”What’s wrong, Riolu? Surely you knew this was going to happen!” A figure cloaked in shadows stood over him, laughing madly as the world around him burned.
“This is your home, Lucario. Nothing will ever change that.” A beautiful queen, wearing a reassuring smile before being consumed by the flames.
“He’s your mentor! Your friend! Why can’t you trust him now?!” An old lady shaking him by the shoulders, fading away in smoke as she spoke.
“Lucario… please don’t do this…” A small pink child with a dark torso and a red nose, his eyes watering as he desperately tries to hold on to his paw.
“Do you get it now, old friend?” The dark figure’s mad laugh was now replaced by a hateful whisper, “You don’t trust anyone. You don’t believe in anything. In the end, you care for nothing.” It turned and walked away, passing through the surrounding fire unscathed.
“You know what they call someone like you?” The flames closed in around him.
“A monster.” He felt no pain or torment as the fire reached him. Only regret.
“You will never truly lose anything, Lucario.”
A man in blue suddenly stood in front of him. The rest of the world turned black, taking its horrid visions away as it disappeared. The man smiled at him, replacing the feelings of regret with a curious calm.
“Because the aura is always with you.”
Red eyes sprung open as the blue creature named Lucario finally woke up from his slumber. He stared blankly at the ceiling for a few minutes, remembering the events that had occurred the previous day. A lot had happened to him even before he found himself in that forest. The memories of those events were the ones that had plagued him in his dream.
Sir Aaron… the palace… everyone, he thought to himself. He was surprised at how calmly he was handling the situation. In a single day, everything had changed and his old life had been ripped from him. To make matters worse, he was even partly to blame for it. Yet he remembered his mentor’s final words to him, somewhat putting his mind at ease.
The aura is with me…
He suddenly realized his current situation and looked around the room. From what he could tell, he was in a hospital room. A nightstand was placed on the right side of his bed with some sort of book placed on it. A second empty bed was located on the other side of the room. He could hear other voices speaking in the rooms around him, although they were too muffled to make out any words. It was only when he tried to sit up that he noticed a few bandages covering his torso. After testing them with his paws, he concluded that the wounds underneath had healed up.
Looks like my Rest managed to heal me up before it was too late, he thought, remembering just how he had received those wounds the previous day. The echoing laughter of a dark figure crossed his mind as he did. Thankfully, the wolves in the forest had not put up enough of a resistance to do him in while he was weak.
He wondered what had happened to the girls that he rescued when a voice came closer outside. He got out of bed and approached the door to hear better.
“I must insist that you wait until the patient has woken up before barging into his room, Miss Sparkle.”
“He has been sleeping for 24 hours! I don’t care how injured he was, Princess Celestia is waiting for my next report about him. It’s about time he woke up and answered my questio-”
The door opened up and a purple-colored unicorn walked into the room. Her head was still turned to the doctor behind her, thus she did not see Lucario standing right in front of her before walking into him. She promptly fell flat on her rump while Lucario himself didn’t even flinch. He could swear that he saw a couple of stars circle around her head before she shook herself out of it and looked up. Her eyes widened in temporary shock.
“Can I help you?” Lucario asked. The unicorn blinked and looked around the room briefly as if she was trying to discover who had just spoken. Lucario remembered a similar reaction from the girls in the forest and decided to explain. “I’m using telepathy to communicate with you. My real voice isn’t capable of actual speech, only grunts and growls.”
The unicorn looked back at him and considered his explanation. “So that’s what Sweetie Bell was talking about. But how can you even use telepathy in the fir-” She remembered the reason for her visit and started over. “No, that can wait until later. Who are you? WHAT are you? Were you the one behind that explosion in the Everfree Forest? Where did you-”
“How did your wounds heal so quickly?!” she was suddenly interrupted by the yellow unicorn doctor behind her. He walked past her and started looking over Lucario’s bandages. “You had deep lacerations, blunt traumas, broken ribs and several minor burns when you were brought in yesterday. Yet you had already healed up the worst wounds before we could even get the bandages on you! How is this possible?!”
“It’s a bit difficult to explain,” Lucario began. “I assure you however that my wounds are fi-“
The doctor suddenly raised his hoof to silence him. “I’m afraid that I’ll have to examine the wounds myself before we can allow you to be released from the hospital, sir. It’s purely protocol and for your own safety.”
Lucario nodded. He had been injured before and was used to the same treatment from other doctors and medics. “Very well. I’ll let you do your work. Miss Sparkle, was it?” he questioned the purple unicorn.
“Y-Yes. My name is Twilight Sparkle,” she answered, a bit taken back at him having heard her name outside.
“I’m Lucario. If you want to question me you can do it now while the doctor’s working. I have a few questions myself if you wouldn’t mind answering them for me.” He walked back to the bed and let the doctor proceed with the examination. Twilight followed and sat down on the floor beside him.
“Okay. First of all, what are you? I’ve never seen a creature like you in Equestria before.”
“Equestria? Is that the name of this country?” Lucario asked.
“Yes. It is the land of ponies ruled by Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. They control the sun and the moon to give us the day and night.” This was common knowledge among all ponies, but Lucario still seemed surprised by Twilight’s explanation. “I take it you’re not from around here then.”
Lucario shook his head. “No, I’m not. I’m from a kingdom called Rota, ruled by Queen Rin of Cameran Palace. Have you ever heard of it?”
“No, I never have, and I don’t recall seeing it on any map or reading about it in any history book. Is it located far from here?”
Lucario was silent for a moment. Is it possible that I’ve been transported to a different world? Maybe even a different dimension, he thought to himself before answering. “I don’t know. I’ve never heard of Equestria before. I’m no expert on geography, but I doubt that country exists in my world.”
“Your… world?” Twilight repeated in confusion. A few seconds later her eyes widened in realization over what he meant. “You come from a different world?!”
“I would guess so,” Lucario replied. “Everything looks so different here. I’ve never even seen any Pokémon like you before.”
“P-Pokémon?” Twilight could barely keep up with all this new information. Rota, Cameran Palace, another world, and now Pokémon? What was this thing even talking about?!
Lucario noticed her reaction. “You don’t call yourselves Pokémon here?”
“No, we don’t. We’re ponies! Well, there are earth ponies, unicorns, pegasi, and alicorns to be exact, but what in the world is a Pokémon?”
“It’s what we call our race in our world,” Lucario answered, trying to think up the best way to explain it to her. “There are many different species, and none of them look the same. We can look like animals, plants, and even non living objects, but we share the same core genes and can communicate with each other. We all have different abilities and powers as well.”
“W-What kind of abilities and powers?” Twilight asked, her notebook and quill floating in the air as they wrote down everything Lucario said.
“You see, every Pokémon is part of one or two different Elemental Types. There are seventeen types in total: like Fire, Water, Ground, Ice, Grass, Electric, and more. We can use other elemental techniques other than our own as well, but they are more effective if we share the same type.” He pointed towards Twilights floating quill and notebook. “That power you’re using to levitate those objects actually remind me of one of those types; The Psychic-type.”
“Psychic? As in mental-based powers?” Twilight asked. Her magic had nothing to do with the actual mind, but she wanted to hear Lucario’s reasoning.
“Let me show you.” Lucario turned to the book laying on the nightstand and reached out his paw. Suddenly the book started glowing in a blue light and floated up in the air. It was just like any normal unicorn’s levitation spell. “This is one of the most common Psychic-type techniques. Most people just call the technique Psychic like its type, but some prefer to call it Psychokinesis.” He put the book back and turned back to Twilight.
“Um, do these techniques have anything to with your unnaturally fast recovery from yesterday?” the doctor suddenly asked, having stopped in the middle of his work. He hadn’t understood most of what the two were talking about, but that was the only explanation he could think of for his patient’s fast healing.
“Actually, yes. It’s another Psychic-type technique called Rest. It forces the user’s body to enter a coma-like state. As he or she sleeps, the body will heal any wound it has, but they can’t be awakened by normal means and must sleep for 24 straight hours. Also, we can’t grow back lost limbs or replace organs, and we will retain scars from greater injuries.”
“I… I see.” The doctor tried to make sense of the explanation, only to fail rather miserably. “Well, thankfully it seems you won’t have any lingering scars, so you don’t have to worry about any direct visual differences.” Lucario nodded and the doctor returned to his work. Twilight finished writing down her notes and prepared another question.
“So, I guess you are of the Psychic-type element then, considering you seem to know many of its techniques.”
“I’m actually a Fighting/Steel-type Pokémon. A real Psychic-type Pokémon is able to use Rest for only 12 hours. As for me, partly being a Fighting-type makes me naturally talented in martial arts. I’m physically strong enough to easily break objects made out of rock, ice, and even metal.” Twilight was taken aback by how ‘matter-of-factly’ Lucario said this. Even creatures the size of Ursa Minors at least had some difficulties breaking through such hard objects.
“What about you being a Steel-type? Does that have anything to do with those metal spikes on your arms and chest?”
“Yes, that’s right. Well, at least partially,” Lucario answered. “It’s complicated, but imagine that every part of my body is covered by an extremely thin layer of metal. It’s so thin that I can’t feel it restricting my movements at all. I can manipulate that steel in order to use different Steel-type techniques. I can also use my steel spikes for the same effect.”
Twilight wrote down the notes and wiped her brow. Nearly a third of her entire notebook was now filled with all this new information. Still, there was something missing.
“All this about Elemental Types and Pokémon is extremely interesting, but there is something you haven’t told me yet.” Lucario looked at her curiously as she continued, “Just how did you end up in Equestria? How did you get here?”
Lucario turned silent and stared at nothing in particular on the opposite wall. Twilight could see that he was thinking of something, but before she could question him about it, he answered her.
“I was sent here by my friend, Sir Aaron. He was my mentor at the Cameran Palace.”
Twilight took notice of Lucario’s sudden change of voice. During his previous explanations he had sounded calm and even amused at some points. Now his voice had a tone of sadness behind it.
“Why would your friend send you to another world?”
Lucario looked down at the floor, his eyes shut as he seemingly reflected on the event.
“To start over…”
“Um…” The doctor finally spoke from the other side of the bed. Twilight and Lucario realized that he had finished his examination a few minutes earlier. “I’m happy to say that all of your wounds are fully healed and closed up. I will handle the paperwork, so you are free to leave the hospital at your leisure.”
“Thank you, doctor.” Lucario stood up, seemingly ready to go. Twilight was about to object as she had more questions, but Lucario continued, “Can I ask one more thing, Twilight?”
“That explosion you mentioned. Do you know if anyone has visited the site yet?”
Twilight thought for a moment before answering, “No, I don’t think so. The Everfree Forest is extremely dangerous, and many ponies aren’t brave enough to enter it. Even the pegasi think twice before flying over it. Why do you ask?”
Lucario nodded in thought before turning towards the door. “There is something I have to find there.”
Twilight watched as Lucario gave the doctor a final nod of gratitude before leaving the room. Her mind was still full of questions, so she stood up and ran after him shortly after.
To be continued…