The Fall To Redemption
an Emerald Odyssey
Prologue - Virgil's Dream
The world has gone black.
When you think about it, there is no true "black": shut off your house lights and you can still see the city glow (or maybe the star-shine if you're a country boy). Shut your eyes and you can still see the after-image of light tingling through your nerves.
But all I can see is black - bottom of the ocean black; heart of the devil black; shut in a funeral casket black. Not a god-damn pinprick of light.
Now, I'm not the type that scares easily, but do you know what really scares me?
I can feel my eyelids blinking. Twitch all they want, all I can see is black.
Yeah, I'll let that sink in for a minute.
I can feel, but not well. It's like I've been bundled in a puffy snowsuit, dulling my touch. I think I'm lying on my back; my face is hot and itchy all over.
I can hear, but everything is muffled like I'm holding my breath underwater - the vibrations sluggish and echoing. Are those the rumbling wheels of a truck or a gurney across linoleum floor? Footsteps crash into my water-logged head like cannonball divers. It's a chore just to make out the voices:
The first speaker is a mixture of revolt and pity. "Is that a boy or a girl?"
The second manages a quick smirk. "Hard to say, huh?"
Hard to say? Are they talking about me? It's not like I have huge muscles or facial stubble, but I like to think that I'm obviously masculine! I try to turn my neck and look around but my head is in some sort of clamp, and just that little twist sends a spike of pain through my nerves. I almost faint.
The voices carry on. "Poor thing have a name?"
"Virgil, I think."
Now I know they're talking about me, but "poor thing"? What's going on? I can't see, I can't move and all this talk is driving me insane! I can feel my panicky breath, hot and humid, forced back against my skin. Is there something over my mouth? And what is that beeping noise?
The voices also notice the pulse. "Rate's going up. Going into shock."
Shock? Shocked? That's putting it mildly - I'm shifting into all-out "fight or flight" mode, you've got me so panicked! I have to see, I have to claw at this itch creeping over my face; I have to get up and rip this, this mask they've clamped over my mouth! I'm suffocating! I struggle but even the tiniest effort makes the pain spike.
"He's waking. Give him another dose."
What are you people doing to me? Let me go! I fight again, and this time an arm presses down on my chest. I think the voice is trying to comfort me, but the reassuring "ssh" is amplified through the water into an Arbok's hiss.
"Relax, kid," it says, just before a sharp point jabs my arm. "There's a whole world of adventure waiting for you. All you gotta do is sleep."
And then I'm shrinking - falling away from the voices, from the pain, from everything. And the world goes black.
Chapter I - Ten Things I Hate About Littleroot
Chapter II - A New Hope
Chapter III - The Ranger of Petalburg
Chapter IV - Through Forest and Water
Chapter V - The Oracle of Rustburo
Chapter VI - Shadows in the Granite Cave
Chapter VII - Dude, Where's My Capitalism?