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Writing / Re: Meganium Man!
« on: March 08, 2017, 04:20:54 pm »
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.
 “Yes?”
 “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.
 “Uh-huh.”
 “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—”
 “No.”
 “—I know that for a fact—”
 “No.”
 “—that it’s close to hatching—”
 “No!”
 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?
 He nodded.
 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.”
 FORCED?
 “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.”
 I DISAGREE.
 “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?”
 Lugia nodded.
 “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.
 LOOK OUT!
 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.
 WHERE TO?
 “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.
 He failed.
 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!
2
Writing / Re: Meganium Man!
« on: March 08, 2017, 04:16:59 pm »
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.
 YOU.
 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.
 LAST CHANCE.
 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?
 Seviper snickered.
 “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.
 Ludicolo blinked.
 “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.
3
General Discussion / Re: The Member's Guide to Topiclessness
« on: January 31, 2017, 09:53:48 pm »
For a book series with over 400 entries, old installments of Don Pendleton's The Executioner series are hard to find. They do 4 a year so I'm not totally surprised but goddamn.

>Call like 3 used book stores last week
>One store had 4 books
>Already finished 3 of them

At least a new one comes out in March so whatever and now I'm rambling and don't know how to finish this post so here's an abrupt ending.
4
Calendar Events / Re: YEAR 2017
« on: December 31, 2016, 05:43:38 pm »
>New Year's Eve
>People are out partying, fucking and having fun
>I'm here, a Czechoslovakian Keitai Denjū Telefang rule 34-dedicated forum

I mean it's not like I have anything else to do so WOO.
5
General Discussion / Re: The Member's Guide to Topiclessness
« on: December 27, 2016, 04:38:59 pm »
>A toy of your favorite obscure Digimon will never be made.

T-thanks Bandai.

>Digimon stuff isn't even sold anymore

T-thanks stores.

Time to get a 3D printer.

Now that it's appeared in Xros Wars, it just might after all. Bandai'll give literally any Digimon that appeared in the back row of a crowd a toy, and since Brachiomon was part of the bad guy's army I'm betting on at least a 1.5" minifig.

Two years ago today I posted the final chapter of The Story of Glitchy, the 4. ..

Huh.

I might do a sequel. I've got a title, a plot outline, a character sheet and all that s**t.

Your personal blog has been updated. Click refresh to view your changes.
6
Pokémon Discussion / Re: Pokémon Moon and Sun Discussion
« on: December 25, 2016, 04:19:40 pm »
>Mt. Lanakila
>Built up as some super terrifying treacherous path full of life-terminating hazards and horrifically strong Pokémon which only the bravest of the brave have ever managed to climb and defeat respectively
>Is as big as G/S/C Victory Road and has the same number of trainers: 0
>Most threatening Pokémon is Drampa and only if its ability is Berserk.

Okay.
7
Pokémon Discussion / Re: Pokémon Moon and Sun Discussion
« on: December 20, 2016, 04:12:54 pm »
rick_astley_QR.jpg gave me a Kakuna.

OMG_JUSTIN_BIEBER.jpg gave me a Yanma.

Neat.

Now take your s**t memes back to Reddit.
8
Pokémon Discussion / Re: Pokémon Moon and Sun Discussion
« on: December 19, 2016, 04:41:01 pm »
I think the funniest thing about the QR scanner is that any QR codes are compatible with Sun and Moon. Yesterday I scanned a bottle of ketchup into my game and got a Swellow.

I scanned one from a book store receipt (yes I know how to read bet you guys didn't see that coming) and got an Empoleon.
9
Pokémon Discussion / Trained/Expected/Got
« on: December 18, 2016, 05:14:53 pm »
I'unno what to put here but if this thread gets replies then I'm positive many keks will be had.
10
Forum Discussion / Re: Guest Watch™
« on: December 17, 2016, 09:25:25 pm »
This is what he's talking about, for those unaware.

I'm pretty sure at this point it's something that's been programmed to monitor and record activity, but what do I know.

Oddly, since the forum's been back up, I have never seen more than one guest online at a time.
11
Generation I Glitch Discussion / Re: Pokemon Yellow "Save Abuse" Glitch
« on: December 10, 2016, 04:24:48 pm »
Hey look I'm necrobumping for no reason.

I managed to stumble upon this amusing spelling "mistake" when a bunch of Glitchmon levelled up, causing the text scroll speed to plummet. Many giggles were had.
12
General Discussion / Re: The Member's Guide to Topiclessness
« on: December 09, 2016, 05:06:51 pm »
>Be me
>Come up with idea for Digimon fanfic about two private eyes who solve crimes in the digital and outside world
>"You're 23 years old. What the f**k are you doing writing a Digimon fanfic? Get a life for f**k's sake."

Thanks brain.

Also hey look I changed my avatar and it's a .gif wow aren't I the most technically advanced guy around.
13
Pokémon Discussion / Re: Sun and Moon - Magearna Event
« on: December 06, 2016, 04:28:45 pm »
Speaking of QR codes:

Can I actually use the Pokémon I've scanned in some way or do they just go into the PokéDex or what. I've scanned an Empoleon, Ampharos and Swinub so far, which don't live in Alolololololola so I don't know.
14
Generation VII Glitch Discussion / Re: Pokemon Sun & Moon glitches
« on: December 03, 2016, 05:00:33 pm »
Check Pokémon with the index number of 1337 for lulz.

Or 9001, as I think 1337 is taken (if it's not I'll... something.)

These would both cause the game to freeze, would they not?
15
Pokémon Discussion / Re: Pokémon Moon and Sun Discussion
« on: December 03, 2016, 04:16:43 pm »
Trainers have had shiny Pokémon since like Emerald Version. Trainer Tower or whatever it was called had some guy in it who had a shiny Espeon.

At least those ones are owned by Trainers and programmed as such. Shiny Milotic can be found in the Battle Pike in Emerald Version and cannot be caught.
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