The Dark Type

BY : Manifest Destiny
Category: Pokemon > General
Dragon prints: 21550
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon. Pokémon is copy write by GameFreak, INC. and Nintendo. I make no money from this story, nor do I seek any. All elements from Equilibrium belong to Skyler. All unique characters and plot lines belong to me.

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The Dark Type

Arc 1: A Summons to Newbark Town

Chapter 1: A Break from the Monotony

—————

[“…The storm can be seen here, heading south from the northwest, and should miss most of the Olivine and Ecruteak City areas. Projected snowfall is estimated to be anywhere from nineteen to thirty-four inches. The storm is expected to begin late Friday night, and continue throughout all of this weekend. Areas that should see the most significant accumulation are the Mahogany Town and Lake of Rage areas, while the storm could reach as far west as Blackthorn, a as far south as Violet City. Even though the last of the snow we received over the holidays is finally starting to melt, it seems that we have quite a bit more in store for us this winter season.”] The weatherman had just finished his report on the coming snowstorm about to hit northern Johto.

[“Thank you, Tom. People living in the areas of the projected snowfall should be advised to only leave your homes if it is absolutely necessary. If anyone should head out into the storm, be sure to use extreme caution when doing so. Be sure to tune into Rapid78 News as we’ll have up to date road conditions as the storm develops later this week. That’s it for this evening’s Tuesday night news broadcast. I’m Steve Johnson—”]

[“—And I’m Tom Jay—”]

[“—wishing Johto well in this active winter season. Good night.”]

—————

The television continued to run; moving onto ads for the sponsors of the night’s broadcast as Iruni Thomas got up from the couch. He switched off the screen and walked through the living room, heading up to his room on the second floor. Nothing interesting ever comes on right after the news is over, he thought to himself. He got up to his room and pushed open the door.

Iruni was greeted with a lazy bark that came from the half-asleep Houndour lying on Iruni’s bed.

“There you are,” Iruni sat down next to his Dark Pokémon and scratched behind his ears. “Have you been sleeping all day, Karros?” It wasn’t a real question, not one he didn’t already know the answer to; without much to do around the house, his Pokémon often spent most of the day asleep.

Karros whined as he let out a long, drawn out yawn.

“I guess the cold can have that affect even on you…”

Iruni got up and sat down at his computer. While milling about on the internet, he decided to check up on the snowstorm that the news had mentioned. Iruni missed the beginning of the piece on the storm, and checked the website’s online weather radar. From the image on the radar at “Rapid78”’s website, the storm’s size looked as if it could stretch across half of the region. Now, I’m a fan of a little snow, but this is a little ridiculous.

“This will probably shut down the roads for a week, don’t you think, Kar?” Iruni asked Karros, who probably was asleep. “And what’s that say about a town with an Ice Type Gym Leader? Would that go under ‘gross incompetence’?”

Karros then perked up from where he was laying and let out a quick bark, which Iruni thought was his Pokémon actually being interested in something other than his own sleep schedule, until a familiar voice sounded outside his room.

“Who’s saying a lot about who now?” asked someone at his door.

Iruni’s sister Katelyn had taken the liberty of letting herself in. She was followed—almost instantly—by her Dratini, Azula. The Dragon Pokémon had been Katelyn’s Pokémon for as long as Iruni could remember. She had been given an Everstone, which was set into a simple collar around her neck, to wear at all times. The reasons being twofold: so she could, as Katelyn put it, “Stay as cute as she is forever!”, and having a Pokémon as big as Dragonair or a Dragonite would pose interesting problems in such a modest household; after all, Dratini alone were five feet long.

“There’s a new concept called ‘knocking’. I enjoy it personally, but it’s obviously not for everyone,” said Iruni.

“Sarcasm, that’s a nice touch. What’s this about roads being shut down?”

“Eavesdropping is also frowned upon these days, you know…” mocked Iruni. At the look of impending doom being set upon him by his older sister, he continued. “Anyway, there’s another snowstorm coming. Check out the radar.”

As Kate checked the computer, she asked, “When’s it expected to hit?”

“The weatherman says it should start sometime late on Friday, and snow through the weekend.”

“Well, crap… that’s going to make heading back to Saffron this weekend a problem.”

“Why were you planning on heading back to college so early?” Iruni’s sister attended Saffron University, in Kanto. She was in her third year there, studying Human-Pokémon Relations. “I thought your classes didn’t start until the end of January.”

“I told you I was getting an apartment this semester. They don’t allow anything larger than a Skitty in the dorms at SU.” Kate had her heart set on taking all her Pokémon with her to Saffron this semester, so as to help Kate acclimate her Pokémon to the ‘big city’ scene.

“You’re actually going through with that? I thought you were just throwing the idea around.”

With his sister gone most of the year anyway, their big house would seem depressingly empty without Kate’s three Pokémon to help distract him.

“Yep. Dad already put the down payment on the place and paid it through for the whole semester.”

Iruni glanced at the clock on the computer. “Speaking of, is Dad working late tonight? It’s almost eight-thirty.” Iruni’s father usually came home in the early evening.

“He has one of his bank meetings tonight. It’s the first Tuesday of the month,” explained Kate. She always had a better memory for the patterns of the household.

Ignoring what his sister had just said, and the news broadcast earlier that night, Iruni had no solid idea on what day of the week it was. I’ve been out of school for two months, and I’m all thrown off. I need to find something to occupy myself with or I’ll go insane when this weather comes in. Iruni had arranged an early graduation from high school with the help of some college level classes, and had since been bored to tears with nothing to do.

“What do you think he does at those meetings?”

“Protect the secrets of the universe, probably,” Kate and her brother had a good hard laugh at that.

“Well, since he’s out till late, what are we cooking for supper?”

“What are you cooking is the better question. I ate already.” Iruni gave her a half-sarcastic scowl and a long sigh as she left his room with an amused Dratini snickering close behind.

—————

“Hmm,” Samuel Oak began reading an article aloud to himself, “‘According to a recent study, two of Eevee’s evolutions—Glaceon and Leafeon—which were previously thought to only be able to be obtained by an Eevee being exposed to certain environmental conditions found in Sinnoh, Eterna Forest, and Route 217 respectively, can in fact be obtained outside the Sinnoh region by utilizing similar areas, such as Ice Path in Johto, and Viridian Forest of Kanto to name a few,’” Professor Oak said as he read aloud in his lab in Kanto, to no one in particular. “‘Professor Rowan and his assistant—Rowan being the leading authority on Pokémon Evolution—were the first to discover this while traveling through—’”

The professor nearly had a heart attack as his phone began ringing rather loudly. It echoed throughout his empty lab, the moments of silence between rings leaving a sharp contrast in his ears. Oak rushed over to his desk and picked up the phone. He was perplexed why no one answered on the other line, and why the phone kept ringing, but realized it was the phone set on the wall on the other end of his lab. The phone was red, and enclosed in a plastic case, designated for emergency use only.

“Who in blazes calls in an emergency at this hour of the night?” he grumbled to himself. “Hello?”

The voice on the other end of the line seemed to not have any concern on the time of day. [“PROFESSOR! Th-Thank goodness I caught you! This is M-Misty, of Cerulean. I have an emergency!”] stammered the excited young woman on the other end of the line.

“Yes, yes, I’ve gathered that much, and I know your voice by now, Misty, now calm down. What seems to be the problem?” asked Oak as he sat down at his computer.

[“Okay, okay. Well, I was up on route twenty-five, a little ways south from Bill’s cottage, I spotted a large group of Pokémon not native to Kanto at all! And this group is way too large and developed to be a swarm. It looked like a population that had been there for years.”] She calmed down a great deal since the start of the conversation.

“Hmm… Let’s see,” Oak then brought up the information pertaining to the route in question, ready to calm what worries the young woman might have. “What Pokémon did you see, Misty?” Oak was starting to gain some interest in this late night emergency.

[“I saw a huge school of Feebas! The largest I’ve ever seen! There must’ve been a few hundred in this small section of the river! There were even a few Milotic among them! I was up on route twenty-five less than a week ago, and I saw no signs of any new Pokémon. It’s as if they all migrated overnight. I didn’t know who else to report this to, so I called you as soon as I could.”]

Misty could hear a pin drop all the way from Pallet Town over that connection. Oak was dumbfounded by the Water Gym Leader’s discovery. “Feebas!? Those are extremely rare, even in their home regions of Hoenn and Sinnoh!” Oak quickly tried to formulate a plan to help alleviate the situation. “Misty, I need you to go and secure the area where the Feebas have settled. Poachers will jump at the chance to snag a few Feebas or Milotic. Try and not disturb them as best as possible, but if worst comes to worst, I’d say round them all up and have them safely monitored in Cerulean Gym, until the situation calms down. While that last suggestion was a bit drastic, I’d rather we not have to go that far, but we must not allow the situation to get out of hand.”

[“Got it Professor. What do you think caused this?”] asked Misty.

“I have a few guesses at the moment, but I need to consolidate my research and consult with some colleagues of mine to gain any sort of headway. Try and give me an accurate estimate on the demographics of this Feebas population as soon as possible.”

[“Alright. I’ll report back with you in the morning on my situation.”] The line went dead.

“…Hmmm, another report of a massive migration of Pokémon…” Oak said as he paced up and down his lab, running figures in his head. “If these reports keep coming in at this rate… no, they’re increasing in frequency and at a rate that… I need to call Elm and the others to have them speed up the preparations to our project. We can’t let things get out of hand…”

—————

Iruni woke up the following morning by rolling out of bed in a rather painful manner.

“Oww… I’m even getting restless in my sleep…” he groaned as he got up to see that the sun was already up over the horizon, and early morning was in full swing. He found it odd that Karros wasn’t asleep at the foot of his bed, but he’d figure that out later. Iruni groggily looked around his upstairs room for his clock; it was just after nine in the morning. “Wow, I haven’t gotten up this early for a while…” Iruni had made it a habit to sleep in to at least noon everyday ever since he finished his regular schooling.

After stretching and getting out of bed, he began his initial morning routine.

Whilst taking his morning shower, Iruni had a swarm of thoughts running through his head. What can I do around here to occupy myself? I could get a job at Dad’s bank, but they’d probably get me a job in filing or something. I was planning on waiting until the spring to start on becoming a full-time Trainer, but can I last that long? Maybe I should train Karros a bit. He’s becoming too much like me for his own good… If I started my Trainer career, let’s say, once this storm is past and melted, where should I start? Head east to Ecruteak or brave the Ice Path and head to Blackthorn? No, neither of those towns are low enough on the Johto Gym Circuit for just me and Karros to handle…

He continued to mull over his thoughts as he stepped out of the shower to dry and change into his clothes. Iruni dressed himself in plain, comfortable clothes. He had no plans for the day, and his outfit choice reflected the mindset.

His brown, shoulder length hair, which fell evenly down the sides of his head, was becoming a hassle to deal with. His inactivity these last few months attributed to its unusual length. Iruni felt no urgency to get it cut yet, so he let it grow.

Iruni’s tall, skinny body type always confounded him, though he never argued against it. Being almost incapable of gaining any excess weight, a condition his sister affectionately referred to as, “being born from a family of stick people”, was more of a blessing than a curse. One downside of having his particular body image is that the lack of body fat made the winter months a bit harder on him than most people. He loved the winter regardless of the cold it brought; snowfall being a bit of a personal favorite time for him.

As his mind continued to wander as he stared at himself in the mirror, an unmistakable feeling in his stomach snapped him back to the present. The need for food pushed itself to the front of his priority list.

Iruni made his way downstairs to the kitchen, the main living room sitting adjacent in the same room. Kate and Azula were lounging on the couch watching something that didn’t catch his interest and Karros was up and wandering around the house. The rest of Katelyn’s Pokémon were nowhere to be found this morning.

His father’s Persian, Vester, was home this morning surprisingly enough, sleeping soundly on the large arm chair in the living room. He usually went with Iruni’s father to his work at Johto National Bank, the headquarters of which was centered out of Mahogany Town. Bruce Thomas was the current owner and manager of Johto National Bank, which has branches throughout the region. Most of Johto’s money was traded through the numerous JNB branches.

“Well, now look who’s decided to wake up before dusk?” Iruni bent down and patted his Houndour on the head and was headed to the kitchen to find some food.

“Like you’re one to talk, you enjoy sleeping in as much as he does,” Kate said.

“Yeah, yeah… shut it,” said Iruni playfully. “Does Dad have the day off today?”

“No, Vester was being stubborn this morning for whatever reason.”

“Hmm… I smell bacon, you cook anything for breakfast?”

“I made some bacon and eggs for myself about an hour ago. Karros was up, so he got some.” Iruni was about to make some sort of hurt response, but Kate continued to say, “You mind doing me a favor?”

“Is there any bacon involved?”

“No, but a lack of bacon could result if you don’t help.”

“I’ll get my best man on the job.” joked Iruni. “No, but seriously, what?”

“I need you to spend the day with Azula. Since the snow outside is all melted, she can finally go out and have some exercise rather than stay cooped up in the house all day, like some people. And with all this snow coming, I’d rather she get some now rather than wait for the next thawing.”

“Why can’t you go with her?”

“Aside from it being a nice thing you could do for your sister, I’m going to do some major grocery shopping, so we can have enough food if we are to survive the ‘white death’ that will be upon us this weekend.”

“I thought the news said that the snow shouldn’t start until late Friday. Why are you bothering with this so early?” Iruni asked.

“The news had a piece on the snowstorm this morning. It’s moving a lot faster than expected. They say it could start snowing as early as tomorrow night. So, I’m going to beat the rush of people I know who’ll wait to the last minute to get any essentials, and you’re going to make sure Azula gets some fresh air. I’ll even pick up more bacon. So, deal?”

“Sure, this will actually give me something to do to escape the boredom of the day,” said Iruni. “When are you heading to the store?”

“In about an hour or so. Also, do you mind if I take Karros with me? He likes to help me when I go to shop down town. I should be back before Dad gets off work.”

—————

Iruni spent the rest of the morning doing whatever struck his fancy around the house. He spent an hour before lunch cleaning his room, for lack of anything better to do. While picking up the random bits of garbage strewn about on his floor, he found something he had been looking for.

A copy of an essay titled: Dark Types, and What They Truly Are. This had been the final assignment Iruni did for his Trainer’s License class, and eventually became his one small claim to fame. For as long as he could remember, Iruni loved Dark type Pokémon. While most people looked at Dark types and saw nothing but vicious or evil creatures, Iruni saw just another type of Pokémon; his favorite type. Dark types could be as amiable a newborn Pichu; Karros was proof enough of that.

Dark Types are too unappreciated, Iruni thought as he picked up the essay.  I’ve seen Charizard more vicious than any Dark type I’ve met.

His essay had been so extensive and in-depth that it had his teacher, Professor Auburn, astounded by Iruni’s level of detail and professionalism put into a simple school assignment. The professor personally praised him on the work put into the paper. Needless to say, he passed the class. Iruni had been so proud of his paper; he made a copy for himself.

His love of Dark types had first manifested itself when he was eleven years old, when he rescued his Houndour from an angry flock of Fearow while on a family trip to Kanto. Due to the trauma of the experience, Karros had developed ornithophobia, a fear of birds. Although Karros made a full recovery from his physical injuries, his fear of avian creatures still affects him to this day.

He put his essay on his desk and finished the cleanup of his once disastrous room. With his task completed, he headed downstairs for some lunch. He noticed while making a sandwich that Vester was now nowhere to be seen. Hmm, maybe Dad came and got him on his lunch break. While eating, Iruni turned on the news to watch for any updates on the coming storm.

There was a different news anchor for the afternoon news. [“…And our top story this afternoon…The appropriately dubbed “Winter Hurricane” headed for northern Johto has advanced farther south and at speeds unprecedented for a snow storm. While the speed of the storm could mean that we should expect snow to fall for less time than previously expected, we could be seeing snow fall early in the afternoon tomorrow.”]

That’s even earlier than what the news said a few hours ago! The news reporter finished with much the same information as the previous night, with expected amounts of accumulation and general warnings to the public.

“Well then,” as Iruni finished his sandwich, “Kate wasn’t lying about the weather.” He was about to put his dishes away in the washer when Azula nudged his back from behind, causing him to almost drop his plate. “Hold on, hold on. I didn’t forget about you. Let me put my dishes away first and we’ll leave in a minute.”

Once he was finished with the cleanup, got his winter coat from the front closet, and picked up his PokéGear from his room, he and Azula headed out the door. “Where do you want to go today, Az? I’ve got nothing.” Azula slithered forward toward town and pointed towards the tree line in the cloudy distance.

“Want to head to the lake?” An emphatic squeal  and a nod confirmed his guess. “Sounds good to me.” Iruni started to catch up to the excited dragon-snake. “It shouldn’t be too crowded this time of year, and with the snow coming, most people will be staying inside anyway.”

Iruni lived about a half a mile from the center of town, in Mahogany’s residential area to the south. The houses there were of higher quality than the ones closer to town. Many of Mahogany’s distinguished residents had houses in the southern neighborhood, among them Pryce, Mahogany’s Gym Leader and close friend of the Thomas family.

Despite what Kate had said, downtown seemed twice as crowded as usual. With so many people going from store to store buying what they were lacking in terms of essentials during the lull in the winter weather, it was a good call on her part to leave as early as she did.

With the main thoroughfare through town as crowded as it was, it took Iruni about an hour to get to the edge of town. He headed up the short path of Route 43, which had no particularly interesting happenings this afternoon. He reached the checkpoint building that led to The Lake of Rage. The attendant lazily looked up from his magazine and waved Iruni by as he passed through. As he stepped out of the checkpoint building, Iruni was greeted with a nice blast of fresh air. The air that surrounded the lake was pure and crisp. The smell of the pine trees that surrounded the body of water had a relaxing effect on the two sightseers.

As Iruni expected, there seemed to be no one else sightseeing at the lake, save for a man he could barely make out a ways up the shore, who seemed to just be staring off into the distance. From what he could tell, it seemed like the man wore a black trench coat with a matching hat, which obscured most of his face. Iruni could see no other distinctive qualities from where he was standing. Iruni paid the man little mind, as he wasn’t really doing much.

“So Az, want to head to the shore for a swim?” asked Iruni.

She chirped, and was half way to the shore before Iruni could catch up to the giddy dragon. She sidled up to the water’s edge and tested the temperature with the tip of her tail. She immediately backed away from the chilly water, squealing.

“Too cold for you?” Iruni tested the water with his hand, and as the icy sensation crept up his arm he wondered how water could be so cold without it actually being ice. “Brr…I don’t blame you, Azula. I would not like to swim in that.” Dragon Types do hate the cold after all. “This isn’t all bad. We still have the rest of the lake to see.”

Iruni led Azula around the eastern coast of the lake; all the while Azula would playfully splash the freezing water at Iruni. From where they were, Iruni could no longer see the man in the coat and hat, but that wouldn’t matter soon anyway. Iruni checked his PokéGear and saw it was getting to be five o’clock.

 “Alright Azula,” Iruni said as he turned to his sister’s Dratini, still unaware that they weren’t alone on the shore any longer, “I think it’s time to head ba— Oh hell…!”

Towering above the two visitors loomed a very disgruntled Gyarados. White, crackling energy was building up in its mighty jaw. It was all Iruni could do to dodge the initial Hyper Beam that nearly caught them both off guard.

“Shit!” Iruni stumbled back onto his feet after the blast had sent him and his blue serpent companion flying backwards more than ten feet. Dirt and gravel littered the once clear shoreline. Azula had fallen behind Iruni for what little cover he offered. Iruni noticed that, as the Gyarados continued to fire Hyper Beams off seemingly at random, that its eyes were wide with anger.

I don’t think we were being loud enough to piss it off, something must’ve happened to make him like this.

The Gyarados then noticed where his initial targets had gone and began to charge another beam.

—————

“What’s that, I wonder…?” the man said aloud on the opposite shore of the Lake of Rage. He looked on in wonder as he spotted the irate Gyarados beginning to wreak havoc on the shore beyond.

“Hmm…That kid and his Dratini headed that way not too long ago…” the man in the coat and hat made sure his Poké Balls were at the ready and ran to aid the unprepared trainer.

“Damn this conscience of mine…”

—————

Iruni and Azula were frantically trying to dodge all the blasts of energy the angry blue beast shot at them. Iruni put his hand to his belt and grasped a Poké Ball. “Karros! Use Thunder Fa—”. Aww, Dammit all! He’s with Kate today! He quickly put the ball back on his belt and had to dive to avoid being obliterated by yet another attack.

The fall knocked the air from Iruni’s lungs, and caused something to crack in his left shoulder, leaving him to pause on the ground. Azula was frantically trying to get him up, but his legs refused to respond. He wouldn’t get up in time to dodge the next attack, of that Iruni was sure. Then, inspiration hit.

“Azula!” Iruni forced out, “Light Screen!”

Azula responded by creating a translucent wall of light between them and the coming burst of energy. The Light Screen held, but left Azula straining to maintain it further. The Gyarados was furious that his prey escaped unharmed from what he had thought would have been the end to this annoyance. He then redoubled his efforts and shot another Hyper Beam at the feeble shield.

Azula could only maintain the shield through the third Hyper Beam, her concentration then shattered along with their only hopes of staving off the blue monster’s attacks. The last attack had caused a large dust cloud to form around the shore of the lake, giving Iruni and Azula a moment of cover. Iruni took this opportunity to act. The time Azula bought him was enough for Iruni to regain his composure.

“Azula, listen!” Iruni said quietly as to not alert their enemy to their whereabouts. “Run back to town and get some help! I’ll make sure he doesn’t target you!”

His sister’s Pokémon shook her head emphatically, unwilling to leave his side.

“It’s alright, Azula. I can move now. Just hurry back to town!” he reached down and grabbed a fist sized rock. “When I distract him, get out of here, alright?” She nodded and prepared herself.

Iruni ran out of the dust cloud on the Gyarados’ right side. He managed to escape being spotted and threw the rock, hitting the beast in the side of the head. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but as results would have it, it seemed all more likely that the Gyarados would end him.

The Gyarados was furious that this puny-creature-with-two-legs would dare to harm him. Him! The strongest Gyarados in the lake! He’d see to his impudence with fast-haste. The little two-legged-creature-who-threw-the-hard-painful-rock kept dodging all of his efforts though, determined to not be blasted into nothingness.

From what Iruni could see, the dust cloud had dispersed and Azula took his advice and was making her way back to town. I hope she gets help soon, this big guy seems intent on getting the kill! Iruni kept dodging all that the Gyarados threw at him, but as he turned to strafe left around the lake to gain better ground, he tripped in a crater from one of the previous blasts.

Well, so much for living through this experience he thought as he landed hard on the ground, further exacerbating his shoulder injury.

As Iruni lay face down in the dirt waiting for the end to come, it didn’t. He tentatively got up and looked around for what would be his demise. The Gyarados had disappeared under the lake. Why would it give up? I really pissed it off with that rock.

Just as Iruni decided it was not worth standing around and finding out the hard way and started to head home, the ground blow him exploded and he landed on his back. The Gyarados had burrowed underground and came up behind him, trapping Iruni and preventing any further escape.

The Gyarados then lunged forward, intent on swallowing Iruni whole.

The following process lasted five seconds.

One second: The Gyarados opened his mouth. He was going to savor ending this obnoxious-two-legged-creature. Iruni couldn’t see that the man in the dark coat had advanced upon his position.

Two seconds: Iruni looked for a place to run to, but lacked the sufficient land to move. It took the man half a second to grasp the two Ultra Balls on his belt. It took another half to throw them.

Three seconds: The Gyarados reared back, preparing to swallow the annoying-two-legs. The Ultra Balls landed in their designated targets: one in front of Iruni, one underneath the Gyarados.

Four Seconds: The Gyarados lunged forward towards his target, intent on getting revenge for that hard-painful-rock-throw. The two Pokémon were released in a flash of light. Iruni closed his eyes, preparing for the inevitable.

Five seconds: The Gyarados neared his target, about to finally have revenge for that hard-painful-rock.

“Nidoqueen, Protect!” came a commanding voice.

When Iruni opened his eyes, he was being protected be another screen of transparent, solid light. It was similar to Azula’s Light Screen, but perfect and impenetrable. The Pokémon generating the barrier was looming over him with her arms outstretched toward the blue dragon, whose face was currently pressed against the shimmering shield. On the bright side, if nothing else, Iruni got to see the inside of a Gyarados' mouth without any negative side effects. The man’s other Pokémon awaited his orders.

“Nidoking, grab hold of that Gyarados and do not let go of him. Kid, I’d get out of the way now, if I were you.” The man’s Nidoking grabbed the serpent by its horns and grappled with the large, angry serpent. Iruni took the opportunity to get out of the way of the two brawling creatures by slipping past the Nidoqueen who had just canceled the Protect. The man then recalled his Nidoqueen and ordered his other Drill Pokémon to go on the offensive.

“Nidoking, Thunder Punch!” The purple beast clenched his right hand and brought it back behind his back, while keeping hold of the Gyarados’ horns. Electricity began to arc around his fist as he brought it crashing into the abdomen of the Atrocious Pokémon. At the contact of its intended target, the Thunder Punch sent discharges of electrical energy powerful enough to scar the earth where they landed. The Gyarados was sent back into the lake with such a crash that it sent water high into the sky. As the water succumbed to the effects of gravity, Iruni was met with a freezing rain shower.

Wow Iruni thought,  he took out that Gyarados in seconds…he’s good.

The man went over to his Pokémon and patted it on its spiny back, and recalled it. He then walked over and helped Iruni to his feet. From what Iruni could see of the man’s face, he seemed to be in his mid-forties, with short black hair. “Up you get, son. That was some impressive footwork you showed back there.”

“Thanks, but really I should be the one thanking anybody. I would’ve been killed if you were even a second too slow.”

Two seconds. But who’s counting besides me?” he laughed. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”

“Really, thank you. I owe you one.” Iruni shivered, absolutely soaked in cold water. He turned to look out over the lake. “Why do you think that Gyarados was so angry? Well, before I hit it in the face…”

The man paused for about a long moment before answering Iruni. “If I had to guess, that Gyarados was a remnant of one of the most terrible acts against Pokémon in recent history. Team Rocket had been trying to use a makeshift radio transmitter to try and contact their lost leader all those years ago when they were powerful in Johto. The radio waves they produced seemed to tamper with the evolutionary patterns of some of the Magikarp in the lake, and forcibly evolved them. They were put into a blind rage as they had no idea of what was happening to them, which seemingly lasted forever. When their efforts failed, Team Rocket moved to take over the Radio Tower in Goldenrod, leaving these Gyarados to suffer. As you can see, there are a few Gyarados who still suffer from the side effects.”

Iruni took a moment to consider the man’s words before he spoke up again.

“Do you know who the leader of Team Rocket was before they disbanded, son? Who it was they were trying to contact with their experiments?”

“No, I don’t think I ever heard his name.”

“He was Viridian City’s Gym Leader, Giovanni. A man no one expected to have fallen so far, or become so corrupt. He had the perfect cover to stay undetected for years, until he was uncovered and defeated.”

“How could a Gym Leader allow such terrible things to happen to Pokémon?” asked Iruni.

He sighed. “If I had to guess, it might be because in his mind, I think he thought what he was doing was right. Good and evil are only two sides of the same coin, matters of perspective, really…Well, enough of this dark talk. What’s your name son?” the man asked as he reached for an Ultra Ball on his belt.

“Bartholomew Iruni Thomas, but I like going by my middle name,” he said. “Thanks again for saving my life today. By the way, what’s your name, sir?”

“Think nothing of it, my boy. And not to be rude, but my name would only complicate both of our lives if you knew it, believe me.”

The man in the coat and hat released his Pokémon in another flash of light. A proud and strong Honchkrow stood awaiting his master’s orders.

“Wow! A Honchkrow!” iruni forgot all about his injuries and near death experience at the sight of the pokemon. “I’ve haven’t seen one of these in person before! Mind if I take a look, sir?”

“Not at all. Why’d the old bird catch your eye?”

“I’m a bit of a self-made Dark type Pokémon specialist; at least I’d like to think I am. If I could be, I’d like to study and become a Gym Leader one day.”

“It’s nice to see a trainer such as yourself with such a serious interest,” the man said, but Iruni wasn’t really listening.

Iruni took a few circles around the proud bird, taking in all of its characteristics. The Honchkrow was eyeing him with a little apprehension, questioning what exactly he was up to.

“I’ve read that the Dusk Stones that are required to make a Murkrow evolve are especially rare,” Iruni sounded off, like he was presenting facts for a grade.

“Not if you know where to look. In fact, I happen to have a spare I could part ways with.”

“Really?” Iruni asked. “I wouldn’t want to take something as valuable as that from someone who could put it to better use.”

“Nonsense, I couldn’t think of a better person to have it. You might catch a Murkrow yourself one day.” The man reached into his coat and handed Iruni a deep purple stone, which grew darker towards the center of the gem. As Iruni continued to inspect the gem, the man spoke. “Well, as much as I enjoy the scenery here, lingering much longer would prove to be unsatisfactory. I wish you well on your endeavors, Iruni. Be sure to change out of those wet clothes soon, and see to that arm of yours.”

As Iruni tried to thank the man again for the Dusk Stone, and for saving his life, he leapt onto the back of his Honchkrow and took off to the east. Iruni watched as he became nothing more than a speck in the distance, and then gone from sight completely, leaving only the peak of Mt. Silver in the distance.

Iruni then took his opportunity to leave the lake filled with angry Pokémon behind him and, putting the dusk stone in his pocket, started to head back to town. Remarkably, he escaped his ordeal; a few scrapes on his hands and face from the debris of the fight, a slight limp, soaking wet and freezing, and not to mention his left arm was sore as hell, but he was otherwise alright.

Halfway down Route 43, he met up with his would-be rescue party. It was led by his father and Kate, with Karros, Azula, and Vester in tow, and surprisingly, Gym Leader Pryce, moving unusually fast for a man his age. They all let out a sigh of relief when Iruni came limping into view.

“Iruni! Are you alright?” Bruce almost yelled as he spoke, his voice strong and filled with worry. “We were hearing sounds of battle coming from the lake and huge levels of energy being discharged could be felt back in town. When Azula came home trying to tell us something, we came as fast as we could. What happened to you?” Iruni had never seen his father so worked up before in his life.

Iruni then told the group the happenings of this afternoon up until the man and Iruni had their conversation. He decided to keep that part secret unless they asked specifically. Karros came up and nearly knocked him off his feet, and proceeded to lick his face.

“I'm alright Karros, thanks for the concern, buddy.” Iruni patted his faithful Dark Pokémon on the head as Pryce spoke up.

“And this man just left and flew off to the east?”

Iruni nodded. “He flew off on his Honchkrow not fifteen minutes ago. I didn’t get his name, though.”

“It seems odd that he would leave so quickly… and he hid his name…” Pryce seemed to have more on his mind, but he didn’t push the matter.

“Well, I’m glad you’re safe now. Let’s head home to tend to those cuts on your face.” Iruni’s father had calmed down a great deal in the minutes of Iruni retelling of his day.

“And what happened to your arm?” asked Kate.      

“Landing on hard rock hurts, Katelyn; wouldn’t recommend it.”

“I bet. It looks like a pack of Sandslash got a hold of your face,” joked Katelyn.

“Yeah, yeah…”

As Iruni and the rest of the group started to head back, Iruni palmed the Dusk Stone in his pocket, feeling its faceted surface with his fingers.

Well… I’m the one who wanted something to do around here…

—————

To Be Continued…

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