So I recently registered on Pokecommunity (awesome forum), and I found this neat little thread called the Fanfiction Challenge. The prompt was "Freedom", and this popped to mind. Takes place in the Fuega-verse (which, BTW, is Aqua Code for 'morbidmorbidmorbid'.)

Disclaimer: Don't own Pokemon, Pokecommunity, or the FFC.

Thorn felt the change coming long before it occurred.

Something stirring within his shell of protective bone – the urge that haunted him day and night, itching at the core of his being stronger than it ever had before. His gaze swept back and forth, searching…there!

He charged forward, his weight slowing him and at the same time lending a great momentum to his run. Thorn's eyes narrowed, and his mind focused and sharpened, giving its own power to the attack. The boulder cracked and shattered beneath the force of a devastating Zen Headbutt…not enough.

Another Zen Headbutt, and another crumbling boulder. Thorn roared, letting a Dragonbreath well up his throat and pour onto a stunted tree, engulfing it in raging emerald fire.

So close!

An errant Geodude, fool enough to fall within Thorn's sights, was crushed to fragments by a Dragon Rush. The Shelgon stood motionless for a moment, feasting on the power his victory brought him.

It was enough to calm him for a moment, and his piercing golden eyes narrowed from within his shell as he looked down at the shards of once-living stone beneath his feet. Stone was earth…earth was land…and the land…

Was Thorn's prison…

The need for power flared up within him again, and he slammed his armored body into a cliff face over and over, trying desperately to destroy something, to be victorious and gain power and grow and change and ascend and be free and –

A Pupitar exploded outward from the stone, enraged. It shrieked at Thorn and threw itself at him, in a wild attempt to save its home. Armor met armor with a resounding bang, and the Shelgon stumbled backwards, eyes shining with a greedy, desperate gleam.

Gazes locked.

Both monsters paused…

That look…that deep, hidden flicker in each other's eyes…was so familiar…

For a fleeting moment, they glimpsed each other's chains.

And then they charged.

All they could do was ram each other, hindered in movement by the armor that both trapped and protected them. Not even a battle, but a deathmatch, bloody and brutal. It was not long before cracks began to show in the rugged armor, deepening with every jarring impact. Both showed signs of exhaustion, but neither would surrender, for they needed the power, needed the change, needed to escape their shackles of rock and bone –

The air around both began to shimmer with heat, and loud cracks ripped at the air. Pupitar was barely visible beneath the distortion, but the shadow he left against the cliff was unfurling, changing…

And suddenly, with a scream of unbridled fury, Thorn struck.

He dived through the rippling air, body flaring with emerald dragon-fire, and delivered a final shattering blow to Pupitar. The Rock-type fell, dead before he hit the ground.

With a horrendous breaking noise, Thorn's armor shattered, and he crouched low to the ground, waiting for the transformation to complete. When he looked up, with cold, feral eyes, two blood-red wings stretched from his back, like a cape of scarlet death.

He turned away from the half-Pupitar, half-Tyrantiar monstrosity at his feet and lifted his wings. With a single powerful beat, he was aloft, free of his ivory chains.