Posted here because TEH DARK. That said, it's entirely canon.
No, you don't get a title.
The gathered Pokémon eyed each other, no small level of trepidation among them. Eleven of them, and no trainer. What’s more, among their number was an Umbreon, and not one known for her politeness.
“So, do we just wait around until we die of old age? Because what with the ghosts and all, that might take a while, and I’ve got things to do.”
This outburst came from the Umbreon in question, breaking the silence. Before anyone could respond, however, a small red-and-black shape dropped from above, landing in the center of the group.
“I suppose you’re wondering why I gathered you here today,” said the shape, standing to reveal itself as a Weavile. “All your questions will soon be answered, so don’t fret.”
The Umbreon twitched her tail irritably. “I have a question, Jab. How soon can we leave?”
Jab’s crest folded back as he eyed the Umbreon. “Soon. But first, if you’ll all open your mouths, I’ll show you something you have in common.”
Most of the mons obliged. One, a Jellicent, did not, as his mouth was essentially a slight infolding of his bell. The other, the Umbreon, was simply contrarian.
“Mouth open, Gattaca.” Jab ruffled his crest exasperatedly, and the Umbreon rolled her eyes, opening her mouth.
“Yes, my friends,” Jab continued, swinging his hands wide and nearly striking the Flygon perched behind him, “Teeth.”
“Mandibles,” the Flygon corrected.
“I’ve got a beak,” a Murkrow chimed in.
“And you, Merle.”
“I could make teeth out of ice or something, maybe…” a Froslass volunteered.
“For the love of Articuno, Nitro, I was trying to make a point. All of you are predators!”
A pause, silence. Then a Leafeon raised his paw. Jab stared at the fox, his eyes narrowing, widening, and then settling.
“…What is it, Mix?”
Jab pointed a paw away from the group. The Leafeon gratefully scampered in the direction it led. Jab eyed the group, as if daring anyone else to speak, and then continued.
“In lieu of our shared status, I propose…”
While the pause had clearly been for dramatic effect, the Jellicent took the moment to blow a few bubbles, and an Absol sitting removed from the rest of the group curled up, head in paws. Jab hissed in annoyance.
“Drift!” The Jellicent snapped to attention. “Solace!” The Absol did not. “I’m proposing a hunting contest. There, I said it. No respect for theater, I tell you…”
“It’s not a lack of respect for theater. It’s a lack of respect for you.”
“Quiet, Solace.” Jab turned away from the Absol to face the other Pokémon gathered around him. “Yes, my friends, a hunting contest. Whoever goes out tonight and returns with the biggest prey wins!”
A Salamence made a noise. Jab turned to him. “Spathi?”
“I…don’t really hunt. I think I’ll pass, if you don’t mind.”
“I very much do mind!”
But Spathi had already flown off. Jab flopped onto his back, hands raised to the sky. “Anyone else care to Torchic out?”
A Doublade shifted. “I only hunt on alternate Tuesdays.”
“Today is Tuesday, Letter.”
“But it’s not an alternate Tuesday. I can’t just flout the rules, Jab.”
And the Doublade was off. Jab sighed. “…Anyone else?”
A look around the group revealed all the members staying more or less put.
“…Wait, really? You’re all up for it? Solace? Gattaca?”
Solace shrugged. “What the hell? It sounds alright.”
Gattaca, meanwhile, responded with her usual enthusiasm and verve. “I get to kill things and nobody will complain.”
“Great, excellent.” Jab whirled around, now facing a Grovyle. “And you, Pleth? You’re new, so I guess we can cut you some slack.”
The Grovyle blinked. “No, no, this sounds pretty fun.”
“That’s the spirit!” Jab pumped a fist, and then produced a whistle from his pocket. “Ready, set, split!”
And the mons disappeared out into the region.
A Meowstic scampered through Petalburg Forest. She’d largely been silent during the meeting, and as a matter of fact, gentle reader, you’re unlikely to get any information from her now either, so for the sake of simplicity, she’s Ephemera.
Ephemera, though not a soul besides her could have guessed it, was hot on the trail of a Taillow.
The Taillow in question, however, was on the other end of the forest. While this admittedly made for a very stealthy method of tracking, it provided certain obstacles to the kill. Fortunately, Ephemera wasn’t only capable of telepathy.
On the other end of the forest, that very same Taillow was very surprised to find a Poocheyena perched in the tree next to her. And even more surprised when, as she took off to escape, a Skarmory swooped out of nowhere in hot pursuit.
Far away, in the ocean, an invisible hunter prowled. Or, at least, he would have been invisible—and prowling– if a trail of ice hadn’t been drifting through the water behind him.
“It’s not my fault, Drift!”
“Fine, I’ll go catch something on my own.”
Nitro curved away from the Jellicent, drifting deeper into the water, while Drift continued onwards, now entirely hidden from sight.
In the ash-coated Jagged Path above Lavaridge town, a Mankey was enjoying himself in the relaxed pastime of pounding a tree into pulp.
“Salut, mon ami.”
The voice from behind him prompted the monkey-pig to spin, fists at the ready to make mincemeat of whomever had interrupted his fun. But his rage seemed aimless, as all he could see was the dark forest around him…and small circles softly glowing in the gloom.
“Hey! Who’s there?”
“C’est moi. L’heure de ta morte est venue, singe.”
Gattaca stepped from the darkness, circles still alight. She bared her teeth as her back legs tensed…
And she was met with a Karate Chop to the face.
Though she didn’t seem badly hurt, her momentum was broken off, and she took a few steps back. The Mankey snarled. “Maybe I’ll be eating you instead, fox!”
The Mankey lunged again, and Gattaca hopped away, before disappearing into the forest, the Mankey in hot pursuit. Although he was significantly faster, it felt as though every time he came close, she managed to slip just from his reach, darting behind a tree or rock. But finally, he had her cornered, up against the blackness, not a tree to be seen. She leapt outwards, and he sprang after, arms latching around the Umbreon’s torso…
Only to find nothing under his feet. He let out a squeal of fright, and attempted to disentangle himself, but Gattaca whipped her head around, sinking her teeth into the Mankey’s arm. And so there was nothing to do…but fall.
Solace padded silently through the Jagged Pass, rolling her eyes at the scream from nearby. Gattaca didn’t really seem to understand the concept of moderation. Or of lines best left uncrossed. Solace, on the other hand, preferred a subtle touch.
The Spoink up ahead grazed blissfully, completely unaware of anything but its continued rhythm. Solace crept up behind
it…still no reaction. She raised a claw, and then paused.
What the hell. Gotta enjoy the little things.
Solace lowered her claw, bent down to just behind the tiny pig, and whispered “Boo.”
The reaction was both priceless and short.
The Taillow, still doing her best to not be eaten by either the Skarmory, the unusually-agile Poocheyena, or in fact the Scizor that had appeared silently from behind a tree, was beginning to wear out. Fortunately for her, her journey was nearly at an end, as unbeknownst to her she’d just finished being herded into the section of the forest occupied by Ephemera. A swoop
from the Skarmory drove the Taillow onto the ground, and she hopped backwards from the advancing Pokémon.
That is, until she collided with the Meowstic.
The Taillow hopped away, staring at the Meowstic, who only now seemed to become aware of her, turning around to fix her with a curiously blank stare.
Ephemera waved, but gave no further response.
“…Will you help me?”
A shake of the head, and the Pokémon behind the Taillow advanced a bit more.
Ephemera opened her mouth slightly.
Ephemera nodded, slightly apologetically, and the Pokémon surrounding the Taillow disintegrated into the dust they were.
“I’ll…just be going now?”
Ephemera shook her head.
The Taillow went anyway.
As it turned out, she was faster.
“Fermes la bouche!”
The Grovyle was the queen of the jungle! She leapt through the trees unopposed! She was without peer for speed and agility! She was—
Making a complete fool of herself, and most likely scaring off any prey in the area.
Of course, this wasn’t entirely unintentional. Pleth was looking for something big, and wasn’t particularly interested in anything that would be scared off by a noisy Grovyle. She knew Marill lived in the area, and with any luck it was the right time of day that they’d be off their guard.
And bingo. A Marill dozing next to the water. Pleth slowed her pace to a silent crawl, not wanting to wake the water mouse.
Unlike Jab or Gattaca, she didn’t see any real point in enjoying the hunt. She just liked being able to eat.
She dropped from the tree, and the Marill didn’t wake up.
A Magikarp drifted through the seas, content in its lot. It wasn’t very bright, but to be a Magikarp, you don’t really need to be. Its functions were primarily devoted to eating, sleeping, and the creation of additional Magikarp, with very little room left for deep thought or philosophy. The Magikarp didn’t ponder the purpose of its existence, or indeed give it any particular thought, or indeed give anything any particular thought.
In fact, it probably didn’t even notice when it was swallowed whole.
“Tu veux que je te morde?”
Wingull, it has been scientifically proven, are basically free of predation when over the water. True, the odd Sharpedo pops up to catch one, but they can usually see them coming and fly out of the way. As a reasonably understandable consequence, the average Wingull is fairly complacent in daily life.
This Wingull was an exception, being of a singularly paranoid bent. His main fear was that a Lanturn, bored of grazing seaweed off the ocean floor, would electrocute him and eat his body, and as a consequence he constantly kept a lightningrod on hand.
As the flickering blue light rose from the depths, the Wingull knew he’d found his purpose. No more would his friends call him names like “salmon-beak,” or “tuna head.” What were either of those things anyway?
If the Wingull had been a little less excited to be proven right, of course, he might have noticed that the blue light turned the water around it to ice, and that it showed no sign of being drawn to his lightningrod.
But then it connected, and a flash-frozen Wingull dropped onto the water, his lightningrod sinking away to be retrieved by Nitro.
A Swellow landed on a branch outside Lilycove, dropping the Grumpig he had caught for his family to the ground. It had been a long day, and he rightfully felt he was entitled to a little rest before he went home to feed his family. Just a little shuteye, at least.
The Swellow opened an eye, letting out a soft churr of exasperation as the Murkrow on the branch above him hopped down in front of him. “What do you want? I’m not giving out handouts; this is for my family.”
Merle cawed. “Don’t worry, friend. I couldn’t carry it anyway. I was looking for something a little smaller.” Another caw. “Lighter.”
The Swellow blinked, waking up a little, and ruffling his feathers. “You couldn’t take me.”
Merle cawed again, this time deliberately allowing the beginnings of a Thunder Wave to trickle across her feathers. For the first time, the Swellow acknowledged his predicament. He thought for a moment of trying to make a break for it, but the Murkrow had positioned herself in between him and the open sky. Clever. He was starting to wish he’d gone straight home.
“Look, can we make this quick? I am hungry.”
The Swellow spread his wings in alarm, and in an instant Merle had a wing pointed at him. “No sudden moves, please. I’m feeling a little twitchy.”
“You’re feeling twitchy, huh? Look, I’ve got a wife and kids at home. I’m sure there’s someone around who won’t be missed. Take them instead!”
Merle let out a derisive squawk, not taking her wing off the Swellow for a moment. “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about your family.”
The architect of the whole contest, meanwhile, was proving Merle’s pronouncement even as she spoke with the Swellow. Finding the nest among the houses of Fortree had been easy enough, but as he’d gone to extract the babies, he’d run into a snag.
“Excuse me, but what do you think you’re doing?!”
Jab scooted lazily around on the branch he was sitting on to face a fully-grown female Swellow, who looked none-too-pleased at his presence near her chicks.
“I’m eating your family. What does it look like I’m doing?”
The Swellow let out a cry of fury, and dove at Jab, who dropped to the branch below as the Swellow landed in front of her nest, before swinging around to launch himself back up, landing on the nest-branch in the crook of the tree. The Swellow remained by her nest at the end of the branch, wings wide, shrieking. Jab yawned. “You know, in your next life, I’d recommend building your nests on the inside of the branches.”
Before the Swellow could process what he’d said, Jab’s claws flashed steely silver, and the nest-branch separated from the tree. The Swellow dove after it hastily, desperately trying to grab enough of the twigs making up her nest to keep the chicks from falling out. It was only when she’d caught the last of them that she realized she wasn’t watching the Weavile.
She looked up to see the flash of claws, and then she wasn’t watching anything.
“Like I said, no need to worry about them.”
The Swellow glared at Merle, somewhat haplessly. “You’re a monster.”
“I’m hungry. There’s a difference. You’ve got a Grumpig there, haven’t you?”
“Sure, but I didn’t feel the need to call in a hit on its family!”
“Tamato, Tamayto. Look at it this way, you won’t have to grieve for too long.”
The Swellow snapped, lunging at Merle with the beginnings of a Quick Attack, but ultimately it was hopeless, a Thunder Wave catching him before his talons left their perch. He dropped to the ground below, Merle fluttering down after him. He struggled, and Merle rolled her eyes.
“Sorry about this, buddy, but even private eyes need to eat.”
There was a swift peck, and the world became a little quieter.
Everyone began to gather, eyeing each other’s kills with looks of varying respect (with the exception of Gattaca, who merely seemed faintly bored).
Jab stepped forwards. “Okay, biggest catch wins! Who’s up first?”
Ephemera took a step into the circle, tossing in her Taillow. Nitro scoffed. “Come on, just one little bird?”
Jab pumped a paw. “Do you challenge, then?”
“Sure!” Nitro threw her Wingull onto the Taillow, hiding it entirely. Ephemera pouted, and so did Nitro as Drift disgorged his Magikarp.
Jab frowned. “…Points will be removed for digestion.”
Pleth, meanwhile, was watching the growing pile with some trepidation. “I guess my Marill doesn’t hold up so well.” She tossed it in anyway, somewhat halfheartedly, and sat down by Ephemera.
“It certainly doesn’t, dear. Here, this is what a real hunter can do.” Gattaca tugged her Mankey over, nudging it towards the
pile, which it easily counterbalanced. “I think I’ve won this little game.”
“Let’s not be hasty.” Solace dropped the Spoink by the Mankey.
“Oh, do be quiet, Solace.”
“Thankfully, words aren’t necessary when you’ve won.”
“You’ve won? Come on now.” Merle flew in, dropping her Swellow with a huff and flopping to the ground.
“Don’t make me laugh, Merle,” Jab said, rising to his feet in a dramatic fashion. “Sure, sure, you got the Swellow, but I’ve got the same.”
He tossed a Swellow into the pile as well, this one bound by a chain of ice to—
“And you told me to pick up the kids after work.” Jab looked around quickly to see if Salamence was present, but as he wasn’t, he sat back down in a self-satisfied way.
There was a general outcry to the effect that Jab had made no mention of multiple kills being allowed.
“Please, please. At what point did I say they weren’t allowed?”
Pleth hissed in annoyance. “Look, it would have been nice to have been a little clearer about things.”
“I’m a Dark-type. What do you want from me?”
“Speaking of Dark-type, what’s that shadow?”
Nobody was quite sure who’d said it, but all the same it necessitated scattering as the body of a Camerupt slammed down onto the pile, and Marmalade landed in a whoosh of sand and wind. The dragon looked around.
The other mons gradually picked themselves up, dusting themselves off. Jab eyed the Camerupt ruefully. “Maybe next time we do this, some proportional scoring ought to be introduced.”