovered above the ground, as many legless and wingless Pokémon tend to do. Kingdra was a blue seahorse Pokémon with a yellow belly and a single fin on her back. Two antler-like horns were on her head.
“Howdy, Mayor! How’s things?” Harley asked.
“I can’t complain. How about you?” she asked, in a much more concerned manner. Dratini raised an eyebrow.
That’s it, Mayor. Just a little to the left.
“Erm, I’m fine. So, how long have you been watching me try to shoot Dratini?”
“Just a few minutes. You’ll get the hang of it eventually. When I was a Horsea and learning to use Dragon Rage, I set at least two barns on fire. My aim was that bad.”
“From pyromaniac to Mayor,” Dratini commented.
“That’s accidental pyromaniac to you,” Kingdra joked.
As the three continued to make small talk, a glob of brown sludge had been hurled from overhead, dropping straight down on Mayor Kingdra. When they saw the shadow, it was already too late.
Once they were aware of the Sludge Bomb’s pungent smell, the large blob hit Kingdra and instantly exploded, sending goop everywhere. The Mayor was instantly taken down, and Harley’s skin was blotched a sickly beige when the poison splashed onto him. He seethed as he tried to keep the scorching pain at bay, gritting his teeth.
“Where did that come from?” Harley wondered aloud, looking up around the towering mountain walls and cliffs. He could see cave holes in many of them, but no Pokémon were inside that he could see.
Kingdra was a shivering, disheveled mess. She was covered in the poison and her breathing was labored. If Harley and Dratini had to guess, she had swallowed some.
“Never mind that. You stay here; I’ll go get a Chansey from the Pokémon Center!” Dratini said, hurrying north to Blackthorn City. Harley immediately went on guard, looking every which way.
Did he dare don the cape and cowl?
After a few minutes, Dratini returned with a Chansey, who, he found out, could move surprisingly fast if need be.
“My goodness! What happened to her?” Chansey asked.
“Someone dropped a Sludge Bomb, that’s what,” Harley explained.
“How about you?” Chansey asked when she noticed Harley’s skin. “Are you going to be okay?”
“I’ll be fine. I think Mayor Kingdra accidentally swallowed some of the poison.”
Chansey picked up Kingdra, said, “This does not look good. We might be able to find out which Pokémon it came from, but that could take some time.” She started returning to Blackthorn City. Harley and Dratini followed her dutifully.
Blackthorn City is nestled between three surrounding mountain walls, and north of the city is the Dragon’s Den, a large clearing which has become a popular tourist attraction. Blackthorn City is accessible primarily through the frigid Ice Cave, connecting it to Mahogany Town in the west. Its buildings were built of white bricks with dark green roofs. City Hall rests against the shore connecting the city to the Dragon’s Den’s entrance cave.
The trio followed Chansey to the Pokémon Center, smack dab in the city’s middle. It was a cozy building with an inviting pink carpet, a reception desk on the left wall, and many hallways and stairways. Chansey lightly placed Kingdra on a bed and started wheeling her to a room.
Another Chansey wheeled Kingdra into her room, while the Chansey Harley and Dratini had met stood in the door and said, “I’m sorry, but you’re not permitted to come in right now. You can wait in the foyer, however.”
“Fine with me,” Harley said. He and Dratini took a seat on the yellow cushions in the waiting room.
“Who would do that?” Dratini asked to nobody. “Just up and drop a Sludge Bomb like that, in broad daylight.”
Harley shook his head. “Someone who was born evil, I’d say.”
“That’s kinda dramatic, doncha think?”
“Not really. I could make it more dramatic if you want.”
Dratini was about to say, “I’ll pass,” but he barely made a peep when Harley stood up.
“What foul creature would dare attempt to assassinate the Mayor in the middle of the day, one which, as a result of his actions, shall live on in despicable infamy? A mere coward they are for not showing themselves and letting us see the evil that lurks in the hearts of men!”
He sat down. “Dramatic enough?”
“Oi,” Dratini sighed.
Roughly a half hour passed before an Altaria rushed into the building. He was a sky blue draconic Pokémon with a round head, long, stringy antenna, and large, fluffy white clouds for wings. He had a small beak for a mouth and black, expressive eyes.
Altaria tucked in his wings, covering his back. He walked up to a Linoone orderly, asked, “What’s going on? Is she okay?”
Linoone was a ferret-like Pokémon with brown stripes on the length of its body. He told Altaria that Kingdra was currently being looked after by Chansey, but visiting her at the moment was strictly prohibited.
Soon after this, a Weavile entered the building. A slender, black-furred Pokémon with a red feathery collar around her neck and a red, feathery crown on her head, armed with three sharp claws on both hands, Weavile was Chief of the police around these parts, with her authority stretching to western Johto.
“Altaria,” Weavile began, “I told you my boys will look after it.”
“I know who it is! It’s Dragalge! It has to be!” Altaria hysterically replied. He flapped his wings ineffectively.
Harley and Dratini exchanged confused glances.
“Dragalge up and left town after the election,” Weavile said. “Her loss to Kingdra pretty much guaranteed she had nothing left here.”
Oh, goodie, a political drama, Harley thought in disdain.
“What’d I miss?” he asked Dratini.
“There was an election a while ago, and it boiled down to Kingdra and Dragalge. Kingdra won by a slim margin. Dragalge hasn’t been seen since,” the blue serpent replied.
Harley nodded in understanding, until he realized Altaria might be on to something. Jealousy can make people to awful things, and he’d had first-hand experience in that regard.
The green Apatosaurus stood up and approached the duo. “Excuse me. I hate to interrupt, but I think Altaria may have a point.”
Weavile was silent for a moment, staring at Harley. “What?” she asked, flatly.
“You do?” Altaria giddily asked.
Harley nodded. “Yeah, absolutely. You remember that whole thing in Goldenrod City a while ago?” He appeared to shudder at the comment. “Scyther and his friends attacked because of jealousy, wanting to prove that bugs aren’t dainty Pokémon. Altaria, does Kingdra have any, err, enemies?”
“Hold on just a minute,” Weavile interjected. “Who in the world are you? I’ve never seen you around here before. Secondly, you are not a cop, and this doesn’t concern you.” At that moment, she appeared to recognize Harley, although she couldn’t be sure of her reasoning. “Even if Altaria is correct, Dragalge might not even be on Route 45 anymore.”
“And if she is?”
“Then I will deal with her.”
Meganium Man! She thought. Weavile turned away, but gave Harley a quick second glance.
She headed to the Pokémon Center’s doors. Two officers were stationed outside: the hardy, orange and beige crab with a massive left pincher, Kingler, and the white wolf with a dark face, tail and claws, with a thin, curved horn on the right side of its head, Absol.
“You two. I’m going to call for backup and put this city on lockdown. Nobody is to enter or leave its grounds, understood?”
“Loud and clear,” Kingler replied. Absol nodded.
Weavile returned to the Pokémon Center’s foyer and picked up the phone near the reception desk. She did indeed ask for backup and emphasized her desire for air patrol. Soon, she hung up.
“All right. If the Mayor’s attacker is still in the area, they won’t get far. They won’t get far if they aren’t in the area, for that matter.”
“How can you be so sure?” Altaria asked.
“Because I say so,” Weavile replied, almost cheekily. She then asked Harley, “So, what’re you doing here, exactly? Apparently you saw the attack?”
Harley nodded. “Sure did. Was caught in it, too. Anyway, yeah, they attacked from one of the caves on the mountain cliffs, but I’m not sure from which direction. Dratini was with me, too.”
The blue snake slithered over to Harley and the police. “I can confirm what he said.”
“Fine.” She turned to Altaria. “Unfortunately, we won’t know if your hunch is correct until we can extract a sample of the poison out of Kingdra.” She then asked Harley, “What’re your plans?”
“I got none. I’d like to get back to New Bark Town, though.”
“No can do, sorry. You can’t leave until we get this sorted out. However, you are free to spend your time in the city if that suits you.”
“Ain’t like I got anything else to do,” Harley replied.
Weavile left the hospital so she could give the incoming officers the scoop.
Harley and Dratini also left, and Dratini suggested they check out Dragon’s Den. He led Harley north to City Hall; a bridge had been constructed connecting the pond to the cavern’s entrance.
Dragon’s Den was a small cave with two levels: the entrance, and a lower level leading to the lake, surrounded by more towering mountain walls. The lake’s shore was grass and had several lookout points around it, binoculars and all. A few scant whirlpools were also present. The long river on Routes 45 started here, and there were many Pokémon living in the lake. Harley swore he saw a red Gyarados, but the waves were quite violent and he couldn’t be sure; it was probably just a Magikarp, he reasoned.
He started looking through the binoculars, but there wasn’t a whole lot else to see other than the caves in the mountain walls. He caught glimpses of Ursaring, Golem, Onix and Dunsparce roaming around the pitch-black caves, but nothing remarkable.
He caught a sudden glimpse of a brown, leaf-like appendage. He had no clue what Dragalge looked like, but at that moment, Harley thought he saw her.
As soon as the appendage disappeared, Harley removed himself from the binoculars.
“This is a pretty cool place,” he commented.
“Sure is! I can’t believe a house used to be here,” Dratini said, motioning towards Route 45. “Anyway, whatcha wanna do now?”
Harley yawned. “I’m a little tired. How about you?”
Dratini nodded, said, “Me too. Uh, think we should just crash here? I mean, there’s nowhere else we can really go.”
“Fine with me! As long as we’re here, we may as well check out those caves in the morning,” added Harley.
“That sounds like fun!”
The two took a spot close to the den’s entrance, just in case they had to leave. Once they were settled in, they soon drifted off to sleep.
But Harley had other ideas.
He considered it a blessing when he woke up just a couple hours later, when night had settled in. The den was brilliantly illuminated by the moonlight, its rays making the water sparkle. Dratini was still curled up and catching z’s, so Meganium got up and started up a slope. Every few steps he would look back, but other than an occasional fidget or rollover, Dratini didn’t move. His trek was an easy one, and after a couple of minutes he had reached a cave.
It was pitch black inside. Harley took his costume out of hammerspace and donned his blue cape and cowl, becoming Meganium Man once again.
“Another cave, another shenanigan with a flippin’ dragon. How can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?” he wondered aloud as he began his search for whoever Dragalge was.
He was almost completely blind in the cave, having only the moonlight to guide him, and even then, Dark Cave was so dark it almost absorbed light. If Ari the Typhlosion was with him, or he knew how to use Flash, he would’ve had an easier time getting around.
Meganium Man had no clue Dragalge was right there, just a few feet away from him. She was a crafty one, making no audible sounds as she hovered ominously. Meganium Man was remaining close to the cave entrances, and she wouldn’t dare try to kill him with Dratini outside.
Unfortunately, both of them had a bigger problem.
“She couldn’t have gotten far!” Weavile said from somewhere in the distance. “Fan out!”
The heat! Dragalge though, taking off. Meganium Man didn’t hear her moving.
Meganium Man started heading deeper into the floor, listening closely for Chief Weavile and the police. A low hum from behind him caught him off guard, and he jumped behind a rock for cover.
Found you, Magneton thought. Magneton looked like three steel spheres connected together, each one with a single wide eye in the center, and a horseshoe-shaped magnet also on each sphere. The tips of the magnets started glowing blue and red, and he started approaching the rock.
“Constable Magneton. You are under a—uh…”
There was Meganium Man, hiding. The dinosaur was squinting as the magnet’s lights flashed brightly.
“Magneton? Magneton, what’s going on?” Weavile asked, also approaching. “What the—”
“Howdy, Chief!” Meganium Man said as he got up.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Chief Weavile grumbled. “What’re you doing here? I told you, we’d take care of this. I ought to arrest you for interfering in a police investigation!”
“N-no, you’ve got me all wrong! I have no reason to let Dragalge escape. I just thought, y’know, what with it being an assassination attempt and all, you could use more help.”
“Are you even from this planet? Dragalge is both a poison and a dragon type Pokémon. She resists your Razor Leafs! Furthermore, do you even know what she looks like?”
“Not fully,” Meganium Man said. Weavile pulled out a picture of a brown, slender seahorse shaped like the letter 3. Its body was brown with purple striping. Dragalge had two kelp-like pectoral fins, and a red, kelp-like trident crown. Its tail also had a brown, kelp-like fan.
“This is her. What do you mean, ‘not fully’?” Magneton asked.
Meganium Man replied, “I saw something leaf-shaped while looking through the binoculars. Not sure if it’s her tail or hands, but it was definitely Dragalge.”
“How far ago was this? Weavile asked.
“Just a couple hours. No more than three.”
“There’s no way she could have gotten away from us now,” Weavile said to Magneton. She said to Meganium Man, “But we can discuss vigilante-police relations later. If you see Dragalge, do not, I am begging you, let her escape.”
“You know I won’t,” Meganium Man said with a smile.
She told Magneton to keep looking, and left the two of them to go separate ways.
Dratini woke up.
“Harley?” he asked. “Harley, where’d you go?”
The serpent got up and had a quick look around, but saw no sign of the Apatosaurus. He returned to Blackthorn City, but the city was dead. Only the police were out and about other than him.
“Evening,” Kingler said as Dratini passed him.
“Officer, have you seen Harley around?” Dratini asked.
“The Meganium. Green, walks on four legs, long neck, flower petals around his neck.”
“Oh! Nope, sorry. I thought he was with you?”
“Well, he was, but we’ve been in Dragon’s Den for a couple hours now. I just woke up and he was gone.”
“He’s not in here,” Kingler motioned to the Pokémon Center. “So unless he’s in the Dark Cave, I don’t know where he’d be.”
Back in Dark Cave, Meganium Man had gone through a hole in a wall and happened upon a pond on top of a hill. How this body of water even got here was a mystery.
The vigilante approached it, thinking maybe he could see Dragalge swimming around. Nada. Just a few Poliwag, who waved at him with their tails. One popped out of the water to greet him.
“Hi there!” said the round, blue Pokémon. The spiral on its belly spun once.
“Evening,” Meganium Man said. “Have you seen Dragalge around?”
“Dragalge?” Poliwag asked, not knowing who the Pokémon was. Meganium Man gave a brief description of the seahorse. “I think I saw a Pokémon like that heading east, but I can’t be sure.”
“Thanks for your help!” Meganium Man complimented, taking off. Poliwag returned to the water.
Meganium Man headed right and saw a towering slope up ahead. He started up it, feeling his joints starting to ache.
I’m not this out of shape, am I? he wondered as he trudged up the hill. Naw, he couldn’t be. It’d only been a couple months since his last adventure.
When he reached the peak of the slope, he saw multiple cave entrances or exits, and another mountain wall directly across. He looked out one of the holes, and realized something.
This exact spot was where he, Dratini and Mayor Kingdra were hit.
Standing on the ledge, Meganium Man craned his head north and saw the Pokémon Center. He thought nothing of it at the time, but Kingdra’s room was in the wing facing his general direction, and her bed was near a window.
If there were more holes…
He rushed north and saw another hole, this one facing the Pokémon Center. Kingdra’s room’s windows were closed, which was of little comfort. If Dragalge indeed shot the Mayor, she’d been planning this for a while. Of course, it could very well be a coincidence.
As he turned around, dozens of pin-sized poisonous darts were fired at him. They only made a faint whoosh sound only the likes of an Audino could hear, and he only knew he was under fire when he heard them dig into the rock walls. He hit the ground and rolled behind a rock for cover. The assault was a quick one, but Meganium Man didn’t come out unscathed: he could feel the burning, stinging sensation of the Poison Sting attack, but at least he wasn’t poisoned. So he hoped.
No doubt it was Dragalge.
When his opponent ceased fire, Meganium Man poked his head out to see if he could spot his attacker. He gathered up some spit and prepared to fire some Bullet Seeds, but he heard a quick whistle behind him.
Sneaky, he thought.
“Meganium Man, I take it?” asked a female voice.
“Dragalge, I take it?” the vigilante asked back.
The caped crusader slowly did so. He’d seen enough action movies to know that villains don’t like their enemies to get up quickly for whatever reason. He then turned and faced her.
“You realize this is your last day of freedom,” Meganium Man said.
“You realize this is your last day alive?” Dragalge shot back. “As soon as I kill you and the cops, I’ll be out of here and back home in Kalos in time for Corn Flakes.”
“The police have swarmed Route 45, Blackthorn City, and I assume most of the surrounding area by now. What makes you think you’ll escape?”
“Multiple things. First, this is the biggest cave in Johto. Do you know how many underground tunnels and channels there are? No? I do. Much like Mt. Mortar, exploding Graveller regularly create such passageways. By the time police figure out which one I’ve taken, it’ll be too late. Kingdra will die from my Sludge Bomb attack, and you will die from Poison Sting unless I kill you now.”
“Before you kill me, I want to know something. What do you get out of killing the Mayor? It won’t put you in her seat.”
“I’m aware of that. The fact of the matter is, I deserve to be Mayor, not her. She’s an interloper! Kingdra’s only lived here for the last twenty years! But, but, but, I, the lifelong citizen, get snubbed!”
“Or maybe she has more political experience than you.”
“I was molded by this city. I – and everyone else who’s spent their whole lives here – have become one with its pulse, but obviously they would rather the outsider be the one in charge!”
“Or maybe she has more political experience than you.”
“Now they’ll understand how foolish they are! By letting an interloper have power, they’re dooming themselves, because only someone like me could control this city!”
“Or maybe she has more political experience than you. Are you even listening to me?” Meganium Man asked.
“As for you. It’s unfortunate that your brief time as a superhero has to end here. I was impressed when I heard about how you handled that Gyarados. But that victory was one-of-a-kind. Unlike you, I know my way around here.” Noxious, purple fumes formed in her mouth. “But that means I’ll have the pleasure of killing you!”
As she fired another Sludge Bomb, Meganium Man ducked and rolled behind a nearby rock. Dragalge’s head followed his movements. The red leaf petals around Meganium Man’s neck were launched at the poisonous seahorse, pushing Dragalge back and slicing her skin. The wounds weren’t deep – nothing more serious than what a common housecat could do. Meganium Man’s leaves reattached themselves to the base of his neck, prompting Dragalge to back away.
He was forced to move, lest he be trapped there. Dragalge hurried into the blackness and Meganium Man followed, but the sauropod quickly lost sight of her.
That’s it, Dragalge thought as she watched Meganium Man creeping in.
The blackness was so thick that Meganium Man couldn’t see the bright yellow sparks forming in Dragalge’s snout. As soon as he was in the line of fire she fired her Thunderbolt attack, and he only realized what just happened when he was hit. As those volts of electricity coursed through him and forced him towards the edge of the slope, he felt his joints stiffen and his stomach churn.
Please, no, he thought as he rolled to a stop. Not now.
He had not only been paralyzed, but poisoned. The toxic agents in the Poison Sting attack quickly went to work breaking down his immune system, and he struggled to turn his head to see if Dragalge was approaching. If by some miracle he could regain mobility, then he might be able to use Synthesis and stave off the poison, if only temporarily. Synthesis wouldn’t work well at night, but if it meant he could keep fighting, then it was his best chance.
Meganium Man didn’t hear Dragalge approaching, not that she made any sounds when moving around anyway. She was still cloaked in the darkness, pacing, wondering what to do. Meganium Man, the noble defender of Johto, killer of Butterfree, stopper of Gyarados, looked unspeakably pathetic lying atop that slope while slowly dissolving from the inside.
She decided to put him out of his misery.
When she moved forward one pace, she noticed Meganium Man’s petals faintly glowing as he tried to regain his strength with Synthesis. He also started moving his limbs, struggling to do so, but when a front leg showed something resembling usefulness, he dragged himself across the floor and behind another rock. He grunted all the while, and as his head jerked, Dragalge swore he made eye contact.
The dinosaur felt the chilly night breeze glide across his skin as the wind blew in from a cave entrance. He thrashed about behind that rock while continuing to use the moonlight to recover, but he stopped feeling rejuvenated after a minute or two. Paralysis was staring to wear off, and he could move his legs and neck a little more freely now, but he was still a sitting duck.
Dragalge decided she’d wasted too much time and emerged from the shadows, and whether or not Meganium Man noticed was of no concern to her. He could faintly hear her fins brushing in the wind.
When Dragalge was in front of him, he forcefully sprung forth and tackled her. She was quick enough to wrap her hands around the dinosaur and flip him over. There he was again, on the edge of the slope. That waste of an attack appeared to drain what little energy he had left. His body went limp, and Dragalge’s tail started glowing purple.
“Goodbye, Meganium Man. Hopefully you won’t feel this.”
Before she could decapitate Meganium Man with Poison Tail, the vigilante rolled over the ledge, onto his back, and fired a single Bullet Seed at her with what little strength he could muster. It was bafflingly effective: it hit her head with enough force to knock her out, and she rolled down the slope along with him. Just as Meganium Man saw her collapse, he blacked out.
The vigilante woke up not in a hospital, but at the bottom of the slope. Chief Weavile, Constable Magneton, a handcuffed Dragalge, and Dratini were at his side. His head was resting on Dratini’s squishy tail. He felt a bit better, but his stomach was still a tsunami. It was the early afternoon, he’d guess, if the sunlight was any indication. A small seed was lodged in Dragalge’s crown, which Dratini was taking occasional glances at.
“Urf… What happened?” Meganium Man asked.
“I found you here, Har—I mean, Meganium Man,” Dratini said. “I kept calling for help, and they showed up after a couple of hours.”
“Weavile used a Full Heal on you. You were in pretty bad shape,” Magneton added.
“Poisoned and paralyzed!” Meganium Man piped up. “That’s one for the autobiography.”
He started to get up, but he still had trouble moving his legs. Weavile helped him onto his feet.
“You’re probably going to have difficulty getting around for a couple months. Best thing for you would be rest and exercise,” Weavile said.
“You sound like my gym teacher,” Meganium Man joked.
Magneton was looking around. He asked, “Err, does anyone know a way out of here?”
“I’m glad you asked,” the vigilante replied.
Meganium Man and company had to take the long way out, returning to Dragon’s Den and walking down the slope the vigilante had suggested. Weavile agreed it was an easy walk, but before they could enter the small cave leading back to Blackthorn, Altaria appeared.
“You,” Altaria growled, his teeth showing.
“Easy there,” Dratini cautioned. “We got her.” Weavile gave him a curious look. “Well, she’s got her.”
“I don’t care. She tried to kill my wife.”
“And? Dragalge almost killed me,” Meganium Man said in a reasoning tone.
Blue and grey flames formed in Altaria’s mouth. Dragon Pulse’s fumes seeped out of his beak.
“This is justice!” Altaria declared, going airborne and unleashing his Dragon Pulse attack.
Weavile took Altaria out by quickly lobbing an Ice Ball at him, but as the projectile made contact, so did the flames. Dragalge was immediately burned and knocked backwards to the raging waves, but Weavile caught her before she rolled in.
Meganium Man and Dratini helped the shivering Altaria on his feet. A mark was visible on his cloud wings where Weavile had struck, almost black.
Weavile stormed over to him. “You idiot! If you killed Dragalge, I’d have to take you in!”
“Shut up!” the Chief barked once again. She then calmed herself down, taking deep breaths. “I am going to let that slide, but only because arresting you wouldn’t be the right thing to do. Go on. Mayor Kingdra’s probably wondering where you are.”
Altaria stared at Weavile for a few awkward seconds before leaving. He clearly understood, but there was something in his eyes that showed he thought he did the right thing.
“Well, I’ll take it from here. Thanks for your help, Meganium Man, reckless as it was,” Weavile said.
“Anytime, Chief.” The vigilante smiled. “I can’t wait ‘til I recklessly help you again.”
Weavile rolled her eyes and, along with Magneton, led the defeated Dragalge to Blackthorn City.
Meganium Man and Dratini turned to watch the sunlight dance on the lake.
“So, you know my name,” Meganium Man said to Dratini without looking away.
“You’re not exactly a man of subtlety,” Dratini pointed out.
“Quite true.” Meganium Man turned and faced him. “How can I trust you? How do I know you won’t reveal my true identity?”
“Because I don’t think anyone would believe me. Admittedly, I don’t know you very well, but from the little I do know of you, it doesn’t seem like something anybody would believe. And even if I did tell, your list of suspects wouldn’t be very long. Your secret is safe with me.”
The two turned to look at the waves again, and although Meganium Man wanted to believe Dratini, something told him not to. Maybe it was some kind of prophecy. Maybe he was just dwelling on it too heavily. Perhaps it just came with the job.
“I told you I was a master marksman.”
The End of Episode #6
Meganium Man #7: The Open Sea, Pt. 1
It was a gorgeous morning when the passengers piled aboard the S.S. Anne in Olivine City’s port. The sky was covered in fluffy white clouds and the sun shined like Volcarona threatened to disown it. Harley could hear various bird Pokémon chirping their songs, which gradually turned into a ‘who can sing louder?’ contest when other species showed up.
As he started up the corridor leading to his cabin on the second floor of the ship, his PokéGear’s phone started ringing. It was a watch-like device around his front left ankle. He closed the cabin door and pressed the phone icon.
“Howdy, kiddo!” he heard a voice on the other end say.
“Dad! What’s up? Harley asked. “I’m on the boat right now.”
“Well, err, your mother wants to know what you want for dinner when you get here. I know it’s about twelve hours away, but y’know how she likes to plan ahead.” Harley’s dad was a Tropius, a brown Apatosaurus with leaves covering his upper body and head. Four large fern-like wings were on his back. His banana beard looked well-trimmed as ever. Harley’s mother was a Meganium, but her two antennas were shorter than his.
Harley scratched his head. “Um… Well, I just ate so food’s not really on my mind right now. Can I call you back?”
Tropius chuckled. “I told her the exact same thing, but, well, like I said, she likes to plan ahead.”
“Well, in that case, what would you like for dinner, dad?”
“Honestly? Sitrus Berry soup. I know you think it’s too sweet, but I can’t get enough of the stuff.”
Harley was silent for a moment.
“I… I don’t believe a single word of that.”
“She’s trying to get on some cooking show so I’m promoting it anyway I can. Tell your friends!”
Harley could hear his mom in the background making occasional comments to Tropius, and then she took the phone from him.
“Morning, dear! How’s everything so far?”
“Can’t complain. You?”
“Same old, same old. What do you want for dinner?”
Oi, Harley thought. He shook his head in bemusement.
“Well, since you’re putting me on the spot… How about your famous PokéPuff Soufflé?”
“You got it, kiddo! Any idea when you’ll arrive?”
Harley reached into his backpack and took out a piece of paper, detailing the departure and arrival times.
“Looks like I’ll be there at about 4:30,” he said after a quick glance. “No later than 5:30.”
“Great! Well, I’ll let you go. Have a safe trip!”
“I will, ma.” Harley ended the call, collapsed on his bed, and drifted off to sleep.
Simisear was the last Pokémon to board the luxury liner. He was a monkey-like Pokémon with red fur and large ears. The hair on his head was styled like flames, his large tail resembled a red plume of smoke, and a white fur collar was around his shoulders. A PokéGear was on his wrist.
Like Harley, his first order of business was a trek to his assigned cabin. As soon as he closed the door, the ship began its departure from Olivine.
He pressed the phone button on his PokéGear, dialed a number. One of the train’s porters, the four-armed ladybug Ledian, also wearing a PokéGear, answered the call.
“Yes?” Ledian asked as he fluttered down an aisle.
“We’re in,” Simisear said. He immediately hung up. The two then made a few extra calls around the train, saying those two words every time.
As Ledian finished his first call, one of his fellow porters, a Furret, asked, “Hey, what’re you doing?”
Ledian pulled some sort of wand out of hammerspace. The wand had a long brown shaft and a transparent yellow sphere on its top, with two fake leaves acting as a cross-guard. He waved the wand and a bolt of electricity hit Furret, instantly paralyzing him. Furret didn’t feel any pain, but Ledian suddenly grabbed him, opened a window, and shoved the ferret through. He landed in the ocean, but was unable to move. Afterwards, Ledian went back to making his calls.
After about half an hour, multiple Pokémon had risen from their seats, armed with those exact same wands.
Simisear had a couple guys go around the cabins, forcing Pokémon out of them and hauling them down to the cafeteria. Harley was awakened by the ruckus, but he had remembered to lock his cabin’s door before falling asleep. He could hear panicked cries for help and the sounds of struggling, but he didn’t move.
The two Pokémon, Poliwhirl – a bipedal tadpole with a hypnotic swirl on its belly, wearing white gloves on both hands, and Ambipom – a purple, lemur-like creature whose two tails had hand-like fans, quickly discovered Harley’s door was locked. Ambipom had given the knob a quick turn but met resistance.
He called Simisear on his PokéGear’s phone. “Boss, one of the doors is locked.”
Simisear shrugged. “That doesn’t matter. I want one of you to wait there in case they come out or return. The other is to report back here immediately.”
Poliwhirl opted to join Simisear for his upcoming announcement, and Ambipom waited by the door patiently. Simisear and his many henchmen started forcing the ship’s passengers towards the back of the cafeteria, shoving them with the dull ends of the wands and smacking down anyone stupid enough to fight back.
While the frightened hostages chatted among themselves, Simisear slammed his wand on the ground, drawing their attention.
“Okay, everyone. As you can see, we’re on a toot-toot!” Ledian pulled a folded piece of paper out of hammerspace and handed it to the monkey.
“Needless to say,” Simisear continued as he unfolded the paper, “we have no reason to harm anybody if you don’t do something stupid. So just stay calm and let the friendly pirates do their job.” He perused the paper; it was the passenger manifest.
Simisear suddenly grinned.
“First things first: where is Sergeant Fraxure?”
Harley’d heard the quick discussion with this ‘Boss’ that Ambipom addressed. Something was going horribly wrong, and he knew what that meant.
The dinosaur closed the window’s blinds, pulled out his blue cowl and cape from hammerspace, and became Meganium Man. He wasn’t quite sure what was happening, but it was something evil, he knew that. But he didn’t have any idea who was on the other side of the door. Nonetheless, Meganium Man had to act. If he didn’t he was cornered, and if people were in trouble, he wouldn’t be able to save them.
Meganium Man unlocked the door and opened it, hiding beside it.
Ambipom didn’t see anyone as the door slowly opened, and he raised his wand. As the purple lemur-like Pokémon set foot inside the cabin, he turned his focus to the carpet, but didn’t see a shadow. Figures; the door brushed along the carpet as it opened.
Suddenly, Meganium Man leapt out from his hiding spot and tackled Ambipom against the wall, knocking him out instantly. Ambipom slumped onto Meganium Man’s bed, dropping his wand.
Picking it up with a vine whip, Meganium Man looked at it, baffled. He’d never seen anything like it in Johto, and had no idea how it worked.
After tucking it away in hammerspace, he poked his head into the hallway, but nobody else was around. Doors had been left open when the passengers were kidnapped and the hardwood floors were scraped as Pokémon struggled against their kidnappers.
He had an idea and began looking for the captain’s quarters, turning down a narrow hallway with a single door at its end. It was closed. Meganium Man pushed the door open and quickly jumped aside, anticipating an attack, but nothing happened. After a minute’s wait, he went inside the cramped 4x4 room and discovered it had been ransacked. Books were everywhere, the desk and chair were toppled over, and papers were carelessly thrown around. What baffled him most were the desk’s drawers, which were pulled off their tracks. The kidnappers were obviously after something other than the passengers.
Meganium Man flipped a drawer over and saw a walkie-talkie underneath it. How did that end up here? Did the kidnappers/ransackers not notice it in their haste?
The dinosaur had no clue how to use a walkie-talkie, but since it was there, he figured he may as well take it. He was about to call for help, until he realized he might give himself away to Ambipom’s backup or whoever the ‘Boss’ was. He tucked the walkie-talkie into hammerspace as well, and resumed his walk.
While he walked down the stairs leading to the first floor, Meganium Man prepared to fire some Bullet Seeds. He’d gotten better at firing them since his practice with Dratini, but he still left much to be desired. The green machine kept a close watch on the cabins he passed, just in case someone jumped him, but nobody did.
It was frightfully quiet, but when he reached the stairs leading to the ship’s basement, where its cafeteria was, he heard voices.
“Who in the world is Fraxure?” he wondered aloud.
Simisear could see three different Fraxure in the cafeteria, but none of them stood up. The green and grey, bipedal, wingless, draconic Pokémon turned to each other nervously, the steel tusks on their mouths whooshing through the air.
“This is a waste of time, boss,” Ledian protested. “Just make your announcement.”
“I’m giving the officer a chance to own up to his mistakes.”
“Please. You know as well as I do they won’t.”
Simisear ignored him and waited ten seconds, but nothing happened.
“Very well, then. I was hoping we could discuss this in private, but obviously you want everyone to know how incompetent you are.” His voice suddenly took on a vicious tone. “March twenty-first, two thousand fifteen.”
One of the Fraxure’s twitched.
Poliwhirl and the two-headed dragon known as Zweilous burst into the crowd and seized Fraxure, grabbing his arms and hauling him to Simisear.
“What is this? Who’re you?” Fraxure barked.
“I am justice, Fraxure. Your worst nightmare.”
Ledian shook his head in disdain.
“Tell me, Sergeant. Tell me what happened on March twenty-first, two thousand fifteen?”
“If you are who I think you are, you’re not doing him any favors,” Fraxure said, defiantly.
Simisear smacked Fraxure with his backhand; the dragon’s head whipped aside.
“I am exactly who you think I am, Sergeant. Answer my question.” Simisear pressed the wand’s orb against Fraxure’s green, sectioned neck.
What in the world? Meganium Man wondered. He was lying atop the stairs, and could faintly see what was going on.
“Before I do that, I want to know why you’re so insistent on defending your son.”
“We’ll get to that once we figure out why you’re so insistent on defending yours,” Simisear growled. “March twenty-first, two thousand fifteen, please.”
Sparks crawled around inside the orb.
“March twenty-first, two thousand sixteen. Your son, Pansear, killed someone in cold blood and tried to frame my son, Axew, for it.”
“WROOOOOOOOONG!” Simisear screamed. Meganium Man jumped, alerting the monkey to his presence. He whipped his head around, spotting something green.
“Is that…?” Simisear said.
“Sure is,” Ledian replied. “I’ll go get him.”
“No. Zweilous! Poliwhirl! Bring Meganium Man down here.”
Ledian gave his boss a look of derision. The two-headed dragon and the bipedal tadpole left the cafeteria and bolted up the stairs, but Meganium Man was gone.
“You’re a fool,” Ledian sneered. “I can strike faster than they can.”
“But those two are bulkier.”
The ladybug huffed, crossing his arms.
Meganium Man hurried away from the stairs towards the ship’s deck, and as he turned a corner, heard Zweilous and Poliwhirl coming after him. Zweilous had no eyes under his bowl cut, but his senses of smell and hearing were top-notch and more than made up for it. The black-furred blue dragon rushed ahead of Poliwhirl.
The ship’s deck was huge, and many lawn chairs, towels, and picnic baskets were around. Telescopes were around the deck’s guard rail.
As Meganium Man ran through the door, Zweilous pounced, taking him down. Zweilous was preparing to use Flamethrower; Meganium Man was alerted as such when he saw flames rolling inside its mouths.
Just before Zweilous could attack, the dinosaur grabbed a picnic basket with a vine whip and swatted the dragon aside. When Meganium Man heard Poliwhirl rushing for him, he swung it again, but Poliwhirl ducked and walloped the dinosaur with an Ice Punch.
Meganium Man saw blood on Poliwhirl’s gloves. Zweilous got up and they started closing in. Wincing, the vigilante started backing away, prompting Zweilous to chuckle.
“Sorry, mate. It’s nothing personal. Just business.”
“Oh, yeah? Well, you’re about to go bankrupt,” Meganium Man shot back.
“Not bad,” Poliwhirl complimented. “But we still have to kill you.”
The S.S. Anne began to rock back and forth as the waves suddenly turned violent. Poliwhirl was glowing blue, giving Zweilous a reason to back off.
Meganium Man was about to strike with his Razor Leaf attack, but Poliwhirl swung his arm up and a large tidal wave swept Meganium Man off his feet. He then waved his wand at Meganium Man, pelting him with small bolts of electricity, paralyzing him immediately. The Surf attack threw Meganium over the railing, on which he bonked his head and passed out, unable to save himself.
As the waves calmed down, Poliwhirl and Zweilous left the deck and returned to the cafeteria. Fraxure was standing by, held by Ledian.
“We got ‘im,” Zweilous replied.
Doubtful, Ledian thought.
“Did you kill him?” the ladybug asked, almost derisively.
“No,” Poliwhirl replied, almost realizing what he said. “But there’s no way a Sharpedo or a Gyarados won’t get him. He’s a sitting duck.”
“You’re morons if you think something like that’s going to happen. At best, you’ve bought us a little more time.” Ledian shook his head.
“Can you try being respectful for once, you four-armed twit? Give it a break,” Zweilous snapped. “Meganium Man is as good as dead. He’s knocked out.”
“Sometimes I forget how stupid you are,” Ledian said to Zweilous, Poliwhirl and Simisear. “The instant Meganium Man sets foot on this ship again, I will kill him.”
Meganium Man sank like a stone. He regained consciousness about a minute after he landed in the ocean, but couldn’t move his limbs for the life of him. All he saw was the blue abyss that was about to become his grave, and suddenly, he found himself welcoming it.
And then he saw what appeared to be a shark hurrying towards him.
He blacked out once more.
The dinosaur woke up on an island far, far away from Olivine. He was underneath a lone palm tree, but the sun was shining through its leaves, forcing him to shut his eyes when he tried opening them. His cape and cowl were still on.
Sitting up, Meganium Man brought his cape over his eyes and started opening them again, slowly, so he could adjust to the sunlight. Once his eyes were fully open, he slowly set his cape down and looked around. He couldn’t see the S. S. Anne or anything else in the distance, other than some Wingull and Pelipper soaring around.
“Where am I?” he asked, as he stood up.
“You’re safe, Sir,” someone said from behind. Meganium Man turned and saw the torpedo shark Sharpedo, but this one was wearing a gold, shield-shaped police badge.
“Howdy, officer. Can you tell me how I got here?”
“Three parts luck, one part willpower. I was swimming by when you fell off the ship, and I hauled you here.”
“And where is ‘here,’ exactly?”
The middle of nowhere,” Sharpedo replied. “Mind telling me how you fell, and why you’re dressed in that ridiculous getup?”
Meganium Man first explained who he was and then told Sharpedo about the events on the ship.
“Sorry, I don’t really follow the lives of you landlubbers, what with me being Sherriff of Johto’s underwater police department. Kinda busy down there, y’know?” Realizing he trailed off, he added, “I don’t know anyone named Fraxure, but I have an idea of what you might be referring to. Wait here.”
And he disappeared into the ocean.
Not like there’s anything else to do, Meganium Man thought. He looked up at the tree and saw a few Oran Berries. Feeling a bit puckish, he plucked one off its stem with a vine whip and had a bite. Sharpedo returned from the ocean with a laminated document, holding it in his teeth. He placed it on the ground.
“If I’m right, then Simisear’s kid is indeed in a heap of trouble. What I heard was that Pansear and Axew were vandalizing a store wall owned by Nosepass, but when he came out to scold them, Pansear used Ember and killed him. But according to you, Simisear says otherwise?”
Meganium Man nodded. “Simisear claims his son was framed. Even if you don’t keep up with we landlubber’s daily lives, would you happen to have any insight into this?”
“As a matter of fact, I just might. When we were transporting Pansear to prison via boat, I was one of the patrolling officers.”
“How convenient!” Meganium Man exclaimed.
“Indeed! Anyway, Pansear maintained his innocence, screaming he was innocent the whole way and saying Axew used Dragon Rage or somesuch, which apparently looks like a fireball.”
Shrugging, Meganium Man replied, “I wouldn’t know.”
“But because it was indeed fire that killed Nosepass, and because Pansear’s a fire-type and all that, he was declared guilty.”
“Sounds like a Kangaskhan court,” Meganium Man said.
“Sounds like a logical conclusion,” Sharpedo bitterly replied. “Anyway, if that’s what that nonsense on the boat is about, then I suppose I oughta get a unit out there.”
“Hold off on that. Simisear might still have a cafeteria full of hostages. If you do something he doesn’t like—”
“Yeah, yeah, he’s a pirate who loves his kid. Big deal. This still has to be sorted out one way or another.”
A group of water Pokémon appeared behind him:
• The large, kite-like Mantine, who had a Remoraid under one of its wings, acting like a gun,
• the diabolical-looking jellyfish Tentacruel, whose large, red, fake eyes on top of its blue dome-like helmet have deterred many a predator,
• two Gastrodon – sea slugs, one of which was green and blue with leaf-like ears, and another which was pink and brown with curved horns,
• the blue, bipedal duck Golduck,
• Wailord, a blue whale with a white underbelly and beady black eyes who dwarfed every other Pokémon species,
• and last but not least the comely Milotic, a cream-skinned sea serpent with long, flowing pink eyelashes and a checkered blue and pink tail with a blue fan on its end.
“Well then,” Meganium Man began, “let’s get movin’.”
The End of Episode #7!
I'm guessing you're putting too much time into this, seeing how it's invading your dreams, and all...
I'm guessing you're putting too much time into this, seeing how it's invading your dreams, and all...
Haha, I started episode 7 like two months ago. I'm just lazy.
Just be glad the destruction of this community hasn't occured yet... You might be "banned" for not writing enough...
I'm guessing you're putting too much time into this, seeing how it's invading your dreams, and all...
Haha, I started episode 7 like two months ago. I'm just lazy.
(If you have no idea what I mean, check my Part 2 in the dream thread.)
Well, if it comes to that, I'll have hopefully finished part 2 first.
Meganium Man #8: The Open Sea, Pt. 2
Tentacruel, Mantine, Milotic, Golduck, and the two Gastrodon were just the first Pokémon to reach the surface. Politoed, a green frog with a yellow belly that had a green swirl-like pattern, appeared soon after. Blastoise, a blue turtle with a brown shell which had two cannons on its shoulders, emerged alongside Politoed. A blue and a pink Jellicent, ghostly jellyfishes with large heads and crown-like formations on their heads, were also ready. At least ten Lapras – blue plesiosaurs with grey shells – popped up to transport the passengers to safety.
More were on the way.
“Alright, everyone, listen carefully,” Sherriff Sharpedo began. “We’ve got a ship out there that’s come under siege by pirates who’ve targeted a specific Pokémon. Neither I nor Meganium Man knows just what they plan to do, but we’ve got to be on high alert. From what he’s told me, this Simisear chap is pretty volatile.”
“How do we know they’re still on the boat?” asked Blastoise.
“We don’t,” Meganium Man replied, “but they’re on the open sea and have very few options.”
“That’s why I’m sending in a troupe of Pelipper to patrol the area. They should be arriving right about now,” Sharpedo added. “If Simisear and company have something funny planned, they won’t get far.”
Remembering that he had picked up a peculiar wand, Meganium Man took it out of hammerspace and presented it to the crowd.
“Um, I’m not sure how to go about this, but does anyone know what this is?” he asked, holding it high with a vine whip.
Milotic let out a low gasp.
“I do,” she replied, swimming ashore. “It’s a wand, a type of item normally found in faraway dungeons and used by Rescue Teams. Where’d you find it?”
“One of the guys I knocked out on the ship had it. A Poliwhirl working with Simisear used it on me before I wound up in the sea.”
Milotic was examining the wand as Meganium Man explained the circumstances under which he came in possession of the item.
“Judging by the yellow sphere, I’d say it’s a Petrify Wand, which is likely how you became paralyzed. These items are very dangerous in the right hands.”
“Simisear had one aimed at Fraxure, if it means anything,” Meganium Man said. “Are there different kinds of these things?”
Milotic nodded. “Many. But he obviously wants to keep Fraxure alive if he’s using a Petrify Wand. Was this the only kind you saw them with?”
Meganium Man nodded. “What other kinds are there?” he asked.
“Off the top of my head, I know of the Slumber Wand, which is self-explanatory. There’s also the Warp Wand, which is also self-explanatory. But I can’t think of any others which would be helpful where they are.”
The sauropod jumped as an idea hit him. He pulled out the walkie-talkie he’d recovered earlier.
“Where in the world did you get that?” Sharpedo asked, baffled.
“It was left behind in the Captain’s room,” the vigilante asked, looking the device over. He focused his attention on its frequency dial. He’d seen enough action movies to figure he could fumble his way through to the ship’s communication channel, but for all he knew, it might be on it.
“Hang on,” interrupted the pink and brown Gastrodon. “You don’t know who could hear that. One of theirs might be piloting the S.S. Anne,” he warned.
Meganium Man replied, “Maybe, but if not, we might be able to call for help without Simisear and company knowing!”
Sharpedo was silent for a moment. “I don’t like it, but I guess it’s worth a try.”
The Pinsir steering the S.S. Anne had a Petrify Wand pressed to his head, being held by Poliwhirl. The brown beetle took occasional glances over his shoulder to make sure his fellow staff members were OK; they, too, had Petrify Wands aimed at them. In a display of mercy, Simisear had allowed the captured passengers and the staff to eat, sending rations of food to everyone who was hungry. There were some empty plates scattered around, but most still had food on them.
“Focus on the sea!” Poliwhirl snapped. “If one of your shipmates tries anything stupid, you’ll be the first to know.”
All of a sudden, Meganium Man’s voice came through the walkie-talkie hanging over Pinsir’s menacing silver horns.
“Hello? Is anyone there? Can you hear me?”
Poliwhirl clenched the wand tight.
A Lickitung was watching the ship’s coordinator. The round, pink Pokémon was holding its wand with its tongue. His black, beady eyes darted over to Poliwhirl.
“What?” asked Lickitung.
“It’s Meganium Man. He’s alive after all!”
Poliwhirl flipped open his PokéGear’s phone and called Simisear, who was still in the cafeteria with Ledian and Fraxure. Simisear quickly hit the ‘talk’ button when his phone rang.
“Meganium Man is alive.”
“I told you so,” Ledian sneered.
Simisear was stunned. “How do you know he’s alive?”
Poliwhirl explained that the dinosaur’s voice came through Pinsir’s walkie-talkie, but didn’t know where Meganium Man was calling from. Even as he explained this to Simisear, the vigilante continued asking if anybody was there. Poliwhirl put the phone next to the walkie-talkie so Simisear could hear for himself.
“Keep an eye on it. Make sure none of them try to call for help. Be ready to leap into action if anything happens.”
“You got it, Boss,” Poliwhirl replied. He clicked off.
Simisear rubbed his head, frustrated. He turned his attention back to Fraxure.
“Where were we? Oh, that’s right, you were defending your son’s innocence.”
“Why wouldn’t I, Simisear? You’re defending yours, even though—”
Simisear grabbed the back of Fraxure’s head and slammed the dragon’s face against his knee, breaking his nose.
“The difference is the fact that my son is innocent. Do you think I’m stupid? I know what happened that night, Fraxure. Your son used Dragon Rage on Nosepass. Axew killed him. Not Pansear. I’m not saying he intended to murder Nosepass, but he did.”
Fed up with Simisear’s actions, Fraxure got up, his claws covered in grey, blue and red flames. As he lashed out with Dragon Claw, Ledian rushed in, caught Fraxure’s arm, and threw a flurry of punches at his face and torso, leaving many circular bruises. Ledian ended his assault with a quick uppercut, knocking Fraxure against the wall; he slumped to the floor.
“You’re welcome,” the ladybug said dryly. “But what Poliwhirl said concerns me. If Meganium Man’s still alive, then there’s no doubt he’ll be coming here.”
“How’s he going to do that? He was paralyzed, remember? Even if he’s shaken it off, we’ll be in international waters within an hour. We’ll be gone, and nobody will find Fraxure’s body.”
The wingless dragon made a low, curious sound. Simisear turned and kneeled.
“Oh, that’s right. Since I can’t see my son, yours will never see you. Can’t deal with it? Shoulda thought of that before you framed Pansear.” He then stood up and faced Ledian. “Prepare the Warp Wands.”
Meganium Man rode atop a blue Jellicent, surprised that he could sit on a ghost. The ocean breeze blew his cape back in a dramatic manner deserving of a superhero. Sharpedo was leading the way, and occasionally more water-type Pokémon joined the swim to the S.S. Anne. There were now over fifty Pokémon in the group, including ten Samurott – blue, quadruped sea otters with beige helmets on their heads with a horn-like protrusion and matching seamitars (swords with seashell-like patters exclusive to Oshawott, Dewott and Samurott) on their front legs – who would be the muscle of the arresting officers. A few more Lapras had emerged, but despite Meganium Man’s hopes, a certain red Gyarados was nowhere to be seen.
Sharpedo suddenly stopped and saw a white luxury liner in the distance. No doubt it was the S.S. Anne, but it was way off course. What was it doing out here, in the middle of nowhere?
“There it is,” Meganium Man pointed out.
“No duh,” replied Jellicent.
Sharpedo turned around to face the group.
“All right, first things first: I want the Lapras to form a perimeter around the hull. After they do so, I want the Jellicent, Samurott, and Meganium Man and Blastoise to sneak aboard by phasing through a wall to catch everyone off guard. Politoed, you can hop aboard the deck and join them. Milotic, Golduck and Tentacruel, I’ll need you to keep me updated on the ship’s route. But don’t get too close. They might see you.”
“What about us?” asked a pink and brown Gastrodon.
“You are going to slither around the exterior and look in through the windows, keeping Meganium Man, the Samurott, Blastoise and Jellicent abreast of their surroundings. Don’t be afraid to break a window if necessary. Any questions?”
Meganium Man raised a vine. “Yes, Sherriff. Dozens.”
“GREAT LET’S GO!” the shark ordered, and the group continued on.
But as the Lapras started surrounding the S.S. Anne, Lickitung saw many, many Pokémon doing just that on the circular radar screen. As the green line spun around the screen, it loudly beeped, alerting Dusclops – a dark, mummy-like cycloptic ghost with grey growths drooping from its shoulders who was watching the radar screen – that something was up.
His grey hands were essentially attached to his body; he had no arms. There was a PokéGear around his wrist anyway, and he called Simisear.
“Boss. Problem. Surrounded,” Dusclops monotonously explained.
Ledian heard the ghost’s dilemma and hurried to a window, where he saw a group of Lapras forming a circle around the S.S. Anne.
“So much for the hour. Let’s bail,” Ledian pleaded as he took a different wand out of hammerspace. Unlike the Petrify Wand, this wand had a white sphere on its top with a grey mass inside, darting around erratically. A Warp Wand.
“No. We’re sticking to the plan,” Simisear replied in a way as if he were replying to Dusclops also. He ended the call immediately after.
“The plan is over, Boss. It was over the instant Poliwhirl and Zweilous failed to kill Meganium Man.”
Aiming the Petrify Wand at his underling, Simisear barked, “THIS IS NOT OVER!” He quickly calmed down. “You wanna fix their mistake so badly?” Simisear pointed to the door leading to the hall. “Go get him.”
Ledian grinned. Not in satisfaction. No, this was… different. All his teeth were showing.
“He’s going to come here. And I’ll show you how it’s done.”
Ledian threw the wands away.
Jellicent, Meganium Man, the Samurott and Blastoise rose from the sea into the ship’s basement, being set down on its cold cement floor. Crates and boxes were stacked in towers all around the room.
“Looks like we’re in the supply area,” Meganium Man said. He saw a map of the ship on the wall to his right and approached it. An arrow pointed to a room with the heading SUPPLY ROOM 2. Perusing the map, he saw that the cafeteria was on the next floor, and there was a flight of stairs at the end of the hallway to his left leading right to it.
“The hostages are probably still there,” the vigilante explained, pointing to the cafeteria. “Simisear can keep a close watch on them there.”
He continued to look over the map and saw that the control room was quite a ways away, on the bow of the floor above the cafeteria.
“I’m guessing this is where the coordinators, navigators, and such would be?” he asked, pointing to the control room. A Samurott nodded. “We’ll split up in groups of seven. I’ll take five Samurott and one Jellicent to the cafeteria, while Blastoise leads the remaining Samurott and Jellicent to the control room.”
“Are you sure? You don’t know how much firepower Simisear and company have,” a Samurott protested.
“I’m sure. Does this sound good to everyone?”
The group exchanged shrugs and confused stares.
“I suppose it’s better than nothing,” Blastoise said. “But don’t lose your head.”
Meganium Man tapped his nose with a vine whip, and the group hurried down the murky hallway. Its cement floors meant they only left light thuds behind, nothing that would alarm Simisear of their approach. The metal doors leading to the stairs opened with a light push and the groups stormed up to the cafeteria and the second floor. As Meganium Man’s team breached the hallway, they saw Simisear with the captured Fraxure, and Ledian, through the cafeteria windows just to their left. The monkey was holding the dragon close, Petrify Wand aimed at his heart. Ledian’s arms were crossed and his dark blue eyes focused intensely on Meganium Man.
As the vigilante and his crew entered the cafeteria, Meganium Man brandished the Petrify Wand, locking eyes with Ledian. Jellicent and the Samurott brigade blocked the doorframe so neither of them could leave.
“Meganium Man. So nice you could make it,” Ledian said, grinning. “I ought to applaud Poliwhirl and Zweilous for letting you live.” His smile faded.
The vigilante said nothing.
“You have no reason to worry; I’ve discarded my wands. I would much rather fight you hand-to-hand than with silly projectiles fired from a stick. However…”
Ledian reached behind his back and pulled out a large, reddish seed. There was a crack in it. A Blast Seed.
“In the time it would take you to accidentally fire a paralyzing bolt from your wand, I’ll have dropped this.” He fluttered over to the hostages. “So it’s either me and you, or me and them.”
“Look, I’ve seen Under Siege 2, like, ten times,” Meganium Man replied, breaking his wand in half. “You should know which option I’m going to take.”
The ladybug smiled again.
“But I have a request,” Meganium Man quickly added. “I just want you to let the hostages go. You don’t need them anymore.”
Ledian bobbed his head around like he was thinking about the dinosaur’s request, but quickly replied, “No. They’re my audience.” He twirled his arm around as if to taunt Meganium Man.
Turning his head to Jellicent and company, Meganium Man requested, “Make sure Blastoise has enough men for the job. I don’t know how many goons Simisear’s got, but there’s bound to be more in the control room than in here.”
“But—” protested Jellicent.
Despite being hesitant, Jellicent nodded, albeit weakly, and led the Samurott brigade away from the cafeteria. As they left, Ledian tucked the Blast Seed away.
“A wise decision, Meganium Man. You won’t regret it.”
“Are we gonna stand here and talk, or am I gonna get to throw you around for a bit?” Meganium Man growled. A stifled snort escaped Simisear.
“Let’s find out.”
The two rushed in, vines and fists at the ready.
Meganium Man threw a punch at Ledian’s head, but the ladybug quickly caught it and threw a punch of his own, hitting Meganium Man between the eyes. With his two extra free hands, Ledian grabbed the dinosaur’s flower petals and threw him onto a table while simultaneously sliding him across its smooth surface. Meganium Man slid off it and shattered a chair as he fell to the floor.
He started getting up while Ledian moseyed around the table to his nemesis. Ledian grabbed the dinosaur’s head and gave it a nice, hard slam against the concrete wall before throwing Meganium Man across the table again. Ledian flew over the table and dropped a heavy punch against the side of his opponent’s head, essentially dropping him once more. This was followed by Ledian grabbing Meganium Man’s cape and forcing it around the dinosaur’s throat while bringing him onto his hind legs. It was an impressive display of strength for Ledian, and even he seemed proud of himself.
Meganium Man recalled how he wound up in a similar situation during his battle with Scyther. Pressing his feet against the floor, Meganium Man then sprung up and hoped his backwards body slam (patent pending) would work. Instead, he wound up being lobbed into a vending machine, shattering its front display. Berry juice rained down on him, but as Ledian approached, Meganium Man’s leaf petals shredded themselves up until they were no bigger than a razor blade and fired. The ladybug floated still, defiantly, unimpressed with the dinosaur’s signature Razor Leaf attack as they left dull marks on his yellow body.
“Do you know what your biggest fault is, Meganium Man?” Ledian asked while watching the leaves attach themselves to the base of the dinosaur’s neck. He picked up a knife with a sharp, single-edged blade and started approaching his foe. “You won’t kill. I know what happened in Goldenrod City traumatized you, but unfortunately, I’m about to teach you a very important lesson about necessity.”
As he brought the knife down on Meganium Man’s head, the vigilante snagged his arm with his vine whips and headbutted him while also disarming him. Meganium Man stood up, knife in hand. Well, vine.
Ledian picked up another knife and took a combative stance, which Meganium Man imitated. The dinosaur had no clue how to handle himself in a knife fight, but, again, he’d seen Under Siege 2: Dark Territory a bunch of times, as well as the first one, which climaxed with a knife fight. He was stupid enough to strike first, going for Ledian’s face, allowing the insect to grab his vine and aim it away. However, as Ledian took a stab at Meganium Man’s neck, the dinosaur caught his arm too, throwing them into a deadlock.
“How long have Pokémon been around, Meganium Man? We’ve fought, killed, and conquered to get where we are. You don’t have any that in you!”
Ledian threw an uppercut at his foe’s jaw, causing Meganium Man to stumble back.
“But there will come a time in your life when you will have no choice but to kill your foe, and I want to see that happen!”
Although Meganium Man had stumbled back, Ledian still had a tight grip on his vine whip. He yanked it, pulling the green brontosaurus to him, and lashed out with a quick overhead swing of the knife. Meganium Man was smarter than he let on and lowered his head, headbutted Ledian, and charged. Soon he raised his head high and hurled Ledian through the air, but the dastardly bug realigned himself midair, flittering just above a table he would’ve crashed into. However, his Blast Seed had gone flying out of hammerspace and landed at Simisear’s feet.
Ledian threw the knife away and released a mighty, powdery gust of wind from his wings as well as silver crescents, which were carried on the breeze. The silver crescents reached Meganium Man faster than he could move and one left a nasty cut on his neck. He knocked a table over and hid behind it, waiting out the Silver Wind attack. A silver crescent cut through the table a mere inch away from the vigilante and carved through the floor, but Ledian let up soon after.
“I’m not going to kill you, Ledian. No matter what you say. I won’t.”
The ladybug flew over the table, fluttering in front of Meganium Man. His fist was glowing pure white with a purple aura, and if his Focus Punch attack landed, it would be all over.
“Then you have failed!”
And he threw his punch.
Meganium Man rolled aside and the punch destroyed the table, breaking it into dozens of pieces. But then Ledian’s other fist started to glow, and he was starting to turn around.
As the second Focus Punch was unleashed, Meganium Man gathered up some spit and fired a single Bullet Seed, a move he had improved upon since his struggle with Dragalge. The seed pierced Ledian’s head with ease, killing him instantly. Ledian hit the ground.
He stood there, speechless at what he’d done. His brain wouldn’t let him focus on anything else other than Ledian’s corpse. He swore he’d never kill again. He didn’t want to kill Butterfree in the first place. It was a complete accident. But now he had a body count of two, and to him, that was two too many.
It was as if he’d shut down. He wasn’t focusing on anything in particular now, not even Ledian, and was only somewhat aware there were other Pokémon in the room. He might not have been aware of where he was.
Simisear took this opportunity to pick up the Blast Seed and whip it at the wall behind him, blowing a massive hole in the ship’s hull. The explosion brought Meganium Man back to Earth, but he clearly wasn’t all there. A huge gust of wind burst into the cafeteria, causing the other Pokémon to panic even more.
“All of you get to the hallway!” Meganium Man ordered, approaching Simisear.
The red monkey looked over his shoulder and saw a Lapras swimming alongside the ship.
“Don’t do it, Simisear. It’s not worth it.”
“Shut up!” the monkey screamed as the Petrify Orb’s sphere sparked wildly. “You wouldn’t understand! You don’t know what it’s like to watch your own flesh and blood be framed for a crime they didn’t commit! Don’t even try connecting with me, you ignoring vigilante wannabe!”
“So you would rather give up your own freedom by killing Sergeant Fraxure? Don’t you realize that by doing this, you would never see your son again?”
“What does it matter? They won’t listen! Nobody did! But I know he didn’t do it!”
“I believe you,” Meganium Man replied in a reassuring tone.
Simisear aimed the Petrify Wand at him.
“Don’t try it! I know better!”
Meganium Man stopped focusing on Simisear at that moment and instead turned his attention to the captured Fraxure.
“Sergeant, what really happened that night?”
The monkey barked, “One word and you’re history!” He pressed the sphere to Fraxure’s heart.
“It was Axew who killed Nosepass, wasn’t it? Not intentionally, for sure, but he still did it. And when they went to trial, everyone was too willing to believe the son of a Sergeant was innocent. After all, his father’s a policeman, he would know better! But a split nanosecond is all it takes to change one’s life for better or for worse.”
Fraxure drew a long breath and trembled as he exhaled.
“It’s true. When I saw the autopsy results and saw that Dragon Rage was the thing that killed him, I did what no cop should ever do and doctored the results, framing Pansear in the process. I didn’t want to, I swear, I didn’t. But they needed a culprit that fit the details of the events that night.”
As Fraxure spoke, Simisear’s grip on him loosened. By the end of his explanation, Fraxure was able to safely take a couple steps away from the monkey.
“I’m so sorry, Simisear. Your son is a great boy, and this never should’ve happened.”
The monkey was focused completely on Fraxure. He still had a death grip on his Petrify Wand, but his face showed he was mulling over his next action over.
In a marginally related detail, a blue and green Gastrodon who was slithering around the S.S. Anne’s hull discovered a big hole on its side.
“Give me the wand, Simisear,” Meganium Man begged, holding out a vine whip. “It’s over.”
The monkey looked down at the ground. “I boarded this ship to get even…”
Gastrodon poked his head in.
“AND THAT’S WHAT I’M GOING TO DO!”
Meganium Man reached for the wand as Simisear started raising it, but Simisear was suddenly pelted by a thick ball of mud which exploded upon contact, sending him flying across the cafeteria and through one of its windows. Some of the mud landed on Meganium Man and Fraxure, but the monkey was caked in it from head to toe.
Looking at the hole, Meganium Man saw a curious blue and green sea slug.
“Now that’s what I call fighting dirty!” Gastrodon exclaimed. Meganium Man rolled his eyes.
Simisear’s goons had put up a good fight against Blastoise, the Samurott and the Jellicent, but they quickly realized they were outnumbered and surrendered peacefully. In the aftermath of the chaos, more Lapras appeared to make sure nobody would have to wait longer than necessary.
Meganium Man was standing on the deck, overlooking the beautiful ocean. He was replaying his fight with Ledian in his head, remembering what the ladybug had said to him.
“But there will come a time in your life when you will have no choice but to kill your foe…”
He shuddered at the notion, but Ledian was right. Meganium Man didn’t have much of a choice during the brawl, but he was wondering if there was another way it could have ended. His actions in Goldenrod City still haunted him, and now he had another nightmare to contend with.
“You okay?” asked Milotic from behind. Meganium Man jumped when he heard her.
He turned his head. “I don’t know.”
Milotic slithered to his side and rested her fan-like tail on one of his shoulders comfortingly.
“It’s not easy, is it?” she asked. He knew exactly what she meant.
Shaking his head, Meganium Man replied, “I can’t believe people do it every day. Once was more than enough. It was too many. After what happened with Butterfree, I swore I’d never do it again. I didn’t do it to Gyarados, or Dragalge, but… I didn’t see any other choice with Ledian.” He sighed and changed the topic. “What’s going to happen with Fraxure?”
Milotic shrugged. “I’m not sure. Land’s not our jurisdiction.”
“Conspiracy to commit murder comes to mind.”
The two were silent for a while before Meganium Man spoke up again.
“It’s funny. Simisear was so desperate to prove his son’s innocence that he committed a crime himself, and now he goes to jail while Pansear will be released.” He shook his head. “The lengths people go to.”
“Well, if it was your son in that situation, what would you do?” Milotic asked, not expecting an answer. But Meganium weakly and quickly nodded. He didn’t say anything, but there was something there.
Looking down, the two of them saw Lapras swimming away from the ship with Pokémon on their backs to destinations unknown.
“Aw, jeez!” Meganium Man grumbled in a more lively tone. He checked his PokéGear’s watch. It was 5:31pm. “I gotta get to my folks’ house. Mom’s gonna freak!”
“Here, lemme give you a ride. I know what that’s like!” Milotic replied, diving over the deck’s guard rail and into the ocean. Meganium Man jumped down and landed safely on her back. “Where to?”
“Slateport City, please.”
“Hoo boy,” Milotic whistled. “Your mom’s really gonna freak.”
The End of Episode #8!
I'm gonna have to read this... when I'm on a device that can hold the page in RAM without needing to unload pictures AND compress the entire website-holding RAM block.
Meganium Man #9: Out for Justice
The great rock snake Onix was doing a late-night patrol of Route 38’s woods when he found Cranidos’s body. The grey pachycephalosaurus, known for the large, blue dome on its head, was stiff as a board, and when Onix rolled him over onto his back, his limbs didn’t move.
Onix made no noise for several long minutes. He couldn’t take his eyes off his adopted brother, who was still just a kid. Who’d done this? What had done this? How do I write good melodrama? For that matter, how do I write a good murder mystery? Oh, no, I’ve broken the rule of three!
“Constable Onix? Are you there?” asked Chief Weavile through the headset wrapped around his large noggin. “We’ve lost your PokéGear’s signal.” Indeed, there was one near the tip of his long tail. “Can you hear me? Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee.”
The last part brought Onix out of his trance. “Yeah, I can hear you. Send Dr. Blissey to Route 38 and tell her to take the first right into the woods.”
“Okay, how come?” asked the Chief.
“Because I found Cranny.”
A Blissey – a round, pink Pokémon with white fur on her shoulders and lower body like a gown, with curly ears – arrived at the scene ten minutes later. Onix appeared to be guarding Cranidos’s corpse, with his tail around it, and his large, white eyes focused on nothing but Blissey as she wheeled in her stretcher. Weavile and her trusty partner Magneton arrived soon after, trailing behind Blissey. The tips of Magneton’s horseshoe magnet-like hands glowered blue and red, illuminating the darkness.
“Well, Doc, what’re we looking at?” asked Weavile when she laid her eyes on Cranidos.
Blissey was stumped. “I’m not quite sure, chief. It’s like his muscles are frozen.”
“What does that even mean?” Onix asked in a rather hostile tone.
Blissey tried to gently move one of Cranidos’s arms, but it wouldn’t budge. “This is what I mean. Did you find him like this?”
“I’ll take him back to the morgue and do a post mortem right away. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Blissey picked up the dead pachycephalosaurus, placed him on the stretcher, and wheeled him out of the woods. Onix did not take his eyes off her until she was out of his sight.
His tail became coated in iron and he whipped a nearby small tree, splitting through it with ease. The tree flew from its stump and collapsed with a small thud, its bark cracking. His tail returned to normal afterwards. The snake was seething with rage, almost hyperventilating with fury.
“I was supposed to look out for him,” he said between miserable breaths. “That was all my parents ever asked of me.”
Weavile stood, arms crossed.
“And it only took me three bloody days to find him,” Onix added, resting his head against another tree. He asked Weavile, “Have you ever seen a body like that? Just completely immobile?”
The Chief shook her head. “I’ve seen a lot of things in this line of work. But this is a new one.” She placed a comforting claw on one of Onix’s rock segments. “Rest assured, we’ll—no, you’re gonna catch whoever did this. Go home, get plenty of rest, and for crying out loud, don’t do anything rash. We don’t want another Dragon’s Den incident, do we?”
Onix laughed briefly, albeit exhaustedly. The aforementioned incident is a long story, but all you need to know is that pool noodles are no longer allowed in its waters.
Weavile left the woods and Onix behind; he stood there, head against the tree, for a while, listening to the crickets chirping and the birds singing. His mind was blank when he eventually decided it was time to return to Dark Cave, which was pretty far to the east. The rock snake burrowed underground with ease by spinning like a corkscrew and found himself in one of the many tunnels beneath Johto, formed by other burrowing Pokémon such as Diglett and Dugtrio.
He had his own room-like cavern in Dark Cave that was only accessible through a tunnel, and even then it was blocked by a hatch. Onix screwed it shut so tightly, only a Machamp would be able to open it. Or a Pokémon that could explode at will, like Voltorb. But that would be counterproductive. He reached the hatch, unscrewed it with ease, and pushed it open with the horn on his head.
The room was square with a few furnishings: a bed of hay in a corner, a chest for his clothes (he’s gotta wear something when it rains!) with a picture of his family on it – his parents, also Onix, and his adopted brother, Cranidos – and a battery-powered alarm clock. Onix turned the alarm on and curled up on the hay, giving the photograph a good, hard look. For all he knew, Weavile was calling his folks at that moment, informing them of the tragic turn the day had taken.
Well, he reasoned, if he got a distressed call later tonight, he’d know what it was about.
Harley the Meganium’s first order of business the following morning was to head to either police station and ask about the wands he’d seen on the S.S. Anne. The sauropod wasn’t quite sure how to go about it, since it was possible neither Zangoose nor Weavile had heard about the chaos on the ship earlier that week. The vibe he got from Sherriff Sharpedo was that the shark liked to keep ocean-related events hush-hush.
After having some leftover PokéPuff Soufflé for breakfast, the dinosaur grabbed his blue cape and cowl and tucked it into hammerspace. Through some miracle of police kindness, he was allowed to take an unused Petrify Wand, explaining to the wary officer his plan to do exactly what he was about to do. The Petrify Wand was resting against his nightstand and put into hammerspace as well. He left home at a leisurely pace and started down the wide and grassy, forest-like Route 29, and then headed north through a clearing up the mountainous Route 45. From there, it was a straight walk to Blackthorn City. Along the way, he ducked into a cave, donned his disguise, and returned through a different hole to avoid suspicion or something like that. A naturally dangerous path, nobody was on Route 45 aside from him.
Weavile caught a glimpse of Meganium Man entering the city in her peripheral. She was sitting at her desk on the second floor, doing paperwork, when the lackadaisical brontosaurus – whom she swore was in way over his head – arrived with the same skip in his step he always had.
“Oh, no,” she muttered, dropping the pen. “Not him again.”
The intercom on her desk rang. She hit the button.
“Yes?” she drearily said.
“Guess who’s here,” said Onix, at the other end. He’d been assigned front desk duty that day to keep him out of action until he felt like he could handle going on patrol again. Weavile wasn’t sure if this was a condescending thing to do, but Onix made no objections.
“I’ll be right down,” Weavile replied. She got out of her chair and headed downstairs to the station’s foyer, where Meganium Man was chatting with the towering rock snake, who, if uninterested in the dinosaur’s shenanigans, was making an Oscar-worthy effort to pretend otherwise. After a shudder, Chief Weavile approached.
“Can I help you?” she asked the vigilante, making her disdain apparent.
Meganium Man was undeterred.
“Hi, Chief! It’s been a while.”
Not long enough, she thought. However, she instead replied, “Sure has. What’s up?”
All of a sudden, Meganium Man stopped thinking and pulled out the Petrify Wand with a vine whip.
While doing so, he began, “Well, long story short, I came into possession of one of these, and was wondering if you or anyone else had—”
When he aimed the yellow orb in Weavile’s general direction, Onix sprung into action.
“HE’S GOT A WAND!” he bellowed, arched his head over the desk, and rammed Meganium Man out of the police station. The dinosaur sailed out the door and hit the ground hard, dropping the weapon. Weavile jumped back at Onix’s sudden attack.
Even Onix seemed to realize he made a mistake when Meganium Man hit the ground. He didn’t say anything other than a baffled, “Uh-oh.”
However, Meganium Man didn’t take it personally. He got up, dusted himself off, and returned to the stationhouse, with the orb slung over a shoulder. Whether or not this was worse is a debate for the ages.
“Are you all right?” Weavile asked as the dinosaur reentered the building.
“Yep, no harm done. Uh, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was gonna ask if anyone had seen such a thing before,” he flashed Onix a bemused look, “but I think I have my answer.”
Onix was looking away now, whistling a jolly tune.
“Constable Onix, can you tell me—” Meganium Man began. He was interrupted as Blissey entered the stationhouse and approached the snake.
“Constable Onix, may I see you for a moment?” the egg asked in a mournful tone. Onix nodded, slithered around the desk, and followed Blissey across the street to the morgue. As Blissey left, she noticed Meganium Man’s wand and gave him a curious look. It sent a chill down the dinosaur’s spine.
“What was that about?” he asked Weavile.
“Onix’s baby brother was found dead on Route 38 last night, which might be why he attacked you like that,” Weavile replied in a low tone.
Meganium Man raised an eyebrow.
“Geez, I’ve already said too much,” Weavile continued. “But yes, I know of those wands, yes, I know what that one does, and Onix believes such a weapon is what killed his brother.” She motioned for Meganium Man to follow her and led him to her large office on the second floor. Upon arriving, she pulled the blinds down.
“Now, first things first: how did you get your hands on one of those things?”
Meganium Man regaled her with the series of events that transpired on the S.S. Anne earlier in the week, and when he was finished, she drummed her claws on her desk a few times.
“You literally can’t not stick your nose in other Pokémon’s business, can you?”
“This was a complete coincidence, I swear. It’s nothing like what happened with Dragalge. Speaking of, how’s Kingdra doing?”
“She pulled through, and is recovering at home.”
“Good to hear.” Realizing he’d derailed the conversation, he continued, “Err, so Onix thinks one of these things killed his brother?”
Weavile nodded. “Maybe not a Petrify Wand specifically, but Cranidos’s body is completely paralyzed. I don’t know a lot about these wands, but they’re capable of serious harm. Zangoose might know more than I do, but we’ve never seen wands around here. Sorry I can’t be of more help.”
“It’s no problem, Chief. Thank you for your time,” Meganium Man replied.
He promptly left the police station and saw the city morgue across the street, but there was no sign of Onix anywhere in the building. The dinosaur decided to head home to New Bark Town, started down Route 45, but as he passed a cave, a certain rock snake’s tail snagged him and yanked him inside. Meganium Man’s yelp was silenced by the thick darkness Dark Cave was famous for.
Meganium Man was dragged for several minutes underground, squirming to break free of Onix’s binding grip on him. Suddenly, the snake stopped and turned the wheel on his room’s hatch, and then suddenly hurled Meganium Man inside. He landed hard, and Onix popped out of the tunnel and closed the hatch.
The dinosaur got up and took a combative stance, spreading his legs wide and lowering his head, flaring his nostrils.
As the leaf petals around his neck started to twitch in anticipation of Razor Leaf, Onix’s massive head lurched down to stare the dinosaur in the eyes.
“Relax. I’m not going to hurt you,” Onix said.
Meganium Man pointed at the red bruise that wrapped around his torso. “Good job,” he sneered. “But I digress. What’d you drag me here for?”
Onix’s posture became uncomfortable. He pulled his head away from Meganium Man’s and started pacing around the room.
“Doctor Blissey saw that thing you were carrying. She said it has potential to kill other Pokémon with ease.
Meganium Man took the wand out of hammerspace.
“I’ve never even used it. Weavile said the same thing.”
“I’m curious. Where’d you get it?”
Meganium Man told Onix what happened a few days ago on the S.S. Anne, and how the Pokémon who conquered the ship used the wands as weapons.
“I’ve never heard of this Simisear fellow or any of his henchmen, but Blissey firmly believes it was one of those wands which killed Cranny. She says they’re more potent than the average Electivire’s Thunderbolt attack.”
“Never fought an Electivire. Wouldn’t know,” Meganium Man replied. “Um… is this going somewhere?”
Onix, still pacing, chose his words carefully.
“I want you to help me find out who killed my brother.”
Meganium was silent for a few seconds, expecting more to Onix’s request.
“Is that it? That’s more of a police matter, isn’t it? I mean, I’m just—”
“You’re the only one I want to help me. You have experience with these things. You know what they’re capable of.”
Onix slithered over to his chest of clothes, opened it up, and before Meganium Man knew it, Onix was wearing a black mask over his eyes and a long black cape.
“No,” Meganium Man said, harshly. “Not a chance. There is no way I am letting you go through with this. You’re volatile, Onix. I know you want to avenge your brother, but this is not the way to do it. For crying out loud, you’re a cop.”
After shaking his head, Onix replied, “No, I’m not a cop when I’m dressed like this. Now I’m more than a cop could ever be. Because when I wear this, I am not Onix. I’m Onix the Omnipotent.”
“Please be joking,” Meganium Man said in a pleading tone. “Please tell me this is just a dream.” He hung his head.
“This is not a police matter. It’s personal.”
“It’s insane! You’re not thinking clearly!” Meganium Man spat back.
“As opposed to you, who didn’t exist before Crawdaunt tried robbing that bank?”
“That was different. I—I was bored. But the difference between that and what you’re doing is, it wasn’t personal. I didn’t know Crawdaunt. I was basically helping Chief Zangoose.”
“And you’ve made a rather impressive career as a vigilante since. But you’ve been doing this for eight episodes now. I just want one. That’s it. Just let me do what I could not do as a cop.”
“Promise me that, no matter how it goes, I’ll never see you dressed like that again.”
“You have my word.”
Meganium Man then asked, “But what about your shift at the desk?”
“I would normally be clocking out around then anyway,” Onix cheekily replied.
“How convenient!” Meganium Man said. He sighed, added, “Well, I guess we should get a move on. Take me to where you found Cranidos.”
Meganium Man arrived at Route 38 and stomped on the ground to let Onix know the coast was clear. The snake’s horn pierced the soil and grass, and soon his head bored through and he emerged on Route 38.
“It was right here, Meganium Man.” He started getting teary-eyed. “Right here.”
The dinosaur saw Cranidos’s imprint on the flattened grass from where he fell, and saw little footprints leading from Route 38’s main road to there.
“Did Cranidos like to come here?” Meganium Man asked.
“That’s the thing. He never entered the woods out of fear of getting lost,” Onix explained. “He had several haunts, but this wasn’t one of them.”
“Haunts? Where else did he like to go?”
“Cianwood City was his favorite. He liked running along its cliffs.”
Meganium Man was surprised at Onix’s reply. “Cianwood City? That’s across the ocean. How would he even get there?”
“He would either hitch a ride on a Mantine or run on the jagged rocks jutting out of the ocean.”
“Do you know if that’s where he went last?”
Onix nodded. “Said so himself.”
“All right, I guess we’d better get our butts to Cinnabar and ask around.”
Onix returned underground and motioned for Meganium Man to follow him with a flick of his tail. Curious, the dinosaur hopped down the hole as Onix burrowed deeper and deeper and followed him dutifully and carefully, praying his tunnel would collapse. A few steps later, it hit him that Onix had travelled well below sea level to get to Cianwood City without having to take a boat or hitch a ride, both of which were impossible for a Pokémon of his size and weight.
Some hours later Onix burst from the depths of the Earth and emerged in Cianwood City, a small town separate from the mainland, against a large mountain. There was an entrance to the mountain, but he wasn’t sure where it went. Somewhere high up, he imagined.
Meganium Man arrived a couple minutes later, his ears having popped long ago. He appeared dizzy and was briefly blinded by the sun, covering his eyes with his cape before they adjusted. He and Onix were at the north end of Cianwood City, close to the mountain’s entrance. Meganium Man quickly noticed it.
“It looks like that’s the only way in,” he observed. “Unless he scaled the walls or something, which is unlikely.” The mountain walls were steeply sloped, almost straight, unsuitable for walking. “Should we check it out?”
“Do we have a choice?” Onix the Omnipotent asked. Meganium Man entered first.
It was a small cavern with a high ceiling and steeply sloped walls, but well lit by the lights on the ceiling. Just ahead of them was two flights of stairs which led to what they assumed was another part of the cave. Meganium Man headed up the steps with Onix’s looming form behind him staying on guard, both of them clueless as to what lied ahead.
Meganium Man could see the vast ocean as he exited the cave and found himself on a road carved out of a cliff’s face. Onix made a low, disturbed grunt when he saw just how high up they were, prompting Meganium man to look over the edge. A stone chip fell from the cliff and hit the water after a solid minute of falling. They carefully crept along, but when they took the right turn and saw the many wooden bridges of possibly dubious sturdiness, Meganium Man made a displeased sound of his own.
“Well, at least I know how long my last minute on Earth might be,” the dinosaur huffed.
They chugged along, remaining on high alert, because as wide as the road was, the wide corners left little room to see around. Something seemed wrong with this, but for all Meganium Man and Onix knew, they’d been weathered by storms.
As they came upon the first wooden bridge, Onix noticed a cave they had to take to proceed, something he considered merciful. They entered and followed the hill up to its exit, only to discover yet another bridge, this one over a crashing waterfall. No point in turning back now, Meganium Man told himself as he took his first step on the crossing. It didn’t sway or even budge, allowing him to easily cross. Onix was even more hesitant, but, to his shock and awe, he didn’t plummet to his death and the bridge didn’t break.
Now that they’d crossed the bridge, they continued along the cliffside road and, after several twists and turns, including crossing a few more bridges, they were now along the grassy shores of the river, but the path up ahead showed something odd.
To you and I, this road would lead to the Safari Zone gate. But what Meganium Man and Onix the Omnipotent saw a construction site. There were three buildings, one of which – a steely, four-story factory – was complete and in use. Many transport trucks were neatly parked, and several Pokémon were patrolling its grounds, carrying wands. The duo ducked behind a hill for cover, not sure what they were looking at. Who were these Pokémon? What were they doing with those wands? Did one of them have something to do with Cranidos’s death?
Something shone behind them. Meganium Man and Onix slowly turned their heads and saw two Pokémon behind them holding Petrify Wands. One was Excadrill, a brown, bipedal mole with a jagged, metal horn-like protrusion aiming forward on its head, and with large metal claws on its hands. The other was Trevenant, a ghostly tree-like Pokémon who walked on six branch-like legs, who had two thick arms and pointed fingers.
“Stand up and turn around,” Trevenant ordered, his single eye watching them both. The vigilante and policeman did so, facing them.
“What’re you doing here?” asked Excadrill, his free hand’s claws scissoring the air.
“I could ask you that same question,” Onix quickly replied.
Excadrill stepped around them and told the duo to follow him, leading them into the factory with Trevenant covering the rear. It had all the staples of a factory: conveyor belts, pressing machines, tools of various sorts, but at the very end were shipping containers. Once they reached the second level, Excadrill knocked on a door just to his right.
“Come in,” said a voice at the other end. Excadrill opened it and motioned for Meganium Man and Onix the Omnipotent to enter. An Electivire, a bipedal yellow Pokémon with blacks triples, thick forearms, bulbous antenna and two black wiry tails, was sitting behind a desk.
“Erm, hi,” Electivire grunted. “Excadrill, who’re these two?”
“I think this one’s Meganium Man,” the mole replied, pointing to the dinosaur. “Not sure about this lug here,” he motioned to Onix.
“Ah. You’re dismissed.” Excadrill and Trevenant left to resume patrolling the grounds. “So what can I help the gallant hero of Johto and who I assume is his wacky sidekick with?”
At this point, neither one of them knew what to say. They knew what they wanted to say, but now how to go about it.
With all the subtlety of an exploding Wailord, Onix asked, “Do you know this Pokémon?”
He pulled a picture of Cranidos out of hammerspace and showed it to Electivire. The electric-type carefully looked it over.
“I think I saw him running around the cliff face the other day. Security got kind of antsy about his safety. Why?”
At that point, Onix imagined himself throwing Electivire out the window behind his desk.
“He turned up dead the other day. He’s my brother.”
Electivire’s expression sank.
“I’m sorry for your loss, sir. But what does this have to do with me?”
“His brother was killed by an extremely potent shot from a Petrify Wand,” Meganium Man replied matter-of-factly. “We couldn’t help but notice your security guards carry them.”
“Why wouldn’t they? They’re extremely useful against intruders.”
Onix couldn’t help but notice the way Electivire ignored the first part of the statement.
“Mr. Electivire, what does this factory produce, exactly?” the snake asked.
The yellow Pokémon smirked. “Yes, we develop and distribute weapons. It’s no secret. Specifically, we develop military-grade wands, seeds and orbs. Much more dangerous than a regular wand or seed or orb.”
“What’s the difference?” asked Onix.
“For starters, a military-grade Petrify Wand kills, no questions asked.”
“So the one that killed my brother could be a wand used only in the military?”
Electivire nodded. “Unless it was a cop, but there aren’t any police in Johto who use these.”
“How can you be so sure?” Meganium Man asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Because we have a list of those who use them. Only Sinnoh officers are using them right now.” Electivire placed a clipboard with such a list on the desk in front of them. “Anything else?”
“No, we’re good,” Onix replied sternly. Meganium Man wasn’t interested in protesting. This was Onix’s case, for all intents and purposes.
“Then I bid you good day. Onix, I wish you luck in catching whoever committed this heinous act. I certainly don’t blame you for coming here, but maybe try knocking on my door next time.”
Onix let out a low chuckle, and he and Meganium Man left the office.
“He’s lying like it’s gone out of style,” Onix snarled as he and Meganium Man travelled along the cliffside road back to Cianwood.
“How do you know?” Meganium Man asked, although his tone of voice meant his suspicion was shared.
“For one, he didn’t bat an eye when you inferred one of his products killed Cranidos. He also saw Cranidos running around the cliff face nearby. It’s not unlikely my brother stumbled upon something he wasn’t supposed to. Thirdly, y’know, Dr. Blissey is positive a wand is what killed him. It didn’t come from a Pokémon.”
Meganium Man rolled his eyes. “So what’re we supposed to do? Rip the place apart trying to find the wand and Pokémon who killed Cranidos? I’m sure the Chief would totally understand.”
They were about to enter the small cavern leading back to Cianwood when Onix suddenly blocked the hole, staring Meganium Man down.
“Look. If it helps, I don’t need your help anymore. Now you can go back to your regular life doing whatever it is you do for a living. But you don’t know what it’s like to lose something so close to you the way I did. I don’t care what you, Chief Weavile, or anyone else says: Electivire either did it or knows who did it, and I will make sure they pay for their actions. You can rat me out to the Chief if you want. But you can’t stop me now.”
Onix ventured into the cavern. Meganium Man followed him but kept his distance, unsure of himself. He was torn on what to do. Onix was going well over the line, starting with donning a cowl and cape, but then again, Harley had done just the same for no reason other than boredom. Weavile’s eyes were already on him thanks to his involvement with Dragalge, and now he was in cahoots with one of her constables.
Blast it all! he thought. If he’d just stayed home when Crawdaunt held up the Cherrygrove City bank, then this might not be happening. But then he might’ve done the same thing when Raticate and his goons caused a ruckus in New Bark Town that one night. Or maybe even during Gyarados’ rampage. He still felt ashamed of how things went during the attack on Goldenrod City, even though he’d tried as best he could to put it behind him.
It all seemed like a big mistake now, and it was starting to spiral out of control. Even his two closest friends, Ari the Typhlosion and Vic the Feraligatr, had taken up the cowl and cape and knight armor thanks to him. Now he’d gotten a cop involved.
And at that point, Meganium Man ceased to exist.
Until 3am, when Harley received a panicked call from none other than Onix the Omnipotent. Shortly before they’d parted ways for what he hoped was for good, Meganium Man gave the snake the number to his burner PokéGear, which he only used in instances like this.
“They got me!” Onix shouted over some racket. Harley could hear shouting voices and what sounded like a shootout in the background.
“What? Who got you?” Harley asked, having not quite woken up.
“Electivire!” Something exploded in the background, fairly close to Onix, Harley guessed. “He confessed to the whole thing! I have it on tape!”
For crying out loud…
“Where’re you?” Harley asked, feeling dumb.
“Take a wild guess,” Onix replied. “I could use your help right now!”
After a disappointed sigh, Harley replied, “I’m on my way.”
Or, he would be, once he paid someone a visit…
Chief Weavile wanted to rip Meganium Man’s head off. She wanted to freeze him with her Ice Beam attack and keep him in the basement until the situation blew over and then drop him in Hoenn’s desert with his belongings. Most of all, she wanted to throw him in a cell for a couple eternities, but couldn’t bring herself to do it. The dinosaur seemed so sheepish, so pathetic when he stumbled into her office, still half asleep with his cape on backwards. She knew his apology was sincere, and he even admitted she was right: he can’t not stick his nose where it doesn’t belong if he can’t help it.
Meganium Man, Weavile, and over a dozen officers arrived at Electivire’s factory to see a massive fiery battleground.
Definitely Onix’s work, Weavile thought, remembering the Dragon’s Den incident.
Electivire’s staff were armed to the teeth with wands, blue spheres, and seeds, the latter two strapped to belts across their chests. Amusingly, none of them had a clue where Onix was. He was 28 feet long; how could anyone lose sight of him?
“I’ll go find Onix!” Meganium Man hollered to Weavile amidst the crackling fire. He pulled out the Petrify Wand and rushed into the blaze. Neither the Chief or her fellow officers tried to stop him, namely because she was fed up with Meganium Man even though they’d only met twice.
Meganium Man immediately caught several of the staff’s eyes as he ran for the factory’s front doors, thinking Onix was in there. A reddish-orange seed with a thick crack on its body hit a transport truck just to Meganium Man’s right, causing the vehicle to explode in a massive fireball, sending shrapnel, glass and rubber everywhere. He crashed through the doors just as a piece of metal sliced his back, but he wasn’t interested in the cut at the moment.
The factory’s main level was empty, aside from the machinery. Weavile’s forces had begun fighting Electivire’s goons, something Meganium Man learned when an unfortunate Heracross – a dark green, bipedal beetle with a large horn on its snout – was hurled through a window, already knocked out.
He exited through one of the factory’s back doors and saw an even larger area, also on fire, with more of Electivire’s men on the prowl. Still no sign of Onix, but for all he knew the snake blended in with the thick smoke.
The ground shook up ahead and a towering caped serpent emerged. Onix the Omnipotent was quickly surrounded, but Meganium Man saw a crane nearby. He’d never used one before, but it was on his bucket list. Unfortunately, a container was on its cables and suspended midair. However, all he needed to do was allow Onix a chance to strike. He hurried up the ladder leading to the vacant control room, hopped in, and turned it on with the key, still in the ignition.
Electivire stormed up to Onix the Omnipotent, holding a Blast Seed.
“It’s time for you to meet your brother again!” Electivire snarled, prepared to hurl the Blast Seed. Then, a large, rectangular shadow loomed over him. He looked up and saw the shipping container dangling over him, but before he could move, the container suddenly jerked aside. As the crane swiveled, Electivire saw a green form inside its cockpit.
He tossed the seed to Trevenant. “I’ll deal with Meganium Man. You deal with Onix,” he said. He hurried for the crane, and a rush of fire suddenly blocked him off from the snake. No matter; the Blast Seed would kill him instantly.
Electivire scurried up the ladder, unaware that Onix had taken out his guys with a mighty swing of his tail the moment he turned his back.
The door to the cockpit was opened forcefully enough to take it off its hinges. Meganium Man turned just in time to see Electivire’s foot on a one-way trip to his face, kicking him through the other door and onto the swinging container.
He dropped onto the container as Meganium Man stood up and threw a powerful Thunderpunch at the dinosaur’s face, sending him stumbling. The tips of Electivire’s wire-like tails were glowing and lightning crackled between them, and he unleashed a crackling blast of lightning at Meganium Man from his hands, throwing him off the container. The dinosaur landed back in the ring of fire, and watched as Electivire prepared to jump.
Onix sprung into action and slammed the crane’s body with a mighty swing of his tail, breaking it in half and sending Electivire tumbling down. Meganium Man rolled back as the crane collapsed in front of him. Electivire sat up, but before he could stand, Onix’s tail punted him back. When the ape was on all fours, Onix brought his tail down on his back, smashing the arms dealer to the dirt. Finally, the snake nabbed his prey in a chokehold of a coil and brought Electivire to eye level.
A Blast Seed was between Onix’s lips.
“It wasn’t personal, Onix. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Electivire said in a pleading tone. Meganium Man got up and watched.
“It was to me,” the snake replied. His eyes showed murderous intent. There was no mistaking that. “And I want you to understand that. To understand what you’ve taken from me.”
“Do what you have to do, then,” Electivire said.
But as Onix’s tongue hit the back of the Blast Seed, he remembered Meganium Man’s pleas from their chat in Dark Cave.
For crying out loud, you’re a cop…
Onix dropped the Blast Seed. It did nothing.
“You’re under arrest.”
When dawn arrived, Electivire and his merry goons had been taken away by Weavile’s backup. Onix and Meganium Man were waiting to be reprimanded, shouted at, and cussed out by Chief Weavile, standing along the river’s shore. Their capes flittered in the early morning breeze. It wasn’t until now that Meganium Man noticed the cuts, scrapes and bruises on Onix’s hardy torso.
“That… was a little extreme,” Meganium Man said.
“Maybe,” Onix replied. “But I did what I set out to do, at least.”
“You’d better just hope the tape isn’t broken.”
Onix pulled out a small tape recorder from hammerspace to discover it was still in one piece.
“No, you most certainly aren’t!” Weavile barked from behind them. She stormed over to the duo. “The Lieutenant’s gonna have my head over this! You’ll be lucky to have your job next week!” She turned to Meganium Man. “As for you: beat it! Your work is done here.” She then ordered Onix, “Let me here that tape so I know you’re telling the truth.”
Onix shrugged and hit the play button.
“—Look, Trevenant, we don’t have a choice,” said Electivire’s voice. It was muffled. “Whoever that snake guy was is on to us. We have to leave while there’s still time!”
“If you hadn’t killed that kid, he wouldn’t be!” snarled Excadrill. “Furthermore, how are we going to leave with all this material lying around?”
“Scorched earth policy. Leave nothing behind,” Electivire replied. “The factory in Unova is still standing. It’ll work.”
Onix hit the stop button.
“I hate to say I told you so—”
“Shut up!” Weavile snapped. She yanked the tape recorder out of his tail. “You’ve no idea how lucky you are right now. This little cassette is the only reason the higher-ups might be lenient on you, depending on your interpretation of the term. And take that stupid costume off.”
Weavile stormed off, her headache growing by the second.
“How’d you even get that?” Meganium Man asked, referring to the conversation.
“I hid underground and recorded them. I had the recorder pressed right up against the foundations underneath their feet. I’m surprised they’re even audible.”
“Man, that is lucky,” Meganium Man said. He gazed upon the smoldering wreckage of Electivire’s work. “Was it all worth it?”
“Honestly? I don’t know. I don’t feel any better, to be honest. I’m not sure what to feel, to be honest with you. It’s like I’ve betrayed myself with this stupid outfit.”
Onix tore off the cape and cowl and hurled them into the river. They would be thrown over the waterfall within a minute or two.
“Well, now I’ve fought an Electivire,” Meganium Man said in a joking ton, not quite sure what to say to cap this one off.
“Another thing to cross off that bucket list, eh?” Onix replied in kind.
The End of Episode #9!
I had to split this one into two due to the character limit, whatever it is.
Meganium Man! #10: Once in a Lifetime
If anyone knew what Simisage was up to, they would call him mad and plan the monkey’s funeral.
Not that he would blame them; after all, one had to be a little off their rocker to go into the Whirl Islands in the first place. Getting there was hard enough without extensive planning, but venturing through the archipelago was considered a death sentence even by the most hardened explorers and thrill seekers. Each cave is guarded by a whirlpool on each side of a given island, spinning with enough force to pull in ships half a mile out. There is also a barricade of towering, jagged rocks jutting out of the ocean floor which even a fully charged Hyper Beam has trouble breaking down, rendering access all but impossible.
Sea-dwelling Pokémon avoid the area like the plague, a decision “encouraged” by local legends that a powerful sea monster named Lugia lives inside one of them. The story goes that this monster was so obscenely strong it was forced to reside in the deepest ocean trenches, since a mere flap of its wings was enough to demolish a bustling city like Goldenrod. Mythology books often depicted the monster as some sort of dragon, typically with two large, oar-like wings and hind legs. Sometimes a doomsday warning is provided in the text, along the lines of, “if it awakens, destruction will follow.”
But, hey, that’s just a legend, right?
Simisage wasn’t stupid. He knew he couldn’t possibly convince anyone to give him a ride to the islands, so he didn’t bother trying to do so. Whether or not this monster existed was something he wanted to find out, and had planned accordingly. Before leaving home he packed several Warp Seeds for a quick exit from the islands if something went wrong – and he suspected something would. Also in his company were Blast Seeds should he need something extra to fight with, Flash Orbs in order to subdue the monster with a blinding light if it attacked him, and a Trawl Orb he would use to bring any out-of-reach objects to him.
He figured that a Warp Seed would be the easiest way to get to the archipelago. Simisage closed his eyes and swallowed it, imagining the island said to contain the sea monster while doing so. When he opened his eyes, he was no longer in a lush Unova jungle, but on a sandy shore in the middle of Johto’s vast ocean. He was staring directly ahead and saw nothing but water, but could hear the churning of whirlpools all around him. A gentle breeze rustled the leafy sleeves and pants-like leggings on his arms and legs, as well as the leafy, Mohawk-like crest on his head. Upon turning around, he saw a daunting cave mouth and pure blackness inside.
In he went.
The cave was frightfully quiet, but the moment he stepped inside, he knew he wasn’t alone. It wasn’t just the local cave-dwelling Pokémon whose company he was now in; this was something else. Something powerful. It was coming from below, probably in the deepest and most secluded part of the cave, and he was going to find it. He removed a Flash Orb from his satchel with his tail and hurled it into the air before firing a small seed from his mouth like a bullet. It was dead on the mark, and the orb exploded, illuminating the dark innards of the cave. The cave was large and spacious, with many branching paths in front of him, as well as plenty of cliffs and slops to climb. If things went wrong, he could use the caves to hide in. He doubted the sea creature, if it existed at all, would fit inside one.
Something below grumbled.
Before continuing, the monkey checked the Pokétch – or Pokémon Watch – and brought up a map of the cave. The watch did more than just tell time, allowing users to download various applications for whatever purpose, and was sold only in the Sinnoh region. It was nice and discrete, which Simisage needed. If he was looking at the map correctly, then his destination should take him about three hours to reach on foot.
He started down the trail, keeping his ears sharp for any sudden noises he didn’t like, his combat instincts at the ready. The monkey anticipated fierce resistance, but knew there was only one chance to pull this off. Simisage would fight tooth and nail to succeed. Failure was not an option.
After about an hour, he felt his ears ring as he descended further below sea level, as well as pressure starting to build up in his head. By the second hour, the pressure had become a headache, and when the third hour finally arrived, Simisage swore his head was going to explode. He had no way of dealing with it, but had mentally prepared himself for this. A lot of good that did!
But now, he realized he was in just feet away from his destination. The cave he now stood in branched to his right, with a narrow trail descending into the supposed lair of this sea monster he’d heard so much about. He could hear long, guttural breaths from something, at which point, his mind flicked to autopilot. Cautiously, he started down the slope, keeping a hand against a wall in a futile effort to not lose his balance. A green, sharp, two-edged leaf blade slid out from his right sleeve, which he could use to dig into the cliffside and climb back up. By then, however, it was possible the sea monster would awaken. A bead of sweat inched down his face as he imagined the fate the creature would bring him.
At the bottom of the slope, in what barely passed as breathing room, was a massive cave entrance that dwarfed the one at the front of the island. He almost dropped the satchel in shock when he laid his eyes on the massive white wyvern curled up on a shore just big enough to support it on the opposite end of the room. Two purple, elongated, diamond-shaped lenses were over each eye, and its crescent-shaped head was facing the cave mouth as if it was guarding it while asleep. Its huge, fingered wings were tucked in, and its long tail had two purple spikes close to the tip. Flat, narrow purple plates were on its back in two rows of sixes, although Simisage couldn’t see them.
However, Lugia-watching wasn’t on the monkey’s agenda. Lugia’s tail mostly obscured it, but Simisage definitely saw a silver egg also with two purple lenses on it. It would fit nicely in his satchel, and if things went well, he would be a rich Pokémon.
Stepping into Lugia’s domain, Simisage discovered that there were no other caves or even cliffs there, just sheer walls that climbed five hundred feet high. He was ready to congratulate himself for bringing the Warp Seeds along, but brought himself back to reality by reminding himself that he had a job to do. His tail found a Trawl Orb and he also grabbed a Blast Seed and a Warp Seed from his pack before taking a long breath, possibly his last.
Lugia’s eyes started to open.
Simisage activated the Trawl Orb by crushing it in his grip, but Lugia was more alert than it let on. Its tail wrapped around the egg, but the wyvern had acted a second too late: the egg was already on its way to Simisage. He dumped the contents of the satchel, used it to catch Lugia’s egg, and then placed it on his back.
The dragon’s eyes were starting to glow, and Simisage saw something orange forming in its mouth. With a twitch of its wings, Lugia kicked up a massive wave that towered it within seconds, but Simisage was more concerned with the upcoming Aeroblast than some water. Lugia’s mouth opened wide enough to swallow a town and a sparkling orange energy blast erupted from his jaw, splitting into five beams as Simisage started backing away. When he began scrambling back up the slope, the wall behind him exploded as Aeroblast demolished it in the blink of an eye. By some miracle, Simisage remained on his feet and continued his escape, but soon, he had a new problem: the room was being flooded from the outside ocean and from the wave Lugia created. Once he reached the summit, he saw Lugia’s long neck emerge from the cave’s maw and immediately hurled the Blast Seed. Simisage was too busy panicking for it to do any good and exploded ineffectively well above Lugia’s head, diverting its attention.
The water had risen to his knees now, and with the dragon distracted, Simisage swallowed the Warp Seed. Before he closed his eyes, he saw Lugia’s enraged, almost insanity-laced gaze find him. And then, the sounds of the ocean were suddenly distant, and when he opened his eyes, the monkey was in the dense forests of Johto’s Routes 38 and 39.
Our plucky protagonist Harley the Meganium had decided to take a day off from his superhero antics and treat himself to a nice lunch. With picnic basket in hand… err, vine whip, the green sauropod sat beneath the shade of a big oak tree atop a hill on Route 39, from which he could see Olivine City as well as the vast ocean. It was a killer view, worthy of being on postcards and cheap coffee mugs.
Harley opened the picnic basket and took out a shiny red apple, taking a moment to admire its scrumptiousness before taking a bite. He could see his reflection in its skin, as well as some monkey with a backpack not too far behind him. The dinosaur opened his mouth and took a bite, savoring the flavor of the Perfect Apple, so called because of its perfect taste. They were extremely popular and hard to come by as a result, and even if you found one, it would probably cost a few pretty pennies.
If this is what Heaven tasted like, then death didn’t seem all that bad to him.
As he finished the apple and put the core in a plastic bag he’d brought, the green machine heard the waves growing restless, as if a great storm was coming. The suddenness and ferocity with which they churned was enough to put him on edge, and Pokémon hanging out at Olivine City’s beach started packing up and returning to the heart of the city. Not a cloud was in the sky, so he doubted a storm was coming, but he suddenly stood, as if knowing he was supposed to run away too. He’d heard stories about the sea monster lurking in the Whirl Islands, but knew that was just a myth.
He gulped anyway.
There was a rustling from the forest right behind him and he whipped his head around, but didn’t see anything other than some shaking branches. Despite not being the superstitious sort, he didn’t recognize that monkey or his ridiculous quaff, but he doubted they were involved. Chances are, Harley told himself, he was just escaping, anticipating something.
The roof of one of the Whirl Islands suddenly collapsed as an orange, five-pronged blast punched a colossal hole in it, making Harley jump in shock. Slabs of debris were hurled everywhere and fell harmlessly in the raging tides, but the people of Olivine were already running for the hills. Harley couldn’t help but be reminded of his encounter with that red Gyarados from about a year ago, but if he had to go up against him again, Harley was doomed. The sheer power necessary to create a hole in something that big was possessed only by a few Pokémon, none of which were certain to exist.
Harley could only watch in horror as the whirlpools surrounding the island suddenly raised high into the sky, spinning violently enough to pull in anyone who was still on Olivine’s beach. Mercifully nobody was, but if they started moving towards the island…
A loud roar suddenly sounded, and Harley continued to look on as a massive white dragon emerged from the island’s roof. Even from that distance, the Meganium could see the unquenchable fury in its eyes. Its massive shadow blanketed the island in darkness, and despite flapping its wings lightly, a large wake climbed and slammed down onto the beach. Lawn chairs, stereos, blankets and food were swept away into the unforgiving ocean, never to be seen again.
There was only one thing Harley could do, even though his brain was begging him not to do it. He ducked behind the tree and removed his blue cowl and blue cape from the picnic basket, donning them and becoming Meganium Man, the fearless yet way-in-over-his-head defender of Johto who now truly had no idea when to quit. He reappeared, stood atop the hill, and took a combative stance, spreading his four legs as if accepting a challenge. His two gold eyes locked onto Lugia, but he was sure the dragon was unaware of his presence. Its crescent-shaped head was moving from side to side, as if it were looking for something.
The dragon began its flight towards the city.
“Uh-oh,” Meganium Man muttered, wishing he had kept the costume at home. He knew he was outmatched the instant he saw the sea monster, but it was too late to do something about it now.
Four seconds later, Lugia had reached the mainland, its head still moving from side to side. It had absolutely no idea if Simisage was here, or even in Johto. All it remembered was watching the monkey suddenly vanish, but Lugia knew that if he had a Warp Seed, Simisage could be on the other side of the Earth by now.
So be it.
Lugia roared again, hoping that by doing so, Simisage would panic and do something stupid, alerting it to his location. Meganium Man’s vine whips covered his small, barely noticeable ears, but the sound was much too loud for him to ignore. The roar lasted several seconds and was directed at something, but he had no idea what. In any event, Lugia’s target, whoever or whatever it may be, did not appear. The dragon waited a full minute for Simisage to reveal himself, but he never did.
So be it.
Its eyes started to glow again, but unlike before, Lugia refused to use Aeroblast. There were still plenty of innocent Pokémon fleeing for their lives, and the last thing the dragon wanted was to make them casualties. He would gladly subdue anyone who got in his way on his manhunt, but wouldn’t kill.
Meganium Man wasn’t sure what Lugia was up to, but was ready to fire his Razor Leaves. He was certain that the dragon’s eyes glowing like that wasn’t good, but he suddenly heard crunching and snapping behind him. He looked back to the woods and watched as Lugia uprooted the trees using its psychic powers, unearthing a dozen at a time as it searched for whoever it was searching for. Dirt and leaves dropped to the ground, but Lugia’s prey still didn’t appear.
Against his better judgment, Meganium Man made the first move. The red flower petals around his neck fired in small, razor-sized pieces towards Lugia, but if the dragon felt it, he didn’t show it. Meganium Man watched, amazed as his Razor Leaves all but bounced off the wyvern’s hide and reattached themselves to the base of his neck.
So it’s true, Lugia thought.
It wasn’t sure how he knew of Meganium Man, but he couldn’t concern himself with the vigilante now. With a rapid flick of his tail, Lugia sent the dinosaur flying towards the border of Route 38 and Ecruteak City. Meganium Man felt like he’d been struck by a pickaxe and hit the ground rolling, forcing himself onto his stomach as to not let Lugia out of his sight. He bared his teeth and sucked in air as he tried to ignore the pain from what should’ve been an imperceptible blow, quickly spotting the purple welt on his right side. Just another souvenir, he told himself.
Right when he stood up, the trees on either side of him were suddenly torn from the earth, shaking wildly as Lugia continued his manhunt. The wyvern was coming towards him, but was too high up for Meganium Man to reach even with his Razor Leaf attack. As the trees dropped to the ground, Lugia saw the vigilante was standing again, just watching him. A strange little Meganium, no doubt. The look in his eyes showed Meganium Man was still going to try and stop him, but had no clue how.
The dinosaur shook as Lugia’s bellowing voice addressed him.
“Y-yes?” he sputtered, wishing he’d just stayed home.
DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU HAVE A CHANCE AGAINST ME?
“Of course not,” Meganium Man replied.
THEN STAY OUT OF MY WAY!
Lugia launched several thick rings of water at Meganium Man from his mouth while simultaneously uprooting a dozen more trees. Meganium Man took the brunt of the Water Pulse attack and was blown into Ecruteak City, slamming against a house before slumping to the ground. He was surprised the impact didn’t shatter his ribcage, let alone kill him, but as long as he was still breathing, he had to do something about Lugia. Water dripped off his skin and clothes on his march back to Route 38, but then he heard a different sound: a police siren.
Chief Zangoose, Sergeant Seviper, and a group of officers had arrived in the antiquated city when Meganium Man forced himself to stand. He ignored them and returned to the warzone, having no intention of fighting Lugia head-on. That was suicide, but he was positive he had to do something to at least calm it down. He watched as a dozen trees shook, and his head shot forward when a yellow monkey with green leafy sleeves and leggings, as well as a ridiculous quaff, dropped from one of them.
Landing on his feet, Simisage instantly saw Lugia’s hulking form about three yards away and descending to the ground. The monkey reached into the satchel and removed the silver egg, holding it with his left hand and arm while a Leaf Blade emerged from his right wrist. He pressed the tip of the blade to the eggshell, kicked the bag away.
The police had made the scene by now, ready to attack Simisage with a variety of projectile moves. Noxious purple fumes seeped out of Seviper’s mouth as he prepared to fire a Sludge Bomb. Lightning crackled between constable Girafarig’s white horns while she charged up Thunderbolt. Meganium Man was ready to outright decapitate Simisage with Razor Leaf for holding an unborn child hostage, recalling a similar situation when he went up against Haunter, who held Girafarig’s daughter as a hostage too. Zangoose gave Meganium Man a look as if telling him to stand down, but the dinosaur ignored him.
GIVE ME THE EGG, Lugia ordered.
Simisage said nothing. In fact, he looked at Lugia with defiance. He was standing perfectly still, not even appearing to breathe.
Meganium Man slowly started counting. When he hit five, Lugia went on the offensive. Lowering his head, the dragon opened his mouth and was about to attack with Water Pulse, but Simisage pressed the tip of the Leaf Blade against the eggshell. Immediately, Lugia’s mouth closed.
“You’re not very good at listening, are you?” Meganium Man sneered.
“Shut it,” Simisage barked.
“No. Tell me something,” Meganium Man continued, stepping forward. “What, exactly, do you think will happen even if you escape with that egg? You certainly won’t get to raise it as your own so long as this guy is still around.” He pointed to Lugia with a vine whip as he finished his sentence.
“I’m not planning on raising it,” Simisage replied, ignoring the rest of Meganium Man’s spiel.
Seviper said to Zangoose, “You don’t think he’s one of those…?”
The monkey heard the viper and grinned.
“Y’know, I’ve gone up against some real morons in my time, but you take the cake,” the dinosaur continued. “Kidnapping is bad enough, but you went after a legendary Pokémon’s kid. Nice going. Do you really think this can end well for you?”
“Don’t be such a pessimist,” Simisage snapped back. “It’s not the kid I want. Lugia will have it back in time.” Twisting his right arm, the monkey continued. “As long as you all cooperate, that is.”
Simisage immediately started backing away while the police, vigilante, and Lugia watched. He soon started grinning and turned, running into what remained of the forest, under cover by the trees. Lugia growled in fury but knew that by pursuing Simisage, its baby was in grave danger. Meganium Man struck a felled tree with a vine whip and screamed something indiscriminate, chipping off a piece of bark.
As the group accepted their defeat, the police decided to return to Violet City and leave Meganium Man and Lugia behind. Lugia continued to stare into the forest while Meganium Man stood idly by, doing nothing in particular. Seviper and Zangoose passed him, chatting about something.
“—if he wants the egg, then he has no reason not to hurt the baby,” Seviper said to his superior. “The egg is what he needs.”
Curious by Seviper’s context-lacking explanation, Meganium Man strolled up alongside them.
“Pardon my nosiness, but whatcha talkin’ ‘bout?” the dinosaur asked.
Stopping in their tracks, Zangoose and Seviper looked at each other uncomfortably, but decided to indulge Meganium Man’s curiosity.
“It’s a long story,” Seviper said. “You may as well come to the station with us.”
“What about him or her?” Meganium Man asked, motioning to Lugia, who was still looking into the woods.
“You fought it, you ask it,” Zangoose jokingly said.
Shrugging, Meganium Man asked, “Hey, Lugia?”
The dragon slowly turned its head to face him.
“Err… You doing anything for the next little while?”
Lugia shook his head.
“’Kay. Wanna come with us for a bit?”
Replying with a shrug, Lugia lightly flapped his wide wings and took to the sky, nearly toppling the police officers and making the superhero’s cape blow dramatically in the wind as he did so. Meganium Man turned back to Seviper and Zangoose.
“See? Not that hard,” the vigilante said.
The gang headed to Violet City’s police station, the only one in Johto other than the stationhouse in Blackthorn City to the northeast. Upon arriving, Zangoose took Seviper and Meganium Man to his office and opened the window; he saw and heard Lugia land just outside it after a moment. Its massive noggin suddenly lowered and appeared in the pane while the trio sat down. Zangoose opened a desk drawer and pulled out a box of donuts, dropped it on the desk.
Meganium Man licked his lips. There were so many donuts to choose from! Chocolate glazed! Maple glazed! One with rainbow sprinkles on it! He remembered that he left his picnic basket on Route 39, but it was probably long gone now. Grabbing a donut, the dinosaur was about to take a bite before he remembered he’d asked Seviper about something.
“Oh!” he exclaimed. “Seviper, what were you talking about back on Route 38? Something about how Simisage just needs the egg?”
Using the tip of his bladed tail to skewer a donut and bring it to himself, Seviper replied, “Right, right. See, there’re these guys who follow legendary Pokémon and take the eggshells when the baby hatches.”
“Uh-huh. Why?” Meganium Man asked. He noticed that Lugia’s full attention was on them.
“You know how some Pokémon will pay a lot of money to get their hands on shards, stardust, and things like that? Well, others like legendary Pokémon eggshells,” Zangoose said.
How strange, Meganium Man thought. Collecting meaningless things wasn’t a concept lost on him. He had a shopping cart in his basement that was pulled out of a river during a fishing trip and, since he’d always wanted a shopping cart for whatever reason, took it. He has yet to actually use it.
“So now we just gotta figure out why Simisage couldn’t wait for the baby to hatch,” Meganium Man pointed out.
Lugia made a sound as if it had an inkling as to why, even turning his head away to think about it. All three of them heard it, and watched the dragon closely. It wasn’t long before Lugia’s gaze met theirs.
“What’s up?” Seviper asked.
I HAVE A THEORY – A THEORY, MIND YOU – ABOUT SIMISAGE’S ACTIONS.
“Let’s hear it,” Zangoose requested.
ADMITTEDLY I DON’T KNOW HOW HE WOULD KNOW THIS, BUT ON AVERAGE, IT TAKES AROUND THREE YEARS FOR MY SPECIES’ EGGS TO HATCH. THAT EGG IS ONE THOUSAND, NINETY DAYS OLD.
“Do you think he got jumpy?” Zangoose asked to nobody in particular.
“I think he wants to use the kid as a bargaining chip. He’s done it already,” Meganium Man said. “Lugia, an infant can’t fly right away, correct?”
Lugia nodded, said, USUALLY IT TAKES TWO YEARS BEFORE THE WING MUSCLES DEVELOP ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THEIR WEIGHT.
“I’m also guessing you have no use for the eggshell?”
NOT AS SUCH. IT MAKES NICE DÉCOR, BUT THAT’S ALL.
“So he grabs the egg, uses the baby to get the parents off their back, and gives the egg to some guy with more money than they know what to do with. Then he gives the baby back?” Seviper deduced.
“Makes sense,” Meganium Man said.
“No it doesn’t,” Zangoose replied. “We don’t know how he even knew Lugia had laid an egg, let alone its age.”
“Is it possible he took a guess?” opined the dinosaur.
NO. HE WAS PREPARED. SIMISAGE HAD A TRAWL ORB AND SEVERAL DIFFERENT SEEDS WITH HIM, SO HE DIDN’T JUST HOPE FOR THE BEST.
Meganium Man sighed.
“So, what do we do now? Wait for the egg to hatch and try to intercept him later in the week?
“There’s not much we can do,” Zangoose replied. He suddenly shot up as an idea hit him. “But if that egg hatches and he really doesn’t need the kid, then Simisage will likely put it somewhere Lugia would eventually find it. Somewhere tall.”
“Somewhere symbolic,” Seviper added.
“Somewhere that allows for a killer fight scene,” Meganium Man continued.
THE BELL TOWER!
But the Chief shook his head.
“We don’t know Simisage will actually do that. He could just as well try and return to the Whirl Islands.”
UNLIKELY. I HAVE SET UP A WHIRLPOOL BARRICADE THAT WILL STOP ANYONE FROM ENTERING, INCLUDING ME, UNTIL I VANQUISH IT. IT WOULD KILL HIM IF HE ATTEMPTS IT.
The group slumped in their seats and groaned.
Five days to go, if that.
Meganium Man wanted to go after Simisage right away, but knew he couldn’t for the same reasons nobody else would. At the moment, the risks outweighed the benefits, but he didn’t like the idea of waiting around. He also didn’t like the possibility that Simisage could flee if Lugia didn’t catch him in time.
Lost in thought, he started wondering if anyone who collected legendary Pokémon eggshells lived in Johto he could talk to, to get an idea about their headspace and that of Simisage’s. It could help give him an idea of what Simisage might be doing in the meantime, but it also might get him nowhere. Still, he argued to himself, it wasn’t a bad idea as far as bad ideas are concerned. He finally expressed the idea to the group, although he wasn’t eager for a reply.
“Huh. You’re right: as far as bad ideas go, this isn’t that bad of an idea,” Seviper said. “But I have no idea how we could even find someone who collects the things.”
“Do businesses participate in this kind of activity?” Meganium Man asked.
“Antique shops, maybe. But a regular mart? No,” Zangoose replied.
Meganium slapped a vine whip on the desk.
“An antique store! Genius!” he declared. “Isn’t there one in Mahogany Town?”
“Yeah,” Seviper said. “That Garbodor fellow owns it.” He took a final bite of his donut, said, “I really hope he’s showered within the last year.”
Lugia flew the group to Mahogany Town, a small village east of Ecruteak City and south of Lake of Rage, so named because Gyarados could often be found there in hordes. They arrived within seconds and quickly found the store, helpfully called “Garbodor’s Antiques.” Lugia parked beside the white stone building, allowing the group to slide down his tail and enter the outlet.
It was as cluttered as most antique stores usually are and smelled about as nice, and Meganium Man was certain he would age twenty years by the time he was done here. The door chime rang as they went inside and moments later, a brown garbage bag with small feet, long, tube-like arms, and a lengthy green moss-like eye veil emerged from the basement. His feet involuntarily shuffled with every step he took, and when he saw the visitors, his normally circular mouth curled into a smile.
“Howdy!” Garbodor exclaimed, his voice slightly gurgling and rough, throwing up his arms. “Seviper! Nice to see you again. Who’s the green guy?”
“Meganium Man, at your service,” the dinosaur replied.
“Never heard of you.”
“That makes one of us,” Zangoose muttered.
“Anyway, what can I do ya for?” Garbodor asked.
Stepping forward, Meganium Man asked, “Mr. Garbodor, do you, by any chance, sell legendary eggshells? Or collect them?”
“Nope to both. Why?”
Zangoose replied, “We’re fairly certain someone stole their egg and is going to try and sell the shell.”
“Stole whose egg?” Garbodor asked. Zangoose pointed to the window behind the walking trash bag, and Garbodor saw Lugia’s large head looking inside the shop. Garbodor’s eyes were wide by default but they nearly flew from their sockets when he saw the legendary wyvern sitting just inches away from him. His pulse quickened and his heart skipped a few beats before he calmed down.
DO YOU HAVE ANY GREY POUPON?
“Err…” Garbodor said, trailing off quickly. “Uh, anyway, I know the hobby you’re talking about but I’m pretty sure it’s not illegal.”
“No, but kidnapping is,” Zangoose replied.
It didn’t take Garbodor long to realize the scope of the situation, although he still didn’t have the full context behind it. Still, he knew that whoever was behind it was a complete moron who would get what was coming to them in time.
“Do you know anyone who collects such eggshells?” Meganium Man asked.
Hobbling behind the counter, Garbodor replied, “As a matter of fact, I do. Lemme see.” He reached under the counter and pulled out a brown leather pocketbook, opened it up and started skimming through. Occasionally he muttered something to himself, but suddenly tapped a page.
“His name’s Ludicolo. Lives out on Cinnabar Island and has quite a collection of the things.” Garbodor copied down the Pokémon’s address and handed it to Meganium Man. “I hope this helps.”
SO DO I, Lugia said.
The trio left Garbodor’s shop and climbed back on Lugia’s back. He flapped his wings as lightly as possible and still nearly toppled the shop over, but was soon on his way to Cinnabar. During the flight, the group saw the four massive whirlpools that surrounded Lugia’s isle, spinning rapidly to deter adventurers and intruders. Lugia stayed clear of them and soon reached Cinnabar Island, a small town next to a sheer mountain. According to Garbodor’s note, Ludicolo’s home was on the north end of the island, and saw only one house in that area.
Once Lugia landed, the trio disembarked and Meganium Man knocked on the front door. It was opened by Ludicolo himself, a green Pokémon covered in pale brown fur with neutral brown stripes from the eyes down. His mouth was like a duck’s bill, and a sombrero-like formation was on his head. He walked on two stubby legs and had flat, three-fingered hands.
“Meganium Man?” he asked, curious.
“Who wants to know?” the green sauropod replied.
“May we come in? We need to ask you something.”
Ludicolo opened the door wider and motioned for the group to enter his home. Right away, they saw half a dozen different kinds of eggshells on the mantle on the far wall, all from different legendary Pokémon. One was yellow with a purple thundercloud on it; a Raikou hatched from that one, in all likelihood. Another was dark blue with a yellow antler-like design. Xerneas, maybe?
“Don’t touch those,” Ludicolo warned. “They’re very valuable.”
“We know,” Meganium Man replied. “Mr. Ludicolo, how long have you been collecting eggshells?”
“It took me over a decade to amass that collection, if that’s what you mean.”
“That’s literally what I just said.” He turned around to face the unusual, potentially offensive Pokémon. “Do you have any friends who collect them?”
“One or two. Why?”
“Would one of these friends happen to be Simisage?”
Ludicolo’s body and beard stiffened as Meganium Man said the name. He stood up straight like a soldier, gulping faintly as he did so.
“Don’t tell me he’s the reason for this,” Ludicolo said, pointing out to sea. “I mean… Oh, for the love of… That explains why Lugia’s here too.”
“Did you know he was planning this?” Zangoose asked.
With a nod, Ludicolo explained, “But I didn’t expect him to. The whole idea was just so absurd; I didn’t think he was actually serious.”
“So you knew he planned on kidnapping Lugia’s unborn child?” Meganium Man asked.
Ludicolo’s face became like that of a dead fish.
“Whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on now. He did what?” Ludicolo stuck a finger in his ear and pulled it back out, refusing to believe what he just heard.
Meganium Man reiterated what he said, adding the theory that Simisage planned to use the kid as a bargaining chip to keep Lugia off his back and would likely put it somewhere where the dragon would find it with relative ease. As the explanation continued, Ludicolo slumped into his chair, his face showing outright disgust.
The walking lily pad Pokémon had no idea where to begin with his reply.
“Hoooooo-boy. Let me clarify,” he began. He motioned to his couch, and Meganium Man, Chief Zangoose and sergeant Seviper sat. “My friends and I are nothing like that. Sure, we go looking for the eggshells, but we aren’t that impatient, reckless or stupid. We don’t stalk the legendaries and we certainly don’t set foot on their territory unless they’re gone. It’s very, very rare for a legendary Pokémon to remain in one place, even after their eggs hatch, making collecting them easier.”
“Why do it, anyway? What’s the point?” Zangoose asked.
I TOLD YOU: THEY MAKE NICE DÉCOR.
Ludicolo pointed out the window, at Lugia’s massive head.
“See? He gets it.” He realized he trailed off. “Anyway, um… I’m not sure where to go from here.”
Lugia decided to take over.
LUDICOLO, MY EGG IS CLOSE TO HATCHING. SIMISAGE’S TIMING MAKES ME THINK HE KNEW THAT. IS THERE A WAY HE COULD HAVE FOUND THAT OUT?
He threw his hands up in frustration.
“No idea. Lugia, did you happen to notice any intruders in the Whirl Islands at any point beforehand? Or unusual visitors, even?”
Lugia shook its head.
NO. EVEN IN MY DEEP SLUMBER, I KNOW WHEN SOMEONE HAS ENTERED THE CAVE. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE FELT SUCH A PRESENCE.
“What about your mate?”
Lugia suddenly turned away, looking out at the ocean. Ludicolo suddenly felt like he had struck a nerve better off left alone and wished he hadn’t asked that question.
IT PAINS ME TO RECALL THAT DAY. THE EGG IS ALL I HAVE LEFT TO REMEMBER HER BY, AND NOW… AND NOW…
A guttural snarl escaped the wyvern, its nostrils flaring. But now, Meganium Man felt like they were getting somewhere.
“Lugia? What happened, exactly?” the vigilante asked.
“Are you trying to get us all killed?” Zangoose barked.
“Let me rephrase: did a doctor visit her at any point?”
The next thing they knew, Lugia was staring into space. His mouth was slightly agape, his body completely relaxed. It felt like an eternity passed before he answered.
YES, he said, looking at the sand.
“Oh, no…” Meganium Man said, his head drooping.
IT WAS SIMISAGE. THREE YEARS AGO HE DROPPED BY TO CHECK ON HER AND THE EGG, BUT COULDN’T DO ANYTHING FOR HER. I STILL DON’T KNOW THE FULL STORY, OR EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS THAT TOOK HER, BUT SHE HAD BEEN ILL FOR SOME TIME BY THEN.
“That explains how he knew the egg’s age,” Seviper stated.
“We solved one mystery just to stumble into another,” Zangoose added. “What’s a doctor doing stealing eggshells?”
“Legendary Pokémon eggshells can go for a lot of money. A lot. Chances are that whoever’s willing to buy a Lugia’s eggshell has enough dough to allow Simisage to retire,” Ludicolo said.
“Do you know anyone in Johto who would pay for one?” Meganium Man asked.
Ludicolo shook his head.
“Sorry. If Garbodor didn’t know of anyone, you’re up the creek. I just collect.”
“Okay, so we’ve got five days at most before the egg hatches. What’s Simisage going to do in the meantime?” Meganium Man asked Chief Zangoose and Seviper.
“Lay low as best he can,” the Chief replied.
“And what are we going to do in the meantime?”
Zangoose stood up.
“Wait for Simisage to make the next move. Even if we find him, he won’t budge so long as the egg hasn’t hatched. Nothing’s stopping him from using it as a shield again and I’d rather strike once we’re one hundred percent positive the infant is out of harm’s way.” He held out his paw, and Ludicolo shook it. Zangoose motioned to the door with his head, and Meganium Man and Seviper followed him. Meganium Man didn’t like the idea, but admitted to himself it was the best course of action.
Lugia bent down so the trio could climb onto his back, and moments later, was back in the air.
Meganium Man! #10: Once in a Lifetime
Simisage headed east immediately after the standoff came to its abrupt end, swinging from tree branch to tree branch behind Ecruteak City and the Burned Tower, before reaching the stone road leading to the Bell Tower, a ten storey building overlooking the antiquated city. Made of pale yellow brick with blue awnings and rafters on each floor, the structure looked magnificent and almost holy. According to legends, if someone pure of heart scales the tower to the rooftop, a legendary Pokémon will appear. The monkey chuckled at the thought of such a Pokémon appearing due to his “pure heart,” although he didn’t rule out the possibility that Lugia would come here eventually.
Truth be told, he was surprised to emerge from the standoff in one piece. His unborn hostage helped for sure, but even then, what was stopping Lugia or Meganium Man from ripping him limb from limb? All it would take was one sudden move to startle him, possibly resulting in him dropping the egg, allowing the dragon to reclaim it. By all accounts, the monkey should’ve died back there.
It was interesting to see that tryhard superhero wannabe working with such a powerful Pokémon. Their fight, although brief, was a once in a lifetime event, a Pay per View kind of thing, and he got to witness it. He knew Lugia wasn’t battling with its full strength; had he done so, Meganium Man would have been dead the instant he was struck by the wyvern’s tail. Regardless of how this played out, he knew that the two would work together to try and stop him, and part of him wanted to see that. Judging by Meganium Man’s attitude, he was certain that the dinosaur would confront him one on one and distract him so Lugia could rescue his baby. That was fine with Simisage; he had no use for the kid once it hatched, and even he wasn’t stupid enough to kill it.
Although Lugia’s composure looked calm, to Simisage, he may as well have been begging. To a common Pokémon, Lugia ordered Simisage to return the egg. But what Simisage heard and saw was a Pokémon desperate to reclaim the only thing it had left to live for. He was there when Lugia’s mate died from her illness, despite his tireless efforts to try and cure her, calling upon every crackpot herbalist and hypnotherapist and acupuncturist and who knows else in the region for help. As he watched the wyvern’s last breath leave her, he immediately hung up the stethoscope and cashed in his pension, and was able to live off it comfortably before running into problems after two years.
He was positive the egg would’ve hatched by the time he decided to act on his plan, but it hadn’t. His calculations were off by a few days, he realized, upon doing the math in his head again. That didn’t mean the egg wouldn’t hatch any second now, but this complication was one he’d have preferred to avoid. He wasn’t in a heap of trouble so much as a mountain of it, and now, thanks to a careless math error, Simisage was the bad guy.
So be it.
All I need is the eggshell, he reminded himself. The money he’d get for it meant he’d never have to do something so idiotic again. Yeah, he still had to get it to his buyer, but that was easy enough.
He opened the brown sliding door and entered the Bell Tower. Sunlight bathed its polished hardwood floor through the circular windows, and in each corner of the room was a marble statue of a phoenix-like Pokémon with curved wings. In the middle of the tower was a massive support beam to keep the structure steady during storms and possibly the arrival of the phoenix. A stairway was nestled again the north wall, which Simisage climbed.
Unlike the first floor, the second, third and remaining levels didn’t have much in the way of a floor. In each corner was a 10x10 platform with two narrow bridges connecting to several other platforms, each one with its own ladder leading to a different part of the level above, but only one ladder on each level would lead you to the roof. Simisage had no clue which ladder went where, but he could climb the support beam if he needed to.
Simisage picked a ladder at random, climbed to the third floor, and found himself in a secluded nook with a window overlooking the forest behind Ecruteak. No ladder was present, and he couldn’t climb over the wall since it was conjoined to the platform above him. He was trapped but figured this room was his best bet: he had privacy, and if he needed to bail, Simisage could open the window and jump into the forest.
Removing the satchel from his back, he set it down and opened it, took out the egg. It was in pristine condition, thank whatever higher power allowed that. Simisage suddenly felt victorious: Lugia wouldn’t dare attack the tower directly, and if Meganium Man and the cops knew what was good for them, they would listen to his orders to back off if they found him before the egg hatched. But if he used the egg as a hostage again and they called his bluff, he would have to think of something right then and there. Now was as good a time as any, he figured.
Before he could think of a plan, his Pokétch’s phone feature rang. He immediately answered it.
“I’ve been watching the news, Simisage. You wouldn’t happen to know why a Lugia is going on a rampage throughout Johto, would you?”
Kadabra! The buyer! Simisage could picture the yellow creature twirling his whiskers as he asked that. He was positive he heard the psychic-type Pokémon tap his spoon on a table in disdain.
“My math was off,” was all Simisage could say.
“The legend goes that it takes approximately three years—”
“Ap-prox-i-mate-ly,” Kadabra interrupted, annunciating each syllable as if to mock his customer. “Not precisely. You should’ve left the island the instant you saw that it hadn’t hatched yet.”
The monkey was pacing back and forth in panic.
“Look. All I need is a few more days—”
“—I know that for a fact—”
“—that it’s close to hatching—”
As Kadabra barked his reply, Simisage heard the spoon on the other end bend as the metal lightly creaked. Simisage’s free hand clenched into a fist.
“The deal is off, Simisage. I never in a million years thought you would be this careless. Do you really think I want to be associated with you now? Do you really think that risking the lives of millions of people is worth it if it means I can have a new souvenir, or if you can stay retired?’
He heard the monkey huff in frustration.
“You know this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, Kadabra,” Simisage prodded. “I know your IQ is 5000 but even you aren’t smart enough to escape death.”
“Fine with me,” Kadabra said, not really paying attention. “My point stands. Go find someone else willing to buy the thing. We’re done.”
He clicked off before Simisage could get another word in. Simisage was shaking with rage and wanted to throw the Pokétch at the wall, but as long as he still had time, he could try and find another buyer. With any luck, whoever he called wouldn’t have heard about the little incident he caused.
The voice in his head told him to call Ludicolo, but Simisage was positive the police would’ve found out about him by now. He knew anyway that the walking lily pad duck just collected them, and didn’t have an outrageous amount of funds to throw around, even if he wanted it. Ludicolo was a purist when it came to collecting, preferring to get it authentically. Buying something like a legendary’s eggshell was the equivalent of buying a celebrity’s autographed picture in a pawn shop.
Now, the monkey had no choice but to wait there.
HE’S AT THE BELL TOWER. I’M POSITIVE OF IT, Lugia said.
The day had turned to night by now, and although the dragon was probably right, Zangoose didn’t feel like taking the risk of going there and inciting another standoff. Meganium Man decided to call it a day despite wanting to rip Johto apart in pursuit of the leafy simian, and opted to accompany Lugia for the night. They flew out to the Whirl Islands, and as they arrived, Lugia used his psychic powers to separate the whirlpools and make them recede into the water’s surface, allowing him to enter. He descended through the hole in the roof and roosted on his little shore, setting Meganium Man down on the edge.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, but we should wait for Simisage to reveal himself if he is,” the dinosaur said in a reasonable tone. He watched Lugia’s tail as it violently swished back and forth against the towering wall behind them. “We’ll find him. Don’t worry.”
His spiel was a meaningless one, and he knew it. If Lugia decided to resume his manhunt while he was asleep, Meganium Man was literally powerless to stop him. He couldn’t imagine what the dragon would do with or to Simisage if he found him, and didn’t want to.
DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN, MEGANIUM MAN?
“No, but I have a niece.”
IF SHE WAS KIDNAPPED OR IN DANGER… WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO KEEP HER SAFE?
Without missing a beat, Meganium Man replied, “Anything.”
THAT’S WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR.
Lugia obviously had more he wanted to say, but took a moment to collect the proper words. Meganium Man was positive whatever the legendary said next would be unpleasant, but it’s not like the day wasn’t already.
YOU KNOW WHAT I INTEND TO DO ONCE I FIND SIMISAGE, DON’T YOU?
HAVE YOU EVER RESORTED TO KILLING, MEGANIUM MAN?
The vigilante looked away, flinching as he did so. The incidents in Goldenrod City and on the S.S. Anne haunted him and probably would for the rest of his life, and he knew there would be other instances where he would have to do it. His sole comfort regarding the matter was that it would be as a last resort, much like during his brawl with Ledian. What good was such a reassurance if it still mortified him?
He assumed his nonverbal response was all Lugia needed, but the dragon continued to look at him expectantly. The dinosaur saw no choice but to indulge him and sighed.
“Twice,” he said.
IT’S NOT EASY, IS IT?
Lugia’s response sounded more like a statement than a question, but perhaps that was due to the bellowing and commanding nature of his voice.
“No. It isn’t.”
THE ATTACK ON GOLDENROD CITY IS THE ONLY ONE I KNOW OF. WHAT WAS THE OTHER?
“Some months ago, these guys hijacked a ship and I was forced to kill one of the pirates.”
“He held the passengers hostage, and was threatening to use a Blast Seed on them. I don’t doubt he would’ve done it if I hadn’t killed him during the fight, but that’s exactly what he wanted me to do.”
Meganium Man kicked a stone into the water out of discomfort.
“Simisage isn’t worth it, Lugia.”
“You say that now, but I was in a very similar situation to this one just a few weeks ago. Do you want to know how it ended?”
“He did the right thing. Sure, he came close to crossing the line, but he didn’t.”
The dragon looked ahead at the caved-in entrance from when he used Aeroblast, although he wasn’t focusing on it. Lugia was giving Meganium Man’s story time to sink in, while the dinosaur recalled his meeting with Onix, which was playing out eerily similarly to this one.
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND REGULAR POKéMON, MEGANIUM MAN. I DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER TO THE SAME LAWS YOU DO.
“If that’s true, then you would’ve killed Simisage during the standoff with no questions asked.” He suddenly grinned. “I don’t know if they make handcuffs in your size, but stranger things exist.”
Looking at the ground, the dragon tiredly replied, YOU CAN’T STOP ME. WHETHER OR NOT SIMISAGE IS WORTH IT IS NOT MY CONCERN. I WILL DO ANYTHING TO RESCUE MY CHILD, TO KEEP IT OUT OF DANGER, AND IF I DECIDE SIMISAGE DESERVES DEATH, SO BE IT.
Meganium Man swallowed hard.
“Then I guess I’m going to have to find him first.”
FOR YOUR SAKE, I HOPE YOU DO.
The excruciating conversation ended there, and the duo soon fell asleep. Meganium Man dreamt of his fight with Ledian aboard the S.S. Anne, reliving the pivotal moment where he fired a Bullet Seed into the ladybug’s skull, and watched his corpse crash to the floor. He suddenly snapped awake, looking directly through the hole in the island’s ceiling at the stars.
He rolled over, looking at the destroyed cavern mouth, and saw what remained of Simisage’s tools. Two seeds and an Orb, dumped there when he snagged the egg. Two snaky vines emerged from under their cape and scooped up the items, brought them over to him. He recognized the reddish Blast Seed right away, as well as the Warp Seed; he knew it was such because of the W etched onto it. There was also a blue orb with a light bulb on it, which he presumed to be a Flash Orb. That was it, unless more were under the rubble or at the bottom of the pond.
Well, these’ll come in handy, Meganium Man thought, tucking them away in hammerspace. He rested his head on Lugia’s tail, blanketed himself with his cape, and closed his eyes, falling asleep shortly after.
He was awoken by slurping sounds, and through tired eyes, saw Lugia drinking water from the pond in large gulps. It was late in the morning, probably about 10:30am, judging by the sunlight. He sat up, yawned, and rubbed his eyes with his vine whips.
“Morning,” he said.
MORNING, Lugia replied between sips.
The green apatosaurus’s stomach growled.
“Got any food?”
Lugia shook his head.
I CAN GIVE YOU A LIFT SOMEWHERE IF YOU’D LIKE.
He pulled his head and mouth away from the pond, and Meganium Man walked up his tail and onto his back, sitting down comfortably. Lugia flapped his massive wings, kicking up large waves from the pond, but was ascending through the roof before they could do any harm.
As he began his flight, he said, I WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE FOR LAST NIGHT. I DIDN’T MEAN TO PROD LIKE THAT, AND I DEFINITELY DIDN’T WISH TO CAUSE YOU DISCOMFORT AT ANY POINT.
“It’s fine,” Meganium Man replied politely.
NO, IT’S NOT. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TALKED TO YOU LIKE THAT LAST NIGHT. WE ARE ALLIES, BUT I SPOKE TO YOU LIKE YOU WERE AN ENEMY. I WILL NOT JUSTIFY WHAT—
He suddenly felt a comforting vine on his shoulder.
“Don’t worry about it; if the roles were reversed, I probably would’ve acted the same way.”
Lugia almost smiled at Meganium Man’s forgiving nature, but he wouldn’t take back everything he said. If he found Simisage first, he was certain he’d kill the monkey. Just because some unidentified Pokémon didn’t kill some unidentified opponent, that didn’t mean Lugia wouldn’t. Just because Meganium Man didn’t want him to, that didn’t mean he wouldn’t.
They soared over Ecruteak City and could see the rooftop of the Bell Tower, but despite wanting to, Lugia stayed away. Doing so might disturb Simisage and give him cause to flee, if he was there at all. In any event, he didn’t see his baby on the roof, and continued his flight to the Violet City stationhouse, landing outside Zangoose’s office window. Meganium Man trotted inside the building, up to the Chief’s office, and let himself in. The mongoose hurriedly motioned for him to have a seat.
“What’s up?” Meganium Man asked, grabbing a donut from the box on the desk.
Ludicolo’s voice suddenly came through the speaker on Zangoose’s phone.
“Anyway, Kadabra canceled the deal,” he said. “Simisage is probably scrambling to find another buyer, but from what Kadabra tells me, nobody in Johto buys eggshells and probably wouldn’t buy a Lugia one after what happened yesterday.”
“Has the word ‘eggshell’ lost all meaning to anyone else?” Meganium Man jokingly asked.
“Kadabra’s calling other collectors and letting them know what happened, so Simisage is out of luck as far as he’s concerned,” Ludicolo continued. “You should probably track him down before he does something rash.”
“Right, thanks, Ludicolo,” Zangoose said, ending the call. He said to Meganium Man, “Apparently, this Kadabra fellow was going to buy the… well, you know, but isn’t interested considering the current situation.”
GOOD. SIMISAGE WILL BE FORCED TO RELINQUISH THE EGG SOONER OR LATER.
“A thought,” Meganium Man piped up. “Now, this would require unprecedented amounts of guts and idiocy, but since he now has literally nothing to lose, nothing’s actually stopping him from giving the egg back.”
HOW DO YOU MEAN?
“Just because Kadabra backed out and is calling other collectors, that doesn’t mean Simisage won’t find one without scruples. Since the egg is likely to hatch before he does so, it’s possible that he could keep the newborn on the interim and continue using it to keep us off his back.”
“Oh, for the love of…” Seviper said, his voice but a harsh whisper.
“I see only one way to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Meganium Man added.
“And what’s that?” Zangoose asked, despite already knowing the answer.
“We get to the Bell Tower as soon as possible.”
Simisage was doing some stretches to keep his body nimble, anticipating the battle that could happen literally any second. He set the egg under the windowpane, directly in the sunlight, a crude substitute for the warmth of another living creature. A few punches here, a couple kicks there, and then he looked over his shoulder to see if it was hatching. A couple tail slaps here, some uppercuts there, and then another glance over his shoulder. Crack the knuckles, and—
He heard it. The unmistakable sound of an eggshell crackling graced his ear, the only sound he heard in the tower aside from his heartbeat. He spun around and saw a small crack no thicker than a hair on one of the purple diamonds, and dropped to his knees. More and more cracks appeared on the shell, which started to wobble back and forth; Simisage held out his hands to catch it if it toppled over. A zigzag-shaped crack appeared along the width of the egg, and moments later a small, white, crescent noggin arose, lifting the upper half of the egg. Simisage gently removed the egg half and placed it in his satchel, marveling at the sight before him. A baby Lugia, its eyes not even open, so small it could fit in the palm of his hand.
A once in a lifetime sight, and he got to see it. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the scene, he felt a tear come to his eye and wiped it away. The infant was looking around with its eyes closed, making adorable sounds as it tried to see the world it was finally part of, and for a moment, Simisage forgot Lugia, Meganium Man, and the police even existed.
Using the utmost care, he picked up the newborn and held it close, then retrieved the rest of the eggshell with his free hand. It was a little difficult doing so, but he was able to put the fragments in his satchel and close it tightly, and now he just had to get the baby somewhere where Lugia would see it, but also keep it out of danger. He didn’t feel like getting lost in the tower, so he climbed down the ladder to the second level and jumped to the support beam, digging a wrist blade into it.
The baby, he believed, knew he wasn’t its parent. He already felt somewhat attached to it, witnessing its emergence and all, but Simisage forced himself not to get complacent and began his arduous climb to the rooftop of the Bell Tower. If he hadn’t emptied his bag back in the Whirl Island, he could’ve used a Warp Seed and reached the rooftop instantly. Oh, well. He held the infant with his tail and used the leaf blades in his sleeves to scale the support beam, but kept the child close to make sure he could hear it. He had to have been climbing for over an hour before he reached the last floor, where the support beam abruptly ended. He only saw one ladder, directly behind him, that ascended. He took the leap and caught it with the dexterity and precision monkeys are known for, and climbed to the rooftop.
Looking up, he saw the blue sky, and scrambled towards it. A refreshing breeze wafted in, and when he finally arrived on the blue roof, he found himself on a narrow gold walkway leading to an altar atop a looming flight of stairs. The bells hanging off the rafters were chiming thanks to the wind, and since the walkway and altar were fenced in by bronze arches, he could set the infant down without having to worry about it falling. Nonetheless, he gave a post a good, hard kick; it didn’t budge. He walked to the altar, set the baby down, and patted it on the head before turning around and making tracks for the ladder.
But then, he heard the sound of massive wings in the distance.
As Lugia encroached upon Ecruteak City and the Bell Tower, his powerful ears caught a sound he’d never heard before, but recognized anyway: high, childlike cries for someone or something, coming from the blue, pitched roof. It wasn’t long before the altar was in his sights, on which he saw a small, white wyvern and a green simian with a satchel on its back.
Simisage ran for the ladder, but Lugia suddenly accelerated, nearly knocking Meganium Man, Zangoose, Seviper, and a small group of police officers off his back. The elder dragon reached the roof before the monkey could reach the ladder and descended onto the walkway, tucking in his wings when his feet touched the ground. His passengers immediately disembarked and Simisage retreated to the altar, a leaf blade sliding out of his two sleeves. Meganium Man ran after him, snarling like a wildebeest all the while. If Simisage thought he could use the baby as a hostage or a shield, he was in for a rude awakening.
Even he was surprised he beat the vigilante there. Meganium Man had two vine whips at the ready, but when the leafy simian turned around to face him, he was holding the infant Lugia, which was crying loudly. Meganium Man had already thrown a vine forward as if to punch Simisage and yanked the appendage back when he realized what he was actually about to strike. As the vines retreated underneath his neck’s flower petals, Simisage grinned.
A fierce snarl escaped Lugia.
Simisage pressed a leaf blade to the infant’s throat.
“Back off. Now,” he ordered.
YOU WON’T DO IT.
“Oh, yeah? How would you know?”
Lugia opened his mouth slightly and began charging his Aeroblast attack. A sparkling orange sphere formed in his jaws, growing bigger and bigger until it was the size of a watermelon.
“That’s how,” Meganium Man replied.
While continuing to cry out in distress, the baby Lugia started fidgeting in Simisage’s grip, and he struggled to keep a firm hold on it. Simisage instantly focused all his attention on it, which was Meganium Man’s cue to reach into hammerspace and pull out the Flash Orb. When Simisage laid his eyes on it, the dinosaur threw it at him and it exploded into a massive wall of light that blinded him and made him scream from terror. The next thing he felt was the baby being taken away by two snakelike vines, and a second later, his vision returned.
Meganium Man’s back was turned to him, and his ever-extending vines were passing the newborn to Lugia, whose face no longer showed maniacal fury, but paternal love. He lowered his head and gently licked the infant, who giggled at the sensation. After a short nuzzle, Lugia turned aside and kneeled, allowing Meganium Man to place his child on his back. The purple plates immediately shot up, forming a kind of barrier to protect it.
Turning around, Meganium Man saw Simisage storming towards him, and was promptly struck by one of his leaf blades. Although the dinosaur anticipated this, the sharp edge of the dagger grazed his neck and he forced himself to fall back, getting nothing worse than a flesh wound. He tumbled halfway down the flight of stairs and rolled onto his stomach, stopping himself. A thin trickle of blood inched its way down his saurian neck, but the wound wasn’t deep enough or severe enough to do any real harm.
If another slash landed, however…
Simisage now had two options: turn tail and leap into the forest below from one of the arches, or try and fight his way out. The vigilante had already used one of his Flash Orbs; he might have others, maybe even other tools Simisage had used. Fighting would waste time. Time he would need to escape.
As the monkey bolted towards the arches, Meganium Man reached into hammerspace and retrieved the Blast Seed. He wasn’t interested in killing Simisage, but the explosion would be enough to subdue him if he met his mark. Throwing it in his opponent’s general direction should do the trick, and that’s exactly what he did. Simisage had taken hold of the arc’s peak when the reddish seed stuck the bottom of the post, and a loud explosion blew the column and a few neighboring ones to smithereens, sending black smoke wafting every which way.
Shortly after the thunderous boom, Meganium Man heard what sounded like a body crashing onto the metal awnings and rushed through the smoke. The awnings were like sheer embankments, but that wasn’t stopping Simisage from easing his way down. Meganium Man pursued him, taking uneven steps along the neutral blue half-pipes, catching Simisage’s attention as his white claws scraped against the metal.
For crying out loud! the simian thought. The vigilante was a persistent fellow, all right. Meganium Man was well on his way towards him, either itching for a brawl or a swift death, but despite not waiting to waste any unnecessary energy through combat, he would provide both if need be.
Meganium Man was a couple feet away when he struck Simisage with the bulbous tip of a vine whip, which the kidnapper didn’t expect to actually work. In spite of that, Meganium Man was too focused on keeping his balance on the awning, and even though the strike hurt, it wasn’t enough to do much else. Simisage was still standing, and now that Meganium Man was coming closer and closer, he figured he may as well tie up this loose end.
Another vine whip blitzed towards him, but Simisage knew this would happen. Just before the tip could strike his face, he took a half step sideways and brought his right leaf blade down on it like a guillotine, watching a flicker of pain appear on Meganium Man’s face as the whip dropped to the ground. The rest of it retreated underneath his neck’s petals, but he was still approaching.
“You just don’t know when to quit, do you?” Simisage asked.
“It’s my middle name.”
Ignoring the non-sequiter, Simisage retaliated with a punch of his own, hitting Meganium Man with surprising grace and speed. As the herbal brontosaur’s head whipped to the side, Simisage dished out a ferocious uppercut that made it and his neck snap backwards, nearly costing him his balance. Simisage put the finishing touch on his trifecta of rapid strikes with a roundhouse kick that, under all circumstances, should not have landed. He took a moment to watch Meganium Man crash to the floor, his striking foot returning to the awning while doing so.
And then he ran.
Meganium Man got to his knees and watched Simisage attempt his great escape, running to the north end of the awning. The leaf petals around his neck started waving in the breeze, and as the first petal was launched, it shredded itself up into razor-sized blades, all of which were on a crash course for Simisage’s back. He’d acted a half second too late: he expected the razor leaves to strike the simian and topple him, but the monkey had reached the edge of the awning when they dug into his back.
A pained gasp was the next thing he heard, and Meganium Man charged after him, pulling the Warp Seed out of hammerspace. Simisage began his fall, but the dinosaur fell with him and wrapped a vine around his torso before swallowing the Warp Seed. He imagined the walkway leading to the altar, saw the treetops rushing towards them, and blinked.
He was still falling when he opened his eyes, but now, the duo were a few feet above the Bell Tower’s rooftop. Lugia and the police were watching with baffled glances, when suddenly, Meganium Man and Simisage fell at the white wyvern’s feet. As Simisage groaned in defeat, the leaves in his back reattached themselves to the base of Meganium Man’s neck, resuming their petal shape.
WELL, YOU DON’T SEE THAT EVERY DAY.
As the battle wound down, Zangoose and Seviper accosted Simisage, removed the satchel, and hauled him to the stationhouse with their fleet two steps behind. Meganium Man and Lugia, meanwhile, remained on the Bell Tower’s roof, overlooking Ecruteak City as the noon hour drew near.
“Now that’s what I call an adventure,” Meganium Man finally uttered in a bemused tone.
HARD TO BELIEVE YOU DO THIS KIND OF THING FOR A LIVING.
“Yeah, sometimes. But it ain’t like I got anything else to do.”
Lugia kneeled, and Meganium Man climbed onto his back, sitting directly behind the newborn.
“Just drop me off at the entrance.”
He was still surprised it only took one flap of the wings for Lugia to ascend; most bird Pokémon had to flap theirs four or five times before gaining any decent altitude. While departing from the rooftop, Meganium Man realized that this could very well be the first and only time he would ever get to work with a legendary Pokémon, and made it a point to cherish the memory for the rest of his life.
Not that doing so would be difficult, mind you.
Before he knew it, Lugia had touched down on the stone road and relaxed his tail, allowing Meganium Man to slide down to the barren street. Once his passenger was safely off his back, the looming dragon turned and faced him.
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP THESE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS. IT IS NOT OFTEN A POKÉMON LIKE ME HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH SOMEONE WITH… SUCH IMPRESSIVE SKILLS.
It took everything Meganium Man had not to laugh at the absurdity of those last three words.
OH, SURE, YOU’RE LAUGHING NOW. BUT IT’S TRUE. YOU ARE QUITE LIKELY THE ONLY PERSON WHO WOULD EVER TRY TO FIGHT SOMEBODY ON THE AWNINGS OF THE BELL TOWER. THERE’S SOME KIND OF SKILL IN THAT.
“Well, I mean, Simisage started it. I don’t know if recklessness counts as a skill, but thanks!’
IN YOUR CASE, IT DOES.
Lugia turned around and faced the east, spread his wings, and flapped them.
“Goodbye, Lugia. May we meet again!”
YES. I WOULD LIKE THE CHANCE TO SETTLE OUR SCORE IN A FAIR FIGHT. FAREWELL, MEGANIUM MAN. MAY PLENTY MORE VILLAINS KEEP YOU BUSY FOR YEARS TO COME.
He wasn’t sure if Lugia’s sentiment was a backhanded one, but he found it amusing anyway. He waved as Lugia began his flight back to the Whirl Islands, although he was sure they would never meet again. It only seemed logical that Lugia would remain in the isles and at the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches, out of the public’s eye and consciousness for better or worse.
But, then again, life doesn’t necessarily operate logically.
It didn’t take long for Lugia to return to the archipelago and his domain, slowly lowering himself into the dark recesses as the infant started making sounds of curiosity. Where was it now? What was going on? What mysteries was he about to encounter? All these things would reveal themselves to both of them in time. Lugia landed on his shore and his child immediately hopped off his back, diving into the shallow pond and splashing water around with his tail.
And for the first time in nearly three years, Lugia smiled.
The End of Episode 10!