It had been several hours since Peter last saw an outpost in the savanna, something that worried him as he noticed his bicycle chain beginning to come loose from the gears. If it broke off, it'd be a long walk back with no one but the local Pokémon to keep him company.
"Come on...I can make it..." He said to himself, peddling carefully, trying not to knock the chain loose as he continued cycling down the dusty desert pathway.
He took his eyes off of the path for a brief moment to make sure the chain was still there, and in that moment, he failed to notice a ditch in the path, obscured by the dust. With a cry of alarm, he tumbled to the ground, his bike hitting the dirt hard. Hard enough, to his dismay, to snap the worn chain on impact.
"GAH!" He cried out as he landed face first on the pathway, his bike falling beside him. He pushed himself back up from the floor, looking over himself. It was a bit of a nasty tumble as he saw, a few gashes along his arms and face, and from the look of it he had caught his knee and the right side of his face pretty badly, blood dripping from the wounds.
"Perfect, just perfect..." He groaned as his gaze shifted to the bike. Aside from the chain having broken, the front wheel had buckled.
"At least I remembered to bring this," he groaned, pulling a first aid kit from his satchel and wincing as he wrapped a bandage around his knee and arms, wiping the blood from his face the best he could. "Bike's a lost cause, though... Better see where the closest outpost is... Maybe I can get someone to fly or teleport me back to a city."
He picked up the totaled bike and left it on the side of the road - if anyone else passed through here, he didn't want to have it be a hazard to anyone. With a sigh, he began to travel down the path on foot. He was starting to wish that he had healed his Pokémon at the previous outpost, as he could have easily relied on one of them for travel.
Time passed slowly, not helped by the fact that his body ached all over from the crash. He knew that the outpost couldn't be more than two hours away, but each footstep felt leaden and agonizing. He sat by the side of the path for a few minutes to catch his breath, and rest his injured knee, when he heard a cry coming from the distance. "Lux-iooooo!!"
"What was that?" He sprung up, looking around for the source of the cry. Even though he asked, he knew what it was - the cry of a Luxio. He started to worry a little bit, the leonine Pokémon had an acute sense of smell, and he feared that they might have picked up the scent of his blood.
"Agh..." He groaned slightly, pulling himself back to his feet and starting to jog down the path as he heard another cry, this time somewhat closer. he knew it'd be futile to try and run if they were pursuing him, but he could try and get out of their path if they weren't. He could only hope that they were after something else.
He kept running the best that he could, but the pain in his knee kept forcing him to stop after every few yards. Eventually he was forced to stop, the pain too much to bear. "Damn it... If I get out of this alive, I'm going to need to get to a doctor..." He heard another cry a few moments later, but this was from a different creature. "Shiiiiii-nx!"
He gritted his teeth. "It must be a whole pack... Except I haven't heard the Luxray's cry yet. I probably wandered into their territory... Aaahhhh!! I've got to get out.. They won't forgive me if I stop and rest here, even if I am injured." Grimacing, he started to pull himself along, slowly crawling without moving his injured knee. "I just hope I'm close to the border of their territory..."
He continued crawling along the path, biting his lip as he felt more pain erupting from his injured leg. He was trying not to move the leg, but every few moments it brushed against the rough path, drips of blood trailing the road as he tried to escape. Eventually the pain got too much for him and he fell forward, collapsing in the middle of the pathway. The last thing he saw before he passed out was the sight of a couple dozen yellow eyes looking at him from the distance.
As he slowly came to, he saw that he was no longer on the path. The sun had set already, and the only source of light came from the crackling electricity of the Pokémon surrounding him. From that dim, intermittent light, he could see that he was in some sort of cave... probably the main lair of the pack that had taken him. He felt a soft wet feeling from his leg, and noticed that one of the Shinx was nursing the wound, licking the blood off his skin. He was reluctant to move, but he knew the Pokémon could tell he was awake, and so he slowly struggled to prop himself upright, before collapsing back to the ground from the pain.
"Gah, Arceus-damn it..." He groaned, pushing himself back up into a sitting position as he leant back against the wall of the cave. He looked down at the Shinx curiously, the small lion cub returning the gaze. "Hey there little guy..." He reached out slowly, extending a hand to pet the little Pokémon. To his surprise, the Shinx leapt up a little, his head bumping against the palm of his hand.
As he spoke, he noticed the rest of the pack turning to regard him with their gaze... They remained silent, considering his actions as the Shinx rubbed its head against his hand for a few moments before returning to his knee. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do, but he knew somehow that they were considering what to do with him, and his fate would depend on his actions in the next few minutes.
He had a look around the lair the best he could from the position he was in, and he saw an even number of Shinx and Luxio - 12 of each. Despite this, he did not notice any Luxray within the group. He found this to be very weird. Pokémon like Shinx, Luxio and Luxray often travelled in packs, and there were no Luxray around to protect the others from any danger.
"Well this is weird...you're a pack, and you're missing a leader... Doesn't it feel weird going around without anyone keeping an eye out for you and your well being?"
The majority of the creatures nodded slowly at his words, carefully moving closer and regarding him with interest one at a time... They were still silent, and Peter was unsure whether or not what he had said was good, but it certainly seems to have provoked a response. After each of them had approached and examined him, they strode away into a far corner of the cave, and he heard their soft growling as they spoke quietly to one another. He started to sweat as their speech ended, knowing that their decision on his fate had been made.
He noticed the eldest looking of the Luxio approaching him, stopping a few short meters before the human. It looked at him intently for a few seconds before speaking to him. "Luxio...Luxio Lux."
Peter stared at it confused for a few moments - he was still a bit out of it from the pain, and he was not completely sure of what as going on right now, but he tried to translate what the electric lion was saying. He was still worried that they were going to try to eat him until it gently nuzzled his side, repeating what it said. From what he could make out, it sounded like "You are free to leave, human..."
He winced and nodded slowly. As he tried to pull himself to his feet, though, he realized that his leg was far too injured and swollen to carry him. Collapsing back to the ground, he mumbled a short apology. "S.. sorry. Can't move... Hurts too much."
The Luxio looked on with concern at the human. After a few seconds a smile crossed its muzzle, and it helped the human to his feet, propping him against his side. Another Luxio came up to his other side. The two of them stood close to him, allowing Peter to shift his weight slightly onto the leonine mon.
"Wow...this is very kind of you." He smiled, petting their heads. The Luxio purred gently as they took a few steps forward, guiding the human whilst avoiding putting any pressure on the injured limb. He was able to move easier with the two Pokémon at his side. "Thanks, both of you."
As he slowly walked toward the entrance to the cave, he saw something dart past it in the corner of his eye. He doubted his vision for a moment, but then realized that he was not seeing incorrectly. There was something at the mouth of the cave, maybe even multiple somethings. Darting back and forth. It seemed like his escorts didn't notice it. They were too focused on holding him too see it, and he felt a suspicion rising in him that whatever was out there, it was dangerous...
"Something around here doesn't feel right...I'd be careful..." Peter warned the two Luxio. They nodded in response, calling forth four other Luxio to guard them. They kept walking when Peter saw something from the corner of his eye again.
"They're behind you!" Peter called out. The Luxio quickly turned their heads around to see two of the four guarding them get struck down, collapsing in front of them. "Luxio?!" They exclaimed as their attackers stood in view - a quartet of Zangoose.
"Goose...Zangoose Zan!" One of them taunted, raising its clawed paw in a just bring it gesture. The Luxio snarled in response as they approached the threat.
"Please, don't risk yourself for my sake..." Peter tried to warn the two that were at his sides. "I'll be fine, don't endanger your lives for me."
The Luxio, however, were not about to give him up so easily. Either they felt offended by the challenge the Zangoose had made, or were determined to now guard the crippled human, but they did nothing but stand their ground and snarl fiercely back at the Zangoose, daring them to take a step closer.
The Zangoose just grinned, stepping closer to the group of Pokémon guarding the human. As they did so, they were blocked off by the remainder of Luxio, as well as the 12 Shinx in the group. They snarled at the mongoose-like mon, trying to send them a warning.
"You shouldn't put yourself in danger just for me. If you back down they might leave you alone..." Peter tried to warn them once again, but the electric lions were not going to back down from this challenge.
Despite his warning, the two groups suddenly leaped at one another. claws and lighting flying. He couldn't bear to watch, the creatures that had just decided to protect and help him quickly falling before the vicious attackers. He turned away from the fight, unable to bear the violence, until he saw an injured form skid across the floor, struggling to stand and rush back to his defense. The small Shinx that had been caring for his leg, and despite its best efforts, the damage it took was just too great, and the poor critter passed out from the injuries and pain. He felt a rage building within him at the Zangoose for harming the young creature. Turning to face them, he felt a snarl rising in his throat...
"You...." He hissed, pushing himself up to his feet. The pain in his leg was still there, and it was as sore as ever, but he was fighting it off right now, staring down the Zangoose trio as his hands curled into fists, fingers digging hard into the flesh, drawing a little blood. "This is unforgivable..."
"Zan?" They looked on a little confused. The human was no match for the three of them, especially in his injured state. Despite that, they had to admit that the human had guts. They began to advance towards him, but then stopped in their tracks. The front-most of the three looked on in slight shock as he gazed into the humans eyes - they had shifted from hazel into a feral yellow, the whites of his eyes turning blood red.
"You... You...." He roared uncontrollably, his hair standing on end and burning to a deep black as electricity surged through it, the hair growing into points as it grew around his head, forming into a mane. "Lu... LUX!! RAAAAAAYYYYY!!" With a snarl, he leapt at the Zangoose, his muscles surging with electricity as he slammed into them.
"Goose?!" Two of the Zangoose exclaimed as their leader was floored, thrown back into the wall. How could the human have this kind of power...and how could he be moving with the injuries he had sustained?
"Ggrrahh....Lluuu..." The human growled, leaping back up, his form starting to crackle and fizz as he felt the equivalent of several thousand volts flowing through him. Oddly enough it was doing no harm to him. In fact it was doing the opposite, rejuvenating the human as he looked on at the attackers with a somewhat psychotic smile. The Zangoose that had been knocked down managed to get back to its feet, glaring at the human.
With a roar, he tensed his muscles to leap at them again, lightning once more surging through him and lashing outward, searing away his clothes and revealing black-blue fur all over his body. With a quick instinctual jolt of his muscles, he sent the electricity scorching into them, sending the Zangoose that had just struggled back to its feet yowling back down into unconsciousness.
"Zangoose!" The other two yelled out in horror as their leader fell down face first, its body completely still as the remnants of the electric blast that had hit it seconds ago crackled through its form.
"Rrrraaaahhh...Rrrraaayy..." The changing human was once again back on his feet. "Well well..." He said in a cold, chilling tone as he looked at the duo. "Your leader....grrooahhha....is down...doesn't look like it's done much to...toooggrraaaahhhrrrrrraaayy... dampen your fighting spirits..." He chuckled, breathing heavily as he did so. With each breath he took, his chest was starting to barrel outwards, ribs cracking and expanding as the changes to his form continued.
"I really have to commend your brrraaayyy.....bbrrraaay.....bravery..." He said in a mocking tone.
With a yowl, he dropped to all fours as his hands and arms crunched down into forelegs. As the Zangoose turned to flee, he slammed into them and sent them sprawling. "Orrrray... Mmmaybe I don't... Rrrun... Cowarrrddss..." He snarled at them viciously through his growing fangs as they struggled to rise to their feet.
The fangs were growing larger and more predatory by the second, jaws forced apart as his human face was unable to contain them for the moment. Saliva dripped down his chin as he snarled, hands clutching the ground, digging into the soft soil beneath as his hands cracked and popped, fingers shrinking a little as they grew thicker. The nails broke, blood dripping from them slightly as large retractable claws grew from the fingertips, the undersides of his hands swelling out into thick pads.
The Zangoose were still trying to get back up, looking at the changing human with growing fear. The fear was so strong that he could practically taste it, his tongue running across his fangs.
"Go on... Rrrrruunnnn..." He ran his tongue along his fangs as his face slowly grew forward and around them. He leaned back into a threatening posture, a jagged tail lashing out and back from his spine as he made it clear that he was prepared to pounce once again if they didn't flee right away.
"Zaann...gooosse..." They groaned as they got up once more. They were certainly stubborn, and neither of them looked like they were going to back down without additional persuasion.
"Rrrrr....Luuuxxxx..." Peter growled, his eyes narrowing on the two Pokémon as they began to glow a little. "So you want to go down fighting....ggrrraaaaAAAAYYYY!!! LUUUUXXRRRAAAYYY!" He howled as his jaws pushed out further with more cracks and snaps, lips growing thicker as they grew around his jaws properly, his nose sinking into the upper jaw as his nostrils flared. "Grrr....fighting till the bitterrrraayyy....bitter end..." He chuckled, arching his back as his spine snapped and popped, growing longer and more flexable as his shoulders grew broader.
"Then so be it...Give me everrrrayyy....eveRRRRAAAYYY.....EVERRRRRYTHING YOU'VE GOT!" He bellowed.
With a yowl, the Zangoose rushed at him, the two of them crashing into each other in mid leap. His new instincts took over, as he bit and clawed at his adversaries. The combatants rolled out of the cave spilling out onto the dry plains. Leaping out of the melee, he stood back for a moment as he felt the electricity beginning to surge within him once again. He leaned back on his cracking and shifting hind legs, as he began to sense the ambient electricity around him. Building in the sky, he slowly began to realize something he could do with his new strength and power.
"Zzaaannn..." The two were barely conscious now, starting to get back to their feet as their leader also stirred back to life, looking at his friends and then back at the Luxray that was once a human being. Peter looked at them with a vicious grin, ears twitching as they grew larger and rounder, sitting atop his head. There was one final set of cracking and popping as his feet restructured, becoming paws like his hands did earlier. The sky grew ever darker as the sound of thunder echoed throughout the area.
"Grrrraaayyy..." He snarled, only now looking over his changed form, a sense of pride and power filling him as he admired the beast that he had become. Looking at his hind legs, he also noticed that the damage to his previously injured leg was now virtually non-existent. "Now then...It's time I teached all of you a lesson......Luuuxxx.." He growled as the Luxio and Shinx started to awaken, managing to lift their battered bodies off the ground as they approached their new leader, looking at him with awe.
"You made a fatal mistake....grrrraa....trying to hurt my friends... my pack..." He hissed as a bolt of lightning struck the ground in front of him, leaving a small smouldering hole. "I don't know where you can....ggrrraAAAAYYY... get off about hurting them...but that...that.....LLLLUXXXXX!!" He howled, a trio of bolts striking the ground a few feet away from the Zangoose, making them cower. "That...is about to end...No one....NO ONE...hurts my friends...and gets aaaaRRRRAAAYYY with it!"
With that, the heavens opened up, a sudden violent burst of electricity shooting down, striking the Luxray as he threw his head back and roared.
"YOU BETTER PRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY TO ARCEUS, AS I WILL SHOW YOU NO MERCY! LLLLLLLLLLLLLUUUUUUUUUUUXXXXXXXXXXRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!"
With that roar, he felt the opened sky seething with energy, waiting just a moment before crashing down upon the Zangoose alongside bolts rushing forth from his crackling fur. The yowls of the Zangoose were no longer cries of aggression, but now of pain and fear, as they struggled to move as they collapsed twitching from the lightning. As he took a breath, pausing the onslaught, he saw them fleeing for their lives from the enraged lion Pokémon.
For a moment, he considered sending forth more bolts, striking them down for good with the energy contained in his quivering muscles. But then, he remembered the injured Shinx, in whose defense he had attacked the Zangoose in the first place. They wouldn't dare return again, and the Shinx needed his help.
"Rrrraay..." He growled as he calmed down, the sky clearing up as he walked towards the one Shinx that was still unconscious, moving his head down to gently nuzzle the little creature. After a few nudges, it opened its eyes, looking up towards the Luxray. "Shiinx?"
"Hey there little guy. Nice to see that you are awake now." He purred gently, nuzzling the little lion cub as it tried to get back onto its feet. He smiled softly as the little Pokémon looked up at him, trying to figure out just who he was and where he came from. When he made contact with the larger lions eyes however, it suddenly remembered - the Luxray was the human that not too long ago the Shinx was nursing his wounded leg. "Shinx! Shinx!" It called out happily, nuzzling against Peter's side.
He sat down next to it, nuzzling it kindly. "Thanks for taking care of me when I was injured. Now, I can make sure that you're well cared for." He turned to face the rest of his pack, checking their injuries, tearing apart the little that was left of his human clothes to form makeshift bandages. "I guess you all have someone to look after you know... Thanks for taking me in."
All the Shinx and Luxio looked at their pack leader with admiration and adoration, gathering around Peter and gently rubbing against him, all purring contently as they welcomed their new leader to the family. The Luxray smiled, purring contently as he looked over his new friends proudly. With them all huddled up, the electric lions threw back their heads and let out a roar that echoed through the area. After what had transpired that day, the Zangoose stayed well away from the group of lions, and any other groups of Pokémon that lived in the area found out the hard way that if they tried to hurt any of the pack, Peter would not hold back and strike down whoever sought to harm his family.
In a place like this, a strong survival instinct is definitely needed.