Event 1: Catch

Even after so many years, Mewtwo was still not used to having visitors.

When he was out and about, every encounter he had with a human or Pokémon happened on his own terms. His abilities to teleport and meddle with the minds of others made sure of that. But the fact was that even a powerful being such as him could occasionally grow tired, and when it came time for him to seek rest, it was healthier for him to limit his psychic output for the duration. He was by no means defenseless, but he still found it convenient to wait until he was being threatened before making any effort to defend himself.

This included making any effort to hide his presence.

In fact, whenever he was in the Kanto region, he wouldn't even bother to seek different shelters. He had found a cave on the outskirts of Cerulean City that was to his liking, and he didn't feel like giving it up anytime soon. Besides, considering that the people of the town had done everything short of actually sealing off the cave to make sure that only particularly accomplished humans and their Pokémon ever went into the place, it was not as though lines were forming to track him down.

In short, he could easily assume that anyone who went into the cave and made it all the way to his chamber was specifically there to meet him. Not only that, but such people were sufficiently skilled to be worth his attention.

Best of all, the route necessary to reach him was long enough that he could awaken from his slumber, overcome all lingering signs of fatigue, and make himself appear presentable and menacing by the time anyone could lay eyes upon him.

This latest human looked to be recently out of his teens and stood reasonably tall, about half a foot shy of the psychic Pokémon's own height. More obvious was the human's muscle tone; he looked as though he spent much of his time exercising. His outfit reflected this as well; he was clad in a loose fitting T-shirt and shorts, most likely chosen to be comfortable and easy to wear. The backpack he bore was bulky, but it was difficult to get a read on its contents from size alone.

Trainers of his body type tended to specialize in fighting-type Pokémon, Mewtwo considered. This was not wise when facing psychics.

The two Pokémon that stood behind him didn't reflect this theme at all. Slightly to the left, a large Feraligatr (Mewtwo had always believed that the human pronunciation of its species suggested another vowel near the end), still dripping wet from having carried his master along the watery route that led to this point. On the right, a slightly shorter yet no less imposing Dragonite, his facial expression betraying few hints of the species' usual friendly personality. Backed by these Pokémon, the human almost looked small.

"Why have you come here?" Mewtwo asked in his sternest telepathic baritone. Truth be told, he could have easily avoided the question entirely by reading his visitor's mind, but he felt no need to do so. For one thing, if he permitted the human to explain himself, he could compare his words to his thoughts and determine whether or not he was trustworthy before he ever had a chance to prove it with his actions.

The human stopped suddenly, his hand no longer moving toward his backpack. He wants to capture me, Mewtwo ascertained quickly. Remain cautious and prepare to defend.

"You can talk", his visitor said in a tone that attempted and failed to veil his surprise. "Maybe this'll work out easier than I expected."

Mewtwo crossed his arms. "What was it that you expected?"

A shrug. "I'm not really sure. Thought you'd be a lot bigger, too, what with people calling you the most powerful Pokémon in the world and all." The human paused for a moment, and then quickly waved his hands. "No, no, not saying you aren't… I guess looks can deceive, right?"

The psychic Pokémon found some satisfaction in what the human had heard about him, but didn't allow his face to betray it. "You should be aware that I do not intend to be captured without proper proof of strength, Anton."

"Sounds good to me", the human said with a quick nod.

He didn't even flinch, Mewtwo thought to himself. He knows more about me than he's letting on. "You are also aware that you require more than two Pokémon to present me with a proper challenge?"

"I might not even need them." Anton glanced behind himself briefly. "If you don't mind."

"You do not sincerely believe…"

Mewtwo's mental words trailed off as soon as he saw the human break into a dash directly at him. Not that this would merit stopping his train of thought. He raised a single three-fingered hand at the approaching human and, with a single thought, stopped him in his tracks.

"You do not sincerely believe", he restarted, "that you are capable of defeating me in any manner?"

While Anton's attempts to move his body were useless, his opponent had granted him the right to speak. "…is that… your strength?"

Mewtwo nodded slowly.

"…no… that can't be it… that power is worthless…"

A second later, the human was sent flying backward from his position with a great deal of force. The Dragonite quickly took off from his standing position to intercept, and caught him in his arms before he struck the ground.

As they caught their breath, they looked up again to meet the now glowing eyes of the psychic Pokémon. "You are in no position to insult me."

The human started to mumble. "…that wasn't…"

(Stop!), the Feraligatr loudly growled, drowning out his voice. (We aren't here to hurt you!)

"Fine." Anton, no longer held by his Pokémon, pointed at the psychic. "You two try it, then."

Upon receiving his instructions, the two reptiles glanced at each other and nodded. The Feraligatr immediately went at the cave floor with his claws, and in fewer than five seconds had managed to tunnel beneath it. At the same time, the Dragonite ascended as high as he could in the subterranean area using his wings and watched his opponent carefully.

Mewtwo shook his head. "I am not impressed." He immediately levitated from the ground, putting him out of range of the lower Pokémon. With that threat averted, his attention focused on the Dragonite.

(He means it), the Dragonite rumbled in a less friendly but more calm tone. (You should submit quietly.) This said, he swooped directly at the psychic.

Mewtwo sighed. His opponents had absolutely no sense of pattern recognition. With the same gesture as before, he stopped the dragon's momentum cold. "It does not work that way. If you want me…"

"Stop doing that!" Back on the ground, Anton was on his feet again and visibly beginning to lose his patience. "We want to see your strength!"

The psychic glared down at him briefly. Then, with a hint of a smirk on his expression, he telekinetically threw the Dragonite in the human's direction. "If you insist."

The human's reaction was quicker than expected. He dashed a bit past where the dragon's trajectory would have met the ground, came to a quick stop and raised his arms toward the cave ceiling. The Dragonite caught a quick glance of him. The human nodded.

At that moment, the Pokémon went into a midair forward somersault and extended its legs in the direction of the human. Half a second later, the two collided. Anton bent his knees slightly to brace as the dragon landed on his hands briefly, and then used his trainer as support to launch himself back into the air. Two seconds later, the Dragonite turned around again to gaze at the psychic, completely unharmed.

Mewtwo could only stare at the pair in surprise.

Unfortunately for him, that meant that for that brief moment, he had left his guard down.

Two large blue arms with claws wrapped around his chest from behind, and he was dragged by the other Pokémon and gravity back to the ground. As his body remained motionless in shock from the sudden assault, the claws began to grip him in various places. His upper arms, his hips, his waist, his tail…

A moment later, his state of mind recovered enough to struggle physically, but his captor was too strong. He felt himself being elevated and tilted backward until his back lay upon the Feraligatr's shoulder. He kicked at the air repeatedly, but it was of no use. In this position, it would be difficult to escape by any physical means.

And then he calmed slightly, and remembered that he didn't need them.

The Feraligatr instantly went catatonic and collapsed to the cave floor.

"No!" Anton, who seemed perfectly fine after having been used as his Pokémon's springboard, started to run toward the two. "What did you do to him?"

"Leave. Now." Mewtwo's eyes were glowing even brighter than before, and he had gripped the Feraligatr by the throat with one hand. The other was drawing energy into itself while pointing at the human and the Dragonite, successfully stopping their approach. "Or you will not leave at all."

(Don't you…) the Dragonite started before he saw the psychic's grip tighten. A second later, he was backing off slowly.

Anton started scratching his neck with one hand. "No… I can't leave. Not without him. There was that water we had to…"

"You should have thought of that before you told him to grab me."

"We didn't mean to… I mean, this wasn't…" Anton sighed loudly. "I'm sorry. I really didn't want to have to do this."

Mewtwo's expression didn't change. "You did not come here by accide-"

He immediately stopped speaking as he stopped the incoming Pokéball with his mind, forcing it to remain in midair. "You do not learn, human. That was your last mistake." And with a single motion of his gripping hand…

…he was immediately pulled in the direction of the Pokéball, which had opened and was now doing its best to contain him.

This was stupid, he thought. He had barely been weakened at all, and there was absolutely no chance of him merely giving in, especially now. He summoned all of his inner power and focused it at the structure around him.

It failed.

Three seconds later, his confines solidified around him and a loud high-pitched tone signified a successful catch.

He immediately tried to resist with his mind. But it was too late. All he could do with even his impressive telepathic power was extend his consciousness a few feet from his prison. Far enough to contact the human that was now holding him, but simply not with enough power to read his mind or attack him.

"How were you able to…?" His eyes widened considerably as he considered the possibility. "Is this… a Master Ball?"

"Yes", he heard the human say quietly and with a small amount of guilt. "I'm really sorry."

After about half an hour, Mewtwo started to notice something akin to fast-paced motion.

He tried his mental abilities again. Still far less than what he had hoped to achieve, but he could see Anton holding him as he... was apparently sitting on the Dragonite's back. He could only assume that the Pokémon was flying the human to another location.

"Where are you taking me?"

"Oh, good, you're talking to me again", the human immediately responded. "The thing is… I want to talk to you about this." A deep breath. "Now that you're calm and all."

Was he? He had plenty of reason to be angry, he knew. At the moment, he imagined his passive demeanor was a simple combination of resigning to his fate and conserving his energy for a more successful escape. After all, he'd been in a Pokéball at least once before, and he no longer considered such a device to be capable of earning his devotion by itself.

Still, he wasn't feeling nearly as much hatred toward the human. "What is it?"

The human started cautiously. "First thing… are you really as strong as they say?"

Mewtwo's eye twitched. "If not for this device, I am certain that you would be entirely at my mercy. Have my demonstrations not convinced you of that?"

"No… the thing is, I think we're talking about different things." The psychic could perceive the human shaking his head. "I can tell you're a psychic. A really good one, too. But I still have no idea how strong you are." He gestured. "I mean, how much can you lift? How fast do you run? I mean, I can't even tell if you can hit hard or dodge fast or…"

"You are asking about me… as a physical specimen?"


Mewtwo thought for a moment. "You are far from the first to seek my power. But I can assure you that none before you have shown any interest in my ability at such mundane tasks."

"So… you don't actually know."

No, Mewtwo thought to himself impatiently. Anyone rational wouldn't actually care.

On that subject, though, he decided it was worth figuring out that much before this conversation went any further. "Do you truly know anything about me? Or did you search for me based on nothing but hearsay?"

The Pokéball's angle adjusted slightly, as did the human's. "I did some research. Something about how you were supposed to be some artificially-created perfect Pokémon." He sighed again. "I really wanted to learn if that was true before I used that ball on you. It's not like I've got a second one."

"I would not call your attempt at battle any credible form…"

"Stop right there", Anton said sternly. "First off, I don't battle."

"Really?" Mewtwo asked incredulously. "You use a Pokémon that is almost exclusively known as a battler's initial companion. The humans of Cerulean make a concentrated effort to ensure that people who have not been in at least a wide-scale battle tournament do not go anywhere near my sanctum. You charge in with intent to test my strength. And you do not battle."

"Okay, I used to battle. Better?" The human paused for a moment, coinciding with the Pokéball and everything else coming to a halt. "Why do you even care? I heard you don't even battle much anymore."

He definitely didn't choose to capture me at random, Mewtwo concluded. "Perhaps not, but I continue to value my freedom and peace of mind." His tone of voice grew angrier. "So you will inform me why you have captured me and flown me a sufficient distance to place us in the Johto region if you have no interest in my combat prowess."

Anton lifted the Pokéball and pointed it in an unspecified direction. "Can you not see it?"

"No. I cannot. You should be aware that the average Pokémon would not be able to see you at this time."

"Guess it can't be helped." His voice grew worrisome. "But I want you to hear me out, so please don't run away on me yet." Even more worrisome. "Or kill me or paralyze me or throw me far away or any of that other stuff you do."

Mewtwo almost grinned. Even in a state of captivity, he continued to be fearsome. "If you can convince me that this could be worth my time, I may choose to lighten your punishment."

"I hope you're joking."

"Yes, you do."

A few seconds later, Mewtwo's eyes struggled to adjust to the sunlight. In the meantime, his mind quickly identified the immediate surroundings. A human in front of him. An unwinged reptile standing next to the human. A winged reptile standing to his own side. And to the other side, a large building.

His eyes finally adjusted, and he took in the view. A large domed building stood between them and a body of water, complete with large burning torches extending from the top. Various humans and Pokémon walked around the area, including some that were running around at the fastest pace they could muster.

Anton raised his arm. "This is the Pokéathlon Dome. What do you think?"