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Thread: Anima Ex Machina (PG-15)

  1. #26
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    There's no such thing as the dead of night in Polaris Institute.
    I have a feeling this is gonna change.

    With a whistle, he unclipped his ID from his pocket and swiped it through the slot in the side of the lock. It whirred and pushed a pad downward, prompting him to press his thumb against its metal surface. Then, the lock beeped, chirped a greeting, and clicked. Without hesitation, the janitor pushed the handle downward and swung the door open.
    It might be just me, but it seems odd that the lock for a lab that was just ravaged still works normally.

    Inside, he was greeted by one sight he never thought he'd see. An entire team of scientists, twelve in all, lay on the ground in front of the rows of computers on either side of the room. All of them were either dead or unconscious; he couldn't even tell which. He took a shaking breath and stepped backwards as a cold feeling formed in his stomach, but before he could go any further, two pairs of hands grabbed him roughly. Looking to both sides, he found the faces of two interns – two large ones, much bigger than he was.
    This is a GREAT "oh ****!" moment. Good job.

    Looking forward, he watched as Professor Nettle walked out of a corner he couldn't see from his place at the door.
    There's the other "oh ****!" moment.

    "Let's make it so he can't talk, then," Nettle replied. "Jynx, use Lovely Kiss. And you—" She nodded to a third intern, standing at one of the machines. "—contact 009. Tell her our leader will have to be content with two specimens of XP-494B."
    Okay three. Stop pulling these surprises on us! XD

    The ice witch swayed her hips as she walked towards him. Her pursed lips began to glow bright pink, and she purred as she leaned in and grasped his chin with a large hand. He felt her strong grip clamp down on his jaw, and as she forced him to turn his head, he winced as pain stabbed at his neck. However, he didn't have much time to protest because in the next second, he felt her cold lips against his skin. Shortly afterwards, a tingling, numb sensation spread through the rest of his head, and he suddenly felt like he couldn't keep his eyes open.
    Great description of Lovely Kiss.

    Helpless inside his own mind, Bill could only watch his body move as if it wasn't his. It thrashed. It screamed. It struggled desperately as Nurse Joy's team of chansey tried to restrain it. Between these moments were gaps in which he sensed morphine crawling through his veins or watched his bones crack and reassemble.
    This is a beautiful description. Considering I also just saw a movie with a transformation sequence not too unlike this, I can picture it really well.

    This fic is really stepping up, and you're proving my initial impressions of it totally wrong. Excellent work.

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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler View Post
    I have a feeling this is gonna change.
    Oh yes. It's going to become a literal statement. ;D

    It might be just me, but it seems odd that the lock for a lab that was just ravaged still works normally.
    One of the things I might've neglected to mention is that most of the damage happened in the Inner Ring. Polaris is composed of three buildings connected through various pathways. There's the Outer Ring, which is for the living quarters, medical wing, common area, administration, and so on and so forth, and the Inner Ring was where most of the activity happened because they had the most secure laboratories. The chapter actually takes place in the Median Ring, where not-so-secure labs are located.

    Looking back, I just realized I didn't explain all of that (and even implied that the Rockets attacked the Median Ring when I meant to say they were passing through it, either to get back to the Outer Ring or to get to the Inner Ring), so I'll have to go back and add it in somehow. Either way, you're right. The labs of the Inner Ring are pretty much wrecked to the point where they're anything but secure.

    Other than that, thanks for the review and the compliments. =D I'm glad to hear you liked it.

    (Incidentally, which movie was that? Just out of curiosity... although the sadistic sci-fi fan in me would totally love more entertainment.)

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Oh yes. It's going to become a literal statement. ;D
    I KNEW IT.

    (Incidentally, which movie was that? Just out of curiosity... although the sadistic sci-fi fan in me would totally love more entertainment.)
    Mansquito, aka MosquitoMan when it was released on DVD. It's a really, really horrible ripoff of The Fly where a scientist trying to destroy the West Nile Virus accidentally exposes both herself and a prisoner to radioactive mosquitoes. The prisoner guy immediately turns into a giant mosquito (he looks like a guy wearing a rubber suit) who goes on a killing spree and decides he wants to mate with the scientist, who is also slowly transforming into a mosquito.

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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler View Post
    Mansquito, aka MosquitoMan when it was released on DVD. It's a really, really horrible ripoff of The Fly where a scientist trying to destroy the West Nile Virus accidentally exposes both herself and a prisoner to radioactive mosquitoes. The prisoner guy immediately turns into a giant mosquito (he looks like a guy wearing a rubber suit) who goes on a killing spree and decides he wants to mate with the scientist, who is also slowly transforming into a mosquito.
    lolwut

    XD Lemme guess. Made-for-TV-movie? Because nothing says that more than, "Take the most horrific real-life thing that's currently happening and turn it into a campy horror/sci-fi flick that's totally not ripping off a previously made cinema classic!" Or, well, it could be a B-rated Asian film, but I cheated and Wikipedia'd it.

    In any case, that sounds amazing, and I will have to hunt it down. Just because it's like The Fly, only with more mating, more transformations, and probably less "lol, molecular physics." Thanks!


    In the meantime, the latest chapter. I think the best way to sum it up is, "Happy birthday, Bill! Have a traumatic experience! :D" But that would be stealing a line from the other place I've posted this.


    Anima Ex Machina: Five
    Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams.


    When the dream receded and Bill felt his body for the first time in days, he awoke with a start. Immediately after that, he shut his eyes and groaned. Although he wasn't the kind of person who had a particular appreciation for alcohol, he imagined that this was exactly what a hangover was like: waking up to nothing but blinding whiteness that only fed a pounding headache. He twisted where he lay and tried to swallow to keep himself from throwing up, and right about then, he realized something was wrong. For one, he couldn't actually move his arms or legs. For another, his chest was pinned to what felt like a mattress, too.

    And for a third, a pair of voices floated into his ears, and what they were saying didn't exactly comfort him.

    "Professor, it's awake."

    "He, Sienna. He's a male."

    Much to his relief, one of those voices was Professor Oak. The other sounded strangely familiar to him, but he couldn't place where he might have heard it. Slowly, he opened his eyes into a squint and tried to look for the source of the sounds. His vision slowly resolved, allowing his world to transform from an amorphous, white blob to the edge of a bed and a metal rail. Several feet beyond the rail was a white wall, but other than that, there were no signs of people yet. Another groan rumbled in his throat as he squeezed his eyes shut and turned over. Forcing his eyes open again, he found himself staring at another white wall, but in this one, he could see a window.

    Beyond that window stood Professor Oak, staring at him with concern. On the left side of the researcher sat a blonde assistant who moved her head back and forth to read something below the window. As soon as he saw her, it occurred to Bill that this girl looked familiar too, but no matter how hard he tried to focus, he couldn't remember where he met her. It wasn't just the memory of her that he couldn't quite grasp, either: all of his thoughts seemed hazy. Resting his head back, he stared at the ceiling and tried to think through his headache to what happened before he passed out. It felt to him like a safe place to start, and anyway, he had a nagging feeling this girl had something to do with the events leading up to that point.

    "Sir, this isn't like the other times," the girl – Sienna – told Oak. "It, er, he's not reacting violently."

    Oak nodded. "Yes. I wonder…" Clearing his throat, he rolled himself onto the balls of his feet. "Bill? I don't suppose you can hear us, can you?"

    Bill blinked in confusion and looked back to his superior. "I can hear you just fine, Professor."

    Immediately, Sienna looked up, and Oak raised his eyebrows. Bill shifted uncomfortably as his insides started to twist with worry. He couldn't imagine why he was there, why he was feeling so confined, and most of all, why Professor Oak was on the other side of that pane of glass. Gradually, his head began to clear. The pain was still wrenching his insides, but at least he was starting to think straight enough to realize there was something very, very wrong about all of this.

    "What's going on?" he asked quietly.

    Oak stared at him in response to his question. Then, after a long pause, he turned to Sienna.

    "Unlock the cuffs," he said.

    Sienna gave him a wide-eyed glance. "But sir—!"

    "Please."

    Frowning, she turned back to the console in front of her and tapped a few keys. Then, she withdrew her hands as if every button in front of her was wired to give her electric shocks. She stared downward, but Oak looked through the window to study Bill.

    As soon as Sienna was done typing, Bill felt something slide away from his arms, legs, and chest, and right then, the feeling of being pinned down disappeared. His arms fell onto the bed with a pair of thumps, and he arched his back to take pleasure in his sudden freedom.

    "Wait, Bill, there's something you should know before you get up," Oak said. "If you're conscious, that is."

    With more effort than he expected, Bill forced himself to sit up. "Conscious? Of course I am."

    "Well, it's not that easy to tell," Oak replied. "We're hoping you're still the same person in mindset, but—wait! Don't!"

    Before he could continue, Bill brought his hands up to rub his wrists. He couldn't imagine why this would be such a bad idea until one hand actually touched the other. As soon as he did, he heard a clack and felt something that couldn't have been right.

    Looking down sharply, he examined his fingers. Somehow, while he was asleep, his skin had turned into metal plates, overlapping each other at the joints like the limbs of a suit of armor. His fingertips were no longer the round, fleshy things he remembered. They were now sharp, curved claws. Turning one of his hands over, he found the round hemisphere of a garnet embedded in his palm. In it, he caught sight of his reflection: a gaunt face, fangs just visible in his open mouth, short, bristly hair, and horns – a pair of rounded horns shaped like cat ears on either side of his skull.

    Now, Bill had always felt that he was a decently rational person. He would get excited about a success or a recent discovery or a new pokémon in the index, but he wasn't the kind of person to be jumping and shouting over it. Likewise, although he had seen quite a lot of things that would have shocked a normal person – such as, for example, the complete destruction of his lighthouse's beacon by a giant pokémon – he wasn't the kind of person to experience a total meltdown.

    Of course, waking up to discover that his hands were made of metal was an unusual circumstance, and as such, it deserved an unusual response. With a cry, Bill jolted backwards, scrambling in an effort to get away from his own hand. In doing so, he could feel his feet and torso dig into the mattress and the foam stuffing flowing out against his metal skin. Looking down, he caught another glimpse of something that caused his voice to catch in his throat. His entire torso was made of overlapping plates of metal, and beyond that, his feet no longer looked remotely human. Inhaling shakily, Bill extended one of his legs and examined it carefully. It looked somewhat normal, although the calf stopped a few inches shorter. Right after where it ended, another joint led into a broad, reptilian foot. Swallowing, he tried to move his toes, only to see the three claws on the appendage flex.

    It was at that point that he realized Oak was talking to him.

    "—to stay calm," Oak said.

    "W-what?" Bill croaked, suddenly finding his throat very dry.

    "I understand all of this is startling," Oak continued. "We weren't exactly expecting any of this."

    It was, of course, a half-truth. Oak did his best not to betray what he was thinking at that moment. It had been roughly two weeks since Bill had been brought to the operating room in an attempt to detach the parasite from his body, but when he cut off the hand of the surgeon – with what, even Oak didn't know by then – it was decided that there would be no further attempts. Oak knew it was too dangerous; Bill, of all people, attacked without much provocation. The elder researcher didn't want to think Bill was completely lost the way Pandora had been, but all he could do for the past two weeks was stand by and watch carefully behind a thick window.

    There were, of course, two things that made this moment not exactly what Oak was expecting. First, the files the Committee gave him stated that Pandora was an ice-type, but as far as he could tell, Bill was a steel-type. Meanwhile, the other XP-650B, the one that had been created (as far as he knew) when a curious janitor interfered with the transfer of a test specimen, was an electric-type. None of it made sense. If XP-650B was an alternate form, did it somehow have alternate forms itself?

    Aside from that, Oak didn't entirely expect to be speaking to Bill instead of a thrashing, screaming, extremely angry beast. He had hoped he would, of course, but he didn't really consider it a serious possibility. Yet, there he was, standing on the other side of the window to a room containing what appeared to be a responsive, albeit panicking, human.

    "Bill?" Oak asked.

    Unfortunately, his subordinate was a bit busy exploring more of his new form. Squirming, Bill realized he was sitting on something, and with that, he reached behind him.

    "What's this?" he rasped.

    Grabbing it, he froze. A cold, electric sensation ran up his spine and made him grimace. Whatever it was, it was definitely part of him. Carefully, he lifted himself and pulled the object out from underneath his body to let it rest beside him. His fingers ran along the length as far as he could follow it without bending over. Claws clacked along segment after segment along the thick, reptilian appendage, stopping a couple feet short of the sharp arrowhead at its tip. Closing his mouth, Bill experimentally focused on moving it, and on command, the arrowhead rose and fell in time with the tune his mind was playing to keep him from screaming until his lungs exploded.

    "I... I have a tail," he murmured.

    "Bill, can you hear me?" Oak asked.

    He shut his eyes tightly and breathed deeply. His hands reached up to grasp the sides of his head, lacing through the stiff, wire hair on his scalp. Clenching his teeth, he swallowed and tried desperately to sort through his racing thoughts.

    This can't be happening, he thought.

    At that point, his mind felt like it stopped. He wrapped his arms around himself and curled himself so that his forehead rested on his knees. With a whimper, he shut his eyes and tried his best to ignore what he was feeling. It wasn't real to him. His skin wasn't metal. His fingers weren't claws. That wasn't a tail trying to wrap itself around his ankles. It was all just a mistake. He was still asleep. A thousand different things ran through his mind, but the longer he went, the more he realized that the plate he was feeling against his forehead wasn't going away.

    Something warm hit his leg. Opening his eyes, he looked down to see a droplet of water run across his armor. Another one fell from his face, and he realized what he was doing.

    It was strange to him. He felt detached from himself. On the one hand, he could feel himself shaking, and he could feel the tears run across his skin and hit his armor. On the other, he couldn't explain why he was doing it or why he could feel the tears running along the metal of his leg. All of these things were foreign to him. They weren't his emotions or sensations, but he felt them. He wanted to say he was scared, but at the same time, he wasn't so much scared as...

    Confused. He felt confused. Very, very confused. Lost? Worried, of course, and why wouldn't he be? Mostly, numb. It was like his entire body was doing whatever it liked. Somehow, it didn't scream or thrash. It simply sat there, unable to do anything but shiver. His mind, meanwhile... for the first time in his life, Bill realized he couldn't think straight. He just couldn't force himself to grasp any particular thought.

    Oak stood silently. Asking anything else seemed inappropriate, and he wasn't sure if Bill was already gone.

    "Sir?" Sienna asked.

    "Give him a moment," he replied as he looked at her. "In the meantime, go get him something to eat. It's been awhile."

    "Yes, sir," she answered, and with that, she stood and started for the lab door.

    Turning back to the window, Oak was just in time to see the victim lift his head. Bill's thoughts were still stumbling across each other in a mess, and he was barely aware that he had moved himself.

    "Professor, I…" Bill's voice trailed off. He wasn't even sure what he was supposed to say. His mind was filled with beginnings of sentences and ends of others, but he couldn't for the life of him bridge one broken thought to another to form something coherent.

    "You have a lot of questions," Oak said casually. "I would too if I were you. I'll do my best to answer all the ones I can, but Bill, you've got to promise me one thing."

    Bill gave him an uneasy glance. "What?"

    "No matter what you do, you've got to control yourself. Okay?"

    Although Bill certainly didn't like the sound of the request – because there had to be a reason why it needed to be said – he nodded slowly. "Okay."

    Oak stood a little straighter. "Well, let's see. Which one should we answer first? Ah. I guess we should try tackling the question of what happened, shouldn't we?"

    Bill could only nod. His mouth was slightly open, but he found he couldn't speak.

    "Right. Well, after you were brought to the medical wing two weeks ago—"

    Bill jumped. His thoughts narrowed down to that one point, and he felt like he was abruptly being jerked closer to reality. Both of his hands clattered onto the rail on the side of his bed and gripped it with the same amount of tension that would have, if he still had human hands, turned his knuckles bone-white. He gave Oak a startled expression as he stared through the window.

    "Two weeks?" he gasped. "I was inactive for two weeks?"

    Oak, who tensed the suddenness of Bill's reaction, took a few seconds to relax into a smile. This was definitely the Bill he remembered.

    "I'm afraid so," he said. Then, he raised a hand and waved it in the air. "But don't worry about that. It'd be completely unreasonable for any of us to refuse forgiving you for not working with the psychology team for that long. Besides, you're still making a valuable contribution to the project, even if it's not exactly in the way any of us would have wanted."

    "Contribution?" Bill whispered.

    "Yes," Oak replied. "After you were brought to the medical wing, XP-650A began altering your body. It's a process the Committee has only one record of; they were hoping to use your transformation to fill in any gaps in data."

    Right about then, several more questions finally crawled their way out of Bill's mental train-wreck. He shook his head, trying to clear his mind enough to grasp at least one of them, but only three words came out of his mouth.

    "I don't understand."

    Oak shrugged. "Honestly, Bill, I don't expect you to after hearing only that much. We don't fully understand it either, but let me try to explain it this way. XP-650A, the subject we were studying before your accident, is actually a predator only to pokémon. We're coming up with theories as to why it treats us differently, but we know that when it comes in contact with a human, it becomes a parasite. It latches onto the human host and transforms it into, well, something like you."

    Bill slowly slipped his hands from the rail and raised them to examine them carefully. Gradually, something was beginning to click in his head.

    "Do you…" He swallowed in an effort to find his voice. "Do you mean to say… to say that I… I'm…"

    "That you're not fully human anymore?" Oak replied. It was obvious, but he felt laying the facts in front of his colleague might help him climb back to sanity. "Yes. Currently, the Committee is calling subjects like you XP-650B, the second form of the pokémon species XP-650. They say it's because the parasite is still technically unchanged, but the designation's still up for debate."

    Bill shook his head and went back to holding it in both hands. "I'm a pokémon…?"

    Oak nodded. "Yes. No one's sure how it happens. That's what we hope you'll help us find out."

    Taking another shaky breath, Bill looked down, intending on gazing at his lap. That's when he caught sight of the other occupant of his body, the small glint of red right over his heart. Carefully, he brought a hand over it and touched it with a fingertip. It came as a surprise to him that he was able to feel his claw on it, as if it was just another part of himself.

    "Is this…" He looked at Oak. "Is this it?"

    Oak leaned towards the window to see what Bill was talking about. "Oh! Yes, that's the parasite."

    Frowning, Bill turned back to it and tried to dig his claws into his metal skin around it. At once, Oak darted towards the door to the other room.

    "Bill, don't!"

    Skidding to a halt in front of the door, Oak whipped out his ID. Quickly, he swiped it and pressed a thumb against the pad to force the lock to open. When it clicked, he threw open the door and dashed inside.

    At the same time, Bill was finding out why what he just did was a bad idea. Suddenly, he felt like something under the skin all over his body constrict, but the feeling was especially strong in his chest. He tried to scream but could only manage a loud croak; something gripped his lungs to make it difficult to breathe. His vision went blurry as he pressed his forehead against the mattress. In his head, he heard his own voice hiss.

    You will not.

    Before he could make sense of the message, he felt a pair of hands force him to unfold himself. The feeling of all his organs being clenched subsided, and he let himself be coaxed into lying flat on his back. He was still panting. The pain had only diminished from blinding to dull but still irritating.

    "Bill, are you all right?!" Oak asked.

    Eventually, Bill's vision returned, and he stared at Oak's face. The elder was standing over him. His large hands held Bill down, and his face was full of worry. When the question finally registered in Bill's mind, the patient nodded.

    Oak sighed and pulled his hands away. "I know this is all overwhelming for you. I can't really blame you if you feel like you don't want any part of this. However, until we figure out just what happened, please don't try to remove it yourself. It's hard to say what it'll do to you."

    Releasing him, Oak backed away. Panting, Bill slowly sat up and stared at his superior. Eventually, after a long while, he began to feel his thoughts settle down a little. He realized then that he was going to have to deal with his situation somehow.

    "I'm sorry, Professor," Bill said quietly. "I don't know what to do."

    "I'd be worried if you didn't panic. I'm glad to hear you're calming down."

    Bill nodded. "Yes, I... That is to say... However it happened... it feels like it might not be that easy to undo. I-I suppose I'll just have to accept that for now."

    At that, Oak relaxed. Bill was sounding more and more like his usual self, and for that, Oak was grateful. After all, it not only meant that Bill wasn't about to rip him limb from limb, but it also meant he might be a little more willing to help after all.

    "No, it might not be," Oak replied, "but everyone here will do everything they can to figure out what happened and how to reverse it. In the meantime, will you let us study you?"

    Bill shrugged and answered softly, "I don't have much of a choice."

    "Of course you do. You know how the ethical codes work these days. If you said you'd be uncomfortable with it, we wouldn't be able to conduct anything on you, not even an interrogation. You'll always have a say, Bill."

    Bill eyed Oak carefully, and when he spoke, his voice was firmer and louder. "No, I really don't, and it has nothing to do with what the ethical codes state. Professor, as a researcher, it's my duty to do everything in my power to help this project. While I don't know if you'll let me resume my place on staff, I can't say no to allowing you to get as much information as possible from me."

    Oak grinned. "You're really starting to sound like your old self now."

    "Actually…" Bill let his shoulders sag a little. "I'm simply talking because I don't think I have a firm enough grasp of this situation. It's the only way to ensure that my sanity won't be compromised."

    "Compromised? Bill, you don't mean…"

    He looked at his elder from out of the corner of his eye. "Professor... I thought I had a dream while I was unconscious. Could you tell me if I happened across a surgeon in the past two weeks?"

    Oak didn't know what to say. He only clenched his jaw shut and stared at Bill with a blank expression. Noticing the silence, Bill turned his head and studied the professor's face. When he spoke next, his voice was barely audible.

    "I cut off his hand, didn't I?"

    "You didn't mean to," Oak answered quickly. "It was a defense mechanism. He was trying to separate the parasite from you. We should've known it'd try anything to keep you two together."

    That didn't seem to be what Bill was hoping he would say. Instead, Bill pulled both knees to his chest and buried his face in them again.

    "Oh no."

    "I'm sorry, Bill," Oak said. "You've got to listen to me when I say it wa—"

    Before he could finish, he was interrupted by a loud bang. Oak looked up, glancing over his shoulder at the door. Sienna slammed the one to the hallway open and rushed forward until she stood behind her chair. Her face, which was pale on its own, took on the hue of a sheet of paper.

    "What happened?" Oak asked.

    Sienna motioned behind her. Curiously, Oak moved to the door and looked across the lab. All of the assistants and scientists that were lined up at the computers paused to watch people storming down the hall. One of them stopped, clinging to both sides of the doorway.

    "Professor Oak, sir!" the scientist screamed. "It's Abel!"

    Oak headed for the door. "What about Abel?"

    The scientist looked over his shoulder as he stumbled into the lab. "He knows Discharge, sir!"

    "Discharge?"

    Nodding, he continued, "He short-circuited the cuff system, and now he's attacking the door with Thunder! He's more powerful than we thought he'd be! The security system can't handle him much longer!"

    "What?!"

    Rushing towards the door, Oak could see a flash of light. The sound of thunder reverberated off the walls of the hallway, and the smell of fire grew more intense. Glancing outside, he could see scientists streaming out of the lab down the hall. The door lay in a twisted mess beneath their scrambling feet. Light bounced off the walls, and the sound of screaming echoed through the open doorway. Without hesitation, Oak moved back into the room and darted to a corner. On the wall where he stopped, a phone hung. He quickly removed the receiver and pressed a key, and he only had to wait a couple of seconds before someone answered.

    "Officer Jenny, sound the alarm," he ordered. "Abel's trying to escape from Laboratory V."

    Without waiting for a reply, he placed the receiver back into its carriage and scrambled to close the door to the hallway. All of the scientists backed away from the computers and into the middle of the room. At the same time, Oak drew a set of keys from his lab coat pocket and walked to a cabinet in the side of the room.

    "Stay calm, everyone!" he ordered as he unlocked its door. "Abel might be breaking out, but security will be here to subdue him soon. Get ready in case he tries to break down the door. Professors Maple, Apple, and Cedar, distribute tranquilizer guns to everyone who can aim. Don't shoot unless Abel attacks!"

    With that, he approached the other doorway and leaned inside to look at Bill. Staring back in fear, Bill sat straight with his claws digging into the mattress.

    "What is it?" he asked.

    Frowning, Oak hesitated in sharing what he knew, but eventually, he gave in. "Bill, you're not the only person who was infected two weeks ago. Shortly after you were brought to the medical wing, a janitor got into the holding lab while a few of our assistants were preparing another XP-650A for observations. It attached to him, and we've been struggling with containing him ever since."

    "Abel," Bill whispered.

    Oak nodded. "Bill, I'd like to tell you more, but I need for you to do something."

    "What?"

    "Stay here. We'll be protecting you in the observation room."

    With that, Oak closed the door. Bill tried to stand up and protest, but then, the alarms sounded. This time, unlike two weeks ago when he last heard the beginning of them, it felt like it was several decibels louder than normal. He screamed and bent over, holding his aching ears as the sound continued to blast into his head. After a few seconds, he tried to calm himself just enough to lift his head from the mattress.

    Pulling his legs over the edge of the bed, he tried to stand and immediately crashed to one knee. Pain shot through him, but he forced himself to remove his hands and grit his teeth against the blaring noise. Then, he planted his hands on the edge of the bed and struggled against gravity one more time. It took him a few seconds to realize why he fell in the first place: he wasn't used to the way his legs worked. With that in mind, he shifted his weight, placing all of it on the balls of his feet. When he was sure he wasn't about to collapse again, he took his first stiff steps towards the window, just as light illuminated the other room. Resolving himself, he tried to pick up the pace, walking awkwardly to the window to peer beyond it.

    In the doorway to the hall, he saw the creature he assumed was Abel. Electricity sparked off the yellow spikes that jutted from the creature's skull, arms, and limbs, and a tail studded with golden barbs flicked behind him. The only things that weren't yellow were his face and the glistening, red parasite on his chest.

    Then, Bill noticed the people in the room. Two of the assistants were already electrocuted and on the floor. Everyone else was backed against the sides and corners of the room. Shots rang out as darts flew towards Abel, but before any of them could hit, he shielded his face with his arms and surrounded himself with a field of blue electricity. In the next instant, the field expanded, sending the darts flying away from his body.

    That wasn't the only thing it did. Blue lightning struck everything around it, leaving scorch marks on the floor and ceiling, blasting a row of computers, and striking three of the scientists and assistants who happened to be in the way.

    Bill yelped in response and took a step backwards. As soon as he did, his tail tangled around his feet and sent him crashing to the floor once again. Another grimace twisted his face, and he looked up to see blue light flash through the window.

    Inside his head, he heard his voice speak again.

    Will you simply stand by and watch?

    "I don't know what to do," he whispered.

    What else is there to do? the voice asked.

    Bill paused and thought about the question. He could hear screaming from the other side. The sound mingled with the roar from the creature and the boom of thunder. In response, he stood.

    "I don't want to do this," he muttered to himself.

    Despite acknowledging that part, he made his way towards the door.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 17th May 2012 at 6:32 PM.

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    Lawl. Let me tell you now though, the Wikipedia summary lies. Mansquito never actually mates with her; she kills him as he's trying to run away after being shocked with the taser.

    His vision slowly resolved, allowing his world to transform from an amorphous, white blob to the edge of a bed and a metal rail.
    You do a good job describing this effect; I know I wouldn't do it this well.

    I should add the confusion between "it" and "he" is a good opening.

    Looking down sharply, he inhaled a gasp as he examined his fingers. Somehow, while he was asleep, his skin turned into metal plates, overlapping each other at the joints like the limbs of a suit of armor. His fingers were no longer the round, fleshy things he remembered. They were now sharp, curved claws. Turning one of his hands over, he found the round hemisphere of a garnet embedded in his palm. In it, he caught sight of his reflection: a gaunt face with wide eyes, fangs just visible in his open mouth, short, bristly hair, and horns – a pair of rounded horns shaped like cat ears on either side of his skull.
    Wow, I bet if this were illustrated it would look thoroughly menacing. Good job creating a completely freakish yet appealing design.

    . First, the files the Committee gave him stated that Pandora was an ice-type, but as far as he could tell, Bill was a steel-type. Meanwhile, the other XP-494B that had been created (as far as he knew) when a curious janitor interfered with the transfer of a test specimen, was an electric-type. None of it made sense. If XP-494B was an alternate form, did it somehow have alternate forms itself?
    Oh ****. Multitype much?

    This suddenly got a lot more interesting. A LOT.

    Claws clacked along segment after segment along the thick, reptilian appendage, stopping a couple feet short of the sharp arrowhead at its tip. Closing his mouth, Bill experimentally focused on moving it, and on command, the arrowhead rose and fell in time with the tune his mind was playing to keep him from screaming until his lungs exploded.
    Sounds like a very dragon-esque feature to me.


    Meanwhile, Bill was finding out why what he just did was a bad idea. All at once, he felt like something under the skin all over his body constrict, but the feeling was especially strong on his chest. Doubling over, he tried to scream in pain. Unfortunately, all he could manage was a loud croak; something gripped his lungs to make it difficult to breathe. His vision went blurry as he pressed his forehead against the mattress, and his eyes went wide. In his head, he heard his own voice hiss.

    You will not.
    IT'S SENTIENT? Wow, wow wow wow.... it just hit the fan.

    At this point I want to comment that I find it a little odd for Bill to be relatively calm and in control of himself like this. Usually 'transformation' stories like this involve the human qualities becoming buried more than this. It's not a bad thing, just unusual.


    Frowning, Oak hesitated in sharing what he knew, but eventually, he gave in. "Bill, you're not the only person who was infected two weeks ago. Shortly after you were brought to the medical wing, a janitor got into the lab while a few interns were preparing another XP-494A for observations. It attached to him, and we've been struggling with containing him ever since."
    ...well maybe that's only in Bill's case, because this poor janitor seems like he lost it.

    Bill paused and thought about the question. He could hear screaming from the other side. The sound mingled with the roar from the creature and the boom of thunder. Carefully, he stood.

    "I'm going to be killed," he muttered to himself.

    Yet, despite acknowledging that part, he made his way towards the door.
    CREATURE BATTLE. FINALLY.

    Looks like things are about to get very intense...

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    Haha, very good Anyway, I'd say your revised version is better than the original, although that was also very enjoyable...anyway, keep up the great work

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler View Post
    Lawl. Let me tell you now though, the Wikipedia summary lies. Mansquito never actually mates with her; she kills him as he's trying to run away after being shocked with the taser.
    I'm not sure whether to say "Yay! No monster porn!" or "Baww, no porn."

    You do a good job describing this effect; I know I wouldn't do it this well.

    I should add the confusion between "it" and "he" is a good opening.
    Thank you. As for the gender confusion, it might end up being a running gag, just because it's like adding insult to injury there. ("It's gonna kill me!" "I'm male! .... And I'm not going to kill you!")

    Oh ****. Multitype much?
    Pretty much. Admittedly, though, even I haven't figured out the logic behind this. XD; I was aiming for creating different subraces of the same species, like how Chinese aren't the same in appearance, culture, and whatnot as Mexicans, although they're all actually human. The only difference is that the variations of XP-494B also have different abilities, and when Pokémon vary that much, it's just referred to as an alternate form. I'm almost tempted to have the adult form (like Bill) be a separate species from the parasitic form, but I think the entire point is that the parasite isn't a whole Pokémon. But that's spoiler-tastic.

    And I'm rambling.

    IT'S SENTIENT? Wow, wow wow wow.... it just hit the fan.
    Yep. ;D The parasite gets to be its own character.

    At this point I want to comment that I find it a little odd for Bill to be relatively calm and in control of himself like this. Usually 'transformation' stories like this involve the human qualities becoming buried more than this. It's not a bad thing, just unusual.
    Thanks and very good eye. There's actually a couple of reasons for that.

    1. Bill's canonically (except for Special) weirdly calm about things. For example, the giant Dragonite Pokémon he was waiting for smashed his lighthouse, nearly killed him, and was chased away by poachers. His response the next morning is calmly vowing to wait for it. So, here, he panics at the sight of his transformation, but he doesn't really go all the way under because he just has that kind of handle on himself.
    1a. "Training" with "research costumes" helped too.

    2. Plot reasons. *tents fingers evilly*

    ...well maybe that's only in Bill's case, because this poor janitor seems like he lost it.
    Oh yes. At the risk of spoiling parts of the story, as Bill goes along, he'll meet a lot of XP-494Bs like the janitor, but I can say Bill isn't entirely a unique case.

    CREATURE BATTLE. FINALLY.

    Looks like things are about to get very intense...
    Thanks. I'm really looking forward to writing it because, yeah, Bill without any knowledge on how to use his powers versus a berserk victim who does in a fanfic that seems to be centered around making Bill a whipping boy? There's only one way that can go, and it's the hilarious way. (Or, at least, it'll be hilarious for me, anyway.)

    Long, rambly story short, thanks for the review and compliments!

    Quote Originally Posted by 11tjcoulombe View Post
    Haha, very good Anyway, I'd say your revised version is better than the original, although that was also very enjoyable...anyway, keep up the great work
    Thanks, and I agree about the comparison between this and the old version. I like how everything's more concise now, with fewer lengthy conversations and awkward pauses. There's still a lot of conversations, but at least now, they really serve a purpose in the fic. Also, I'm more satisfied with Team Rocket's role in all of this because it feels like they actually have a role.

    In any case, thanks again for the support, and I'm glad you liked both versions.

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    Warning!
    While this chapter is still rated PG-15, it contains a brief paragraph describing corpses. Please be wary while reading through this chapter.


    Anima Ex Machina: Six
    What are you doing?


    There were a variety of things that made Bill McKenzie famous. First was the fact that his inventions, while stubbornly defiant of the laws of physics, made life immensely easier for the average trainer. Second was, naturally, the fact that he was simultaneously the youngest and possibly most eccentric inductee into the Pokémon Symposium, what with the whole host of rumors about what went on while he was locked away in his monastery-like lighthouse.

    Third was his uncanny ability to figure out what a pokémon was trying to say.

    It should be noted that this ability was by no means psychic. At its heart, it wasn't particularly extraordinary either. Bill simply liked to make it seem like it was an incredible talent by withholding the fact that what he was doing was one part paying meticulous attention to minute details, one part analysis through inductive reasoning, and two parts making a bunch of really lucky guesses. And as anyone in Goldenrod City could attest, if there was one thing a McKenzie was other than a clever *******, it was lucky.

    Unfortunately, luck always came in two varieties: good and bad. For example, Bill's father, who made his fortune from the card flipping machines (and, for that matter, conning trainers out of coins by offering to teach their pokémon perfectly ordinary moves), usually had good luck. Meanwhile, Bill's luck liked to fluctuate wildly. Normally, his guesses were good. The rest of his luck, however, was bad. That should have been obvious enough to him with the fact that he woke up as something definitely not fully human, but for reasons he couldn't possibly begin to define, he found himself wobbling into the laboratory past his room. At once, Professor Oak turned his eyes on him.

    "Bill, what are you doing?" he asked. "Take cover!"

    He shook his head. "No, I can do this."

    Pressing forward, he stared at the other alien. As soon as both of them were in the room, the electric-type stopped and crouched. Abel crept closer to the steel-type, studying him with steady eyes.

    Bill swallowed and cleared his mind. He watched Abel's movements, taking note of how low the electric-type held himself and how slowly he walked. He observed the way Abel's face looked and how hard his expression was. His ears strained to listen to the creature's low growl. Finally, when he gathered enough information, he ran through everything he knew about body language to match what he was seeing to similar expressions he had seen on the field. After only a couple of minutes, a conclusion entered his mind.

    "You're scared," he murmured.

    Abel whined, the sound hitting a series of low, long notes. When he was in range, he stopped, staring at Bill like a kicked puppy.

    "Is that all?" Bill grinned. "You don't have to worry. You're safe now."

    Abel looked down. "Mmm… mmmaaaa… mmmooooh…"

    Bill raised his eyebrows. It was obvious to him that the creature was trying to communicate, but he couldn't imagine what he was trying to say or why he couldn't simply speak. After all, Bill had no trouble in that department. Still, considering all the other signs he'd seen so far, he decided to take it to be a sign of worry. With this in mind, he extended a hand and placed it lightly on Abel's shoulder.

    "I know all of this is disorienting, but it's okay. We can get through this."

    Blinking, Abel grasped Bill's wrist and pulled his hand into his field of vision. Bill smiled and turned his arm to let Abel look at the palm.

    "See?" he said. "I'm just like you."

    Abel looked up, eying Bill's face for a while. "Maaaasssss…"

    The electric-type released Bill's hand and looked towards the groups of people gathered in the corners of the room. His face distorted into a scowl as he brought his sparking hands up in front of him. Roaring, he fired a bolt of electricity towards one of them. Bill stumbled backwards at the boom of the attack while the group surrounding Abel's victim screamed and scrambled to get out of the way. The victim himself froze, his body completely rigid. Electricity coursed through him before he finally dropped to the floor.

    "What are you doing?!" Bill demanded.

    Ah, that is a rather interesting question, the voice in his head drawled. What is he doing? Could it be, perhaps, that you misinterpreted his intentions?

    Abel turned to the other group. Oak flung a hand upwards, and the group surrounding him immediately pulled the triggers on their tranquilizer guns. Darts flew towards Abel, but before they could hit their mark, the alien surrounded himself with a field of blue electricity. Seconds later, lightning bolts went in every direction, leaving dark patches where they landed. An intern who couldn't move out of the way quickly enough froze as blue light surrounded him, and the room quickly filled with the smell of metal and cooked flesh.

    "What?" Bill whispered.

    Is it that difficult to see? the voice continued. The creature you call Abel is not reacting in fear. Rather, I would say bravery. You see, he is not attacking out of self-defense. He is attacking... The voice paused just long enough to let Bill hear another crack of electricity. ...to free you.

    More shots rang out, and once again, Abel deflected them with his field of blue electricity. Bill stared in the meantime. His thoughts were on the voice, and slowly, he began to realize that it wasn't actually him. Glancing downward at the red jewel in his chest, he trembled.

    "You!"

    The jewel flashed once in response. Me. You were not my first choice for a host, but you will do. Now, do you wish to protect your friends?

    Although Bill shrank at the idea of getting help from, of all things, an alien in his head, his answer was quick. "Yes, of course!"

    Then, do as I say, and trust me. Stand.

    Shakily, he pushed himself against the side of the console and onto his feet. Abel glanced backwards just as he fired off another round of electricity. The electric-type grunted and waited.

    When you said, "I'm just like you," the voice told him, Abel mistook that as a sign that you feel as if you are being held prisoner as well. So, the solution is clearly to help him escape.

    "Why would I do that?!" Bill whispered.

    Would you rather fight him?

    Bill clenched his teeth. He didn't even have to vocalize an answer to the parasite. Walking forward, he let his actions answer for him.

    "Stop!"

    Around him, the scientists and interns had raised their guns again. Abel surrounded himself with electricity and, without even waiting for them to shoot, blasted bolts in every direction. Bill gasped and yanked one of the chairs away from the console before ducking behind it. A tendril of electricity hit it, and he held his ears over the sound of the resulting bang. The smell of something burning filled his nostrils. Glancing at the crowd in one of the corners, he watched three more of his colleagues straighten and clench their mouths shut when their bodies became engulfed in blue electricity. Seconds later, all three fell to the ground and didn't stir.

    The sound of another roar directed his attention back to Abel. Without any other warning, the creature turned and darted for the door. Bill, realizing that it would be a bad idea to lose the electric-type, stood and walked as quickly as he could after him.

    Oak turned his attention away from the door as soon as the XP-650B disappeared into the hallway. With several electrocuted team members and only a handful of tranquilizer darts left, he had to rethink his strategy. He could only wonder where the guard growlithe were, but a cold feeling in his chest told him to expect the worst. Taking note of what he had left to defend the institute, he was about to direct the remaining scientists and interns into regrouping and heading towards the hall. However, he stopped when he noticed that Bill had already reached the threshold and was hobbling quickly out of the room.

    "Bill, where are you going?" he asked.

    Oblivious to Oak's question, Bill focused completely on getting out of the room and into the hallway. Because of this, he didn't absorb the sound of the tranquilizer guns firing, and he certainly didn't notice Oak falling to his knees. The only thing he sensed was whatever lay in that corridor.

    Outside, the smell of something burning grew stronger, and it didn't take long for Bill to figure out why. Abel left a path of destruction both up and down the hall. To the left, in front of the laboratory that formerly held the electric-type, the door lay with one side blackened around the edges. Part of it tilted upwards with a white-clad arm poking out from beneath it. A spot of blood stained the wall, and from that, Bill could only guess how Abel's victim ended up under the door. Around it, the bodies of both humans and several growlithe lay, all of them with red blisters on whatever parts of their bodies charred clothing or fur didn't cover.

    To the right was a somewhat less violent scene. His interaction with Abel at least bought most personnel time to escape. What was left behind was a handful of security personnel. Some of them were humans. Their suits, once completely blue, now bore scorch marks, and the rest of each officer looked no better. Many of them had mouths clenched shut and eyes permanently widened. Their bodies were red with burns and blisters, and they lay limp on both sides of the hall. The growlithe near them were slumped in a similar fashion, with their forms motionless but their wide eyes fixed on the ceiling.

    Bill didn't have time to check to see if any of them were alive. He could hear the crack of electricity and the howl of growlithe further down the hall. Inside his chest, he felt something warm.

    For the sake of preparation, what techniques can you normally use?

    He furrowed his eyebrows, trying to focus on remaining upright as he passed another door. "Techniques?"

    Yes. What attacks. What moves. How does your kind engage in battle?

    Bill would have stopped and stared, had he not been concentrating on his own movements. Instead, he frowned.

    "I was human."

    And?

    An uncomfortable feeling crawled across Bill. It wasn't that he was starting to get a bad feeling about all of this. It was that the bad feeling that was already there was getting more urgent. Nonetheless, with Abel on the loose, he had a feeling he didn't have much of a choice but to cooperate with the parasite. After all, it was a parasite. It had to keep him alive at whatever cost because it needed him to survive.

    ...Right?

    Bill?

    "Humans don't fight pokémon directly," he finally said. "They have other pokémon fight for them."

    Is that so? Interesting.

    He felt as if something cold slithered into his head, and only then did he stop. With a yelp, he grabbed his head and closed his eyes.

    "What are you doing?!" he hissed.

    Teaching you. You are far too slow, and you will need a way to defend yourself.

    Cringing, Bill tried to resist, but he felt the cold object push into his mind. He couldn't even scream; his mouth clenched shut against his will. Turning, he put his hands on the wall and smacked his forehead against the white plaster.

    Get out of my head! he thought.

    In Bill's opinion, it was bad enough that the parasite was inside his mind, speaking to him with his own voice. This situation was a step beyond that. Now, the parasite held his brain, and there was nothing Bill could do to force it out. Instead, he stood there with his forehead pressed against the wall. Eventually, he could feel something warm pass from it to him – something that felt like a small amount of electricity. He could swear he heard a hum in his ears, like someone was whispering to him too low and too quickly for him to understand. After a few moments, the parasite withdrew, and Bill was left with every part of him feeling clammy and dirty.

    That is all I can give you.

    Bill opened his eyes. His mouth was released, and as soon as it was, he gasped.

    "What did you do to me?"

    I told you. I taught you something. Now, walk.

    Pushing away from the wall, Bill stumbled backwards a few steps and came to a stop. He blinked and looked down at his feet. Something felt different about them. Turning, he tested his step and found that it felt natural now. He no longer felt like he was going to pitch forward or backwards with each step. Instead, his feet spread easily and accepted his weight. Pushing off the ground, he launched himself into a short run.

    "I can walk," he whispered.

    Yes. The subconscious part of your mind simply needed to be taught how to use your feet. Now, what else did I teach you?

    Pausing at the question, Bill searched his mind for any new information. For a second time, something clicked. With a blink, he held up one of his hands and stared at it.

    Very good. You will need to know that later, I can assure you.

    Before he could ask what the parasite meant, a flash of light appeared near him. Yelping, Bill stumbled to avoid Abel. The creature sped past and stopped to crouch in front of him and stare at him inquisitively.

    "Abel!" Bill exclaimed.

    "Maaaasss?" he hissed.

    Forcing a smile, Bill replied, "Sorry. I'm following you. Don't worry."

    He turned to walk further down the hall, but there stood a jynx. Stopping short, he raised his eyebrows.

    "Where did you come from?" he asked. "Abel, were you running from this?"

    The jynx moaned as her lips began to glow. Puckering her lips, she launched herself forward. As Bill stepped backwards, Abel didn't hesitate to react. He balled one of his hands into a fist and pulled it back. Sparks flew from his knuckles as he lunged and swung his arm into an arc. The jynx had no time to dodge; before she realized she was being attacked, the punch connected with her stomach and lit up the hall. Howling, she flew backwards to land with a heavy thud several feet away.

    There was no time to celebrate. Behind them, Bill could hear several pairs of feet running towards him. Turning, he saw Professor Nettle, the girl he knew as Sienna, and several large interns surrounding them. The small army stopped a short distance away from Abel and Bill. As soon as she stopped, Sienna casually held up a tranquilizer gun and put her free hand on her hip. Her purple eyes fell on the jynx, and she responded with a smirk.

    "Well, Professor Nettle, so much for your plan," Sienna drawled.

    With a flick of her wrist, she let a black tulip slide from under the sleeve of her free arm. Bill eyed it warily as she brought it to her lips and slipped her gun in a holster beneath her lab coat.

    "Wait," he said. "Just let us go. Professor, he can kill us all, but he won't if—"

    Nettle raised an eyebrow. "He's intelligent."

    "Mm-hmm," Sienna replied. "Not at all like Pandora or Abel. Giovanni will adore this."

    "Giovanni?" Bill whispered. "Who…?"

    Sienna glanced at him with a childlike smile. "Did you already forget? I told you all about him two weeks ago."

    Bill stopped. He thought back to that haze of a memory just before he slipped into unconsciousness. That girl looked familiar to him, and the more he thought about it, the clearer her face became.

    The lab. The Plexiglas tube. The black-petaled flower in her hand. Her laugh. While he could only remember bits and pieces, he recalled enough to know exactly who she was. Scowling, he took a step back and extended his claws to his sides.

    "You!"

    Sienna laughed. "Wow, you really are as smart as they say you are! Now, why don't you come quietly? I promise Giovanni will give you the treatment you deserve!"

    Hearing Abel's growl next to him, Bill shook his head. "I wouldn't even if I could. Now, please, stand aside! Abel will kill all of you if we don't let him go!"

    "Is that so?" Nettle asked. "And what are you planning on doing as soon as you escape with a sociopathic pokémon, Bill?"

    He backed away. "I… I hadn't really…"

    "Hadn't really thought things through?" Nettle replied with a frown. "Once again, no less. Professor Oak commended you for your intelligence, and when it comes to your observations, I can't disagree. However, when it comes to strategy—"

    "Are you done?" Sienna asked as she crossed her arms.

    Nettle turned her head. "Hmm? Oh yes. Go ahead."

    "Right."

    Sienna grinned and extended her arm to point the tulip towards them.

    "Agents," she said, "attack!"

    Each member of the army flicked their lab coats back to reveal gas masks hooked to one side of their belts and vials of blue liquid resting in holsters on the other. Grabbing both at the same time, the army held the masks to their mouths and noses and threw the vials onto the ground. Abel darted forward with a screech, careening into the crowd as the bottles hit the tiled floor and shattered. As soon as the blue liquid within them touched air, it turned into a thick, white cloud of smoke.

    In the meantime, Bill wasn't so quick to react. He was already caught off-guard by the ambush, but on top of that, he didn't know what to expect from the liquid within the bottles. So, he found himself coughing and sputtering in a botched attempt to avoid breathing in the cloud. His eyes watered, and he stared through the mist at the silhouettes of the interns. Something was emitting bright light and sparks. People were screaming. He could hear Sienna bark muffled orders, but he suddenly found that he couldn't make sense of what she was saying.

    To his alarm, he realized he couldn't make sense of much of anything at all. His body suddenly felt extremely heavy, and the world was beginning to spin. Dropping to his knees, he held his head.

    Bill? the parasite asked. What is this?

    He didn't respond at first. He could only stare through the fog at the light that Abel was emitting. Something exploded, but he couldn't tell what it was. All he could tell was that a hole suddenly appeared in the ceiling, and rain was falling through it.

    It sounded like thousands of tiny explosions to him.

    Bill?

    He felt very tired. That was when he knew what he was breathing in.

    "Issleeping… sleeping gaah," he murmured.

    Sleeping gas? What is that? Bill?

    He couldn't respond. His eyelids felt heavy, and he found that he couldn't even kneel anymore. Noticing that the ground looked oddly comfortable to him, he slipped to the floor and curled up on his side. Above him, a bright light appeared.

    An angel? he thought.

    As he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep, he could feel pairs of hands grabbing him, both inside his mind and outside his body.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 4th December 2011 at 4:09 AM.

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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    Unfortunately, luck always came in two varieties: good and bad. For example, Bill's father, who made his fortune from the card flipping machines and conning trainers out of coins in by offering to teach their pokémon perfectly ordinary moves, usually had good luck
    Oh my god, are you referring to that guy who Move Tutored Flamethrower, Ice Beam and Thunderbolt in Crystal in exchange for coins?

    Abel whined, the sound hitting a series of low, long notes. When he was in range, he stopped, staring at Bill like a kicked puppy.

    "Is that all?" Bill grinned. "You don't have to worry. You're safe now."

    Abel looked down. "Mmm… mmmaaaa… mmmooooh…"
    If you've watched Fullmetal Alchemist, this part reminds me of Shou Tucker's talking chimeras.

    Is it that difficult to see? the voice continued. The creature you call Abel is not reacting in fear. Rather, I would say bravery. You see, he is not attacking out of self-defense. He is attacking… The voice stopped to chuckle. …to free you.
    TWIST!!

    "What are you doing?!" he hissed.

    Teaching you. You are far too slow, and you will need a way to defend yourself.

    Cringing, Bill tried to resist, but he felt the cold object push into his mind. He couldn't even scream; his mouth clenched shut against his will. Turning, he put his hands on the wall and smacked his forehead against the white plaster.
    Oh HELL. That's gross and yet amazing.

    This chapter was short, but not in a bad way; everything you needed to do got done. I have to say I'm still a little iffy on Bill taking his transformation so well, but you touched on that with the "teaching" part, so it's alright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler View Post
    Oh my god, are you referring to that guy who Move Tutored Flamethrower, Ice Beam and Thunderbolt in Crystal in exchange for coins?
    Yes. ;D

    Also, graah. Now that I reread that part, I notice that little typo in the middle. I'll fix it up eventually.

    If you've watched Fullmetal Alchemist, this part reminds me of Shou Tucker's talking chimeras.
    Admittedly, I haven't watched too much FMA (read: what I watch is on Adult Swim), so I haven't gotten to see many chimeras yet. I'll have to check that out, though, because FMA is generally awesome (and, of course, because chimeras = ooh, pretty).

    Oh HELL. That's gross and yet amazing.
    Thank you!

    I have to say I'm still a little iffy on Bill taking his transformation so well, but you touched on that with the "teaching" part, so it's alright.
    I'm actually a bit inclined to agree. I didn't really give him too much time to stop and say, "Wait. CRAPWHATTHECRAPWHATTHECRAP. *FLAIL*" Yet, at least. And that is understandably hard to swallow, anime canon WTFery aside. I hope to rectify that in the next chapter when he's not in potential danger. Compared to last chapter, anyway.

    Anyway, thanks for the review and the compliments!

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post

    Admittedly, I haven't watched too much FMA (read: what I watch is on Adult Swim), so I haven't gotten to see many chimeras yet. I'll have to check that out, though, because FMA is generally awesome (and, of course, because chimeras = ooh, pretty).
    You missed the main parts with Shou Tucker on this runthrough then. I'll just say that his chimeras are.... anything but pretty.

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    Ok, I've read all the chapters and it's pretty good. I love how Bill is the main character but you still managed to turn him into a Pokemon :P Poor Bill. I bet he feels like crap D: With the release of the most recent chapter it seems like Bill will learn to develop a friendship with this parasite and use it to his benefit. Everyone that reviewed before me got all the grammar and spelling mistakes. If you have a PM list then I would love to be a part of it.

    Until next time, I'm out
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    While it is very reminiscent of a lot of journey trainer fics, it held my attention. It stands out among a lot of the other fics I've read lately and I'm excited to continue the story.

  13. #38
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    Sorry about the crappy quote tags; I don't have the energy anymore to go back and multiquote em all :P

    You described the Absol a bit, but if I hadn't seen it before I would still probably wonder what it looked like.

    I like that both the Absol fits in with the scenery and that it shows a disaster may be happening soon, though. Nice touch.

    Unable to ground himself, the absol flew through the air and landed awkwardly on a paw.
    This sentence, for me, read oddly. Missing a tiny bit of description for the flying through

    air, mixed with confusion from 'a paw'. If you said 'one of his paws.' it would make more sense.

    Overall, though, the prologue was very well done, and it had a hook at the end. Perfect start.

    I like that you established a timeline early; it gives more backstory to a story, without having big infodumps.

    Green curly hair. Blew my mind @_@.

    Even Bill had to send his superiors an odd glance.
    Superior, in this case.

    Your characterizations of Bill and Oak were spot on, and I feel the need to point it out.

    "Label this as XP-494: hunting tactics. Are you ready?"
    Just gonna point it out because I'm feeling picky, but a scientific experiment's title would be in capitals, wouldn't it?

    I can't help but feel that the creature is a Lovecraftian horror. The cold, scientific setting is probably what really set it off though.

    Hasn't it been ten years since the project has started? If so, wouldn't the researchers have seen the monster kill something in a test yet? Or did you start the chapter at a point where they got their first specimen/example?

    Chapter one ended nicely, even through the corny 009 thing :P. I noticed less description of the lab here, so I just ended up imagining white-blue lab walls and high-tech computers and stuff everywhere.

    The Rockets that held Bill dragged him into the room and threw him, nearly literally, into one of the groups.
    The 'nearly literally' bit struck me as unneccessary. Either he threw him, or he didn't.

    Her eyes fell on the window beyond him, and with a smile, she skipped past him to peer through the glass.
    Like, really skipped, or walked bouncing on the balls of her feet, or what? It seems odd for her to skip.

    The Tyranitar seems going a tiny bit far. I would assume that it would go through the ceiling of the building, and tt wasn't described outside of being a green rocky thing.

    He was painfully aware of the number of Rockets that surrounded him and of how fast he was at that age.
    Perhaps you should say 'how age had dulled his speed', or something along those lines. The way it's phrased makes the reader think he's actually fast.

    Bill seems to be pretty active, for having a splitting headaches and impaired vision. Maybe mention that the manhanding the Rockets are giving him isn't helping his headache any, or something.

    Instead, they watched as another beam surged from the creature's mouth and into the window.
    Just being picky here, but who is the 'they'? The Rockets are holding back the scientists, and the scientists are fighting to get past the Rockets.

    He looked up and over his shoulder to see the red beam of a poké ball draw the beast back into its confines. Seconds later, a tower of machinery -- its front smashed in -- exploded.
    I was confused as to what exactly had its front smashed in until I read on more. The way it's phrased here makes it seem as though the poke ball that holds Tyranitar exploded.

    "Come on. We need to leave. The security doors -- we have three minutes to get out before they seal the fire in!"
    You have five minutes before the planet explodes. Escape.

    "Professor," he whispered, "help..."
    I think that 'help' would be capitalized, but I'm not quite sure in this situation.

    Chapter three was a very good chapter, and I like how it introduced both conflict and a bit of mystery. The ending gave me flashbacks of the old movie 'Evolution'.

    Slipping the photo back into the envelope, the Black Tulip nodded.
    Was the 'the' before Black Tulip neccessary?

    Black Tulip is such a sadist. Laughing into flowers, I mean really :/.

    After that, we wait for it to transform, knock it out with enough tranquilizers to subdue a steelix, and ship it out of here with our best Rocket tech.
    The metaphor makes sense, until you think of Steelix as a huge steel snake. Tranqs just wouldn't go into it. Perhaps Tauros would work?

    Very rarely have we been able to study XP-494B. The first and last instance was Pandora, who had completely surprised us with both her generation and her behavior.
    You could probably merge the two sentences and have it sound better.

    "Just after one in the morning, one of these workers, a bulky man in a blue jumpsuit, wheeled his bin to the door of one laboratory. It seemed quiet to him, but he figured the scientists were just working so hard at their studies they hardly made a sound. With a whistle, he unclipped his ID from his pocket and swiped it through the slot in the side of the lock. It whirred and pushed a pad downward, prompting him to press his thumb against its metal surface. Then, the lock beeped, chirped a greeting, and clicked. Without hesitation, the janitor pushed the handle downward and swung the door open.

    Just after one in the morning, one of these workers, a bulky man in a blue jumpsuit, wheeled his bin to the door of one laboratory. It seemed quiet to him, but he figured it was just the sound of hard, scientific work going on somewhere inside. With a whistle, he unclipped his ID from his pocket and swiped it through the slot in the side of the lock. It whirred and pushed a pad downward, prompting him to press his thumb against its metal surface. Then, the lock beeped, chirped a greeting, and clicked. Without hesitation, the janitor pushed the handle downward and swung the door open.
    Whoa. Same paragraph, twice.

    Unable to fight anymore, the janitor hung limply between both of the lackeys as he felt the tube's cold door slide open and the liquid within it rush across his skin.
    That's not sci-fi! If it were, he would be struggling with all his might as long as possible!

    His hands slipped out of his skin, leaving behind flesh-colored gloves, and in their places were silver-skinned appendages with claws for fingers and garnets for palms.
    Huh? It left behind flesh-colored gloves, so where are the silver-skinned appendages?

    Twice, he died in this dream, but it brought him back -- the second heart on his chest. Whenever he slipped, it would reach inside him and ensnare his organs, grasping them until they pumped on their own.
    This section confused me. What second heart is it talking about? Did he die twice in one dream, or did he have this dream multiple times and die in it twice?

    Creepy horror-style ending you have to this chapter.

    When the dream receded and Bill felt his body for the first time in days, he awoke with a start.
    I can honestly say that, for me, dreams have never 'receded'. They disappear quickly. I guess it could be different if you have a disgusting mutant corrupting your DNA, but I felt the need to mention it.

    Bill makes me think of what would happen if the genetic child of a Sableye and a Froslass were inserted into a human X_X.

    Also, I KNEW that there would be a Star Wars reference! Bill extending his light saber and chopping off Surgeon Skywalker's hand was totally one of those, right?

    I notice that the second intern totally disappeared when the first one went to get food. Just seems sort of odd.

    Epic chapter :P. Not much else to say about it, 'fraid.

    I like Abel, and how his character interacts with Bill and the humans simultaneously. It shows that the parasite isn't just a mindless murderer.

    I ate my lunch through the sixth chapter (lol), so if there were any errors, I didn't notice them. I'm getting more comfortable reading it, so I'll probably miss most of the small errors (assuming there are any :P). It's a good chapter, and the parasite was remind me of (another!) sci-fi/fantasy aspect; Fallen Angels from the Dresden Files. Definitely a good series, if you're looking for reading material.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go shovel the driveway that should be clear by an hour ago :P.

  14. #39
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    Hello! I'm a closet reader finally making herself known. I've been reading this for quite a while, and I love it!

    This is the first fanfic that I've read that has Bill as a main character. Also, nice plot twist for turning Bill into an alien. :3

    It's also one of the few that has Domino in it too. I've never seen the special with her in it, but she's one of the coolest Pokémon characters out there.

    Also, XP-494 has to be one of the best Fakemon I've ever seen. Good job!

    This fanfic gets a 10/10 so far. Keep it up!

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  15. #40
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    I'm returned and caught up.

    I must say I really love the whole, Bill is now a hulking beast of epic proportions thing. Although, as a hulking beast of epic proportions, he isn't doing a very good job in the hulking beast department. He already had the epicness down however.

    It's nice to see the plot moving along and the parasite doing it's work. XP-494 ftw!
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    Sorry it took me so long to reply, guys. This is the first day in about three that I didn't want to die from disease. TMI, but hey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    I love how Bill is the main character but you still managed to turn him into a Pokemon :P Poor Bill. I bet he feels like crap D:
    XD *bows*

    Let's face it, though. When you're a character whose original existence was meant to be a reference to The Fly, you're just screwed from the get-go, no matter how smart you are.

    With the release of the most recent chapter it seems like Bill will learn to develop a friendship with this parasite and use it to his benefit.
    We'll just have to wait and see about that. ;D

    If you have a PM list then I would love to be a part of it.
    No problem. I'll keep you in mind. Thanks for the review!

    Quote Originally Posted by IJuggler View Post
    Sorry about the crappy quote tags; I don't have the energy anymore to go back and multiquote em all :P
    Totally okay. XD Honestly, I didn't even notice that all that much.

    You described the Absol a bit, but if I hadn't seen it before I would still probably wonder what it looked like.
    Sorry. I suppose I'm just very used to the idea that descriptions aren't necessary for well-known figures in a fandom, considering the people who are reading a fanfiction most likely are members of the fandom and would know what an Absol looks like. I mean, I don't mean to argue when you're such a good reviewer (as I suspected you were from reading your other reviews). I'd just like to hear what the general opinion is about describing Pokémon and common items or concepts in the fandom, especially now that I'm in a different community anyway.

    I like that both the Absol fits in with the scenery and that it shows a disaster may be happening soon, though. Nice touch.
    Thank you!

    This sentence, for me, read oddly. Missing a tiny bit of description for the flying through air, mixed with confusion from 'a paw'. If you said 'one of his paws.' it would make more sense.
    Sure. I'll check it out.

    I like that you established a timeline early; it gives more backstory to a story, without having big infodumps.
    Thanks. I have a bad habit for using infodumps, so I was afraid that half the first chapter would come off as something people would rather tl;dr.

    Green curly hair. Blew my mind @_@.
    XD I know, right? Oh, anime Bill. Your design does not make sense compared to your other incarnations. Or, well, anything else. Who would honestly wear this on a normal basis, you know?

    My theory is it's dyed (considering Bill is usually "lol conventions" and would totally be one of those odd ball college students who randomly decides to dye his hair because he doesn't like being a brunette), but you never know with the anime.

    And if I don't actually say thank you for the grammatical corrections from here on out, I'd just like to say thanks for all of them and that I'll take care of them when I can. Really, I'm not sure how I managed to miss them; I even had a beta for the first couple of chapters (before real life started to suck for her/me/the two of us at the same time).

    Your characterizations of Bill and Oak were spot on, and I feel the need to point it out.
    Thanks. That's one of the points I tried to focus on, mostly because I've always felt like people need to do those characters justice in fanfiction more often. I'd go into a further rant here, but that'd take pages.

    I can't help but feel that the creature is a Lovecraftian horror. The cold, scientific setting is probably what really set it off though.
    Cthulhu may or may not be making an appearance later on in this fic. (Too easy? Maybe I should go with Nyarlathotep. That's a fun reference.)

    Hasn't it been ten years since the project has started?
    Ten months. The timeline went roughly like this (with estimates actually being estimates because I haven't thought too much about this):

        Spoiler:- Cut 'cause it's senselessly long.:


    And there you have it. Technically, they know that it kills and drains victims of their blood (except for humans, anyway), but they haven't really gotten down to the part where they observed it attacking live specimens yet because they seriously knew nothing about it and started from essentially the ground up. What's really hindering them, though, is a combination of the fact that they can't get close to it without it trying to jump at them and kill them and that the Committee's withholding information from them for reasons not yet known to them (but they're definitely, definitely plot-related).

    Chapter one ended nicely, even through the corny 009 thing :P.
    *bows at the corniness*

    I noticed less description of the lab here, so I just ended up imagining white-blue lab walls and high-tech computers and stuff everywhere.
    Pretty much all it is, actually.

    Like, really skipped, or walked bouncing on the balls of her feet, or what? It seems odd for her to skip.
    Maybe I don't have Domino down correctly, but I thought sometimes thought she was a bit bubbly when she thought she had the upper hand. Like, she was inclined to do backflips, just because she could instead of because they'd be a reasonable way to dodge an attack. I'll have to look at Mewtwo Returns again to check.

    In other words, I meant it to mean she actually skipped, but now, I'm not sure if she's that bubbly when she's winning.

    The Tyranitar seems going a tiny bit far.
    In terms of the Hyper Beam, I'll have to admit that, looking back, it's one of the things I'm not entirely comfortable with. XD; (Although I do need something to break that glass... which actually gives me a nice idea that would capitalize on something Act said earlier.)

    I would assume that it would go through the ceiling of the building,
    Aren't Tyranitar only supposed to be six and a half feet tall, though? O_o The average height of a ceiling's roughly nine feet up for a modern building, so I'd imagine a Tyranitar would be able to fit.

    Or is my writing implying that it's a particularly large Tyranitar? Because if that's the case, then I'll definitely look into it. I'm thinking of changing what Pokémon it is anyway because you're right in saying it feels a little too much like overkill. (I guess for most Team Rocket members, that'd actually be in-character, but I'm so unfamiliar with Domino. I feel like that might not be her style.)

    Just being picky here, but who is the 'they'? The Rockets are holding back the scientists, and the scientists are fighting to get past the Rockets.
    The latter. Part of the reason why the scientists are fighting to get past the Rockets is to interrupt what's about to happen because, well, Eldritch Abomination + freedom = good reason to start panicking.

    I was confused as to what exactly had its front smashed in until I read on more. The way it's phrased here makes it seem as though the poke ball that holds Tyranitar exploded.
    I'd really, really hate to debate a reviewer, but when you've got a parenthetical description, it's usually referring to the first noun in front of it, which would be the tower of machinery. Since the ball isn't a tower, it's another machine.

    You have five minutes before the planet explodes. Escape.
    Exactly. ;D

    The ending gave me flashbacks of the old movie 'Evolution'.
    I love you.

    Also, I forgot about that movie, but now, I'm inclined to pick it back up because it was just so awesome. What other movie involves defeating the Big Bad with Head and Shoulders?

    Black Tulip is such a sadist. Laughing into flowers, I mean really :/.
    Which is why I wanted to have her in this fic. ;D Cliché villain, yes, but still.

    The metaphor makes sense, until you think of Steelix as a huge steel snake. Tranqs just wouldn't go into it. Perhaps Tauros would work?
    Maybe. Or maybe a Wailord. Or would that be overkill?

    Whoa. Same paragraph, twice.
    That's special. XD I'm honestly not sure how that happened. Probably botched editing on my part between its original version and that. This should show you that it's a bad idea to edit a post when one's tired. Or drunk. I'd go check to see which it was, but I'm lazy.

    That's not sci-fi! If it were, he would be struggling with all his might as long as possible!
    Gasp! You're right!

    This section confused me. What second heart is it talking about?
    The parasite acts as a second heart because it's its own entity, just sort of... fused to him.

    Did he die twice in one dream, or did he have this dream multiple times and die in it twice?
    Twice in one dream. And then he got better. *shot*

    I can honestly say that, for me, dreams have never 'receded'. They disappear quickly. I guess it could be different if you have a disgusting mutant corrupting your DNA, but I felt the need to mention it.
    Ooh. Then I will feel the need to mention something about a disgusting mutant corrupting his DNA and therefore dreams through convenient temporary insanity. And then he got better. *shot*

    Bill makes me think of what would happen if the genetic child of a Sableye and a Froslass were inserted into a human X_X.
    Okay, what I love about being a geek getting reviews is being a very depraved geek getting reviews, so things like this make me crack up with the dirty thoughts I'm getting. And then, I get scene ideas, and that results in something involving a Sableye and a Frosslass and Bill somewhere along the line that won't entirely be pretty.

    Or alternatively, I could just attempt to make the god of this fanfiction as genre-savvy as possible by playing with the basic Pokémon fic tropes. Hey, if I made random Pokémorphs and answered the question of what would happen if I stuck XP-494 in the same room as them, would I get less readers as a result or more?

    Also, I KNEW that there would be a Star Wars reference! Bill extending his light saber and chopping off Surgeon Skywalker's hand was totally one of those, right?
    ...I should really stop reading this review because I'm just getting all kinds of dirty thoughts from it. What makes it worse is that Bill really did use a long, pointy part of his body to cut off that hand. And no, it wasn't his tail, either. Or, well, that, but I don't think that's really helping people's imaginations, is it?

    I notice that the second intern totally disappeared when the first one went to get food. Just seems sort of odd.
    Ha. Red shirt got killed off before any killing actually happened. Whoops.

    I like Abel, and how his character interacts with Bill and the humans simultaneously. It shows that the parasite isn't just a mindless murderer.
    Thank you. Oh, subtle moral dilemmas. I hoped I did it right, but basically, yeah, I want the aliens to seem like they're absolute horrors while at the same time acting in the name of something that could remotely resemble noble intentions. That way, the characters can start wondering whether or not eradicating them is entirely a good idea. Because that question's a seriously major plot point right there.

    I'm getting more comfortable reading it, so I'll probably miss most of the small errors (assuming there are any :P).
    I'll have to say you've done an impressive job so far, so I'm surprised you didn't find much to say about this one. O.o

    It's a good chapter, and the parasite was remind me of (another!) sci-fi/fantasy aspect; Fallen Angels from the Dresden Files. Definitely a good series, if you're looking for reading material.
    Oh man. I admit that's one series I haven't picked up yet, although I've definitely heard of it. In fact, I've been meaning to check it out, but the term "Fallen Angels" really makes me want to go read it now.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go shovel the driveway that should be clear by an hour ago :P.
    XD Oh, winter. The bane of every northern creature's existence.

    Anyway, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and go through it all. I hope to see you around for later chapters. As you can tell, I could use your eye to bring me back down to earth now and then. (How the crap did I manage to repeat a four-line paragraph? That's just amazing talent right there.)

    Quote Originally Posted by JirachiTheAnimeAddict View Post
    Hello! I'm a closet reader finally making herself known.
    Hey there! Nice to see you!

    I've been reading this for quite a while, and I love it!
    Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

    This is the first fanfic that I've read that has Bill as a main character.
    Yeah, the poor kid just doesn't get enough love. Or maybe he's lucky in that regard. I can never tell with fanfics. I mean, just looking at FFNet...

    Uh, anyway, thanks. XD

    It's also one of the few that has Domino in it too. I've never seen the special with her in it, but she's one of the coolest Pokémon characters out there.
    Amen, although as you can probably tell with my response to IJuggler's comments about her and skipping, I'll have to really work on getting her badassery down correctly.

    Also, XP-494 has to be one of the best Fakemon I've ever seen. Good job!

    This fanfic gets a 10/10 so far. Keep it up!;444;
    Thanks so much! I appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diddy View Post
    I'm returned and caught up.
    Hey there! Real life issues, out of curiosity? No need for details if it's personal. It's just been quiet around here. Or maybe it's just me, but in any case, welcome back.

    I must say I really love the whole, Bill is now a hulking beast of epic proportions thing. Although, as a hulking beast of epic proportions, he isn't doing a very good job in the hulking beast department.
    XD Yeah, I really don't think Bill could ever score points in that department. Awesome as he is, Bruce Banner he is not, unfortunately.

    It's nice to see the plot moving along and the parasite doing it's work. XP-494 ftw!
    Thanks! And it's nice to actually get the plot moving so I don't end up sitting there and going, "Oh crap. It's exposition again. Will readers actually sit through this?"

    Anyway, thanks for all the reviews, guys! The next chapter should be out soon. Hopefully, anyway.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 23rd January 2010 at 10:10 PM.

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Sorry. I suppose I'm just very used to the idea that descriptions aren't necessary for well-known figures in a fandom, considering the people who are reading a fanfiction most likely are members of the fandom and would know what an Absol looks like. I mean, I don't mean to argue when you're such a good reviewer (as I suspected you were from reading your other reviews). I'd just like to hear what the general opinion is about describing Pokémon and common items or concepts in the fandom, especially now that I'm in a different community anyway.
    Well. I was going to quote a section of Advice for Aspiring Authors that included such a thing, and yet it turns out there isn't one on the first page (where I thought they had a big section for it). I guess I'll just give up on that, unless I can find a way of saying what I mean without sounding like a jerk :P.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Cthulhu may or may not be making an appearance later on in this fic. (Too easy? Maybe I should go with Nyarlathotep. That's a fun reference.)
    After Googling Nyarlathotep, I would have to agree profusely with this. Perhaps the infected Fossil Maniac roams Hoenn, looking for his Pokemon followers?

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Ten months. The timeline went roughly like this (with estimates actually being estimates because I haven't thought too much about this)
    Lawl, no wonder I thought it was odd. Ten months makes tons more sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    And there you have it. Technically, they know that it kills and drains victims of their blood (except for humans, anyway), but they haven't really gotten down to the part where they observed it attacking live specimens yet because they seriously knew nothing about it and started from essentially the ground up. What's really hindering them, though, is a combination of the fact that they can't get close to it without it trying to jump at them and kill them and that the Committee's withholding information from them for reasons not yet known to them (but they're definitely, definitely plot-related).
    I get that. Fits in with the sci-fi part especially well, too :P

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Aren't Tyranitar only supposed to be six and a half feet tall, though? O_o The average height of a ceiling's roughly nine feet up for a modern building, so I'd imagine a Tyranitar would be able to fit.
    My only experience of seeing how tall Tyranitar is was from the cartoon, when a hunter's Pupitar evolved and it towered over everything. I just assumed that it would be huge, having been able to eat a mountain as a baby.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Or is my writing implying that it's a particularly large Tyranitar? Because if that's the case, then I'll definitely look into it. I'm thinking of changing what Pokémon it is anyway because you're right in saying it feels a little too much like overkill. (I guess for most Team Rocket members, that'd actually be in-character, but I'm so unfamiliar with Domino. I feel like that might not be her style.)
    I imagine Domino would go for overkill too. I actually found it odd while reading to see no mention of how tall Tyranitar really is; I guess that it could be explained by me not actually knowing how tall they are :P.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    I'd really, really hate to debate a reviewer, but when you've got a parenthetical description, it's usually referring to the first noun in front of it, which would be the tower of machinery. Since the ball isn't a tower, it's another machine.
    Makes sense. It's been almost a year since I've had English class, I'm getting a bit rusty :P.


    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Maybe. Or maybe a Wailord. Or would that be overkill?
    @_@ Wailord is huge, isn't it?

    "Go, Wailord!" Mooklio yelled.

    "WAAAAAILORD LORD LORD!"

    Wailord looked around in confusion. Where was his trainer? 'Oh well.' The huge mammal thought. It splashed off into the distance, leaving great craters in the land, with a flattened scientific lab in it's wake.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Okay, what I love about being a geek getting reviews is being a very depraved geek getting reviews, so things like this make me crack up with the dirty thoughts I'm getting. And then, I get scene ideas, and that results in something involving a Sableye and a Frosslass and Bill somewhere along the line that won't entirely be pretty.
    Bill was walking along in the dark Dewford Cave, his trusty Froslass partner by his side, when suddenly, disaster struck.

    Or perhaps it was his father who was attacked.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Or alternatively, I could just attempt to make the god of this fanfiction as genre-savvy as possible by playing with the basic Pokémon fic tropes. Hey, if I made random Pokémorphs and answered the question of what would happen if I stuck XP-494 in the same room as them, would I get less readers as a result or more?
    Depends on what Pokemorphs you used, I think :P

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    ...I should really stop reading this review because I'm just getting all kinds of dirty thoughts from it. What makes it worse is that Bill really did use a long, pointy part of his body to cut off that hand. And no, it wasn't his tail, either. Or, well, that, but I don't think that's really helping people's imaginations, is it?
    Oh, the shame that surgeon must feel. Having his surgery hand sliced off by a pork sword.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Oh man. I admit that's one series I haven't picked up yet, although I've definitely heard of it. In fact, I've been meaning to check it out, but the term "Fallen Angels" really makes me want to go read it now.
    DO IT.

    Best sci-fi I've read in the past twelve months.

    Can't wait for the next update. Good luck with that disease of doom thing.

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    Warning!
    This chapter is rated R for detailed scenes of character torture and character death.


    Anima Ex Machina: Seven
    Never make a deal with the devil.


    Bill opened his eyes to find himself in a place that was definitely not Polaris Institute. Turning his head, he pushed himself onto his knees to examine his surroundings. Above him, what he could see of the sky was gray, but much of it was obscured by the bare, black branches of the trees all around him. The earth and the dead leaves that littered it were shades of dark gray. For as far as he could see, the forest stretched in all directions with no end in sight. Yet, despite how cold and grayscale the place was, he couldn't help but feel as if he had been there once.

    "You have," a voice said. "This is the forest around your home, is it not? The forest that surrounds the place you call Route 25. To the east, it will end, giving way abruptly to a beach, and one could follow that beach to a lighthouse upon a cliff – the one you call the Sea Cottage. However, for our purposes, no matter how far you walk, you will never get there. I tell you this now so you can feel comfortable but focus completely on me."

    Sitting back, he listened carefully to the voice. It definitely sounded like his. He knew all too well it wasn't.

    "You!" he yelled. "Where are you?"

    There was only a short beat of hesitation before it answered, "Find me."

    Bill pressed his hands into the ground and prepared to spring onto his feet, but before he moved, he noticed something about his body. Looking at his hands, he discovered that his armor had been replaced by soft, pink flesh, and all of his sharpened claws were gone.

    Something in his brain jolted. Suddenly, a rush of memories hit him: waking up to find that his body was covered in metal, encountering a man who could produce electricity, breathing in a white cloud that put him to sleep. With each short recollection, he tried to calm himself with rapid gulps of air.

    "Take as long as you need. Time is irrelevant here," the voice told him.

    This time, he didn't attempt to jump up, opting instead for rising slowly to his feet. He realized that they felt strange under him, although they were definitely the feet he was born with. Step by step, he crept in the direction of the voice until he passed the first tree. Behind it, a flash of silver caught his eye. He turned his head to see himself leaning against it, but this self wasn't human. He assumed it had to have been what he looked like as an XP-650B: the face was his own (albeit paler than what he was used to seeing in the mirror), while the metal-armored body looked more like what happened if a raptor mated with a human. Its claws glinted in the gray sunlight, its legs were bent into the ankle of a long foot, and its tail curled around one set of three broad toes. Yet, as strange as it looked to Bill, the creature stared at him with dark, human eyes – his dark eyes. Before long, Bill realized it wanted him to speak.

    "Am I dreaming?" he whispered.

    "Yes," the creature told him. Then, it looked away. "Electric-types are the fastest among my kind, but they cannot carry weight well. Therefore, you must be kept asleep and still so that Abel may carry us to where we need to be. Otherwise, I am afraid of what may happen if he drops us. I can smell water outside."

    Bill took several steps backwards until his back smacked against a tree. "What?"

    The creature turned back towards him. Right then, Bill noticed that its expression was completely unreadable. Its mouth was a straight line, and its eyes were blank. A shudder went down the human's spine.

    "I was worried that I would have to emerge in order to free us," the parasite continued. "Luckily, Abel is here. After all, if I were to dominate our body for too long, then…"

    Its voice trailed off at that point, and it looked down at its feet. Bill could feel himself sliding down the trunk. He felt numb, and none of what the alien had just told him sank into his mind.

    "What are you?" Bill whispered. "What… what do you want?"

    The creature lifted its chin slightly. "My kind do not have names for ourselves or for each other. I cannot, therefore, tell you what I am. As for what I want, we are going to a place you know as Hoenn."

    Suddenly, Bill's entire body felt cold. "You're going to take me to your kind, aren't you? You want me to…"

    Bill sensed that the creature was amused. Considering the look on its face never changed, he couldn't figure out how he knew that. He just looked at it and knew it would be chuckling if it could.

    "There are few like me on this planet," it said, "and none of them would accept your human mind. I, on the other hand, have no intention of forcing myself on you."

    It strode forward. Bill watched it carefully until it stared down at him. With a flash, one of its metal hands lashed outward and grabbed him by the neck. Gasping, he felt its grip tighten and lift him into the air. His windpipe contracted, and he felt his lungs strain for oxygen. Frantically, he grabbed and pulled the creature's arm.

    "Humans are so fragile," it told him calmly. "A few breaths of a poison, and you wither and die. A few wounds, and you bleed to death. I do not know how strong the others of your kind are compared to you, but you seem laughably weak compared to my last host. If I push you too hard and too quickly, you would break."

    It released him, causing him to drop to the soft ground. He grabbed his throat and spasmed with a coughing fit. His body bent in half, and he pressed his forehead to the ground. The air felt like it was on fire as it ripped down his throat. As he lay gasping and shaking, the parasite stood over him and spoke to him tonelessly.

    "If you are wondering, our relationship is not unique. There are others of my species who, either by force or by choice, have relinquished control over their bodies to their hosts. This has always been true. Therefore, it is my choice to give you as much freedom and guidance as I can, but there is something I must ask you to do in return."

    The coughing began to subside. Bill lifted his head to look at his companion. He said nothing, but the parasite knew what question was on his mind.

    "You must learn to survive," it told him. "I can teach you all I can, but you must hone those skills on your own. You must learn how to control the gifts I have given you, and you must become strong. This will need to happen quickly. There is something else I will ask you to do soon, but you would not be able to do it until you have adapted to the form I gave you. However, if we waste too much time, we will lose any chance of completing what we must do, and if that occurs, your species will be doomed."

    Bill pulled himself back to his feet using the tree. His knees felt shaky, and his vision was still blurred by his tears. Squinting, he rubbed his throat.

    "I… I don't…" he rasped.

    The creature tilted its head slightly. "Do you find it that difficult to understand? I am proposing to you a contract. Control, in exchange for a very simple favor. Do we have a deal?"

    It extended a hand. Bill stared at the metal and pressed his back to the tree trunk behind him. Right then, it all hit him. If he took that hand, he'd be bound by contract to do exactly the kinds of things he wanted to avoid. Fighting? Gifts? He didn't even know what favor the thing wanted or what he was getting himself into. Trembling, he shook his head.

    The creature knelt in front of him. "No?"

    "Please… please leave me alone," Bill whispered.

    "Have I really failed to make myself clear with my last example?"

    It placed a hand on his shoulder. At first, it was just a light touch, but as seconds passed, the hand grew heavier. The grip tightened until Bill could feel the claws pierce through his skin and dig deep into the muscle of his shoulder. He cried out and gripped the monster's arm. Hot pain laced from where the fingers were burrowing deep into his flesh, and he shut his eyes tightly.

    "Oh gods!" he cried. "Let go!"

    The hand squeezed harder. Bill could almost feel its fingers brushing his bone. The creature leaned close and whispered into Bill's ear. Its breath was cold and smelled like the sea.

    "I am inside you," the creature hissed. "To reject me will be suicide. You will either be killed by my brethren, or I will kill you to find a new host. The truth is, Bill, that the only painless alternative you have is to surrender. To go deep down inside yourself – so deep that your mind will drown in my consciousness, and you will cease to exist. I could do that to you in an instant, but because you are useful to me, I give you a choice. I offer you peace and a chance to live with me, but it must be on my terms. Do you understand?"

    Shakily, he nodded. His mind was focused on the pain, and he felt his limbs wobble and his body grow weaker. Both of his hands slipped off the creature's arm and hung at his sides. As his vision began to grow dark, he forced himself to think about the words it said.

    "Good."

    The creature presented its free hand. Bill stared at it. He didn't want to do this. He didn't want any of this. He wanted to be back in Polaris with his own body and his own thoughts, but he suspected both were just beyond his reach for the time being.

    Weakly, he wrapped his hand around his partner's. The metal fingers nearly crushed his, but luckily, the contact lasted for only a second. As soon as it happened, the monster pulled away from him, drawing its fingers out of Bill's shoulder. He screamed for a second time as blinding pain ripped through him, but as soon as he reached up to grab his shoulder, he stopped. Panting, he looked down to see that the bare, white skin of his shoulder was just that: bare and white, with not even a scar to tell him that five needles had been jammed deep into it just a moment ago. Even the pain was almost completely gone.

    Completely indifferent to Bill's curiosity, the creature stood and turned. "Now that formalities are out of the way, there is one other order of business I believe we must attend to before you awaken. Because you humans have difficulties comprehending anything without giving it a name, I suppose I should choose one for myself before you take to calling me by that ridiculous designation you gave my species."

    Breathing shallowly, Bill struggled to stand, using the tree as support. He felt light-headed, as if at any second, he would drop face-first into the ground again. It felt like a miracle to him that he could remain standing long enough to stare at his companion.

    "They gave me a name, you know," it said. "Your colleagues, I mean. They gave me one like they did for Abel." It looked over its shoulder. "Adam. It is not quite the name I would have chosen for myself, but it will do."

    At that point, Bill's mouth moved, although he wasn't entirely conscious of the fact that he was speaking.

    "Adam…"

    It clasped its claws behind its back. "I read your memory to understand your kind better. Adam was the first man." It looked forward. "Ironic, is it not?"

    Exhaling, Bill once again whispered, "Adam…"

    Adam straightened its back. "Something is happening outside. Wake up."

    Before Bill could reply, the forest and Adam vanished.

    ---

    When Bill awoke for a second time, he opened his eyes to a cold world of color. Below him, he saw a blur of brown and green, and above him, there was a stretch of blue and white. A streak of yellow and red passed over him, screaming, as he was sent careening towards a patch of green. The journey towards the patch was short; he hit it with a bang seconds after he was dropped. He squinted, and the blurs of color around him morphed into the wobbling vision of a field fringed by trees. Gunshots and cracks of thunder filled his ears, and the bitter smells of metal and gunpowder flooded his nostrils.

    With some effort, he turned over and lifted his head. Bill squinted and tried to will the world to stay still just enough for him to see. Several feet in front of him, he caught sight of a group of people – ten in all – in various civilian clothes. All of them had guns in their hands and electrike around their feet, and in one large hunting party, they almost completely surrounded Abel.

    The electric-type looked, in Bill's opinion, absolutely terrible. Blood ran out of a red wound in his shoulder, and from the other shoulder, his arm hung limply with a bone jutting out of its side. Half the hand on the broken arm was missing; it stopped at a ragged line – the edge of a hole left by a point-blank gunshot wound, no doubt. His tail looked just as incomplete.

    Roaring, Abel surrounded himself with blue light and released another volley of electrical bolts. The electrike barked and pounced forward, into the attack. Before a single bolt could strike their human companions, the pack absorbed the electricity and dropped to the ground. None of them had so much as a burn on them. Each electrike simply stood on all fours, teeth bared and growls rumbling in a chorus.

    Another gunshot rang out, and Abel reeled forward. Blood spurted from the back of his skull as another one of the civilians placed a gun barrel against the jewel in Abel's chest. The trigger was pulled, and one last shot boomed. Abel fell backwards, green gel and red blood flying as he fell to the red-slicked grass. He didn't get up again.

    The civilians hesitated, waiting for Abel to move. One even lowered her rifle and nudged his body with the barrel. When he didn't stir, the group looked at Bill.

    "Now the other one," one of the civilians said.

    With a shuddering cry, Bill realized what they were about to do. As they moved towards him, he sat up and scrambled backwards. His eyes widened, and he felt his breath quicken. Placing a hand over his chest, he trembled and forced himself to speak.

    "W-wait!" he cried.

    They stopped and looked at each other.

    "It spoke," a woman in the group whispered.

    "Can it understand us?" a man muttered.

    The group turned towards someone in the middle of their formation. They parted to allow her to walk through.

    Normally, Bill would be comforted by the sight of an Officer Jenny. Her blue police officer's uniform represented justice and safety to the majority of his world. No matter where she went, there would be order. However, there was a glint in her coffee-colored eyes that made him uneasy, and the way her glossy lips pursed made him think of a judge about to sentence a convict. Of course, the latter notion might have come from the fact that she was holding a black handgun that was pointed directly at him, and although Bill knew very little about weapons, he thought it looked powerful enough to put a hole right through him.

    There was a long moment of silence. Officer Jenny kept her hand steady as she looked at him with a critical eye. Tilting her head, she finally found something to say.

    "Do you have a name?" she asked.

    He sat up, blinking. His mind scrambled to grasp her question. It seemed so casual and out-of-place that he couldn't even understand it at first. Then, his mouth pushed to speak.

    "Bill," he murmured.

    Jenny nodded, her eyes settling on the hand on his chest. Behind her, a member of the hunting party stepped forward.

    "Should we kill it?" he asked.

    Jenny shook her head. "I've got a better idea."

    She swung her arm. The barrel of her gun cracked against the side of Bill's head, sending him sprawling into the ground. Once again, his vision darkened, and he found himself quickly slipping into unconsciousness.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 4th December 2011 at 4:10 AM.

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    "You have," a voice said. "This is the forest around your home, is it not? The forest that surrounds the place you call Route 25. To the east, it will end, giving way abruptly to a beach that leads to a cliff. However, for our purposes, no matter how far you walk, you will never get there. I tell you this now so you can feel comfortable but focus completely on me."
    What a geographic oddity. If this was meant, I'd like an explanation.

    It was, he imagined, what he looked like as an XP-494B: the face was his own (albeit paler than what he was used to seeing in the mirror), while the metal-armored body looked more like what happened if a raptor mated with a human.
    AAAAAH JURASSIC PARK ROMANCE

    Cautiously, he wrapped his hand around his partner's.
    Er, I've got to say; wouldn't Bill be in excruciating pain if he so much as moved his hand? Adam's free hand is (in my mind) his right, and Bill's right arm is being punctured/crushed by Adam's left. Nothing was mentioned about an awkward handshake, either, so I just imagine this oddly.


    All of them had guns in their hands and electrike around their feet, and in one, large hunting party, they surrounded Abel.
    Read oddly, I think.

    Poor Bill, always getting knocked out before things happen.
    "That poison's only strong enough to kill a dead dog"

    A boy and his frog, venturing across the lands in search of sister and glory.

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    I have to agree with IJuggler.

    Bill has to be the most pathetic excuse for an action hero ever devised. You can't save the world if you spend most of your time unconscious, Bill.

    But I wuv him all the same though, he fares about as well as I would fare in a similar situation.

    And yes Miss Valentine. How does a beach lead to a cliff?
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    Quote Originally Posted by IJuggler View Post
    What a geographic oddity. If this was meant, I'd like an explanation.
    *whistles innocently*

    AAAAAH JURASSIC PARK ROMANCE
    I'm glad you thought of Jurassic Park first instead of how the two would actually mate. Or, considering the narrator is describing exactly how Bill sees Adam, why Bill is thinking of raptor x human relations in the first place. Flipping furry.

    On that note, I guess we should say Ian Malcolm x T-Rex?

    Er, I've got to say; wouldn't Bill be in excruciating pain if he so much as moved his hand? Adam's free hand is (in my mind) his right, and Bill's right arm is being punctured/crushed by Adam's left. Nothing was mentioned about an awkward handshake, either, so I just imagine this oddly.
    That's a good point. I'm not quite sure how I was imagining this when I wrote it.

    Read oddly, I think.
    Thanks for that. For one, the comma shouldn't be there. I'm not sure if that's all it needs, so I'll have to go back to it later.

    Poor Bill, always getting knocked out before things happen.
    The world just hates him. *sage nod* (And by "the world," I mean "me," and by "hates," I mean "likes relieving sadistic tendencies towards.")

    Quote Originally Posted by Diddy View Post
    Bill has to be the most pathetic excuse for an action hero ever devised. You can't save the world if you spend most of your time unconscious, Bill.
    XD See, this is why I'm really having fun with this fic. Normal people would feature main characters whose main problem with being transformed is the fact that they want to angst a lot. Bill's main problem, meanwhile, is that he's very fond of unconsciously invoking Murphy's law every time he breathes.

    But I wuv him all the same though, he fares about as well as I would fare in a similar situation.
    In that case, may you never be infected with a vicious alien parasite.

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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    Hey, I’m finally here with my review, sorry it took so long.

    I have to admit, I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but this has blown me away so far. Merging something like Pokemon and a bloody sci-fi like “Alien” or “District 9” isn’t an easy task, but you have done extremely well. I can actually picture this as a successful movie on the big screen. The settings are terrific and well-detailed. I also love the character development. Characters like Oak and Bill are easy to fall in love with and characters like Nettle are easy to hate because you give them such strong personalities. There are some things I want to point out. I’ll do my best to provide some constructive criticism because I want to put effort into this review like you put into mine.

    Prologue

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    A loud crack – like the sound of rock being smashed with a sledgehammer -- filled the air, followed by a chorus of scratches.
    I don’t know if this is on purpose or not, I just noticed that there was one dash in one spot and two dashes in another.

    One

    Nothing I can spot here. Great characterization and suspense.

    Two

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    "We'll take it too."
    This appears twice. It looks to me like a grammatical error since it looks like there should be a comma between “it“ and “too,” but since it appears twice I don’t think it is. I don’t know, this sounds a bit odd to me and I’m not sure what it means.

    Three

    Awesome! I wasn’t quite expecting Nettle to be a part of Team Rocket, but it makes so much sense looking back at her characteristics.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Oak stood in front of his desk in his office. His dark eyes were fixed on the wall-sized screen behind it. There, he saw a black-and-white clip of a young, dark-haired woman in a hospital gown. She was seated on a bed at the far end of an otherwise empty room, and her shoulder was exposed to reveal the glistening parasite. At first, it was simply a shot of her, swaying as she tried to remain conscious, but then, the clip cut abruptly to the image of the woman with her head craned back and several scientists gathered around her. One of them attempted to stick her with a long needle, but her flailing arms knocked the syringe flying. Pale crystals burst from her skin, letting the scraps hang in bloody flaps from her shoulders.

    The clip cut again. This time, her hair had fallen out, and a pair of rounded horns jutted out of her skull. Her entire body took on a shimmering coat of ice, interrupted every so often by a crystal spike. The creature's thin arms wrapped around her naked body as she shivered and opened her mouth in a silent scream. A few more men in lab coats immediately responded by approaching her with syringes in hand. Their bodies shielded most of her from view, save for the limbs that flashed above their heads.

    Suddenly, the girl sat with long, pale hair shielding her pallid face. Behind her, a tail flicked back and forth. The patient sat perched with her knees hugged tightly to her chest and her clawed feet curled around the edge of the bed. After a few seconds, a scientist appeared in the side of the shot with his back turned towards the camera. His hands moved as if he was speaking with her, to which she responded by lifting her head.

    In the next instant, no one was on the bed, and the scientist had disappeared. Something dark sprayed across the lens of the camera, partly obscuring the image of the room.
    Wow…I mean, wow! What a frightening and awesome picture you painted for us here. The only problem is Professor Oak afterward. The description of the body invasion created such an intense atmosphere, but Oak kind of ruins this atmosphere. He laughs at the thought of Bill going on a rampage (though I have to laugh at this picture myself) and he adds a little humor by saying, “I’m getting too old for this.” I know this is just minor humor added to this scene, but for me, it doesn’t fit the scary, badass atmosphere you created in this chapter.

    Four

    I don’t know if anyone has told you this yet, but the second and third paragraphs are exactly the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    The ice witch swayed her hips as she walked towards him. Her pursed lips began to glow bright pink, and she purred as she leaned in and grasped his chin with a large hand. He felt her strong grip clamp down on his jaw, and as she forced him to turn his head, he winced as pain stabbed at his neck. However, he didn't have much time to protest because in the next second, he felt her cold lips against his skin. Shortly afterwards, a tingling, numb sensation spread through the rest of his head, and he suddenly felt like he couldn't keep his eyes open.
    Haha, very nice! I always wondered what kind of effect Lovely Kiss would have on a human.

    Five

    I love how you describe Bill. This reminds me a bit of the transformation from “District 9.” The idea of a dorky, wimpy scientist who turns into a more powerful creature. I don’t know if you liked that movie or not, but I loved it, so consider that comparison a compliment!

    Six

    I love the “inner-voice” of the parasite and the fight scenes, as well. Great chapter!

    Seven

    I’m glad you put some plot exposition in this chapter. I know it’s not good to have “info dumps” throughout a story, but there was also a lot about the plot that was unclear to me until this point.

    Overall, marvelous work. I am very impressed with every aspect of this story. Keep it up!
    Last edited by ESPNfanatic35; 25th February 2010 at 7:01 PM.

    New Chapter: Chapter 4- Unova

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    Quote Originally Posted by ESPNfanatic35 View Post
    Hey, I’m finally here with my review, sorry it took so long.
    Totally all right.

    I have to admit, I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but this has blown me away so far. Merging something like Pokemon and a bloody sci-fi like “Alien” or “District 9” isn’t an easy task, but you have done extremely well.
    Thanks. I'm really glad you like it.

    I don’t know if this is on purpose or not, I just noticed that there was one dash in one spot and two dashes in another.
    Thanks for that. I'll get that fixed in the next edit sweep.

    This appears twice. It looks to me like a grammatical error since it looks like there should be a comma between “it“ and “too,” but since it appears twice I don’t think it is. I don’t know, this sounds a bit odd to me and I’m not sure what it means.
    I'll have to double-check, but as far as I can remember, you actually don't need it. Whenever you see a comma around the word "too," it usually means that there's an abrupt change of thought -- like, "He didn’t know at first what hit him, but then, too, he hadn’t ever walked in a field strewn with garden rakes." (Example lifted from here.) Of course, this is a bit of a controversial issue because not too long ago, it was a rule that you apply a comma around too whenever it's standing in for "also," but doing a quick Google search brought up the idea that the Chicago Manual of Style says that's outdated already.

    tl;dr: It can actually go either way depending on which grammar nazi you ask, but the more modern version is most likely the one without it.

    I know this is just minor humor added to this scene, but for me, it doesn’t fit the scary, badass atmosphere you created in this chapter.
    Thanks. I'll try playing around with it a little.

    One thing to keep in mind, though, is that part of the entire "comic relief" thing going on there is an attempt at getting Oak in character. Basically, he really doesn't want to break down into panic because there's a lot depending on him, but he knows it's a pretty serious and dangerous situation. So, he ends up reverting to the joking attitude he usually has in the anime just so he doesn't go crazy from all the pressure. (Because he really is getting too old for this. XD)

    I don’t know if anyone has told you this yet, but the second and third paragraphs are exactly the same.
    Thanks for reminding me about that. Someone else pointed it out, and I meant to fix it the next time I did an edit run. I'll definitely remember to fix that the next time I run through this.

    Haha, very nice! I always wondered what kind of effect Lovely Kiss would have on a human.
    Awesome, psychedelic effects. No, seriously. XD

    I love how you describe Bill. This reminds me a bit of the transformation from “District 9.” The idea of a dorky, wimpy scientist who turns into a more powerful creature. I don’t know if you liked that movie or not, but I loved it, so consider that comparison a compliment!
    Thank you!

    District 9. Oh, so much love there, regardless of what some people say about it being ridiculously preachy and full of sci-fi clichés. (I mean, really. Between it and Sparkly Blue Cat People, it's really not that bad, in my humble opinion.) [/fangirling]


    That all said, thanks so much for the compliments and the crit. I'll definitely take a look at the parts you pointed out, and I really appreciate you taking the time to look it over.

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    Quick responses before the next chapter:

        Spoiler:- Cut because it's long.:



    All that said, I finally get off my rear to post a new chapter! Yay!

    Seven
    Never make a deal with the devil.


    Bill opened his eyes to find himself in a place that was definitely not Polaris Institute. Turning his head, he pushed himself onto his knees to examine his surroundings. Above him, what he could see of the sky was gray, but much of it was obscured by the bare, black branches of the trees all around him. The earth and the dead leaves that littered it were shades of dark gray. He was the only object that had any sort of color for as far as he could see, and more than that, the forest stretched in all directions with no end in sight. Yet, despite how cold and grayscale the place was, he couldn't help but feel as if he had been there once.

    "You have," a voice said. "This is the forest around your home, is it not? The forest that surrounds the place you call Route 25. To the east, it will end, giving way abruptly to a beach that leads to a cliff. However, for our purposes, no matter how far you walk, you will never get there. I tell you this now so you can feel comfortable but focus completely on me."
    i won't say anything about this, since others have already picked it apart, but anyway lol

    Sitting back, he listened carefully to the voice. It definitely sounded like his. He knew all too well it wasn't.

    "You!" he exclaimed. "Where are you?"

    There was only a short beat of hesitation before it answered, "Find me."

    Bill pressed his hands into the ground and prepared to spring onto his feet, but before he moved, he noticed his hands. Both were covered in soft, pink flesh, and his silver claws were gone.

    Something in his brain jolted. Suddenly, a rush of memories hit him: waking up to find that his body covered in metal, encountering a man who could produce electricity, breathing in a white cloud that put him to sleep. His chest heaved in an effort to calm himself.

    "Take as long as you need. Time is irrelevant here," the voice told him.

    Slowly, he rose to his feet. He noticed they felt weird under him, although they definitely the feet he was born with. Step by step, he crept in the direction of the voice until he passed the first tree. Behind it, a flash of silver caught his eye. He turned his head to see himself leaning against it, but this self wasn't human. It was, he imagined, what he looked like as an XP-494B: the face was his own (albeit paler than what he was used to seeing in the mirror), while the metal-armored body looked more like what happened if a raptor mated with a human. The creature stared at him with dark eyes – his dark eyes – as it crossed its arms and waited. Before long, Bill realized it wanted him to speak.
    lol jurassic park shipping

    "Am I dreaming?" he whispered.

    "Yes," the creature told him. Then, it sighed and looked to the side. "Electric-types are the fastest among my kind, but they cannot carry weight well. Therefore, you must be kept asleep and still so that Abel may carry us to where we need to be. Otherwise, I am afraid of what may happen if he drops us. I can smell water outside."

    Bill took several steps backwards until his back smacked against a tree. "What?"

    The creature turned back towards him. Right then, Bill noticed that its expression was completely unreadable. Its mouth was a slight frown, but it betrayed no emotion. A shudder went down the human's spine.

    "I was worried that I would have to emerge in order to free us," his companion continued. "Luckily, Abel is here. After all, if I were to dominate our body for too long, then…"

    Its voice trailed off at that point, and it looked down at its feet. Bill could feel himself sliding down the trunk. He felt numb, and none of what the creature just told him sank into his mind.

    "What are you?" Bill whispered. "What… what do you want?"

    The creature lifted its chin slightly. "My kind do not have names for ourselves or for each other. I cannot, therefore, tell you what I am. As for what I want, we are going to a place you know as Hoenn."

    Right then, Bill's entire body felt cold. "You're… you're going to take me to your kind, aren't you? You want me to…"

    Bill sensed that the creature was amused. He couldn't figure out how he knew that, considering it never changed the expression on its face. He just looked at it and knew it would be chuckling if it did things like that.

    "There are few like me on this planet," it said, "and none of them would accept your human mind. I, on the other hand, have no intention of forcing myself on you."

    It strode forward. Bill watched it carefully until it stared down at him. Then, one of its metal hands lashed outward and grabbed him by the neck. Gasping, he felt its grip tighten and lift him into the air. His windpipe contracted, and he felt nothing enter his lungs. Choking, he frantically grabbed and pulled the creature's arm.

    "Humans are so fragile," it told him calmly. "A few breaths of a poison, and you whither and die. A few wounds, and you bleed to death. I do not know how strong the others are compared to you, but you seem laughably weak compared to my last host. If I pushed you too hard and too quickly, you will break."

    It released him, causing him to drop to the soft ground. Instantly, he grabbed his throat and took several loud gasps of air. His body bent in half, and he pressed his forehead to the ground while tears trickled from his eyes. The air felt like it was on fire as it ripped down his throat. As he lay gasping and shaking, his parasite stood over him and spoke to him tonelessly.
    poor bill, being threatened by his own parasite

    "If you are wondering, our relationship is not unique. There are others of my kind who, either by force or by choice, have relinquished control over their bodies to their hosts. This has always been true. My choice is to give you as much freedom and guidance as I can, but there is something I must ask you to do in return."

    Coughing, Bill lifted his head to look at his companion. He said nothing, but the parasite knew what question was on his mind.

    "You must learn to survive," it told him. "I can teach you all I can, but you must hone those skills on your own. You must learn how to control the gifts I have given you, and you must become strong. This will need to happen quickly. There is something else I will ask you to do soon, but it cannot happen until you are ready. However, if we waste too much time, we will lose any chance of completing what we must do."

    Bill pulled himself back to his feet using the tree. His knees felt shaky, and his vision was still blurred by his tears. Squinting, he rubbed his throat.

    "I… I don't…" he rasped.

    The creature narrowed its eyes. "Do you find it that difficult to understand? I am proposing to you a contract. Control, in exchange for a very simple favor. Do we have a deal?"

    It extended a hand. Bill stared at the metal as he sank down again to the forest floor. Right then, it all hit him. If he took that hand, he'd be bound by contract to do exactly the kinds of things he wanted to avoid. Fighting? Getting stronger? He didn't even know what favor the thing wanted or what he was getting himself into. Trembling, he shook his head.

    The creature knelt in front of him. "No?"

    "Please… please leave me alone," Bill whispered.

    "Have I really failed to make myself clear with my last example?"

    It placed a hand on his shoulder. At first, it was just a light touch, but as seconds passed, the hand grew heavier. The grip tightened until Bill could feel the claws pierce through his skin and dig deep into the muscle of his shoulder. He cried out and pressed both hands and one of his feet against the monster's chest. Hot pain laced from where the fingers were burrowing deep into his flesh, and he shut his eyes tightly.

    "No no no no!" he yelped. "Let go!"

    The hand squeezed harder. Bill could almost feel its fingers brushing his bone. The creature leaned close and whispered into Bill's ear. Its breath was cold and smelled like the sea.

    "I am inside you," the creature hissed. "To reject me will be suicide. You will either be killed by my kind, or I will kill you to find a new host. The truth is, Bill, that the only painless alternative you have is to surrender. To go deep down inside yourself – so deep that your mind will drown in my consciousness, and you will cease to exist. I could do that to you in an instant, but because you are useful to me, I give you a choice. I offer you peace and a chance to live with me, but it must be on my terms. Do you understand?"

    Shakily, he nodded. His mind was focused on the pain, and he felt his limbs wobble and his body grow weaker. Both of his hands slipped down the creature's chest as he forced himself to think about the words it said.

    "Good."

    The creature presented its free hand. Bill stared at it blearily. He didn't want to do this. He didn't want any of this. He wanted to be back in Polaris with his own body and his own thoughts, but he suspected both were just beyond his reach.

    Cautiously, he wrapped his hand around his partner's. The metal fingers nearly crushed his, but luckily, it lasted for only a second. As soon as it happened, the monster withdrew, drawing its fingers out of Bill's shoulder. He screamed for a second time as blinding pain ripped through him, but as soon as he reached up to grab his shoulder, he stopped. Panting, he looked down to see that the bare, white skin of his shoulder was just that: bare and white, with not even a scar to tell him that five needles were jammed deep into it just a moment ago. Even the pain was almost completely gone.

    Completely indifferent to Bill's curiosity, the creature stood and turned. "Now that formalities are out of the way, there is one other order of business I believe we must attend to before you awaken. Because you humans have difficulties comprehending anything without giving it a name, I suppose I should choose one for myself before you take to calling me by that ridiculous designation you gave my species."

    Breathing shallowly, Bill struggled to stand, using the tree as support. He felt light-headed, and his vision swam. Squinting, he stared at his companion.

    "They gave me a name, you know," it said. "Your colleagues, I mean. They gave me one like they did for Abel." It looked over its shoulder. "Adam. It is not quite the name I would have chosen for myself, but it will do."

    At that point, Bill's mouth moved, although he wasn't entirely conscious of the fact that he was speaking.

    "Adam…"

    It clasped its claws behind its back. "I read your memory to understand your kind better. Adam was the first man." It looked forward. "Ironic, is it not?"

    Exhaling, Bill once again whispered, "Adam…"

    Adam straightened its back. "Something is happening outside. Wake up."

    Before Bill could reply, the forest and Adam vanished.
    i'm guessing this is just one of the first times he has a little discussion with xp-494, no?

    [QUOTE]---

    When Bill opened his eyes for a second time, he found himself in a cold world of color. Below him, he saw a blur of brown and green, and above him, there was a stretch of blue and white. A streak of yellow and red passed over him, screaming, as he was abruptly sent careening towards a patch of green. The journey towards the green patch was short; he hit it with a bang seconds after he was dropped. His head swam, and the blurs morphed into the wobbling vision of a field fringed by trees. Gunshots and cracks of thunder filled his ears. The bitter smells of metal and gunpowder flooded his nostrils.

    Slowly, he turned over and lifted his head. Bill shut his eyes tightly and tried to will the world to stay still just enough for him to see. Several feet in front of him, he saw a group of people – ten in all – in various civilian clothes. All of them had guns in their hands and electrike? around their feet, and in one, large hunting party, they surrounded Abel.[QUOTE]

    why would civilians in the kanto have electrike? is this a carryover from your previous effort?

    The electric-type looked, in Bill's opinion, absolutely terrible. Blood ran out of a red hole in his shoulder, and from the other shoulder, his arm hung limply at an angle. Half the hand on the broken arm was missing; it stopped at a ragged line – the edge of a hole left by a point-blank gunshot wound. His tail looked just as incomplete.

    Roaring, Abel surrounded himself with blue light and released another volley of electrical bolts. The electrike barked and pounced forward, into the attack. Before a single bolt could strike their human companions, the pack absorbed the electricity and dropped to the ground. None of them had so much as a burn on them. Each of them simply stood on all fours, teeth bared and growls rumbling from their throats.

    Another gunshot rang out, and Abel reeled forward. Blood spurted from the back of his skull as another one of the civilians placed a gun barrel against the jewel in Abel's chest. The trigger was pulled, and one last shot boomed. Abel fell backwards, green gel and red blood flying as he fell to the blood-slicked grass. He didn't get up again.
    Poor abel. He isn't going to have anymore bad days now i suppose.

    The civilians hesitated, waiting for Abel to move. One even lowered her rifle and nudged his body with the barrel. When he didn't move, the group looked at Bill.

    "Now the other one," one of the civilians said.

    With a shuddering cry, Bill realized what they were about to do. As they moved towards him, he sat up and scrambled backwards. His eyes widened, and he felt his breath quicken. Covering the jewel in his own chest, he trembled and forced himself to speak.

    "W-wait!" he cried.

    They stopped and looked at each other.

    "It spoke," a woman in the group whispered.

    "Can it understand us?" a man muttered.

    The group turned towards someone in the middle of their formation. They parted to allow her to walk through.

    Normally, Bill would be comforted by the sight of an Officer Jenny. Her blue police officer's uniform represented justice and safety. No matter where she went, there would be order. However, there was a glint in her coffee-colored eyes that made him uneasy, and the way her glossy lips pursed made him think of an executioner just about to tie the noose around his neck. Of course, the latter notion might have come from the fact that she was holding a black handgun that was pointed directly at him, and it looked rather powerful.

    There was a long moment of silence. Officer Jenny kept her hand steady as she looked at him with a critical eye. Tilting her head, she finally found something to say.

    "Do you have a name?" she asked.

    He sat up, blinking. His mind scrambled to grasp her question. It seemed so casual and out-of-place that he couldn't even understand it at first. Then, his mouth pushed to speak.

    "Bill," he murmured.

    Jenny nodded, her eyes settling on the parasite again. Behind her, the group shifted on their feet.

    "Should we kill it?" one of the party asked.

    Jenny shook her head. "I've got a better idea."

    She swung her arm. The barrel of her gun cracked against Bill's skull, sending him sprawling into the ground. Once again, his vision hazed, and he found himself quickly slipping into the darkness of unconsciousness.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11tjcoulombe View Post
    i won't say anything about this, since others have already picked it apart, but anyway lol
    I'll fix it up when I do an edit sweep. XD I think what I was trying to do was describe the fact that Bill's lighthouse is on a cliff that can only be accessed by going along the road next to the beach. So, while the ocean's beyond the beach if a person goes straight out of the forest, the beach eventually meets the cliff if that someone follows the beach to the south.

    It might just be easier to not mention the cliff at all, so maybe I'll do that.

    poor bill, being threatened by his own parasite
    And everything else in the universe. XD Bill's other name is "Fate's Whipping Boy."

    i'm guessing this is just one of the first times he has a little discussion with xp-494, no?
    Face-to-face (if you can call it that), yep. He's also had a discussion with Adam in Polaris, when Adam told him to get off his tail and do something.

    Or if you meant this is one of the first of many times, oh yes. Adam's going to be back to choke Bill many times in the near future. ;D

    why would civilians in the kanto have electrike? is this a carryover from your previous effort?
    You know, you're the second person I've encountered who got confused about where they are. O_o Maybe I'm not entirely clear about things.

    Basically, they're headed to Hoenn, as mentioned by Adam in the middle of the chapter. However, to keep Bill calm so he doesn't end up getting dropped into the ocean (because Electric-type XP-494 can't carry weight that well, and Steel-types like Bill are heavy), Adam is keeping Bill asleep by distracting him in his dreams. On top of that, to make Bill feel comfortable talking to it, Adam manipulated Bill's mind so that he's dreaming that he's A) human and B) near his home in Kanto.

    Long story short, they're actually in Hoenn, but the entire first scene is taking place in Bill's mind. As a result, Bill sees a forest in Kanto when that's not actually where he is physically.

    Like I said, because you're not actually the first person who thought they're now in Kanto, I think I might have to do a bit of revision there. ._.

    Poor abel. He isn't going to have anymore bad days now i suppose.
    Yep. XD

    Thanks for the review. I appreciate it, and I'll definitely look over the stuff you pointed out.

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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