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Author Topic: Meganium Man!  (Read 13576 times)

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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #15 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.
 The dinosaur shook as Lugia’s bellowing voice addressed him.
 “Y-yes?” he sputtered, wishing he’d just stayed home.
 “Of course not,” Meganium Man replied.
 Lugia launched several thick rings of water at Meganium Man from his mouth while simultaneously uprooting a dozen more trees. Meganium Man took the brunt of the Water Pulse attack and was blown into Ecruteak City, slamming against a house before slumping to the ground. He was surprised the impact didn’t shatter his ribcage, let alone kill him, but as long as he was still breathing, he had to do something about Lugia. Water dripped off his skin and clothes on his march back to Route 38, but then he heard a different sound: a police siren.
 Chief Zangoose, Sergeant Seviper, and a group of officers had arrived in the antiquated city when Meganium Man forced himself to stand. He ignored them and returned to the warzone, having no intention of fighting Lugia head-on. That was suicide, but he was positive he had to do something to at least calm it down. He watched as a dozen trees shook, and his head shot forward when a yellow monkey with green leafy sleeves and leggings, as well as a ridiculous quaff, dropped from one of them.
 Landing on his feet, Simisage instantly saw Lugia’s hulking form about three yards away and descending to the ground. The monkey reached into the satchel and removed the silver egg, holding it with his left hand and arm while a Leaf Blade emerged from his right wrist. He pressed the tip of the blade to the eggshell, kicked the bag away.
 The police had made the scene by now, ready to attack Simisage with a variety of projectile moves. Noxious purple fumes seeped out of Seviper’s mouth as he prepared to fire a Sludge Bomb. Lightning crackled between constable Girafarig’s white horns while she charged up Thunderbolt. Meganium Man was ready to outright decapitate Simisage with Razor Leaf for holding an unborn child hostage, recalling a similar situation when he went up against Haunter, who held Girafarig’s daughter as a hostage too. Zangoose gave Meganium Man a look as if telling him to stand down, but the dinosaur ignored him.
 GIVE ME THE EGG, Lugia ordered.
 Simisage said nothing. In fact, he looked at Lugia with defiance. He was standing perfectly still, not even appearing to breathe.
 Meganium Man slowly started counting. When he hit five, Lugia went on the offensive. Lowering his head, the dragon opened his mouth and was about to attack with Water Pulse, but Simisage pressed the tip of the Leaf Blade against the eggshell. Immediately, Lugia’s mouth closed.
 “You’re not very good at listening, are you?” Meganium Man sneered.
 “Shut it,” Simisage barked.
 “No. Tell me something,” Meganium Man continued, stepping forward. “What, exactly, do you think will happen even if you escape with that egg? You certainly won’t get to raise it as your own so long as this guy is still around.” He pointed to Lugia with a vine whip as he finished his sentence.
 “I’m not planning on raising it,” Simisage replied, ignoring the rest of Meganium Man’s spiel.
 Seviper said to Zangoose, “You don’t think he’s one of those…?”
 The monkey heard the viper and grinned.
 “Y’know, I’ve gone up against some real morons in my time, but you take the cake,” the dinosaur continued. “Kidnapping is bad enough, but you went after a legendary Pokémon’s kid. Nice going. Do you really think this can end well for you?”
 “Don’t be such a pessimist,” Simisage snapped back. “It’s not the kid I want. Lugia will have it back in time.” Twisting his right arm, the monkey continued. “As long as you all cooperate, that is.”
 Simisage immediately started backing away while the police, vigilante, and Lugia watched. He soon started grinning and turned, running into what remained of the forest, under cover by the trees. Lugia growled in fury but knew that by pursuing Simisage, its baby was in grave danger. Meganium Man struck a felled tree with a vine whip and screamed something indiscriminate, chipping off a piece of bark.

As the group accepted their defeat, the police decided to return to Violet City and leave Meganium Man and Lugia behind. Lugia continued to stare into the forest while Meganium Man stood idly by, doing nothing in particular. Seviper and Zangoose passed him, chatting about something.
 “—if he wants the egg, then he has no reason not to hurt the baby,” Seviper said to his superior. “The egg is what he needs.”
 Curious by Seviper’s context-lacking explanation, Meganium Man strolled up alongside them.
 “Pardon my nosiness, but whatcha talkin’ ‘bout?” the dinosaur asked.
 Stopping in their tracks, Zangoose and Seviper looked at each other uncomfortably, but decided to indulge Meganium Man’s curiosity.
 “It’s a long story,” Seviper said. “You may as well come to the station with us.”
 “What about him or her?” Meganium Man asked, motioning to Lugia, who was still looking into the woods.
 “You fought it, you ask it,” Zangoose jokingly said.
 Shrugging, Meganium Man asked, “Hey, Lugia?”
 The dragon slowly turned its head to face him.
 “Err… You doing anything for the next little while?”
 Lugia shook his head.
 “’Kay. Wanna come with us for a bit?”
 Replying with a shrug, Lugia lightly flapped his wide wings and took to the sky, nearly toppling the police officers and making the superhero’s cape blow dramatically in the wind as he did so. Meganium Man turned back to Seviper and Zangoose.
 “See? Not that hard,” the vigilante said.
 The gang headed to Violet City’s police station, the only one in Johto other than the stationhouse in Blackthorn City to the northeast. Upon arriving, Zangoose took Seviper and Meganium Man to his office and opened the window; he saw and heard Lugia land just outside it after a moment. Its massive noggin suddenly lowered and appeared in the pane while the trio sat down. Zangoose opened a desk drawer and pulled out a box of donuts, dropped it on the desk.
 Meganium Man licked his lips.  There were so many donuts to choose from! Chocolate glazed! Maple glazed! One with rainbow sprinkles on it! He remembered that he left his picnic basket on Route 39, but it was probably long gone now. Grabbing a donut, the dinosaur was about to take a bite before he remembered he’d asked Seviper about something.
 “Oh!” he exclaimed. “Seviper, what were you talking about back on Route 38? Something about how Simisage just needs the egg?”
 Using the tip of his bladed tail to skewer a donut and bring it to himself, Seviper replied, “Right, right. See, there’re these guys who follow legendary Pokémon and take the eggshells when the baby hatches.”
 “Uh-huh. Why?” Meganium Man asked. He noticed that Lugia’s full attention was on them.
 “You know how some Pokémon will pay a lot of money to get their hands on shards, stardust, and things like that? Well, others like legendary Pokémon eggshells,” Zangoose said.
 How strange, Meganium Man thought. Collecting meaningless things wasn’t a concept lost on him. He had a shopping cart in his basement that was pulled out of a river during a fishing trip and, since he’d always wanted a shopping cart for whatever reason, took it. He has yet to actually use it.
 “So now we just gotta figure out why Simisage couldn’t wait for the baby to hatch,” Meganium Man pointed out.
 Lugia made a sound as if it had an inkling as to why, even turning his head away to think about it. All three of them heard it, and watched the dragon closely. It wasn’t long before Lugia’s gaze met theirs.
 “What’s up?” Seviper asked.
 “Let’s hear it,” Zangoose requested.
 “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?”
 “I’m also guessing you have no use for the eggshell?”
 “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.
 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.
 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.”
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 “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.
 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.
 “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.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 04:22:01 pm by Bert »


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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #16 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.
 “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.

 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.
 “No, but I have a niece.”
 Without missing a beat, Meganium Man replied, “Anything.”
 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.
 He nodded.
 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.
 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.”
 “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?”
 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.
 “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.”
 Meganium Man swallowed hard.
 “Then I guess I’m going to have to find him first.”
 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.
 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.
 “It’s fine,” Meganium Man replied politely.
 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.”
 “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.”
 “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.
 “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.

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.
 “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.
 It took everything Meganium Man had not to laugh at the absurdity of those last three words.
 He failed.
 “Well, I mean, Simisage started it. I don’t know if recklessness counts as a skill, but thanks!’
 Lugia turned around and faced the east, spread his wings, and flapped them.
 “Goodbye, Lugia. May we meet again!”
 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!

Evie the Bird Mother ❤✿

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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2017, 09:46:20 am »
This is really late, but I really like the idea of a Meganium Superhero.

Great work!

(Image © Sanrio, Nintendo, HAL Laboratory)

I want to be a mother. 🦋 ✿

✿ Hi, I'm Evie. Sex male, and spiritually doesn't believe 'male'/'female' needs to be defined; lives more stereotypically like a woman. Call me whichever pronouns you like. :)

Please note:

While I'm one of the staff who runs the site, Abwayax is the founder and manages the technical side of the site (specifically the server, but I can do forum/wiki stuff if you like, I suggest if you do to make a thread about it to gather a consensus). Still feel free to contact me about higher site issues though; I will forward them to Abwayax if needed. :)


I feel that the more people pray to our greatest source/God/mathematical equality for world peace, the more and more it manifests into reality (until our next spiritual death).

Thank you Nyapon for this lovely artwork. :3


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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2017, 03:16:44 pm »
So hey I'm alive again and with TWO BRAND SPANKIN' NEW EPISODES HOORAH.

I consider 'Once in a Lifetime' to be a kind of season finale even though written things don't use seasons or whatever but f**k it it's my series and if I say it's a season then it is and now I'm typing in a run-on sentence.

So with that, I guess this is now season 2.

Meganium Man! #11: Re-Possession Man

 That was the first thing that caught Harley the Meganium’s eyes as he passed by a newspaper cart on his morning stroll. Ah, yes, the top-notch journalism of The National Irritator was at it again, he mused. Yet for some reason, he felt compelled to buy the waste of trees and ink, if only because he needed something to read. ¢25, the dinosaur believed, was completely worth the nonexistent effort the Irritator’s staff went through writing such a harrowing story.
 He pulled his wallet out of hammerspace with a vine whip, sifted through the coin purse, and handed the change to the Ledyba behind the table. In return, the wide-eyed ladybug handed him a copy of the Irritator, and Harley resumed his walk down Route 33 to Azalea Town. He’d already cleared the Union Cave, a winding yet not particularly long tunnel south of Violet City, and his destination was just a hop, skip and a jump away to the west. A small town next to the dark and foreboding Ilex Forest, Azalea Town was known for its log cabins, which made up every building, including the hospital. It is, perhaps, more famous for the Slowpoke Well, an underground cave where Slowpoke – pink, quadruped Pokémon who are legendarily dimwitted – are believed to have originated.
 Much as he suspected, the oven story made for entertaining reading. According to the victim, she was baking a cake the previous afternoon, when all of a sudden, the white appliance gained an orange hue and became outlined in a light blue, ethereal aura. Two oval-shaped eyes outlined in a light blue aura appeared on the window, at which point, it spat out the cake and grew two light blue lightning bolt-like arms. This frightening occurrence was followed by the oven hovering out the door to freedom, giggling hysterically to itself. The tale ended there, and didn’t mention any actual attempted eating or harm the poor Pokémon faced.
 Shortly after he finished reading, Harley arrived in Azalea Town and could smell rich, smoky charcoal wafting from a chimney. Just to his right was the famous Slowpoke Well, which was actually an in-ground cave mouth, not a well at all. One of the creatures was asleep just beside the mouth, and would probably remain unaware of the Meganium’s existence even if he formally introduced himself until five days later. Then, Slowpoke would utter “Hello” in kind, even though Harley would be long gone. Oddly, its evolutions, Slowbro and Slowking, are significantly more alert and responsive. A Slowking was even the town’s Mayor and had a pretty high approval rating.
 The green sauropod passed the well and entered the supermarket, hoping to buy some Perfect Apples for a midmorning snack. Judging by the number of them he saw, it looked like a shipment had arrived just hours ago, so he loaded a dozen into a plastic bag, paid, and was on his way. Suddenly, he heard a woman scream and looked to his right, where he saw a Gardevoir – tall, white, waif-like Pokémon with green hair dressed in a long, white robe –get knocked over by a floating television that was much too orange for his liking. Another story for the Irritator, he thought as he watched the TV fly out of her house. Two oval eyes and a mischievous grin were inside the screen, and it turned towards Route 33.
 Harley took a combative stance, spreading his legs a bit and snarling in challenge.
 The possessed television’s lightning bolt arms held their tips just inches apart, and between them, a wispy, dark sphere started forming.
 “Wait a minute. You’re a Pokémon?” Harley asked as he saw the television prepare to launch a Shadow Ball. The appliance ignored him.
 When Shadow Ball was the size of a basketball, one of the arms hurled it high into the air, and the TV turned aside. Once the projectile was level, the television spun around and struck it with its other arm like it were a baseball bat, sending the orb hurdling towards Harley. Due to the showboating nature of the attack, Harley had plenty of time to dodge it and did so, leaping aside as it blazed towards him like a comet. The Shadow Ball flew ahead, struck a tree, chipped off some bark and promptly evaporated without leaving a trace.
 Harley’s two vine whips shot forward like angry serpents and snared the television’s limbs, wrapped around them good and tight. His short, white claws dug into the grass and dirt as he tried to anchor himself and stop the ‘tube from escaping, but it was already struggling like a caged animal. It thrashed about, left and right, and Harley started losing the struggle quickly. He felt dirt slide between his toes as the possessed television ascended, taking him with it, and despite forcing all his weight into his feet, the green bean wasn’t going to remain grounded for long. A moment later, Harley was airborne, dangling precariously over Azalea Town.
 All the while, the appliance continued to grin, its oval eyes just full of mischief. They met Harley’s gaze. What kind of Pokémon was this?, the dinosaur wondered. He’d never heard of one that could take over appliances and machinery. Not even Haunter could do that. Whatever it was, it started moving west, towards Ilex Forest. Harley could see the large, towering trees coming closer and closer, and was still dangling from the television’s wrists, if they could even be called that. Directly underneath them was nothing but treetops; no ground was visible. Just a sea of green foliage which Harley assumed he would soon be dropped into.
 Then, the one of the television’s arms shuffled and took aim at him. Directly at his face. A spark of gold electricity crackled upon the pointed limb, and the next thing Harley felt was a shock against his nose. A faint zap could be heard as the television electrocuted him, and it was a little more potent than a run-of-the-mill static shock. Harley suddenly felt dazed, as if he was extremely tired, and his vines loosened their grip around the TV’s arms, causing him to fall. Then, the dinosaur discovered he was falling through the trees, and plummeted directly into a pond. It was enough for him to regain his focus and everything around him sharpened, and he started swimming up to the surface. His green head breached the water and he looked at the sky, only to see the flying television was gone.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” the dripping wet dinosaur said to Gardevoir. “I wasn’t able to stop your television.”
 It was a strange sentence and it was probably the first time it had ever been uttered. He’d put money on the probability.
 Gardevoir handled it well, smiling at him politely. “No worries,” she said. “Thanks for your help.” She stepped inside her log cabin and returned a moment later with a bag of perfect apples. “You dropped these during your struggle. Here you are.”
 Harley grabbed the bag with a vine whip. “Thanks!” he said.
 The tall Pokémon headed back inside and Harley went for a walk around the town, munching on an apple as he did so. Just what kind of Pokémon was that? Why did it possess the television? Was it the same one that possessed that oven? What did it want? Maybe it just lived for mischief and shenanigans, Harley told himself. He’d never seen anything with eyes like that, or arms. Very strange. He wasn’t surprised that whatever it possessed gained an orange hue. In fact, that would make tracking it easy, so long as one didn’t lose sight of it.
 But why did it need to possess another appliance after it already claimed an oven? The TV wasn’t an antique or even old, and, presumably, neither was the oven. He didn’t totally rule out collecting, but this was a weird way to go about it. If this Pokémon had already swiped two appliances, then he was certain it already had many more. Probably all in one place. A nice little bevy of stolen swag it claimed as its own.
 Harley decided to do some research and went looking for the library, found it close to the heart of Azalea Town, not too far away from city hall. He stepped inside the wide, low building and moseyed over to a computer desk, opened up the web browser, and typed into a search engine: Possessed appliances. Those two words were probably the most unrelated words to ever be strung together other than ‘useful politician,’ but it brought up a long list of results on the chrome screen anyway. A very long list. A quick scan showed an incident from over five years ago. He clicked on it. The very first time such an occurrence had been reported, this Pokémon possessed a shop vacuum cleaner. Orange hue, lightning bolt arms and all. Much like the television, the appliance made a quick escape from the household and the vacuum was never seen again.
 “This happened in Goldenrod City,” Harley said to himself. He jotted down the Pokémon said to own the vacuum cleaner: Golem. He clicked another result.
 It was a riding lawnmower in this article, and happened in Eterna City, in the Sinnoh region. The story was more or less the same as the previous one: it hijacked the mower and made a mad dash to an unknown destination. However, along the way, an unidentified witness saw it faze through the road. Harley quickly deduced it was a ghost-type Pokémon. He wasn’t sure about that back when the television used Shadow Ball, since some psychic-types can learn it, but if it disappeared like that, he was certain. At the end of the article was an interview with a police chief, who dubbed the mysterious Pokémon “Rotom,” or “motor” backwards.
 He looked up the name Rotom and the search engine spat back a list similar to the one he was already looking at. A few different articles, a fansite for Rotom – which played it up as some kind of folk hero who fought The Man by possessing electronic devices and machinery – and a short bio on the side of the screen which provided a blurry picture of the supposed creature. Its body/face was round, and a long cone protruded from it like a dunce cap. Some kind of small, stubby round base was at the bottom of its body like a foot. Rotom looked to be giving off a pale blue glow, possibly plasma. Its height was listed as a mere 1’00’’.
 What a curious little Pokémon, Harley thought as he logged out of the computer. It’s traveled all over the world, taking over various items for no reason other than making mischief. Or was it? Maybe Rotom was after something.  None of the articles hinted at such, but Harley knew there could be more to something than meets the eye. After what happened on the S.S. Anne and later during the Simisage incident, he knew it could be literally anything. And he was going to find out.
 The dinosaur snuck away from Azalea Town and into Ilex Forest, whose towering trees and thick foliage blotted out the sun, giving it an eerie nighttime feel in the day. At night, with the moon completely obscured, it was pitch black. Not somewhere to be if you’re scared of the dark. He even saw a sign at the gate warning Pokémon to go back to Azalea Town for their own safety if they arrived at the forest during the night.
 He took a quick look around, saw nobody, and pulled his blue cape and blue cowl out of hammerspace.

Rotom set himself on a rock island jutting out of a small pond in the heart of Slowpoke Well and burst from the television with an alarming amount of eagerness. In doing so, the TV lost its orange hue. He turned around to look at his unremarkable collection of stolen goods, his brow furrowed. He’d amassed a dozen different items in all, but looked upon them with contempt.
 “None of these feel right,” Rotom said quietly. One of his lightning bolt arms swatted a loose stone away in frustration. “Not a single one.”
 He floated over to the green riding mower, vanished through its grill, and took over the engine. It revved to life, and in doing so, it became orange. The yellow stripe around the body became pale blue, and Rotom’s eyes and mouth appeared on its grille. His arms, strangely, did not appear. He started driving the mower around the island, raising the blade as to not damage it from nicking stones, and did a few laps around the perimeter before returning the lawnmower to its place. Rotom floated out from the grille, and the lawnmower’s appearance returned to normal. It had been a while since he’d possessed it, but he didn’t forget how large and bulky he felt while doing so. If he traveled the outside world via the lawnmower, Rotom would feel more cumbersome and in-the-way than anything. How did Pokémon even drive those bulky, noisy things?
 Okay, so the lawnmower was out. Fine with him. Rotom floated over to the shop vac next and phased into the motor atop the red drum. As usual, it glowed orange. His eyes and mouth appeared in the middle of the drum. Well, the shop vac wasn’t as bad as the lawnmower. Now he felt fat, and when the hose dropped, it obscured his line of sight. It wavered around like the long neck of that Meganium he encountered earlier, but at least he felt tall. And the cord would make a good tail. Nice and long, kind of whip-like. But the wheels were a problem on the gravel terrain. He rolled forward a few feet and swore he would tip over at the slightest bump, and the low scrunch the wheels made against the stones wasn’t particularly enjoyable to listen to. With a sigh, Rotom departed from the vacuum’s motor. He turned around and struck it, angered.
 Motor. What an ironic name, he thought.
 He thought for sure the television would be the one. The appliance that felt like home. But it wasn’t. He just felt wider than he was comfortable with, albeit with access to over 1000 channels. Even the oven was uncomfortable. Its bulk bordered on the absurd, and he couldn’t even get it through the door without damaging the doorframe. And he went through it sideways, too. Yeah, the lawnmower was a little on the bulky side too, but at least it felt compact at the same time. Of course, he knew, he still had countless other potential “homes” out there, just waiting for him. A seemingly infinite ocean of gizmos and gadgets and whatchamacallits, and at least one of them had to be suitable, right? He looked at the twelve items he’d possessed so far. One riding mower. One oven. One television. One vacuum. A couple different fans. Three push mowers. A washer and dryer. And a desk lamp. He didn’t feel comfortable inside any of them. Twelve items, and they all felt as alien as a shirt that’s too tight or too loose.
 Incomplete. That’s how he felt, and he wasn’t totally sure why. He’d never heard of any other Rotom having a compulsive need to live inside a machine, and if he had any friends or family, he would’ve called them and asked if they had any ideas. Oh, well. Such is life. Rotom looked over the embankment and at his reflection. There he was, just some Pokémon that didn’t have much of a purpose other than possessing things. How pointless and boring, he thought.
 The closest thing he’d ever had to a family or a friend was a young Clefairy that lived in a now-dilapidated mansion in the Sinnoh region. Rotom happened upon the mansion and took over the television on a whim, and provided countless hours of entertainment for the child, who couldn’t have been more than four years old when Rotom first ‘met’ him. Rotom spent the better part of two years inside that television, and although he never talked, he always felt that Clefairy knew he was there. There was something about the way Clefairy looked at the TV before going to bed that made him think so.
 One day, however, Clefairy didn’t come. Nobody did. But Rotom waited. And waited. And waited. He waited for three years before he dared to leave the television and look around. In doing so, he discovered the mansion to be completely abandoned. Weirder still, the furniture, appliances, portraits and furnishings were still around, but the residents, including Clefairy, were nowhere to be seen. It was as if they disappeared. Rotom knew they didn’t move. Who moves but leaves everything behind? That doesn’t make sense, especially if the homeowners had expensive tastes. The only clue he had to Clefairy’s whereabouts was a bottle he found in the kitchen trash, which was labeled ‘Antidote’ and was filled up…
 He left the mansion after that. Rotom had to float through the front doors, since they wouldn’t open. When he was outside the doors he saw that a huge plank of wood had been nailed across them, and the word ‘Condemned’ had been painted on it. The grass had become long and tangled, and the shade of the forest the mansion had been built in felt less comforting and more foreboding. Until now, Rotom had forced the memory of that twisted discovery out of his mind. The sheer revulsion he felt after finding that bottle was enough to convince him it was for the best. If he knew how to get in contact with Dialga, known as the Pokémon of time, he would ask it to send him back to those halcyon days so he could stop whatever tragedy befell the mansion.
 Rotom turned around and looked at his collection. Mere substitutes for something that was already a crude substitute for friendship. But the connection he felt with Clefairy was more significant than anything else he’d had in his life. Someone had taken that from him, and he couldn’t do anything about it. But he could develop another connection like it.
 He fazed through the floor.

Golem wasn’t sure what to think when he saw a Meganium wearing a mask and cape standing at his door. He knew who he was, but couldn’t think of a reason as to why he’d be here. Actually, after what happened during the battle of Goldenrod City, he didn’t think the dinosaur would ever set foot in the town again. Goldenrod City looked beautiful as ever, and the cream-colored bricks that made up many of its buildings and their iconic gold rooftops looked illustrious under the early afternoon sun. You couldn’t even tell that a bloody battle had been waged on its main street over a year ago.
 “Yes?” the rocky, tortoise-like Pokémon asked. His shell was dark and covered his entire body, but his short arms and legs, as well has his head, were light brown. Golem’s voice sounded a little gruff.
 “Hi. Are you Golem?” Meganium Man asked.
 The rock Pokémon nodded. “What do you want?”
 “I’m investigating a series of appliance possessions, and read a news article which stated—”
 Golem raised his index finger.
 “My shop vac. Right.”
 He opened the door and stepped aside, motioned for Meganium Man to come in. The dinosaur did so, and he and Golem sat down at the coffee table in the living room.
 “Yeah, that was a weird day. I’d just bought the thing. Paid a little more than a hundred and fifty bucks for it. Then it suddenly grows arms and eyes and flies out the door.”
 “Did it attack you? Did you chase after it?” Meganium Man wondered.
 Golem nodded.
 “Yes to both, but in the opposite order. I rolled after it and made the first move. Used Rock Blast in an attempt to get it to stop. But the thing just turned around, rolled aside, and blows this weird purple wind on me. It smelled foul. Like rotten Pinap berries tenderized with a Skuntank.”
 Meganium Man’s mouth curled with disgust.
 “But I’m still going for it. Still blasting rocks at it. Right as I’m about to hit it, the vacuum disappears. Just vanishes into thin air.” Golem slammed a fist on the table. “Don’t tell me you travelled all the way here from the Meganium Cave just to ask me about that.”
 The dinosaur shook his head.
 “It’s struck again, this time in Azalea Town. Hijacked a television this time. Your shop vac was just the first of many appliances this Pokémon’s possessed and I’m trying to figure out why.”
 ‘Pokémon? This thing’s a Pokémon? I’ve never heard of one that can possess objects like that. What’s its name?”
 Meganium Man was about to tell him Rotom’s name, but they heard a loud shriek from across the street that distracted him. He burst from the door onto one of the dusty rose brick streets Goldenrod City was known for, and through the window of the house across from him, saw an unusually orange-looking refrigerator floating towards the front door. Racing across the street, Meganium Man reached the door just as it opened. He was once again face to face with Rotom, whose eyes and mouth were on the fridge door. A frigid chill wafted off the fridge. Rotom ground to a halt when he saw the vigilante and remained where he was.
 “Get out of there, Rotom,” Meganium Man ordered. “You’re under arrest.”
 He was surprised to see the possessed fridge land on the doorstep. He was bewildered to see the small, round Pokémon emerge from it, as if confronting him personally.
 “Just as well,” Rotom said, looking at Meganium Man, then at the fridge, then back at the vigilante. “It’s too cold for me in there.”
 “You can feel?”
 Rotom nodded. His body angled a little in doing so.
 “More than you realize,” the motor added.
 The dinosaur’s head moved back a smidgeon. What in the world did that mean?
 A strange sense of excitement began to build inside Rotom. The orange motor grinned widely.
 A connection. Sort of. He felt it. It wasn’t all there, though. It was a little strained, like he knew whatever connection he had with this Meganium was only temporary. Gengar, the house’s resident, was standing behind Rotom, looking at him and Meganium Man quizzically. The shadowy, red-eyed Pokémon took hold of his fridge and started hauling it back into the kitchen.
 “Well? What’re you going to do now?” Rotom asked his confronter.
 “I’m arresting you on charges of petty theft, as well as breaking and entering,” Meganium Man replied.
 “On whose authority?”
 Rotom threw his head back and howled with laughter. The light blue plasma that surrounded him became downright radiant, glowed like a neon sign. Soon, he quieted down and eyed Meganium Man.
 “Okay,” Rotom replied, swaying from side to side. He then blurted in a more playful and cheery tone, “But you’ll have to find me first!”
 One of Meganium Man’s vines burst from underneath his pink flower petals, but Rotom had already vanished into the doorstep and presumably underground. He grabbed nothing but air. The appendage returned under the petals, and he closed the door. Meganium Man turned around and saw Golem sitting on his front porch. The rock tortoise shrugged.
 Meganium Man started looking around. Rotom wanted him to find him. How many caves were there in the world? How many abandoned buildings could he use as a hideout? It had travelled the world, possessing various appliances from all over, and since it was a motor, he probably wouldn’t feel tired after travelling great distances.
 He’d started down the seaside road of Route 34 when a possibility hit him. The very first time Rotom struck was in Goldenrod City. Today, it had struck first in Azalea Town and later Goldenrod once more. What’re the odds of that? No, really, I’m asking. I say 1 to 100,000, but my friend Dave says 12 to 3. And with all those stolen items, Rotom would need somewhere spacious to keep them hidden. Someplace nobody would think to look. Someplace where even those who saw him would be too slow to notice.
 Feeling triumphant, Meganium Man ran down Route 34 towards Azalea Town.

He looked into the Well’s mouth. The rock stairs were nice and smooth, and sturdy. The sun was directly over Slowpoke Well, and Meganium Man could see inside its normally dark innards. As he walked down the stairs, he saw it was an even split between water and land. At least, this floor was. He saw a ladder in the northwest corner of the cave heading down, and started towards it. He passed a few Slowpoke along the way, who were oblivious to his existence. If they weren’t, then a week from now the well would be alive with them talking about Meganium Man.
 After taking a left turn, he heard something below. It sounded like churning water, although he wasn’t sure. The cave was completely quiet, and he listened intently. Yep, that was definitely water being disturbed, although it wasn’t the waves. It was from a washing machine. His hunch was correct. He took a right turn down a narrow corridor, nestled between a steep hill and a wall, and heard a different sound: the whirring of a vacuum cleaner. A shop vac, probably. He could hear its tires scraping the ground below, but once he reached the ladder, the sounds stopped. Just up and died, like Rotom knew he was coming.
 Meganium Man carefully climbed down the ladder, looked down, and saw a shore directly below. On the bottom rung, he found himself inside a square room submerged in water. There was an island smack dab in the middle of the water, with a baker’s dozen of appliances. They were lined up neatly on the farthest ledge from him, and after dropping onto the shore, Meganium Man prepared to jump. He backed up, dragged a foot across the ground, and sprung from the shore onto the island. Cleared the water perfectly. He made note of the appliances: One riding mower, one oven, one television, one vacuum, a couple different fans, three push mowers, a washer and dryer, and a desk lamp. All in excellent condition, with some signs of wear.
 “I know you’re here, Rotom!” Meganium Man called out. His voice echoed, “You’re here, Rotom!” He started looking around for the etheric motor. When he turned to look at the appliances again, he saw Rotom floating there, grinning, as usual. Meganium Man jumped from shock.
 “You got me!” Rotom said, again, playfully. “So, now what?”
 “Now, I’m taking you in. Remember? You’re under arrest.”
 Rotom’s smile changed to a frown.
 “You’re arresting me? There are murderers out there, but you’re arresting me? All I’ve done was possess some electronics. Pokémon are dying out there, and you’re taking me in?” Rotom seethed. His tone was sharp, like Meganium Man had just committed a grave injustice against him.
 Meganium Man stood still. What was Rotom babbling about? It had nothing to do with what was currently happening.
 “Maybe so,” the vigilante said, “but they aren’t my concern right now.”
 “Oh, but some missing doodads and whatchamacallits are? Ha!” Rotom shot back.
 “Is there something you’re not telling me? I’m pretty sure I’m missing something here.”
 “The Old Chateau in Sinnoh. Go check it out.”
 Meganium Man shook his head. He had no idea what Rotom was talking about, but he now knew the ghost wasn’t being completely straight with him.
 “I’m not going to do that. Come on. You’re under arrest.”
 Rotom snapped.
 “You’re not going to do that?!” he screamed. His aura became blinding, and Meganium Man had to pull his cape over his eyes for a moment. However, the flash was over as quickly as it started. “What kind of superhero are you?”
 Meganium Man lowered his cape and saw Rotom backing up towards the riding mower. Rotom vanished into the grille, and his eyes and mouth appeared on it. The green vehicle became a striking orange, and its yellow stripe turned neon blue. Rotom’s teeth were bared in rage.
 “Rotom, don’t do this!” Meganium Man pleaded, knowing his words fell on deaf ears. He took a combative stance as the lawnmower’s engine revved.
 “Shut up!”
 With tires screeching, Rotom blazed towards Meganium Man, who had no time to pick his next move. His vine whips prepared to stop the lawnmower, which he knew was foolhardy. The dinosaur forced the bulk of his weight into his front legs, and when Rotom slammed into him, dug his claws into the rock. He only moved back slightly, but as long as he was still on the island, that was good enough for him. It helped immensely that lawnmowers aren’t known for having much in the way of speed, which made stopping it much easier than if it were a car.
 But Rotom had the advantage. Meganium Man figured he didn’t weigh more than a couple pounds, but with the lawnmower added, that was multiplied a thousandfold. The tires crushed gravel beneath the rubber and kicked up dust and stones as they spun in fury. Meganium Man knew he was being pushed closer and closer to the edge of the island, and knew he had to act fast. His petals started waving in a nonexistent breeze and a moment later were launched at Rotom like flying saw blades. Meganium Man watched, baffled, as his Razor Leaf attack did next to nothing to the lawnmower’s metal exterior. He didn’t even see scratch marks.
 “What the…?” he asked as the petals returned to the base of his neck.
 “Much like how a Ditto’s molecular structures changes upon transformation, I, too, change typing after possessing an appliance. My friend, you just used Razor Leaf on a grass-type!”
 Fascinating! Meganium Man thought.
 He tried to push back, but as he brought a foot off the ground, he felt himself slide backwards. He couldn’t remain in a deadlock like this, and started thinking. Rotom was still grinding his wheels, only nudging the dinosaur maybe an inch at a time. Looking over his shoulder, Meganium Man figured there was over ten feet of island behind him. Then, the idea hit him. When Rotom’s wheels mashed against the ground, Meganium Man scrambled aside and collapsed. The possessed lawnmower sped ahead and missed him, but its steering wheel cranked hard to the left as Rotom went into a U-turn.
 Taking a big breath and gathering some spit, Meganium Man lowered his head and aimed for the wheels. He unleashed a fury of Bullet Seeds and peppered the side of the riding mower. Then, he heard a loud pop! as one of its wheels exploded, followed by the hiss of air being released. Rotom grunted and quickly lost control of the mower as he attempted to finish his turn, only to tip and collapse on his side. Its wheels stopped turning, as did its blade. A moment later, it was green again. Meganium Man approached the lawnmower, lifted it up with his vine whips. Rotom wasn’t there. He set it back down and looked over the edge of the island, into the water. The water was calm. Not rippling at all.
 Before he could turn and see which appliance Rotom had already possessed, a long, grey cord wrapped around his neck like a boa constrictor and lifted him into the air. While struggling in its grip, Meganium Man looked down and saw that he was now being attacked by Golem’s shop vac. Then, Rotom hauled him over his head in an arc and dropped him. Meganium Man hit the ground hard, but not hard enough to make him surrender. He rolled onto his side and faced his opponent, whose teeth were still bared. But there was something else. Something in Rotom’s expression. He looked uncertain about this course of action, like this was getting nowhere. This was not how he expected things to play out, and wasn’t sure what to do about it.
 The Old Chateau in Sinnoh?
 He stood. The vacuum’s long hose and nozzle loomed over him, which he believed the next attack would come from. Meganium Man looked at Rotom again, saw that same uncertain stare, and returned his attention to the hose. He and Rotom began circling each other like predators stalking their prey. In doing so, the vigilante saw the vacuum bump along the rocks and stones unevenly. Perfect.
 Almost. He didn’t give his foe as much credit as he should have. Rotom knew the moment he possessed the vacuum that the vigilante would notice his uneven footsteps… erm, rolls, so when he saw one of the Meganium’s vine whips rushing in to trip him, he was prepared. The vine had just crept into the wheel well when Rotom aimed the nozzle and fired a pulsating blast of golden lightning, which brilliantly illuminated the darkness of Slowpoke Well’s basement. It hit Meganium Man head-on and sent him flying over the island’s edge and into the water.
 Rotom rolled to the ledge and looked down. Saw his reflection in the ripples. He couldn’t see much else. Suddenly, two vines shot out from the water and snared the hose and a wheel, followed by a snarling Meganium Man bursting through the surface. Now standing on the slope, Meganium Man lifted the possessed shop vacuum high above his head, twisted around, and hurled the vacuum to the shore behind him. Rotom crashed to the ground with a pained wail and flew out from the vacuum’s motor in defeat, causing it to return to its normal red color. The exhausted superhero jumped from the island to the shore and stood over Rotom, who looked up at him. He held a vine out, which Rotom let wrap around one of his lightning-bolt shaped hands, and helped the motor stand. Or float, rather.
 Between breaths, the dinosaur said, “Now, what’s this business about a house in Sinnoh?”

It was a grisly story. All you need to know is that nobody survived and that a bottle labeled Antidote being thrown out is no coincidence. Meganium Man logged off the computer, and he and Rotom stepped outside the library.
 “So that’s why you possessed those things,” the dinosaur realized. “You just wanted friendship.”
 Rotom nodded. “I know that was the wrong way to go about it, but… Well, after being in the television that long, I didn’t really know how to even meet Pokémon otherwise.”
 “And that’s also why you were so excited during our encounter in Goldenrod City. I was looking for you and tracking you down.”
 Another nod.
 Meganium Man swallowed hard. “I’m… I’m sorry you had to experience that, Rotom. I really am.”
 Rotom appeared to shrug. “There’s nothing you can do about it. I might’ve been able to do something, but I don’t know what. I’m scared to think of what, frankly.” He took a deep breath. “As long as we’re throwing apologies around, I’m sorry for attacking you in the Well like that. You’re not hurt, are you?”
 “Nothing worse than what I usually get. It’s fine, Rotom. How about you? That was a hard throw.”
 “My appendix is broken.” Meganium Man raised an eyebrow. Then he smirked. Rotom briefly chuckled before asking, “So, uh, what’s gonna happen now?”
 “Well,” Meganium Man began, walking away from the library towards Route 33. “Now I have to take you to the police for your arrest. Then, they’ll probably start trying to track down the owners of those appliances.”
 “How many years am I looking at? Life?” Rotom asked.
 “Nah,” Meganium Man said. “Hard to say. It’ll probably just amount to petty theft, although we’ve got the circumstances of your crime spree to take into account. I don’t wanna get your hopes up, but I don’t think you’ll be in for long. Actually, I think Crawdaunt got out, like, seven months ago.”
 “First guy I ever went up against. Tried robbing a bank in Cherrygrove City a little over a year ago.”
 He and Rotom had reached the entrance to Union Cave and headed in. It was a well-lit tunnel even at night, and at this time of day, Meganium Man and Rotom had the path practically illuminated for them. Despite being a long, winding road, it was a straight walk to the other side so long as you followed it. On either side of them, close to where they came in, was a pond. Rotom looked at his reflection. He no longer saw the purposeless Pokémon he used to be. He now saw a reinvigorated Pokémon. He wasn’t sure how, or why, but at least, he realized, he was finally at peace. The confusion and anger all but evaporated, and as he and Meganium Man took a right turn, he flashed back not to the day he discovered the Antidote bottle, but to the days when he entertained Clefairy for hours on end.
 Meganium Man, meanwhile, saw a Wooper bounce its head off a wall and then swim the other way.

The End of Episode 11!


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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2017, 03:22:36 pm »
Meganium Man! #12: Piece of the Action
“I will not arrest Meganium Man.”
 Chief Zangoose was sure this refusal would get him fired, but Captain Serperior’s face remained expressionless. The white cobra’s stubby arm pulled at the peel-like collar on its green skin as if to release air, and then cleared his throat.
 “You know our stance on vigilantism, Zangoose. This has gone on far too long,” Serperior replied.
 “What stance? He’s a flash in the pan no matter how you look at him. You make it sound like he’s putting us out of business.”
 “The incident on the S.S. Anne is where I drew the line. The public considers him to be in the big leagues, whatever that means,” the snake continued. “And just last week, he found out where all those stolen electronics had been hidden, and by whom.”
 Zangoose drummed his black claws across his desk. His superior shuffled uncomfortably and took a deep breath.
 “He’s eleven for eleven now, Zangoose. If—”
 “Meganium Man catches a lawnmower thief, and you make it sound like the world’s ending.”
 “He also found an arms manufacturing plant that had been operating directly under our noses and brought them down in less than twelve hours. He also captured the would-be assassin of Blackthorn City’s mayor. And there was also what happened in Goldenrod City…” Serperior let the thought trail off as if he’d just made the vigilante he was talking about feel uncomfortable. He then continued, “If Meganium Man, whoever he is, continues to pull off stunts like this, people will lose their faith in the police.”
 An annoyed guffaw escaped Zangoose.
 “Weavile and I were talking about him a few weeks back and her attitude was pretty much the same as yours. Why not go ask her?”
 “I already did. She refused. Begrudgingly, but still.” Serperior then waved one of his little arms as if to indicate he had more to say. “That reminds me. He’s even getting other police officers to engage in acts of vigilantism.”
 “Onix was also grieving, bloodthirsty and maybe a little loco after being cooped up in that little cavern of his for so long. He also threw his costume into the river afterwards.” The chief then leaned in. “Call me soft. Lenient. Whatever. Meganium Man gets results. Very, very good results, I’ll have you know. And you aren’t looking at the other side of the coin.”
 Serperior raised an eyebrow.
 “If we arrest Meganium Man, who has earned the public’s trust with his insane bravery or brave insanity, the outcry would be enormous. I never thought he would get this far, but I made my bed when he showed up at the bank, and now I have to lie in it. Now, if he becomes the monsters he’s fighting along the way, then I’ll get on his case. But until then, my refusal stands.”
 With a defeated grunt, Serperior turned around and slithered out of Zangoose’s office. Fellow officers actively stepped out of their way, like not doing so would cost them their jobs. For a moment, Serperior was proud of his underling. Zangoose may have recently officially entered middle age, but he was certainly far from lenient. He was just a little more tolerant of Meganium Man’s antics than he was, although Serperior knew that could turn out to be a very bad thing.
 On his way out the front doors, Sergeant Kommo-o fell into step beside him. The saurian’s grey, plated skin looked unusually lustrous at the moment, as did the gold and red bonnet on his head that the species was known for. And the cape-like scales hanging from his shoulders appeared to blow in a dramatic wind of their own. Or maybe it was just the swagger in his walk.
 “Sir?” Kommo-o asked.
 “Yes, sergeant?”
 “I couldn’t help but overhear your talk with the chief.”
 “It’s not polite to eavesdrop,” Serperior replied, almost dismissively.
 “Right. Well, sir, I was wondering if the job is still open.”
 Serperior stopped at the bottom of the steps, turned, and faced Kommo-o directly.
 “What on earth makes you think you are, in any way, qualified for it?”
 “With all due respect, sir, both chiefs refused. Here I am, a recent promotion, hoping to prove myself.”
 Serperior looked deep into Kommo-o’s slit-like eyes. There was definitely some honesty in what he said. Not surprising, the captain thought. From what he’d read, Kommo-o hadn’t been given much of a chance thus far despite coming to Johto nearly a year ago.
 And he was a dragon-type Pokémon, which take great pride in their abilities. Even Magikarp were known to get uppity every now and again, although nobody could blame them.
 But Serperior played his cards anyway.
 “And get promoted again. Is that it?”
 Kommo-o guffawed. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”
 “You’re lying.”
 The dragon grinned. “A little. Look, I’m sure you read my reports. I’ve seen almost no action since being transferred from Alola, despite lieutenant Venusaur recommending me to chief Zangoose personally. But now I have a chance to show just what I’m capable of.”
 “Now you have a chance to act on a power fantasy,” the cobra sneered.
At least he’s volunteering willingly, he thought. And I do have people to answer to regarding this matter…
 Frankly, Serperior didn’t really care who took the job. He was already thinking over what Zangoose had told him about the public outcry that would arise if Meganium Man – the ‘Pokémon’s Meganium’ as some had already dubbed him in scenes I never wrote previously – were to be arrested. It wouldn’t be pretty, that was for sure. Although he’d yet to see a public outcry that was.
 And he had read Venusaur’s reports from when Kommo-o was stationed in the Alola region, out on Ula’ula Island. He once chased a gold thief across the treacherous plains of Vast Poni Canyon for three days without stopping. Now he was in Johto, requesting the chance to capture some vigilante the Pokémon of Johto – and perhaps beyond – were already looking up to.
 “How do I know you’re being sincere? How do I know you really want to show Venusaur she wasn’t wrong in transferring you?” Serperior finally asked. “I’ve seen guys like you left blowing in the wind over much less.”
 Kommo-o didn’t respond right away. He knew what Serperior was getting at – that he was power hungry or something similar – and was certain proving him wrong would be simple enough. But he had to get out in the field first. Then, Kommo-o grinned again.
 “Watch me.”
 Serperior’s mouth briefly spasmed into a grin of his own.
 “Fine, then. Round up as many fellow officers as you can, but don’t expect double digits. I hope for your sake Venusaur wasn’t wrong.”

Crawdaunt emerged from the water and saw Primeape waiting for him on the wooden pier, crouching. The lobster raised a pincher and opened it. Several small, star-shaped shards in an assortment of colors dropped into Primeape’s brown, boxing-glove like hand. He then placed them in a small, metal box and counted them.
 After clicking his tongue, Primeape said, “Well, there’s nine necklaces right there. And that’s nine more than we found last month.” He stood up and sighed while Crawdaunt hauled himself onto the pier.
 “I combed the entire shore,” explained Crawdaunt, “and I can tell someone other than us has been here. It’s gotta be Omastar and his guys.”
 “You’re probably right, but unless we can get the Staryu and Starmie to drop the star pieces willingly, we’re gonna be on the street by the end of the month.”
 “I’d sell this if I could," Crawdaunt added, pointing to the star on his head.
 Off to their right sat Harley the Meganium, embarking on another fishing trip here in the lovely Olivine City. The ports were bustling with activity on this fine day, and he couldn’t help but notice that everything Gyarados had demolished had been rebuilt. The city looked almost entirely new even though only a couple buildings were repaired.
 He swore he recognized one of the voices, though, and couldn’t help but turn to look. Yep, that was him, all right. Crawdaunt. That Crawdaunt. The same one he’d defeated in Cherrygrove City’s bank. The same one that launched his superhero career. Harley couldn’t help but smile knowing Crawdaunt had turned his life around after that day, although this pasture wasn’t as green as the lobster hoped it was.
 Just as Harley went back to fishing, he heard Crawdaunt say, “Uh-oh.” An enraged snort from Primeape followed. The Meganium turned his head just slightly enough to see what was going on in his peripheral.
 Three goons were approaching Crawdaunt and Primeape. Harley had been a vigilante long enough to recognize a hired goon when he saw one. A Pinsir was leading the way, joined by a Gurdurr and a Palossand. Some of the ghostly sandcastle’s grains blew away as a breeze rolled in, but were instantly replaced.
 “I couldn’t help but notice you’re still working on this pier,” Pinsir declared. His hands were on his hips, as if he had anything resembling authority.
 “What do you want, Pinsir?” demanded Crawdaunt. “We have every right to be here.”
 “No, you did. Until you ignored the boss’s demands to leave. He told you what would happen if he caught you down here again.”
 Pinsir looked down and saw the metal box full of star pieces. Then, he looked at Palossand, who nodded. The sandcastle inhaled, drawing the box into his mouth. Palossand then spat it back out, into the ocean, where it sank like a stone.
 At this point, Harley put the fishing rod away and disappeared behind the lighthouse hill.
 “Omastar has no authority down here. He’s not a union member or part of any such organization. We’re just trying to do our jobs, so why don’t you tell him to get bent?” Primeape snarled.
 “Get bent, huh?” said Gurdurr. “You need to be taught some manners, boy.”
 “I could say the same thing about you.”
 The goons turned around and saw Meganium Man standing about a yard away from them. None of them, especially Pinsir, were amused. He shoved his way past Palossand and Gurdurr and got in Meganium Man’s face.
 “And the vigilante man comes to save the day,” the beetle said, sizing up the caped crusader. “Look here, you masked moron. I’m only going to tell you this once, so listen up and listen good. And this goes for you two, as well,” he pointed to Crawdaunt and Primeape. “Get lost before you become part of the local marine life. ‘Kay?”
 Meganium Man’s face changed to that of defeat. He weakly nodded and turned around, ready to slink away. Satisfied, Pinsir crossed his arms and shared looks of triumph with his pals.
 Then the dinosaur whipped back around and socked him with a vine whip.
 Pinsir toppled into Gurdurr, who caught him while Palossand shuffled forward with surprising swiftness. A Shadow Ball was spat from its mouth, but Meganium Man twisted aside and the projectile missed. He returned fire, firing a hail of Bullet Seeds. Palossand held out one of his two towers like a palm, and the small projectiles were swallowed by the sand.
 Gurdurr leapt through the air, girder high above his head, and came crashing down. Meganium Man jumped out of the melee weapon’s path and heard the sharp whoosh of it slicing the air. Two vine whips shot out from underneath his neck petals to snag the beam, but then Pinsir rushed in and snapped the vines in half with his scissor-like horns. Shrugging off the pain, Meganium Man headbutted Pinsir right between the eyes and sent him stumbling away again, this time into Primeape, who shoved him to the ground.
 Meganium Man hadn’t noticed, but Palossand had gotten beside him. His other tower slammed against the dinosaur’s long neck like a 2x4 and knocked him off his feet. The sandcastle then appeared to rear onto a pair of nonexistent hind legs like a horse, but before he could slam back down and unleash his Earthquake attack, Crawdaunt fired upon him with Bubblebeam. A ghastly, agonized moan escaped Palossand’s gaping mouth and he collapsed beside the vigilante, who rolled aside and stood. Gurdurr was the only one of his cohorts still standing, but he looked doubtful about his ability to take him one-on-one.
 “Screw this,” Pinsir said, getting back up at last. “Let’s just go. We’ve already embarrassed ourselves enough by wasting time on Meganium Man.”
 “Sounds good to me,” replied Gurdurr. The two of them bolted ahead and were joined by Palossand after a couple moments.
 With that over, Meganium Man turned to Primeape and Crawdaunt to make sure they were all right. No harm done, according to Primeape, but he obviously had more to say.
 “I’m listening,” the green brontosaurus prodded.
 Crawdaunt was about to say something, but then they heard the wailing of police sirens in the distance. Two Arcanine were charging towards the trio, lights and sirens strapped to their backs. Between them was Sgt. Kommo-o, keeping excellent pace with the majestic tigers.
 What’s all this about? thought Meganium Man.
 Before he knew it, the two Arcanine and Kommo-o had formed a triangle around him. Although he’d seen the Arcanine before, Meganium Man didn’t recognize the sergeant and was pretty sure he’d never even seen a Kommo-o before. Crawdaunt and Primeape exchanged confused looks and stepped back.
 Stepping forward, his meaty hands on his hips, Kommo-o sized up the dinosaur and clicked his tongue.
 “Well, well, well. At long last, I finally get to meet the one and only Meganium Man. Such a shame it had to be under these circumstances.”
 “I’m sorry. You are…?” Meganium Man asked.
 “Sergeant Kommo-o, of Violet City. There’s no way to sugar coat this, so I’ll just come out and say it. You’re under arrest.”
 Meganium Man blinked half a dozen times. “What?”
 “See, uh, your kinds of acts aren’t permitted by law, I’m afraid. Vigilantism is a strict no-no when it comes to law enforcement. You should know where I’m coming from, considering that fiasco you got Onix involved with.”
 “I refuse to believe chief Zangoose put you up to this,” Meganium Man shot back. “If you said you were from Blackthorn City, I’d believe you.”
 “Believe it or not, chief Weavile also refused the job.” He noticed the vigilante’s surprised yet confused look. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
 The two Arcanine closed in, blocking off Meganium Man’s access to Route 40 and the east side of Olivine. Kommo-o was blocking his line of sight north to Route 39, which left the shallows of the shore behind him as his only option. Even Meganium Man doubted he would come out of this in one piece, in spite of some other ugly situations he’d found himself in.
 “Hang on just one minute!” barked Crawdaunt. “Those three have been harassing us for months, and you let them walk right by you. But the guy who stood up to them is under arrest? Are you for real?”
 “Three hooligans who talk tough aren’t my concern right now. Capturing Meganium Man is.”
 Kommo-o noticed how eager the two Arcanine were to pounce. They growled lowly, anticipating a challenge, and thin tails of smoke were seeping out from between their teeth as they prepared to launch their Fire Blasts or what-have-you. Meganium Man didn’t have anything resembling a plan and hadn’t expected such a situation to ever happen, although he knew he should’ve expected it sooner or later. Just in case Meganium Man caused trouble, the sergeant prepared to strike with Dragon Hammer. He balled up his two fists and clasped them together as they become shrouded in a royal red and blue aura.
 Trouble was exactly what he got. Meganium Man rammed his head against Kommo-o’s upper chest, knocking the wind out of him. Gasping for air, the sergeant fell onto his back and Meganium Man charged forward just before the two Arcanine could incinerate him. He heard fire crackling behind him, looked, and saw two watermelon-sized fireballs racing to the northeast and northwest, only to fizzle out to nothingness after a few seconds.
 “After him!” shouted Kommo-o.
 Both Arcanine were already doing just that and pursued Meganium Man to the nearest street, which was already flooded with various Pokémon as the afternoon rush started. They would capture him in seconds unless he got out of sight, and the dinosaur knew it. One Arcanine was a challenge to outrun. Two was impossible. Their sirens blared behind him and Pokémon stepped aside as the tigers blitzed ahead, and soon, Meganium Man found his salvation: a red garbage dumpster.
 He shoved his way through the crowd and ducked into an alleyway, opened the lid, jumped inside. Repulsive as the dumpster smelled, he had no choice but to close the lid and wait. The sirens and Kommo-o ran right past him and were none the wiser. Once the sirens had quieted, Harley took off his costume, tucked it into hammerspace, and emerged from the dumpster. He garnered looks, some curious, some disgusted, as he did so.
 Well, Harley thought, walking north to Route 39, they’re no chief Zangoose or Weavile, that’s for sure.

“Meganium Man, huh?” Omastar cued. He poured himself a drink from behind the bar into a glass. “What’s he doing out in Olivine?”
 He shuffled out from behind the bar, his free tentacles waving around wildly. The helix-shaped shell on his back dragged across the hardwood floor as he approached Pinsir, Palossand and Gurdurr. He took a sip of his drink and waved another tentacle impatiently, requesting an explanation.
 “Probably a coincidence,” Gurdurr said. “That’s kind of his life as a whole.”
 Omastar looked like he didn’t believe the coincidence part, although he was as in the dark as they were. The whole story was so bizarre, he didn’t know what to believe. Meganium Man appeared out of thin air like some kind of ghost, and lays a smackdown on the three of them with some help from Primeape and Crawdaunt. His black, slit-like irises darted over to his three cronies one by one like he was looking for an inconsistency in their story, but there wasn’t one. Meganium Man was at it again, and now Omastar was under his gun.
 After taking another sip of his drink, Omastar said, “Coincidence? For sure, but for him, it’s a very convenient one. The way I see it, we can either keep telling them to back off or take things a step further.”
 “How do you mean?” Pinsir asked.
 “We go after Kirlia, their manager.”
 Palossand made a sound as if chuckling in disbelief. It was the first time any of them had heard him vocalize something in response.
 “He’s right,” Pinsir replied, taking the floor. “If we take Kirlia out of the picture, they won’t have any choice but to back off. And while Meganium Man may come after us, he doesn’t stand a chance in a four-against-one battle.”
 “I’m less concerned about him trying to take us all on and more with him snooping around the shore. If he finds the microfilm, we’re finished.” Omastar’s tentacle clenched the glass tightly as he said this. “And since none of us can go back and look for it without arousing suspicion, our hands are tied.”
 “So, what do you want us to do, then?” cued Gurdurr.
 Omastar set his drink on the bar and stood near one of the stools. He struck the metal legs with one of his tentacles and bent them all outwards with ease, making the stool topple over, useless.
 “We take out Kirlia.”

Crawdaunt and Primeape were standing underneath a berry tree on the far north of Route 31, near the decrepit house Haunter had stashed the kidnapped children in. It was late in the night, the two were losing patience, and Primeape was pacing back in forth nervously.
 “Are you sure he said to meet him here?” Primeape asked.
 Looking over the note in his claw, Crawdaunt replied, “Route 31, north end, berry tree near old house. There’s nothing else matching the description here.”
 “You got it right.”
 They jumped, turned, and saw Meganium Man materialize from the woods behind the house. He casually approached the two.
 “So, what happened back there?” the vigilante asked. “What did those three goons want?”
 Primeape shrugged. “Beats us. Pinsir and company have been coming by once or twice a week since we started work and demanding we leave.”
 “Uh-huh,” replied Meganium Man. He then turned to Crawdaunt. “What was it you placed in that metal box earlier? And how long have you guys been at those docks?”
 Crawdaunt opened his pincer and showed Meganium Man a small, yellow, star-pieced shard of something. Meganium Man wasn’t quite sure what he was looking at or why it would interest someone like Pinsir or his cronies.
 “We don’t technically work the docks or piers, but the shore. We collect star pieces that fall off Staryu and Starmie for Kirlia, who runs a jewelry store in Olivine. Been doing it for about two months now.”
 Two months of harassment over what are essentially trinkets. Something about that didn’t sit right with Meganium Man, although he knew nothing about the jewelry industry. It could be as cutthroat as any other, he figured.
 “At first, we could find over thirty pieces from both Staryu and Starmie a day, but nowadays, we’re lucky to find even ten. I’m pretty sure this Omastar guy is having his lackeys comb the shore, where the star pieces generally wash up.”
 “Sounds more like he’s got something to hide,” Meganium Man theorized. “Who’s Omastar? A crooked union guy? Mobster?”
 Primeape shrugged.
 “Honestly? We have no idea what his interest in the shore is. I thought he was a competitor at first, but now that you say he might be hiding something, I’d say he’s some kind of mobster.”
 Crawdaunt made an inquisitive sound. Meganium Man looked at him.
 “Remember when Gyarados went on his little rampage a while back? It’s entirely possible that whatever Omastar’s hiding in the shore came loose and fell to the bottom of the ocean. Maybe it was destroyed altogether. How would he know either way?”
 Meganium Man stomped a foot lightly to show he was impressed with Crawdaunt’s thinking.
 “He wouldn’t, so he’s getting antsy. Obviously, it’s not something like a time capsule.” He rubbed a vine whip across his chin and rolled over some different scenarios in his head.
 Then, Meganium Man said, “Okay, I figure Omastar is gonna try and do something about Kirlia to show you he’s serious. Does she live in Olivine?”
 “Right on the outskirts of it on Route 39,” Crawdaunt explained.
 “I’ll head over there and stand guard until the morning. What I want you two to do is head back to the shore and see if you can find whatever it is Omastar’s hiding there. You’re pretty much trying to find a needle in a haystack, but we have an edge: we know it’s still there, and he doesn’t.”
 Crawdaunt and Primeape didn’t bother to think on it, and instead marched right back to Olivine City with Meganium Man two steps behind.
 On the way there, he started thinking about this Kommo-o fellow. According to his phone chat with chief Zangoose he had that afternoon, the police’s higher-ups are starting to worry about his superhero antics and tasked one Captain Serperior with finding someone to lead a task force dedicated to his arrest. Kommo-o was recently transferred from Alola and looking to prove himself, and as such, was given the job when Zangoose refused. That was all well and good, and knew that one day he would have to take on the dragon directly, but he couldn’t help but feel that his priorities were skewered in this regard. Then again, he probably lost Pinsir as they merged with the traffic.
 When the trio set foot in Olivine City, Primeape pointed out Kirlia’s house. It was a red clapboard bungalow with an enclosed porch, built on a street corner and directly across from her store. Meganium Man could see necklaces in the window illuminated by the dim moonlight. He set foot on the first step of the porch when he noticed something: the front door was ajar.
 He pointed at Primeape and motioned for him to come forward. Crawdaunt, meanwhile, continued ahead to the shore. Meganium Man slowly opened the door, stepped inside, and was joined by Primeape. They all but tiptoed down the hall to the bedroom and could hear hushed tones inside. Looking at his partner, Meganium Man mouthed Kirlia’s name, but Primeape shook his head. That wasn’t her voice.
 One of his front legs shot forward and he kicked the door open. Primeape rushed inside, flicked on the light switch, and saw Pinsir and Gurdurr standing near Kirlia’s bed. They either hadn’t gotten the chance to strike yet or had just finished.
 Kirlia yawned.
 Meganium Man’s two vines snagged Pinsir’s underarms and pulled him away from the bed. The brown beetle twisted around, grabbed the dinosaur’s head, and overpowered him. He slammed Meganium Man’s head into the mirror on Kirlia’s dresser, shattering the glass. As Kirlia shot up in the confusion, Primeape went after Gurdurr, who was turning around, his weapon ready to strike. Primeape ducked and the melee weapon swooped over his head.
 His own strike followed.
 It didn’t take long for Primeape to wind up his fist. His species had an infamous hair trigger temper which was amplified if someone they cared about was harmed. Primeape threw a brutal uppercut at Gurdurr’s jaw, which launched him into the air and out the window, into the backyard. Meganium Man, meanwhile, shoved Pinsir back and stomped on his kneecap, making him buckle on the spot with a yelp. When the beetle released him, the dinosaur threw a kick at his side for good measure, making him topple onto his side.
 The whole skirmish took only fourteen seconds.
 Primeape grabbed Pinsir by one of the horns and hauled him outside while Meganium Man went to Kirlia’s bedside.
 “…So, you see, that’s what they’re doing here. I think,” he explained.
 Kirlia sighed and put her head in her hands.
 “I remember when Crawdaunt and Primeape first told me about them coming by the docks. I thought they were trouble, but I didn’t think it would go this far. Who’s Omastar?”
 Meganium Man shrugged. “We don’t know, but he’s obviously desperate to make sure whatever’s in the shore doesn’t get found. It’s just a matter of finding it before he does, if at all.” He looked away for a moment, then back at Kirlia. “Speaking of, I’m gonna head out and see if Crawdaunt’s had any luck. Do you want to stay here with Primeape? Or come with me?”
 Stifling a yawn, Kirlia tiredly replied, “I’ll wait with Primeape. Be careful out there, Meganium Man. Palossand or even Omastar might be waiting to spring a trap.”
 As they headed down the hall, Meganium Man replied, “Palossand? Yeah, maybe. But Omastar wouldn’t show his face around there after what happened earlier.”
 He escorted Kirlia to the backyard, told Primeape what he was going to do, and went to it. When he arrived at the docks, he heard water sloshing about and followed it. He saw Crawdaunt swimming on his side, throwing punches at the rocky shore, his claws glowing light blue. Probably using Crabhammer, Meganium Man figured.
 The lobster noticed him and waved while throwing another punch at a rock, only to continue on. Then he abruptly swam back to it, opened his pincer, and caught something. From what the vigilante saw, it was just another piece of rock: the object was small and dark. Crawdaunt surveyed it cautiously, looked around, and finally resurfaced with the item in his hand.
 It was a film canister. He handed it to Meganium Man and climbed onto the wooden pier. The dinosaur gave it a quick look over and deduced this was whatever Omastar was hiding. What on earth would a film canister be doing hidden in a shore unless there was something incriminating inside of it? Just to be sure, he popped the lid open and looked inside to find a thin strip of film. Microfilm, to be exact.
 “We hit the mother lode,” Crawdaunt said.
 Meganium Man held the microfilm up to the moonlight, but although he could see something on it, he had no idea what it was. Some writing, as far as he could tell. He tucked the microfilm back in the canister, which he placed in hammerspace.
 “Let’s see if we can get Pinsir and Gurdurr to talk. This could, indeed, be what’s got Omastar in a tizzy.”
 He and Crawdaunt headed to Kirlia’s house, but when they entered the backyard, they saw Primeape lying wounded on the ground. Pinsir, Gurdurr and Kirlia were nowhere to be seen. Peculiarly, there were no signs of a struggle, and both of them doubted that either goon would get the jump on Primeape.
 Kneeling beside Primeape, Meganium Man asked, “What happened?”
 Grunting and huffing, Primeape replied, “It was that blasted Palossand! He sneaks up on us from underground, clobbers me with a tower, and then swipes Kirlia and the other two morons before pulling his vanishing act again.”
 He stood up and dusted himself off. “Please tell me your absence wasn’t in vain.”
 Meganium Man told him about what Crawdaunt found hidden in the shore, and even showed it to him. He held it up to the moonlight so Primeape could see the writing, but he couldn’t tell what it said. Again, Meganium Man put it away.
 “So much for that edge,” Primeape grumbled.
 Then, the phone inside Kirlia’s kitchen rang, clear as day. Meganium Man headed inside with Primeape and Crawdaunt, and answered it.
 “I am going to assume this is Meganium Man answering, and not Crawdaunt or Primeape.”
 “You must be Omastar.”
 Omastar made an affirmative grunt.
 “The way I see it, Meganium Man, you are at a standstill. Here, there’s someone who wants to say hello.”
 He heard Omastar shuffling across the floor, followed by Kirlia’s panicked breathing.
 “M-Meganium Man?” she said, weakly.
 ‘Kirlia? Are you all right?” the vigilante asked.
 “I’m fine—”
 Omastar’s voice returned.
 “But only while you’re playing by my rules. Now, if I’m listening to Palossand correctly, you have something that belongs to me.”
 “The microfilm.”
 Another confirming grunt. Meganium Man didn’t know how Palossand found out already, but he assumed the sandcastle went looking for Crawdaunt, saw the dislodged rocks but not the lobster, and drew his own conclusions. Palossand was better at his job than Pinsir and Gurdurr, anyway.
 “I’m probably not the first Pokémon to say this and won’t be the last, but you have a choice. You can either return the microfilm to me, in which case I’ll hand over Kirlia and my boys will back off. Or, if you prefer, you can destroy it instead.”
 Meganium Man was in a bind, and he hated it. One way or another, he was going to finally confront Omastar, but he’d gone up against enough bad guys to know they had no reason to stick to their word the moment things went right for them. He knew that if he destroyed the microfilm, he would lose his evidence against Omastar, so that was out. But he couldn’t just hand it over to him.
 Or could he?
 “I’ll do whichever you want as long as you let Kirlia go,” Meganium Man relented.
 “Good. Meet me at my mansion, in the bar.” Omastar prattled off his address. The building sat atop a hill on the northeast end of Olivine City and its front gate would be guarded by Pinsir.
 After Meganium Man jotted the address down, Omastar hung up. An uncomfortable silence fell over Kirlia’s house. Then, the brontosaurus started going through the kitchen drawers and pulled out a pair of scissors, along with a roll of scotch tape. He set them on the counter and took the microfilm out of the canister, passed it to Primeape.
 “What in the world are you doing?” Primeape asked.
 “If Omastar wants the microfilm so badly, we’ll give it to him. Our microfilm.” He then asked them, “I don’t suppose either of you have seen a pen around, have you?”

Omastar’s mansion was a grey brick affair with a blue pitched roof, sitting atop two acres of land he probably had no actual use for. A red brick wall surrounded the property, and Pinsir was, indeed, standing guard near the electronic locks. When Meganium Man, Crawdaunt and Primeape arrived, he pressed a red button beneath the keypad and spoke into the intercom.
 “They’re here, boss.”
 “Send them in,” Omastar’s voice crackled.
 The looming gates rolled open, and Pinsir led the trio up the smooth, concrete driveway, then around the east wing of the mansion, to the backyard. It was wide and spacious with a kidney pool, but Pinsir promptly headed down the steps next to the wall, opened the wooden door at the bottom, and stepped inside the bar. It smelled of smoke, but it was in excellent condition. Gurdurr and Palossand were at the pool table.
 Omastar stepped out from behind the bar, drink in hand, and flicked one of his tentacles at Pinsir. The beetle nodded and stormed over to a closet near the stairs on the opposite wall. He opened the door and dragged out Kirlia, who was chained to a chair, and set here in front of the door after closing it. Afterward, Palossand and Gurdurr approached the trio and patted them down, but found nothing on their persons and stepped back.
 “I always like it when the Pokémon I’ve got by the earlobes listen properly,” Omastar gloated. “Don’t suppose I can get the three of you anything?”
 “Just Kirlia,” Primeape snarled.
 Omastar set his drink on the bar.
 “You know the deal. Hand over the microfilm.”
 Meganium Man reached into hammerspace with a vine whip and pulled out the small, black cylinder. Palossand took it from him and shuffled over to his boss, handed it to him. After unscrewing the lid, Omastar dropped what he assumed would be his prize into another tentacle.
 But all that fell out was a long piece of paper, two feet long and no wider than a fingernail. Scotch tape had been wrapped around it to add to the effect. After Omastar dropped the canister with visible anger, he noticed something was written on the paper: a rude, unflattering and anatomically impossible remark. He crumpled it up and tossed it into the wastebasket behind him. His eyes never left the trio.
 “We had an agreement.” Omastar huffed with displeasure.
 Kirlia’s eyes widened as she realized what was about to happen.
 “Take a good look, Kirlia. You trusted these three with their lives, and even though I’m holding all the aces, they still thought they could outsmart me.”
 His mouth curling into a sneer, Meganium Man replied, “Not all of them.”
 The star on Crawdaunt’s head suddenly glowed, and he fired a dazzling array of small, golden stars at the ceiling lights, shattering them. The bar was plunged into darkness, the only source of light coming from the pale moonlight outside. It cast an eerie glow over the place.
 Meganium Man rushed in and tackled Omastar against a wall while Crawdaunt followed him and clipped the chains binding Kirlia, freeing her. Shortly after, Primeape grabbed her wrist and made his escape, leaving Meganium Man and Crawdaunt to fend off Omastar and company.
 It was bedlam in the bar. Omastar whipped the vigilante across the face with a whip-like tentacle and shoved him into the pool table as his eyes started adjusting to the darkness. Meganium Man rolled across it, landed on the other side, and was kicked upside the head by Pinsir. Crawdaunt fired a torrent of bubbles at Pinsir’s head, catching him by surprise and pelting him to the ground, out cold. With a mighty swing of the I-beam he carried, Gurdurr clotheslined Crawdaunt and slammed him against a wall.
 Palossand shuffled over to the lobster, grabbed him, and hoisted him onto his legs. Omastar snapped off the end of a pool cue so it was nice and sharp, hauled Meganium Man onto all fours, and jammed the tip of the stick to the dinosaur’s chin.
 “I’m only going to ask this once: where is the microfilm?” demanded Omastar.
 “Oh, come on. You know what the strip of paper said,” Crawdaunt replied.
 Before Omastar could impale Meganium Man’s brains, the vigilante managed to awkwardly shuffle around at an angle and fired over a dozen bullet seeds at Omastar’s helix shell. With a furious scream, the shellfish was forced to let his opponent go. Crawdaunt’s pincer glowed blue again, but Palossand all but flattened himself like a pancake and the Crabhammer swing missed.
 The pile o’ sand shuffled over to Meganium Man and pummeled him with one of its towers, which shot out of the heap like a hand reaching out of a grave. He clipped the dinosaur across the cheek and sent him staggering aside. Tucking in his limbs, Omastar curled into a ball and rolled forward, ramming Meganium Man against the wall with enough force to shatter bones. The pointed rocks on his shell dug into the green brontosaurus’s skin like daggers, but no blood was drawn and Omastar was forced to back off, lest he be stuck there.
 As Crawdaunt brought his claw back, Palossand returned his attention to the lobster. He then did something completely unexpected and opened fire with the Bullet Seeds he had absorbed during the fight on the pier. Although the first couple struck Crawdaunt in the gut, he learned quickly, went into a roll, and returned fire while coming up. His Bubblebeam attack dampened one of Palossand’s towers, turned the sand to mud, and led to it crumbling away as the last bubble hit it.
 Raising his other claw, Crawdaunt fired two intertwining jets of water straight for the sandcastle’s eyes. In response, Palossand spat out a Shadow Ball. The two attacks struck their targets dead-on: Palossand was reduced to a soaking, shivering mess within an instant, and the ghostly orb pelted Crawdaunt with enough force to send him crashing into the pool table. It collapsed underneath him.
 Two bad guys to go.
 Gurdurr sauntered over to Meganium Man and raised the girder above his head, but as he brought it back down, the sauropod rolled out of the way. While Gurdurr started pulling back, Meganium Man reached for the beam with his vine whips, and the two began struggling for the weapon in a tug-of-war. They grunted and snarled as they went at it, but Gurdurr was so freakishly strong that he quickly gained the upper hand. He pried the beam away.
 A headbutt followed him. It had become a favorite go-to attack for Meganium Man, since nobody ever expected it. As he stumbled back, reeling from the headbutt, Meganium Man stayed on him and shoved him against the wall, knocking him out.
 One bad guy to go.
 Omastar knew Meganium Man was tired, both from exertion and the lateness of the hour. He, on the other hand, had energy to spare. The vigilante turned to face him, but Omastar retaliated with Rock Blast. One of the small, pointed rocks on his shell was fired like a bullet and struck the dinosaur in the side. Despite not going particularly deep, this time, blood was drawn. He attacked again, firing a rock into one of his opponent’s back legs. Meganium Man cried out in pain and keeled over, waiting for the end.
 But then, Omastar made his biggest mistake.
 “Farewell, Meganium Man.”
 Instead of trying to finish the vigilante outright, Omastar attempted to torment him. All he actually did was buy Meganium Man a couple seconds of time, which he took advantage of. Rolling onto his back, one of the dinosaur’s neck petals shredded itself up and was fired off in razor-sized blades. Omastar realized his error too late, and as the Razor Leaf attack finished him, he cursed himself for being so careless. Blackness set in quickly, and the last thing he saw before passing out was the leaf petal reforming and reattaching itself to the bottom of the dinosaur’s neck.
 Crawdaunt came to less than a minute later, and saw Meganium Man awkwardly trying to stand despite having two rocks stuck in him. He immediately went to the dinosaur’s aide and wrapped an arm around his neck, allowing Meganium Man to lean against him.
 “Boy,” Crawdaunt said, “we sure did a number on this place. You think Primeape got the word out?”
 “For sure,” Meganium Man tiredly replied. “Listen.”
 Sirens. Police sirens, and they were on their way.
 Meganium Man reached into hammerspace with his vine whips and pulled out a pen and paper. He leaned against a wall while Crawdaunt hauled the four baddies to the front door and plopped them down in a neat little pile. Before he and Crawdaunt left the premises, Meganium Man taped his note on the bar door. It read: “To: Sgt. Kommo-o. Enclosed find four KO’d bad guys. Yours truly, Meganium Man.”
 They remained in the shadows on their way back to Kirlia’s house, but Meganium Man knew Kommo-o would just come after him again. And he would be ready. Maybe. Hopefully he didn’t kick the Beedrill’s nest with the note.
 Kirlia was waiting for them when they reached her house and gestured for them to come inside. Then, she and Crawdaunt helped Meganium Man dig the rocks out of his skin while going over what had happened.
 “So, I take it—ow!—that everything went smoothly?” Meganium Man asked while lying down on Kirlia’s sofa.
 “Very,” Primeape replied. “Switching the microfilm like that and leaving the real thing here was brilliant. When Kirlia and I got back, we called the cops about what was going on. Before going to the mansion, they came here first. And you’re never gonna guess who it was.”
 “Kommo-o, right?”
 Primeape nodded.
 “What’s his deal, anyway? You spit in his cereal, or something?” Crawdaunt asked.
 Meganium Man reiterated the conversation he’d had with chief Zangoose earlier that afternoon. None of them had any idea what to make of it, although the word ‘opportunist’ came to Primeape’s mind when it was mentioned that Kommo-o was a recent transfer.
 “In any event, I’m looking forward to going up against him when I’m better prepared. Should be fun,” the dinosaur said.
 As the last millimeter of the rock in his leg was taken out, Kirlia sighed with relief.
 “And, if that microfilm is of any real importance, I’m pretty sure that whatever’s on it will put Omastar away for a while. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about him and his goons anymore.”
 “That’d be nice,” Kirlia said, wistfully. “I can’t thank you enough for risking your life like that.”
 “Don’t mention it,” replied Meganium Man. “All in a day’s work.”

Kommo-o went into the stationhouse the next day with mixed feelings. Once again, Meganium Man had taken down an underworld scumbag directly under his noses. Not only that, but he had the audacity to gloat about it. Yet he didn’t feel furious. He actually found it kind of amusing in a self-righteous sort of way. No real harm had been done, but now Kommo-o felt encouraged to step up his game.
 As he passed the front desk, Gliscor, its clerk, buzzed over to him.
 “Just got forensics results on the microfilm.” He handed Kommo-o a five-page document that listed names, dates, and, of all things, method of execution.
 It was a hit list.
 Once Meganium Man found out what it was, he’d feel encouraged, too.
 “Very good, constable. I’m sure this means the next bars Omastar go to will be the grey bars,” Kommo-o said, boastfully.
 The flying scorpion returned to his desk while sergeant Kommo-o headed over to his. He took a manila folder out of the top drawer and placed the document inside, then stashed it in the filing cabinet that towered over his desk. Then, he sat down and pulled Meganium Man’s note out of the same desk drawer and looked it over.
 He chuckled.
 Sure, Meganium Man may have bested him this time. Yeah, he beat the odds. But the odds won’t stay in one Pokémon’s favor forever, no matter how good they may be.
 “I’m sure you’ll be a most worthy adversary, Meganium Man,” Kommo-o chuckled again. “A most worthy adversary indeed.”

The End of Episode #12!


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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2017, 09:04:35 pm »
Ask me about betrayal.
Ask me about depression.
Ask me about death.
Ask me about destruction.
Ask me about hardship.
I've been through s**t.
If you need to talk to someone, my PM inbox is always open.


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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2018, 04:03:23 pm »
I like the Meganium Mimikyu Bert! Also the title is perfect! Mega Man   Meganium Man! Meganium Man's real name should be Leaf like how Mega Man's is Rock!
Video games can bring people together or keep them from society. Your choice but trust me, it's better to hang with other people who share your values and interests then to become an introvert. Never let a game with fake prophecy fake killing, and fake weapons become more than a game of pretend. Never let them influence your real life actions. Real killing is wrong but a video game is just that if you keep it that way.
Keep Calm and Game On!

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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2018, 05:37:03 pm »
Meganium Man! #13: Identity Crisis
It was the dead of night, and Graveller felt like an idiot. There he was, hiding in the brush of Route 37, waiting for Meganium Man to appear. According to Druddigon, Meganium Man was now actively patrolling Johto at night, possibly out of humble defiance to Sgt. Kommo-o. Although Graveller thought it was pretty far-fetched, he, much like everyone else in Johto, Meganium Man included – had no idea what went through the vigilante’s head.
 He’d been camping out for three hours, and had been stationed there since midnight. He was hungry, tired and bored, and was getting ready to call it in. After all, if Kommo-o and two Arcanine couldn’t catch Meganium Man, what chance did he, a bounty hunter, have?
 A pretty blasted good one, it suddenly turned out.
 Meganium Man suddenly appeared from the west side of Route 36, which told Graveller that the vigilante had come from Violet City. Odd that Kommo-o didn’t nab him right then and there, the four-armed rock thought. Also, for whatever reason, Meganium Man looked smaller than he remembered and had a larger head than normal. But it was pitch black out due to heavy cloud cover, so what did he know. Meganium Man was running around with a carefree attitude, up the main road toward Ecruteak City.
 Picking up his walkie talkie, Graveller pressed the button and spoke.
 “Boss? It’s Graveller. Over.”
 Druddigon responded immediately. “Any luck?”
 “Yeah, as a matter of fact.” Now Graveller was squinting, as if his vision would magically sharpen. But it was nothing doing. “He just showed up, and heading for Ecruteak. Want me to move?”
 “Any sign of Kommo-o, Arcanine, or even a sidekick?” Druddigon asked.
 Graveller held his breath, looked around, and waited for someone else to appear, but nobody did.
 “No to all.”
 “Do it,” Druddigon ordered.
 Meganium Man was still in his line of sight and attack, and Graveller hadn’t earned his boss’s respect for making timing errors typical of action movie villains. There would be no attention-grabbing call of challenge, no dramatic appearance. Just his move.
 Raising his foot, Graveller slammed it back down on the ground and sent a shockwave throughout Route 37. Bird and bug Pokémon were jolted awake from their sleep and left the area in droves as Graveller’s Magnitude attack rocked everything around him. Including Meganium Man, who was thrown violently into the air with a sudden wail. The green machine pinwheeled a good ten or fifteen feet before crashing back to the ground, hard.
 Tucking the walkie-talkie into hammerspace, Graveller curled into a ball and rolled forward, kicking up dirt and grass behind him as he charged toward the discombobulated vigilante. With an arm outstretched, he scooped up Meganium Man and turned west, barreling down Route 36 to Route 32. Strange, he thought again: Meganium Man was lighter than he thought. Unusually so.
 In any event, Graveller was already on the move, and had no intent of stopping now. Ever since the bounty on Meganium Man had been announced three weeks ago, Druddigon and his two cronies – Graveller and Cinccino – were closely monitoring the vigilante’s actions. It came as no surprise that Meganium Man was now going out at night as if to mock Kommo-o; he had a lot of gall, although on several occasions, it didn’t seem like the dinosaur thought far ahead.
 Weaving between the trees so as to not leave behind an obvious trail, Graveller soon reached Route 32 and quickly made out his destination. Just west of Violet City and southeast of the Ruins of Alph were two large rocks that appeared to form an enclosure around a stout two level brick house. Coming out of his roll, Graveller took cover behind a tree and looked ahead at the structure. Its interior lights were on, although the curtains were drawn.
 Graveller strolled ahead and knocked on the front window three times, and then continued around the back to a descending staircase which led to a wooden door. He opened it, headed inside, and flicked on the light switch, casting a bright light over the basement. It was drab and cold, with very little in it other than a bathroom. Shortly after closing the door, Druddigon and Cinccino appeared from the stairs connecting the basement to the main floor. Cinccino’s long, bright white fur was almost ghostly in the light.
 “How’d it go?” Druddigon asked.
 “Piece of cake, oddly,” Graveller replied. He stood confidently, with a hand on his nonexistent waist. “Guess I caught him by surprise.”
 Cinccino was holding a pillow, which he set on the ground. Graveller kneeled and set Meganium Man down, at which point, he realized he’d made a serious mistake.
 He hadn’t captured Meganium Man at all. It was a Mimikyu dressed up like him.
 None of them could believe what they were looking at. The Mimikyu was wearing a green bedsheet with yellow pipe cleaners stuck on his head, and the red leaf petals were more starfish shaped and made out of red construction paper. The cowl and cape were also made out of bed sheets.
 “Correct me if I’m wrong,” Druddigon began, “but you were supposed to catch Meganium Man, not his bargain bin alternative.”
 “Shove it, Drud. I told you before I can’t see squat in the dark!” Graveller snapped.
 “That doesn’t explain how you didn’t notice it wasn’t actually Meganium Man,” the gargoyle replied. “I mean, he’s what, five foot ten? Give or take? This guy here is two feet, max.” He turned away and started toward the stairs. “Put him back wherever you found him. You better hope he doesn’t remember what you look like.”
 Cinccino kneeled as if to get a better look at the little Pokémon. He couldn’t help but notice how vibrant the colors of the bed sheets and the pipe cleaner were.
 “I think he’s a kid,” Cinccino said.
 Druddigon stopped dead and rejoined the two.
 “What makes you say that?”
 “Well, look at the colors of his disguise. There’s hardly a sign of wear on them. Not even a stain.”
 “Maybe he replaced them,” Graveller suggested.
 “No. Mimikyu don’t do that. If anything, they would patch up the costume,” explained Cinccino. “Replacing it puts others at risk of seeing their true form.”
 Druddigon grinned like a Sharpedo.
 “So based on that alone, I would guess this Mimikyu is no more than three years old,” Cinccino finished.
 One of Druddigon’s long arms reached over and slapped Graveller on the shoulder. Looking at his boss, Graveller shuddered the instant he noticed his twisted smile.
 “You did all right after all, Graveller!” Druddigon exclaimed.
 “W-what?” the rock asked.
 “Gentlemen,” Druddigon motioned to the unconscious Mimikyu, “we’re going to bring Meganium Man to us.”

Meganium Man had a bad feeling about the upcoming meeting. When he saw the news report about the missing Mimikyu, who was confirmed to be a mere child at that, he suspected something foul. But then Mimikyu’s parents reached out to him in a televised police interview that just happened to include Sgt. Kommo-o. So the green machine was on alert, to say the least.
 He told the boy’s parents to meet him near the abandoned house on Route 31, much like he’d done with Crawdaunt and Primeape some weeks earlier. Whether or not Kommo-o found out about this was unknown to him, as was his involvement with the investigation. But it seemed odd that Mimikyu’s folks asked for the dinosaur’s help specifically.
 Instead of walking down the main roads, Meganium Man took a detour through the plentiful forests Johto was known for and materialized from between two towering oak trees to the east of the abandoned house. He saw two Mimikyu there, their outfits old and ragged. One was dressed like a Charizard, wearing an orange bedsheet with crudely made paper wings. An angry face was drawn on with marker, yet there was still that silly, squiggly line mouth the species seemed to enjoy. The other Mimikyu was dressed up like a Salazzle. Its bedsheet was dark with some purple highlights, and there was something resembling a snout. Two torn strips of the bedsheet trailed behind it like tails.
 It was Salazzlekyu that noticed him first.
 “You actually came!” she said, her voice sounding warped. Charizardkyu turned his attention to the vigilante as he approached them.
 “I said I would,” Meganium Man replied while taking a quick look around for Sgt. Kommo-o. “Now, the way I understand it, your son went missing three days ago?”
 Charizardkyu nodded.
 “Did you get the police involved? Seems odd you would ask for me, specifically. There are Pokemon after me, you know.”
 “We do, but… well...” Charizardkyu looked at his wife, although Meganium Man couldn’t read their expressions. “Here’s the thing. He idolizes you.”
 Meganium Man raised an eyebrow.
 “You’re his hero, Meganium Man. He follows your exploits like they’re comic books.” Then he sighed. Meganium Man’s heart skipped a beat at that. “His, um, disguise is based on you.”
 Make that several beats. Ever since Kommo-o started gunning for him, Meganium Man had heard here and there about bounty hunters who were hoping to beat the police to the punch and capture him for a reward. He breathed deeply. It seemed like many Pokemon were taking ‘inspiration’ from him and now it was getting out of hand. Ari the Typhlosion, Vic the Feraligatr and Onix were at least adults.
 He actually felt sick.
 “All right,” Meganium Man began, desperate to keep his composure. “Do you have any idea where he might’ve been before he was kidnapped?”
 Salazzlekyu shook her head, but said, “He stayed close to Violet City, generally. He liked playing at night, in the shadows, because he knew what you’d gotten yourself into. Never went further than Ecruteak or the Ruins of Alph.”
 The idea of bounty hunters kidnapping a child dressed like him in order to grab the real thing was enough to send Meganium Man into a frenzy. He could feel his muscles and nerves burning just thinking about what he would like to do to such Pokemon.
 “Okay. Here’s what I want you to know. I am going to get your son back. No if’s, and’s your but’s. He is going to come home. In the meantime, you need to lay low. Chances are, whoever has your son knows about you trying to contact me. Don’t accept calls from any numbers you don’t recognize. If the police ask about me, tell them I’m involved, although they probably suspect that already. Now, you two ought to head home. But know this: I will not fail.”
 He waited a few moments for the two Mimikyu to leave. Then, with a heavy heart, Meganium Man made way for Route 36.
 It was difficult to avoid Violet city, since the woods around it were dense and difficult to maneuver through, but Meganium Man got it done. All he endured were some nicks here and there, but he arrived at Route 36 soon enough.
 What he didn’t know was that he had company. Druddigon, Cinccino and Graveller were hiding in the trees on the border of Route 36 and 37 and made him right away. So when Meganium Man appeared at the top of a small slope in the middle of the route, he inadvertently stepped right into their path.
 “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Cinccino whispered to his boss. “Are we lucky or what?”
 “I told you it would work. Meganium Man would jump into a volcano if it meant rescuing a child,” Druddigon replied.
 “Should we grab him now?” asked Graveller.
 “No. He’ll come this way eventually.”
 Meganium Man started his search by heading west, towards the National Park and its gate. He wished he knew what he was looking for. Aside from some snapped branches and some kicked-up gravel, there wasn’t anything to indicate a struggle may or may not have taken place. He kept his eyes and ears peeled, knowing that Pokemon were out to get him and would not balk at the chance the moment he was out in the open. Even though Route 36 wasn’t particularly active at the moment – all he saw was a Nidoqueen supervising her young as they played under the shade of a Berry tree – he knew it never hurt to remain on guard.
 Still, he felt like he was on a wild goose chase. Route 36 was small and U-shaped, but that didn’t take the woods into account. Who knew what he might find in there? And where would be the best place to start? Deciding to check the woods later, Meganium Man started for Route 37. But as he made the turn north, he caught something in his peripheral vision, coming in from the east.
 Sgt. Kommo-o. With two Arcanine as backup.
 He picked up the pace and continued to Route 37. Druddigon heard the police coming but remained still, as did Graveller and Cinccino. Luck appeared to favor them: they still had a few minutes to bag Meganium Man and run.
 “Now’s your chance, Cincci,” the rocky dragon said.
 Cinccino’s eyes glowed a bright, emerald green as he watched the dinosaur. Then, the grass around Meganium Man’s feet became like vines and snared his feet, flipped him into the air. Druddigon stepped out of cover, his claws shrouded in a red and blue aura, and planted a foot on Meganium Man’s side when he hit the ground.
 “What in the--” the vigilante said, only to become entangled in the grass once again as it wrapped around his ankles and torso. He looked up and saw the gargoyle, a vile grin on his nonexistent lips.
 “Sssh,” Druddigon hissed, pressing a finger to his mouth. “Keep quiet and we won’t have any problems.”
 Meganium Man squirmed but the grass knot had him pinned down tight. He could already feel the circulation in his feet lowering.
 Then Cinccino appeared behind Druddigon. “We have maybe two minutes before the police arrive,” he warned. His eyes were still glowing green.
 “You must be the ones who kidnapped Mimikyu,” Meganium Man growled.
 “We wanted you instead, but Graveller’s an idiot,” said Druddigon. He then turned to Cinccino and ordered, “Get ready to run.” He was still ready to use Dragon Claw. “Graveller! Now!”
 Graveller stomped a foot on the ground, hard. The ground beneath Meganium Man, Druddigon and Cinccino started to quake. Pokemon living in the trees once again fled in panic, bugs and birds alike. Alarms sounded in Ecruteak City once the tremor from the Magnitude attack reached it.
 The grass holding Meganium Man down finally released him, and he took the chance to strike back. The leaves around his neck became like small razor blades and blitzed for Cinccino. Both he and Druddigon were caught off-guard and Cinccino was thrown backward from the leaves’ impact. While they returned to Meganium Man’s neck he trashed around beneath Druddigon, striking the back of his leg with his tail. Stumbling, Druddigon backed off.
 Meganium Man got up and Druddigon took a swing at him with Dragon Claw. The vigilante ducked and the gargoyle’s long arm swooped over him. He then reared onto his hind leg’s and rammed a front foot into Druddigon’s snout. He staggered away.
 And then Kommo-o appeared.
 “Everyone freeze!” the Komodo dragon barked, the two Arcanine flanking him. “Get down on the ground! You’re all under arrest.”
 “Sarge, there’s a--” Meganium Man interjected.
 “Quiet! I said get on the ground!”
 Graveller, still hiding in the woods, attacked again. White orbs of energy surrounded him, appearing out of thin air. The orbs then became like hard rocks that were half his body size, and he threw his arms forward, as if hurling the rocks. They flew into the air in an arc and rained down upon Kommo-o, Meganium Man, and the two Arcanine.
 Kommo-o quickly saw the shadows of the incoming projectiles and ordered the two Arcanine to split. The two Arcanine jumped out of the way while also lunging for Druddigon and Cinccino, while Kommo-o sprang for Meganium Man.
 “You won’t get away from me this time!” the sergeant declared.
 Meganium Man threw himself aside when Sgt. Kommo-o’s ice-coated fist barreled towards him. He hit the ground and rolled, but the dragon’s tail was glowing brightly. Kommo-o pivoted around on his heels just as the dinosaur was getting up. He struck Meganium Man with Dragon Tail dead-on, lashing out with a scooping motion to launch him into the air, but not out of his sight.
 One of the Arcanine was going after Graveller, moving at such blinding speed he left several afterimages behind. The next thing Graveller felt was something powerful crashing into him hard enough to throw him against a tree. Bark fell around his feet and he keeled over, his entire body racked with pain.
 Arcanine was nowhere to be seen.
 Two more rock projectiles formed, this time in Graveller’s palms. He stood up on shaky feet and looked around, but there was still only one Arcanine visible – and he was dealing with Druddigon and Cinccino. He stepped forward, unaware that his attacker was only a few feet behind, moving with such caution and grace that he made no noise.
 Until a branch snapped under his paw.
 Graveller immediately whipped around and used Rock Throw, pelting Arcanine with the projectiles in his hands. He wasn’t aiming at anything in particular but struck Arcanine’s side, decking him.
 Meganium Man slammed against the ground hard enough to leave a small hole, but forced himself to get up. His leaf petals started absorbing the sun’s rays, dancing lightly as he used Synthesis to try and heal his injuries. But then Kommo-o rushed him and slammed him against the trunk of a nearby tree, pressing a forearm to his neck to pin him there. He started applying pressure.
 “You lose, Meganium Man,” the dragon growled. “Not even Chief Zangoose will get you out of this.”
 Struggling for air and forced to pause between words, Meganium Man snapped back, “We’re on the same side! Those three are kidnappers!”
 “Yeah? Once you’re down, they’ll have time to tell me all about it.”
 Meganium Man looked over at Arcanine, who was being ganged up on by Druddigon and Cinccino. The gargoyle fired a small but potent red and blue fireball from his mouth, but Arcanine leaped over him and crushed him to the ground with a clawed paw.
 That was when Cinccino took over. His long fluffs of bright-white fur turned yellow, and lightning cracked in his small hands. Hearing the crackle of electricity, Arcanine turned around, flames rolling in his jaws. He was too slow. Cinccino’s Thunderbolt attack hit him first and sent Arcanine flying up Route 37 towards Ecruteak City, catching Sgt. Kommo-o’s attention.
 He looked over his shoulder for just a second, but that was enough for Meganium Man. He used a vine whip to uppercut Kommo-o, then throw another blow at his plated chest. Kommo-o staggered back, only for another vine whip to strike his face. His head whipped aside and Meganium Man charged him, tacking the sergeant hard enough to knock him to the ground.
 Kommo-o was down. The Arcanine were down. Druddigon, Cinccino and Graveller were closing in.
 “He’s right, you know,” Druddigon said. “Even if we get in touch with Zangoose, he’ll still have to take you in.”
 “He’d probably be more interested in you assaulting an officer. I would like to know where you’re holding Mimikyu.”
 “Yeah, I’m sure you would. But there’s only one way you’re going to find out: by surrendering to me.”
 Meganium Man said nothing.
 “What’s to stop sergeant Kommo-o and the Arcanine from--?”
 Cinccino’s eyes glowed green again. The grass around the three defeated Pokemon snared them much like it had snared Meganium Man earlier, holding them to the earth. The Arcanine’s mouths were also clamped shut by the knotted grass. He could hear the tigers growling with rage, all three Pokemon struggling in their binds.
 “All right, get moving. Say your goodbyes on the way,” Druddigon snapped as he shoved Meganium towards Route 36.
 The trio formed a triangle around him, with Druddigon taking the lead. Meganium Man looked back at the thrashing Sgt. Kommo-o and flashed him a glare. For a moment, the dragon stopped struggling and returned a look of his own.
 Good prioritizing, Meganium Man thought.

Meganium Man was taken to Route 32, past the Ruins of Alph, and then to Druddigon’s house. Along the way, he found himself growing increasingly angry with Kommo-o. He had three kidnappers ripe for the taking, and instead decides to make an embarrassment out of himself and the force by prioritizing Meganium Man.
 The guy who was trying to stop said kidnappers.
 That idiot.
 Oh, well. Meganium Man had proven that he could handle himself in a crisis, and he didn’t plan for this to be an exception. Not after he made that promise to Mimikyu’s parents.
 He was escorted around the back of the house and taken down the stairs leading to the basement. Cinccino undid the locks and opened the door, and Graveller shoved him inside. Meganium Man tripped over the threshold and crashed to the concrete floor.
 Druddigon walked past him to the bathroom door, which was barricaded shut with wooden boards. He sank his claws into the wooden planks and ripped them off the door, tossed them aside. Then he opened the door and revealed the captured Mimikyu, shaking with fear. The boy’s green bedsheet had water stains on it from crying.
 Meganium Man’s anger was growing.
 “Look who’s here!” Druddigon said, motioning to the caped crusader. “Your hero!” Then, he turned to Meganium Man. “Meet your number one fan, I guess.”
 He shuffled Mimikyu out of the bathroom and closed the door. The kid tripped over his bedsheets and collapsed on the ground. None of the bounty hunters were concerned.
 “You two, guard the doors,” Druddigon ordered to his cohorts. “I’ve got a call to make.”
 “How do you expect this to work out, exactly?” asked Meganium Man. “You interfered with an officer’s arrest and attacked them to get to me. The way I figure it, Kommo-o’s gonna take you in for assault, kidnapping and child endangerment.”
 “Kommo-o’s head is so far up hammerspace that I have no doubt he’ll give us slaps on the wrist for capturing you,” the gargoyle replied.
 “That’s unless Chief Zangoose comes down here instead.”
 “When I dangle you over the line, Kommo-o will gladly tell his boss to shove it. After all, bringing you in is his job. I’ve dealt with cops like Zangoose before and know exactly how to grease their wheels.” He leaned in and got in Meganium Man’s face. “The fact is, you’re finished. And there’s nothing you can do about it.”
 Druddigon turned away and headed upstairs, with Graveller following him. Cinccino left through the other door and locked it. The door leading to the ground floor was locked as well, and Meganium Man and his number one fan were all alone.
 He started looking around for any other means of escape. Aside from the doors, the only way out was through a window that was much to small for him to squeeze through. And with Cinccino just outside, there was no way he was going to risk letting Mimikyu make a run for it to find help. Sure, he could always ram one of the doors, but he was tired and outnumbered.
 “So, I hear you’re a fan of mine,” the dinosaur said while trying to think of a plan.
 “Uh… Y-yeah,” Mimikyu replied, having absolutely no idea what to do. “Who were those guys?”
 “Just some thugs whose lives I’m going to enjoy making miserable,” Meganium Man replied. He looked at the kid squarely. “Are you all right? Have they been feeding you? Letting you get fresh air?” He couldn’t ignore the fact that Mimikyu was still shivering.
 “Sometimes they open the window, but that fluffy guy is always nearby.”
 Meganium Man wrapped a vine around the kid and sat down beside him. He started rubbing Mimikyu’s back in an effort to reassure him. He didn’t like the way Mimikyu completely avoided answering if he’d been fed.
 “Where are my mom and dad? Have you seen them?”
 “Yes. They’re worried sick about you. I told them I would bring you back home safe.”
 “You are?”
 The dinosaur nodded. “I would never lie like that. But we might have to wait a little bit first.”
 Mimikyu groaned and slumped against his idol.
 “I just wanna go home. I wanna see my mom and dad,” he sobbed.
 “You will. I’m gonna make sure of it.”
 Meganium Man shrugged.
 “We’re gonna escape, leave those three for the police, and then I’m gonna get you home safe and sound.” He clicked his tongue. “I’m just not sure if it’ll work out the way I want it to. But you’re going home one way or another.”

“What in the world gives you the right to assault one of my officers, you worthless little git?” Chief Zangoose barked over the phone. “Do you have any idea what I am capable of? Do you have any idea just what’s going to happen to you?”
 “I asked to speak to Sergeant Kommo-o, not hear your life story,” Druddigon replied. “Are you going to put him on or not? I’ve got something he wants.”
 Zangoose started to go off again, but then someone took the phone away. A different voice came over the line and graced Druddigon’s ear.
 “You have two minutes to convince me to let you go,” Kommo-o stated.
 “I have Meganium Man,” Druddigon replied.
 “You also have an innocent child you used to bait him.”
 “An unfortunate part of a brilliant plan.”
 Kommo-o snorted.
 “Do you have the reward money?” Druddigon asked.
 “You must be joking.”
 “Do you have the reward money?” he asked again, this time making it sound more like a demand.
 Kommo-o was silent for a moment. The dragon was wondering how he should proceed. He was surprised Meganium Man had voluntarily surrendered until he learned what was actually at stake, and wondered if his overzealous pursuit had gotten the better of him.
 The way he saw it, the best course of action was to surrender the money and then snag Druddigon or whoever was sent to collect it. He hated that a bounty hunter was calling the shots, but he had both the vigilante and an innocent child. Kommo-o didn’t want to risk the kid’s life, but he knew Meganium Man could handle himself.
 He sighed.
 “Put him on,” Kommo-o requested.
 “You don’t get to make any dema--”
 “I just need to know that he’s actually there. He may’ve escaped by now for all you know. Surely you’d know that, having kept up with his exploits and all?”
 Druddigon snarled and left the kitchen, headed down to the miserable, drab basement. Meganium Man and Mimikyu were sitting there, not doing much of anything. Both of them watched as Druddigon stomped toward them, a phone in his hand. He shoved it in the vigilante’s face.
 “Make a sound so he knows you’re alive,” Druddigon snapped.
 “Hello?” Meganium Man said into the phone.
 Sgt. Kommo-o’s voice came back.
 “Is Mimikyu okay?”
 “For the most part. He’s in better spirits now that I’m here.”
 “Good, good.”
 “Southeast of the Ruins of Alph.”
 Druddigon’s eyes widened and he ended the call. He struck Meganium Man with a fist, smashing the vigilante to the floor. Strolling past him and his young captive, Druddigon opened the door leading outside and addressed Cinccino.
 “We’re about to have company. Make sure they don’t leave.”
 He then locked the door, gave Meganium Man and Mimikyu a final, hateful glare, and stormed back upstairs. He slammed the door behind him.
 “What’s going on?” Graveller asked.
 “Meganium Man gave the cops our location. We have maybe five minutes before they get here.”
 “So what are we gonna do?”
 Druddigon was clenching his fists so tightly that his claws were digging into his rough, rocky skin. He had no idea what he was going to do except leave and let Graveller and Cinccino fend for themselves.
 For the first time in his life, Druddigon was afraid. He’d kicked the Mega Beedrill’s nest and was about to face the swarm.
 But he could take Meganium Man down with him.

The phone in Sgt. Kommo-o’s hand suddenly started emitting a dial tone. He grinned widely and walked over to the map of the Johto region pinned to a corkboard on Chief Zangoose’s wall.
 “What’s up?” Zangoose wondered aloud.
 “Meganium Man came through. We got a location.”
 He traced his finger from Violet City over to the Ruins of Alph, which was to the southwest. Then he moved from the ruins to Route 32. Meganium Man’s wording was very precise: southeast from the Ruins of Alph. Not just south. He asked Zangoose if he had a map of Route 32. In response, the chief opened a desk drawer and rummaged through a stack of papers before taking out a map. He spread it open on his desk.
 “Where are we looking?” asked the chief.
 “Southeast of the Ruins of Alph,” Kommo-o replied, dragging his finger around the map.
 He started thinking things over. Druddigon and company would probably want to stay relatively close to Violet City for supplies, but set up camp somewhere that nobody would accidentally find them. Probably no farther than the ocean and definitely nowhere near Union Cave.
 Then he saw it. A small plot of land enclosed by two large rocks. It was perfect. Druddigon could remain out of sight but still have direct access to the road and the path to the ruins if he needed them.
 “Right there,” Kommo-o said, pointing. “Or at least, that’s the best place to start.”
 Chief Zangoose got out of his chair and headed out the door with Kommo-o following. The sergeant knocked on a couple doors along the way, and soon they were joined by Seviper, Girafarig and Quagsire. It wouldn’t take them long to find Druddigon’s hideout, if that’s where it was.
 They just hoped they got there in time.

Meganium Man sat up, feeling his face with a vine whip. Druddigon had struck him hard enough to draw blood, but not a lot.
 “Are you okay?” Mimikyu asked.
 “I’ve felt worse,” replied Meganium Man. “Come on, we’re getting out of here.”
 He got up and approached the door, peeking through the door and the frame to see if he could spot Cinccino. The space between was minuscule, but he could see a tuft of white and grey fur. Cinccino had to be standing right outside, anticipating the police. That meant he would be caught off guard.
 Meganium Man backed up to the stairs and took a deep breath. Then he charged forward and rammed the door with such force, the locks shattered. The door flew open at incredible speed, blindsiding Cinccino and slamming him against the wall. Cinccino slumped against the ground, out cold. A doorknob-shaped bruise was on his head.
 Kneeling, Meganium Man said to Mimikyu, “Hop on my back.”
 The boy did so, holding onto the dinosaur’s blue cape with a ghostly hand tucked underneath his disguise. Meganium Man had to give him credit: despite what he’d been through, Mimikyu was keeping it together very well.
 He ran up the steps and into the night. He saw the road to his left. Running towards it, he suddenly detected something coming up behind him and looked over his shoulder.
 Graveller was barreling towards him, using his Rollout attack. Meganium Man kept going and jumped onto one of the rocks, digging into it with his claws. He scrabbled up to safety, turned around, saw Graveller coming, and waited.
 When Graveller was fifteen feet away, Meganium Man said to Mimikyu, “Hang on!”
 Right before the bounty hunter could crash into the rock, Meganium Man jumped onto the other one. Mimikyu exclaimed something in excitement as they soared through the air.
 The impact was a hard one, but nothing Graveller couldn’t shake off. He was built for such collisions, but Meganium Man wasn’t. Neither was Mimikyu.
 So he wasted no time using Razor Leaf, firing the petals around his neck at his opponent. They came after Graveller like saw blades and he was too slow to move. His skin was marked with deep cuts and slashes, and he roared in fury, trying to fight off the pain. Then the leaf petals returned to the dinosaur’s neck. The four-armed rock stepped forward.
 “Good job, idiot. You’ve trapped yourself,” Graveller said with a snort. He winced and clenched his hand into a fist.
 Druddigon appeared from the other side of the house, approaching his partner in crime.
 “Just give up, Meganium Man. You’ve done yourself in. The police will be here any minute, and if they don’t catch you, I will!” he announced.
 Whose head is up hammerspace? Meganium Man wondered.
 “You’ll certainly try,” replied the dinosaur, trying to buy time.
 Druddigon saw right through it. He opened his mouth and unleashed a stream of blue and grey fire, forcing Meganium Man to throw himself off the rock. He slid down the opposite side and onto the grass but heard Graveller coming after him again. Gathering up some spit, Meganium Man stood his ground and waited.
 When the rolling rock appeared, Meganium Man opened fire with Bullet Seed. He struck Graveller directly and he quickly lost his balance. Nonetheless he kept coming, determined to take Meganium Man down with him. Graveller went off course a bit and abruptly slowed, lashing out with an arm in a desperate effort to trip up the dinosaur. Meganium Man jumped aside and the strike missed.
 He used a vine whip to snare Graveller’s wrist. Spinning him around, he then socked Graveller square in the face with another vine. It was a hard blow, hard enough to knock Graveller out, even. The bounty hunter hit the dirt. Even Meganium Man was surprised.
 Two down. One to go.
 Cautiously, he stepped out from behind the rock. Druddigon wasn’t there. Meganium Man gathered up some more spit just in case the leader of the bounty hunters appeared. Even if Bullet Seed didn’t do much, it would at least encourage Druddigon to keep his distance.
 Meganium Man knew he needed to get away from the house. But going to Violet City didn’t sit well with him, and not just because Kommo-o was on his way. Waiting out at the border of the city and Route 32 seemed exactly like something Druddigon would do.
 So he walked south, remaining on alert for any sudden movement or sound. Mimikyu still had a tight grip on his cape’s collar. Good. If he didn’t feel that…
 Mimikyu was scared senseless. He was doing his best to keep himself together, but falling apart was all too tempting. He’d been crying for days in fear, much to Druddigon’s annoyance, and even with his idol here he didn’t know if he’d ever see his family again.
 “Hey,” Meganium Man said quietly.
 Coming out of his trance, Mimikyu saw that the dinosaur was staring at him and walking towards the lake.
 “It’s gonna be OK.” He smiled warmly.
 The grip on the cape tightened.
 Just as Meganium Man was about to reach the pier, Mimikyu suddenly cried, “Look out!”
 Druddigon came storming out of the woods like a dragon possessed and tackled Meganium Man against a wall of rock. Mimikyu flew off Meganium Man’s back. Bringing up a vine whip, the vigilante whipped his enemy across the face as hard as he could. He attacked again but Druddigon raised an arm and slashed the vine in half with the spikes on his arms. Druddigon rammed a knee into Meganium Man’s chest, making him buckle, following up with a hard blow to the head. Meganium Man went down.
 He stepped away before Meganium Man could retaliate. As he expected, Meganium Man attempted to hit him with his tail, but he struck nothing but air. The dinosaur stood only for Druddigon to kick him upside the head and knock him back down again. Rolling back, Meganium Man barely avoided having his skull caved in as Druddigon slammed a foot down on him.
 A vine whip struck Druddigon’s ankle, throwing him slightly off balance. Meganium Man shot up and tackled him, wrapped his vines around the dragon’s torso. Sinking his claws into the vigilante, Druddigon twisted aside and hurled Meganium Man to the dirt. He collapsed with him and went in for the killing blow, his claws red and blue, but the dinosaur smashed a foot against Druddigon’s snout. He tried to keep his grip but another foot slammed the side of his head and Druddigon staggered away.
 It was time to get out of here. They had only been fighting for a minute or so but the police were coming. Meganium Man didn’t want to risk another encounter with Sgt. Kommo-o. Picking himself up, he looked around for Mimikyu and found him hiding in the long grass just north of the lake, almost blending in. The moonlight made his mask and cape look almost ghostly. For the first time in days, Mimikyu actually felt hopeful. This was it. He was going home.
 Approaching the youngster, Meganium Man said, “We gotta move.”
 Mimikyu suddenly took his eyes off the dinosaur. Meganium Man saw the gargoyle’s shadow too late: a hard blow crushed him to the grass. He rolled over and then Druddigon was on him, a murderous glint in his eyes. He wrapped his clawed hands around the vigilante’s neck and began sinking his claws into the green machine’s throat. Meganium Man wrapped his vines around Druddigon’s neck but was already feeling himself slipping into unconsciousness.
 “I’m not going down by myself!” Druddigon snarled. “You’re going down with me!”
 Mimikyu had started to retreat further into the grass, but something stopped him. His hero was back there, getting the life choked out of him.
 He needed his help. But what could Mimikyu do? He was just a kid and didn’t know how to do anything other than run around and bump into things.
 And wear a bedsheet.
 Running back to the fight, Mimikyu Man called out, “Hey! Ugly!”
 Druddigon bought it and looked over at the ghost. A long, shadowy hand appeared from under the green bedsheet and ripped it off, petals and all. Before Druddigon could look away, he had already caught a glimpse of Mimikyu’s true form in all its ghastly, eldritch glory. His grip on Meganium Man’s throat loosened, and the vigilante drew a long breath right away.
 Then the dragon started screaming in pure terror, his mind desperately trying to forget what it saw to no avail. Meganium Man slammed a foot against his chest and knocked him away, leaving the bounty hunter to scream to his heart’s content until he was found and arrested.
 “Can I look now?” Meganium Man asked.
 Getting up, Meganium Man saw that Mimikyu had put his disguise back on. He ignored Druddigon’s screams for help and let the youngster hop on his back, the terror finally over.
 “Where to?” asked the dinosaur.
 “Violet City!” Mimikyu cheered, excited to finally go home.
 And Meganium Man ran off into the night.

He stuck to the woods and ran north. Immediately after vanishing into the trees, he saw Chief Zangoose, Sgt. Kommo-o, and a small band of police rushing to the scene. They completely missed him and he continued to the city, following Mimikyu’s directions.
 Soon they arrived a small brick bungalow on the east end of town. The lights inside were on. Meganium Man walked up to the front door, triggering the light overhead. He reached out with a vine whip and knocked.
 Charizardkyu opened the door and his face instantly lit up when he saw who was sitting on Meganium Man’s back. Salazzlekyu appeared from what Meganium Man guess was the living room, off to Charizardkyu’s left. She gasped.
 “You did it,” she muttered. “You actually found him and brought him home!”
 Meganiumkyu jumped off the vigilante’s back and ran to his parents. They embraced him and he them.
 “I said I would,” Meganium Man replied.
 He turned away and was about to start his walk back to New Bark Town, but Charizardkyu called out to him.
 “Wait. How can we ever repay you?”
 Meganium Man turned around and smiled.
 “No need. It’s what I do.”
 He watched the happy reunion for a moment before remembering that Zangoose and Kommo-o would be returning with their prisoners. Hurriedly, he made tracks for the border of Violet City and Route 31, stopping when a sound caught his ears.
 Sgt. Kommo-o was the first to appear, Druddigon in tow. A hand was clamped over the gargoyle’s mouth to muffle his screaming. It wasn’t long before Kommo-o noticed him, prompting Meganium Man to wave with a vine whip. Kommo-o grimaced, as if to show his amusement.
 He’d been bested by Meganium Man once again. But, fate willing, it would be the last time.
 With that, Meganium Man vanished into the forests of Johto.

The End of Episode #13!


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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2018, 03:22:33 pm »
This is really fun. I look forward to catching up in it and reading more. :)


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Re: Meganium Man!
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2018, 10:21:08 pm »

this is a tradition now.
Ask me about betrayal.
Ask me about depression.
Ask me about death.
Ask me about destruction.
Ask me about hardship.
I've been through s**t.
If you need to talk to someone, my PM inbox is always open.