Pokemon: Legendary Adventures (The Journey Begins) @flyg0n
An Electrifying Encounter

I might have updated sooner, but for those who haven't seen, has been acting nuts the past many days. I couldn't even view the new story I posted :( So Yeah.

In other news, Koa successfully mastered Ice Fang thanks to Wilma. Now he goes to Celestic to see some ruins. But a few surprises await him...

Echo (Male Golbat) {Ability: Inner Focus} - Confuse Ray, Poison Fang, Crunch, Air Slash

Hazard (Male Joltik) {Ability: Compound eyes} - Bug Bite, Electroweb, String Shot, Giga Drain

Rascal (Female Tyrunt) {Ability: Strong Jaw} - Dragon Tail, Ancient Power, Ice Fang, Crunch

Anubis (Male Houndoom) {Ability: Flash Fire} - Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Thunder Fang, Howl

Scrapper (Male Breloom) {Ability: Effect Spore} - Seed Bomb, Mach Punch, Sky Uppercut, Giga Drain

Flurry (Female Spheal) {Ability: Thick Fat} - Aqua Ring, Defense Curl, Rollout

Shoutout to Hawkosa on deviantart. He basically created the character Kitto, and has inspired many of this story's battle scenes. Go check out his art!

Koa stared wistfully at the sky as he walked the short path to Celestic Town. His thoughts were far off, reveling in his memories of flying. He wanted to burn the experience into his mind so he would never forget it. As he drew near to Celestic Town, he tucked the memories away and took in the sights.

Celestic Town was tiny, compared even to Floaroma Town. The entire town fit easily into the small valley it was set in. No real roads led through the town, instead, faintly worn paths wove through buildings and around trees. In the very center of the town, he could just catch a glimpse of the shrine, one of the landmarks the town was so well known for. It stood in a piece of hollowed earth, set several yards lower than the rest of the town. North of the shrine, he could see the Research Center and the ruins for which the town was so well known. The air smelled fresh, and without any city noises such as those in Jubilife or Hearthome, it felt relaxing. All in all, Celestic Town was a pleasant place.

Although the ruins were high on his list of places to visit while he was here, first on his list was the Pokemon Center. He wanted to stay at least the night in Celestic Town. It wasn't very big, but he didn't want to rush himself. Fortunately, locating the Pokemon Center didn't take long - finding the only building in the small town with a bright red roof was easy.

After he checked in and got his room, he made a beeline straight for the Celestic Ruins. The sun had just begun to set, but he wanted to get even a brief glimpse before night fell. The ruins were located just on the north side of town, brushing the town limits. It only took him a few minutes to walk there, but by the time he did, the first blues of dusk were beginning to creep across the sky. There were still enough traces of light to see, however.

Crumbled pillars and broken gray stone framed the path leading up to a dark hole in the wall. The outside of the ruins appeared to resemble a sort of temple-like structure, though only the barest framework could be seen. He took in the sight slowly, soaking in the details. He noted the building next to the ruins. It was supposed to be some kind of research center as well as a museum. A fence wound around the perimeter of the ruins to keep out the occasional stray pokemon and remind visitors to keep their distance during off-hours. A tall wrought-iron gate blocked the path to the ruins.

The gate stood partially open, a sign on it displaying the closing times. 7pm. He still had a little bit of time. Pushing the gate open, he walked across the ancient stone path and into the ruins. A set of barriers wound around the entirety of the inside, creating a solid barrier between visitors and the walls of the cave. Dim lights hung throughout, giving just enough light to see by, though still preserving the cave-like feeling. A short distance inside stood the main attraction - a large floor-to ceiling mural depicting Sinnoh's three legendary lake guardians. He stepped up to the barrier, peering closer to get a good look at the engraving.

"So we meet again, Koamaru!" spoke a voice from behind him.

Koa turned around and did a double-take. He'd have recognized that mahogany hair anywhere. The only thing missing was the long blue coat with a high collar. Instead, the person before him wore a plain silver vest and dark green polo. The dressy casual look was completed by a pair of dark blue jeans. "Hello Mr. Callahan," he said after he managed to gather his thoughts.

"I see the ruins must have drawn you here as well." As Callahan spoke, his gaze drifted back to the mural. "Fascinating, is it not? Three beings. The ancient guardians of Sinnoh's three lakes. Tell me, as a fellow explorer of legends, what do you know of the three?"

Taken aback, Koa didn't speak for a few seconds. He hadn't exactly expected Callahan to seek out his opinions on anything. He contemplated the questions before responding. "Each guardian represents something. Knowledge, emotion, and willpower. Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf." He thought back to the many books he'd read at Canalave Library. "According to mythology, they were responsible for granting humans with those attributes."

"Yes indeed..." Callahan mused. His eyes seemed unfocused as if he were lost in thought. Koa followed his gaze to see him staring at what appeared to be the painting resembling Uxie. "Knowledge." Then he blinked and shook himself. "Ah, there I go again. I can't help myself, I am always so fascinated by the legends. For example, what do you make of the fact that there are always three legendaries? Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres. Entei, Raikou and Suicune. And here, Mesprit, Uxie and Azelf. Why always three, I wonder?" He turned to face Koa, his head tilted ever so slightly in question.

"Three is an equalizer. If there's four, it's uneven. And two would constantly be at odds. But three is like..." Koa struggled for the word he was thinking of. "A foundation, I guess. Balance. Like when a beginning trainer can get a fire, water or a grass type to start." Or a Zubat, he thought to himself. "But triangles are usually like support structures. Legendaries are tied to everything. Every aspect. So there always has to be a balance. And... yeah." Koa petered off and swallowed, suddenly acutely aware he'd been rambling. Callahan was probably bored by him. He didn't want to make a fool of himself or worse, sound like some kind of crazy fan.

Callahan nodded thoughtfully. "That is quite the theory. Fascinating, is it not, how everything in our world is centered around Pokemon, especially these legendaries?" He paused and gazed at the mural for a long moment. "Perhaps there are three legendaries to signify the power they share."

Something sparked in Koa's mind from his previous conversation with Callahan. "Is that what you meant about the legendary beasts holding some kind of power?"

A look of surprise flickered across Callahan's face. "Yes indeed..." he began slowly. "Something like that." He cocked his head, his gaze traveling across the mural and the ruins around them. "Such magnificent ruins. As majestic as the Temple at Snowpoint City. I was there earlier this year, such a sight... To think, legendaries are responsible for so much of what we see."

"That's the temple honoring Regigigas, right?" Koa said eagerly. He'd read about it, as well as the legends surrounding the Regi's. It was one of the places he planned to visit. "According to the stories, he once towed whole continents and even formed the different Regi titans."

"Indeed," he said slowly. A second later, Callahan smiled again, one of his trademark brilliant ones. "I must say, you are shockingly well-read. It is not often I find young trainers who possess such passion for the mysteries of our world. I am impressed."

"Thanks," Koa said. The praise felt just as good as the first time he'd heard it, back at Lost Tower. He wanted to ask more questions and find out everything Callahan knew. Even if he still wasn't sure he agreed with him on certain subjects. Maybe Callahan would know something about the two Entei? "What about-"

A security guard strode up, greeting them with a brief wave. "I'm sorry, but the ruins are now closed. I'll have to ask you both to please leave."

Koa nodded ruefully. Probably better to keep his thoughts to himself for now anyway.

"Of course. We are on our way out." Callahan dipped his head to the guard and waved as he walked by. Koa followed, picking up his pace to adjust for the taller man's strides. Once they stood outside the ruins, Callahan offered his hand. "Once again, it was a pleasure, Koamaru."

Koa shook his head. "Thanks. For your time, I mean. It was uh... really cool."

Callahan nodded in acknowledgment. "Farewell! Perhaps we will cross paths again." And with that, he turned and strode away, hands in his pockets.

As soon as he was gone, Koa headed back to the Pokemon Center. A good dinner was a long time coming.

xXx

"I'm sorry, Mr. Koamaru, but our cafeteria is closed at the moment." Nurse Joy smiled sympathetically.

Koa frowned. After returning to the pokemon center, he'd spent some time calling Blake, then Rowan. He'd filled his cousin in on his egg hatching and then informed Rowan of Rascal's success with Ice Fang. Unfortunately, when he finished his phone calls, Nurse Joy had told him the bad news.

"But," she continued, "there's a lovely local restaurant nearby, run by a couple in town. Just head north from here and keep walking until you run into the last building in town," she said.

"Thanks!" grinning, Koa hurried out of the pokemon center. His hand drifted to his black and gold pokeball, then he tapped the button to release Echo. After a quick greeting, Echo dropped himself onto Koa's shoulders. He grimaced at the weight and turned his head to shoot a playful scowl at the Golbat. "Geez, you're really heavy, you know that?"

Echo shrieked and flipped his wings in a sort of shrugging motion. Koa rolled his eyes and kept walking. The thought of a nice, hot meal made his mouth water, as it always did. Judging by the drop of drool he felt on the back of his neck, Echo was equally excited. He reached up and flicked the Golbat playfully. "Keep drooling on my neck and I'm not buying you any honey from the shop." Echo squeaked in horror and frantically tried to rub off the drool. Koa just laughed and kept walking.

Speaking of shops... Between his loss to Cade some time ago and his rather minor loss of his bet to Avis, his finances were still recovering. The trainers he battled hadn't given much in the way of prize money either. He'd have to find some more people to battle soon. The money would be necessary to buy more TM's for his pokemon. And treats. Of course, he'd be challenging Veilstone gym soon. If memory served correctly, he could probably place a hefty bet there to boost his winnings.

He weaved through the trees and shrubs scattered throughout the rural town, taking care to avoid trampling on any bushes. He passed an assortment of houses, all designed to look rather simplistic. There were no gaudy colored buildings or lights of any kind, though he did see a few flame-lit lamps dotted about. His poketch buzzed, drawing him from his thoughts. He looked down to see who was calling.

'Incoming call: Kitto'

A grin spread across his face and he hit the answer button. "Hey, Kitto! How's Unova?"

Kitto's distinct voice crackled from the device. "Hmm... How do I say this... they're like... the boonies," he said light-heartedly.

Koa chuckled. "The boonies? How?"

He laughed. "Well for starters, the gym leaders were... special cases." Koa could picture Kitto shaking his head, looking disappointed. "The first gym was this group of three boys. The green-haired one would not shut up during his battles." Kitto laughed again. "Jackie enjoyed that one though I think. Oh, and I almost punched a girl in the face."

"What?"

"A gym leader. It's a long story, I'll have to tell you sometime. You'd like it. Where are you now, by way? I'm guessing you left Hearthome already?"

At the mention of Hearthome, Koa's mind flashed briefly to the Thing before he pushed it away. "I'm in Celestic Town now." A sudden thought occurred to Koa. "Hey, we should have a rematch sometime! When you get back to Sinnoh I mean."

"Funny, I was just about to suggest that. I got back from Unova a couple of days ago, actually. Although I wasn't expecting you to be so eager to get beat again."

Koa scowled. "Hey! I've been training a whole lot since then. You won't fool me again. Echo and I are ready whenever you're ready to lose."

A voice sounded simultaneously from behind Koa and from his Poketch. "How about now?"

Koa screamed and whirled around, jumping backward. Echo leaped off his shoulder and shrieked indignantly. Kitto stood just a couple feet away, head thrown back in laughter and red eyes flashing. Jackie looked equally amused, wearing a rather smug smirk.

Koa took a deep breath, struggling to calm his rapidly beating heart. "Jeez Kitto!" he snapped. "You nearly gave me a heart attack!"

Kitto chuckled, then clapped his hand on Koa's shoulder. "Technically, you almost gave yourself one. You should really learn to be more aware of your surroundings." Jackie nodded his head fiercely in agreement.

"I was only distracted because I was talking to you," Koa snapped. He glared daggers at Kitto, then relaxed and grinned. "It's good to see you though! But how did you even know where I was?"

"I've been stalking you for the past four days," Kitto replied in a deadpan voice.

Koa blinked. "What?"

He chuckled to himself and shook his head. "Kidding. Lucky guess, actually. You told me you were planning to head to Celestic Town. By the time I got back to Sinnoh, I thought you might get here soon. It was pure coincidence that I happened to spot you leaving the Pokemon Center."

Well, that made more sense.

"So where were you headed?" Kitto asked.

"Dinner, actually. Want to join me?" he offered.

Kitto grinned. "I'm always down for food."

xXx

A few minutes later, Koa was seated in the restaurant with Kitto. The layout of the restaurant almost reminded him of a house, as if someone had simply converted their home to a restaurant. The seating area resembled a living room and dining room combined. The chairs were all slightly different as if they belonged to different sets, and a couple of couches even lined the walls. Towards the rear of the restaurant was a counter where you could pick up food or to-go orders. A closed-off staircase led to what he could only presume was either storage or living quarters.

"So what was Unova like?" he asked as soon as he'd given the waiter his order. "And what's the story with the gyms?"

A delighted grin washed across Kitto's face and his features lit up. He placed his elbows on the table and leaned forwards. "Alright get this. Cilan, Chili and Cress. Three gym leaders. I battle the green-haired boy, Cilan. But halfway through my match, he stops battling to do some kind of 'evaluation time thing'."

"Wait..." Koa held up his hand. "He seriously stopped in the middle of the battle? Just to talk?" Kitto nodded. Koa frowned. "That's rude."

"Anyways," Kitto said with a shrug, "needless to say Jackie and I shut him up. One punch and Jackie launched Pansage straight into him!" he barked out a laugh. "That was picture-worthy." Koa laughed as Kitto continued. "And that's not even the worst of it! The flying type gym leader doesn't even have real gym battles!"

Koa nearly spit out his drink. "What do you mean?"

"She 'plays out'", Kitto airquoted his words, "the battles in her head, and decides if you win or lose! I walked up to her and she says 'I won!'" Kitto shook his head.

"Is she the one you almost punched?" Koa asked.

Kitto nodded. "Yeah," he stated, his gaze dead serious. "Yeah, I did."

For a second, Koa was too stunned to speak. "That's ridiculous!" he cried. "The whole point of a gym is to test a trainer's skill in battle. What kind of gym leader would forgo a battle?" The waiter appeared and set down their food. They thanked her quickly, then Koa dug into his burger. He swallowed it, relishing the taste of proper food for a moment. "How does that even work? And why?" Just thinking about it made him want to punch someone in the face.

Kitto shrugged and took a bite, swallowing before he continued. "No idea. Apparently, she wanted more time to fly her plane."

At that, Koa put down his fork and stared. "So she would rather fly her plane than be a gym leader? Then why not quit! That's worse than Fantina! At least she would actually battle when she bothered to show up!" The memory of his triumph against Fantina brought a smile to his face. "Speaking of which, I gotta tell you how I beat Fantina."

"Do tell," Kitto said, leaning forward, an eager grin on his face.

Koa relayed the story of how he'd tricked her by using Stomp, as well as the rest of the battle.

"I have to say, I'm impressed. Actually using a normal-type move on purpose to throw off your opponent." He nodded vigorously in approval. "Smart."

"Thanks," Koa said. After that, he made casual conversation with Kitto, trading stories of their respective journeys.

"So I guess Unova was a bust then?" Koa asked as they left the restaurant.

Kitto shook his head. "Well it was fun, but not exactly a challenge. One good thing came from it though."

"What?" Koa asked eagerly.

"You didn't notice?" Kitto asked, almost accusingly. He shook his head. "Tsk tsk, didn't I just lecture you on paying attention to your surroundings?"

He frowned and looked closer at Kitto, trying to figure out what was different. Same hair, same clothes... same pokemon- No. Now there were two pokeballs on his belt. "You caught another pokemon?!" he yelped.

"Ah, now he notices," Kitto said, the corners of his mouth twitching in amusement. "And yes, I did get another pokemon, although I didn't catch it."

"What is it?" Koa demanded. "A Deino? No, wait... a Timburr?" Those were fighting-types, perhaps Kitto wanted another fighting type.

Kitto grimaced and quickly shook his head. "No. Most definitely not a Timburr, or anything related to it." He took out the pokeball and pressed the button. The light coalesced into the form of a small avian pokemon, perched on Kitto's wrist.

"A Pidgey?" Koa asked, surprised. The little brown bird clutched Kitto's wrist tightly, its eyes darting about as if it were nervous. It fluttered one wing a bit awkwardly and peered at him. Kitto stroked its head gently and it relaxed a bit.

Kitto nodded. "While I was visiting one of the Pokemon Centers, one of the Nurses told me about this Pidgey." His gaze darkened. "Apparently his trainer abandoned him because his wing was broken in some kind of accident. Once the trainer found out he wouldn't fly again, they just left him."

Koa tensed. "That's disgusting!" He shook himself, trying to set aside his anger. "He's way better off with you," he said confidently.

Kitto's expression lightened. "I named him Kaze, after the wind." At the sound of his name, Kaze chirped happily.

"That's a cool name," Koa agreed. "So how about that rematch then?" he asked as they started back towards the pokemon center. "I think Echo would like a chance at revenge."

"Is that so?" Kitto asked. "How about tomorrow then, after breakfast?"

"You're on!"

xXx

Once Kitto had left, Koa retired to the Pokemon Center. The upcoming battle with him was the only thing on his mind, which meant training. He planned to use Echo for the battle, but he also planned to train more with Flurry. For the next couple hours he focused on honing Echo's skills. Once he was satisfied, he sent out Flurry. The little Spheal greeted him with an excited squeak, clapping her fins together. He smiled. "Hey Flurry, want to try learning a new move?" She nodded. "Let's start with something simple for tonight, okay? We'll try Water Gun. All you have to do is summon some water and project it."

Koa took out another pokeball and released Anubis. The Houndoom gave a low howl in greeting, then trotted over to Flurry, nuzzling her happily. "Anubis will be your training partner. He's really tough, so your attacks won't hurt him yet." Anubis took up a position a few feet away from Flurry, giving her an encouraging yip.

Flurry gave a happy squeak, then proceeded to tuck in her flippers and use Rollout. Anubis yelped in surprise and jumped out of the way. She circled around and rolled back, then stopped, squeaking in amusement. "Flurry, you're supposed to work on Water Gun, not Rollout!" he chided lightly. "Now, try again-"

Before he could finish speaking, Flurry began rolling in circles around him. A flicker of frustration edged through him. "Flurry..." he groaned. She stopped suddenly, whirled to face him, and fired a perfect jet of water at his face. Cold water splashed his skin and he flinched in shock. He blinked, staring at her. She stared back at him, her eyes sparkling. "Alright, not bad," he admitted, smiling. Maybe Flurry was better at this than he assumed.

"Let's see how well you do against a moving target then!" He took off running. A burst of water shot by him. He zigzagged, and another two shots passed by him. Glancing over his shoulder, he looked back just in time to catch another jet of water to his face. "Hey!" he protested. Flurry squeaked at him, then proceeded to blast him again. With a cry of shock, he turned and began running again, Flurry hot on his heels.

xXx

By the time he returned to his room, he was fairly soaked. Soaked, but happy. Flurry was quite a bit more talented than he assumed. He couldn't wait to see what else she was capable of. Turning his attention away from his pokemon, he turned on the tv, then headed for the bathroom to dry off. He returned to find Anubis laying on the bed, Flurry sitting in between his front paws. The Houndoom's head rested on the Spheal and the two were focused on the TV. Up above, Echo hung from the small ceiling fan, though his weight caused the blade to buckle slightly. Rolling his eyes, Koa settled on the bed, leaning back and relaxing.

At some point, the patter of rain filled the background and a storm started. A flash of lightning lit up his room, followed by a thunderclap. The tv continued to play, but Koa's mind turned to his battle with Kitto tomorrow. Kitto would no doubt be fighting with Jackie. Considering how badly Echo's first match against the Hitmonchan had gone, he was determined to win this time. But how? Kitto was a devious fighter. He thought outside the box a lot more than the average trainer, most likely since he had to compensate for having one pokemon.

Koa reviewed everything he remembered from his battle and brief training with Kitto. Hitmonchan used exclusively short-range moves. Right now, Echo knew Air Slash. Perhaps he could try and fight at a distance, to put Hitmonchan at a disadvantage.

Echo dropped off his perch on the ceiling fan and flopped himself on Koa's lap. He screeched and flapped his wings as if mock-fighting. Then he stared intensely at Koa, his gaze narrowed, and chirped insistently.

"What?" Koa protested. He stared back at his Golbat. Echo closed his eyes, then jumped in the air and did a loop before landing in his lap again. "You're trying to tell me something, aren't you?" Koa mused. "Are you saying I should try to think on the fly too?"

Echo screeched happily and nodded.

Koa sighed. "I don't know. I'll try. But I think our best bet is going to be using your distance moves. Find a way to get him with Confuse Ray. Maybe Poison Fang. And definitely Air Slash."

A blur of yellow distracted him. Hazard scurried from his spot in the sink and over to the window. He pressed his face against the glass."What's up?"

BOOM!

A clap of thunder rattled the windows. A crackle of lightning flashed. Koa sat up and crossed the room to peer outside. It was dark, and thanks to the lack of streetlights, he couldn't see much. Another flash of light lit the sky, and Koa caught a glimpse of the area surrounding the Pokemon Center. His blood froze.

Just a few yards away, at the edge of a copse of trees, stood a pokemon. A huge quadruped, with iridescent yellow fur, zigzagged through with black stripes and a purple mane sweeping back from its neck. "Raikou..." he whispered.

Chills rippled down his spine. His heart beat faster and a grin spread across his face. He wanted to get close. Even if he was nowhere near ready to fight a legendary, he had to see it up close. He whipped around and snatched his jacket off the bed. He was halfway to the door when a growl stopped him in his tracks. He turned around to see Anubis glaring pointedly at him, flanked by the rest of his pokemon. They looked anxious and on edge, a strange look in their eyes he'd only seen once before. Back in Hearthome, when that Thing had appeared.

He quickly returned each of them to their pokeballs, clipping them to his belt. "Sorry guys, but I want you to stay safe. Besides, I'll be fine." No sense having them freak out and get hurt. Besides, he had no intention of getting into any fights with a legendary, not yet. He was just looking. With that, he charged out the door.

As he hurried for the exit, Nurse Joy called out to him, "Be careful! There's a terrible storm approaching." Koa glanced back briefly. She continued. "We're advising trainers to stay indoors until it passes."

"I'll be back really quick," he shouted. Before she could say anything else, he bolted out the door.

It was dark out, even darker than the usual night time. He could just make out black clouds covering the moon and stars. No rain fell, but another flash lit up the skies momentarily. The ground felt damp from the drizzle earlier. A downpour would probably begin soon, he realized. It was impossible to see clearly more than a few feet in front of him; beyond that, all he could make out were dark shadows. He made a beeline for the spot where he first saw Raikou.

Nothing. No sign of the legendary anywhere. Light flashed overhead and another rumble of thunder echoed. Common sense dictated he should probably head back to the Pokemon Center. Yet... This was his chance to see another of the legendary beasts. Maybe seeing Raikou could give him some kind of explanation for the two Entei he'd seen. More lightning flashed and he tried to take in as much as he could. A shadow moved in the distance, further down the slope leading to the shrine in the center of town. He sprinted towards it.

By the time he reached the shrine, he felt the first few raindrops splash against his face. Unfortunately, he saw no sign of the legendary. Not a pawprint, not a hair. By now the sky was practically black, his only light from the windows of buildings and the occasional flash of lightning. Rain pattered against the earth, steadily picking up. He let out a sigh, taking one last look around. The muddy hollowed out scoop of land around the shrine was still empty.

Scowling, he turned around. Raikou had to still be around somewhere, he felt sure of it. Perhaps to the north somewhere? He climbed the slope, keeping his eyes peeled. Without his backpack, he didn't have a proper flashlight, much to his chagrin. He was forced to make do with the rather weak one on his phone. Something shifted at the top of the hill. Excitement flooding him, he charged up the hill. When he reached the top, he didn't see anything, not even a pawprint in the muddy earth. Odd, he thought. Why no pawprints?

There was no time to mull over the thought anymore. Far ahead, not far from the ruins, he caught a brief glimpse of something. Grinning, he raced in the direction of the ruins. Halfway there, a giant thunderclap tore through the air at the same moment a brilliant flash of light blinded him. He reflexively threw his arm over his eyes, but even then a searing heat nearly blinded him.

Slowly, he pulled his arm away and blinked. Spots danced across his vision, then slowly cleared. There was an ominous rumbling in the direction of the ruins. He slowed to walk, then crept closer. It was hard to tell, but the entrance to the ruins almost appeared... broken? Some of the pillars that he could swear were standing earlier now lay on their sides, and crumbled rock seemed to cover the entrance. A dark shape moved, then disappeared. Cold chills crept down his spine, though he doubted it was because of the rain. Did Raikou attack the ruins?

A brilliant arc of lightning erupted across the sky and time seemed to freeze. For one moment, all of Celestic Town was illuminated. Raikou stood a mere three feet away, looming over him. Koa fell onto the ground, his heart pounding. Raikou gazed down at him and he froze. His breath caught in his throat. The beast stood well over six feet tall, larger than any picture or rendering could do justice. Luminescent yellow fur shone in the light, cut through with black stripes. It gazed at him with empty oranges eyes, gaze utterly cold. In fact, they appeared almost sightless, as if looking through him.

Then the lightning overhead winked out, plunging the area into darkness. Light emerged from one of the pokeballs on his belt and Echo appeared, hovering in front of Koa. Images flashed through his mind of Anubis, tossed aside by one of Entei's attacks like he was nothing. Panic surged through him and he lunged forward, grabbing Echo and clutching the Golbat to his chest. The darkness lessened as electricity started dancing across Raikou's fur. It narrowed its gaze, fixating on Echo. Its jaws opened, revealing terribly sharp teeth. Then, from somewhere beyond the ruins, a loud howl shook the earth, like thunder and lightning given a voice. Another bolt of lightning lit the skies. Raikou was gone. Vanished.

After what felt like a solid minute, Koa breathed. Echo squirmed in his grasp and he numbly released him. His heart still hammered in his chest. He suddenly became aware of the pounding rain, drenching his skin and plastering his hair to his head. The ground around him had become a muddy mess in a matter of moments. He barely noticed the rain, however. His mind kept flashing back to Raikou. Its eyes were the mirror image of the Entei he'd seen at Hearthome. Icy, lifeless. Utterly empty.

His thoughts spiraled. What did the appearance of Raikou mean? Why did its eyes look exactly like Entei's? Was it even the real Raikou? He still remembered the second Entei he'd seen. Its eyes had been so different... And what of the eerie cry he'd heard? It didn't sound like it had come from Raikou. It had come from somewhere else, and then Raikou had vanished as if scared off.

Blinking, he wiped at his eyes. Echo was huddled against him, shivering. He peered at Koa, gaze filled with worry. "Sorry Echo," he murmured, shivering. He took out the pokeball and returned him. He slowly stood, his limbs shaking. He had a feeling that Raikou, or whatever It was, was gone now. Shivering, he turned around. Between the rain and cloud cover, he could barely make out the roof of the pokemon center. In a daze, he stumbled towards it. A few minutes later, he staggered through the doors, thoroughly drenched.

"Oh my, are you alright!?" Nurse Joy exclaimed.

He nodded and took off his jacket, putting in a plastic bag from a set that hung near the door. He hurried to his room, then peeled off his wet clothes, dumping them into a hamper, and made a beeline for the shower.

By the time he'd finished, his mind was still whirling. The only explanation he could think of was that there was somehow two of each beast. But why had both the 'Entei' at Hearthome and 'Raikou' acted so savage? Why did their eyes look so... dead? Dead was the only word he could think of to describe it. The eyes didn't hold malice, compassion or anything really. They were simply soulless. Just picturing them made him shiver. Add what of the ruins? Had Raikou done that, or had it simply been the storm?

He settled on his bed and released each of his pokemon. They greeted him with worried whines and growls, crowding around him. "I'm alright guys," he said, smiling slightly. He scratched Echo and rubbed Rascal's head. Hazard nuzzled against him next and he patted the Joltik. He let out a sigh as he gazed at his pokemon. Whatever the Thing at Amity Square had been, and whatever the Raikou tonight had been, they were powerful. None of his pokemon had the strength necessary to stand up to them.

But that wasn't what worried him. What worried him was that both times he'd encountered a legendary, they'd attacked, unprovoked. Tonight, he'd gotten lucky. Something had seemingly scared 'Raikou' off. Either that, or it simply didn't care to finish him off. Growling, he punched his fist against the mattress. "I need answers," he grumbled out loud.

He flopped back on the bed, unease settling in the pit of his stomach. It took him a long time to fall asleep that night.

xXx

The next morning, he staggered down to the cafeteria, feeling more annoyed than he had in a while. After he and his pokemon had breakfast, he found a spot in the lobby to wait for Kitto. His attention turned to a TV in the lobby playing a breaking news report.

"The main chamber of the Celestic Ruin experienced a severe cave-in late last night." Koa sat up and faced the TV. "Authorities blame last night's unexpected thunderstorm, and they are working with local researchers to catalog the full extent of the damage to Celestic Ruins. The ruins currently remain closed to the public. It is not known when or if they will be reopened. In other news..."

His thoughts swam. Celestic Ruins had been destroyed? A mixture of confusion and sadness filled him. How had a storm caused such catastrophic damage? The ruins had stood for years, untouched. Unless... Raikou really was involved.

"I didn't know you liked news that much," Kitto's voice sounded from behind him.

Koa jumped and spun around to see Kitto and Jackie standing a few feet away, arms crossed. "Oh, hey Kitto!" he said, grinning.

Kitto narrowed his eyes, glancing briefly at the TV. "You ok? I called you twice and you didn't respond."

"I'm good..." he said slowly. A brief internal debate raged in him. He had yet to tell anyone what really happened at Amity Square. If Entei wasn't responsible, he didn't want false blame placed. Then again, maybe Kitto could give him some kind of perspective. "Back when I was in Hearthome, I saw something at Amity Square."

Kitto's eyes widened slightly. He moved and sat down across from Koa. "Is this about that fire that started there?"

Koa managed a nod. The day still brought up a lot of mixed feelings. He related the entire story to Kitto. Waking up to the explosions, Entei's attack and Anubis's evolution, and finally, the hazy memory of the second Entei. Kitto remained silent, his mouth twisted into a faint frown. "And that's not all..." Koa added. "Last night, I saw Raikou. Or something resembling it. But when I saw it... its eyes looked exactly like Entei's. But not just like it. It was more like its eyes were the same. I'm sure it had something to do with the cave-in at the ruins," he murmured. "I always thought legendaries were good. Like protectors. But now..." He sighed. He felt slightly better at least, now that someone else (human), knew his secret.

"Hmm..." After a long pause, Kitto stood up. "I believe you're right. Legendaries are good. So how would you explain what happened?"

Koa took a deep breath. "There's only two answers I can think of. There's multiple of the legendary beasts, which doesn't make much sense given how they came to be. Or something is somehow imitating them. Like a hologram, except much stronger."

Kitto nodded. "So what can you do about it?"

"Well," Koa began. He drummed his fingers on the table. "I don't know. Even if I told the police, it's not exactly like they can start a manhunt for Raikou. And that's if they believed me. It's not exactly like I have evidence."

"You see? There's your answer. Right now, there's nothing you can really do, except for training and getting stronger. You can't let your worry hold you back."

Koa nodded in agreement. Kitto was right, he realized. There was nothing he could do, not now at least. "Yeah, true." Fears put to rest, he grinned. "So are we gonna battle, or what?"

"I was wondering when you were going to ask," Kitto said. He stood up and smirked. "Ready to lose?"

xXx

Koa's heart pounded as he faced Hitmonchan. Echo hovered in front of him, the fire of battle blazing in his eyes. Across the field, Kitto stood, cool and calm, his expression mirrored by Hitmonchan.

"Alright Echo, Confuse Ray!" Echo flew slightly higher and quickly fired off the golden orbs. Hitmonchan danced sideways, dodging easily, but that was hardly unexpected. "Now, Air Slash!" Koa called.

Echo's wings glowed light blue and he fired several blades of energy at Hitmonchan, who nimbly dodged backwards out of the way. "Now Echo, at the ground!" Echo seamlessly changed his trajectory, aiming the attack at the earth. Clouds of dust exploded into the air, covering the battlefield.

"Poison Fang!" Koa cried triumphantly. Echo dove into the dust cloud, fangs shimmering with toxic poison.

"Thunder Punch!" he heard Kitto call. There was a grunt of pain, followed by a screech from Echo. He saw the Golbat flutter out of the dust cloud rather haphazardly. Clearly he'd still gotten hit. As the dust settled, he saw the purple sheen on Jackie's skin and in its eyes. He grinned. It had cost them, but he'd managed to poison the Hitmonchan.

Koa only took a moment to decide on his next attack. "Crunch!" Echo dove through the air towards Jackie.

"Ice Punch!" Kitto snapped. Jackie's fist became coated with frost.

"Dodge around!" Koa called. Echo flipped neatly over Hitmonchan's head. Hardly had he finished the motion before he gave his next command. "Confuse Ray!" Just as Echo fired the golden orbs, Jackie punched over its own shoulder, striking a solid blow on Echo. At the same moment, the golden orbs struck, making Jackie stagger.

"Get back, Echo!" he cried. Echo fluttered backward, out of range. Koa grinned. Kitto had been prepared for him at every turn, but Echo had still landed good hits. "Air Slash."

Echo's wings glowed and he launched multiple blades of energy at Hitmonchan.

"Block with Brick Break!" Hitmonchan staggered and blinked, confusion taking its toll. A second before the Air Slash attack hit, Jackie's fists glowed and he struck the ground. A chunk of rock shot up, blocking the attack. Koa grimaced, annoyed. It was the same technique Kitto had used before.

"Echo Air Slash again," Koa called. Echo launched several small blades of energy down at Hitmonchan. The blades hurtled through the air towards Jackie.

"Block!" Kitto's command echoed across the battlefield. Jackie began deftly dodging and weaving around each blade of wind. Several only grazed him, and others he was able to deflect or break. Echo renewed his attack. Jackie attempted to dodge, but with the coupled effects of confusion and toxic poisoning, the final wave struck, knocking Jackie back.

A frown crossed Koa's face. Echo looked worn. Jackie looked suitably tired as well but was still hanging tough. He would need to end this soon, while he had an advantage.

Before he could call an attack, Kitto beat him to it. "Ice Punch!" Jackie punched his fists together and cloaked them in ice.

"Dive right in and use Crunch!" Koa snapped.

Echo shot forwards, fangs cloaked in obsidian as Jackie leaped to meet him. At the last second, Jackie ducked under Echo to strike from behind. As he moved, however, he ended up striking himself with his own fist. He blinked and shook his head, some of the glazed look fading.

Koa frowned. On one hand, he'd missed, but confusion had caused Jackie to hurt himself. Unfortunately, that confusion had also worn off.

Kitto didn't hesitate. "Fire Punch!" Jackie sprinted forwards, determination giving him strength. Both fists blazed as he leaped into the air.

"Dodge!" Koa shouted frantically. Jackie jabbed with one fist, and Echo tried to twist out of the way. With a swift feint, Jackie struck out with his other fist, catching Echo in the wing. A screech erupted from his jaws as he spiraled downward. He barely caught himself before crashing to the ground.

A pulse of fire flared around his body and he writhed. "No, Echo!" Koa said. A burn. Echo's breath came in heaves, and he could barely stand. This fight had to end now. Glancing across the battlefield he could see Jackie didn't look much better. The poison had taken a great toll on the Hitmonchan, who could barely stand. Koa was suddenly aware of how fast his heart was beating. He had a chance to win, and he refused to waste it.

Apparently, Kitto felt the same. "Brick Break!" Hitmonchan shook off the exhaustion, his fists glowing white. He charged at Echo, who hovered a few feet above the ground. At that moment, he tossed out any plans that had been forming in his head and acted. "Roll, use Air Slash." He could only trust his starter to understand his intentions.

Jackie threw his fist. It connected to Echo's chin, but he rolled with the strike, going into a tight somersault. As he rolled, his wings glowed. He pulled back around to face Jackie and tossed an Air Slash attack straight into his chest. Jackie grunted, staggered backward, and collapsed.

Letting out a loud whoop, Koa leaped into the air. Grinning madly he raced over to Echo, who had landed on the ground, panting. He pulled him into a tight embrace, spinning in a circle. "That was awesome, Echo!" he shouted. Echo let out a tired but happy squeak.

An approving grin spread across Kitto's face as he returned Jackie. "Now that's what I call a battle," Kitto said. "Looks like you've finally learned something."

Koa couldn't resist smirking. "I've been training just so I could beat you. Told you I wouldn't lose again."

Kitto's eyes flashed. "Don't expect to beat me next time."

Koa rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure. Whatever you say." He still couldn't believe he'd really won. His training had paid off. His pokemon were strong, and that's all that mattered to him. Even if they'd barely won. A win was a win, as far as he was concerned. Echo sagged into his arms slightly, clearly exhausted. "I should probably take him to the pokemon center," Koa said, standing up. Still cradling the Golbat, he pulled out his pokeball and returned him.

Kitto nodded in agreement. "I'll come with you. Jackie could use a good rest."

xXx

A few minutes later, they sat inside the lobby of the pokemon center, enjoying some cold drinks from a nearby vending machine while they waited for their pokemon.

"So what's next for you?" Kitto asked.

"Veilstone gym," he declared without hesitation. "With Echo, it'll be easy."

"Don't get too overconfident, you know. Maylene is no pushover. She is one of the youngest gym leaders. You don't get to where she is at her age unless you're good."

Koa shrugged. "I can handle it."

A slight frown flickered across Kitto's features and his eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly. "Overconfidence can fell even the strongest fighter."

"You know this is just a gym leader, right? I'm pretty sure I can handle her just fine," Koa replied.

"If you say so," Kitto said simply.

"So anyway, what about you?" Koa asked eagerly. "You could always join me on the way to Veilstone."

To his disappointment, Kitto shook his head. "I would love to, but not this time. Jackie and I want to get in some more training. We have a theory we've been working on, but we need some time to develop it. Plus I want to keep working with Kaze. I have some ideas for him."

Resisting the urge to sigh, Koa nodded in understanding. It would have been nice to have a training partner for the trip. Even if he'd won this battle, Kitto still had a wealth of fighting knowledge he could learn from. "How can Kaze fight though? I thought he couldn't fly?"

"And? Jackie can't fly, but he still fights, doesn't he?"

"That's not the same," Koa said. "Jackie doesn't have wings."

"Exactly," Kitto said simply. "You'll just have to wait and see next time we meet up."

They sat in amiable silence for several minutes, content to be in their own thoughts. One of the many TVs hanging from the ceiling began playing a rerun of local news, reviewing the cave-in at the ruins once more. At the end of the report, however, something changed. Instead of ending by mentioning that investigators were still looking into it, the news continued.

"-Recent reports suggest the presence of the so-called 'legendary beasts' may be linked to two of the recent disasters in Sinnoh. Days preceding the attack at Amity Square, Entei was rumored to have been sighted in the area. And before the attack at Celestic Ruins, there are claims Raikou was seen in the storm. Sinnoh news have reached out to the rangers investigating the attacks, but have not received any feedback. The question I'm sure we are all wondering - will the beasts strike again? And why have they targeted Sinnoh?"

Koa's heart sank as he heard the reporters words. They'd made the connection. It was only a matter of time, he supposed. But hearing it still made him nervous. Entei couldn't really be responsible for the attack. And he was sure Raikou would never destroy ruins. But he was much less sure that other people would be so trusting. It wasn't long ago at all that the three had been chased away from the remains of the Burned Tower. Would history repeat itself?

"Idiots," Kitto muttered, glaring at the TV. "Some reporters are no better than Team Rocket if you ask me. They say whatever they want on there, with no regard for the consequences. And everyone wants someone to blame, but they never want to just wait."

"Why is everyone so quick to blame the beasts?" Koa grumbled. "They haven't even done anything. That can be proved, at least. They already drove them away once, and for nothing," he said. "And now they want to do it again."

"People seem to believe they need an enemy to fight. And if they can't find one, they make one," Kitto mused.

Koa nodded grimly.

"At any rate," Kitto continued, "how has your training been going with the rest of your team?"

Koa quickly relayed the training he'd done since Hearthome, from the moves he'd learned and to how their agility and power had improved, as well as teaching Rascal Ice Fang.

"Do you plan on catching more pokemon?"

That was a question Koa had been mulling over in the back of his mind for some time. Originally, he had only planned for his six. "Dunno..." he admitted finally. "Maybe. Now that I have that Box Link system I told you about, I could easily swap between my pokemon." Ever since Charles had given it to him, it was a thought in the back of his mind.

"Gentleman?" Nurse Joy walked up, smiling at them. Kitto and Koa looked up. "Your pokemon are ready."

"Thank you," they said.

"Excuse me, are there any buses headed to Veilstone?" Koa asked Nurse Joy as they followed her to the front desk. Chansey waited nearby with a cart carrying two trays of pokeballs, one for each of them.

"Absolutely. There's actually one leaving in about a half hour, if you're interested," she replied.

Koa gathered his pokeballs, returning them to his belt. "Great! Thanks," he said. He and Kitto returned to their table. "I guess this is where we part ways then?"

Kitto nodded. "For now. I'm sure we'll meet up again soon. After all, I'll have to beat you again." He added with a smirk.

"Yeah right," Koa retorted. "I'm not losing again. You better get ready to go 2 and 0 next time we battle."

"Don't you mean 2 and 1?" Kitto pointed out.

Koa shook his head. "Exactly. I'm glad you've accepted I'm gonna beat you next time."

A dangerous glint flashed in Kitto's eyes. "We'll see about that." He held out his hand, and Koa shook it. They shared a brief nod, then Koa stepped away. He waved a final farewell to the white haired trainer, then hurried out of the Pokemon Center. He had a bus to catch, and a gym to beat.

Well well, how did everyone enjoy? Koa had a strange encounter with a Raikou and also ran into an old friend/rival. We also caught a glimpse of Kitto's adventures in Unova. As some of you may know, I really despise the BW anime. Like, Skyla is trash. Seriously, what kind of gym leader does 'simulated' battles? ARGH. Anyways, perhaps one day I will write a humorous recount of his adventure in Unova. For now, I simply fantasize about the beatdown he gave them :)

As I mentioned, Kitto pretty much belongs to Hawkosa on deviantart, you can check out his work. He also inspired the battle between Koa and Kitto.

And the mystery grows. Just what are these strange legendaries showing up?

In other topics, to address some reviews:

Pokemonking: Girafarig is a really unusual pokemon for sure. If anything, I might not have Koa catch one, but it would be neat to see one cameo.

Kailblade: Well, considering Tyrunt can't fly lol, the reason why Koa wants a dragon has more to do with it flying than anything else. Either that or he catches a bird. But I've always thought of Tyrunt as more fossil, not a traditional dragon. Flying on a Flygon is a pretty different experience than riding on a Tyrantrum

Blackbelt219: Well, that was the point. Glad you noticed.

Djfbejen: Glad to hear you are loving this so much! :D

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