This is a fanfiction idea that I've had on the back burner for a while, but I figured, as well as Heroes of the Multiverse is going for me, I might as well give this a try, see how far it goes. This will be my first "true" Pokémon fanfic, so stay tuned.
Usual disclaimers apply. These characters do no belong to me.
"We're lost, aren't we? Don't tell me we're lost, Brock."
"…I don't know what to tell you then, May."
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
In an unfamiliar part of the Hoenn region, four young Pokémon enthusiasts, the oldest no more than 15 years old, were traveling around the world on their Pokémon journey. Each journeyman has their own goals, which they have made quite clear to one another and to the people they have met in their travels. The goal of the first – the proverbial star of the show – has made it perfectly clear he wants to be a Pokémon Master; he's been saying that since he started out on his journey. The second kid, the aforementioned oldest at 15, wants to be the world's foremost Pokémon breeder. The third, the only girl in the group, wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, but soon changed her mind and wants to become a Pokémon coordinator. Finally, there was a small child of 8 years old, who just so happened to be a super genius.
"I don't understand how we could've gotten lost," Ash said, looking at Max. "That little GPS navigator-thing you've got is foolproof, right?
"It's not a 'little GPS navigator thing'," Max corrected. "It's called a Poké-Nav and it is indeed infallible." Max fiddled with a few knobs, trying to bring the device back online. The others crowded around him.
"So…where are we?" May asked.
"Good question…see…" Max held up the navigator to the others, letting them see what he was seeing. "I don't know."
"What are you talking about?"
"This thing's not getting a signal."
"Why not?" Ash asked.
As stated earlier, the Poké-Nav relied on GPS tracking to give trainers an exact location of where they were in the world. All a user had to do was find their blip on the map, and zoom in to the desired resolution. It could only give a reading on the navigator itself, so if one was traveling with a group of people and someone got lost, that was on them to find one another. These devices relied on satellite signals relayed via an array of satellites in orbit around the planet. The signal would be beamed down to a broadcast tower, which would then be picked up by the individual unit.
This particular unit, however, was retrieving no such signal. Instead of being told where they were, the screen just gave a flashing NO SIGNAL message.
"It keeps saying 'no signal'," Max sated.
"I can see that, but why?" May asked.
"Maybe it's broken?" Ash suggested.
Max turned the device over, looking at the antenna and other receivers. "No, everything appears to be in order." He then shook the device. Nothing rattled inside. But when he looked at the screen again…
"Well that's just great," Brock grumbled. The NO SIGNAL message would be a pleasure compared to the Blue Screen of Death the little device displayed.
"Fucking Windows M.E.," Max groaned. May punched him hard on the top of his head, knocking him down.
"You watch your language, you!" she shouted. Max had stars in his eyes as he lay semi-conscious on the ground.
Brock picked up the Poké-Nav and dusted it off. He turned it off, and, once Max got his senses about him, gave it back to the foul-mouthed little genius. "It's no use," he mused. "We can't rely on that thing to get us out of this forest." He saw the downtrodden looks of his friends, and quickly put on a happier demeanor. "Besides, Ash and I have been getting lost in the forests since way back in the day! It's a walk in the park—er, forest. This is nothing new to us, right Ash?"
"More times than I care to remember," Ash said.
"Pika," "Don't remind me…" Pikachu added.
"So what do we do now?" May asked.
Brock looked around. He looked at the path they had taken. The forest was thick and unusually dark, even during this the day. There was light in the direction they were going, so he figured it was best to push forward. The high hanging branches with their thousands of leaves could probably explain the loss of signal. But they couldn't block the signal forever. Right?
They pressed onward, at Brock's direction, further into the forest and towards the fleeting light. They marched forward, not speaking much except for an occasional question as to where they were going. No one could provide an answer. On their blind traveling, they ran into no Pokémon, which wouldn't have mattered. Now wasn't the time for capturing new Pokémon anyway. Personal safety is the number one priority right now.
However, if it were more as important to the kids as it should've been, they would've noticed two shadow figures stalking them a distance away…
Gradually, the thick canopy grew less thick, and more light shone down upon the weary travelers. They wandered from the forest into a clearing overlooking a valley. Judging by the position of the sun in the sky, it was about half-past five. It was still the summer, so there were no worries about it suddenly becoming dark.
"Hey, alright!" May started. "We're finally out of that forest!"
"That was fun," Max grumbled.
Ash stepped forward, almost to the edge of the cliff. He held the straps of his backpack tight as he looked over the valley. "Wow, this is a great view, isn't it Pikachu?"
"Pika, pika!" "Magnificent!" the mouse answered.
"Yeah. Almost reminds me of Pallet Town…" His gaze went all over the valley, and he saw something sticking out of the trees and bushes down below. "Hey, you guys! Look!" The others joined his position on the edge and followed Ash's finger. "It looks like a town down there!"
"Great," Brock said. "This means we can get a nice place to rest and stock up on supplies. We're running kind of low."
"So come on; what're we waiting for? Let's go!" May told the boys. They took no more than two steps before they were stopped.
"That's as far as you go, trespassers!" The two people that were stalking them earlier made their presence known at that very second. At least, they should've been people. Right now, they certainly wished they were people. They were…different. The first, the one who shouted at the four, looked like a damned centaur! The top half was human, and the lower horse half looked to be Rapidash, given the fire cascading down his back and the fiery tail. The second looked more human but with white fur all over its body and Vigoroth-like arms, longer and with long claws in place of fingers. They both stared at Ash and his friends with a look that could turn them all to ice.
"T-trespassers?" May stuttered. She stammered further, unable to find the words to describe her surprise, her wonder, and mostly…her fear.
"What the hell are those?!" Brock shouted.
"That's none of your concern!" the centaur shouted. "This area is forbidden to outsiders! Leave this place at once!"
"What is this place?" asked Max. He was hiding behind his sister, hoping she would protect him from these…things.
"That's none of your concern!" the Vigoroth-man barked.
"Look," Ash started, his hands up in defense, "we're not here to cause any trouble! We just got lost in the woods and are looking for a place to stay for the night, that's all! We just need to rest for a while!"
"Well you won't find it here," snarled the fiery centaur.
"But…what about that town—"
"That town is forbidden!" the Vigoroth-man roared. "No one may enter the valley, regardless of their condition!"
"The hell with it, I'm getting tired of all this banter," the centaur snapped. He reached behind his back and pulled out a long bamboo tube. Ash only saw him reach for the weapon, not the weapon itself, until after he sent Pikachu on him.
"Pikachu! Use your Iron Tail on that centaur!" Ash shouted. Pikachu yapped and jumped off his shoulder, his tail glowing with energy. He got about five feet before falling to the ground, unconscious. "Pikachu? What…" He picked up his Pokémon and turned him over. A wooden dart with a red feather on the end was sticking out of the little mouse's body.
"It's a tranquilizer dart!" Max shouted, running to Ash. Seconds later, a dart was shot at his neck, and with a dull groan, he collapsed at his sister's feet.
"Max!" May shouted, feeling the body collapse against her. "Okay, I've had enough! Beautifly…I…chuuuunh…" May fared no better. Her hand barely got to the Pokéball on her hip before she too was struck with a dart.
Ash looked at the scene in a panic. Two of his friends were down, and his Pikachu was decommissioned. He and Brock were at the mercy of two…freaks of nature and they knew that if they so much as flinched they would be tranq'd without so much as a second thought. The wheels in Ash's head began to turn, and slowly he conjured up an idea how to get out of this mess.
If he was older, it would be classified as "vintage Ash Ketchum".
"What have you done to my friends?!" he shouted. "I'll make you pay for this! Graaaaaaaah!" His fists balled tight, Ash charged straight at the centaur with the blowgun. Shrugging, the centaur loaded another dart and fired, catching Ash right in the shoulder. Whatever drugs were used in that thing went right to work, and Ash's charged slowed to a shuffle, then completely, as Ash's hand went to his wounded shoulder. His arms felt like they weighed a ton and his vision immediately turned cloudy.
"Ash!" Brock shouted. He went to aid his wounded friend. He got three steps before the half-man-half-Pokémon shot him. The aspiring breeder staggered back several harsh steps before falling over unconscious with a loud crash.
"Why do they always resist?" the centaur mused. A light groan drew his attention to the kid in the blue sleeveless hoodie. He was still standing, the dart having been yanked out, but not before its effects kicked in. "It really gets on my nerves!" he shouted, raising his fist.
"Joshua!" the Vigoroth-man shouted. The centaur's fist froze, and then hung limply from his body.
"Very well, Michael," Joshua grumbled. He felt a tap against his stomach. Ash, tranq'd up and dopey, was still fighting back. With a sigh, Joshua loaded another dart and shot it at the kid. This time, he went out before he even hit the ground. "I must say I'm impressed. This one resisted a lot more than usual."
"Yes," Michael said. "Of course since you shot him twice he'll be out longer than his friends will." He shrugged. "The others will be out for a good twelve hours, but he'll be out longer. Perhaps eighteen. Perhaps even a day or two."
"What shall we do with them?"
"We'll load the prisoners up and take them back to town. The Master will surely want to have a word with them once they recover." He began loading Ash and May onto Joshua's horse back, while hoisting Brock onto his own. Joshua bent down and grabbed Max and Pikachu in one arm before turning to his partner. Once the prisoners were secured, they headed down a hidden trail down into the village below.
The village had a sturdy wall around the perimeter of it, and two gates with thick doors at the north and south ends. The walls were made of oak and mahogany, making it nearly impossible for any would-be intruders to break in. Guards were stationed in towers at the tops of the gates, their Pokémon beside them, just in case.
"We have returned," Michael announced, "and we have with us four trespassers into the valley." Joshua turned to the side to show the guards the unconscious bodies of Ash and May slumped over his back.
One of the guards turned around and made a hand motion, and moments later, the heavy mahogany doors creaked open, allowing the two sentries in.
In this village, it is not unusual to see creatures that look to be half human, half Pokémon. By contrast, it's more unusual to see full-fledged human beings than it is to see these disturbing hybrids. However, given the context of this unusual civilization and its inhabitants, nothing unusual or out of place. It wasn't uncommon to see fighting-type hybrids building or farming, or to see fire-type hybrids cooking. This is the way people have lived for a long, long time, and they would be damned if someone on the outside would force their way in here and change everything.
The buildings look like they belong in the medieval Japanese period. They were neatly built and arranged with numerous dirt roads crisscrossing through the town. The Master's home sat dead in the middle of town and looked like a Shinto temple. Two human-Kadabra hybrids armed with spears stood guard outside. As Joshua and Michael approached, they themselves were approached by an older woman with a live Furret worn around her shoulders like a stole.
"Hi, mother," they said, one after another.
"Aren't you two supposed to be on patrol?" the woman asked.
"We were," Joshua explained, "but we managed to catch a handful of prisoners and were bringing them in." The old woman, known as Kate, looked over the unconscious interlopers.
"Very well. I'll have someone fill in for you at once." She turned and walked away, leaving her boys to carry out their task.
They stopped at the steps to the building and announced themselves. "Lords Joshua and Michael reporting," Michael stated, "We request an audience with the master. We have prisoners."
Before the guards could respond, the door slid open, and The Master stepped out. His four arms and gray complexion made it clear he was a fusion of a human and a Machamp. He was smaller than a normal Machamp, but was just as fierce looking and had hard muscles up and down his arms and underneath his gi. He stood with all four hands behind his back as the two brothers bowed before him.
"Fresh from Synergy Wood," Michael declared as he and Joshua set the bodies down before them. "We caught them spying over the valley."
The Master walked around the unconscious ones, his upper left hand rubbing his chin. They didn't look too threatening, but in their part of the world they cannot take any outsider lightly, even if they appear to be "just children." "Very well then," he said. "That will be all. You are dismissed."
"Yes sir!" they both shouted. They bowed to the Master, turned and walked off.
Now alone with the captured, he looked more closely at them. What do we have here…?
TO BE CONTINUED……………