I would like to say that these special chapters are not meant to go along with the normal chapters of the story. They are stand alone one-shots, you could say. What is said or happens here are not applied to the main fan fic, although it might help you better understand some things.
Also, I have never played Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness or Pokemon Colesseum, so the Orre and Shadow Pokemon in this are of my own imagination. If the story would have been written with this plot setting, I would have done research in order to keep the region and its elements as accurate as possible, but since this chapter is merely for fun, I decided to have fun and wing it.
So this is the background Mark Antony had in my original plot draft of My Guardian Angel
. I did, however, add his military position and motives to fill in holes. As you will read, Mark Antony's character is more... cold-hearted and harsh.
Song for this chapter: Winter
by Yasuhiro Takato. Lyrics are here
Special Chapter 01
The Scourge of Orre
The knock on the door aroused Professor Lawrence from his reading.
It was unusual for something as trivial as a knock on the door to distract him from his research, but whoever was knocking was persistent, bold, and probably willing to stay at his doorstep well into the night. Putting down his reading spectacles and closing his hardcover book, the sixty-six-year-old man rose from his revolving chair and crossed the living room. From the arched window at the top of the door, he saw a pair of sand-covered goggles resting on chestnut hair. Lawrence opened the door and leaned against his walking cane to examine the young man before him.
“You must have a good reason to come and see me if you braved the Harrow Desert and its inhabitants,” the lean man commented, his thin locks of white hair brushed away from his face by the night breeze he just let in. Whatever drops of rain that fell and picked up midair by the gust speckled his very wrinkled, now gray, lab coat. The stranger paid no heed to the rain that was pelting him and instead straightened his olive-green trench coat and locked his amber eyes with the professor’s graying blue.
“I’m sorry to trouble you this late at night, Professor,” the twenty-five-year-old apologized with a slight bow; Lawrence quirked a bushy eyebrow, recognizing the Johtonian custom, as well as the accent. “But I was hoping that you could help me out.”
Professor Lawrence, uncaring that the traveler’s clothes were getting soaked, stood there and pondered about whether he should let the man in or not. Finally, he let the traveler enter with a nod of his head. The sound of leather loafers against hardwood floor was drowned out by the shutting door and the stranger’s heavy, black boots striding in. Rather than frown at the fact that his furnished floor paneling was getting wet and stained with the globs of wet sand that dripped from the traveler’s baggy jeans, the old man was more interested in why someone would come to his home. With that came a suspicious glint to his otherwise glazy stare.
As though on cue, something shifted in the shadows. The foreigner didn’t notice it, but Lawrence caught the slight movement and gave a barely perceptible shake of his head.
“I suspected something more… elaborate,” commented the stranger, but despite his words, he seemed impressed by the large living room. Although the only furniture in the room was the professor’s desk and chair on a raised area of the room at the back and a forest-green loveseat at the corner, the air of wealth and importance was all around. The wood alone was a dark and rich honey shade, and that color only came from the oldest and most beautiful Nuez Trees that rested on Kanto’s beloved Indigo Plateau. An arm and a leg were surely the price to buy and export these magnificent trees.
“I make do,” the professor answered with a shrug, making his way to his desk; though he was suspicious of his visitor, he did not fear turning his back to him. Once he was seated, his book and glasses in his lap, he waved a hand towards the love seat. “Now take a seat, and state your name and business.”
“Name’s Mark Antony Colfax,” the Johtonian said as he took the invite, or rather order. Mark Antony was now noticing Lawrence’s cool gaze and posture. To say it didn’t make him wary would be a lie, but he had expected the professor to be as cold and aloof. Besides, he had faced much harsher things than an old man’s attitude.
Mark Antony’s cocky persona, however, was mentally smoothed over as he remembered the reason he was here. As confident as he was, being his usual harsh self wasn’t going to get him anywhere.
“I’m here,” he continued, unaware of the shifting shadows behind him, “to ask for your help. In Johto, I’m a sergeant of my regiment, and currently, we’re fighting Kanto for control of our own region.” Mark Antony glared at the floor as though it were the soldiers that were currently tearing up his beloved home. “Our regiments and our Pokémon aren’t enough. Battle after battle come and go, and we don’t seem any closer to victory than two years ago.”
Lawrence cocked his head, waiting to hear the point to Mark Antony’s visit. Noticing this, the sergeant intertwined his fingers together and leaned forward in his seat, amber eyes shrouded in shadow. “Professor Lawrence, you are the lead scientist in the research of Shadow Pokémon. Although I know you have created no Shadow Pokémon yet, I’m confident that you will and that they will be stronger, fiercer, and faster than normal Pokémon.”
“You want to be an apprentice and learn the art of Shadow Pokémon in order to win your Region War,” the man finished the thought. Lawrence quirked an interested brow, his solemn frown now not quite as harsh. Mark Antony raised his head in agreement, and his eyes were alight with malicious eagerness. He had heard of Lawrence’s claims that Shadow Pokémon could potentially have the ability to bring a region to its knees, and he liked the hellish idea.
“Yes,” Mark Antony finally said, a sly smile stretching from ear to ear. “I have no plans to steal the information or cause trouble in Orre. My sole reason to create and use Shadow Pokémon is to rid Johto of the Kantonians. If you agree to help me, I can bring you the spoils of my victory: rare Kanto Pokémon, weapons, and technology.”
When the strange shadow against the wall of the room moved again, this time, the twenty-five-year-old noticed it. Lawrence wryly grinned when he saw Mark Antony’s gloved hand going for a Poké Ball that hung among the cluster of spheres clipped to his belt. It was now his turn to lean forward with an all-knowing smile. His foreign guest enlarged the Poké Ball that now laid in his palm, his gaze darkening with his own suspicions and the hairs on his neck standing on end. “Your cruel ambition alone is enough to interest me, but can you handle a Pokémon embodied with nothing but darkness?”
From behind the loveseat, something long and silky black shot out and wrapped itself around Mark Antony’s arm. The sergeant jumped in his seat and jerked around to face his attacker. An elegant canine face met him with glittering ruby eyes, and Mark Antony only had a brief second to release his Pokémon from its capsule when the Ninetales leaped at him with gnashing fangs of ivory. Pidgeot materialized above them as Mark Antony’s other arm was grabbed by a second, writhing tail. The other seven waved behind the sleek vixen like snakes never straying too far from their master.
“Pidgeot!” the foreigner shouted towards the massive flyer above him. Ninetales arched her back and whipped her tails to her right. To Mark Antony’s great surprise, she managed to fling his girth towards the wall. The impact made his ears ring, his body ache, and he landed as a heap on the floor.
Pidgeot gave an ear-splitting cry that shook the downy, cream-colored feathers on his chest. He gave one downbeat of his chestnut wings and was on Ninetales in a flash. Black tails and ruby and yellow head feathers whipped around in the scuffle before nine spheres of cerulean fire propelled Pidgeot to the wall. Mark Antony rolled out of the way as his Pokémon flopped to the ground with growing burns over his body. Mark Antony wrinkled his nose as the smell of burnt flesh rose from the Pokémon that struggled to lift itself to his shaking, pink talons.
“And what was the point of attacking me?” he asked Lawrence, the professor rising from his seat. The demonic fox smiled once more with her abnormally sharp fangs and strutted towards her master. However, even when Lawrence didn’t respond immediately, Mark Antony found he was more intrigued than mad. As he rubbed his bleeding, bruised wrist and struggled to get back on his feet with aching limbs and back, he tried to think of a Pokémon that had shown more strength, more ruthlessness, than the smirking Ninetales in front of him. No other creature came to mind.
“I don’t want just anybody working alongside me,” the old man answered offhandedly. “Now I didn’t lie,” Lawrence pointed out when he saw Mark Antony open his mouth. “I never said I didn’t succeed in creating a Shadow Pokémon. So, what do you think?”
“It’s… amazing,” Mark Antony admitted, and the vixen flicked her tails in pride. Pidgeot, who had landed by his master’s side, clicked his pale pink beak at the shadow beast. Ninetales gave a sadistic grin as she was petted by the aged scientist.
“The only Shadow Pokémon thus far,” Lawrence told him. “All the others have died or have gone mad until they found a way to kill themselves off. But not my lovely Ninetales. She was the perfect guinea pig in every way.”
Ninetales leaned towards his hand as she was scratched behind the ears. Even the simple action was no longer normal. A grin that was once heartwarming was now forever evilly twisted. Mark Antony was oblivious to the cruelness, the utter hate that radiated off the creature. He saw only raw power and the potential to come back to Johto with a force that would bring the Kantonian forces to their knees.
“So will you accept me as your apprentice?”
The old man fiddled with his cane, a smirk tugging at the corners of his lips. “Yes, I will, although my idea of apprenticeship and yours might be different. You see, I can do everything on my own except capture and steal Pokémon I need for my experiments.” With a hand, Lawrence emphasized his frail body and the cane that was holding him upright. “I’ll leave that job up to you.”
An eyebrow was raised. “Stealing, huh? Sounds like a fun job.”
There was something in the man’s terrified face that put a grin on Mark Antony’s own. The lab assistant was mostly shrouded in the darkness of the lab, but by the shafts of dusty light that filtered in through the shattered roof, he saw the man’s tanned complexion; a native of Cinnibar Island, Kanto had faced his wrath. Or maybe it was how the man tried so hard to stop him and realizing that the Kantonians would soon face the same desperation. The mere thought sent him into a fit of spiteful chuckles that made his mount start below him.
“It’s alright, Pidgeot,” he calmed the avian, the evil smile still spreading upon his face.
The lab assistant rushed forward for one last attack, but Mark Antony swung the pipe he had picked up during the scuffle. With a teeth-chattering clang!
, the man fell into a crumpled heap with a river of garnet blood oozing from the side of his head. Satisfied, Mark Antony threw the makeshift weapon to the side and took one last look at the ruins around them. Tables were overturned and were nothing but oversized splinters that cast shadows on the shards of glass that littered the floor. With the bookshelves and cabinets in ruins, papers and books were scattered and soaking up the spilled rainbow-colored concoctions at their feet. Pidgeot stared at the man, wondering if his master had managed to hit this one only hard enough to knock him unconscious, but he was then forced to fly upward by a kick to the ribcage.
“Nice haul,” Mark Antony commented after they burst through the mess that was the collapsing roof. He weighed the bag in his hands and couldn’t help but grin as he felt dozens of Poké Balls tumble over each other.
Suddenly, the clear night air was filled with the enraged voices of men. Mark Antony looked down at the barren landscape below them, the solitary lab they had just ambushed behind them. Hidden in the shadows of the towering sand dunes was the local law enforcement, “a laughable bunch of righteous fools,” as Mark Antony had called them on numerous occasions. These men were every bit as mysterious as himself. Their cream-colored overcoats and beige scarves hid every identifiable characteristic in order to blend in with their desert surroundings; Mark Antony was never sure if the men that chased him were the same bunch.
“Please,” he scoffed when he heard the numerous clicks of guns. “Seven months is way too long to chase something out of your reach.” The chestnut-haired man looked up instead to the mountain range that was coming up. A smart maneuver here and there and the police, if such shifty people could be called that, would be out of his hair. Securing his goggles over his eyes, Mark Antony told Pidgeot to fly higher.
Shots rang out. Pidgeot screeched in fright when one flew past and grazed his shoulder.
“Steady! Steady!” the sergeant yelled to the bird. Waving away the flurry of feathers that burst into the air from the shot, Mark Antony hunkered down even more and shot an infuriated look at the men below. Even from this high up, he saw that the guns the men wielded weren’t normal.
“Damn Orrians,” came the gritted curse. “How in Arceus’ name do they trump their own technology in mere months?!”
A volley of shots were coming their way now. Mark Antony took one look behind him and ordered, “About face! Whirlwind!”
His stomach gave one giant lurch when his Pokémon turned towards the attack and gave one mighty downbeat of his wings. Mark Antony felt himself being blown back, and if he didn’t grab hold of Pidgeot’s flank, he had no doubt that he would’ve fallen. Adjusting his askew goggles, he felt rather than saw the twister launch itself towards the incoming bullets. As though slapped away by an invisible hand, the bullets flew in different directions before exploding. The police didn’t even blink as their useless ammo rained down and disappeared among the sand dunes.
“To the mountains!” ordered the Johtonian, forcing Pidgeot to turn around. He hoped speed would be able to beat whatever the Orrians had up their sleeves. Ignoring the way the bird warily eyed the men below, Mark Antony urged him forward. The intimidating landforms were coming closer and closer, and though the craggy cliffs looked too unstable for his liking, he knew he could manage to get through without a hitch.
Pidgeot couldn’t help but turn his head, however, when flashes of white light caught his eye. Below, emerging from the shadows, came two blurs he undoubtedly knew was trouble. Mark Antony also redirected his gaze upon hearing the wind whistle an unnatural tune and promptly cursed. He didn’t recognize the flying Pokémon, but the shine of fangs and claws were enough to unnerve him.
“Gliscor!” one of them cried, and before Mark Antony could discern more than the Pokémon’s obsidian bat wings, one of the monster’s thick pincers was thrust towards his face. With a startled yelp, the sergeant leaned back almost to the point of toppling off his mount. The violet menace was not deterred, even when Pidgeot attempted to peck him in between his yellow eyes, and did a complete one-eighty that whipped his long tail towards the enemy.
Just as quick, Mark Antony unsheathed his sword and blocked the bulbous stinger. From the two prongs came oozing rancid poison that dripped down, effectively melting a patch of feathers from Pidgeot’s back. The great bird gave one giant lurch, threatening to send his master over the edge.
“Damn bird! Don’t let such a petty wound distract you!” He grabbed a hold of a handful of tawny feathers and yanked. Pidgeot screeched and flew up, which knocked a surprised Gliscor back towards his arriving ally. This flyer shrugged his dazed companion off and nodded at Mark Antony with a menacing glare; due to the Honchkrow’s hat-shaped head, the human had the impression that he was being tipped off by a very malicious gentleman. Pidgeot blinked the world back into focus, tears of pain shaken away, and saw the massive crow rearing his head back. The cascading waterfall of white feathers on his chest swelled in preparation.
“Up! UP!” commanded Mark Antony, bracing himself for the dodge.
His heart rocketed to his throat when Pidgeot obeyed. Inches below them, a ray that blended into the dark night sky flew by as silent as the bird that launched it.
“What are these Pokémon?!” Mark Antony cursed. He chanced a quick glance behind him and admitted that these Pokémon were completely alien to him, although that raven bird reminded him of a Murkrow and the bat of a Gligar. Was it possible that they were some sort of cousins from another region, like Hoenn or Sinnoh? Once again, he swore at the people of Orre and the connections they apparently had.
Gliscor’s triangular ears twitched, as though sensing the human’s distress. Showing a grin that displayed all of his razor-sharp fangs, he swooped in and raised one of his pincers. Mark Antony swung his sword and deflected the suddenly-coated silver forceps. Metal and Metal Claw met and produced a hair-raising screech that caused both parties to cringe in pain. The scorpion hybrid flew back to nurse his ringing head, letting Honchkrow fly in with a surprising caw.
The Astonish was enough for Pidgeot to jump in the air and take his eyes away from the enemy. Honchkrow narrowed his own in triumph and flew back with one downbeat of his wings. By the time the Normal-type regained his balance, the Big Boss Pokémon was already descending down in a corkscrew manner. The Drill Peck hit tender chest flesh and ripped it away in seconds. Pidgeot cried out and tried to flap out of the way, spreading the running blood in all directions. Honchkrow stopped his spinning and ate a dangling piece of flesh off his beak, absolutely delighted. Mark Antony gripped the hilt of his sword, his face reddening in anger, and with one fluid arc of his arm, he flung his sword into the crow’s chest.
Honchkrow tried to emit a caw, but only a slight gurgling was heard. Blood began to trickle from his beak, yet the flyer had enough energy to straighten and ruffle his red-tipped tail feathers. Mark Antony pulled his sword out when he finally managed to get Pidgeot to fly straight, ducking a wing that unleashed a devastatingly chilly Icy Wind. Gliscor materialized from behind his comrade and lashed his tail, the air that whizzed around him suddenly darkening into pitch blackness.
Gliscor was buffeted by air that caught the underside of his wings and sent him toppling backwards mid-flight. He cringed while his Night Slash dissipated. Honchkrow swatted the scorpion away before he was hit, but by the time he did so, Mark Antony and Pidgeot were already high-tailing it to the mountains with a well-executed Agility. Both foes shared a heated glance and took flight after them, their cloaked trainers below following. However, it was obvious that they were too far behind to catch up.