This story takes place right after episode 553 - Fighting Fear with Fear.

August 17

The pallid moonlight cast a subtle shadow on the concrete surface of the buildings. The clouds, like ships, roamed the black ocean of the night sky. She bared stars for all to see, yet the city lights' glow made them dim in comparison. From the top of the skyscraper it seemed like a silent midnight. The amber glow from the streets below dimmed the brilliance of the numerous stars above. Further down, the buildings unveiled the misleading sense of tranquility, in reality a bustling and nearly endless stream of people, busy as Beedrill. Lights from every color of the spectrum flashed, enticing one to move or stop for any number of reasons. The flow of people was no different from the afternoon. Unbeknownst to the people of this city, their lives would be end, like the dying ember of a candle snuffed out by a sudden blast of air.

A column of blue light suddenly ascended into the heavens, boring a hole through the small sea of clouds above it. The spectacle caught everyone's attention. Couples gazed from their windows, all cars stopped, their drivers exiting to see, and the hustle and bustle of the city ceased within seconds. It was as if the city had frozen in place. The towering beam of cerulean luminance was looked upon from every angle. The sight was mystifying, having an ethereal feel to it, even as it began to pulsate and waking populace had no clue as how to respond to what they were seeing, whether to continue watching or to run away in fear.

The sea of clouds that surrounded the tower of light rocketed away in all directions. Tremors shook the city, the shockwave throwing anything standing to the ground.

Glass from every building shattered entirely, the glittering shards raining down to the sidewalks and streets below. As the people shielded their heads with their arms or anything on their person, those that were out of range of the falling glass watched as the looming beam of light grew larger. Some people began to run while others continued to watch, but by the time they realized what was happening, it was already too late. An encroaching wall of light extended into every corner of the city. Buildings dissolved as the light approached. Cars were blown away like trees in a hurricane, tumbling down the streets upon other cars and fleeing populace. The sidewalks and streets disintegrated, the once-hypnotized watchers turned and ran, only for the light to already pass over them. Their dark silhouettes faded into the light. The column had grown into a sphere, the bottom hemisphere boring through the earth.

The destruction continued a mile from the city before the light faded into nonexistence. In its wake a crater that spanned for miles around the epicenter of destruction. Not a single person in the city had survived the light, save one creature.

A single plume of dirt rose and dispersed rapidly as the figure crashed into the ground. He remained motionless for several hours until his arm twitched, the body levitating off the ground. Mewtwo's toes gingerly touched the soft earth beneath him, his legs almost buckling when he put too much weight on them. He held himself aloft with his psychic abilities, his hand absentmindedly reaching for his temple to quell the lingering echoes of pain. The words he heard in his head continued to resonate within his mind.

"I've given you the power to take back our world from the humanskill any who stand against you." Without warning he had felt a power growing rapidly inside him, threatening to escape and unleash the full extent of his powers. The more Mewtwo resisted, the harder it became to stay conscious until he had finally blacked out.

"What…happened?" Mewtwo said in disbelief, looking all around and seeing nothing but a crater that extended about a few kilometers in every direction. Mewtwo's gaze fell to his collision's imprint; everything seemed to have blasted away from him. Mewtwo's eyes rose up to see the moon shining without contest, no clouds to obscure her radiance for miles.

From what he could tell, the stars and constellations had been in the same place that he had seen them last. The moon was entirely full, so not a day had gone by so to give her time to change in phase.

"This…was done by my hands and my hands alone." Mewtwo told himself somberly.

He had been living in that city for several years after hopping through different ones and finding this one to be to his liking. By day he hid in a shelter he had made for himself, managing to steal equipment from the city to modify his humble abode.

At night he roamed the skies above the city. He was rarely seen except for a few times when the moon was full and someone happened to be watching it when he passed through. He had grown bored of flying through the city after the first couple of nights. It was hard to not take the freedom for granted, but after a while Mewtwo felt the need to give himself a purpose. He sought to acquire things to furnish his hideaway like he had done so in the past. Mewtwo simply took what he felt he needed to live comfortably, erasing the minds of the people so that they would not notice the absence of the things he stole. He had managed to reroute certain key cables to supply his quarters with an adequate amount of electricity. If anyone noticed what he had done and come to investigate where the power was going, leading them to his dwelling, he simply erased their memories and placed them someplace else, a task that he had become quite adept at doing. There were times when he had considered whether or not to reveal himself to the people of the city, but had decided against it. Preferring to avoid another bothersome squabble with Team Rocket where he would have to erase their memories and teleport them away in the end, he decided to stick to the shadows. He didn't want to give citizens of the city any more trouble than they already had.

Mewtwo often wondered about the fate of his clone Pokemon. He wondered if they had been captured, if they were happy with their freedom.

Mewtwo made a fist. Against his better judgment he had become attached to the city. His home had now been destroyed; with hundreds, possibly thousands, of people dead as a result. The ground beneath him abruptly caved into a crater as he skyrocketed into the sky. Mewtwo gazed down at his grim handiwork; dismal amazement came with the realization that he had been able to wipe out the entire city. He had cleared a lab facility, nearly obliterated a large base, and teleported an island below ground. But to wipe out an entire city so thoroughly and in such a short time was something that he hadn't thought was within the scope of his abilities yet.

Mewtwo felt stronger and faster than ever before. He could feel that his senses, reflexes, and psychic abilities had been heightened, but the price for that power had been too steep for his liking. "Could Team Rocket be the cause of my outburst? Whether it was them or not, something was able to psychically speak to me within my own mind," Mewtwo thought as his eyes began to glow a menacing sapphire.

Suddenly, something approached him and descended to his level. From what Mewtwo could tell, it was a bird Pokemon, but not any that he had ever seen before. It stopped before him, flapping its wings frequently to keep itself level with Mewtwo. His reddish-orange wings turned emerald at the edges, complimented by the golden tail feathers that trailed behind him. Black feathers surrounded his eyes, the orange irises fixated upon Mewtwo. The eyes seemed to analyze him with wonder and perplexity. They stared at each other in silence for several uncomfortable seconds, the legendary seemingly dissecting him with his gaze alone before his beak opened.

"You did all of this?" Ho-oh said with interest, motioning to the crater all around them.

"That voice!" Mewtwo instantly recognized it as the voice that had been in his head when his powers had frenzied before he had passed out. Ho-oh ceased the flapping of his wings, letting gravity take him to the ground.

Just before he collided with the earth, Ho-oh flapped once more, allowing him to gently land. The gust kicked up a cloud of dust and earth that surrounded him before he flapped his wings once more, sending them away from his presence.

Ho-oh jumped back, flapping his wings to give himself more speed and distance between himself and Mewtwo, who slammed into the ground with a psychic orb surrounding his body, the impact sending shockwaves through the crater and plumes of dirt into the air.

Mewtwo turned to face Ho-oh, his angry azure glowing eyes clearly visible through the mist of earthly airborne debris. With a single thought, Mewtwo cleared the mist from his presence, his eyes glowing heatedly.

"Did you destroy this entire area single-handedly?" Ho-oh inquired once more as he repeatedly scanned the crater they were currently standing in, waiting for Mewtwo's confirmation.

"I did. Against my will. I hold you accountable for this destruction; I heard your voice in my mind before I lost consciousness. The things that you said there lead me to believe that you are the one responsible."

"How very astute of you. I Ho-oh am the one responsible for your loss of consciousness and for the sudden increase in power that resulted in your rampage." Ho-oh gave a curt, but mocking bow.

"Why?" Mewtwo growled.

"What reason do you have to be angry with me? Was it because this area may have been home to you…or could it be about the lives lost here?"

"Hundreds of humans lost their lives due to the outburst. These were innocent people, merely living out their lives; they had no reason to die. A home can be replaced, but lives cannot!" Mewtwo barked.

"Surely you have not lived long enough to see the acts of cruelty of humans like I have," Ho-oh countered.

"Whatever they have done, killing them will solve nothing."

"If you had seen the horrifying things that I had seen, things that would leave you with many sleepless nights, your words would not hold as much confidence as they do now."

"I admit that I have not lived on this earth long, but I know what is right and wrong," Mewtwo stated firmly. An uncomfortable silence reigned between the two, each scrutinizing the other before Ho-oh broke the silence with a new topic.

"What are you? You remind me of a Pokemon that I know of, but I have not seen any Pokemon like you before. Am I to presume that you are a new Pokemon, a new evolution of some sort or a Pokemon from somewhere that is beyond my knowledge of the world?" Ho-oh asked, gazing up at the sky and its stars.

"I know not whether I would be considered a new Pokemon. My name is Mewtwo. I am a genetically modified clone of Mew, created by humans several years ago. I had been born to be experimented on and made to battle against other Pokemon, but I have forsaken that purpose and have decided to live out my final days freely."

Ho-oh gazed at Mewtwo with bewildered eyes for a few seconds before lowering his head.

"You are yet another example of why I believe that all humans must now be eliminated," Ho-oh sighed.

"What has possessed you to come to this conclusion? How have the humans wronged you so that you may want to eliminate them all?"

"Do not mistake my decision for the way they have wronged me. My decision to do this has evolved from a petty personal vendetta, to a necessity; something that I feel must be done for the good of the world and all Pokemon. I do what I feel is the best for my race!" Ho-oh clarified.

"Enlighten me." Mewtwo said with partial interest and bitterness.

"In my many years of traveling, I have watched the humans mistreat the Pokemon of this world. I have seen humans torture and break Pokemon down to the point where they no longer had any emotions, for the sole purpose of making them battle. It has become common practice for these humans to go out into the wilderness and abduct a Pokemon from its habitat and home, forcing it to entertain their sick and twisted desires. The humans have them display their skills and fight their brothers and sisters, all for sport. The Pokemon have become complacent, accepting this fate as another method of life. I refuse to let humans continue to enslave Pokemon. Large groups of people use Pokemon not as creatures, but as tools to achieve their own personal goals. You of all Pokemon should understand this most of all."

Mewtwo remained silent.

"These humans continue to grow and consume the resources of the earth with no thought of how it affects the Pokemon around them and the ecosystem. They produce nothing that can go back to nature, only creating things that will benefit themselves. The waters and skies have been tainted by their pollution; the lands are leveled to make monstrosities of metal while homes of the neighboring Pokemon are destroyed. If anything, I see the humans now for what they really are."

"And what might that be?"

"Humans are all viruses. They inhabit an area and multiply, spreading over to other areas and repeating the process. Slowly, the area they live in begins to die, and as they reproduce, they use up the resources around them with no intention of giving back the very nature that they have taken their resources from."

"Surely there are good hearted humans," Mewtwo countered, a mental image of one human coming to mind.

"In my journeys I did indeed come across humans that could be considered pure of heart, those that I considered ideal for coexisting with humans." Ho-oh relented.

"Then you seek to damn the innocent for the transgressions of the majority that do wrong in your eyes!"

"Despite the fact that these pure-hearted humans are ideal for the world that I seek to bring, they are many reasons that I cannot allow them to live," Ho-oh replied. "Those that I consider pure of heart would immediately rebel to the idea of having me commit many humans to genocide. These humans fated for damnation could be friends or even family of the pure-hearted humans."

"All humans have the potential for goodness," Mewtwo contradicted.

"In theory, yes, but these humans already had their chance. I would've started this liberation years ago had I not been promised that if I searched I would find pure-hearted humans. The handful that I saw were not enough to sate me, but my journey allowed me to cool my head and think. These kind-hearted humans were just as guilty as those that committed the crimes," Ho-oh declared.

"How so?" Mewtwo asked.

"Regardless of how kind these humans were, they did nothing to educate those around them and spread their influence to other people. Some were able to thwart the deeds of those with Pokemon who were wicked, while others merely cowered and watched. Those who witness crimes being committed before them and do nothing in response are just as guilty as those who commit the crime."

"So in the end, rather take the more difficult and righteous road of keeping the few alive, you have decided to make it easier on yourself and eliminate everyone."

"Can you not see that there is no other alternative?" Ho-oh sighed, "If I warned them and if they agreed, they would listen to me at first, but with time, they would slowly revert back to the old ways. I highly doubt that the humans that are pure of heart would agree with my methods as their friends and family may be the ones that I have deemed necessary to eliminate. The ones of pure heart would retaliate and turn to violence, tainting the very things that had kept them alive. Even if they did agree, humans breed quickly. Their children could very well not be pure of heart, there would be simply too many to control their development. Things would simply revert to the way they are now," Ho-oh explained.

"So you intend to wipe out all of humanity by yourself?" Mewtwo asked.

"I do not intend to do it all by myself. The reason your powers went rampant was because I removed your dampener."


"Not only yours, but the dampener of every Pokemon on the planet. From the furthest reaches of the ocean and the earth to highest mountains and all the skies. The wild Pokemon have heard my decree. They shall wipe out the majority of the humans for me as I have given them all the power to kill. Humans and their enslavement technology will no longer work on our brethren. Of course there will be Pokemon that cling to their human masters. Death shall relieve them of their shackles of servitude. Those that stand against what is right shall quickly be weeded out and eliminated, purging this world of traitors." Ho-oh's eyes shined at the beauty of his plan. The news shocked Mewtwo, the idea that now every single living Pokemon had the power to kill, just like him.

"I demand that you revert the Pokemon back to normal!" Mewtwo ordered.

"You are in no position to be giving me orders, and even if I wanted to, there is no way for me to return the Pokemon back to normal." Ho-oh admitted.

"I should kill you for what you've done," Mewtwo hissed, his azure eyes glowing brighter.

"Kill me for ensuring peace for all Pokemon? Kill me for saving our planet from further damnation through pollution and destruction? Can you not fathom how wondrous this world could be if there were no longer any humans? Nature as far as the eye could see, clean air and skies, fresh and crystal clear water, rich and vibrant grass and soil. I am removing a tumor from this earth, a tumor that has outstayed its welcome and multiplied too fast. I had to do this while our species still outnumbered them; I am doing this for our sake, for Arceus! Am I to be penalized for doing what is right?" Ho-oh yelled.

Mewtwo could say nothing at first, seeing as he did not even know who Arceus was, but was sure that it was someone of great importance.

"You preach such righteous words, yet you intend to let others stain their paws, wings, and claws with the blood of millions. I must stop you before you do any more damage, even if that means killing you" Mewtwo roared as he braced himself once more for battle.

"Even if you could kill me, the wheels of fate have begun to turn, and nothing, not even I, can stop it! Attempting to kill me will not change all the Pokemon back to normal, the change is permanent, and there is no going back. Our species can only go forward from now on, and ensure happiness and freedom for the future. But it seems you still intend to kill me, so I shall humor you for now."

Mewtwo had barely begun to attack when Ho oh attacked first, a river of flame rushing towards him. With the casual flick of his wrist Mewtwo parted the torrent of fire, two rows of flame now beside him. Mewtwo instantly noticed Ho-oh's absence, realizing that the flames had been used to veil his movements.

As he quickly scanned the crater, Mewtwo noticed that his shadow had grown bigger. Mewtwo gazed up and saw Ho oh plummeting towards him. Once spotted, Ho-oh used Fire Blast, Mewtwo psychically tearing it apart.

Mewtwo thrust his free hand at Ho-oh, sending a psychic wave to capture and crush him. Ho-oh's body passed through the cloud of psychic energy as if it were mist. Mewtwo burst back; barely dodging Ho-oh's attack and sending up a wave of dirt and debris in all directions.

Ho-oh flapped his wings, the gusts of wind carrying the dirt over to Mewtwo a few meters away. The dirt stopped in mid air before Mewtwo as he held out his hand, a twitch from his fingers in Ho-oh's direction sent the sand back at him. Sand began to encircle Ho-oh as Mewtwo forming it into a cocoon. Ho-oh easily cleared the area around him with a single flap, gazing coyly at Mewtwo.

"Had you not been made by humans, I would say that I preferred you to Mew when it came to fighting" Ho-oh confessed.

Without warning, a purple psychic column burst out from behind Ho-oh, striking his blind spot. The attack hadn't even ruffled Ho oh's feathers, Ho oh pretended he didn't even notice the attack. Mewtwo had used Future Sight in the midst of his other attacks, planning to have it strike Ho-oh down when he least expected it. Mewtwo's flabbergasted expression brought the closest thing that Ho-oh had to a smile with his beak.

"You're probably wondering why your psychic attacks do not work on me?" Ho-oh said pompously.

Mewtwo did nothing but scowl back, wanting to give no further satisfaction to the legendary with his confession of his lack of knowledge.

"Would you like to know?" Ho-oh coaxed, Mewtwo snarling his reply.

Ho-oh burst forward, a crater forming beneath his feet from the sheer force of his lunge. Mewtwo was barely able to dodge Ho-oh's attack, making a crater of his own as he burst into the sky. Ho-oh slowed to a stop, turning his head to see Mewtwo floating a few meters above where he had once stood.

"Aside from the human's capturing devices no longer working on Pokemon, there are six other things that the removal of the dampeners allow Pokemon to now do. You have just experienced one of them. Had your dampeners not been removed, you would not have been able to dodge my attack. All speed, strength, reflexes, reaction times, and abilities pertaining to the elements have been augmented"

Before Mewtwo was even given the chance to absorb the information, waves of heat washed over the space around him as he barely managed to put up a psychic barrier around himself. The heat shimmered and died when Ho-oh closed his mouth, giving his version of a smile once more.

"That attack was known by the humans as Heat Wave. It is not a move that I am normally able to do, but with the dampeners gone, every fire move is now available to me. Every Pokemon will now be able to use any move that is the same as their element"

"Interesting…" Mewtwo raised his arm and brought it down rapidly, the mile wide crater in its entirety sank even deeper into the ground. Mewtwo's eyes widened in surprise when Ho-oh remained aloft in the air.

"Impressive. You meant to clip my wings with Gravity. That might've actually worked, had my dampener not have been removed," Ho-oh cackled. The legendary shot through the air towards Mewtwo. Before Mewtwo knew it he was thrown to the ground at the edge of the crater, trenching it with the psychic bubble that protected him.

"Not only can I combine attacks, but I can also use any attack that is a physical possibility for my body. Mewtwo blinked, Ho-oh disappearing from his vision once more.

"This move is known by the humans as Extremespeed, which I plan on combining with a move they call, Giga Impact" Ho-oh whispered into Mewtwo's ear from behind him. Mewtwo whirled around, swinging his arm around to strike the empty air behind him, a cerulean blade from Mewtwo's Psycho Cutter extending from his arm and fading out of existence.

Mewtwo barely noticed an infinitesimal speck in the distance bridge the mile between them in less than a second. Ho-oh's Extremespeed-Giga Impact slammed into Mewtwo's psychic barrier that had barely managed to come up in time to absorb the strike. Mewtwo's orb flew from one edge of the crater to the other side, embedding itself in the wall of earth. As Ho oh advanced towards him, Mewtwo noticed that Ho-oh's beak had cracked from the attack. As soon as Mewtwo had seen the crack, the beak melded back into perfection, the silver radiance of the moon giving Ho-oh's beak a golden sheen. Mewtwo noted the sudden fatigue that worked its way into Ho-oh's body; the act of using Recover seemed to have had its drawbacks now that the dampeners were removed. The distance between them gave Mewtwo a brief moment to think without worrying about being attacked.

"Why does he tell me these things? Had he kept this knowledge to himself, he would have the upper hand. It cannot merely be because he is so confident in his strength that he feels that divulging this to me will change nothing? Does he see this as some sort of sport, giving me this information to make the fight more even? If it is, I shall make him regret underestimating me!"

The ground below Ho-oh began to glow blue. A pillar of earth skyrocketed through the air, nearly skewering Ho-oh had he not dodged in time. A barrage of stone spikes shot from the ground, Ho-oh managing to dodge them all. The ground was left checkered with pockets in the earth. Boulders burst from the sides of the wall of earth behind Mewtwo, each stone outlined with Mewtwo's faint blue psychic aura.

If Mewtwo couldn't affect Ho-oh directly with his psychic abilities, then he would affect the area around him and use that to fight instead. Ho-oh advanced towards Mewtwo, his speed never lessening no matter what was thrown at him. Boulders that Mewtwo summoned from the other side of the crater to strike Ho oh from behind were also somehow dodged.

"The fact that he's dodging the boulders means that they might actually hurt him" Mewtwo thought.

The onslaught intensified, Ho-oh resorting to having to bat away the rocks with his wings or melt them into liquid rock with his fire attacks. Mewtwo began to ascend into the air, Ho-oh following in pursuit, dodging the stones that attempted to slow him down. It was then Ho-oh noticed that the stones from the ground that Mewtwo had initially used to attack him were floating just above him more he looked around, the more he noticed that every stone that Mewtwo had launched at him was still suspended by Mewtwo's psychic ability. There were literally dozens aimed at him from every angle. Mewtwo had allowed him to think that he had dodged the stones completely. Now that he was where Mewtwo wanted him, every stone converged on him at once.

The rocks collided with such force that they practically fused and melded into one boulder. Mewtwo suspended the giant boulder above the ground for a few seconds before letting it crash onto the floor. The stone was still for a few seconds, then its core began to glow red, yellow, and then white before the rock exploded, molten rock raining across the basin. At the epicenter of the scorched mark that had blossomed onto the ground, was Ho-oh, seemingly unscathed but nothing could hide the exhaustion that he carried on his shoulders. Ho-oh turned towards Mewtwo, an expression not of hatred or anger, but of respect.

"I commend you for managing to get as far as you have. I haven't had a fight like this in ages. You've gone farther than I anticipated, especially with my dampeners removed long ago while yours are only recently removed. The fact that you were able to adapt so quickly to the knowledge I've bestowed upon you is admirable, not being able to attack me directly with your psychic attacks but using your environment as your weapon. There isn't much for you to work with in this crater, but you managed to effectively utilize my weakness against rock attacks against me."

Mewtwo gawked at Ho-oh, unable to fathom how Ho-oh had been able to avoid death from all the wounds he should have sustained from his attack. Mewtwo's disbelieving visage brought visible enjoyment to Ho-oh.

"Oh, I believe an explanation is in order. The final change that the removal of the dampener allows is that if a Pokemon has enduring negative emotions like hate, anger, and vengeance, they will gain the attribute of-" Ho-oh was interrupted as an invisible hand clamped itself around his throat.

"Darkness" Mewtwo said, finishing Ho-oh's sentence with his hand extended towards the legendary, lifting him off the ground. Mewtwo's eyes glowed a darker shade of blue now that he was using Miracle Eye.

"That explains how you were unaffected by my psychic attacks. The undampened darkness attribute is truly formidable, seeing as any dark types are now perfectly immune to anything dealing with psychic abilities, with the exception of the move Miracle Eye, allowing dark types to be affected by psychic moves" Mewtwo thought as he began floating towards Ho-oh, who made strangled noises but made no attempts to flail or struggle. Ho-oh stared at Mewtwo, not with fear, surprise, or resentment, but with boredom.

"Your last revelation was truly your downfall. Had you not told me that you had gained a third attribute and became a dark type, I would not have used this move until much later and as only an experiment to see if it would work on you if this battle had persisted. I do not understand your motives for telling me the very things that led to your demise, but it no longer matters now. You are far too dangerous to keep alive and you must pay for what you've done."

Mewtwo raised his other arm and proceeded to pull Ho-oh's wings off as well as his head and discarding them away from the body, casting it to the deepest level of the crater checkered with potholes. Mewtwo watched with interest as the remnants of Ho-oh's body burst into flame and left nothing but piles of ash. He did not know whether it was normal for a legendary to die by that manner, but then again, this was the first time he had killed a legendary.

In all the time that Mewtwo had been tearing Ho-oh apart, aside from the winces of pain, Ho-oh's stare never left Mewtwo.

What sent shivers down Mewtwo's spine was not only the expression that Ho-oh bore into him, but the fact that he recognized those eyes better than anyone. They were the same eyes he had once worn many years ago. It frightened him to think that had those influential moments not happened to him, he would be in Ho-oh's position, readily accepting Ho-oh's ideals. Mewtwo stood alone within the crater, wondering what he would do next. Ho-oh's logic was hard to ignore and difficult to refute. Throughout the entire argument he had done little to defend humanity and it pained him to know that humanity's sins were so numerous and difficult to defend or ignore.

"Will I have to kill Pokemon to stop them from killing humans? Can I prevent the damage that Ho-oh has done with words alone?" Mewtwo said out loud to no one in particular, closing his eyes as the cerulean glow faded away and revealed his regular eye color.

Mewtwo began to float up, still unsure of what to do, when he felt the amber glow creep across his arms. Searing heat embraced him from behind and all that Mewtwo could feel were flames licking eagerly at his skin before everything faded to darkness and he blacked out.

Chapter 2: King of the Sea