Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Shatterpoint (R)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    579

    Default Shatterpoint (R)

    Hello there! To all of you who are familiar with my first attempt at making an intelligible story, welcome back. To those of you who are new to my work, welcome. First off, this R rating has been approved by Dragonfree. Secondly, if you haven't read the previous installment, Requiem, I would advise you to do so. Without the context of the first book, a lot of this story will simply not make sense. You can find the link to it in my sig. If that's not something you have time for, then still please follow along and I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have. Thirdly, just to explain the rating, this story will have frequent language, and graphic violence and death. Just want to make that clear up front!

    And as always, thanks for visiting and enjoy!



    Shatterpoint



    Chapter 1


    Year One…

    The liquid warmth that surrounded Dorian’s body felt like a womb. The water was light and soothing, gently moving his body up and down on its mild swells. He spread his arms wide and inhaled a cleansing breath. The air was tinged with the humid touch of sunshine. Dorian opened his eyes and there it was. The sun glowed brightly in the cloudless sky, promising a day filled with beauty. Dorian hovered in that moment for one perfect second, one exquisite instant, and then reality crashed down on his mind like a landslide.

    Fucking fuck!” Dorian bellowed.

    His arms cut through the water and propelled him backwards to collide headfirst with a floating log. Dorian’s vision flashed white and his hands scrambled to grab hold of something, anything. His hands found a slime coated rope and he pulled himself up. To his surprise he found himself on a softly swaying platform. As his head pounded he focused his eyes and saw a wide expanse of houses, all lashed together by iron cord and more floating logs. Pacifidlog Town?

    Dorian rolled to his back and yelped as he remembered the shaft of stone that had impaled him on his unwanted flight from the tower. He slowly looked down towards his chest, vaguely wondering why it wasn’t hurting. To his surprise he only found a hole in his shirt. Dorian pulled the fabric wider, exposing unblemished flesh. How the hell was that possible?

    “Shelton!” his mind screamed.

    Dorian gasped and spun in a circle, searching for the tower. It was nowhere to be found. Flabbergasted, Dorian ran forward and scaled a net hanging from the side of one of the low slung houses. Able to see above the houses that blocked his view before, he spun again. All he saw was the horizon and the water stretching out in all directions. Where had the tower gone? It had risen quickly, so maybe it was capable of sinking just as fast?

    “Help!” Dorian screamed. “Help me!”

    He jumped down from the roof and slammed his fists against the door of the house he had climbed. No one opened the door. Frantic, he ran to the next, and the next. No matter how hard he bellowed or loudly he pounded on door, no one came out. As he came to the last house at the southern edge of the town, he slammed the bottom of his foot through where the deadbolt should have been and crashed inwards.

    The house was empty. The lights were off, the living room vacant.

    “Help me!” he yelled again.

    Dorian went through both rooms but found no one home. A less crazed portion of his mind realized that every electronic device in the house was off. Dorian ran back outside and to the next house in line. The next door took two kicks to knock down and the two rooms inside were likewise unoccupied. Dorian had no idea why he did it but he grabbed the phone off the nearby desk and listened for a dial tone. Nothing.

    “Okay think!” he commanded himself. “Go back, Dorian.”

    He rushed back outside and found a boat bobbing happily off to his left. It was basically a canoe with a motor attached but it would serve the purpose he wanted. He yanked the pull cord and it gurgled to life. He cut across the azure water as fast as he could; looking upwards he found the sun and oriented his direction. He released the throttle and slowed the boat to a halt as a thought popped into his mind.

    If he had floated to Pacifidlog from the tower, surely Shelton could have, maybe Garrett too. Dorian hit the throttle again and took the boat in a wide arc around the floating village. Three times he circled, and all three times he came up with not another soul. Grunting his frustration, Dorian steered himself back out into the open sea. The sunlight and blue sky, which at first comforted him, now mocked him. It should be storming. He wanted low clouds and torrential rain. Something to mirror the profound feeling of worry and longing that was coursing through his body.

    His want granted him no solace however. All he found was vivid and endless ocean. After half an hour he thought he had arrived at the right place but he had no way of knowing if it was actually accurate. Everything looked the same. He knew for certain that the tower was gone; that much was obvious. He strained his eyes against the harsh light, but found no person, no floating debris, nothing. His breath was beginning to come in ragged gasps as hopelessness began to weigh down his shoulders.

    “SHELTON!” Dorian screamed. “SHELTON!”

    He screamed for hours. Until his voice was hoarse and felt like he had chugged a bottle of razor blades. Dorian gripped the edge of the boat and squeezed, watching his knuckles grow white. Pacifidlog was a light brown square in the distance. Dorian grabbed the throttle and twisted, spurning himself towards it. He kept his eyes open as he sped across the waves but they quickly watered from the wind.

    As he arrived back at the floating town he mentally kicked himself for not thinking of his Pokemon sooner. Dorian grabbed Shiftry’s pokeball from his belt. He opened the ball but nothing spilled out. Dorian’s eyes bulged as he flipped the device around to see that the mirrored interior was empty. He let out a sound somewhere between a grunt and a snarl and tried Vibrava’s. It was likewise empty. His hands found the pokeballs of Growlithe and Spoink but they were empty as well.

    “WHAT THE FUCK!?” Dorian screamed.

    Dorian fell to his knees, pokeballs dropping to the wooden walkway. He screamed again, tears streaming from his eyes. How was this possible? Where were they!? Where was his sister!? Dorian sobbed and slammed his fists into the walkway until they were raw and bloody. Why!? His hands tore scratches across his face as he struggled to understand this alien situation. It was that moment that he spied something that would help him make sense of this terrible circumstance. The general store.

    Wiping the snot and tears away that wet his face, Dorian grabbed his pokeballs and started forward. The door to the bobbing red building was wide open. He pushed through the entrance and easily found what he was looking for despite the dark interior. The liquor shelves were stocked with every conceivable alcoholic concoction known to man. His hands were shaking so badly that it took him almost a full minute to open the bottle of whiskey he grabbed.

    The liquid went down harshly, burning his raw throat. Undeterred he took three more deep draws from the bottle. He almost sat down right there but he saw a checkout station and the cigarette shelving above it. Bottle in hand he rushed forward and quickly grabbed a lighter and package of cigarettes from the behind the register.

    The first drag of the cigarette hurt worse than the whiskey. As he blew out the smoke he ruminated on his plight. Dorian prided himself on his reaction time. He could always quickly assess a situation and figure out a way to barrel through it. Dorian took a deep breath and tried to clear his mind. This wasn’t a problem he could or should barrel through. This was a moment for reflection and problem solving, which was not one of his strengths. That was always one of Shelton’s.

    Shelton…

    At the thought of her name, Dorian took another long draw from the bottle. His eyes watered and he felt his stomach lurch. He thought himself a coward for it but he kept drinking, finishing half the bottle and lighting another cigarette. Dorian’s vision swam and the bottle suddenly felt very heavy. His arm went weak and the bottle clattered to the floor, soaking his jeans. He passed out.


    *****



    It was almost seven hours later when he woke up. Dorian picked himself up and shoved the cigarettes into his pocket. He walked outside and stared. Besides the soft sound of waves crashing against the logs, there was no sound. It was full dark and the stars twinkled merrily. Clenching his fists angrily, Dorian stomped back inside and grabbed a pack off a nearby rack. He stuffed the blue bag with provisions for three days, along with three bottles of whiskeys and other essentials like a machete and a carton of cigarettes.

    Dorian fought the urge to burn the fucking store down in frustration and found the boat he had used yesterday. He guided it out across the water and paused. He took out his phone to boot up his compass but saw that it was dead. With a grunt he hurled it at the far end of the boat where it shattered spectacularly. Breathing heavily he looked upwards and found the North Star. Orienting himself west he gunned the boat towards Dewford Town.

    Pacifidlog Town was relatively isolated so it made sense that if a catastrophe occurred; like a giant fucking dragon blowing up a monstrous tower that had inexplicably appeared; that the residents would flee to a bigger city in search of people and authority. Maybe even people had been injured and the entire town had just picked up and left in fright. The possibilities were endless and he couldn’t waste more time waiting around. Dewford would be the place these people would have gone. It was bigger, had a hospital, cops.

    Dorian sped across the glassy water for almost two hours before he spied the small island town. Like Pacifidlog Town there was no electricity, at least to his eye. The town was gently lit by the glowing moon which gave Dorian enough light to slide his boat onto the sandy shore. As soon as it grinded to a halt he was on his feet and running towards the town. He skidded to a stop in front of the pokemon center and stared. Nothing. Not a sound except for the waves crashing across the beach.

    Breathing heavily, Dorian pushed open the door of the center and walked quickly from room to room. No one. No Pokemon either. What, the fuck? He had been sure that people would have been here. As he stood there thinking a thought wormed its way into his mind. Maybe both towns had been evacuated! Surely that was it! Dewford was bigger, sure, but it was still isolated from mainland Hoenn. As he was walking back out the door, the moonlight flashed across something on the main counter. A compass. Dorian grabbed it.

    Minutes later he was back in the boat and heading northeast. Over the next three hours he alternated between sipping his whiskey and smoking, while at the same time pushing away thoughts of his sister. They always had a way of getting back to the forefront of his mind however. Thoughts of her also bred other questions that were equally as puzzling. Where were his Pokemon?

    Less troubling than that question but growing steadily more apparent was another. Where were ANY Pokemon? As the sun began to ignite the eastern sky with waves of orange, Dorian realized that he hadn’t seen any Pokemon at all. No aquatic, or flying, nothing. People picking up and moving Dorian could understand, but that wasn’t typical Pokemon behavior in the slightest.

    Mainland Hoenn suddenly beamed at him over the morning fog. The trees along the shore were vividly green, and he spied a few houses along the beach. Dorian beached the boat and strode quickly towards the houses. They were quaint little dwellings, all with cracked paint and dark asphalt shingles. Even as he pounded on the first door his heart began to sink. His knocks echoed too loudly for there to be anyone inside. Glancing to the next house he spied a muddy orange dirt bike leaning against the far wall.

    Fuck it,” Dorian muttered.

    Dorian jogged to the bike and to his surprise and relief found that the key was in the ignition. He hopped onto and it kicked into gear with a throaty roar. Dorian viciously pulled the throttle backwards and he blasted north in a spray of gravel. He pushed the bike as fast as it could go. Fifty miles an hour, sixty, seventy. He dodged stopped cars by inches as he weaved the bike towards Rustboro City. There was still no people, no Pokemon. Every empty vehicle or tipped over motorcycle he passed added to his confusion, and his rage. As a mile marker passed he sucked in a breath and screamed in anger as hard as he could.

    The buildings of Rustboro grew steadily larger as he pulled onto the first exit for the city. Judging from the position of the sun, Dorian knew that it was almost ten, which meant that the city would be bustling with activity. He didn’t know a lot about the city but he knew that it was the center of commerce for western Hoenn. Therefore it would be a place where people would flee to for information or safety or at the very least some fucking direction.

    Dorian’s hands started to shake however as he passed through the main drag of the city. There was still no one. His bike screeched to a halt as he arrived at intersection in front of a multi-storied office park. Dorian dismounted and looked to the left and right. Cars stood parked, food sat uneaten on plates in a small café. The wind whistled softly around him and picked up a small napkin from one of the tables. Dorian followed its flight until he saw the grey concrete walls of a bank.

    The bank had a small garden flanking the front doors. In a fit of rage, Dorian grabbed a fist sized rock that lined the edge and threw it through the plate glass window of the front entrance. Besides the spectacular crash of breaking glass there was no other sound. No alarm, no police, no people coming outside to investigate. Clenching his fists, Dorian went back to the bike and lit a cigarette.

    “Hello!” Dorian yelled. “Hello!”

    His voice echoed between the buildings for a moment then went silent. The sun peeked out at him and warmth bathed his face. Up above, the sky was a cloudless blue. The cigarette dropped from his hands and he sank to his knees.


    *****



    It had taken Dorian almost two weeks to figure out that he was in hell.

    Two weeks of drunkenly shuffling from town to town. Two weeks of not seeing another soul. Two weeks of estrangement from his sister and their Pokemon. Nothing but the night and day for company, along with whispers of wind. No matter how much he called, how much shit he broke, how much he cried, no one came.

    The realization that he was dead came on gradually. Dorian started to notice things that just didn’t make sense. Like that despite there wasn’t any electricity, food never went bad. Meat and vegetables he found in grocery stores were room temperature but unspoiled. No matter how long they sat there they never rotted. Experimentally he had left a flank of Milktank steak out in the sun for two days. No discoloration, no rot, perfectly edible.

    Then there was the three day sun. It came about seven days after he woke up at Pacifidlog Town. He went to sleep one night in an empty house in a Rustboro City suburb. When he woke, the sun was out, and it stayed at high noon for three solid days. When he thought night should have come he had found an old watch in the house and watched it for hours. Despite the passage of time the sun stayed where it was. Dorian was so freaked out by this astrological phenomenon that he had to get blackout drunk just to sleep.

    Another thing that screwed with him was the Rustboro library. He went in one day to look around and search for a book to take his mind off the situation. He found one that he had read before and opened it to see three hundred blank pages. Dorian had put the book back and picked up the one next to it to discover that it was exactly the same. He had then gone from shelf to shelf, pulling books out to see that every single one was blank. Every book had been erased. For some reason it was the most frightening thing he had ever seen.

    The next day he had gone back to find that every book was where he had left them but they were now filled with text. That day he had searched houses until he found a gun, and from then on didn’t go anywhere without it. He didn’t know whether someone had been screwing with him or he had just imagined it. It didn’t matter though. None of this was right.

    The final straw came one day when he was headed back down Route 104. He stubbed his toe on a rock and picked it up to inspect it. By all accounts it was an incredibly normal piece of gravel, about an inch long and pointed on both ends. Dorian had shrugged and tossed the stone forward; to his astonishment though the stone paused in the air. It hovered at chest level for a moment before shooting skyward so quickly that it vanished from sight. As Dorian stood there, dumbfounded, day had turned to night. Like someone had flipped a switch. The moon had appeared in the space the sun had just occupied. As quick as he blinked he was now standing in almost total darkness.

    At that moment he understood what had been brewing in his mind. Dorian was dead. He was completely, undeniably, no holds barred dead. He had felt weak at first, almost falling to the ground in shock but he managed to hold himself upright. Acceptance came in a snarling wave that devoured him whole.

    “I’m dead,” Dorian whispered.


    Year Two…


    The tentacles came on his second anniversary in hell.

    Tentacles were what he called them anyway. A poet may have called them glittering tendrils of violet light descended from the realm of heaven. Dorian thought they looked like purple Octillery arms but he was never one for eloquent speeches. To be even more honest he didn’t know how to turn a phrase, or even what the fuck that meant in the first place. However, whatever they were they were something in the world of nothingness he had come to occupy.

    It had happened in a small town on the east coast of Hoenn. Dorian was reading on the beach under an umbrella. It was a very pleasant day. Overcast and intermittently raining. It was cool enough for him to pull on a light jacket. When he had seen the sky begin to glow purple he was draining his sixth beer of the day. Dorian shot to his feet as a vortex opened in the sky and the water below reflected the streaks of black and purple towards him. His first thought was a Pokemon but that was quickly shoved aside as the light brightened and several four foot wide tentacles dropped through the clouds. They were featureless and smooth, but radiated an aura of heat that Dorian could feel from hundreds of yards away.

    They had taken their time getting to him. They hovered and stretched back on themselves like insect mandibles, like they were eternally searching for something to constrict. Dorian was so perplexed by this phenomenon that he stayed rooted to the spot. The tentacles waved as they got closer, tips almost touching the whitecaps. Dorian met them at the edge of the water.

    Inquisitive, they had shied away from him at first, but they had gradually come close enough for him to touch. He had smiled then, and stretched out his left hand to touch them. His index finger had just grazed the closest tentacle when he screamed.

    The last inch of his finger had vanished. There was no pain, and when he drew it back in horror he saw that skin had folded over the missing portion, as if he had lost it many years ago. Dorian had stumbled backwards and fell to his back, right hand searching for the gun attached to his hip. He found it and chambered a round just as the tentacles rushed forward to grab him. Dorian rolled back backwards and they slapped the ground in front of him. Where they struck, they dissolved the matter they touched. Sand and water evaporated into the air as they shot forward again to grab his leg.

    Fuck you!” Dorian screamed as he started firing.

    His reflexes had dulled from the alcohol and his first two shots went wild. The third and fourth though had found their marks, and the tentacles they struck exploded in black discharges of energy. The other five were momentarily stunned at the loss and paused, allowing Dorian to pick off another three. The remaining two found their stones as Dorian scrambled to his feet. They darted at him as he kicked the small table holding his empties towards them. As the tables touched them it vanished.

    They came forward quickly, one going high and the other going low. In a feat he was surprised he managed, Dorian jumped backwards as they closed in. He passed between them and shot the one below as he landed on the sand. It exploded into formless energy as he fired his last round, striking the remaining tentacle dead center. As it dissolved the sky went back to being overcast and normal. Dorian stayed there on the ground for several minutes. He took a few deep breaths to calm the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

    “What, the fuck?” he moaned.

    His eyes found his finger. The end of his finger was just gone. Whatever the hell those things were had somehow just erased it. As hard as he tried to think of some other way to describe it, that’s exactly what it boiled down to. He was a drawing and they figured out that they hated his finger. When he flexed it there was no pain, not even phantom pain. It was just gone. Dorian rolled over and grabbed a beer from his cooler. Today sucked.


    ****



    The next day he had resolved to get the hell out of Hoenn. Dorian also resolved that if he was going to do so he was going to have to arm up in case those tentacles showed up again. So he did the only logical thing he could think of. He broke into a Hoenn National Guard base. From there he took two automatic assault rifles and enough ammo to decimate a small town. He also found a katana. It had been in a locker belonging to a solider named Vargas. He didn’t know if it was his last name or his first, but he thanked him anyway and attached the sword to his left hip.

    Dorian also ‘borrowed’ a humvee from the motor pool. He was thankful for the manual pump to fill it with gas. Besides using portable generators, Dorian had not had access to electricity for the entire time he had been in this empty world. After filling the tank up he had piled the guns and ammo into the back and driven away. He stopped in Mossdeep City to grab more beer and cigarettes, along with enough food and water for a month. From there it was only about an hour’s drive to Mossdeep Port. When he arrived he put in his headphones and booted up his mp3 player. The dulcet tones of Blue Swede rang in his ears as he walked past the rows of water craft.

    “I can’t stop this feeling, deep inside of me…”

    Fuel was the first problem. He had to find a vessel with a big enough tank to get to Johto. The second was that if said vessel could get there, he had to find one with controls simple enough for him to make sense of. The third wasn’t really a problem so much as it was a request; it had to be something with style. Just because he was in hell didn't mean he didn't have standards after all.

    “Girl you just don’t realize, what you do to me…”

    The last vessel he came to on the dock was a yacht. About seventy feet long with chrome accents. As he looked it up and down, he saw four pallets on the back end with four drums of fuel a piece. Sighing gratefully, he jumped over the side and onto the teak floor. It was oiled liberally and shined brilliantly in the soft sunlight. Dorian looked through an open door below and saw a king bed flanked by a bathroom and a kitchenette. Smiling, he walked up the stairs to the bridge and spied a hot tub sunk into the deck at the front of the ship.

    “When you hold me, in your arms so tight, you let me know, everything’s all right…”

    Dorian sprang onto the bridge as he lit a cigarette, and as if confirming his awesomeness found that the starter worked. The yacht hummed to life and he saw the fuel dial shoot straight from empty up to full. Dorian laughed and went back down to the humvee. He unloaded his supplies and weapons into the spacious cabin and detached the ropes holding the yacht to the dock.

    When Dorian was back on the bridge he experimented with the controls until he felt confident enough to leave the dock. The yacht glided away from the harbor like a dream. It was so smooth Dorian felt like crying. Thanks to his sailing lessons from Ronnie as a boy he was able to quickly locate and manipulate most of the navigational instruments. Dorian set a course due east and sat down into the captain’s chair. He turned up the volume on his headphones and ran a finger along the soft leather of the chair arm.

    “I’m hooked on a feeling! I’m high on believin’! That you’re in love with me!”


    Year Three…


    Dorian had dipped into depression so many times since arriving in Johto that he had lost count. For months he drank himself into oblivion, and then swore off alcohol for weeks at a time until he eventually climbed back into the bottle. He cried and screamed to the world but all he ever got in return was an echo. Dorian missed Shelton and his Pokemon so badly that he contemplated suicide on a more or less regular basis. He didn’t know what it would happen to him if he killed himself while he was in hell, but it couldn’t be worse than what he was already going through. He found that he couldn’t do it though, no matter how much he wanted it.

    After he had bounced around different parts of Johto for the better part of a year, he had settled down into his and Shelton’s old house outside Cherrygrove City. Everything was where they had left it when they set out on the idiotic quest that led to his death. Even the fucking shallow depression in his driveway where he had found the first shard.

    The only difference in the house was that every picture of her and their family had disappeared. The photographs were still there, but every shot of her, Ronnie, even his Pokemon had been erased. Their bodies were white outlines next to his own smiling face. Just another way this barren place had found to screw with him.

    At the start of his third year, on a day when he was walking back from Cherrygrove with a new eighteen pack on top of his shoulder, his jailers decided to make their weekly appearance. The tentacles had dropped into a habit of appearing once a week. No matter how much he moved or hid, they always found him. The tentacles sometimes grew or shrank in size but their number always remained at seven.

    They had developed strange tactics over the course of the year. Sometimes they would descend just to dissolve a house or a square mile of trees, sometimes they appeared just to vanish as quickly as they came down. Dorian could tell from the agitated way their tips twitched that this wasn’t going to be one of those times.

    Clenching his fists angrily he put down his beer and dropped his pack to the ground. He watched the tentacles slowly move towards him from about a mile away, and as they approached he jammed a fresh magazine into his assault rifle. Dorian sighted one of the tentacles while it waved and fired a three round burst. The tentacle jerked to the side as the bullets exited the barrel, dodging his shot. Dorian sighed and lowered the rifle to the ground.

    “So it’s gonna be one of those days?” he said aloud.

    This was starting to happen with more and more regularity. In the beginning, the tentacles were stupid. They would literally just float right into Dorian’s shots without trying to get out of the way at all. It had been easy to pick them off, as they would usually spawn a few miles away in the sky and take their time getting to him. Over the last couple months however, they had wised up to Dorian’s weapons and gotten out of the way when he tried to take them out at a distance. Which didn’t make sense to him seeing as they had no visible way to see, but it was happening so he dealt with it.

    As the tentacles drew closer they formed themselves into a fifty foot tall heart. Dorian laughed aloud as he plugged in his headphones and began searching for a song. They had tried to communicate with him over the course of their last few attempts, at first forming rudimentary shapes like squares and triangles. The heart was something new however and Dorian sarcastically saluted their attempt to soften his resolve.

    “Nice try you fucks!” Dorian yelled, ending the words with a smile.

    In response the tentacles straightened themselves into rigid spears and doubled their speed towards him. Dorian found the song he was looking for and pressed play. He deposited the mp3 player into his pocket and reached down to touch his toes. As the tentacles closed to within a hundred yards away he drew his sword with his left hand and his sidearm with his right. Five Finger Death Punch screamed in his ears as he sprinted forward.

    “AND THAT’S WHY THEY CALL ME, BAD COMPANY!”

    Dorian dove to the ground and rolled as the first pair of tendrils swiped down at him. He came up with a horizontal slash that sank deep into the flesh of one that was too slow to swing away. It exploded into purple light just as another three shot towards him from the left, right and middle. Instead of trying to clip them with his sword, Dorian fell backwards, allowing them to collide with each other.

    “I CAN’T DENY! BAAAADDD, BAD COMPANY TILL THE DAY I DIE!”

    Dorian raised his pistol and tagged another two before the third swung away. As they exploded into flares of energy he saw a single tentacle racing towards him from the corner of his eye. He rolled left as it dissolved the patch of ground he had just been occupying. As it streaked towards him he swung his sword in a wide arc and destroyed it with a glancing blow to its pointed tip. Only three remained and they shrank back to regroup and assess. They twitched and swung back and forth, as if trying rudimentary sign language.

    “UNTIL THE DAY I DIE! UNTIL THE DAY I DIE!”

    “Come on!” Dorian roared.

    The tentacles shot forward again to impale him, spaced only inches from each other. Dorian ran forward and jumped upwards to meet them. He raised his right hand and fired towards the center of them. As he expected he missed and they spread apart to hit him from three sides, which is exactly what he wanted. He twisted his body to the right and managed to slash all three of them as his left arm came around. Dorian landed on his knees next to his beer. He opened one and drank it warm as the violet light faded from the sky.

    Satisfied, Dorian shouldered his pack and his beer. He clicked his heels together as he resumed his trek back towards the house.


    *****



    They came back later that day.

    Dorian had been sitting on the front porch. A book in his hands and his rifle on his lap. The sky had glowed violet only a few hundred yards from his house. Startled, he had shot to his feet and ran towards it with his gun out and up when the glow suddenly vanished. Dumbfounded he had turned and stared back at his house. The tentacles had always followed a schedule of appearing once a week. His heart began to beat faster. Were they starting to change tactics again? Had they just been screwing with him? If they had the ability to appear whenever they wanted he was done for. If that was the case he’d never be able to sleep again.

    As if to answer his question, the sky took up another hearty purple glow and no fewer than fifty tentacles dropped down from the sky and slammed into his home. His house, the home he shared with his sister dissolved before his eyes. All his things, Shelton’s things, vanished in an instant. That home was the only thing that had been holding him together over the last few months. The smell of Shelton’s shampoo had still lingered in her room. A nuclear explosion went off in Dorian’s mind.

    “YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!” Dorian screamed.

    He didn’t even bother to aim the assault rifle, he simply pointed and drained the clip into the entire mass of tentacles. The tentacles scattered as bullets ripped into the heart of them. The day throbbed with splashes of purple light as tentacles broke apart. When the gun clicked empty, Dorian drew his sword and ran straight for the tentacles that remained. He screamed curses and threats as he dove into the middle of them and began hacking away.

    He became the very embodiment of destruction. No matter which way they came from or how fast, Dorian slew them all. Sweat dripped into his eyes as dust billowed from the ground at his feet. Eventually his whirlwind of slashes claimed all but one tentacle. They raced towards each other and with a scream Dorian buried the length of his sword into it. The appendage exploded and the sky returned to a normal cloudless blue.

    “Dammit!” Dorian bellowed as he dropped to the ground.

    This was wrong. This was all wrong. Once a week! Once a fucking week! That was what they were supposed to do! Now everything was gone. All his supplies, all his books, all his memories he and his sister had accumulated. Dorian slammed his fists into the ground and screamed. His vision became a blur of red and black as tears streamed from his eyes.

    FUCK YOU!” Dorian screamed again.

    He turned on his heel and began jogging back towards Cherrygrove. He had planned for this kind of eventuality. He knew that someday something would happen and he would have to get out quick. Dorian had never been one to plan stuff out in advance, but ever since he had lost the tip of his finger he had tried to make sure his shit was wired pretty tight. He arrived at the town square with the multitude of hanging plants that refused to die and grow any larger. He shoved open the door to the Pokemon Center and walked inside.

    Moments later he screamed out of the entrance on a pearl accented cruiser. The side car was loaded down with provisions and enough weapons to arm a small town. He tapped the brake and fish tailed the motorcycle to a stop as he reached the edge of town. Where to go? All roads were open to him; he had no boundaries after all. He could go anywhere he wanted; he could do anything he wanted.

    That was the problem though. If nothing ever changed or grew in this empty world, what was he supposed to do? Was he effectively immortal now? To cross all corners of the planet, locked in combat with these tentacles for eternity? It was like a top that wouldn’t stop spinning. An eternity of choices and actions that didn’t matter in the long run as nothing had consequences anymore. Endless desolation, endless loneliness, endless nothingness. His hands started shaking.

    In a fit of desperation he grabbed a handgun from the sidecar and chambered a round. He pulled it up to his right temple and caressed the trigger. What was the point of it anyway? At this point Dorian could care less if he went to double hell, or whatever place was after this. He surprised himself by being able to summon the courage to pull the trigger. He took one last breath and started to squeeze the trigger when the sky began to glow.

    It wasn’t seven tentacles this time, or fifty, it was hundreds. They glowed with a hearty radiance that bathed the landscape with purple light for miles. Dorian paused, pistol still pressed against his skull. The tentacles writhed and stretched themselves to their limits, dissolving the landscape around them. They spun in a spiral, forming themselves into a gargantuan mouth. The monstrous tongue rolled from the mouth and greedily ran itself across the lips. The mouth gave Dorian a grin and unraveled, becoming a mass of probing tentacles once again. With that they began quickly moving straight east.

    It took him a few seconds to figure out what it meant. When it came to him it felt like a punch to the gut. Pewter City. That’s where they were going. They were going to wipe out the house he grew up in. Obliterate the last things in the world that were familiar and real. His hand trembled and the gun fell to his waist. Not on his watch, not even if it fucking killed him for the second time. They would not touch Ronnie’s house.

    Dorian clenched his teeth tightly as he slipped the gun into his waist band. He pulled back on the accelerator and streaked off after them.

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the banner above, and Sworn Metalhead for the banner below -


    All Hail the Six Kings...
    Chapter Two added (01-18-2015)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    740

    Default

    I just want to say I am SO SO glad you're back. I missed you so much! I was actually just thinking about you the other week and wondering if you were ever going to come back. I didn't have much hope, but here you are. I know you have great plans for this fic and I'll help you out as best I can.

    The liquid warmth that surrounded Dorian’s body felt like a womb. The water was light and soothing, gently moving his body up and down on its mild swells. He spread his arms wide and inhaled a cleansing breath. The air was tinged with the humid touch of sunshine. Dorian opened his eyes and there it was. The sun glowed brightly in the cloudless sky, promising a day filled with beauty. Dorian hovered in that moment for one perfect second, one exquisite instant, and then reality crashed down on his mind like a landslide.

    “****ing ****!” Dorian bellowed.
    This was a great opening paragraph. It starts off with Dorian seemingly trapped in a womb-like area, and he feels comfortable. Then the sun comes and he realizes reality.
    Missed Dorian and that swearing of his.
    I might play with how you word your descriptions so it's less passive. For example, it's less wordy and more fluent to say "The liquid warmth surrounding Dorian's body felt like a womb." Also, "The water, light and soothing, gently moved his body up and down on its mild swells" sounds better than using the passive "was".
    It should be storming. He wanted low clouds and torrential rain. Something to mirror the profound feeling of worry and longing that was coursing through his body.
    Should be "It should have been storming." to keep with past tense. Also, as poetic as it is, having storms mirror his emotions is probably, in actuality, the last thing he wants right now. lmao
    Wiping the snot and tears away that wet his face, Dorian grabbed his pokeballs and started forward. The door to the bobbing red building was wide open. He pushed through the entrance and easily found what he was looking for despite the dark interior. The liquor shelves were stocked with every conceivable alcoholic concoction known to man. His hands were shaking so badly that it took him almost a full minute to open the bottle of whiskey he grabbed.
    It's sad that he's already sunk so low that not only does he not look for another human being, but he goes straight for the booze. Nicely done.
    **** it,” Dorian muttered.

    Dorian jogged to the bike and to his surprise and relief found that the key was in the ignition.
    Oh my god. He's a renegade.

    is eyes found his finger. The end of his finger was just gone. Whatever the hell those things were had somehow just erased it. As hard as he tried to think of some other way to describe it, that’s exactly what it boiled down to. He was a drawing and they figured out that they hated his finger. When he flexed it there was no pain, not even phantom pain. It was just gone. Dorian rolled over and grabbed a beer from his cooler. Today sucked.
    Wow, that last sentence is an understatement.
    I don't know if you've ever read "It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Nez Vezzini or whatever, but he uses the term tentacles as a metaphor for things that tie you down to reality. Not sure if you're going for that here since they're literal as well, it seems, but it's a cool connection I made anyway.
    For months he drank himself into oblivion, and then swore off alcohol for weeks at a time until he eventually climbed back into the bottle.
    I like the phrase "climbed back into the bottle". Very visual and drives home the point you're trying to make.
    Everything was where they had left it when they set out on the idiotic quest that led to his death. Even the ****ing shallow depression in his driveway where he had found the first shard.
    That last part would strike home if I were to re-read Requiem. I'd read the first shard section, see the dent, think of this line, and go, "Oh, ****."
    “I CAN’T DENY! BAAAADDD, BAD COMPANY TILL THE DAY I DIE!”
    Another understatement. I'd also think that if I couldn't listen to music in hell, I'd die. Again. Until I COULD have music.

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | the epitome of obscurity and innocence, combined |
    | letters 1/2 released 3/21/15 |


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving |
    | chapter 7 released 3/8/15 |


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Tork City
    Posts
    7,771

    Default

    Oh boy it's here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Shatterpoint



    Chapter 1


    Year One…

    The liquid warmth that surrounded Dorian’s body felt like a womb. The water was light and soothing, gently moving his body up and down on its mild swells. He spread his arms wide and inhaled a cleansing breath. The air was tinged with the humid touch of sunshine. Dorian opened his eyes and there it was. The sun glowed brightly in the cloudless sky, promising a day filled with beauty. Dorian hovered in that moment for one perfect second, one exquisite instant, and then reality crashed down on his mind like a landslide.
    This is some quite beautiful visualization to open the chapter. I love it. The use of language here is ... well, it's expert-level, I'm not sure what else to say. I can see it, and I can feel it just like Dorian does.

    Fucking fuck!” Dorian bellowed.
    And there's the classic Sidewinder dialogue we know and love, in record time no less. :P

    His arms cut through the water and propelled him backwards to collide headfirst with a floating log. Dorian’s vision flashed white and his hands scrambled to grab hold of something, anything. His hands found a slime coated rope and he pulled himself up. To his surprise he found himself on a softly swaying platform. As his head pounded he focused his eyes and saw a wide expanse of houses, all lashed together by iron cord and more floating logs. Pacifidlog Town?

    Dorian rolled to his back and yelped as he remembered the shaft of stone that had impaled him on his unwanted flight from the tower. He slowly looked down towards his chest, vaguely wondering why it wasn’t hurting. To his surprise he only found a hole in his shirt. Dorian pulled the fabric wider, exposing unblemished flesh. How the hell was that possible?
    This is also great description, but I think it comes with a caveat: while someone like me who read Requiem (and read it recently) will immediately know Dorian and recognize this situation, anyone who that doesn't apply to will be left lost. I did see in the author's note that you recognize that fact, but it's still a little jarring for a still-in-action scene like this to open the story.

    Perhaps flashbacks can be used to recap the previous parts of the story later on.

    “Shelton!” his mind screamed.
    That's right, we need to see where she is...

    Dorian gasped and spun in a circle, searching for the tower. It was nowhere to be found. Flabbergasted, Dorian ran forward and scaled a net hanging from the side of one of the low slung houses. Able to see above the houses that blocked his view before, he spun again. All he saw was the horizon and the water stretching out in all directions. Where had the tower gone? It had risen quickly, so maybe it was capable of sinking just as fast?

    “Help!” Dorian screamed. “Help me!”

    He jumped down from the roof and slammed his fists against the door of the house he had climbed. No one opened the door. Frantic, he ran to the next, and the next. No matter how hard he bellowed or loudly he pounded on door, no one came out. As he came to the last house at the southern edge of the town, he slammed the bottom of his foot through where the deadbolt should have been and crashed inwards.

    The house was empty. The lights were off, the living room vacant.

    “Help me!” he yelled again.

    Dorian went through both rooms but found no one home. A less crazed portion of his mind realized that every electronic device in the house was off. Dorian ran back outside and to the next house in line. The next door took two kicks to knock down and the two rooms inside were likewise unoccupied. Dorian had no idea why he did it but he grabbed the phone off the nearby desk and listened for a dial tone. Nothing.
    This bit does a very good job of establishing an eerie, unsettling atmosphere. And since I know what the context of what's going on is, that makes this even more uncomfortable.

    “Okay think!” he commanded himself. “Go back, Dorian.”

    He rushed back outside and found a boat bobbing happily off to his left. It was basically a canoe with a motor attached but it would serve the purpose he wanted. He yanked the pull cord and it gurgled to life. He cut across the azure water as fast as he could; looking upwards he found the sun and oriented his direction. He released the throttle and slowed the boat to a halt as a thought popped into his mind.

    If he had floated to Pacifidlog from the tower, surely Shelton could have, maybe Garrett too. Dorian hit the throttle again and took the boat in a wide arc around the floating village. Three times he circled, and all three times he came up with not another soul. Grunting his frustration, Dorian steered himself back out into the open sea. The sunlight and blue sky, which at first comforted him, now mocked him. It should be storming. He wanted low clouds and torrential rain. Something to mirror the profound feeling of worry and longing that was coursing through his body.
    There's obviously something very wrong here and the ominous language and imagery underlines it. Dorian's view of what he sees and hears is very useful for accomplishing what the imagery wants to accomplish.

    This scene also gives me memories of Mirage Island, perhaps fittingly.

    His want granted him no solace however. All he found was vivid and endless ocean. After half an hour he thought he had arrived at the right place but he had no way of knowing if it was actually accurate. Everything looked the same. He knew for certain that the tower was gone; that much was obvious. He strained his eyes against the harsh light, but found no person, no floating debris, nothing. His breath was beginning to come in ragged gasps as hopelessness began to weigh down his shoulders.

    “SHELTON!” Dorian screamed. “SHELTON!”
    I almost wish I hadn't read this chapter before reviewing it, because even knowing what's coming and what's going on, this still is a real gut punch.

    He screamed for hours. Until his voice was hoarse and felt like he had chugged a bottle of razor blades. Dorian gripped the edge of the boat and squeezed, watching his knuckles grow white. Pacifidlog was a light brown square in the distance. Dorian grabbed the throttle and twisted, spurning himself towards it. He kept his eyes open as he sped across the waves but they quickly watered from the wind.
    The sentence structure in this paragraph is a bit too choppy. I would recommend using some commas and generally blending things together better.

    As he arrived back at the floating town he mentally kicked himself for not thinking of his Pokemon sooner. Dorian grabbed Shiftry’s pokeball from his belt. He opened the ball but nothing spilled out. Dorian’s eyes bulged as he flipped the device around to see that the mirrored interior was empty. He let out a sound somewhere between a grunt and a snarl and tried Vibrava’s. It was likewise empty. His hands found the pokeballs of Growlithe and Spoink but they were empty as well.

    “WHAT THE FUCK!?” Dorian screamed.

    Dorian fell to his knees, pokeballs dropping to the wooden walkway. He screamed again, tears streaming from his eyes. How was this possible? Where were they!? Where was his sister!? Dorian sobbed and slammed his fists into the walkway until they were raw and bloody. Why!? His hands tore scratches across his face as he struggled to understand this alien situation. It was that moment that he spied something that would help him make sense of this terrible circumstance. The general store.

    Wiping the snot and tears away that wet his face, Dorian grabbed his pokeballs and started forward. The door to the bobbing red building was wide open. He pushed through the entrance and easily found what he was looking for despite the dark interior. The liquor shelves were stocked with every conceivable alcoholic concoction known to man. His hands were shaking so badly that it took him almost a full minute to open the bottle of whiskey he grabbed.

    The liquid went down harshly, burning his raw throat. Undeterred he took three more deep draws from the bottle. He almost sat down right there but he saw a checkout station and the cigarette shelving above it. Bottle in hand he rushed forward and quickly grabbed a lighter and package of cigarettes from the behind the register.

    The first drag of the cigarette hurt worse than the whiskey. As he blew out the smoke he ruminated on his plight. Dorian prided himself on his reaction time. He could always quickly assess a situation and figure out a way to barrel through it. Dorian took a deep breath and tried to clear his mind. This wasn’t a problem he could or should barrel through. This was a moment for reflection and problem solving, which was not one of his strengths. That was always one of Shelton’s.
    The hopelessness of Dorian's situation is oppressively intense here. I actually feel it weighing down on me like a ton of bricks.

    Also, I recall how Dorian tended to see solace in alcohol and smoked fairly often in Requiem, but this feels significantly darker. His usage of alcohol and tobacco was somewhat casual before, but now he's literally forcing himself to use them as an escape. And the description of the sensations he feels as he partakes is also particularly intense.

    I also appreciated the comparison of his mentality and skills against Shelton's.

    Shelton…

    At the thought of her name, Dorian took another long draw from the bottle. His eyes watered and he felt his stomach lurch. He thought himself a coward for it but he kept drinking, finishing half the bottle and lighting another cigarette. Dorian’s vision swam and the bottle suddenly felt very heavy. His arm went weak and the bottle clattered to the floor, soaking his jeans. He passed out.
    I think Dorian's mood matches my own right now.


    It was almost seven hours later when he woke up. Dorian picked himself up and shoved the cigarettes into his pocket. He walked outside and stared. Besides the soft sound of waves crashing against the logs, there was no sound. It was full dark and the stars twinkled merrily. Clenching his fists angrily, Dorian stomped back inside and grabbed a pack off a nearby rack. He stuffed the blue bag with provisions for three days, along with three bottles of whiskeys and other essentials like a machete and a carton of cigarettes.
    "Fully dark" and "three bottles of whiskey."

    This imagery is really succeeding at creating an uncomfortable setting. Like, I'm actually squirming a little reading this, it's unsettling.

    Dorian fought the urge to burn the fucking store down in frustration and found the boat he had used yesterday. He guided it out across the water and paused. He took out his phone to boot up his compass but saw that it was dead. With a grunt he hurled it at the far end of the boat where it shattered spectacularly. Breathing heavily he looked upwards and found the North Star. Orienting himself west he gunned the boat towards Dewford Town.

    Pacifidlog Town was relatively isolated so it made sense that if a catastrophe occurred; like a giant fucking dragon blowing up a monstrous tower that had inexplicably appeared; that the residents would flee to a bigger city in search of people and authority. Maybe even people had been injured and the entire town had just picked up and left in fright. The possibilities were endless and he couldn’t waste more time waiting around. Dewford would be the place these people would have gone. It was bigger, had a hospital, cops.
    I do find this a little difficult; Pacifidlog isn't just relatively isolated, it's literally a town floating on the water in the middle of the ocean. I don't think it would be this easy to leave, not to mention that Dewford is half a region away and the route with the fast currents is between them. Maybe Dorian isn't thinking properly though?

    Dorian sped across the glassy water for almost two hours before he spied the small island town. Like Pacifidlog Town there was no electricity, at least to his eye. The town was gently lit by the glowing moon which gave Dorian enough light to slide his boat onto the sandy shore. As soon as it grinded to a halt he was on his feet and running towards the town. He skidded to a stop in front of the pokemon center and stared. Nothing. Not a sound except for the waves crashing across the beach.

    Breathing heavily, Dorian pushed open the door of the center and walked quickly from room to room. No one. No Pokemon either. What, the fuck? He had been sure that people would have been here. As he stood there thinking a thought wormed its way into his mind. Maybe both towns had been evacuated! Surely that was it! Dewford was bigger, sure, but it was still isolated from mainland Hoenn. As he was walking back out the door, the moonlight flashed across something on the main counter. A compass. Dorian grabbed it.
    This is still very unsettling. Although, I find myself asking, why Dewford if Slateport would be closer and on the mainland? I don't know, it's just something sitting on my mind.

    Minutes later he was back in the boat and heading northeast. Over the next three hours he alternated between sipping his whiskey and smoking, while at the same time pushing away thoughts of his sister. They always had a way of getting back to the forefront of his mind however. Thoughts of her also bred other questions that were equally as puzzling. Where were his Pokemon?
    This is a very good look into his mind as it is right now.

    Less troubling than that question but growing steadily more apparent was another. Where were ANY Pokemon? As the sun began to ignite the eastern sky with waves of orange, Dorian realized that he hadn’t seen any Pokemon at all. No aquatic, or flying, nothing. People picking up and moving Dorian could understand, but that wasn’t typical Pokemon behavior in the slightest.
    Ominous...

    Mainland Hoenn suddenly beamed at him over the morning fog. The trees along the shore were vividly green, and he spied a few houses along the beach. Dorian beached the boat and strode quickly towards the houses. They were quaint little dwellings, all with cracked paint and dark asphalt shingles. Even as he pounded on the first door his heart began to sink. His knocks echoed too loudly for there to be anyone inside. Glancing to the next house he spied a muddy orange dirt bike leaning against the far wall.

    Fuck it,” Dorian muttered.

    Dorian jogged to the bike and to his surprise and relief found that the key was in the ignition. He hopped onto and it kicked into gear with a throaty roar. Dorian viciously pulled the throttle backwards and he blasted north in a spray of gravel. He pushed the bike as fast as it could go. Fifty miles an hour, sixty, seventy. He dodged stopped cars by inches as he weaved the bike towards Rustboro City. There was still no people, no Pokemon. Every empty vehicle or tipped over motorcycle he passed added to his confusion, and his rage. As a mile marker passed he sucked in a breath and screamed in anger as hard as he could.
    Something about those abandoned cars is especially menacing to me.

    The buildings of Rustboro grew steadily larger as he pulled onto the first exit for the city. Judging from the position of the sun, Dorian knew that it was almost ten, which meant that the city would be bustling with activity. He didn’t know a lot about the city but he knew that it was the center of commerce for western Hoenn. Therefore it would be a place where people would flee to for information or safety or at the very least some fucking direction.

    Dorian’s hands started to shake however as he passed through the main drag of the city. There was still no one. His bike screeched to a halt as he arrived at intersection in front of a multi-storied office park. Dorian dismounted and looked to the left and right. Cars stood parked, food sat uneaten on plates in a small café. The wind whistled softly around him and picked up a small napkin from one of the tables. Dorian followed its flight until he saw the grey concrete walls of a bank.

    The bank had a small garden flanking the front doors. In a fit of rage, Dorian grabbed a fist sized rock that lined the edge and threw it through the plate glass window of the front entrance. Besides the spectacular crash of breaking glass there was no other sound. No alarm, no police, no people coming outside to investigate. Clenching his fists, Dorian went back to the bike and lit a cigarette.

    “Hello!” Dorian yelled. “Hello!”

    His voice echoed between the buildings for a moment then went silent. The sun peeked out at him and warmth bathed his face. Up above, the sky was a cloudless blue. The cigarette dropped from his hands and he sank to his knees.
    This is some serious apocalyptic ****, for real. It's intense, and I can really feel Dorian's moods here.


    It had taken Dorian almost two weeks to figure out that he was in hell.
    Well... that came suddenly. It works both literally and figuratively too, not to mention it's a direct continuation of the ending of Requiem.

    Two weeks of drunkenly shuffling from town to town. Two weeks of not seeing another soul. Two weeks of estrangement from his sister and their Pokemon. Nothing but the night and day for company, along with whispers of wind. No matter how much he called, how much shit he broke, how much he cried, no one came.

    The realization that he was dead came on gradually. Dorian started to notice things that just didn’t make sense. Like that despite there wasn’t any electricity, food never went bad. Meat and vegetables he found in grocery stores were room temperature but unspoiled. No matter how long they sat there they never rotted. Experimentally he had left a flank of Milktank steak out in the sun for two days. No discoloration, no rot, perfectly edible.

    Then there was the three day sun. It came about seven days after he woke up at Pacifidlog Town. He went to sleep one night in an empty house in a Rustboro City suburb. When he woke, the sun was out, and it stayed at high noon for three solid days. When he thought night should have come he had found an old watch in the house and watched it for hours. Despite the passage of time the sun stayed where it was. Dorian was so freaked out by this astrological phenomenon that he had to get blackout drunk just to sleep.

    Another thing that screwed with him was the Rustboro library. He went in one day to look around and search for a book to take his mind off the situation. He found one that he had read before and opened it to see three hundred blank pages. Dorian had put the book back and picked up the one next to it to discover that it was exactly the same. He had then gone from shelf to shelf, pulling books out to see that every single one was blank. Every book had been erased. For some reason it was the most frightening thing he had ever seen.
    I don't know, it's not just the books. This is all terrifying, and that's an understatement. You're masterfully pulling off the sense of oppressive, constraining isolation he's suffering, to say nothing of how perfectly the accompanying mental breakdown is coming out.

    The next day he had gone back to find that every book was where he had left them but they were now filled with text. That day he had searched houses until he found a gun, and from then on didn’t go anywhere without it. He didn’t know whether someone had been screwing with him or he had just imagined it. It didn’t matter though. None of this was right.

    The final straw came one day when he was headed back down Route 104. He stubbed his toe on a rock and picked it up to inspect it. By all accounts it was an incredibly normal piece of gravel, about an inch long and pointed on both ends. Dorian had shrugged and tossed the stone forward; to his astonishment though the stone paused in the air. It hovered at chest level for a moment before shooting skyward so quickly that it vanished from sight. As Dorian stood there, dumbfounded, day had turned to night. Like someone had flipped a switch. The moon had appeared in the space the sun had just occupied. As quick as he blinked he was now standing in almost total darkness.

    At that moment he understood what had been brewing in his mind. Dorian was dead. He was completely, undeniably, no holds barred dead. He had felt weak at first, almost falling to the ground in shock but he managed to hold himself upright. Acceptance came in a snarling wave that devoured him whole.

    “I’m dead,” Dorian whispered.
    Now that is startling, though I can't help but think that a more powerful, direct way to convey that he's dead is to have him try using the gun on himself instead of throwing a stone. Otherwise the scene would be the same, but say, the bullet disappears or something.

    Year Two…


    The tentacles came on his second anniversary in hell.
    Holy ****, we're going fast.

    Tentacles were what he called them anyway. A poet may have called them glittering tendrils of violet light descended from the realm of heaven. Dorian thought they looked like purple Octillery arms but he was never one for eloquent speeches. To be even more honest he didn’t know how to turn a phrase, or even what the fuck that meant in the first place. However, whatever they were they were something in the world of nothingness he had come to occupy.
    Glittering tendrils of light descended from heaven... wonder if there's a connection to Arceus's thousand arms...

    This is both beautiful and terrifying.

    It had happened in a small town on the east coast of Hoenn. Dorian was reading on the beach under an umbrella. It was a very pleasant day. Overcast and intermittently raining. It was cool enough for him to pull on a light jacket. When he had seen the sky begin to glow purple he was draining his sixth beer of the day. Dorian shot to his feet as a vortex opened in the sky and the water below reflected the streaks of black and purple towards him. His first thought was a Pokemon but that was quickly shoved aside as the light brightened and several four foot wide tentacles dropped through the clouds. They were featureless and smooth, but radiated an aura of heat that Dorian could feel from hundreds of yards away.
    Hm, it's strange that he'd make a relatively comfortable life in hell like this, but I like it.

    They had taken their time getting to him. They hovered and stretched back on themselves like insect mandibles, like they were eternally searching for something to constrict. Dorian was so perplexed by this phenomenon that he stayed rooted to the spot. The tentacles waved as they got closer, tips almost touching the whitecaps. Dorian met them at the edge of the water.

    Inquisitive, they had shied away from him at first, but they had gradually come close enough for him to touch. He had smiled then, and stretched out his left hand to touch them. His index finger had just grazed the closest tentacle when he screamed.
    I just want to cut in here to mention that I just thought, "I wonder what happened to the kings? Do they have something to do with this?"

    The last inch of his finger had vanished. There was no pain, and when he drew it back in horror he saw that skin had folded over the missing portion, as if he had lost it many years ago. Dorian had stumbled backwards and fell to his back, right hand searching for the gun attached to his hip. He found it and chambered a round just as the tentacles rushed forward to grab him. Dorian rolled back backwards and they slapped the ground in front of him. Where they struck, they dissolved the matter they touched. Sand and water evaporated into the air as they shot forward again to grab his leg.

    Fuck you!” Dorian screamed as he started firing.
    That is ****ing gruesome, holy hell. I can't blame Dorian for reacting like this.

    His reflexes had dulled from the alcohol and his first two shots went wild. The third and fourth though had found their marks, and the tentacles they struck exploded in black discharges of energy. The other five were momentarily stunned at the loss and paused, allowing Dorian to pick off another three. The remaining two found their stones as Dorian scrambled to his feet. They darted at him as he kicked the small table holding his empties towards them. As the tables touched them it vanished.
    "Found their stones?" I don't understand what that means.

    I get the feeling Dorian is not going to get very far doing this.

    They came forward quickly, one going high and the other going low. In a feat he was surprised he managed, Dorian jumped backwards as they closed in. He passed between them and shot the one below as he landed on the sand. It exploded into formless energy as he fired his last round, striking the remaining tentacle dead center. As it dissolved the sky went back to being overcast and normal. Dorian stayed there on the ground for several minutes. He took a few deep breaths to calm the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

    “What, the fuck?” he moaned.

    His eyes found his finger. The end of his finger was just gone. Whatever the hell those things were had somehow just erased it. As hard as he tried to think of some other way to describe it, that’s exactly what it boiled down to. He was a drawing and they figured out that they hated his finger. When he flexed it there was no pain, not even phantom pain. It was just gone. Dorian rolled over and grabbed a beer from his cooler. Today sucked.
    So his blood is flowing normally as if no injury was suffered? That's what I take away from this, after seeing "coursing through his veins" followed by the note about how his finger was just gone.

    Today sucked. What an understatement. :P



    The next day he had resolved to get the hell out of Hoenn. Dorian also resolved that if he was going to do so he was going to have to arm up in case those tentacles showed up again. So he did the only logical thing he could think of. He broke into a Hoenn National Guard base. From there he took two automatic assault rifles and enough ammo to decimate a small town. He also found a katana. It had been in a locker belonging to a solider named Vargas. He didn’t know if it was his last name or his first, but he thanked him anyway and attached the sword to his left hip.

    Dorian also ‘borrowed’ a humvee from the motor pool. He was thankful for the manual pump to fill it with gas. Besides using portable generators, Dorian had not had access to electricity for the entire time he had been in this empty world. After filling the tank up he had piled the guns and ammo into the back and driven away. He stopped in Mossdeep City to grab more beer and cigarettes, along with enough food and water for a month. From there it was only about an hour’s drive to Mossdeep Port. When he arrived he put in his headphones and booted up his mp3 player. The dulcet tones of Blue Swede rang in his ears as he walked past the rows of water craft.

    “I can’t stop this feeling, deep inside of me…”
    I find it curious that a version of the world contained within hell still contains all these supplies. Is it messing with him? Testing him?

    Interesting choice of song, dunno if you intended it but it brings Guardians of the Galaxy to mind.

    Fuel was the first problem. He had to find a vessel with a big enough tank to get to Johto. The second was that if said vessel could get there, he had to find one with controls simple enough for him to make sense of. The third wasn’t really a problem so much as it was a request; it had to be something with style. Just because he was in hell didn't mean he didn't have standards after all.

    “Girl you just don’t realize, what you do to me…”
    Something about the song matches up so well with the idea of Dorian wanting a stylish ride. I don't know why, it's just good to see him still have such personality even in hell.

    The last vessel he came to on the dock was a yacht. About seventy feet long with chrome accents. As he looked it up and down, he saw four pallets on the back end with four drums of fuel a piece. Sighing gratefully, he jumped over the side and onto the teak floor. It was oiled liberally and shined brilliantly in the soft sunlight. Dorian looked through an open door below and saw a king bed flanked by a bathroom and a kitchenette. Smiling, he walked up the stairs to the bridge and spied a hot tub sunk into the deck at the front of the ship.

    “When you hold me, in your arms so tight, you let me know, everything’s all right…”

    Dorian sprang onto the bridge as he lit a cigarette, and as if confirming his awesomeness found that the starter worked. The yacht hummed to life and he saw the fuel dial shoot straight from empty up to full. Dorian laughed and went back down to the humvee. He unloaded his supplies and weapons into the spacious cabin and detached the ropes holding the yacht to the dock.

    When Dorian was back on the bridge he experimented with the controls until he felt confident enough to leave the dock. The yacht glided away from the harbor like a dream. It was so smooth Dorian felt like crying. Thanks to his sailing lessons from Ronnie as a boy he was able to quickly locate and manipulate most of the navigational instruments. Dorian set a course due east and sat down into the captain’s chair. He turned up the volume on his headphones and ran a finger along the soft leather of the chair arm.

    “I’m hooked on a feeling! I’m high on believin’! That you’re in love with me!”
    Perfect use of the song lyrics coupled with appropriate description to create an ideal image.

    Year Three…
    I hate to say it, but I think you might be going a bit too fast. Three years in the course of one chapter? It feels a little overwhelming, especially for this being the first chapter.


    Dorian had dipped into depression so many times since arriving in Johto that he had lost count. For months he drank himself into oblivion, and then swore off alcohol for weeks at a time until he eventually climbed back into the bottle. He cried and screamed to the world but all he ever got in return was an echo. Dorian missed Shelton and his Pokemon so badly that he contemplated suicide on a more or less regular basis. He didn’t know what it would happen to him if he killed himself while he was in hell, but it couldn’t be worse than what he was already going through. He found that he couldn’t do it though, no matter how much he wanted it.
    That actually raises a thought in my head - he may very well be unable to die while in hell, so what downside does the alcoholism have in this context? I get that it's probably more of a moral issue here with him, but it's just a question I thought of.

    After he had bounced around different parts of Johto for the better part of a year, he had settled down into his and Shelton’s old house outside Cherrygrove City. Everything was where they had left it when they set out on the idiotic quest that led to his death. Even the fucking shallow depression in his driveway where he had found the first shard.
    Now this really hits me. Possibly the most bittersweet part yet. It really drives home just how hopeless Dorian's situation is, and how desperate he is for some semblance of normalcy.

    The only difference in the house was that every picture of her and their family had disappeared. The photographs were still there, but every shot of her, Ronnie, even his Pokemon had been erased. Their bodies were white outlines next to his own smiling face. Just another way this barren place had found to screw with him.
    Wow, that's poignant.

    At the start of his third year, on a day when he was walking back from Cherrygrove with a new eighteen pack on top of his shoulder, his jailers decided to make their weekly appearance. The tentacles had dropped into a habit of appearing once a week. No matter how much he moved or hid, they always found him. The tentacles sometimes grew or shrank in size but their number always remained at seven.

    They had developed strange tactics over the course of the year. Sometimes they would descend just to dissolve a house or a square mile of trees, sometimes they appeared just to vanish as quickly as they came down. Dorian could tell from the agitated way their tips twitched that this wasn’t going to be one of those times.

    Clenching his fists angrily he put down his beer and dropped his pack to the ground. He watched the tentacles slowly move towards him from about a mile away, and as they approached he jammed a fresh magazine into his assault rifle. Dorian sighted one of the tentacles while it waved and fired a three round burst. The tentacle jerked to the side as the bullets exited the barrel, dodging his shot. Dorian sighed and lowered the rifle to the ground.

    “So it’s gonna be one of those days?” he said aloud.
    I'm really getting the feeling of Dorian being a lone wolf warrior by now. You're doing well establishing it.

    This was starting to happen with more and more regularity. In the beginning, the tentacles were stupid. They would literally just float right into Dorian’s shots without trying to get out of the way at all. It had been easy to pick them off, as they would usually spawn a few miles away in the sky and take their time getting to him. Over the last couple months however, they had wised up to Dorian’s weapons and gotten out of the way when he tried to take them out at a distance. Which didn’t make sense to him seeing as they had no visible way to see, but it was happening so he dealt with it.

    As the tentacles drew closer they formed themselves into a fifty foot tall heart. Dorian laughed aloud as he plugged in his headphones and began searching for a song. They had tried to communicate with him over the course of their last few attempts, at first forming rudimentary shapes like squares and triangles. The heart was something new however and Dorian sarcastically saluted their attempt to soften his resolve.

    “Nice try you fucks!” Dorian yelled, ending the words with a smile.

    In response the tentacles straightened themselves into rigid spears and doubled their speed towards him. Dorian found the song he was looking for and pressed play. He deposited the mp3 player into his pocket and reached down to touch his toes. As the tentacles closed to within a hundred yards away he drew his sword with his left hand and his sidearm with his right. Five Finger Death Punch screamed in his ears as he sprinted forward.

    “AND THAT’S WHY THEY CALL ME, BAD COMPANY!”
    Great touch there.

    Dorian dove to the ground and rolled as the first pair of tendrils swiped down at him. He came up with a horizontal slash that sank deep into the flesh of one that was too slow to swing away. It exploded into purple light just as another three shot towards him from the left, right and middle. Instead of trying to clip them with his sword, Dorian fell backwards, allowing them to collide with each other.

    “I CAN’T DENY! BAAAADDD, BAD COMPANY TILL THE DAY I DIE!”

    Dorian raised his pistol and tagged another two before the third swung away. As they exploded into flares of energy he saw a single tentacle racing towards him from the corner of his eye. He rolled left as it dissolved the patch of ground he had just been occupying. As it streaked towards him he swung his sword in a wide arc and destroyed it with a glancing blow to its pointed tip. Only three remained and they shrank back to regroup and assess. They twitched and swung back and forth, as if trying rudimentary sign language.

    “UNTIL THE DAY I DIE! UNTIL THE DAY I DIE!”

    “Come on!” Dorian roared.
    Great action, and it's brought up further by the appropriate use of the song at well-timed moments.


    [quote]The tentacles shot forward again to impale him, spaced only inches from each other. Dorian ran forward and jumped upwards to meet them. He raised his right hand and fired towards the center of them. As he expected he missed and they spread apart to hit him from three sides, which is exactly what he wanted. He twisted his body to the right and managed to slash all three of them as his left arm came around. Dorian landed on his knees next to his beer. He opened one and drank it warm as the violet light faded from the sky.

    Satisfied, Dorian shouldered his pack and his beer. He clicked his heels together as he resumed his trek back towards the house.

    A great bit of action with the beer being a nice stylistic touch on it.

    *****



    They came back later that day.

    Dorian had been sitting on the front porch. A book in his hands and his rifle on his lap. The sky had glowed violet only a few hundred yards from his house. Startled, he had shot to his feet and ran towards it with his gun out and up when the glow suddenly vanished. Dumbfounded he had turned and stared back at his house. The tentacles had always followed a schedule of appearing once a week. His heart began to beat faster. Were they starting to change tactics again? Had they just been screwing with him? If they had the ability to appear whenever they wanted he was done for. If that was the case he’d never be able to sleep again.
    "Dorian had been sitting on the front porch, a book in his hands and his rifle on his lap."

    This paragraph, especially the sentences beginning with "his heart began to beat faster", build a good sense of tension.

    As if to answer his question, the sky took up another hearty purple glow and no fewer than fifty tentacles dropped down from the sky and slammed into his home. His house, the home he shared with his sister dissolved before his eyes. All his things, Shelton’s things, vanished in an instant. That home was the only thing that had been holding him together over the last few months. The smell of Shelton’s shampoo had still lingered in her room. A nuclear explosion went off in Dorian’s mind.

    “YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!” Dorian screamed.

    He didn’t even bother to aim the assault rifle, he simply pointed and drained the clip into the entire mass of tentacles. The tentacles scattered as bullets ripped into the heart of them. The day throbbed with splashes of purple light as tentacles broke apart. When the gun clicked empty, Dorian drew his sword and ran straight for the tentacles that remained. He screamed curses and threats as he dove into the middle of them and began hacking away.
    These paragraphs make excellent use of language to paint the sheer unrestrained, violent fury of Dorian's mood here. His desperation and despair are raw and obvious to the reader, and the wording makes it easy for the reader to really take hold of those emotions for themselves.

    The loss of the last memories of Shelton is a particularly poignant moment.

    He became the very embodiment of destruction. No matter which way they came from or how fast, Dorian slew them all. Sweat dripped into his eyes as dust billowed from the ground at his feet. Eventually his whirlwind of slashes claimed all but one tentacle. They raced towards each other and with a scream Dorian buried the length of his sword into it. The appendage exploded and the sky returned to a normal cloudless blue.
    Reminds me of Shelton's rampage when she was in Ethan's body back in Requiem, sort of.

    “Dammit!” Dorian bellowed as he dropped to the ground.

    This was wrong. This was all wrong. Once a week! Once a fucking week! That was what they were supposed to do! Now everything was gone. All his supplies, all his books, all his memories he and his sister had accumulated. Dorian slammed his fists into the ground and screamed. His vision became a blur of red and black as tears streamed from his eyes.

    FUCK YOU!” Dorian screamed again.

    He turned on his heel and began jogging back towards Cherrygrove. He had planned for this kind of eventuality. He knew that someday something would happen and he would have to get out quick. Dorian had never been one to plan stuff out in advance, but ever since he had lost the tip of his finger he had tried to make sure his shit was wired pretty tight. He arrived at the town square with the multitude of hanging plants that refused to die and grow any larger. He shoved open the door to the Pokemon Center and walked inside.

    Moments later he screamed out of the entrance on a pearl accented cruiser. The side car was loaded down with provisions and enough weapons to arm a small town. He tapped the brake and fish tailed the motorcycle to a stop as he reached the edge of town. Where to go? All roads were open to him; he had no boundaries after all. He could go anywhere he wanted; he could do anything he wanted.

    That was the problem though. If nothing ever changed or grew in this empty world, what was he supposed to do? Was he effectively immortal now? To cross all corners of the planet, locked in combat with these tentacles for eternity? It was like a top that wouldn’t stop spinning. An eternity of choices and actions that didn’t matter in the long run as nothing had consequences anymore. Endless desolation, endless loneliness, endless nothingness. His hands started shaking.
    Dare I say it, I see some real parallels between Dorian's state here and some of what happened to Ethan. I suspect that is deliberate.

    In a fit of desperation he grabbed a handgun from the sidecar and chambered a round. He pulled it up to his right temple and caressed the trigger. What was the point of it anyway? At this point Dorian could care less if he went to double hell, or whatever place was after this. He surprised himself by being able to summon the courage to pull the trigger. He took one last breath and started to squeeze the trigger when the sky began to glow.

    It wasn’t seven tentacles this time, or fifty, it was hundreds. They glowed with a hearty radiance that bathed the landscape with purple light for miles. Dorian paused, pistol still pressed against his skull. The tentacles writhed and stretched themselves to their limits, dissolving the landscape around them. They spun in a spiral, forming themselves into a gargantuan mouth. The monstrous tongue rolled from the mouth and greedily ran itself across the lips. The mouth gave Dorian a grin and unraveled, becoming a mass of probing tentacles once again. With that they began quickly moving straight east.

    It took him a few seconds to figure out what it meant. When it came to him it felt like a punch to the gut. Pewter City. That’s where they were going. They were going to wipe out the house he grew up in. Obliterate the last things in the world that were familiar and real. His hand trembled and the gun fell to his waist. Not on his watch, not even if it fucking killed him for the second time. They would not touch Ronnie’s house.

    Dorian clenched his teeth tightly as he slipped the gun into his waist band. He pulled back on the accelerator and streaked off after them.
    I'm not sure what to even say here, but I guess I have to mention that this really does sound like a hell for Dorian. The torture is personal.

    So I have to say, this is a satisfying followup to Requiem so far. It retains Requiem's skill at going to dark, uncommonly-trodden land in terms of story, and your language use has improved vastly. That's important because a lot of the visceral reactions necessary for this chapter involved intense emotions and imagery, and making those things clear makes it easier for a reader to put themselves in Dorian's place.

    It's got a couple issues that I raised above, but overall, it's as solid as a rock.
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 31st December 2014 at 5:29 AM.

    (Banner by Matori)
    Beyond all ideals, the truth shall set you free...
    Most Recent: 18: Winter of Discontent
    Next: The Weight of the World (Part 1)

    The steps on the road to the truth.
    The Firestorm Rebellion
    The Victory Star of Fate


    Glacidia Network - The Home for Fanworks
    Best Wishes appreciation blog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    579

    Default

    Thanks for the reviews!

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
    I just want to say I am SO SO glad you're back. I missed you so much! I was actually just thinking about you the other week and wondering if you were ever going to come back. I didn't have much hope, but here you are. I know you have great plans for this fic and I'll help you out as best I can.
    I missed you too buddy!

    The liquid warmth surrounding Dorian's body felt like a womb." Also, "The water, light and soothing, gently moved his body up and down on its mild swells" sounds better than using the passive "was".
    Good call. I agree with you. It's a hard thing to train yourself to do but I've been trying. I appreciate the reminder

    It's sad that he's already sunk so low that not only does he not look for another human being, but he goes straight for the booze. Nicely done.
    That really is who he is. He's so flawed and filled with self-hate that it's like he forgets about real human connection to fulfill his own selfish desires. He's fun to write in that respect because I think everyone has a streak of selfishness that they want to let out but don't because of social pressure or moral integrity.

    I don't know if you've ever read "It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Nez Vezzini or whatever, but he uses the term tentacles as a metaphor for things that tie you down to reality. Not sure if you're going for that here since they're literal as well, it seems, but it's a cool connection I made anyway.
    That's an interesting concept. Really interesting actually. I'll have to check that out. And yes they are very literal haha. Very cool connection, and thanks for the recommendation

    That last part would strike home if I were to re-read Requiem. I'd read the first shard section, see the dent, think of this line, and go, "Oh, ****
    That throwback actually wasn't planned out. I was just typing and it seemed to just appear. I reacted the same way you did lol. I think things going full circle like that are really clarifying. It seemed to me with how Dorian reacted it was for him too

    Another understatement. I'd also think that if I couldn't listen to music in hell, I'd die. Again. Until I COULD have music.
    Lol I agree completely

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Butler
    This is some quite beautiful visualization to open the chapter. I love it. The use of language here is ... well, it's expert-level, I'm not sure what else to say. I can see it, and I can feel it just like Dorian does
    Thanks very much for the compliment. I appreciate it. I feel like I've progressed somewhat since Requiem in terms of descriptive imagery. What you just said confirmed that for me and it felt really good. Thank you

    And there's the classic Sidewinder dialogue we know and love, in record time no less. :P
    Haha yup

    Perhaps flashbacks can be used to recap the previous parts of the story later on.
    That is something that I'll be playing with as the fic progresses. I actually have quite a few things in the works that I think will be received well when I start dealing with looks at Requiem from a Shatterpoint angle

    This scene also gives me memories of Mirage Island, perhaps fittingly.
    Funny that you say that because it does for me as well

    The sentence structure in this paragraph is a bit too choppy. I would recommend using some commas and generally blending things together better.
    Great idea. I'll try and move things about a bit to make that happen

    Also, I recall how Dorian tended to see solace in alcohol and smoked fairly often in Requiem, but this feels significantly darker. His usage of alcohol and tobacco was somewhat casual before, but now he's literally forcing himself to use them as an escape. And the description of the sensations he feels as he partakes is also particularly intense.
    I agree with you. To me it feels like he's retreating from himself. From his life, his thoughts, just to be able to go to a dreamless oblivion and forget. It's a character flaw that really bothers me about him sometimes. Mainly because of the fact that a few years ago I was in that same situation, or at least it felt like I was. Dreary time

    I do find this a little difficult; Pacifidlog isn't just relatively isolated, it's literally a town floating on the water in the middle of the ocean. I don't think it would be this easy to leave, not to mention that Dewford is half a region away and the route with the fast currents is between them. Maybe Dorian isn't thinking properly though?
    I'm glad you picked up on that. I can't really say something without giving it away, but you're on the right track. Keep thinking about it

    Well... that came suddenly. It works both literally and figuratively too, not to mention it's a direct continuation of the ending of Requiem.
    I'm glad it worked out. I thought it was a bold move to just come right out with it but it seemed to have worked well

    "Found their stones?" I don't understand what that means
    It's an expression that basically means finding your courage.

    So his blood is flowing normally as if no injury was suffered? That's what I take away from this, after seeing "coursing through his veins" followed by the note about how his finger was just gone.
    That's exactly what it means. Literally like it was never there at all. God the thought of something that can do that really freaks me out lol

    I find it curious that a version of the world contained within hell still contains all these supplies. Is it messing with him? Testing him?
    Once again I can't really answer your question without giving anything away. But you are on the right track

    Interesting choice of song, dunno if you intended it but it brings Guardians of the Galaxy to mind.
    It's funny that you mention that. When I was writing this chapter I knew I wanted to use a song, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out which one I wanted to use. I was sitting back on the couch while flipping through itunes looking for something, while watching guardians of the galaxy, and I heard the song over my headphones. I thought it fit perfectly.

    Something about the song matches up so well with the idea of Dorian wanting a stylish ride. I don't know why, it's just good to see him still have such personality even in hell.
    Dorian's weird. I feel like he gets so wrapped up in what he's doing that he sometimes truly forgets the situations he's in. I feel like its a flaw that's really going to bite him in the *** one day

    That actually raises a thought in my head - he may very well be unable to die while in hell, so what downside does the alcoholism have in this context? I get that it's probably more of a moral issue here with him, but it's just a question I thought of.
    I guess it doesn't really have a downside at all besides hangovers. If people knew that couldn't die or get hurt from cigarettes or alcohol, I'm sure that more people would do both. I'm sure of it actually. The stigma of both products is enough to keep people away. I also think that he looks down on his alcoholisim because of how Shelton always used to chastise him for how much he drank and because of that he probably paints it and itself in a negative light

    Reminds me of Shelton's rampage when she was in Ethan's body back in Requiem, sort of.
    You're the first person to mention that. I was trying to paint a parallel there between the two of them. I'm glad you picked up on it

    It's got a couple issues that I raised above, but overall, it's as solid as a rock.
    Thanks for taking the time to review sir!

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the banner above, and Sworn Metalhead for the banner below -


    All Hail the Six Kings...
    Chapter Two added (01-18-2015)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    579

    Default

    Chapter 2


    Shelton opened her eyes.

    The interior of the room was dim, lit only by a small electric lantern in the far corner. It glowed softly, throwing odd shadows across the wall she was facing. As her eyes adjusted she pulled Michael’s arm tighter across her chest and scooted her body closer to his muscled frame. He always gave off so much body heat during the night. Most of the time it was like sleeping next to a raging furnace, but last night she hadn’t shied away from him. She drew in his heat, let it surround her in a cocoon of comforting warmth.

    His breathing skipped for a moment and he nuzzled the back of her neck with his nose. The action sent a tingling sensation down her spine that made her toes curl. A smile almost crossed her lips but she shrugged it off and rose from the bed before it could take hold. Michael pulled the comforter up to his neck and was quickly snoring softly. She pulled on a pair of sweatpants from a small molded stone shelf on the wall then eased past the curtain into the hallway.

    Once again lit from the floor, the hallway sparkled merrily as she strode through. The light refracting from the gemstones both major and minor embedded in the rock of the walls and ceiling. Her feet were cold, but she had gone too far to go back for her socks. Besides, the bed was too tempting and much more preferable to facing another day in this underground hellhole of an existence. She could hear Garrett and Sidney up ahead, behind the curtain that lead to the main area they had dubbed the War Room. She paused before she went in as Lucian’s voice entered her mind.

    Good morning,” he said gently.

    “Is it?” She questioned.

    No,” he admitted. “There have been some unforeseen difficulties in our endeavor. In both our endeavors actually. Though Lily seems to not be worried in the slightest. I still can’t discern her reasoning’s, however, so I don’t put much stock in the procession of her thoughts.”

    “Should I be concerned?” Shelton whispered.

    No,” Lucian answered to audible query. “I’ll keep you informed as intentions become clearer.

    “Thank you, Lucian.”

    You are welcome, Shelton.”

    Why bother to put the slithering serpent of doubt in her at all if she shouldn’t be concerned? Shelton thought that the more she got to know Lucian the more alien he seemed, especially when it came to matters of tact, criticism, or his ideas on the human condition. Lucian the Mewtwo; her savior, her guide, and over the last six months, her teacher. In a way she had come to love him after he had saved her and Garrett from the wrath of the six kings, and for the protection and relative peace that he still provided. He was powerful in ways that she had witnessed and still couldn’t truly comprehend. Shelton knew that given two lifetimes she wouldn’t be able to understand the depths of his intelligence and personality.

    In all honesty he terrified her. Shelton had seen him detonate people and Pokemon alike with a narrowing of his eyes. Even watched him use a building as a giant baseball bat when Entei had caught up with them outside Sandgem Town. To add to the terrifying amount of power he possessed, his entire being and especially his motives were still shrouded in mystery. Shelton knew that Dorian’s incessant nagging could have gotten something out of him, but he was gone and instead of hearing his moronic jokes she was left listening to the wind whistling through the hole in her heart.

    If worse came to worse she preferred Lily, Lucian’s counterpart and in a way, his surrogate mother. The dainty Mew was a Pokemon of few words. Well, no words actually. Over the last seven months she hadn’t spoken to anyone. She communicated with pictures and feelings and left you to try and discern the intent. Shelton had never been much for riddles, and the weird pseudo-conversations she had had with the petite legendary always made her want to run a power drill through her forehead. Though if Shelton had been alive for ten thousand centuries, conversation and social norms may have slipped away from her as well. Despite all of her faults, Lily was the other reason that they were alive now.

    “My god Garrett it’s nine, what the fuck is the matter with you?” Sidney admonished.

    Shelton pushed through the curtain. Sitting at the main table were Garrett and Sidney, the former who had a beer completely vertical and was guzzling as fast as his throat would allow.

    “Oh come on now, I ain’t training for the Olympics,” he retorted.

    “Good point,” she admitted, snatching the beer and downing the rest of it. “Neither am I.”

    “Mornin,” Garrett said as he noticed her enter.

    Shelton sat down next to him on the long bench and nodded to Sidney, who returned her gesture with a wide crisp smile. The war room was perfectly round. Ceilings at a high fifteen feet, the muted brown rock only broken up by a refrigerator flanked by tall cabinets and a flat screen leaning slightly backwards on its stand. The two of them looked down and began intently studying crumbs on the table. Conversation had become very forced over the last few days. Shelton’s longing for her brother had begun to consume her and they felt it like vehicular acceleration in a car every time she passed by.

    “It’s fine guys, it’s all good.” Shelton assured them.

    They both smiled but in a way that told her they didn’t believe her. It was at that moment that Machoke sauntered in, carry a large crate with one arm and scratching the back of his head with the other. After he placed it near the fridge he sat down next to her and smiled sheepishly. His taut muscles flexed as he gripped the edge of the table and lightly squeezed.

    “How are you, sweetie?” Shelton said with a scratch to his bicep.

    He shrugged and scooted closer to her, laying his crested head on her shoulder. His evolution had done wonders for his meekness and constant fear but it hadn’t completely erased his dependence on her. She liked it even though she constantly chastised him for it.

    “You know Machoke, I love you buddy but you’re starting to make me look like an asshole,” Garrett said, staring at Machoke.

    “Starting to?” Sidney quipped with a laugh.

    “Shut it, you,” Garrett retorted.

    “Machoke, choke,” Machoke huffed.

    “Well I appreciate the offer,” Garrett laughed. “But I’ll pass. Nothing would reassure me of how bad I’m out of shape than watching you bench press a semi. I’m good.”

    Machoke let loose with a sound somewhere between a snort and a laugh but hushed quickly as the curtain across the room parted without being touched. Lucian strode in with purpose, tail held high and eyes glittering like sparkling amethysts. Spoink hopped along behind him. She had been glued to his side since he and Lily had saved them. Shelton knew he was mentoring her, which she was sure to Spoink felt like God teaching her how to do multiplication tables.

    Something is happening,” he explained. The fur at the back of his neck was standing straight up and he kept glancing backwards from where he had come. It was like he was unsure of what he was doing. Which was strange in itself because Lucian almost always dealt in absolutes.

    The television came to life with a wave of his oddly fingered hand. The news station was flickering with red and black bars which signified a special address. It was only moments later when Captain Douchebag appeared. It was smiling, bluish green gums bared in its approximation of a friendly salutation. When it spoke, or rather when they spoke it was a chorus of pleasant and eerily soothing voices.

    “Greetings loyal subjects,” it began. “We have decreed that every person will hereby surrender one gram of gold or silver to your nearest immigration office. Any person lacking either gold or silver will instead volunteer for six months of labor in the resettlement camps. Psychic Pokemon will be on hand to verify the honesty of your offering. Failure to adhere to this decree within one week will result in a sentence of no less than one year of labor in the resettlement camps. Anyone who refuses or attempts to avoid said sentence will face immediate execution.”

    They paused for a moment and looked down. Slowly they raised their collective head. Skin glowing a radiant and deep sapphire, the six kings narrowed their eyes and dragged both hands across their hairless scalp from front to back.

    “We now address the rebels, both in the new capital of our empire and abroad. We are watching and waiting for you to strike. Any meager resistance you manage is futile. Our rule will not be challenged, our will cannot be denied. We are the alpha and omega, jury and executioner. Heed our words or plunge to destruction. We leave you all with a reminder of what happens to traitors and heretics.”

    The television went to static for a few seconds than changed to a fluorescent lit chamber not so unlike their own. A man was chained to the floor by his wrists and ankles. He was sweating profusely and bleeding from numerous lacerations that latticed his thin frame. The room grew brighter and revealed a Unovan man with a glowing shenai and heavy body armor. He whistled shrilly, which was followed by the sound of grinding metal.

    No fewer than a dozen obviously malnourished and growling Houndour slowly loped toward the man prone on his knees. Flames flickered in their nostrils as they began to yelp and bark. For almost a full minute they made bluff charges as if to test the man’s willingness to defend himself. The man made no effort to appear intimidating, he only began to sob hysterically and cry out to the lone guard. The man in the armor began to laugh.

    Taking the man’s cries as a gesture of submission, all of the Houndour leapt at once. The man screamed long and loud, but only once. With their gleaming teeth the Houndour tore the man completely asunder. Blood sprayed in arcs, splashing the floor and creating scarlet Rorschach blots. The camera zoomed in as the Pokemon began swallowing grisly chunks of the man’s flesh.

    The television flickered off at Lucian’s suggestion. Shelton’s eyes found the floor. No one spoke. Machoke whimpered beside her. She looked up and into his red eyes. So close to the color of the blood she had just watched fan across the faces of the ravenous Pokemon. She took his hand in hers and stomped back towards her room.

    How had it gotten so terrible so quickly? When Lily and Lucian had saved them from the six kings, the world had been ignorant for almost two weeks. Despite their pleas to listen, despite a gigantic tower of stone rising from the ocean, the world had refused to believe their story or anyone else’s who had witnessed the rebirth of the kings. Even the citizens of Pacifidlog that had witnessed the Rayquaza escape into the sky were lauded as participants in a large scale hoax. It turned out to be the world’s undoing. Not that the collective nations could have done anything to stop the events that followed even if they had believed.

    When the six kings had reappeared they had done it in a display that put to bed any misgivings about who the new ruler of the planet was. They destroyed Orre. Completely and irrevocably. From orbit in their new form they flattened the continent with balls of energy more powerful than any nuclear weapon. Mountain ranges were flattened, vast plains of desert molecularly fused into glass, people and Pokemon incinerated where they stood. With that one display of power they made a statement so vast and horrendously macabre that their will was almost instantly realized.

    There was resistance at first. Legendary Pokemon who had remembered the tyranny of the six kings had rushed to defend Pokemon and humanity. Battles were fought that decimated metropolises. Jubilife City was now a radioactive wasteland. Fortree city was a still smoking ruin of smoldering pine and shattered geography. Vermillion had sunk beneath the ocean and Ecruteak was now just a giant crater. Bodies had lined the outskirts in piles that were later burned and buried. Smoke clouded the sky so thickly for months that the global temperature dropped by two degrees.

    Nothing could stop their rise to power. Not humanity’s most powerful weaponry, nor the attacks of the immortal Pokemon. The Regi Trio faced the six kings in Hoenn and were pulverized into powder. Ho-oh drowned in its own fluids in Johto. Zekrom and Reshiram now hung dead from the skyscrapers of Castelia City like bizarre marionettes. Every time a legendary fell, Shelton felt her confidence fall with them.

    The funny thing was she couldn’t even force herself to cry about it. No tears would come no matter how bad she wanted them, even when it came to the fate of her brother. Shelton arrived at the curtain to her room and Machoke followed her inside. Michael was up and was just pulling on a shirt as she spoke.

    “I want to be alone,” she said simply.

    “Did something happen?” he asked.

    “All that I want to happen is for you to leave. Now.”

    “No fucking problem,” he spat.

    He slid past her with a grunt and his steps faded down the stone corridor. She dropped onto her bed and Machoke wistfully sat cross legged at her feet. Not that this was at all his fault but for some reason when she saw Michael she felt an unbelievable surge of rage. Misdirected as it was it still felt better to be alone with Machoke. She looked down and realized how numb her feet were from the cold of the stone. She lifted them onto the bed and held back from throwing something across the room.

    Living in a cave. What a fucking joke. Counting the seconds before the six kings or some legendary in league with them came to destroy them. Not even knowing what their eventual plan was. Lucian knew. Lily knew. Nothing could be shared with the lowly humans or their Pokemon. They just kept telling them that everything would be explained soon. Soon. Well soon had turned into seven months of running and hiding and she was about ready to slit her own wrists.

    Shelton was trying to figure out a way to coax it out of him, which in retrospect was probably stupid because she was sure he could see exactly what she was thinking, when he forced himself into her mind.

    Shelton, come quickly, it may finally be happening,” Lucian said urgently.

    Judging from the look on Machoke’s face as she bolted towards the door, the Mewtwo had broadcasted loud enough for everyone to hear. She streaked past him and thundered down the hallway. Shelton’s feet made light slapping smacks as she blew through the curtain at the far end of the war room. At the end of the dark hallway she came to a small room that spoke of tension and sterilization.

    Shiftry sat hunched over in the same chair he had occupied almost continuously since they had arrived at their newest temporary sanctuary. One leafy hand was wrapped around Dorian’s left. Shelton took in the sight of her brother from bottom to top. Feet to midsection covered with a blanket, sternum to neck bare and heaving. His face was slick with sweat and he was breathing so fast he was basically hyperventilating. Tucked under Dorian’s right arm, with her tail wrapped around his stomach, was Lily.

    The legendary was glowing, her breathing in synch with Dorian’s. Her tail tightened around his midsection and she gave a gasp. Shelton looked behind her brother to the figure standing behind him. Lucian was standing with hands spread apart over Dorian’s face. Thin tendrils of glowing purple energy were snaking down from his hands and disappearing into Dorian’s forehead.
    Lucian looked up to her, his face contorted in concentration.

    I think we’ve got him,” he said softly.


    *****


    Dorian’s bike ran out of gas as he slid into Pallet Town. At first he frantically tried to siphon some from cars standing still in the road, but every time he tried to the tentacles would descend from the sky and erase them from existence. They never attacked him. Never even got within five feet of him. He would shoot or stab them and they’d disappear, but there would always be more.

    Hurt, enraged, and verging on a psychotic break he decided to start heading towards Pewter on foot before he burned Pallet Town to the ground. He had thought about doing something just like that for several years. Doing something so destructive and grandiose that whoever was in charge of this place would come down and he could have a heart to heart. The problem with that was that if it had the effect he wanted in bringing the boss down, what if he was so monstrously pissed about what Dorian did that he flayed him alive or gave him Unovan water torture?

    He pushed those thoughts from his mind and reflected. The tentacles were leading him to Pewter, that much he knew for sure. Every time he had even slightly deviated from the road the tentacles had descended and blocked his path. Once again they had not attacked, just pointed their tips towards the east in a not so subtle suggestion of follow the yellow brick road. So he had, and until he had run out of gas he hadn’t seen them again.

    How do you figure out the motivation or intent of something that has no attributes besides arms? They were dangerous of course. His fucking missing finger was evident enough of that. They had intelligence. The fact that they formed shapes and dodged his bullets on occasion proved that. They knew enough about him to know that he and Shelton’s house was important to him. So in essence he was dealing with a more or less psychic, immortal, and fantastically dangerous beast that could pop out where it wanted at a moment’s notice. Fucking great.

    He pondered his chances of survival as he walked down the gravel path, occasionally kicking the odd rock while downing beer from his pack. What did this mean for his future? The fact that he was screwed was a given. Dorian actually surprised himself with how fast he came up with what he would do when he got to Pewter. If the tentacles destroyed Ronnie’s house and with it the last trace of his family, he would kill himself. He’d put the barrel in his mouth and paint the lawn grey and red. Boom!

    What did he have to lose after all? He was already dead and whatever awaited him, if anything awaited him at all couldn’t be worse than the last three years he had endured. Well, he didn’t know that for sure but what did it matter? His mind conjured up images of being locked in a tiny cage hung over a lake of burning excrement. Being stabbed and skinned by demons with melting faces. Screaming at the top of his lungs but not being able to hear it over the roar of the flames and the bellowing of the millions of other tortured souls.

    “How about you go fuck yourself!?” Dorian screamed at some tentacles that dropped down to his left. If they were offended by his vulgarity they didn’t show it, though they could probably finagle their way into a middle finger if they wanted to.

    Perception slowed for him. He drained his beer and tossed it at a tentacle. It wrapped it up and the bottle vanished. His steps felt so heavy. Lead wrapped in asphalt. He saw the far end of Viridian City impossibly far away, but then he was instantly past it. Lost in his own thoughts so much that time became fleeting and merciless.

    The grass brushed his knees. Thorns lightly scratched his jeans. What was he walking towards? Disappointment? Regret? A new form of hell? At best he would see his boyhood home again, at worst they would make him watch it vanish before his eyes and he’d have to swallow a bullet. That was a sobering thought if there ever was one.

    As he exited the side road that ran parallel to Viridian Forest, he saw something that took his breath away. Tentacles. Thousands, maybe even millions of them. They glowed heartily from the border of the city. The complete border. A solid ring of them. They swayed like seaweed underwater.

    Dorian felt a shift in the air behind him. He turned and saw the wall of tentacles slip in and block off the road he had just walked into town from. He supposed that narrowed down his options considerably. He grabbed a beer from his pack and found to his great surprise that it was freezing cold. It felt wonderful in his hand, the coldness giving him clarity. For once this place was working for him and not against him. It made his next decision monumentally easier.

    Dorian popped the lid and walked straight for his uncle’s house. It may have been his imagination but his senses started to feel sharper. The crisp smell of the dewy grass gave him a head rush. The boulders strewn about town like so many forgotten toys were so vividly colored. Much more so than he remembered as a child and even as an adult. He took a sip from the can and his taste buds crackled with delight.

    His uncle’s house loomed before him like some kind of ancient and intimidating gargoyle. As he ascended the steps the second from the top creaked just like it always had. He had just reached the front door when it swung open on its own accord. Dorian knew there wouldn’t be anyone behind it, just like he knew the tentacles were moving closer without looking. He felt it, in a part of himself that had no name. It was like a resounding echo that vibrated his skin from the inside out. He liked it.

    Before something happened that would prevent him from doing it he ran up the stairs and into Shelton’s room. It was as identical as the last time he saw it. Even a pile of clothes behind the door that needed to be washed. Dorian glanced out of the window but all he saw was row upon row of throbbing purple. Smiling, Dorian went to her desk and found the bottle of perfume he was looking for.

    Next he went downstairs to the pantry down the hall from the kitchen. It also held a washer and dryer but they had always called it the pantry because of all the dry goods they stocked in there as well. On the floor, partially covered by a droopy stack of bagels was a slender yellow box. Dorian removed a pouch of chewing tobacco from it and slowly crept down the hall towards Ronnie’s bedroom.

    The house began to tremble slightly. A soft shaking that grew steady and more audible. Drywall dust trickled down from the ceiling as he entered Ronnie’s bedroom. Dorian shrugged off his assault rifle and leaned it against the pine dresser. Ronnie’s king bed was made and tidy as always. The three pillows at the head of the bed were straight and immaculately clean. He climbed across the bed and sprayed the one on the right with Shelton’s perfume. He opened Ronnie’s package of tobacco and laid it on the pillow on the left.

    The house began to shake more violently. Picture frames on the walls bucked wildly and smashed against the floor. Dorian heard the sound of crunching concrete and splintering wood. He laid down and rested his head on the middle pillow, sniffing the smell of his uncle and his sister. They combined as they drifted up each nostril into a mosaic of smell that triggered a cascade of flashing memory. With one hand he tightly gripped his sword, with the other he pulled the comforter up to his neck.

    The walls of the bedroom vanished as he blinked. That disappearance was followed by the floor, the furnishings, and every decoration. Soon enough all he could see was a ring of violet tentacles that seemed to be literally trembling with anticipation. Dorian looked up and traced the length of them until they faded into a tube of pulsating light.

    Dorian laughed quietly. He thought he understood it now. They were definitely going to kill him, make him vanish, whatever, but they let him go out the way he didn’t even know he wanted. He supposed it was a kindness. Actually whether it was or wasn’t didn’t even matter anymore. Dorian was here and that was it.

    With his free hand he reached into his pocket and retrieved Shiftry’s pokeball. Gripping it tightly he took one more look around what used to be a room. The tentacles filled his entire vision. They were waving gently but stopped when he drew in what he knew would be his final breath.

    “I’m ready you fuckers,” Dorian whispered. “Give me your best shot.”

    The tentacles shot forward and his vision darkened to black. His body rocked from side to side, intense heat and cold both doused him in waves. He mentally screamed because his body wouldn’t respond to any command. Another wave of force hit him so hard that his teeth chattered. Then he was moving upwards but at the same time felt like he was falling.

    Faster and faster he rose into the whiteness. His mind lost cohesion and wind filled his mouth. Despite that he couldn’t take in a breath and his limbs began to involuntarily spasm. Stars exploded across his vision as he tried to make sense of the thousand sensations coursing through his brain.

    Suddenly everything stopped. Everything. Dorian felt himself bend forward at the waist, and when his vision cleared he was greeted with a sight that completely baffled him.


    *****


    Shelton gasped as Lily detached herself from Dorian’s body. The diminutive legendary floated upwards to rest her head against Lucian’s. From her hands came two thick beams of pink energy that disappeared into Dorian’s chest. Lucian growled and shifted his stance wider. Shelton could see perspiration breaking out across his forehead.

    “What’s happening!?” Shelton shrieked.

    QUIET!” Lucian roared in her mind.

    Shelton trembled at the rage in his voice. She was sure it was inadvertent but his tone combined with Dorian’s shaking body stirred something inside her that made her want to burst into tears. Michael must have sensed her distress because he was instantly behind her. His muscular chest pressed against her, combating her involuntary need to break down and fall to the floor.

    She looked to Shiftry whose face was contorted with concern. Foam began to trickle out of Dorian’s mouth as his body began to seizure. Her breath caught in her throat as his shaking reached a fever pitch. Then suddenly it was over. Dorian sat straight up, seemingly on his own. His eyes were glazed over and he blinked rapidly.

    “Shiftry?” Shiftry inquired.

    Dorian gave no indication he heard.

    Shelton unsteadily walked a few paces closer to the bed and situated herself in front of him. She breathed.

    “Hey dummy,” she said, managing a small smile.

    As the words left her lips, Dorian’s eyes rolled up in their sockets and he collapsed backwards against the bed. He didn’t move for a moment, then his chest started to rise and fall at a slow and steady pace. No one spoke. They all just stood there, shocked. Shelton looked up to Lucian as Lily landed on his back. He shrugged and ran one finger across Dorian’s soaked brow.

    Dorian is healed, he’ll be fine,” Lucian nodded confidently. “Though I believe that we should let him rest. He’ll wake up in a few hours and you can verify it for yourself.”

    “Thank you,” Shelton said.

    She knew that hugging the psychic type would probably be an uncomfortable interaction for him, but she pushed the thought aside and embraced him tightly. Lucian stiffened quickly and allowed her to do it, but she could tell how much he’d rather be having his claws ripped out. Whatever reservations he had though were not shared by Lily. She snaked her head forward and rubbed it against her cheek, purring happily all the while.

    “Thank you both,” Shelton repeated. “For everything.”

    You are welcome,” Lucian responded. “The rest of our plans will become the subject of much deba-

    Lucian paused in the middle of his thought. His eyes narrowed and his mouth opened slightly. He turned his attention to Lily and Shelton could see something imperceptible pass between them.

    There has been a new development with our allies in Hoenn. We must away. If it takes longer than forty-eight hours we will send word.”

    With that they instantly vanished. No brilliant flash of light or puff of smoke. They just vanished. Not there anymore.

    “Well,” Michael started, scratching the top of his pointed nose. “That’s about enough excitement for me. Anybody want a beer?”

    The response was positive and extremely quick. Shelton even managed to get Shiftry to let go of Dorian and come with them, although it took her using her ‘ain’t gonna take no shit’ tone. She paused as she left the room to stare back at her brother. They had let his beard grow out at Garrett’s request, mainly because he thought it would be hilarious if Dorian ever woke up and looked at himself in the mirror. Shelton saw the humor in it of course, but she had allowed it to continue because of how damn much it made him look like Ronnie.

    In truth he looked like his father. You could put their baby pictures side by side and not be able to tell them apart. From their smiles and height they were almost carbon copies. It was only as Dorian got older though that he started to look more like their Uncle. The angled face. Thick facial hair and broad shoulders. A way of always looking slightly confused while still retaining a formidable intellect.

    “I missed you,” Shelton whispered. She almost said something else but decided to wait until she could speak to him and actually have him respond. She’d had enough unconscious conversations with him over the last few months to last a lifetime.

    “I’ll agree with you on one thing,” Sidney said as Shelton entered the war room. “You were right when you said your brother was lively.”

    Everyone laughed at that except for Shiftry, and Shelton shoved him playfully as she grabbed a beer. Sidney walked over and gave her a warm hug. When they parted, Sidney moved her shoulder length raven hair from her face and beamed at her, teeth glowing pearly white. As Shelton sat down gently next to Michael, Sidney plopped her slender frame into Garrett’s lap. Michael raised his can and looked to be preparing a toast when Spoink broke his concentration by bouncing into the room.

    Shelton, Garrett, I need to speak with you privately,” Spoink said.

    “Talking about me again, I presume,” Michael said jokingly.

    No…It’s private and does not concern you or Sidney.”

    “Take it easy, Spoink,” Shelton said, confused. “Let’s go to my room.”

    She followed Spoink into the hallway, glancing back at Garrett who gave her a wide eyed look of confusion. When they arrived at the room Shelton placed her hands on her hips and stared at the psychic Pokemon. The fact that she wouldn’t stop bouncing always weirded Shelton out. She knew it was a function of her biology but it was still a little hard to carry on a conversation with someone who wouldn’t sit still.

    “Well?” Garrett asked.

    I know what Lucian and Lily are planning to do with us, and why they wouldn’t tell you until they were able to repair Dorian.”

    “Okay,” Shelton responded.

    I wasn’t supposed to say anything but in light of them chasing after their next lead, I thought it would be prudent to take you out of the dark.”

    “What the hell is wrong with you? Spit it out.” Garrett said, throwing his arms wide.

    Close your eyes, I’m going to give you an image that they shared with me.”

    Shelton did so with a decent amount of apprehension. Her vision went dark for a split second then lightened as she felt Spoink touch her mind. Her mind saw something then. It was a hard thing to quantify because it felt like a memory she had called up herself but she knew it wasn’t hers. As it came completely into focus she couldn’t understand it.

    It was a picture of sorts. Her, Garrett, and Dorian. They seemed to be in some kind of cave, and dressed in what looked to be, robes? All three of them were filthy. Mud and dirt were smeared across their faces and bodies. Shelton’s robe was ripped at the right arm, and she looked to be bleeding pretty profusely from a wound on the side of her neck. Dorian’s hair was slicked back and he looked to be holding a katana. The last person in the picture was Garrett, whose mouth was hanging open in an expression of complete disbelief.

    “What the fuck is that?” Garett asked, beating her to the question.

    That is you, Shelton, and Dorian.” Spoink said simply.

    “Well no shit,” Shelton said. “I don’t get it.”

    Lucian shared it with me a few weeks after we met. He received it from Lily.”

    “I still don’t get it. What you showed us has never happened. We’ve never been in that situation,” Shelton explained.

    “Yeah,” Garrett agreed. “The only area like that we’ve ever all been in together is here, and wherever that picture is in, it’s not here. Besides that, since when has Dorian ever had a fucking sword? Shelton?”

    “He’s never had one,” Shelton affirmed. “I’d never let him have something like that. He’d end up cutting his own hand off.”

    I assure you that the image is genuine,” Spoink said, her tone growing harsher.

    “Spoink, maybe they were messing with you,” Garrett suggested, speaking slowly like you would to a confused toddler. “We haven't been in that situation together. It ain't real.”

    As I said, the image is genuine. The reason you may not recognize it is because that image is a memory from Lily, and it’s from over two thousand years ago.”

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the banner above, and Sworn Metalhead for the banner below -


    All Hail the Six Kings...
    Chapter Two added (01-18-2015)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    740

    Default

    “Good morning,” he said gently.

    “Is it?” She questioned.
    Sassy *****, as always. A sassy ***** with a boyfriend named Michael now, apparently.

    Lucian the Mewtwo; her savior, her guide, and over the last six months, her teacher. In a way she had come to love him after he had saved her and Garrett from the wrath of the six kings, and for the protection and relative peace that he still provided. He was powerful in ways that she had witnessed and still couldn’t truly comprehend. Shelton knew that given two lifetimes she wouldn’t be able to understand the depths of his intelligence and personality.
    Woah, what? I thought Lucian was a human from the Elite Four. You used Sidney's name too. STOP CONFUSING ME!

    Though if Shelton had been alive for ten thousand centuries, conversation and social norms may have slipped away from her as well.
    Nice way of putting it.

    “We now address the rebels, both in the new capital of our empire and abroad. We are watching and waiting for you to strike. Any meager resistance you manage is futile. Our rule will not be challenged, our will cannot be denied. We are the alpha and omega, jury and executioner. Heed our words or plunge to destruction. We leave you all with a reminder of what happens to traitors and heretics.”
    Oh, ****. The six kings took over. You're killing me here.

    When the six kings had reappeared they had done it in a display that put to bed any misgivings about who the new ruler of the planet was. They destroyed Orre. Completely and irrevocably. From orbit in their new form they flattened the continent with balls of energy more powerful than any nuclear weapon. Mountain ranges were flattened, vast plains of desert molecularly fused into glass, people and Pokemon incinerated where they stood. With that one display of power they made a statement so vast and horrendously macabre that their will was almost instantly realized.
    Damnit, I liked how you had incorporated Orre in Requiem too...

    Hurt, enraged, and verging on a psychotic break he decided to start heading towards Pewter on foot before he burned Pallet Town to the ground. He had thought about doing something just like that for several years. Doing something so destructive and grandiose that whoever was in charge of this place would come down and he could have a heart to heart.
    I lol'd. I wouldn't hold your breath, Dorian, though I'd want to burn a town if I were in your position too.

    “I’m ready you ****ers,” Dorian whispered. “Give me your best shot.”

    The tentacles shot forward and his vision darkened to black. His body rocked from side to side, intense heat and cold both doused him in waves. He mentally screamed because his body wouldn’t respond to any command. Another wave of force hit him so hard that his teeth chattered. Then he was moving upwards but at the same time felt like he was falling.

    Faster and faster he rose into the whiteness. His mind lost cohesion and wind filled his mouth. Despite that he couldn’t take in a breath and his limbs began to involuntarily spasm. Stars exploded across his vision as he tried to make sense of the thousand sensations coursing through his brain.

    Suddenly everything stopped. Everything. Dorian felt himself bend forward at the waist, and when his vision cleared he was greeted with a sight that completely baffled him.
    Well, when I read this I felt a pressure in my own chest, as if I were experiencing what Dorian was experiencing. That goes to show how awesome you're dealing with this so far.

    She paused as she left the room to stare back at her brother. They had let his beard grow out at Garrett’s request, mainly because he thought it would be hilarious if Dorian ever woke up and looked at himself in the mirror. Shelton saw the humor in it of course, but she had allowed it to continue because of how damn much it made him look like Ronnie.
    That's hilarious and utterly heartbreaking at the same damn time.

    “I know what Lucian and Lily are planning to do with us, and why they wouldn’t tell you until they were able to repair Dorian.”

    “Okay,” Shelton responded.

    “I wasn’t supposed to say anything but in light of them chasing after their next lead, I thought it would be prudent to take you out of the dark.”

    “What the hell is wrong with you? Spit it out.” Garrett said, throwing his arms wide.

    “Close your eyes, I’m going to give you an image that they shared with me.”
    Spoink didn't have much of a role in Requiem, so I'm glad he's actually being useful right now. Did you do that on purpose?

    “Spoink, maybe they were messing with you,” Garrett suggested, speaking slowly like you would to a confused toddler. “We haven't been in that situation together. It ain't real.”

    “As I said, the image is genuine. The reason you may not recognize it is because that image is a memory from Lily, and it’s from over two thousand years ago.”
    That's an abrupt ending and a cliffhanger if I ever saw one. Next chapter. Now.

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | the epitome of obscurity and innocence, combined |
    | letters 1/2 released 3/21/15 |


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving |
    | chapter 7 released 3/8/15 |


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Tork City
    Posts
    7,771

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Chapter 2


    Shelton opened her eyes.
    OH YES I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS

    The interior of the room was dim, lit only by a small electric lantern in the far corner. It glowed softly, throwing odd shadows across the wall she was facing. As her eyes adjusted she pulled Michael’s arm tighter across her chest and scooted her body closer to his muscled frame. He always gave off so much body heat during the night. Most of the time it was like sleeping next to a raging furnace, but last night she hadn’t shied away from him. She drew in his heat, let it surround her in a cocoon of comforting warmth.
    ...Michael? A new character? I'm trying so hard to see if I remember him and I just can't.

    His breathing skipped for a moment and he nuzzled the back of her neck with his nose. The action sent a tingling sensation down her spine that made her toes curl. A smile almost crossed her lips but she shrugged it off and rose from the bed before it could take hold. Michael pulled the comforter up to his neck and was quickly snoring softly. She pulled on a pair of sweatpants from a small molded stone shelf on the wall then eased past the curtain into the hallway.
    Good thing Dorian's in Hell, he might be laying out some beatings right about now.

    Once again lit from the floor, the hallway sparkled merrily as she strode through. The light refracting from the gemstones both major and minor embedded in the rock of the walls and ceiling. Her feet were cold, but she had gone too far to go back for her socks. Besides, the bed was too tempting and much more preferable to facing another day in this underground hellhole of an existence. She could hear Garrett and Sidney up ahead, behind the curtain that lead to the main area they had dubbed the War Room. She paused before she went in as Lucian’s voice entered her mind.
    I remember Garrett, of course, but not the rest of them.

    I'm also starting to get a very ominous feeling of where Shelton, Garrett and the others are...

    Good morning,” he said gently.

    “Is it?” She questioned.

    No,” he admitted. “There have been some unforeseen difficulties in our endeavor. In both our endeavors actually. Though Lily seems to not be worried in the slightest. I still can’t discern her reasoning’s, however, so I don’t put much stock in the procession of her thoughts.”

    “Should I be concerned?” Shelton whispered.

    No,” Lucian answered to audible query. “I’ll keep you informed as intentions become clearer.
    The italics are making me even more nervous...

    “Thank you, Lucian.”

    You are welcome, Shelton.”

    Why bother to put the slithering serpent of doubt in her at all if she shouldn’t be concerned? Shelton thought that the more she got to know Lucian the more alien he seemed, especially when it came to matters of tact, criticism, or his ideas on the human condition. Lucian the Mewtwo; her savior, her guide, and over the last six months, her teacher. In a way she had come to love him after he had saved her and Garrett from the wrath of the six kings, and for the protection and relative peace that he still provided. He was powerful in ways that she had witnessed and still couldn’t truly comprehend. Shelton knew that given two lifetimes she wouldn’t be able to understand the depths of his intelligence and personality.
    ...well then, that's not what I expected at all. I thought Shelton, Garrett and the others were all dead but went... where Dorian didn't, let's say.

    Interesting that Mewtwo has a name here. Are there more than one Mewtwo in this universe, or perhaps did the one existing Mewtwo give himself this name so they could better relate to him?

    Also, I wonder who Michael is. Obviously someone else who got picked up, I bet.

    In all honesty he terrified her. Shelton had seen him detonate people and Pokemon alike with a narrowing of his eyes. Even watched him use a building as a giant baseball bat when Entei had caught up with them outside Sandgem Town. To add to the terrifying amount of power he possessed, his entire being and especially his motives were still shrouded in mystery. Shelton knew that Dorian’s incessant nagging could have gotten something out of him, but he was gone and instead of hearing his moronic jokes she was left listening to the wind whistling through the hole in her heart.
    Hm. That Entei sounds vaguely familiar, though I'm not sure when it could have happened in Requiem.

    And wow does that bit about Dorian make my heart hurt. Devastating.

    If worse came to worse she preferred Lily, Lucian’s counterpart and in a way, his surrogate mother. The dainty Mew was a Pokemon of few words. Well, no words actually. Over the last seven months she hadn’t spoken to anyone. She communicated with pictures and feelings and left you to try and discern the intent. Shelton had never been much for riddles, and the weird pseudo-conversations she had had with the petite legendary always made her want to run a power drill through her forehead. Though if Shelton had been alive for ten thousand centuries, conversation and social norms may have slipped away from her as well. Despite all of her faults, Lily was the other reason that they were alive now.
    You might want to leave out the "you" and instead used "the listener" or something else in that "...and left you to try and discern the intent" part. Using "left you" feels as if the perspective is slipping.

    “My god Garrett it’s nine, what the fuck is the matter with you?” Sidney admonished.

    Shelton pushed through the curtain. Sitting at the main table were Garrett and Sidney, the former who had a beer completely vertical and was guzzling as fast as his throat would allow.

    “Oh come on now, I ain’t training for the Olympics,” he retorted.

    “Good point,” she admitted, snatching the beer and downing the rest of it. “Neither am I.”
    I see these two haven't changed much at all. I like it.

    “Mornin,” Garrett said as he noticed her enter.

    Shelton sat down next to him on the long bench and nodded to Sidney, who returned her gesture with a wide crisp smile. The war room was perfectly round. Ceilings at a high fifteen feet, the muted brown rock only broken up by a refrigerator flanked by tall cabinets and a flat screen leaning slightly backwards on its stand. The two of them looked down and began intently studying crumbs on the table. Conversation had become very forced over the last few days. Shelton’s longing for her brother had begun to consume her and they felt it like vehicular acceleration in a car every time she passed by.

    “It’s fine guys, it’s all good.” Shelton assured them.
    Oh God, this is just devastating me. Seriously, I don't know if I can handle it. The detail is just making it even harder emotionally.

    They both smiled but in a way that told her they didn’t believe her. It was at that moment that Machoke sauntered in, carry a large crate with one arm and scratching the back of his head with the other. After he placed it near the fridge he sat down next to her and smiled sheepishly. His taut muscles flexed as he gripped the edge of the table and lightly squeezed.

    “How are you, sweetie?” Shelton said with a scratch to his bicep.

    He shrugged and scooted closer to her, laying his crested head on her shoulder. His evolution had done wonders for his meekness and constant fear but it hadn’t completely erased his dependence on her. She liked it even though she constantly chastised him for it.
    I'm glad to see Machoke is still alive and doing well. They're still adorable together, him and Shelton.

    “You know Machoke, I love you buddy but you’re starting to make me look like an asshole,” Garrett said, staring at Machoke.

    “Starting to?” Sidney quipped with a laugh.

    “Shut it, you,” Garrett retorted.

    “Machoke, choke,” Machoke huffed.

    “Well I appreciate the offer,” Garrett laughed. “But I’ll pass. Nothing would reassure me of how bad I’m out of shape than watching you bench press a semi. I’m good.”

    Machoke let loose with a sound somewhere between a snort and a laugh but hushed quickly as the curtain across the room parted without being touched. Lucian strode in with purpose, tail held high and eyes glittering like sparkling amethysts. Spoink hopped along behind him. She had been glued to his side since he and Lily had saved them. Shelton knew he was mentoring her, which she was sure to Spoink felt like God teaching her how to do multiplication tables.
    I like Machoke's dynamic with the group, too.

    This is an interesting angle Spoink is taking. She hadn't really been doing that much previously, so I wasn't sure what her role was going to be.

    Something is happening,” he explained. The fur at the back of his neck was standing straight up and he kept glancing backwards from where he had come. It was like he was unsure of what he was doing. Which was strange in itself because Lucian almost always dealt in absolutes.

    The television came to life with a wave of his oddly fingered hand. The news station was flickering with red and black bars which signified a special address. It was only moments later when Captain Douchebag appeared. It was smiling, bluish green gums bared in its approximation of a friendly salutation. When it spoke, or rather when they spoke it was a chorus of pleasant and eerily soothing voices.

    “Greetings loyal subjects,” it began. “We have decreed that every person will hereby surrender one gram of gold or silver to your nearest immigration office. Any person lacking either gold or silver will instead volunteer for six months of labor in the resettlement camps. Psychic Pokemon will be on hand to verify the honesty of your offering. Failure to adhere to this decree within one week will result in a sentence of no less than one year of labor in the resettlement camps. Anyone who refuses or attempts to avoid said sentence will face immediate execution.”
    Well that explains where the six kings went. I had thought that they would simply be destroying all life on Earth, but it seems they're enforcing a dictatorship instead.

    Are they still in Rayquaza's body?

    They paused for a moment and looked down. Slowly they raised their collective head. Skin glowing a radiant and deep sapphire, the six kings narrowed their eyes and dragged both hands across their hairless scalp from front to back.
    Well that answers the Rayquaza question. They're obviously in some sort of vaguely humanoid body.

    “We now address the rebels, both in the new capital of our empire and abroad. We are watching and waiting for you to strike. Any meager resistance you manage is futile. Our rule will not be challenged, our will cannot be denied. We are the alpha and omega, jury and executioner. Heed our words or plunge to destruction. We leave you all with a reminder of what happens to traitors and heretics.”
    Alpha and omega... well then. Maybe you already had that planned, but things just work out, don't they?

    I assume on that note that they aren't omipresent and omnipotent like I originally believed. They obviously have some degree of vision powers but aren't all-seeing, otherwise they wouldn't need to watch and wait.

    The television went to static for a few seconds than changed to a fluorescent lit chamber not so unlike their own. A man was chained to the floor by his wrists and ankles. He was sweating profusely and bleeding from numerous lacerations that latticed his thin frame. The room grew brighter and revealed a Unovan man with a glowing shenai and heavy body armor. He whistled shrilly, which was followed by the sound of grinding metal.

    No fewer than a dozen obviously malnourished and growling Houndour slowly loped toward the man prone on his knees. Flames flickered in their nostrils as they began to yelp and bark. For almost a full minute they made bluff charges as if to test the man’s willingness to defend himself. The man made no effort to appear intimidating, he only began to sob hysterically and cry out to the lone guard. The man in the armor began to laugh.

    Taking the man’s cries as a gesture of submission, all of the Houndour leapt at once. The man screamed long and loud, but only once. With their gleaming teeth the Houndour tore the man completely asunder. Blood sprayed in arcs, splashing the floor and creating scarlet Rorschach blots. The camera zoomed in as the Pokemon began swallowing grisly chunks of the man’s flesh.
    That's stomach-turning, wow. The idea that the kings execute the disloyal, that's not surprising. But the actual method is so gruesome and visceral, and that comes through having fearless description of it. The Rorschach blot point is especially good.

    The television flickered off at Lucian’s suggestion. Shelton’s eyes found the floor. No one spoke. Machoke whimpered beside her. She looked up and into his red eyes. So close to the color of the blood she had just watched fan across the faces of the ravenous Pokemon. She took his hand in hers and stomped back towards her room.
    This part is a bit choppy with all the short sentences, but somehow I think that might have been deliberate?

    How had it gotten so terrible so quickly? When Lily and Lucian had saved them from the six kings, the world had been ignorant for almost two weeks. Despite their pleas to listen, despite a gigantic tower of stone rising from the ocean, the world had refused to believe their story or anyone else’s who had witnessed the rebirth of the kings. Even the citizens of Pacifidlog that had witnessed the Rayquaza escape into the sky were lauded as participants in a large scale hoax. It turned out to be the world’s undoing. Not that the collective nations could have done anything to stop the events that followed even if they had believed.

    When the six kings had reappeared they had done it in a display that put to bed any misgivings about who the new ruler of the planet was. They destroyed Orre. Completely and irrevocably. From orbit in their new form they flattened the continent with balls of energy more powerful than any nuclear weapon. Mountain ranges were flattened, vast plains of desert molecularly fused into glass, people and Pokemon incinerated where they stood. With that one display of power they made a statement so vast and horrendously macabre that their will was almost instantly realized.
    I can really feel the terror brought on by this. Like, seriously, it's making my heart beat a little faster. Good decision to not pull any punches in the description of this.

    There was resistance at first. Legendary Pokemon who had remembered the tyranny of the six kings had rushed to defend Pokemon and humanity. Battles were fought that decimated metropolises. Jubilife City was now a radioactive wasteland. Fortree city was a still smoking ruin of smoldering pine and shattered geography. Vermillion had sunk beneath the ocean and Ecruteak was now just a giant crater. Bodies had lined the outskirts in piles that were later burned and buried. Smoke clouded the sky so thickly for months that the global temperature dropped by two degrees.
    On one hand, I kind of wish you could have added a little bit about how each battle played out (as you did in the next paragraph about the legendaries), but on the other, I feel like this sparingly-detailed version makes it even more unsettling.

    "Fortree City" was accidentally not capitalized entirely.

    Nothing could stop their rise to power. Not humanity’s most powerful weaponry, nor the attacks of the immortal Pokemon. The Regi Trio faced the six kings in Hoenn and were pulverized into powder. Ho-oh drowned in its own fluids in Johto. Zekrom and Reshiram now hung dead from the skyscrapers of Castelia City like bizarre marionettes. Every time a legendary fell, Shelton felt her confidence fall with them.

    The funny thing was she couldn’t even force herself to cry about it. No tears would come no matter how bad she wanted them, even when it came to the fate of her brother. Shelton arrived at the curtain to her room and Machoke followed her inside. Michael was up and was just pulling on a shirt as she spoke.
    Now that's a freakish image. Appropriately horrifying.

    And now my heart gets broken even more...

    “I want to be alone,” she said simply.

    “Did something happen?” he asked.

    “All that I want to happen is for you to leave. Now.”

    “No fucking problem,” he spat.

    He slid past her with a grunt and his steps faded down the stone corridor. She dropped onto her bed and Machoke wistfully sat cross legged at her feet. Not that this was at all his fault but for some reason when she saw Michael she felt an unbelievable surge of rage. Misdirected as it was it still felt better to be alone with Machoke. She looked down and realized how numb her feet were from the cold of the stone. She lifted them onto the bed and held back from throwing something across the room.
    Wait, I don't understand. They seemed so close at the beginning, but now when she sees him it makes her enraged? Unless you mean it just made her enraged this time?

    Living in a cave. What a fucking joke. Counting the seconds before the six kings or some legendary in league with them came to destroy them. Not even knowing what their eventual plan was. Lucian knew. Lily knew. Nothing could be shared with the lowly humans or their Pokemon. They just kept telling them that everything would be explained soon. Soon. Well soon had turned into seven months of running and hiding and she was about ready to slit her own wrists.
    What kind of ... anything would want to be loyal to the kings, telling by everything they've done? There could be humans like Ethan out there, but Pokemon?

    Shelton was trying to figure out a way to coax it out of him, which in retrospect was probably stupid because she was sure he could see exactly what she was thinking, when he forced himself into her mind.

    Shelton, come quickly, it may finally be happening,” Lucian said urgently.

    Judging from the look on Machoke’s face as she bolted towards the door, the Mewtwo had broadcasted loud enough for everyone to hear. She streaked past him and thundered down the hallway. Shelton’s feet made light slapping smacks as she blew through the curtain at the far end of the war room. At the end of the dark hallway she came to a small room that spoke of tension and sterilization.
    I think I just felt my blood start pumping a little harder. Something's going to happen...

    Shiftry sat hunched over in the same chair he had occupied almost continuously since they had arrived at their newest temporary sanctuary. One leafy hand was wrapped around Dorian’s left. Shelton took in the sight of her brother from bottom to top. Feet to midsection covered with a blanket, sternum to neck bare and heaving. His face was slick with sweat and he was breathing so fast he was basically hyperventilating. Tucked under Dorian’s right arm, with her tail wrapped around his stomach, was Lily.

    The legendary was glowing, her breathing in synch with Dorian’s. Her tail tightened around his midsection and she gave a gasp. Shelton looked behind her brother to the figure standing behind him. Lucian was standing with hands spread apart over Dorian’s face. Thin tendrils of glowing purple energy were snaking down from his hands and disappearing into Dorian’s forehead.
    Lucian looked up to her, his face contorted in concentration.

    I think we’ve got him,” he said softly.
    What the...? Now THIS I didn't expect. I'm getting to feel like Dorian has a much more central role in all this than I first suspected...


    Dorian’s bike ran out of gas as he slid into Pallet Town. At first he frantically tried to siphon some from cars standing still in the road, but every time he tried to the tentacles would descend from the sky and erase them from existence. They never attacked him. Never even got within five feet of him. He would shoot or stab them and they’d disappear, but there would always be more.
    Wait... were the tentacles actually Mewtwo trying to reach him?

    Hurt, enraged, and verging on a psychotic break he decided to start heading towards Pewter on foot before he burned Pallet Town to the ground. He had thought about doing something just like that for several years. Doing something so destructive and grandiose that whoever was in charge of this place would come down and he could have a heart to heart. The problem with that was that if it had the effect he wanted in bringing the boss down, what if he was so monstrously pissed about what Dorian did that he flayed him alive or gave him Unovan water torture?
    I feel some symbolism coming from him heading for Pewter City...

    He pushed those thoughts from his mind and reflected. The tentacles were leading him to Pewter, that much he knew for sure. Every time he had even slightly deviated from the road the tentacles had descended and blocked his path. Once again they had not attacked, just pointed their tips towards the east in a not so subtle suggestion of follow the yellow brick road. So he had, and until he had run out of gas he hadn’t seen them again.
    Yeah, I think Mewtwo is trying to get him out and Pewter must be some kind of extraction point. Symbolic of where it all began, I suppose.

    How do you figure out the motivation or intent of something that has no attributes besides arms? They were dangerous of course. His fucking missing finger was evident enough of that. They had intelligence. The fact that they formed shapes and dodged his bullets on occasion proved that. They knew enough about him to know that he and Shelton’s house was important to him. So in essence he was dealing with a more or less psychic, immortal, and fantastically dangerous beast that could pop out where it wanted at a moment’s notice. Fucking great.

    He pondered his chances of survival as he walked down the gravel path, occasionally kicking the odd rock while downing beer from his pack. What did this mean for his future? The fact that he was screwed was a given. Dorian actually surprised himself with how fast he came up with what he would do when he got to Pewter. If the tentacles destroyed Ronnie’s house and with it the last trace of his family, he would kill himself. He’d put the barrel in his mouth and paint the lawn grey and red. Boom!
    But again, can one die if they're already dead?

    What did he have to lose after all? He was already dead and whatever awaited him, if anything awaited him at all couldn’t be worse than the last three years he had endured. Well, he didn’t know that for sure but what did it matter? His mind conjured up images of being locked in a tiny cage hung over a lake of burning excrement. Being stabbed and skinned by demons with melting faces. Screaming at the top of his lungs but not being able to hear it over the roar of the flames and the bellowing of the millions of other tortured souls.

    “How about you go fuck yourself!?” Dorian screamed at some tentacles that dropped down to his left. If they were offended by his vulgarity they didn’t show it, though they could probably finagle their way into a middle finger if they wanted to.
    The image of the tentacles flipping him off is funny.

    Perception slowed for him. He drained his beer and tossed it at a tentacle. It wrapped it up and the bottle vanished. His steps felt so heavy. Lead wrapped in asphalt. He saw the far end of Viridian City impossibly far away, but then he was instantly past it. Lost in his own thoughts so much that time became fleeting and merciless.

    The grass brushed his knees. Thorns lightly scratched his jeans. What was he walking towards? Disappointment? Regret? A new form of hell? At best he would see his boyhood home again, at worst they would make him watch it vanish before his eyes and he’d have to swallow a bullet. That was a sobering thought if there ever was one.

    As he exited the side road that ran parallel to Viridian Forest, he saw something that took his breath away. Tentacles. Thousands, maybe even millions of them. They glowed heartily from the border of the city. The complete border. A solid ring of them. They swayed like seaweed underwater.

    Dorian felt a shift in the air behind him. He turned and saw the wall of tentacles slip in and block off the road he had just walked into town from. He supposed that narrowed down his options considerably. He grabbed a beer from his pack and found to his great surprise that it was freezing cold. It felt wonderful in his hand, the coldness giving him clarity. For once this place was working for him and not against him. It made his next decision monumentally easier.

    Dorian popped the lid and walked straight for his uncle’s house. It may have been his imagination but his senses started to feel sharper. The crisp smell of the dewy grass gave him a head rush. The boulders strewn about town like so many forgotten toys were so vividly colored. Much more so than he remembered as a child and even as an adult. He took a sip from the can and his taste buds crackled with delight.
    I'm beginning to think that maybe he isn't really in Hell after all. It almost feels more like he's trapped within his own mind, like a coma, and just has to find the way out.

    His uncle’s house loomed before him like some kind of ancient and intimidating gargoyle. As he ascended the steps the second from the top creaked just like it always had. He had just reached the front door when it swung open on its own accord. Dorian knew there wouldn’t be anyone behind it, just like he knew the tentacles were moving closer without looking. He felt it, in a part of himself that had no name. It was like a resounding echo that vibrated his skin from the inside out. He liked it.

    Before something happened that would prevent him from doing it he ran up the stairs and into Shelton’s room. It was as identical as the last time he saw it. Even a pile of clothes behind the door that needed to be washed. Dorian glanced out of the window but all he saw was row upon row of throbbing purple. Smiling, Dorian went to her desk and found the bottle of perfume he was looking for.

    Next he went downstairs to the pantry down the hall from the kitchen. It also held a washer and dryer but they had always called it the pantry because of all the dry goods they stocked in there as well. On the floor, partially covered by a droopy stack of bagels was a slender yellow box. Dorian removed a pouch of chewing tobacco from it and slowly crept down the hall towards Ronnie’s bedroom.
    This is bone chilling, returning to where all this began and seeing how eerie it all is. The description is making it truly creepy to read.

    The house began to tremble slightly. A soft shaking that grew steady and more audible. Drywall dust trickled down from the ceiling as he entered Ronnie’s bedroom. Dorian shrugged off his assault rifle and leaned it against the pine dresser. Ronnie’s king bed was made and tidy as always. The three pillows at the head of the bed were straight and immaculately clean. He climbed across the bed and sprayed the one on the right with Shelton’s perfume. He opened Ronnie’s package of tobacco and laid it on the pillow on the left.

    The house began to shake more violently. Picture frames on the walls bucked wildly and smashed against the floor. Dorian heard the sound of crunching concrete and splintering wood. He laid down and rested his head on the middle pillow, sniffing the smell of his uncle and his sister. They combined as they drifted up each nostril into a mosaic of smell that triggered a cascade of flashing memory. With one hand he tightly gripped his sword, with the other he pulled the comforter up to his neck.
    I feel terrible for Dorian here... you can clearly tell that he's a broken man, so broken beyond repair by everything that's happened. Every move he makes is just establishing that further, especially him smelling the pillow to trigger memories.

    The walls of the bedroom vanished as he blinked. That disappearance was followed by the floor, the furnishings, and every decoration. Soon enough all he could see was a ring of violet tentacles that seemed to be literally trembling with anticipation. Dorian looked up and traced the length of them until they faded into a tube of pulsating light.
    Yeah, I think I'm right. It's Mewtwo pulling him out through a comforting memory point.

    Dorian laughed quietly. He thought he understood it now. They were definitely going to kill him, make him vanish, whatever, but they let him go out the way he didn’t even know he wanted. He supposed it was a kindness. Actually whether it was or wasn’t didn’t even matter anymore. Dorian was here and that was it.

    With his free hand he reached into his pocket and retrieved Shiftry’s pokeball. Gripping it tightly he took one more look around what used to be a room. The tentacles filled his entire vision. They were waving gently but stopped when he drew in what he knew would be his final breath.

    “I’m ready you fuckers,” Dorian whispered. “Give me your best shot.”
    You go for it Dorian.

    Shelton gasped as Lily detached herself from Dorian’s body. The diminutive legendary floated upwards to rest her head against Lucian’s. From her hands came two thick beams of pink energy that disappeared into Dorian’s chest. Lucian growled and shifted his stance wider. Shelton could see perspiration breaking out across his forehead.

    “What’s happening!?” Shelton shrieked.

    QUIET!” Lucian roared in her mind.

    Shelton trembled at the rage in his voice. She was sure it was inadvertent but his tone combined with Dorian’s shaking body stirred something inside her that made her want to burst into tears. Michael must have sensed her distress because he was instantly behind her. His muscular chest pressed against her, combating her involuntary need to break down and fall to the floor.
    I'm really feeling Shelton's emotions here. This has got to be rough, especially after everything else that's happened.

    Still thinking Dorian's going to have something to say about Michael though.

    She looked to Shiftry whose face was contorted with concern. Foam began to trickle out of Dorian’s mouth as his body began to seizure. Her breath caught in her throat as his shaking reached a fever pitch. Then suddenly it was over. Dorian sat straight up, seemingly on his own. His eyes were glazed over and he blinked rapidly.

    “Shiftry?” Shiftry inquired.

    Dorian gave no indication he heard.

    Shelton unsteadily walked a few paces closer to the bed and situated herself in front of him. She breathed.

    “Hey dummy,” she said, managing a small smile.
    Oh God my heart just melted. Damn you Sidewinder.

    As the words left her lips, Dorian’s eyes rolled up in their sockets and he collapsed backwards against the bed. He didn’t move for a moment, then his chest started to rise and fall at a slow and steady pace. No one spoke. They all just stood there, shocked. Shelton looked up to Lucian as Lily landed on his back. He shrugged and ran one finger across Dorian’s soaked brow.

    Dorian is healed, he’ll be fine,” Lucian nodded confidently. “Though I believe that we should let him rest. He’ll wake up in a few hours and you can verify it for yourself.”
    I suppose I was right about the tentacles being Mewtwo and Mew guiding him, then.

    “Thank you,” Shelton said.

    She knew that hugging the psychic type would probably be an uncomfortable interaction for him, but she pushed the thought aside and embraced him tightly. Lucian stiffened quickly and allowed her to do it, but she could tell how much he’d rather be having his claws ripped out. Whatever reservations he had though were not shared by Lily. She snaked her head forward and rubbed it against her cheek, purring happily all the while.
    This is even more amusing if it actually IS the Mewtwo we all know.

    “Thank you both,” Shelton repeated. “For everything.”

    You are welcome,” Lucian responded. “The rest of our plans will become the subject of much deba-

    Lucian paused in the middle of his thought. His eyes narrowed and his mouth opened slightly. He turned his attention to Lily and Shelton could see something imperceptible pass between them.

    There has been a new development with our allies in Hoenn. We must away. If it takes longer than forty-eight hours we will send word.”
    Well that's mysterious. I wonder what their plan is and who their allies are... human? Pokemon?

    With that they instantly vanished. No brilliant flash of light or puff of smoke. They just vanished. Not there anymore.

    “Well,” Michael started, scratching the top of his pointed nose. “That’s about enough excitement for me. Anybody want a beer?”

    The response was positive and extremely quick. Shelton even managed to get Shiftry to let go of Dorian and come with them, although it took her using her ‘ain’t gonna take no ****’ tone. She paused as she left the room to stare back at her brother. They had let his beard grow out at Garrett’s request, mainly because he thought it would be hilarious if Dorian ever woke up and looked at himself in the mirror. Shelton saw the humor in it of course, but she had allowed it to continue because of how damn much it made him look like Ronnie.
    I wonder how long it took before they recovered Dorian's body. I'm guessing the first appearance of the tentacles roughly corresponds to it.

    I got a good laugh at the beard thing.

    In truth he looked like his father. You could put their baby pictures side by side and not be able to tell them apart. From their smiles and height they were almost carbon copies. It was only as Dorian got older though that he started to look more like their Uncle. The angled face. Thick facial hair and broad shoulders. A way of always looking slightly confused while still retaining a formidable intellect.

    “I missed you,” Shelton whispered. She almost said something else but decided to wait until she could speak to him and actually have him respond. She’d had enough unconscious conversations with him over the last few months to last a lifetime.
    Correction, NOW my heart is melting.

    “I’ll agree with you on one thing,” Sidney said as Shelton entered the war room. “You were right when you said your brother was lively.”

    Everyone laughed at that except for Shiftry, and Shelton shoved him playfully as she grabbed a beer. Sidney walked over and gave her a warm hug. When they parted, Sidney moved her shoulder length raven hair from her face and beamed at her, teeth glowing pearly white. As Shelton sat down gently next to Michael, Sidney plopped her slender frame into Garrett’s lap. Michael raised his can and looked to be preparing a toast when Spoink broke his concentration by bouncing into the room.

    Shelton, Garrett, I need to speak with you privately,” Spoink said.
    I like Spoink's growth since the days of Requiem.

    “Talking about me again, I presume,” Michael said jokingly.

    No…It’s private and does not concern you or Sidney.”

    “Take it easy, Spoink,” Shelton said, confused. “Let’s go to my room.”

    She followed Spoink into the hallway, glancing back at Garrett who gave her a wide eyed look of confusion. When they arrived at the room Shelton placed her hands on her hips and stared at the psychic Pokemon. The fact that she wouldn’t stop bouncing always weirded Shelton out. She knew it was a function of her biology but it was still a little hard to carry on a conversation with someone who wouldn’t sit still.

    “Well?” Garrett asked.

    I know what Lucian and Lily are planning to do with us, and why they wouldn’t tell you until they were able to repair Dorian.”

    “Okay,” Shelton responded.

    I wasn’t supposed to say anything but in light of them chasing after their next lead, I thought it would be prudent to take you out of the dark.”
    I'm not sure what unsettles me more here: Mewtwo and Mew's plans and what they could be, or the fact that Spoink is placing herself on the line in order to reveal the truth.

    “What the hell is wrong with you? Spit it out.” Garrett said, throwing his arms wide.

    Close your eyes, I’m going to give you an image that they shared with me.”
    Spoink sure has grown.

    Shelton did so with a decent amount of apprehension. Her vision went dark for a split second then lightened as she felt Spoink touch her mind. Her mind saw something then. It was a hard thing to quantify because it felt like a memory she had called up herself but she knew it wasn’t hers. As it came completely into focus she couldn’t understand it.

    It was a picture of sorts. Her, Garrett, and Dorian. They seemed to be in some kind of cave, and dressed in what looked to be, robes? All three of them were filthy. Mud and dirt were smeared across their faces and bodies. Shelton’s robe was ripped at the right arm, and she looked to be bleeding pretty profusely from a wound on the side of her neck. Dorian’s hair was slicked back and he looked to be holding a katana. The last person in the picture was Garrett, whose mouth was hanging open in an expression of complete disbelief.

    “What the fuck is that?” Garett asked, beating her to the question.
    Good question, Garrett, though I'm not sure I want to know.

    You misspelled Garrett's name in the last line of this quote.

    That is you, Shelton, and Dorian.” Spoink said simply.

    “Well no shit,” Shelton said. “I don’t get it.”

    Lucian shared it with me a few weeks after we met. He received it from Lily.”

    “I still don’t get it. What you showed us has never happened. We’ve never been in that situation,” Shelton explained.

    “Yeah,” Garrett agreed. “The only area like that we’ve ever all been in together is here, and wherever that picture is in, it’s not here. Besides that, since when has Dorian ever had a fucking sword? Shelton?”

    “He’s never had one,” Shelton affirmed. “I’d never let him have something like that. He’d end up cutting his own hand off.”
    I want to laugh here, but I know this situation is so serious that I probably shouldn't.

    I assure you that the image is genuine,” Spoink said, her tone growing harsher.

    “Spoink, maybe they were messing with you,” Garrett suggested, speaking slowly like you would to a confused toddler. “We haven't been in that situation together. It ain't real.”

    As I said, the image is genuine. The reason you may not recognize it is because that image is a memory from Lily, and it’s from over two thousand years ago.”
    Garrett was right. What the ****. Reincarnation? Perhaps they fought the six kings in previous lives?

    I have to say I loved this chapter even more than the previous one. Don't get me wrong, chapter 1 was excellent. But this one I feel like did a better job at capturing the larger scope of the plot. On the other hand, though, maybe that was deliberate? Focusing exclusively on Dorian in chapter 1 created a sense of suffocation, like the world he was in was closing in on the reader. Plus, chapter 2 could not be done the way it was without first foreshadowing Dorian's whereabouts. I still love Shelton, so I think she was a big boost in this chapter too.

    My one criticism, though... there were some new names here who I think could have been established a bit more solidly upon their debut in this chapter. Lucian and Lily (is it okay if I call them Mewtwo and Mew so I don't slip on who they are?) were established well, but Sidney and especially Michael - given his relationship to Shelton - would have benefited from getting a bit more focus.
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 3rd February 2015 at 1:03 AM.

    (Banner by Matori)
    Beyond all ideals, the truth shall set you free...
    Most Recent: 18: Winter of Discontent
    Next: The Weight of the World (Part 1)

    The steps on the road to the truth.
    The Firestorm Rebellion
    The Victory Star of Fate


    Glacidia Network - The Home for Fanworks
    Best Wishes appreciation blog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    2,040

    Default

    Dorian rolled to his back and yelped as he remembered the shaft of stone that had impaled him on his unwanted flight from the tower. He slowly looked down towards his chest, vaguely wondering why it wasn’t hurting. To his surprise he only found a hole in his shirt. Dorian pulled the fabric wider, exposing unblemished flesh. How the hell was that possible?
    Seriously. The previous installment ended on a hell of a note, and this one begins with one hell of a question. Let's see where this goes.

    (I'd cross my fingers for Alakazam having somehow survived, but I'm disinclined to get my hopes too high.)

    Wiping the snot and tears away that wet his face, Dorian grabbed his pokeballs and started forward.
    Despite it only being a couple of days since I read the first fic, I don't know for sure if I've mentioned yet how it's kind of neat, the way you bother to note how downright nasty crying can be. It's not always a silent streams of tears affair, after all.

    Less troubling than that question but growing steadily more apparent was another. Where were ANY Pokemon? As the sun began to ignite the eastern sky with waves of orange, Dorian realized that he hadn’t seen any Pokemon at all. No aquatic, or flying, nothing. People picking up and moving Dorian could understand, but that wasn’t typical Pokemon behavior in the slightest.
    Yeah that's kind of a red flag there. Maybe you're still dead after all, son.

    The tentacles came on his second anniversary in hell.
    Well that's gotta be one of the most interesting sentences I've read in a while.

    It was only moments later when Captain Douchebag appeared.
    I approve so hard of the kings being collectively referred to as Captain Douchebag.

    How had it gotten so terrible so quickly? When Lily and Lucian had saved them from the six kings, the world had been ignorant for almost two weeks. Despite their pleas to listen, despite a gigantic tower of stone rising from the ocean, the world had refused to believe their story or anyone else’s who had witnessed the rebirth of the kings. Even the citizens of Pacifidlog that had witnessed the Rayquaza escape into the sky were lauded as participants in a large scale hoax. It turned out to be the world’s undoing. Not that the collective nations could have done anything to stop the events that followed even if they had believed.
    ...Maybe Dorian's not dead after all.

    Sounds like he's still in hell either way, though.

    When the six kings had reappeared they had done it in a display that put to bed any misgivings about who the new ruler of the planet was. They destroyed Orre.
    Ah damn, not Orre...

    Ho-oh drowned in its own fluids in Johto.
    Oh lovely.

    The legendary was glowing, her breathing in synch with Dorian’s. Her tail tightened around his midsection and she gave a gasp. Shelton looked behind her brother to the figure standing behind him. Lucian was standing with hands spread apart over Dorian’s face. Thin tendrils of glowing purple energy were snaking down from his hands and disappearing into Dorian’s forehead.
    Lucian looked up to her, his face contorted in concentration.

    “I think we’ve got him,” he said softly.


    Well then.

    How do you figure out the motivation or intent of something that has no attributes besides arms? They were dangerous of course. His ****ing missing finger was evident enough of that
    ...Oh lord, have Shelton and company been looking after a disembodied effing finger all this while?

    If they were offended by his vulgarity they didn’t show it, though they could probably finagle their way into a middle finger if they wanted to.
    Oh, if only they had...

    Whatever reservations he had though were not shared by Lily. She snaked her head forward and rubbed it against her cheek, purring happily all the while.
    Awww. What a cute kittyjerboathing.

    “As I said, the image is genuine. The reason you may not recognize it is because that image is a memory from Lily, and it’s from over two thousand years ago.”
    WELL THEN. Looks like we might have some time travel on our hands!
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •