Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Zekrom is a large, somewhat humanoid draconian Pokémon notable for its dark colouration and rugged physique. Its body is covered with sleek scales that are primarily black or dark grey in hue, and in many places they have seemingly fused together to form plates of a highly flexible armour; these plates are separated from one another by narrow, linear gaps, and these lines have been noted to pulse with an electric blue light in time to the creature’s heartbeat. It is extremely muscular, sporting pronounced pectorals, biceps and triceps, large thighs, and a thick and rigid neck; in addition, the dark patch of scales on its lower torso resembles abdominal muscles, and its shoulders and shoulder blades are readily apparent.
Like many fully-evolved dragons, Zekrom possesses six limbs: two broad legs, two arms and a pair of wings. Its legs jut from its lower body at an angle and are perpetually bent like those of a Feraligatr or Krookodile, most likely to provide balance and stability; as mentioned above, they are thick and muscular, far more so than any of its four upper limbs, and terminate in a pair of broad feet with three blunt, rounded talons along with a sharper spur on the heel.
Zekrom’s arms and wings both start at the shoulder, with the wings being slightly above the arms, and are nearly identical in terms of structure and appearance; it is not until the elbows that these upper limbs begin to differentiate, slight though these differences may be. The wings themselves consist of two small membranes stretched between three broad, flat appendages, making them seem more like the webbing between a Golduck’s fingers than the leathery wings of an Aerodactyl or Dragonite, and also feature a small spike where the thumb would be in a more conventional wing structure.
The creature’s arms possess these characteristics as well, though here the spike is instead located at the back of the forearm just beneath the elbow and the webbing structures are smaller and slanted downward slightly; these structures have often been mistaken for the creature’s hands due to their appearance, but in fact Zekrom’s actual hands—small, round things consisting of little more than a palm and three wickedly-curved talons for fingers—are located on the underside of the arms a short distance behind them. Most likely, these ‘mitts’ as they are sometimes called are intended to assist the creature while in flight by allowing the arms serve as an extra pair of wings.
Zekrom’s head extends into a blunted snout, and its entire lower jaw is covered in dark scales in contrast to the lighter grey of the rest of its body; its upper jaw features a sharp hook as might be found on the beak of a raptor, and its mouth is full of sharp, conical teeth. Its eyes resemble inverted trapezoids with the larger base serving as its brow, and its sclerae are blood red; accounts differ as to whether its irises, which are clearly separated from the sclera, share this crimson colouration or if they are actually white. Its snout features a short, severely backswept horn and an undulating crest bearing a slight resemblance to a lightning bolt or plume protrudes from the back of its skull; the tip of this crest is translucent and icy blue.
Finally, Zekrom’s most notable and distinctive feature is its tail; rigid and inflexible, it is a bizarre, conical structure which resembles both the stinger of a Beedrill and an electrical turbine. Much of its structure is covered by a series of small slats and holes which bear an uncanny resemblance to heat sinks or cooling vents, further reinforcing the appendage’s unnatural appearance. Two bands of lighter scales exist on this tail, a segmented one at its base and a smaller one roughly two-thirds of the way up from the first; this second band possesses a triad of thin spikes akin to the blades of a simple fan.
Lore and History
Zekrom features prominently in the creation myths of the Unova region alongside its counterpart, Reshiram; the two dragons are considered siblings to one another, equals and opposites in every respect—where Zekrom is masculine and tangible in aspect, Reshiram is feminine and ethereal; where Zekrom appears technological and artificial, Reshiram by contrast appears natural. This contrast is readily apparent in their very forms, whether it be their diametrically-opposed colour schemes—Zekrom’s scales are black and its eyes are red, while Reshiram’s plumage is white and its eyes are blue—or the inverted orientations of their tail structures (while both are conical, the point of this cone serves as the tip of Zekrom’s tail; for Reshiram, the cone’s base is instead the end of its tail). Their complimentary appearances and natures are believed to be intentional and not some quirk of fate by Unovan mythologists, as most legends posit that the two were at one point a single entity.
While the specific details of this myth vary from one version to another, its fundamental aspects remain the same: in days long past, before the Unova region properly existed, the land was wracked by strife; people and Pokémon warred with one another, and the region was a barren and wild place slowly descending in chaos and destruction. It seemed that nothing would survive the constant battle, but when all hope seemed lost and the end was near, two brothers came down from the mysterious lands to the north; at their side was a single Pokémon, a dragon of great power and splendour, and with the aid of this magnificent drake and their own charisma they were able to unite the warring denizens behind their banner and transform the Unova region from a dying wasteland to an idyllic paradise. For ending countless years of war and bloodshed, the brothers were proclaimed as heroes and instated as kings of the reborn land; theirs was a golden age, and for a time all was good.
But this peace could not last forever; while the brothers had been united in purpose when they first came to Unova, as time went on and they grew older their desires began to change, and slowly but surely they began to drift apart. The elder brother grew to desire truth while the younger brother sought ideals, and as their arguments escalated into animosity they both appealed for the great dragon’s assistance; but the drake’s bond with the two was so great that it could not side with one over the other…but nor could it refuse their desires, and to accommodate their growing feud it used its vast powers to split itself in twain. The sundered halves of the dragon became a pair of diametrically opposed Pokémon, and each sided with one of the brothers; to the elder king went pale Reshiram, the dragon of fire and truth, and to the younger hero went dark Zekrom, the dragon of lightning and ideals. So armed, the two brothers went to war with one another, and the powers of these twin demigods shook the very landscape; as the fight wore on, however, it became apparent that they were evenly matched—as Reshiram and Zekrom had been born of the same almighty dragon, they were equal and opposite in all respects and one could not defeat the other. Recognizing the futility of their struggle and filled with remorse for sundering their most loyal companion in this fashion, the two brothers declared that there was no right side in this ideological struggle and reconciled; they attempted to merge the two dragons back into their original whole, but their efforts only met with failure and they were forced to accept that their mighty dragon would forever be divided in two.
Peace returned for many years, and in time the brothers married and started families; each passed down their desires to their eldest sons in an effort to give them aspirations and goals in life. But their sons, who had been born in a time of peace and did not understand war as their parents did, embraced these ideologies with excessive zeal and refused to see eye-to-eye with one another; having inherited control of the dragons from their fathers, they sought to prove their superiority by pitting Zekrom and Reshiram against one another—and the resulting cataclysm razed Unova to the ground. With all of their accomplishments undone in a maelstrom of fire and lightning, the aged brothers exiled their wayward sons and set about trying to repair the devastation; they realized that the dragons were too powerful to be allowed to roam free, for such power was easily abused, and each vowed to make sure that their Pokémon could never again be used for such evil.
The passage of time has muddled the details of what occurred next: one of the brothers is said to have travelled north and built the edifice known as Dragonspiral Tower and sealed his respective dragon away on the tower’s highest floor; and the other, venturing south with his dragon, built the ancient temple now known as Relic Castle, then used powerful and ancient magic to transmute his Pokémon into a small gemstone. Exactly which Pokémon was sealed away and which one became a stone is unclear, but a prophecy states that in a time of strife, the dragons shall heed the call of a worthy hero and awaken to do battle once more.
In addition to this myth, some scholars have speculated that Zekrom and Reshiram may be related in some fashion to the Pokemon known as Kyurem, citing similarities in body structure and nature; but while it cannot be denied that the three dragons are similar in several respects, no conclusive evidence of a connection between them has ever been discovered. Indeed, Kyurem does not factor into any myths or legends featuring Zekrom and Reshiram, as far as are currently known.
Despite the prevalence of myths and legends claiming that both dragons have been sealed away in remote locales, Zekrom has been observed on a number of occasions and in different locations throughout the Unova region; such sightings are typically fleeting affairs, where the dragon might briefly be glimpsed within the heart of a raging thunderstorm and vanish before any photographs can be taken, thus making it difficult to confirm their authenticity—indeed, several of these sightings were eventually revealed as elaborate hoaxes not unlike claims of having witnessed unidentified flying objects. Yet for every false account there is a kernel of truth, and despite Zekrom’s reclusive nature a number of confirmed sightings have been documented over the last several decades; in particular the dragon has been known to frequent the area around Dragonspiral Tower from time to time, and an archeological expedition has confirmed that the creature occasionally roosts on its topmost floor. This expedition was able to gather a great deal of information regarding this legendary Pokémon’s appearance, abilities and temperament, for so long as the researchers did nothing to disturb or anger it Zekrom was content to let them watch from a distance.
Beyond such observations and sightings, Zekrom played a significant role in the recently-concluded ‘Plasma incident’; in his misguided quest to separate humans from Pokémon Team Plasma’s leader, the controversial Pokémon rights activist known only as N. Harmonia, was able to sway one of the twin dragons to his cause with the strength of his convictions and used it to take on the regional Pokémon League, soundly defeating both the Elite Four and the champion Alder in short order. Having vanquished the very best that Unova had to offer, it seemed that nothing could stand in the way of N’s warped desires; but before the terrorist could make his dreams a reality with the power of his chosen dragon, a young Trainer from Nuvema Town stepped forth to oppose him.
Through means unknown, this youth was able to call forth and capture the second dragon, and the two Trainers pitted their respective legendary Pokémon against each other in a titanic battle of clashing ideologies; precisely which party Zekrom had sided with remains unknown, but in any event when the dust settled the anonymous youth stood triumphant.
As with any legendary Pokémon, Zekrom commands incredible power. Careful study has revealed that its tail functions as an electrical generator, and while exactly how this organic dynamo functions will most likely never be explained, the creature has been observed using this appendage to generate currents of such impressive voltage that their tension can only be measured in terms of teravolts—that is, trillions of volts. By contrast, the average bolt of naturally-occurring lightning typically has of voltage of a mere one hundred megavolts, two orders of magnitude smaller than what Zekrom can produce.
In addition to the generator in its tail, Zekrom has demonstrated a proficiency in the use of psionic abilities despite not being a Psychic-type Pokémon; while it cannot speak verbally, lacking the necessary vocal cords to produce human speech, the dragon can communicate telepathically, and witnesses have confirmed that its mental ‘voice’ is deep and masculine. Beyond this, Zekrom’s mental powers are not as refined as those of some legendary Pokémon; its primary uses of these abilities are to create a simplistic mental block within the minds of other Pokémon which prevents them from using moves and techniques similar to the ones Zekrom itself knows, and to concentrate the power of Aura within its skull to deliver a telekinetically-enhanced headbutt.
The creature is also capable of hovering and flying without actually flapping its wings; whether this levitation is psionic or electromagnetic in nature remains unknown.
Given the sheer power Zekrom possesses, it should come as no surprise that the creature can become exceedingly dangerous if provoked; the might of his electrical abilities equals or exceeds that of similar legendary Pokémon like Zapdos, Raikou and Thundurus, and the beast’s raw physical strength is unmatched. It prefers direct, physical attacks over indirect, ranged ones, and will not hesitate to bite, claw or head-butt anything foolish enough to challenge it directly; highly-specialized glands exist within Zekrom’s teeth and claws, allowing it to augment its attacks by wreathing them in electricity, searing green flames or withering Umbrate energy. Similar glands line the creature’s entire body, allowing it to engulf itself in a blazing corona of energy and fly into a violent yet exhaustive rage for a brief period, and it can also expel torrents of blue energy and gouts of noxious, rancid gas from its mouth or unleash deafening bellows of concentrated sonic force.
Beyond these generic abilities, Zekrom has been observed performing two moves unique to itself. For the first of these, the creature generates a massive electrical charge within its tail generator and uses this current to surround itself in a crackling orb of blue electricity; somehow, Zekrom then physically grabs hold of this electricity, shapes it into a bolt of lightning and hurls it at its opponent like a javelin. Eyewitness accounts of the battle between Zekrom and Reshiram at the Unovan Pokémon League attest that this ability seemed closely related to one used by Reshiram, wherein the Vast White Pokémon launches a monstrous fireball at its foes; if Zekrom threw its blue lightning bolt immediately after Reshiram launched this fireball, witnesses claim that the bolt was visibly larger in size and seemed more powerful—and by contrast, if Reshiram used its fireball after Zekrom’s lightning bolt, the ball of flame was visibly twice as large and far hotter. Because of this, these attacks have been dubbed the Fusion Bolt and the Fusion Flare, respectively.
Zekrom’s other signature technique is similar in nature to Fusion Bolt, as it begins by building up a massive charge within its tail before wreathing itself in the resulting electricity; here, however, said electricity is of a more conventional yellow hue and clings tightly to its body like a corona. Rather than manipulate and shape this electricity, Zekrom simply charges at its foe while wreathed in it in a move similar to Volt Tackle, albeit far more powerful and without the risk of Zekrom damaging itself from the recoil. Due to its nature, this technique has been dubbed Bolt Strike by the Unovan scientific community, and its voltage is so high that anyone on the receiving end of this attack may become paralyzed from the shock.
Beyond its physical abilities and techniques, the staggering voltage generated by its tail dynamo is so great that it can cause mild disruptions to the laws of physics and override certain forms of electrical resistance; for example, Pokémon that are normally able to redirect all electrical attacks towards themselves like living lightningrods are incapable of diverting Zekrom’s electrical techniques, and Pokémon which are normally healed by exposure to other sources of electricity instead suffer injury from the dragon’s lightning bolts. Furthermore, Zekrom itself is resistant to aerokinetic-, steel-, fire-, water- and plant-based attacks, and electrical attacks are almost completely useless against it; these traits, when coupled with a formidable resistance to physical attacks and a respectable tolerance for special attacks, make the creature a formidable opponent indeed. Fortunately, the Deep Black Pokémon is not without its own flaws: it has the common draconic vulnerability to extreme cold and the destructive power of other dragons, and like most Electric-Pokémon Zekrom has proven vulnerable to seismic attacks. Should one run afoul of Zekrom in the wild and conflict is unavoidable, a strong Fairy-type or Ground-type Pokémon, or one with access to Ice-type moves would be a trainer’s best defense against the creature.
In Popular Culture
Due to its fearsome appearance and the ambiguity which pervades all myths and legends pertaining to it, Zekrom has something of a bad reputation as far as the popular consciousness is concerned; to the layperson, it is often assumed to be an evil demon in contrast to the perceived good, angelic Reshiram, and is seen more as a destructive and malicious force of nature than anything else. Because of this, Zekrom has often been depicted in a somewhat negative light and associated with villains; indeed, outside of the Unova region the Deep Black Pokémon’s most well-known portrayal is as the loyal servant of a ruthless warlord in the latest installment of a long-running strategic roleplaying game, and in its native region Zekrom was most recently featured as the main antagonist of the critically-acclaimed videogame Worldedge, in which it is depicted as a malevolent god of destruction and the ruler and progenitor of an evil race of dragons seeking to destroy the world. Such portrayals naturally do the creature no justice, for they overlook the fact that Zekrom and Reshiram complement as well as contrast with one another; Zekrom is no more evil than any other dark Pokémon, and Reshiram is not necessarily good—after all, the founding myths state that Unova was destroyed by both dragons rather than one.
Written by SullenFrog