"These monsters possess powers undreamed of. In this land battles with fire breather and giant aren't uncommon. Some take the form of great dragons or mystical fairies. Several appear as common creatures. Others are aliens, disturbing and bizarre. Be it they ghouls, rocks, trolls or plants. All are demons and all are dangerous. Have they powers of magic, strength, speed, or chance. Changing form creates a beast more treacherous. Without going unchecked these beasts would rule the world. This is why man created his technologies to control them. Now the forces of nature are at the will of the humans. Whether to use these powers for good or evil is for each to decide."

Wendell J. Nelson

The Fire

In a small valley 100 miles southeast of Vermillion City, Mo sat atop a boulder near the forest's edge. He flicked pebbles into the shallow creek next to his rest spot as he snacked on the sandwich his mom had made him. He brushed his hand over a strange marking scratched into the rock. Rubbing his fingers across the indentations, he could tell the etching was made recently. Who could have made this arrow shaped engraving? He wondered. The only people that passed through the valley were lost travelers and the occasional hunter. And it didn't look like a tracking symbol he was familiar with.

He noticed a red reflection in the water below. Lifting from his seat, Mo got a closer look at the vulpix peeking from behind the rock. Vulpix was lifting its nose gently in the air, catching the scent of Mo's sandwich. "Hey Vulpix," Mo cheerfully exclaimed. As it stepped out from behind the boulder Mo tossed a chunk of sandwich Vulpix's way. Vulpix caught the sandwich and swallowed it quickly as it walked toward Mo. "Are you going to let me pet you today?" Mo questioned, extending out his hand. But the timid vulpix sped his pace up just enough to be out of Mo's reach. Mo sighed in disappointment and sat back down. "I've known you for months now. Why don't you trust me?" Vulpix moved to face Mo and let out a small howl, "vuuuoool." Obliging the young, three tailed vulpix, Mo tossed a piece of torn crust to it. He smiled down at Vulpix then out across the large prairie his family owned.

Most of the flat, grass land he could see was a part of his family's ranch and the rest was either untamed prairie or forest. "You know Vulpix, sometimes I wish I didn't have to stay here," Mo confessed with an almost somber tone in his voice. "Everything's great but sometimes I wish I had friends other than my mom and dad. Maybe in two years, when I'm ten, I can travel the world. But who knows." Mo continued to gaze across the valley as he imagined what it would be like to step out into the unfamiliar world. He would be as free and wild as a mustang rapidash.

A heavy wind from the eastern sea picked up as dusk approached. Watching as the grass blades changed direction with the winds, Mo's hazel eyes stayed fixed on no particular object. He let his mind go numb as a cold gust pushed his short dark hair back. This winter had been abnormally cold and Mo could hardly stand the freeze. Vulpix sat next to the creek patiently waiting for another bite to eat. As Mo let himself return to consciousness, he tossed the rest of his sandwich on the floor next to Vulpix. Picking the sandwich up, Vulpix silently pranced into the woods. Mo decided it was time to head back home before it got too dark. He didn't want to get grounded for a second time this month. He took one last look at the almost arrow shaped symbol on the boulder then jumped down and ran off in the direction the arrow was pointing.

With a thin line of light left on the horizon, Mo reached his front door. He entered the wooden cabin he called home and felt a warm rush across his pale face. The pleasant aroma of his moms cooking flooded his nostrils. The table was set and a few pots were on simmer, but his mom wasn't in her usual spot near the stove. Mo checked the pots and dipped his finger into the pot of mashed potatoes to have a taste. Delicious as always. He heard his father's muffled voice coming from outside "Mo! Over here, in the barn! The ponyta eggs are hatching!"

Mo jumped with excitement, "No way!" He couldn't believe it had already been three months since Rapidash had laid her eggs.

Mo ran out to the giant wood barn to find his mom kneeling down in one of the stalls next to the mother rapidash. Standing back smiling, his dad waited for him. "Would you look at that," he said putting his arm around Mo's shoulder as he pointed to the infant ponyta in his wife's arms.

Mo's mom smiled and spoke softly, "It's a boy. And the other one hasn't broke out yet." The mare leaned its head over the stall and sniffed its new born. She was calm and gentle as she brushed her lips over the small ponyta.

"What do you think big guy? You think he'll be yours in a few years?" Mo's dad promised him that when he turned ten he could have one of the new ponyta as his first pokémon.

Mo gave a smirk, "We'll have to see how the other one turns out first." Periodically shaking, the other egg lay next to Mo's mom. It wouldn't be long before it would hatched and take its first breath of life.

The giant room was dimly lit by the flames of the six rapidash locked in their stalls for the night. "Hold on, I'm going to grab my camera," Mo's dad shouted as he ran out of the barn's only doorway. Moving closer to the ponyta, Mo knelt down next to his mother. The newborn had short white fur and an almost invisible flame running from between his ears to his tail. In awe, Mo ran his hand over Ponyta's face and leaned his head on his mother's shoulder. He felt her warmth as the surrounding air began getting colder.

BAM! A large crashing sound came from the rafters behind them.

Mo turned in just enough time to see a small dark figure leaping at him from above. He was kicked and pushed to the floor. The fast moving shadow had ripped the baby ponyta from his mother's embrace and disappeared.

Mo's mom screamed in fright. Panicking, the mother rapidash gave a winey and stood up on her two hind legs. "What was that? Where did it go?" Mo looked to the rafters, from where the frightening beast had come. The baby ponyta was nowhere in sight, nor was whatever took it.

Small creaking could be heard from the wooden beams above. Mo and his mom scanned the dark area over their heads. "There it is!" Mo shouted as he stared into the piercing eyes of a child sized, black furred pokémon. It had a crimson wiry mane around its cat like head and long dangerous claws on the ends of both arms. It sat hunched over claw equipped feet. Between its slender down turned ears was a golden pendent resting on the middle of its forehead. "Weavile," It hissed as it jumped from the shadows.

Mo turned to protect the other egg laying feet away. Managing to grab and save it, Mo took a claw to the back, ripping his shirt and splitting his skin. The attacking pokémon dashed back into darkness. "It's okay, I've got the egg," Mo informed his mom.

"Are you okay honey! Bill! Get out here!" She called, placing a hand on Mo's back. They could hear movement above them. It sounds like more than just one of those things is up there. Mo thought. Hugging the rumbling egg tightly, he made a run for the door. He and his mom were halfway there when another flash of black from the right knocked Mo down, causing the egg to tumble to the hay covered floor. Then another flash from the left swooped down, and like that, the egg was gone.

Thrashing in her locked stall, the mother rapidash gave a loud whiney. Just then, Mo's dad had made it back to the barn, alarmed. "What's going on?" he shouted.

"Something took the baby ponyta. What are we going to do?" His wife replied, now frantic.

A freezing gust of wind blew harshly at the family. The creatures where using their powers.

The five other rapidash in the barn began kicking at their stalls but none of them were as furious as the mother rapidash. Her flaming mane blazing, she kicked her way through the wood gate of her stall and began thrashing around the barn. Running over to control her in fear she'd cause harm to herself, Bill ordered. "Settle down girl! Sharon, we've got to get the rapidash back in their pokéballs!"

At that moment two of the attacking pokémon jumped from the other end of the barn and sucker punched Rapidash. As they retreated Rapidash rose back up on two legs and swung her front hooves in the air, knocking Bill to the ground.

"Dad!" Mo cried. "Bill!" Sharon rushed to Bill's aid.

The pokéballs were in the back of the barn behind the commotion.

"Wea" another synchronized hiss came from behind Mo, as two more attackers swiftly moved to take out Rapidash.

To defend herself, Rapidash release a flaming assault in Mo's direction.

He shielded his eyes as the powerful fire blew him back, bursting across the barn floor and catching a bale of hay aflame.

Mo could see one of the beasts as it was engulfed by the flames. Avoiding the blaze, the other beast was on course for Rapidash. The vicious pokémon dug its claws into Rapidash's back, drawing blood.

Two more quickly followed suite and made swipes at the outnumbered mother rapidash.

Having moved Bill, who was unconscious, to the side, Sharon ran to the back of the barn to grab the pokéballs. She was unaware that the front of the barn was now quickly catching fire.

"Mom, there's a fire!" Mo yelled.

All neighing, the other five rapidash thumped the walls of their stalls violently.

Just then the mother rapidash unleashed a flaming cyclone into the air. The barn lit up, revealing the beasts hiding in the shadows. Mo counted six weavile total, including the injured one. All with gleaming eyes fixed on the fiery, white unicorn.

The flames from the cyclone had grabbed one of the attackers and hurled it into the air. The black cat screeched an ominous cry as the flames took its body. Mo watched as the charred black body of the crimson manned pokémon dropped with a thud.

As soon as the sound could resonate in the ears of the attackers, the biggest and meanest of them leaped into the air. Firing a beam of icy blue light toward Rapidash, the evil spirited weavile hissed a deathly screech.

The beam shined on Rapidash's face. She winced at the light, attempting to charge blindly.

But before she could take her first step she was immobilized. Her head chilled over and froze in place. Quickly spreading across her entire body, the blanket of white ice froze her solid.

Now with the bag of pokéballs in hand, Sharon gasped at the sight of Rapidash's frosted silhouette.

She dug into the bag and pulled out a small, shiny, sphere.

The ball gleamed half metallic red and half a powder coated white.

As Sharon extended her arm out in a hasty motion the ball grew in her hand. "Rapidash, return!" Sharon called out as she pushed the center button of the pokéball and aimed it forward at Rapidash.

But her attempt was unsuccessful.

The weavile's beam slammed into her before she could call Rapidash back. She screamed in pain as the chilling ray pushed her against the floor.

Mo watched in terror as his mom began to be engulfed by a layer of ice.

The fire spreading to the walls around him, Mo ran to his father who was lying knocked out on the floor.

"Dad, wake up!" Mo coughed as his lungs took in smoke.

The ice attack still freezing over his mother.

"Dad!" he cried.

He tried lifting his dad but couldn't budge him. Bill was too big for Mo to lift.

Mo looked around to see if he could use anything to save his mother and father.

The smoke was thick and he could hardly breathe.

Flaming pieces of roof began falling to the ground. The structure was weakening, Mo was running out of time.