Author’s Notes: Happy 4th of July, everybody! =D
Yeah, I tried my hand at writing a journey fic. Hopefully, I didn’t screw up too badly. XD
Rated R for good reason. Violence and extremely disturbing themes abound.
Prologue: The Perfect Dream
Chapter One: The Imperfect Past
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Legend of Lucario
Now, without further comment...
Maggots of Society
Prologue: The Perfect Dream
Andrew Morton woke up with plenty of time to spare the day he had to get his first Pokemon.
He was up before the first rays of sunlight penetrated the gloom of night, way up before that awful Dodrio screeched its usual morning greeting, and most definitely up before his annoying Pokeball-shaped alarm clock started beeping.
Yes, Andrew had meticulously planned to the last insignificant detail for many long weeks beforehand how this glorious day would turn out. After all, he needed to be at top of his game in order to completely destroy everyone’s hopes of ever becoming successful Pokemon trainers. But most importantly, he craved with an almost sickening and desperate fervor for Professor Oak’s approval.
Appearances were everything in this image-driven world, and Andrew was confident that he would make an excellent and long-lasting impression on Professor Oak. He had practiced in front of his mirror religiously each and every day; from the best way to compliment the professor’s pristine lab coat, to the perfect timing on when to laugh at his reused, unfunny jokes. He had cultivated his perfectly hypocritical image with loving care, and had been especially cautious that his true personality wouldn’t crack his beautiful, deceitful mask.
Andrew picked up his backpack which he had packed many days ago with all the essentials for his journey, and headed downstairs.
Hoping against hope that the thing was still sleeping, he tiptoed down the mahogany staircase. With each careful step, he made sure to pause to listen for any suspicious noises. Hearing none, he continued his descent. Just when he thought he was free at last, all his hopes were dashed once he saw it at the foot of the stairs.
“Hi, sweetie!” she greeted him in an annoyingly high, sing-song voice. She was wearing a loosely fit red dress that practically consumed her small frame and had her hair up in a messy bun. It was a truly nauseating sight.
No matter how many times he saw her, his extreme loathing pumped through his veins, poisoning his very heart. Andrew bit his inner cheek, not wanting to lash out and ruin everything. He focused on his throbbing pain on the inside of his mouth, the metallic taste of his own blood, anything than to see into the eyes of the despicable woman who was beaming fondly at him. But even as he faced this mental ordeal, a voice at the very back of his mind reproached him harshly. All those long years of carefully honing his guise would utterly go to waste if he couldn’t even deceive this monster into believing he was a normal, little boy who loved her back.
With this in mind, but cringing inwardly, he answered sweetly, “Hi, Mom!”
“Come on, I made breakfast!” she said happily, taking his hand.
Andrew followed her reluctantly, his fake grin still painfully plastered on his face.
Once they were inside the kitchen, Andrew noted bemusedly the large quantity of food laid out in the table. He sat down, losing all of his appetite on the spot.
“I know you’ll become a wonderful Pokemon Master. Just be careful out there,” his mother cautioned, frying some bacon.
Andrew stared at her blankly with his deep, brown eyes but said nothing. Deep down, he knew his mother was a well-meaning, kind person who was proud of him and honestly wanted the best for him.
And yet that didn’t matter.
He still wanted her dead.
She was also a silly, foolish woman who completely underestimated his full potential and never failed to point it out every single day. If she somehow thought that there was a slight possibility that he would fail at becoming a Pokemon Master, then she was far more idiotic than he had imagined.
Entertaining himself with a fantasy of his mother pleading for mercy as he systematically pulled her nails off one by one with a plier, Andrew was able to keep his composure and smile naturally back at her.
“I can’t believe you’re already leaving on your Pokemon journey,” she mused out loud, dumping the shriveled bacon on his plate. “I’m sure you’ll do well.”
Andrew grunted in reply, looking down morosely at his piece of burnt bacon. He was pretty much used to the outpouring of praise from practically everyone he had ever met, thanks to his deceiving persona, so a loving compliment from this devoted individual didn’t mean anything to him by this point. He only sought Professor Oak’s undying admiration; everything and everyone else was merely secondary.
Lost in his own thoughts, Andrew was completely caught off-guard when his mother wrapped her arms around him, pulling her only son into a warm, tender embrace; Andrew squirmed uncomfortably in her grasp, restraining the urge to savagely stab her with the butter knife.
“I love you so much,” she said softly, completely oblivious that her blatant display of emotion was only fueling Andrew’s dangerous hatred even more.
“I… love you, too,” he lied smoothly, fighting down the nausea that was bubbling at the pit of his stomach.
To his immense relief, she finally let go of her death grip. She ruffled his black hair affectionately and kissed his cheek before turning to open the fridge. Once her back was turned, he wiped her cheap lipstick marking off his cheek with his napkin. Slightly scowling, he resumed eating his breakfast, but not before furiously cursing his mother under his breath. If Professor Oak had seen that ugly thing, his grand entrance would’ve been completely ruined.
Once he finished, he thanked his mother insincerely for the ‘marvelous breakfast’, and hurried out the front door. Maybe if he was quick enough, he wouldn’t have to say good-bye…
“Bye, Andy! Take care!” his mother shouted tearfully, waving a white handkerchief in the air.
“Bye,” Andrew replied with as much sadness as he could inject into his voice, hiding his euphoria at leaving his wretched home forever.
It was still dark out, but this is exactly what he wanted; he couldn’t let other pathetic ten-year olds beat him in getting the best Pokemon nor greeting Professor Oak first thing in the morning.
After a long, chilly walk, he finally arrived at the laboratory. With baited breath, he entered the sliding doors, looking expectantly in the crowd for his teacher. Almost immediately, one of the Professor’s aides came up to him, wringing his hands.
“The Professor is running some important errands, but will be right back. Why don’t you wait for him?” the aide suggested good-naturedly.
Repressing a shudder once he saw the man’s greasy, pimply complexion and idly wondering why his hero worked with scum, he beamed.
“I have no problem with that,” he answered politely, knowing full well that he needed to be nice to the Professor’s lackeys.
Andrew made himself comfortable in one of the chairs; he folded his hands over his lap, and made sure to have his back perfectly straight, preparing to wait for him.
Every second that passed without Professor Oak by his side seemed like a year that stretched on everlastingly onto the next; his face ached painfully with the effort to keep up his charming smile; but he kept at it, confident that all his effort would pay off in the end.
When he heard heavy footsteps by the entrance, he turned eagerly.
“Yes, Professor?” he answered sycophantically, but his happy façade slightly fell once he realized it wasn’t his adored idol that had finally arrived.
Andrew didn’t recognize the tall, bedraggled teenager slumped over the doorway who stared at him with a terrible mixture of horror and pity. Covered from head to toe in soot, sweat and blood, he was appallingly out of place in the spotless laboratory. His matted, grimy hair partially hid his astonishingly blue eyes, and his nondescript clothing was muddy and ripped in several places.
When the stranger took a step closer to him, Andrew’s heart began to race.
“There’s no one here, Andy,” the stranger whispered gravely in a hoarse voice, his pale face aghast.
Andrew raised his eyebrows in polite skepticism, forgetting his fear for a minute, wondering if the guy was delusional. “What do you mean? The professor’s aides are just right over there.” He pointed straight at the group of scientists who were diligently working in their respective tasks. Once they heard him, they all stopped to mechanically smile in unison; Andrew flashed one of his perfect smiles in return, his erratic heart easing slightly.
The outsider shook his head, his disheveled brown hair hanging limply over his heavily-scarred face.
“Andrew…” the teenager began, but his strength seemed to falter mid-sentence. Once he regained his valor, he looked straight at him with startling, sad blue eyes.
It took several long seconds for Andrew to fully comprehend his words, and yet, he shook his head defiantly.
“No… that’s not true,” he remarked off-handedly, laughing it off. “Right, guys?”
When he turned around, the sight that greeted him was distinctly, and horrifyingly, different from a moment ago. Pieces of broken glass littered all over the floor, reflecting the silvery glow of moonlight that spilled from a broken window high above. Wrecked machinery sparked ominously, now mere scraps of twisted metal contorted in menacing shapes.
Andrew could make out the unmistakable shapes of Pokemon amongst the carnage; a Spearow’s decapitated head hidden behind an overturned table, a Jigglypuff oozing a strong, yellow liquid from its purplish innards, and what looked like a severely disfigured Mankey, its limbs bent disgustingly as jutted bones poked out in different directions.
And then Andrew saw him.
He made his way through the massacre, almost in a trance-like daze, as he approached his old mentor. Professor Oak was sprawled on his back, his body strangely frail and almost childlike in death. His eyes – those same eyes that had always seemed to hold immeasurable wisdom – were now open wide in unimaginable terror, a petrified expression forever etched on his face. His once spotless lab coat was slashed into shreds, revealing numerous crimson orifices underneath. Andrew bent almost reverently over his fallen hero, gently placing his dark hands over the fresh stab wounds; his blood was still warm.
Andrew screamed – a high, agonizing howl full of pain that seemed wrenched out from the very depths of his soul. He collapsed, his knees buckling beneath him. It was in this very moment – curled up among the grime of the dead, his cry still reverberating off the cracked walls – that Andrew began to remember. His failed, imaginary world soon dissipated only to be replaced with flashing images of the true reality: a pile of fetid bodies rotting below the sweltering glare of the scorching sun, an entire city burning under a crimson sky, the blank gaze of a little boy, and a beautiful, young woman smiling serenely amongst the chaos…
In his crushing despair, he only managed to choke out one word through his wails.
This stranger, Jason, nodded somberly, his haunted blue eyes alight with an all-consuming, powerful hatred. “Her.”
“She was the one to-to-to…” Andrew couldn’t continue; Jason placed a consoling hand on his back and nodded.
“What do we do?” Andrew said hysterically, his large, brown eyes shining with tears. He grabbed onto his best friend’s tattered collar with shaking, bloodstained hands. “What the fuck do we do now, Jason?” he almost shouted, his thin chest heaving agitatedly with each panicked intake of breath.
“You know what we have to do,” Jason said incredulously, ignoring Andrew’s strong hold on him. “You’ve known all along.”
Andrew let go of his ragged shirt, covering his face with his blood-drenched hands, as his lanky frame shook from the force of his sobs.
In one swift gesture, Jason pulled out a gleaming pistol from his faded coat, and handed it to Andrew, who looked positively terrified. The gun in Andrew’s grasp trembled violently, and his dark face was still wet and glistening with tears, but the next words he spoke to Jason had an astounding determination that he thought would never say.
“Let’s do it.”
So err, how was it? I hope someone enjoyed it. Regardless of whether you liked it or not, please do review if you have read this. Thank you!