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Thread: Shatterpoint (R)

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    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 One added (12-07-2014)

  2. #2
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    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 |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 3 released 11/22/14 |


  3. #3
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    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.

    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.
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 15th December 2014 at 8:32 AM.

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