Written by Z-man/Z-mage
Continuity Note: The first post takes place at the beginning of "The Rise of Alternate Earth". The Rest begins somewhere in the middle of "Fluff and Filler".
The beginnings of Z-mage on Earth 3.0
First, I move to the Johto region, hopefully getting a house by Blackthorn city. I attempt to get a quick apprenticeship with Clair, the dragon gym leader, so I can start raising a Dratini. I'll also try to get ahold of an Eevee, and get it done up with the power to change between all of it's Eeveelutions, like Tanith's. And I'll also be raising a Charmander and hopefully a Magikarp, to almost complete a team of dragon types.
From there I'll try and find an Aerodactyl.
Yes, MY dragon army is very nearly complete. I hope to take over the gym for Clair when she moves up in the world.
Z-man crashed on a couch on the Andromeda. He'd been hanging out there because he didn't have a DVD player at home, and Tanith said he could stay while she and Mg_Knt had dinner, since there was almost no one else on the ship.
After he finished watching the entire first season of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer on DVD, which he was borrowing from his sister, he turned to Rommie and curiously asked "So where's Tanith right now?"
"She's on the planet below, but she doesn't want to be disturbed," Rommie said, knowing full well that he'd scry for her position if she didn't tell him.
"I guess I better stay away then," He said. Looking for something else to do, he asked Rommie again, "So, what was it Tanith wanted to tell me? Something about another duplicate? Can you show me what she was talking about?"
Rommie sighed, and brought up a hologram showing Tanith's meeting with Z-mage.
After watching it, Z-man was silent for awhile. Finally he broke the silence. "A duplicate of mine hiding from the world? That's cowardice and I won't have it. I'm going down to the Pokemon universe to drag him kicking and screaming out of there."
And he was off Andromeda shortly after raiding the cooler for a couple of Snapples.
Throwing the Gauntlet
Z-mage was waiting. He didn't know what for, all he knew was the Natu was excited. The little green bird, who looked like it had hopped off of a totem pole, was capable of seeing the future, and whatever it was he saw had him very excited.
Around 10PM according to his pokegear, there was a knocking on his door. When he opened it, Natu jumped out the door at the new guy, who just happened to be carrying some pokemon food that he gave Natu.
"So, you would be, who?" Z-mage asked.
"You," was all Z-man said as he straightened up, still holding Natu in his arm.
"Let me guess, an alternate universe duplicate come for some reason or another. Am I right?" Z-mage asked.
"So, what's your story?" Z-mage asked curtly.
"To make a long story short," Z-man replied, "No double of mine is going to run away from the world like you're doing here. I'm here to drag you kicking and screaming into the world of your birth."
"I see," said Z-mage, "And what makes you think I'll let you?"
"I propose a pokemon battle," Z-man said. "If you win, I'll leave you alone. If I win, you have to spend 24 hours a week in the land of your birth. Fair enough?"
"I guess so," Z-mage responded. "Let's get started. Tomorrow at noon."
Claire sat in the front of the stands, waiting breathlessly to see how her apprentice would deal with this duplicate. He'd been training with her for weeks, and though he didn't come in with any pokemon, he learned quickly. His pokemon tended to be stronger, faster, and quicker at evolving than any others she had seen before.
But this new guy bore the same face. He could have the same benefits, or possibly even stronger pokemon. Either way it would be fun to watch.
Both the competitors had requested a special referee for this match, even though he was inexperienced at pokemon battles. The strange Japanese man was standing in the center of the ring, a flag in each hand.
"Welcome to this Robat- I mean Pokemon fight! To ensure fairness, I, Mr. Referee, shall be the referee! Competitors ready? Let's Robat- I mean Pokemon fight!"
As the flags went down, both combatants tossed out their first pokemon. Her apprentice lead with his rare, red Gyrados, as usual.
His competitor was using a Hitmonlee.
They yelled their first commands simultaneously.
"Gyrados, Rain Dance now!"
"Hitmonlee, lightning punch!"
Gyrados began thrashing about in a strange, almost unpredictable pattern. Water vapor escaping from its pours formed a small storm cloud over the entire field, but not too high up in the atmosphere. Claire knew Gyrados could do better, so why were Z-mage and him limiting themselves?
But what the entire crowd was in awe of was the Hitmonlee's fists expanding from it's body and crackling with lightning. Most Hitmonlees don't have this kind of power.
The fist collided with Gyrados's scales with a crack of light. Gyrados yelled out in pain, hurt more than normal because both it's types were weak to lightning.
Z-mage recalled Gyrados and brought out his best fighter, Dragonite.
Claire smiled. Now the strategy was really beginning.
Z-man saw his opponent jump on Dragonite's back. So they were going to take it into the skys, obviously.
Knowing Hitmonlee was useless in a sky battle, he recalled him. He wanted to keep Dragonite as an ace in the hole, so he decided to try someone else. That Rain Dance not only enhances the power of water attacks, but it enhances the accuracy of electric attacks. And flyers were weak to electricity.
Z-mage tossed out Ampharos at the same time Z-mage and dragonite took off into the sky, and they plowed right through the rain cloud. This was Z-man's big opening.
"Ampharos, thunder!" he shouted.
The electricity flew out of Ampharos' body and the cloud became charged with it. But no dragonites came flying out. Either Z-mage was more durable than expected or the dragonite was not in the cloud.
Suddenly, Ampharos was hit by a fire blast coming out of the cloud.
"What?" Z-man wondered.
He recalled Ampharos before he was too badly burned, and brought out Octillery, a small red almost octopus like creature, except that it had only four legs.
"Octillery, aim a psybeam right there!" he cried, pointing to where the fire blast had come from.
From the octillery's round mouth came a string of purple rings that seemed to outline an invisible beam. They struck right at the spot Z-man was pointing, but there was no sign that they had hit anything. But there was a bolt of Lightning coming through the cloud and striking Octillery with expert precision.
Octillery looked unconscious. Z-man decided to treat it as a faint, and he recalled Octillery.
It looked like Z-mage was using his psychic powers, or maybe even a small Abra or the like, to find its targets through the cloud, using the cloud to hide its own location.
Z-man looked around. The cloud was blocking most of the light from the sun. There was no shadow to track with. How does one counter an attack like this?
Z-mage sat comfortably on his Dragonite, above the clouds, where he could attack at his own leisure. Alakazam was tracking the opponent pokemon and submitting their coordinates to Dragonite to attack.
He had his own psychic powers to use as a backup system, to confirm what was going on. His senses could tell that Z-man had picked his next pokemon, but he couldn't locate it. Alakazam was likewise confused.
He could wait for the cloud to dissapate, or he could go down and investigate himself. "What do you wanna do, Dragonite?"
Dragonite gave a call, then dove down through the cloud to investigate.
"Where's the pokemon?" Z-mage asked Dragonite quietly.
Dragonite flew even closer to the ground. Z-mage, Dragonite, and Alakazam's eyes were all searching carefully around the surrounding area trying to find this mysterious next pokemon.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, from the darkness right in front of Dragonite's face, came two eyes of fire and a mouth full of sharp teeth as Houndour, a dark dog pokemon, knocked Alakazam off of Dragonite's back.
"Great Faint Attack, Houndour!" Z-man yelled.
Alakazam was badly injured on the ground. Z-mage decided to recall. Unfortunately, Z-man knew he'd do this, which is why Houndour got the command for a pursuit attack. Pursuit attacks do more damage to an enemy while retreating. Not the most sporting attack ot use, but that's why Houndour's not a 'light' or a 'good' type.
Alakazam was now inside the pokeball, and was rushed to the courtside Pokemon Center both combatants had requested.
Z-mage's strategy was ruined. It was time to switch.
"He's weakened, I know," Z-mage said, "But he has the type advantage right now, so you now face Gyrados! Hydro pump!"
The large water snake came out. From its mouth issued a huge stream of water aimed right at Houndour.
The hydropump landed where Houndour had been standing not a moment ago, but he wasn't there anymore. Shadow walking is a simple extension of the faint attack, and there was still enough storm cloud that there was shadow to jump to.
Houndour appeared behind Gyrados, and sunk his teeth into Gyrados's flesh, delivering it's strongest crunch attack. Gyrados was weakened enough by the thunderpunch earlier, and this was just too much. Gyrados fainted, and was recalled. His pokeball was also taken to the 'Center.
"Well," Z-mage said, "That's annoying. I guess I'd better get rid of these shadows, since they help you now more than they do me."
He flicked a pokeball out of his pocket, which landed on the ground and released it's red energy, which took the form of a Charizard.
"Sunny Day!" he called out.
The fire on Charizard's tail grew, spreading warmth, changing the weather. The storm cloud disappated immediately and the sun shone so bright it was blinding. Charizard was bathed in a golden radiance. All fire attacks were more powerful now, so it helped Houndour as much as Charizard.
"Charizard, use your Seismic toss!"
"Houndour, use Crunch when it comes into range!"
Charizard picked up Houndour at the same time as Houndour sunk his teeth into Charizard's neck. Forcing his way through the pain, Charizard picked Houndour into the air, spun him around a few times while the image of the Earth seemed to appear in the air, and then he slammed Houndour into the ground.
As Houndour's teeth gave way, there was a lot of pain in Charizard's neck, but Charizard was still conscious, which was more than could be said for Houndour.
Thinking quickly, Z-man pulled out his only slightly injured ampharos.
Ampharos didn't need coaching, he went right into a thunder attack. Charizard screamed in pain and tried to use dragon rage, and he just barely managed to get it out before succumbing to unconsciousness.
It just happens that the dragon rage was sufficient to knock out Ampharos as well.
Both combatants raced to get their next pokemon out, and they were pretty much even enough to match speed.
Z-mage's Tyranitar came out at the same time as Z-man's Chikorita.
Tyranitar, a human sized rock t-rex, brang up a sandstorm to obscure the environment and hurt the non rock or ground types. But Chikorita was faster, and managed to lay a leech seed into Tyranitar before the storm was brought up.
From the spot the leechseed landed grew large vines that wrapped around Tyranitar and impeded his movement as well as suck his life into Chikorita each turn.
So now the sandstorm was damaging Chikorita, but the leech seed was healing Chikorita equally fast. Tyranitar was the only one taking damage now.
Tyranitar couldn't move, so Chikorita knew where he was, and the sunny day was still in effect. There was so much sun that Chikorita didn't have to wait nearly as long for the solarbeam to charge up. And it was more powerful because of Z-mage's boosting the sunny day.
Tyranitar barely had a chance. But now Chikorita was feeling the full force of the sandstorm.
Z-mage knew there was really only one way to go here. Of his two remaining pokemon, only one of them would go unaffected by the sandstorm.
The large stone flying dinosaur known as Aerpdactyl, took to the sky.
Chikorita was still getting battered by the sandstorm, and the aerodactyl had yet to actively fight it. All Aerodactyl did was block the sunlight coming to Chikorita, not allowing her to heal herself with synthesis or prepare a beam capable of reaching its opponent.
Eventually, the sandstorm won, and Chikorita was out of the battle.
Okay, thought Z-man, all he has left after this is his dragonite, and all I have left are Dragonite and Hitmonlee. Hitmonlee has enough defense to wait for this sandstorm to die down, and being part rock, Aerodactyl will feel Hitmonlee's kicks.
"Hitmonlee, Acrobatics, now!" Z-man yelled as Hitmonlee came out of it's pokeball. Unlike the rest, Hitmonlee didn't wait to get on the ground to take shape, forming in midair and tumbling so as to land in a hand stand. Hitmonlee's arms expanded, putting Hitmonlee high enough to kick Aerodactyl out of the sky.
"Aerodactyl!" Z-mage yelled, trying to be heard over the sandstorm so high in the air to reach his pokemon.
Aerodactyl cocked his head in Z-mage's direction, leaving himself open for a hard karate kick from Hitmonlee. Aerodactyl was knocked, ironically, closer to it's trainer, where the commands were easier to hear.
"Aerodactyl, aeroblast!" Z-mage yelled.
"Hitmonlee, body slam!" Z-man yelled.
Hitmonlee's arms pushed himself off the ground, and he somersaulted onto Aerodactyl, dodging the aeroblast in the process. The aeroblast did manage to dispel the sandstorm. But the force of Hitmonlee's body wasn't strong enough to throw Aerodactyl to the ground.
"Aerodactyl, spin around" Z-mage yelled.
"Hitmonlee, don't let him throw you!" Z-man yelled.
Hitmonlee wrapped his arms and legs around Aerodactyl, and he remained unshakeable.
"Keep at it, Hitmonlee!" Z-man yelled.
"Aerodactyl, fly as close to the ground as possible!" Z-mage yelled.
Aerodactyl dived as close to the ground as possible. Hitmonlee's arms and legs scraped along the ground.
"Aerodactyl, spin around and land on your back!" Z-mage cried.
Aerodactyl did just that, slamming into the ground on his back. The majority of his weight landed on Hitmonlee's body. The crash hurt Aerodactyl, too, but at least Hitmonlee's arms loosened.
Aerodactyl jumped out of Hitmonlee's grip and started raking it with the claws of his feet. Hitmonlee's leg came from behind and knocked Aerodactyl on the back of it's next as hard as possible. In the end, a weakened and battered Hitmonlee got to his feet.
Aerodactyl didn't do the same.
"Alright," Z-mage said, "Dragonite time."
Z-mage's Dragonite came out and immediately took to the air.
Hitmonlee tried to use his legs to get back up, but an Aeroblast put him down for the count a little bit earlier than he would have liked.
"Yes," Z-man said, "Dragonite time."
Z-mage was surprised to say the least when his opponent also pulled out a dragonite, but it was nothing he couldn't deal with. In the dragon gym of Blackthorne, most of your training was against other dragons.
Z-man hopped on his own Dragonite and also flew up into the air.
"Dragonite," Z-man whispered, "Use safeguard."
The air around the two seemed to crystalize, forming an almost invisible shield around them both.
Up in the air, Z-mage did the same thing. Now no status effects would get in the way of this battle.
"Dragonite!" They both shouted in unison. "Blizzard attack!"
Twin cones of white energy shot out of their mouths at the same time. Z-man's attack, which was aimed at the opposing player's head, struck full on. Z-mage's was aimed at the wings. It too struck full.
Z-man's dragonite came out of that one clearly not the winner.
Making another swoop, Z-mage's dragonite tried another blizzard. Z-man, on the other hand, came out at full force with a hyperbeam to the gut.
Z-mage's dragonite fell a bit, recovering it's balance long before the land.
Looking down, Z-mage decided not to look down any more. They'd certainly gained a lot more elevation than either of them would like, but that's not what was important right now.
But Z-man had noticed one thing. All of his opponent's attacks were distance attacks. If he could get close enough, he could probably win pretty easily with slashes and wing attacks.
The problem was the getting in close part. Z-mage wasn't easy to sneak up on.
Z-man thought quickly. The only reason his dragonite didn't have to rest after hyperbeaming was some technological enhancement. Chances are Z-mage's dragonite couldn't do that.
"Okay," Z-man said to Dragonite, "Just keep dodging until he brings out a hyperbeam, then we get in close, got it?"
Dragonite bayed in response.
What followed was an aerial ballet in which Z-man's dragonite dodged fireblasts and blizzards and lightnings and aeroblasts.
What felt like an hour later, Z-mage ran out of other beams, and only had one stand by left.
"Alright, dragonite," Z-mage said, "Let's make this count! Hyperbeam!"
Z-mage's hyperbeam scored a direct hit on Z-man's Dragonite. He fell towards the ground, seemingly injured too badly.
Glad to finally have it over, Z-mage's dragonite dived down after them, hoping to help catch their opponents before they hit the ground.
And about halfway down Dragonite felt something slam into his stomach.
Another dragonite. Z-man's dragonite.
What followed there was a series of rakes and scratches, as Z-man's dragonite pulled him further and further towards the ground. Both dragonite's used their wings to try to minimize their momentums when they hit the ground. Most of it was lost, but only on dragonite managed to pull out of the dive. Z-man's.
Neither Z-mage nor his dragonite were seriously hurt, but they could both tell they were beaten.
Mr. Referee stepped up towards Z-man. "Z-mage is unable to continue to battle. Z-man is the winner!"
There was applause and recognition, but all Z-man cared about was the look on Z-mage's face. He didn't look all that disappointed at all.
After the battle.
That night, Z-mage invited Z-man to have dinner at the gym with him and Claire. Mainly to discuss the business oportunities that PaDT could offer him, and the future that now lay before him as a citizen of the multiverse.
But the most important part to Z-mage was in his current universe.
"So you can see what's going on all over the world?" Z-mage asked his other self. "Track certain people or animals, see what they look like without going near them?"
"That's the power," Z-man replied. "Even into the past. I take it you wanna know about Mewtwo?"
"Yeah, could I?" Z-mage asked.
Z-man smiled. "He was the first thing I looked up the first time I came to this world. Haven't had the nerve to approach him yet, though. You wanna go after dinner?"
"That'd be great," Z-mage answered.
Claire knew how much Z-mage liked to talk, so she chose to be quiet during this meal, guessing rightly that two Z-mages would be even harder to get a word in edge-wise.
Claire was only 21, but a superstar in the pokemon world, being one of the few gym leaders. She had heard Z-mage talking of the multiverse he had traveled through to get to her, and she wanted to see some of it. She was the gym leader of one of the toughest and rarest species, now she'd like to see something else, something more.
Z-mage had never thought any of the other worlds were nearly as wondrous as the world she was born into. But now that he had to go home, she intended to go with him. Maybe she could even pursuade him to take her to other worlds.
After dinner was over, she went to her room in the gym while the other two went off somewhere else, on some task of theirs.
The first thing she did was pick up her pokegear and call Lance, the dragon trainer of the elite four. His face appeared on the screen.
"Hello, Claire! I hear you had quite an exciting battle today," Lance greeted her.
"Oh, it was very exciting indeed. You should have been there," she said. "We do have a tape of the event, if you'd like to see it."
"Thank you Claire," he responded. "I'll have to take you up on the offer. But that's not what you called to tell me, is it?"
Claire smiled. "No, you're right, of course. I was going on vacation for a week and I was wondering if you could handle the gym for me. Most of my classes can go on hold, so you don't have to teach them if you don't want to, but if you could please handle all challengers for me, I'd be very greatful."
"Of course, Claire," Lance answered. "You know I'd do anything you needed me to do. Dragonite and I will be there in the morning, you have fun."
"Thank you, Lance," She told him. They exchanged pleasantries for awhile longer, and hung up. Claire began packing.
Meanwhile, Z-man and Z-mage found themselves on the top of a tall building in a city far from Blackthorne. Mewtwo's fur was being rustled softly in the wind. His eyes were closed, his tail was poised, he was standing straight up on the tips of his feet.
Z-mage could feel his psychic powers, as Mewtwo scanned the entire city, almost as if looking for something.
Whether he had found it or not, Mewtwo suddenly stopped scanning.
Why do you two want to see me? Mewtwo's psychic voice boomed in their minds.
Z-man took the initiative. "We just wanted to see you. We're big admirerers."
You admire me for what I've done? And you know all of it, even. Mewtwo mused. What have I done that's so admirable?
"You've lived," Z-mage spoke up. "You've realized your mistakes, and tried to grow. You try to be human. I'd like to think you can do it someday."
You came to this world voluntarily, Mewtwo said. I was forced into it. I've always hated this world, feared it even. First I tried to take it over, make it more to my liking. Then I found that it was already perfect beyond anything I could accomplish. So I tried to leave it, but found that impossible. I love this world now. I just haven't found my place in it. You two, on the other hand, can leave any time you want. You've both left your own worlds, looking for better ones. Go home. Love your own.
"We were about to go home. We just knew we couldn't leave without seeing you," Z-man said. "Thank you for talking to us."
They were about to leave, when Mewtwo said Wait.
I love this world, yes. This world is great, but I still don't want to be in it. I wish to see these other worlds you can visit, see why you want to go there so badly. Maybe there's a world I could find peace in myself on, a world that will teach me how to fit in in this one.
In the morning, four figures departed the pokemon world.