Approval: This fic has been permitted by Dragonfree.
Credit: This fic is dedicated to Breezy. Without her advice on how to make the fic realistic, this idea would have probably been left to rot in the recesses of my mind. I also have to thank Psychic, whose extremely helpful review made me realize what I was doing wrong in the first entry. I’ve decided to rewrite the fic to truly get into the Horror genre like I should have done the first time.
Warning: This fic is in the Horror genre, although it’s not the blood-and-guts type of “horror” that you normally see in films like Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. This type of horror is psychological, so anyone who is expecting to see anything beyond the typical violence that’s normally in a PG-15-rated fic is going to be disappointed. However, this fic does have the potential to really scare people, so stay away if the Horror genre isn’t your cup of tea. Also, this story has semi-frequent profanities and hints of drug abuse in it. Just letting you know beforehand.
Disclaimer: I don’t work for Nintendo or any of its affiliates. I don’t own any of the creatures that were created for the series. I don’t own anything in the Pokemon franchise. I don’t have anything to do with Dead Space (which gave me the idea for the setting of an abandoned and decaying spaceship) or the Twilight Zone (which gave me the idea for the theme). However, the characters that will be seen are solely mine. The plot itself is my idea.
Summary: The timeline is 200 years after the present day. The Pokemon League Armed Forces (PLAF) crushed the United Anarchy (UA), a terrorist cell and their only opposition, twenty years ago. As a result, it turned itself into a totalitarian government. Overpopulation has become a problem for both humans and Pokemon alike, and the PLAF has decided to use colony ships in space as a result.
Children are now chosen for jobs at the age of ten and are given two Pokemon who will be their companions for the rest of their life. The space business has a need for military space engineers (MSEs), people who are sent to spaceships that send out distress signals in order to fix whatever is wrong. At the age of nineteen, the kids are given a job that they have to do on their own with no help from anyone except their Pokemon.
Claude Pokulok, a nineteen-year-old MSE with multiple demons, is going through his own trial-by-fire. His job is to respond to the distress signal of the S.S. Revenant. He thought that the job would have no problems. He also thought that his past had been buried deep enough to cover every mistake he made. He was wrong on both counts, and the truth that threatens to reveal itself could break him – if the entity stalking the ship doesn’t break him first…
And now, without further babbling, let the chapter commence:
Space is supposedly the final frontier. Darkness reigns supreme from its throne, a throne decorated with the bones of foolhardy travelers and tireless workers who make their living in the vastness of the galaxies.
Many dangers lurk in space. There are the devastating supernovas, which incinerate ships that are unfortunate enough to venture into their vicinity. There are wormholes that rapidly age others, since time travel by the means of anything other than legendary Pokemon has always been (and will always be) nothing more than a desperate wish. There are meteors that have annihilated ships and sent the broken corpses of their crews into the abyss. There are even Pokemon that reside in the depths of space that are rarely seen and hardly ever recorded. Not all of them are friendly.
Still, that didn’t deter humanity from their desire to conquer the final frontier. One such example was a white ship that cruised at a speed that was faster than light. It was an old carrier ship that had been spared from the scrapheap more times than it should have, but it was still reliable and surprisingly durable, especially considering the amount of cargo it had carried over the course of sixteen long years. It had the same streamlined shape that a Sharpedo possessed – if the Sharpedo happened to be a gigantic machine that was at least thirty times bigger than the shark-like Pokemon itself.
Normally, this nameless spacecraft would have carried cargo to one of the many colony ships that had been sent into the black void. While the destination was a colony ship that went by the name of the S.S. Revenant, the mission was anything but a peaceful rendezvous, and the only cargo it contained was enough food for the occupants inside. The small ship was responding to a distress signal that had been sent three days ago, before all contact between the command center and the Revenant had been severed.
The mission and its importance were of no concern to MSE Second Class Claude Pokulok, who thrashed around, trapped within the throes of a vicious nightmare that had been his curse for a little more than four years.
The darkness was overwhelming. Swirling gray mists were the only thing that Pokulok could discern from the black veil. His breath was shallow and ragged, as though he was dying slowly. A dull throb was emanating from his stomach, its intensity slowly growing with each passing second. He felt - no, he knew that he was being watched by someone…or something. Fear began to break down the outer corners of his mind, penetrating his small sanctuary and corrupting his thoughts. The fear was strong enough to fully paralyze him, and a part of him felt that he wasn’t going to make it out alive.
Running was out of the question; he would find him, no matter how far he tried to flee. Fighting him was just plain stupid; he was older and more experienced. The teenager couldn’t see any other option aside from death. Then he heard him.
“I see you, Claude!”
Pokulok lashed out with his right foot, but there was nothing to hit in the darkness. His eyes began to dart from side to side, showing no emotion other than sheer panic.
“I just want to talk to you…”
The young MSE didn’t trust the hurt tone that he put into the voice. He was trying to trick him, just like what happened four years ago…
“Leave me alone!” the teenager yelled, trying to back away from the source of the voice. “I hate you! I hate you more than anyone else in the wor-” His voice trailed off the second his back hit a wall that he didn’t see. He then realized that it wasn’t a wall.
Before he had the chance to react, Pokulok felt the air get choked out of him by a vice grip. He clawed at his neck, but there was nothing there. No wire, no cord, not even a pair of meaty hands could be felt around his windpipe. He was being strangled by something intangible. The pain in his stomach had reached a crescendo. He felt like he had a monstrous infant inside of him, trying to claw its way out of its pregnant host.
A grimy hand clutched at his shoulder, the long fingernails cruelly digging into his skin. A man’s face moved just far enough for Pokulok to see a few features, such as a squashed nose, a square jaw, and a small tight-lipped mouth, which opened up to reveal blackened teeth.
“Remember me, Claude?” the face asked. The young MSE tried to reply, but he couldn’t speak at all. He wasn’t sure if it was the fear or the lack of oxygen. The face disappeared into the darkness, but he was still suffocating.
Strangely enough, Pokulok’s vision wasn’t fading. In fact, he seemed to see things even clearer. The mists parted to reveal a girl about three years younger than he was. Her looks were, in his opinion, better than most models. She had stunning green eyes to go along with long sandy-brown hair that fell just past her shoulders. The only article of clothing she wore was a skintight crimson jumpsuit that was somehow both serviceable and alluring. In fact, a small red line across her throat was the only visible blemish on what Pokulok thought was a beautiful young woman.
“Claude,” she said quietly, her disappointment evident in her tone. “Why have you forgotten about me?”
His eyes widened. He made mute sounds that tried desperately to tell her the truth, to say exactly what he had been doing, but no words escaped his lips. That only served to annoy her.
“You haven’t contacted me at all,” she continued. “I missed you, Claude. Why haven’t you missed me?”
She put her hands on her throat and pulled against the red line until her skin stretched and ripped. Her head tilted backwards until it was hanging in a position that could only have been achieved in death. Pokulok would have screamed his lungs out if he was not already running out of air. As it was, the silent sounds of terror and anguish hardly seemed to faze the sixteen-year-old girl, who snapped her head back into place, seemingly without a care in the world.
“Claude, don’t you want to see me again?” she asked sorrowfully.
The gruesome images still taunted his fraying mind, but he nodded his head twice. He wanted to see her again, if only to tell her how truly sorry he was.
She took something out of her pocket. It was a combat knife that was the same color as her jumpsuit. The blade was covered in drying blood. She flipped the knife until the handle was pointed at him. The teenager noticed that despite the fact that the blade cut into her fingers, she wasn't bleeding.
Pokulok suddenly realized what she was suggesting. He tried to protest, but no noise reverberated from his tongue. The girl looked at him piteously.
“You have no idea how lonely I am, Claude,” she said, tears welling in her eyes. “I just want to see you again. I know that it’s your life, but I wouldn’t ask without a good reason.”
The agony in his stomach was unbearable, and he was struggling to draw even one breath. Without any hint of rationality behind his thoughts, he looked at the pros and cons, and the only two things he could think of were both pros. He could not only get rid of his internal pain and remorse, but he would truly get to see the girl that he loved, and nothing, not even the omnipotent forces of life and death, would stop them from meeting. Still, a tiny voice of reason tried to dissuade him from committing to this action.
But it’s your life she’s talking about!
Shut up. You know damn well that it’s better for everyone this way.
Pokulok grabbed the knife from her and plunged it into the left side of his belly with a sick grin. He started to weave the blade in a meandering pattern, stopping at the right side. Blood was just beginning to pour from his stomach as he ripped the knife out of his crimson-soaked body and dropped the dripping blade. The mists started to swirl around his eyes once more, but the darkness followed it almost immediately…and this time, it swallowed everything whole until the only thing that existed was nothingness.
Pokulok woke up in a cold sweat. His whole body was trembling like he was a newborn Growlithe, and his abdomen felt like it was being roasted over a fire. He rolled to his left side and fell out of the king-sized bed he was lying in, letting out a soft groan as he hit the hardwood floor. He felt the bile rising in his throat like a tidal wave, threatening to overtake him if he attempted to hold it all back. He started to crawl towards the restroom, feeling too weak to stand. Two concerned voices were echoing in his head, but he couldn’t decipher the words that they were saying.
He managed to make it to the bathroom, but he couldn’t make it to the toilet. He violently vomited all over the cold linoleum floor, feeling the vile substance spill over his throat like it was a river. His gut wasn’t satisfied with that display, and Pokulok ended up dry-heaving for at least two more agonizing minutes. A disgusted look came over his face when he noticed that most of his fingers were covered in his sick.
Worst of all, his stomach was still in pain. He somehow managed to stand, using the marble sink countertop as his support. A nearby mirror imitated his motions, as he turned on the cold water. He furiously scrubbed his hands with a bar of soap and dipped them in the water until everything was washed off. Pokulok then took off his shirt and flung it away from the disgusting puddle. Using his right hand to hold himself upright, he traced the serpentine scar that went from one side of his stomach to the other side. He knew that he was lucky – if that wound had occurred in his chest, he would have likely died. After all, permanent pain was a fair trade for sparing one’s life, was it not?
He stared into the mirror, looking at his pale, haggard appearance. His cropped light-brown hair was sticking out everywhere, and his icy-blue eyes were bloodshot, which gave him the look of a long-time insomniac. He was five inches over six feet, but his rail-thin frame made him seem like a starving prisoner-of-war. He put his other hand on the countertop, hanging his head in exhaustion.
(Claude!) a scared voice cried out. (Tell me you’re okay, please?)
The young MSE turned around to see a gray metallic bird look at him with cautious yellow eyes. The avian creature preened his red feathers nervously.
(Claude, don’t you ever do that to us again!) a second voice worriedly stated in a tone that held a small amount of anger in it.
He turned to his right side to see his other Pokemon – a virile, white cat-like beast with a black sickle-shaped horn – staring at him with a pair of glowing red eyes. His black scythe-like tail lashed from side to side, and his sharpened black claws sheathed and unsheathed in anxiety.
The adolescent let out a sigh. He realized that he had forgotten to switch his translation aids from the Pokemon language to human English again.
“Faitios, Deifir, I’m fine,” Pokulok said quickly, looking at the Skarmory and the Absol respectively. “You both sound like my mother…”
Faitios ruffled his wings to hide his fearfulness, while Deifir looked at the floor distastefully.
(You don’t look fine,) Faitios said quietly. (It’s your withdraw-)
“Shut up!” Pokulok snarled viciously. “Shut your goddamned beak!”
The Skarmory looked like he was about to burst into tears. Deifir immediately noticed his friend’s feelings and reacted hastily.
(Hey!) the Absol growled angrily, lashing his tail again. (Faitios did nothing to deserve that! If you don’t have anything nice to say to someone who’s being nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.)
Pokulok sat down, feeling rather dizzy and extremely remorseful. He put his head in his hands and curled up into a ball.
“I’m sorry, Faitios,” the MSE said in a cracked voice, struggling not to cry himself. “I shouldn’t have snapped at you; that was completely wrong on my part. Deifir, thanks for doing that. I needed it.”
(Claude, you’re going to need to face your demons at some point,) Deifir said calmly. (It wasn’t your fault. There was no way you could have…)
The white-furred mammal must have seen the pained look on the youth’s face, as he immediately looked down at his paws without saying another word. Pokulok’s eyes took on a distant look. He stared at the ceiling, no longer trying to hold back any tears.
“Andrea,” he murmured inaudibly. “I’m so sorry…”
Author’s Note: Here are the pronunciations of the names, so that people aren’t confused about how to say the names of the main characters.
Pokulok = Poe-ku-luk. (Luk is pronounced as “luck”).
Faitios = Fah-teez. (Fah sounds like the first syllable in “father”).
Deifir = Def-er. (The name as a whole sounds like “deafer” in the English language).
I hope that the pronunciations help, and I hope that you’re enjoying this fic.