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!