- "Don't count on it Boulder. We're far from finished with each other."
- —Finitevus taunting Boulder
Storm of Darkness is the latest story in Boulder the Lycanroc's saga, Shadows of Evil. It continues were both Shadows of Vengeance and the Secrets of the Alliance chapter Visions of Shadows left off. It takes place from Boulder's POV, and Dr. Finitevus is the main antagonist.
Mephiles has been defeated, but Boulder-the one who defeated him-is still tormented by the shadows of this evil being. Now with a young daughter, Boulder the Lycanroc must find a way to shake off the evil influence his enemy has left on him, while also juggling the threat of the returning Finitevus.
Detailed Plot Summary:
Prologue: Boulder is pacing impatiently as a Rockruff egg is flashing, getting ready to hatch. The rest of the warriors gather around him, and Boulder begins thinking to himself as the egg disappears, leaving a young female Rockruff in its place. Boulder thinks to himself that he's a father now, remembering how he knew his own father, Finnick the Lycanroc had always been proud of him, but he had never truly understood it until he'd first laid eyes on his new daughter. A wide-eyed Cody stares at the Rockruff as Boulder glances at Austin Smith, seeing happiness and grief battling in his gaze as he looks at the young Puppy Pokemon. Boulder realizes Austin must be thinking about his brother Michael and son Dallas, both of whom were killed. As he nuzzles Sunny, Boulder tells his mate Dawn that he's come up with the name Sunny for their daughter. Dawn tells him that it's perfect, and Boulder hears a deep voice at the back of his mind, laughing.
Main Story: Sunny squeals happily as she plays with Flame while Boulder is nearby, watching. Finnick passes by, and Sunny runs over to him, yipping. Finnick scoops her up, teasing that she was his favorite granddaughter. Sunny corrects him that she's his only granddaughter, and Finnick teases that that's what makes her his favorite. Boulder silently notes that while Sunny had thawed out a lot of the tougher warriors, Fox seemed to be unchanged, and he walks past as if summoned by Boulder's thoughts. Fox passes by without acknowledging them in the slightest. Boulder also notes that his Z-Partner Austin had changed, often barely acknowledging him, if ever. In the next chapter, Boulder, Austin, Fang the Saber, and Storm the Buizel are cleaning out the area around Boulder and Dawn's sleeping quarters when Boulder has a vision of Sunny wandering through Lamarkie Forest, and hurries off to get her. The next chapter is from Sunny's POV as she finds herself lost in the forest. She encounters Lycus the Lycanroc in the forest, who leaps to attack, but stops when he realizes he's found a lost Rockruff. With a sneer, Lycus calls to Finitevus, who comes out, his gaze flashing upon seeing Sunny. Boulder suddenly appears over Sunny, snarling at Finitevus, and Austin, Fang, and Storm join him. Finitevus tells Boulder he heard of the Lycanroc's great victory in the desert, while giving him a mocking bow. Fang snarls at Finitevus, who takes no notice of the saber, and Boulder gives Finitevus a smug look as a patrol of Red Foxes-consisting of Rush the Fox, Tanner, and two foxes named Sledge and Flip-arrive, trapping the mad doctor and his Lycanroc partner between them and the Alliance patrol. Rush tells Finitevus to get lost, and Finitevus says he needs to speak with "the Alliance's greatest warriors" first. Deciding against furthering the argument, Boulder tells Finitevus to get lost before grabbing Sunny's scruff in his jaws. When he lifts his head, Boulder is startled by Finitevus' face barely inches from his own. Finitevus then taunts Boulder that they're far from finished with each other. Boulder's mane bristles when he sees Finitevus look at Sunny with a sneer before the Lycanroc turns to leave with the patrol. Sledge and Flip then block Finitevus' path. On his way out of the forest, Boulder glances back to see Finitevus regarding him with a look of persistent interest. Once at the Base, Boulder sets Sunny down, and Austin shoulders past him. Fang passes by, and tells a hurt Boulder to give him time, and that he'll come around, as he can't be angry forever. Boulder thanks the big saber before turning to reprimand his daughter. Sunny apologizes, and Boulder explains Finitevus to her, telling her that he needs to be avoided at all costs. Later, Boulder dreams of returning to the Storming Base, only to look at his shadow and realize that it's actually Mephiles. Frightened, Boulder backs away, but a new Lycanroc appears and saves him. The Lycanroc drives Mephiles away, and when Boulder asks, the Lycanroc introduces himself as Dusk. Dusk promises that he will help Boulder when he is needed the most. Later, Boulder's brother-in-law Crunch the Lycanroc arrives, asking to see his niece, but is stopped by Fang and Lucas. Boulder pads up, and Crunch sneers at him that the Rockruff better not be his, to which Boulder retorts that she was. At that moment, Sunny runs up, yipping at Boulder as Dawn arrives as well. When Dawn spots her brother, she snarls at him, furious at his betrayal. Sunny asks Boulder who Crunch was and why he made Dawn so mad. Fang snarls that the rogue was a traitor to the Four Worlds themselves, and Boulder explains in a way the Puppy Pokemon can understand, saying that Crunch worked with Finitevus. Crunch tries to justify his actions by saying his judgement was clouded by his desire to protect Dawn, which only enrages Dawn herself even more. Crunch explains that he has learned from his mistake, and that he heard the great warrior Boulder had a daughter. Finitevus' voice rings out as he sneers about how nice that was. Fang roars at Crunch, calling him a traitor as he clouts him over the head while the warriors rush out to combat Lycus' Gang and the Destructix. During the fight, Austin and Boulder try to perform Continental Crush on Finitevus, but it fails. Boulder then rushes in to use Bite, but Finitevus is saved from harm by the Warp Rings held on his wrists, where Boulder tried to Bite him. Boulder is knocked aside by Lycus, who prepares to strike a fatal blow, but said blow never happens, as Crunch yanks the older Midnight Lycanroc off of the Dusk Lycanroc warrior. Finitevus and his followers are successfully driven off, but not before Finitevus tells Boulder that "This isn't over!". After the battle, the warriors are furious enough to warrant Fox to exile Crunch, who is then driven off by some of them, including Sky Armor the Skarmory. In the next chapter, Boulder has another dream of Mephiles, with Dusk intervening. Dusk then explains why the Z-Move failed, saying that both Boulder and Austin carried doubt in their hearts. Boulder is then woken up by Dawn's panicked cry that Sunny is gone. When Boulder wakes up, he has a vision of Sunny on the Storm Moor, and hears Dusk's voice telling him that she is going after Crunch. Boulder relays this and is chosen to head out. The Lycanroc then decides to bring somebody along, and asks Austin to come with him, apologizing for what he said before. Austin admits he's been a jerk himself, and agrees to come along. They travel across the moor, and find Crunch leading Sunny back toward the Base. Boulder offers Crunch the chance to travel back to the Base and reveal the truth, but Crunch refuses, knowing no one will believe him. The Alliance trio then set out for the Base. One night, still on their way back the Base, Boulder is unable to sleep, and heads into the nearby forest. He has a vision of Finitevus and another Echidna, the latter leaving through a Warp Ring. The vision ends when Boulder hears Finitevus laughing at him, and he swings around to glare at the villain. Finitevus taunts Boulder, whose mane bristles, and Crunch steps out, holding Sunny's scruff in his jaws. Lycus' Gang follows him, shoving Austin in front of them. Boulder crouches, ready to attack Finitevus, who threatens him to make him listen. Austin demands to know what Finitevus wants from them, and the mad villain reveals that not only does he want Austin's knowledge, but the secrets of the Z-Move they performed. Austin then demands to know why Crunch is helping Finitevus when he ditched Lycus' Gang before, and Finitevus prompts the rogue to reveal why he's helping him. Crunch reveals that Finitevus promised to end the Lycanroc's troubles with Lycus' Gang in exchange for helping him get to Austin and Boulder. Finitevus then sneers at Crunch that it's all in the past, mockingly thanking the rogue for helping him get the Alliance's greatest warriors. After this Crunch then bucks, kicking Lycus in the face and granting the warriors enough time to escape with Sunny. Boulder stops Sunny at Austin's paws long enough to scratch Lycus over the eye and kick him in the stomach before the warriors flee with Crunch, heading for the Storming Base. They arrive, and Crunch is reluctantly accepted into the Megastone Rogues, though is kept under heavy watch. Later, Boulder finds Sunny in the room where the Scepter of Darkness is being kept. Suddenly afraid, Boulder puts the Scepter back where it was and brings Sunny outside. He tells her to never go back in there, and when Sunny asks, Boulder explains the story behind his defeat of Mephiles. He then tells her to run off and find Flame, and she does. Boulder watches her run off, wishing he had her energy, but also remembering that things had long since changed when he evolved into Dusk Lycanroc. He thinks to himself that evil will never win so long as the "Warriors of the Light" are around to stop it. He has a brief vision of an Echidna with two white dogs on either side. When it ends, Boulder heads for the Base, pausing to glare at the Forest, growling aloud to Finitevus to come get him, saying that he's ready.
Epilogue: Finitevus stands at the edge of the forest, watching life at the Base. He muses to himself that one of these days, he'll have what he needs from Austin. He silently adds that once the Worlds are "cleansed of their corruption", Austin will continue to help him, along with Boulder. Smirking, he then heads into the forest.
- Austin Smith: A stocky, thick-pelted brown-and-black German Shepherd Dog with bright blue eyes. He is Boulder's Z-Partner.
- Boulder the Lycanroc: A young male Dusk Lycanroc who can use Continental Crush with Austin. He is the father of Sunny
- Crunch the Lycanroc: A male Dusk Lycanroc rogue who temporarily joined Lycus' Gang only to turn on them. He returns to repent for his ways.
- Dr. Finitevus: A mad, villainous Echidna obsessed with obtaining the vast knowledge of the Four Worlds that Austin has. Recently, he has become determined to learn the secrets of Boulder's Z-Move.
- Lycus the Lycanroc: A mean, antagonistic male Midnight Lycanroc who bullies Austin out of a hatred for dogs.
- Storm the Buizel: Male Buizel
Boulder's encounter with Finitevus is meant to be a reference to a scene from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, the 1998 direct-to-VHS sequel to its smash-hit predecessor.