Chapter 3 – Old Debts
The rain came down heavily. Lightning split the sky as an injured Kirlia named Salem, lay in the mud crying. He was fairly young and wasn’t conditioned for battle, but that didn’t stop the trainer from attacking him out of sheer spite.
Salem tried to crawl away from the merciless trainer and his Pokemon, but there was no escape. Every move he made was blocked by the trainer’s Weavile.
“Please… don’t hurt me any more… please,”
Salem whimpered to the Weavile who laughed.
“I’m sooo sorry, but it’s just so much fun,”
the Weavile replied, stepping on Salem’s throat.
“Weavile, finish him,” the trainer commanded with no hint of remorse in his voice.
An evil grin flashed across the Weavile’s face, as he prepared to use a Night Slash attack that would ultimately end Salem’s life.
A dark aura appeared around the Weavile’s claw, as he took a final slash at Salem, only to be stopped by iron hard claws, which protruded from black paws on blue furry arms.
The Weavile stepped back somewhat, as he was now face to face with a Lucario. “Ah, fresh meat. I’ve never had the pleasure of fighting a Lucario before.”
Salem looked up at the Lucario, and recognized him automatically. “Luke? You came to save me!”
Luke didn’t look at Salem, nor did he acknowledge him. “You’ve gone too far today, Weavile.”
“Don’t be so melodramatic,”
the Weavile said as he stepped back even more. “Honestly, you’d think someone, had just killed a Kirlia or something.”
Luke lunged at the Weavile, iron claws extended to their full length.
The Weavile howled in pain as Luke sank three claws into his left shoulder, and raked them across the front of his torso, spilling blood everywhere.
Luke’s left paw came around with so much speed that it couldn’t be seen by either Salem or the enemy Weavile. A jaw cracking connection was made between Luke’s paw, and the Weavile’s lower face.
Flames now covered Luke’s right foot, as he spun around quickly, in a roundhouse kick. Another connection was made with the right side of Weavile’s head, sending him tumbling to the ground next to Salem.
“You’re lucky that I’m sparing your life,” Luke growled angrily.
“Luke, look out,”
Salem cried, just before Luke put his paw out to catch a Pokeball that had been thrown at him.
Luke held the Pokeball in his paws for a moment, then dropped it and looked up at the trainer who’d thrown it. “Tisk tisk. You shouldn’t have done that. I understand that you have to catch Pokemon to be a great trainer, but to apply such brute force to your tactics, I can’t accept.”
“What do you know about it? You’re just a soft heart in a hard shell,” the trainer shouted.
“Real power isn’t measured by a being’s willingness to kill. Real power is measured by a being’s ability to restrain himself,” Luke said as he moved closer to the trainer. “You and I are weak, because we can’t restrain ourselves.”
“What do you mean ‘you and I’?”
“I mean that I see no mercy in your future…” Luke said as the shadows engulfed them both. Three long claws made of dark energy appeared at Luke’s paws as he moved in to strike. He brought his claw down onto the unnerved trainer, slashing right through his torso.
No damage was done to his physical body, but Luke could see the damage done to his aura. It was turning from a bright blue to a shadowy purple, as the trainer sat down under the trunk of a tree.
Luke raised his paw to the sky. “Now for the finisher.”
As he began to bring it down, a green form jumped in the way of the attack, causing Luke to purposely miss his foe, and hit the tree trunk just above his head.
“Luke, don’t do this… please,”
Salem said, now standing in the trainer’s lap.
“Salem, get out of my way.”
“Don’t you see?! You’re becoming the trainer, and his merciless Weavile. Just let it go!”
Luke stepped back and looked at himself. His fur was covered in mud and blood. Luke turned around. “What have I done?”
A human hand touched his shoulder, causing him to jump. Looking back, Luke saw a man in a red and yellow uniform, who was now holding Salem in his arms. “You did what any Pokemon or human would have done to him had they seen what you saw here today. But you had the strength to stop yourself before someone got killed. I’m proud of you for that.”
“And who are you,” Luke asked quietly.
“My name is Johnny Slade, and I’m a Pokemon Ranger. Unfortunately I’m going to have to take you to the authorities, and let them decide what to do with you.”
Luke stared down at Slade’s feet. “Am I going to be punished by the humans?”
“No. You’ll be sent to a wildlife preserve, where Pokemon are sent when they’ve done a great deal of damage to life or property. It’s more like relocation. You’ll still be wild but in a different place,” Slade explained.
Luke sat up quickly, his fur standing on end. “Dreamin’ about the old days again, dummy,” he said to himself while flattening the fur on his arms and chest. Rolling out of the bed, Luke stumbled to the window of the second story guest room, and looked down on the street.
The sun had already raised high above the earth, and was now happily beating down on the harbor to*wn.
“Luke? Were you having a nightmare,”
Latias’ sweet voice said from the door.
Luke glanced at the Latias who had come over and was now hovering by his side. “No. Just a dream.”
“Luke, I’m psychic. Plus you were talking in your sleep.”
“I can’t lie to you, can I, Latias,” Luke said smiling sadly.
“Please, call me Lanai. It’s the name I was given by the girl that helped me escape from Team Rocket.”
“Okay, Lanai.” Luke’s smile grew somewhat. “Four years ago, a friend of mine was nearly killed by a trainer and his Weavile. I took it upon myself to exact revenge, but my friend stopped me. The horrible thing that I almost did, has haunted me ever since.”
“He must’ve been a pretty bad friend, if he couldn’t keep your sorry ass outta trouble,”
said a familiar voice.
Luke looked at the door to see a tall figure standing in the doorway. “Salem, is that you??”
The Gallade stepped forward and nodded. “It’s been a couple years.”
“Yeah, I suppose it has. What brings you here,” Luke asked.
“Well, when I hear that my best friend just tried to kill twelve Pokemon and a PokemonCenter nurse… I think its time you and I have a chat.”
“You think it was me too, don’t you,” Luke said, folding his arms.
“You have it all wrong! I’m psychic. I can tell just by lookin’ atcha, that you didn’t do it. I came, to see if I could help. After all, I owe you my life…”
Luke grinned. “Alright. Let’s see whatcha got.”
The room suddenly shook causing Luke and Salem to be thrown violently to the ground, as the sounds of bewildered screams could be heard downstairs.
“What the hell was that,” Luke shouted as they clamored to their feet.
“I don’t know. Let’s check it out,”
Salem replied, running out of the room.
Luke glanced back at Lanai, and stopped. “You stay here. It could be your pals from the alley.”
As Lanai nodded, Luke left the room and joined his friend on the stairs as a wave of Rockets ushered into the lobby of the PokemonCenter.
One of them grabbed a boy by the collar. “Where’s Nurse Joy,” he shouted angrily.
“I-I don’t know,” the young boy wailed, tears streaming down his cheeks.
“Let that boy go,” a stern voice yelled amongst the angry roar. All faces in the room turned to Nurse Joy who was standing on the counter next to an angry Blissey. “What is it that you want?”
“I want Latias and I want her now, or this little boy gets fed to my Houndoom,” the Rocket said without batting an eye.
Luke leapt down from the stairs, onto the counter next to Nurse Joy.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Nurse Joy answered, narrowing her eyes.
There was a moment of silence as Luke eyed the leader of the Rockets. All that could be hoped for was that the leader was dumb enough to believe Joy’s lie.
“Boss, she’s lying! That’s the blue mutt that ambushed us in the alley behind the Poke Mart!”
The leader was now eyeing Luke. “Is he now? What do you say, shorty? Is she here or not?”
Calmly, Luke took a deep breath. These “tiny” jokes were getting tiresome. “Move on.”
“What if we don’t wanna go,” a voice shouted from the crowd.
A sound near the exit caused all of the grunts in the room to look at the glass doors which were sliding shut, followed by the prompt shutting of the iron shutters, which prevented break-ins during the night. Salem appeared between the grunts and the door.
Luke grinned. “If you don’t wanna go, then you’re stuck in here with me ‘n’ my friend there.”
Another moment of silence was trailed by a short chuckle from the leader. “Do you hear that, gentlemen? We’re trapped! All forty of us. Against these two.”
“You don’t wanna push me friend,” Luke said with a dark undertone.
“Actually, I think I do. ATTACK,” the leader cried, as his Houndoom lunged at Luke. The battle was on. A swarm of Pokemon came at Luke, but was quickly dispatched by a Vacuum Wave attack, while Salem crossed blades with a Scyther during the chaos.
Luke rammed an electrically charged fist into the face of a Blastoise who had his water cannons trained on Salem. Another Thunderpunch put the Blastoise down on the ground.
Outside, sirens blared heralding the arrival of the cops, as a Mightyena blasted his way through the iron shutters that blocked the exit.
“Every man for ‘em self,” a grunt shouted at the top of his lungs.
Luke and Salem chased the perpetrators into the street where they were corralled into a circle of police cars, and Pokemon. In a panic, one of the Rockets’ Pokemon attacked one of the police cars, causing it to somersault violently into the air.
Predicting its landing, Luke dove into an officer who had been in the predicted landing spot, while the car made its dramatic landing, right where Luke had foreseen.
For a second, Luke and the officer stared at each other, Luke straddling her stomach.
“You,” she exclaimed while the other officers busied themselves with trying to catch the fleeing members of Team Rocket.
“Would you believe me if I told you there was a completely logical explanation for all of this,” Luke asked hesitantly.
“Get OFF! Now isn’t the time for this,” Jenny shouted angrily after pushing Luke off of her, forcefully. She turned and began helping her fellow officers by calling out her Squirtle and her Arcanine. “Zen, use Blizzard! Arcanine use Fire Spin!”
Jenny’s Squirtle nodded and unleashed snow and ice from all over the city street, which caused the Rockets to slip and fall on the suddenly frozen cement, and Arcanine followed up with a fire storm which encircled the fallen Rockets.
Luke saw this as an opportunity to grab several iron bars from the construction site across the street from the PokemonCenter.
While the Rockets were still trapped in the fiery tornado, Luke hurled the bars high into the sky, and using Psychic, Luke positioned the bars to land in a perfect circle.
When the bars landed, they stood straight in the air, creating a makeshift jail cell for the Rockets to sit in while the police rounded up their Pokemon.
“Thank you for that, Lucario,” Jenny said, wiping sweat from her brow.
“Always happy to help. Crooks like these should get locked up,” Luke answered, his back to Jenny.
“I…” Jenny faltered for a second. “Thank you for saving me.”
“You gonna… slap the cuffs on me,” Luke asked after turning to face her.
“No. Not… not this time. My superiors told me you were evil, with no regard for Pokemon or human life. What I saw here today contradicts that.” Jenny paused to interpret what she was saying. It had been a long time since she had spoken with her heart. “I hope that one day you find what you’re looking for, whatever it is.”
Luke looked her in the eyes, which appeared to be filling with tears. “Thank you. I do have one request though.”
“What is it?”
“Contact the Pokemon Rangers, and get in touch with Johnny Slade. Could you tell him that I’m alright?”
Jenny nodded numbly.
Luke turned and went back into the PokemonCenter with a strange feeling. As he ascended the stairs, and entered his room, he found Salem sitting on his bed. “Where’s Lanai?”
“She left. I don’t know where or why, but she was babbling about being a jinx and causing problems wherever she goes,”
Salem answered. “I tried to stop her, but she wasn’t having it.”
“Damn,” Luke shouted as he rammed his fist into the wall. “C’mon, we’re going after her. The wild is no place for the injured.”
“But, what about the humans?!”
Salem called after Luke who had rushed out of the room and down the stairs. Salem stood up and looked around the room. “Typical Luke. Rushin’ head first into danger.”
With that said, Salem exited the room. “Luke, wait for me!”