Last Update: February 1
Warnings: This fanfiction may contain violence, character death, and psychological shenanigans. It most definitely contains body horror. If you're squicked by physical fun, please make friends with the back button.
Well, ladies and gents, after about a year's absence on the first version (okay, technically second version) of the fic, I've come back with ... a completely shiny and new version. While the old one is still around (and may be updated over yonder), this fic is supposed to be a get-back-to-the-point effort, where I go back and actually write the fic I intended on writing from the get-go. There will be new interpretations of characters and new events, but the basic plot and good ol' Bill will still probably be the same. Still, I hope you enjoy this ride as much as you might have enjoyed the last one. Moreover, this entire fic is being rewritten and cleaned up for digital download. As in, there will eventually be a downloadable ebook that will update concurrently with this fic. Because I'm crazy.
Please note that this story is meant to read like a campy sci-fi movie and, in fact, takes more than a few cues from my questionable tastes in all sorts of media. So if you can sort of see a reference here or there, that's most likely intentional. Also, please say something so we can squee over terrible movies.
Without further ado, let's begin!
June 30, 1908. In the dim hours of that morning, a meteorite exploded over Siberian Russia. Modern scientists estimate that the energy had been equal to that of a thermonuclear bomb. Witnesses described it as a flash of blue light almost as brilliant as the sun. The shockwaves alone were enough to flatten over seven hundred square miles of forest. And the source? The size of two school buses end to end. Scientists called this the Tunguska event.
In order to picture what a meteor the size of one school bus could do, the logical action would be to divide everything by half. Take three hundred square miles of forest out of the Tunguska event. Dim the brilliant, blue light of the meteorite until it becomes a star half as bright as the sun. Imagine that the resulting air burst releases energy equivalent to five hundred nuclear bombs instead of one thousand.
One September morning almost one hundred years after the Tunguska event, that was exactly how scientists described the bus-sized meteor heading directly towards Earth.
The object in question was dubbed the Fortree meteorite after the fact—after because it came without warning. That in itself would have been unusual. There was astronomical equipment all over the world, and not one of piece of it had spotted an object of that size until it was almost as close as the moon. But that wasn’t what grabbed the media’s attention. What demanded their attention was the fact that it was heading directly towards Earth, and with its speed, researchers estimated that it would reach the planet in four days. More importantly, it was heading towards a point just outside of Fortree City. As far as anyone was concerned, the city was about to suffer the same fate as seven hundred square miles of Russian forest.
Hoenn’s regional government had never staged a full-scale evacuation of an entire city. Despite monsoons and the activity of two weather-altering legendaries, the region had never been threatened significantly enough to move that many people in such a small timeframe. But it had to be done. Certainly, Fortree had survived far more earthquakes, storms, and general natural disasters than it should have, what with it being a city built entirely in the treetops, but the Japanese parliament wasn’t going to assume that it would survive a meteor strike that close to its borders. So over the course of three days—the three days before the meteor would pass through the Earth’s atmosphere—the entire city of Fortree took what it could and left.
On the fourth night, it turned out that the government was correct in their decision. Fortree was destroyed.
It rained fire the night the meteorite exploded, and the blasts emanating from its shattering masked the cracking of the forest that held the city aloft. Had anyone been in Fortree, they would never have heard the screaming of the wood supports splintering. They would never have heard the boom of their homes falling. They would never have heard the crashing of glass or the screeching of bending metal. Not while the air resonated with the blast of the meteorite. It was only when the explosion died down that the last shrieks of the falling city echoed through the air.
And then, there was silence.
Outside of the city, beyond the red-hot craters that the meteorites carved out for themselves, there were two listeners. The first was an absol who stood guard at the Ancient Tomb, his red eyes turned to the sky. His pack had already been gone for days. Many of them had been part of the pokémon exodus that started almost a week ago, long before the humans knew the Fortree meteorite existed. Others stayed and tried to warn the humans, and this party departed after Fortree was finally evacuated. All that was left was the single absol, who had, up until the explosion, kept his red eyes to the sky and his teeth bared in a constant low growl.
It was because he knew something else was going to happen. He could feel the cold, familiar weight of his premonitions in his bones, but for the life of him, he couldn’t see what he was meant to warn the humans about. And then, when the falling star exploded and sent a shockwave of trembling earth and hot wind across the route, the absol gritted his teeth and braced himself against the tomb’s rocky walls. The feeling in his bones grew heavier with each passing second until it reached a peak the moment the hot winds calmed. His paws scrambled over the loose earth, and he raced down the hillside towards the craters. In his mind, his visions began to resolve, and all he could see was red.
The ground grew hotter as he drew closer to one of the impact craters, but he couldn’t stop. His entire body was focused completely on that cold, heavy feeling deep inside him—the feeling of his supernatural senses vibrating. Any moment now, he would know exactly what message he needed to deliver.
Suddenly, the earth came to an abrupt end just feet in front of him, giving way to the red edge of a crater. He stopped and peered deep into the pit. Then, he began pacing along the rim, his muzzle snapping in frantic barks. All the while, he steadied his eyes on the glowing, red surface of the meteorite. Every pock in its face, every imperfection in the stone, made the feeling deep inside the absol leak into his blood until it filled his entire being. Something wasn’t right. Something was about to happen. Something terrible was about to be born.
Then, he saw what he came to see. His paws froze, and his mouth shut.
A crack laced up the side of the meteorite. At first, it was only an inch wide by a foot long, but then, it grew until it resembled a gaping smile turned sideways. The longer the absol stared at it, the more he realized that the glow was not coming from the surface of the rock but rather from within it, pulsing with every passing second like a heartbeat. This, the absol knew, was exactly what he was supposed to foresee. His lips puckered, and in that pause, he emitted a short, high-pitched whine.
That was when the meteorite cracked open completely and released the sea of red light. It rushed up the side of the crater before the absol could discern what it was, and within seconds, it washed over him.
Miles away, the absol’s pained howling echoed through the air, and the second listener raised her head.
Her name was Phoebe, and she had just completed two weeks of training atop Mt. Pyre. Now, she was descending the mountain for supplies. She had no idea that the absol’s howl was a warning.
That night, a war erupted because of her.