All reviews, comments, and criticisms are greatly appreciated. The story in itself will be rated PG-13, although not all chapters will warrant that rating. And note, this Prologue is longer then what standard prologues are, but there is a reason. Hopefully all those who read will enjoy this tale centered around the Disaster Pokemon: Absol.
Negrek: I can't thank you enough for your review on FF.net. I posted it on the site before, in a rougher form, so I could get opinions while I waited to post the real Serebii version, so I could correct all of the errors that might have been hit upon before debuting it here. Your review helped a lot. I can't tell you how much. If you do happen to read this revised version, I hope you will find it improved. And yes, all the chapter names will be on music terms.
Requiem of a Dream
By: Saffire Persian
A piece or movement that serves as an introduction to another section or composition and establishes the key.
Thunder rumbled ominously across the midnight sky, while chilling rain pelted the earth below, mixing with the soggy dirt and grass. The wind was a violent maelstrom of activity, swirling and buffeting all the unfortunates that had chosen to weather out the storm, outside and unprotected. The sky above was clouded, darkened with a thousand shades of black. The stars and moon were all but gone, swallowed entirely by the dark, malicious clouds that now blanketed the sky above the city. They were greedy, swallowing everything that came into their path, blanketing the world below in darkness.
Lightning raced across the sky, illuminating the ground below for a few brief moments, before whisking away back up into the clouds that sent them, only to dart down to tease the ground again. The pattern continued as if in some malicious jest upon the inhabitants helpless inhabitants, trapped in their pitiful dwellings. The thunder’s voice seemed to echo that statement, voice laced with unprecedented malice. It was mocking them, especially mocking him.
Castor was alone, perched atop a flat roofed building, ruby eyes gazing upon the desolate city. The wind buffeted his thick, silky fur, while the rain soaked his already bedraggled body to the core. He was cold, but found he did not care. The Absol’s gaze was fierce and watchful, but obviously distressed. Castor’s emotions and thoughts were as tumultuous as the storm that now assaulted the island city of Sootopolis. Confused and for once at a loss of what to do, he sat there, watching, waiting . . .
A friend. A light in the darkness.
To prove everything wrong. To prove himself wrong.
But was he wrong? Was he some how at fault?
Castor did not know. He could only hope.
He felt powerless, like a blind newborn that relied upon its mother for constant care and vigilance. A newborn could do nothing. Nothing. His efforts sitting, ever watchful, had yielded nothing. For three hours he had sat, an immovable sentinel upon the rain soaked roof, scouring the ground below with desperate eyes, wishing to catch a glimpse of a certain Pokemon. He had braved the torrential winds and rain, ignoring all physical and mental discomforts in hope of waylaying his friend, and reviving the wings of hope that had died in him some time ago. If he could at least save one life – one life that actually meant something to him – he would be satisfied.
But Castor had not seen her. He knew she must have already crossed the paved walkways in the darkness, determined to pursue her ultimate fate. How he had missed her, he did not know. All of his attention had been devoted to that one task: finding her. It was a simple task that anyone should have been able to do. But he had failed . . . again.
Lightning flashed again, followed by an ominous roar. Castor braced himself against the buffeting wind as it slammed into his body with all the might of a deadly tidal wave. Thrown back a few paces, Castor closed his eyes, claws digging into the cement surface, trying to find purchase as best he could.
A vision assaulted him then, far more powerful than whatever disaster could beset him. The vision came upon him so fierce and sudden, he cried out, terrified.
To think the things that occurred in the realm of imaginary could be so much more terrible than the things that existed realm of reality. He knew what the vision was about before it had the chance to fully make itself known, but that did not stop it from coming. The world around him faded. The screaming of the wind lessened, and the chilling drops of water evaporated, until all that was left to his perception was that of what the vision willed.
He was in almost completely enveloped in darkness, the ancient smell of wet and stale air assaulting his sense of smell; but even more overwhelming was the smell of death; the smell of rot and blood. His vision began to come into focus, pupils dilating to take in all of the available light.
Even the dark could not protect him from the scene before him. Castor saw the blood, the twisted bodies, and most of all, the shadowed faces in all their hellish glory. He had seen this all before, but that did not take away the sting – the sting the pain, fear, and revulsion that he had been left to deal with from the first encounter. Dizzy and nauseous, Castor noticed the million shards of rock littering the ground around him, points as sharp as a Scyther’s blades, stained with the blood and flesh of those who had met their unfortunate demise. The bodies were broken and cut, twisted at every hideous and unimaginable angle, and the blood that mingled with the rocky earth had almost a life of its own.
Castor found his eyes unwillingly lingering on the faces of the dead. Their smiles were haunting, deepening the dark ambience that permeated the cave. Castor wanted to close his eyes, reluctant to look upon the faces of the dead, but they would not let him go. Their eyes were staring at him, beckoning him with their magnetic gazes. Join us! they seemed to say. Join us in this dance of death, and find out where you truly belong.
Castor flinched, trying to tear his spirit-self away from the scene that had long haunted his deepest nightmares and hunted him in his most pleasant of dreams. It was a plague, a never-ending curse. He hated it. He hated these visions with every fiber of his being. Nothing could ever change that.
Castor’s vision lurched, and was magnified a hundredfold. His vision panned around the scene of destruction, focusing and unfocusing until he found his gaze fixated on a familiar face dashed with cuts, her eyes crying tears of red. Castor’s throat constricted. Bile rose in his throat.
He threw his spirit body aside, tearing himself away from the fibers that bound him to this alternate reality.
He landed hard on his shoulder. He was back on the cement roof, gasping for air. The rain felt welcoming, and the thunder was a glorious herald back to the kingdom of reality. The elated feelings were quickly siphoned away, replaced with the feeling of dread. Castor arose, ignoring the pain that shot through his right shoulder.
“I won’t let it!” he hissed. “I won’t let it!”
He bounded off the building, landing in a swirling mixture of grass and mud. Without a moment’s hesitation, he darted down the deserted streets, paw-falls echoing eerily through the deserted alleyways. Castor ignored the rain, he ignored the thunder, he ignored everything but the place of destination:
The Cave of Origin.
It was a place of beginnings where everything was rumored to have begun.
But was it really? Or was it merely disguised to take on a more fortunate light?
To him, it felt like the beginning of the end.
Entering the Cave of Origin was like breaking into an alternate world that was beyond reality's jurisdiction. Time itself seemed to freeze as the momentum of Castor’s bound carried him into the cave that had appeared often in his visions. The darkness that pervaded the cave was like a voluminous ebony cloak, chasing away any light that dared to try to shine through.
Nocturnal though he was, Castor’s eyes still had trouble adjusting to the sudden lack of light; and the atmosphere only continued to darken, taking on a more sinister shade with every step. A deep sense of reluctance flooded his body and he found himself gazing back to the entrance of the cave, looking longingly out into the storm. Castor’s pace slackened as he forced himself to continue on, repeating an Absol rhyme in his head. He loathed the things it spoke of in regards to he and the rest of his kind, but it still brought him a small sense of peace in the growing darkness.
‘I am a walking beast of chaos, disaster follows me in my stride,
Heed me, reject me, but do not ignore me,
For not only am I the warrior of Life that holds Salvation’s key,
But also the unwilling herald of Death to you who keep your foolish pride.’
The pathway was beginning to spiral downwards, a chill wind blowing from some unseen crack in the cavern’s walls. The Absol continued his descent into the very heart of Origin, a colony of Zubat the only ones to mark his silent passage. Faintly, he could smell human here, as well as a mixture of other scents both new and old, including one of which he never which he never expected. Eyes narrowing, Castor raised his head, pondering the new development.
“What could he . . .”
So absorbed in his recent thought, Castor didn’t notice the approaching body, until it was almost upon him. Forced to think upon his feet, Castor turned abruptly, legs splaying in hopes to regain balance as his paws scrapped across the rough floor. His foe was relentless, already coming after him in a headlong charge. Speeding up, Castor leaped over the humanoid figure, landing hard on the rocky terrain, using his right forepaw to pivot him to the side.
The sudden twisting movement on his right leg had had proved too fast, too harsh, for his previously injured leg, and within the first sharp wrenching movement, it did what Castor had always feared it would do: give out.
His stability and sense of balance broken, Castor was only quick enough to avoid a lethal blow to the neck, the vice-like jaws instead snapping over his right forepaw with a hard, sickening crunch.
Castor cried out in pain, struggling instinctively to pull free his broken paw. But the jaws refused to release it, clamping down harder with every pull. Grimacing at the thought, but seeing no alternative, he went into a Swords Dance. The newly created adrenaline coursed through his veins like fire through ice. The pain in his limb began to fade away into a dull ache as the Swords Dance reached its peak. His body twisted and writhed with the newfound rhythm that pulsated through his body, and with a last hard twist, he tore his foreleg free. Not even the Swords Dance could block the sudden, acute onset of pain that radiated from his leg as skin and fur were ripped from it, leaving him a bloody, though luckily intact, limb. The pain, however, was quickly receding.
Castor limped closer to the other wall, tucking the bloody paw close to his body, not daring to put any weight on it. It was fractured, there was no question about it. Running away was definitely out of the question, so he assumed a defensive stance as best he could. His attacker hadn’t moved from its spot, instead, turning towards him. The great brown jaws spat out a great clump of white fur as shimmering red eyes materialized out of the gloom, doe-eyed and vulnerable. The creature’s face quickly followed, radiating pure, untainted innocence as it looked at him just like as a cold, starving child would. Had it not bitten him, Castor might have been moved to sympathy.
Castor growled. It was a Mawile.
Absol and Mawile made eye contact. The Mawile’s ruby eyes brightened up considerably at the connection, its dainty mouth curling up into a fanged smile.
“Kitty, kitty, are you lost, little kitty?” It was a feminine voice, as sweet and pure as honey. A sweet fragrance reminiscent of wildflowers seemed to fill the air at the Mawile’s words as she twirled around, her second jaw making a clip clip noise. He shook his head, trying to ward off the feelings of unwariness and relaxation that were suddenly coming upon him.
“It’s none of your concern,” he finally said, sounding braver than he actually felt. “Get out of my way. Now.”
“Lost kitty must learn to be patient, yes?” She laughed, her body quaking with unsuppressed mirth. She took a step forwards, hands clasped behind her back. “Poor kitty, all lost and all alone. Just like the other kitty, but not for lllooonnngg.”
“What other ‘little kitty’?” Castor said sharply. “Where?” Castor’s attention was roused, and despite the newfound feelings of security, Castor remained defensive. Carefully, he slowly began backing up, hobbling towards the other end of the cave. She mimicked his moments, taking one leisurely step at a time. Her gaze was sympathetic, accepting.
Like an angel, Castor’s mind began to say, the flowery scent filling his mouth and nostrils. His muscles were fast becoming liquid; his mind relaxed; and his fears and worries were gushing out from his body in great waves. He stumbled in his backwards progress, his white body swaying as he leaned against a cave wall for support.
The Mawile made a swirling motion with her tiny finger. “Down, down, down. All-l-l-l the way down. Deep down in Origin’s belly, all alone. Back to the beginning kitty went, yes.” The Mawile noticed the Absol’s perplexed expression. Her grin became wider. Her angelic appearance was beginning to look far more sinister. “Dead.”
Castor’s posture became rigid, jolting him out of his growing reverie. Castor’s red eyes shown with a sudden understanding. Rage filled him, one single thought overpowering all: she had to be wrong. “You lie!”
The Mawile giggled, shaking her head. “Poor kitty.” Her glance became thoughtful, as if recalling some fond memory. She began skipping toward him, her beautiful singing voice resounding off the cave’s walls, each word accented by a skip.
“Bound, Broken, Searching, Fighting . . .”
At the Mawile’s words, images of the broken bodies from the previous vision began to surface once more, but none of them occupied his mind as much as hers did. Her eyes were still crying, red rivulets coursing down her face. She was crying because he had failed. He had failed her. Yet another name was added to Castor's book of the dead.
Castor’s muzzle curled into a fierce snarl, the relaxed emotions quickly turning into feelings of anger. And even though the flowery aroma was making his head spin, making it increasingly harder to concentrate, Castor could see now what this thing was. She was no angel of mercy, but a fallen one: thrust out and dammed from whatever heaven that existed upon the earth.
“Ripped, Twisted, Fading, Crying . . .”
Castor had heard enough. He began to hobble along the downward slope. He knew he had to get out – clear his head of all the horrific images that were now flashing spontaneously in his mind’s eye with each new syllable.
“Lost, Alone, Bloody, Dying . . .”
The song was becoming louder and more rhythmic, but Castor ignored it. Instead, he made himself focus on the thick tendrils of smoke curling around him, enveloping his body in their gentle grasp.
“Writhing, Reaching, Passing, Sighing . . .”
He was phasing out, beginning to disappear in the ebon haze that now surrounded him. The scenery wavered, fading into nothing as he pictured the destination in his mind in all its horrid glory. He had never been there before, but he could see every detail clearly in his mind. He hoped that alone would be enough.
The Faint Attack complete, the atmosphere gave one more sudden jerk before Castor vanished entirely. Castor pushed his physical body through what seemed to him to be the very fabric that made up the earth, and appearing in a sort of limbo – a pathway between the previous location and the next – that was real, but not quite real.
But he couldn’t pay attention to that. Full and complete concentration was a must; he knew that a loss of focus could easily spell disaster. A body, wrapped in the same Dark-type energy as he, suddenly slammed into his ribs. The exultant face of the Mawile filled his vision, one of her tiny fingers wagging back and forth. Concentration disrupted, both Castor and the Mawile were flung out of the pseudo-dimension, phasing back into existence with a loud, echoing crack. Now, they were both falling deep into an abyss neither beginning nor ending in sight, entrapped between two thick walls of stone.
At least, Castor thought, grimly evaluating the area my head is clearing. But his eyes soon narrowed in confusion and anger as he took into account the other body that was falling with him.
She was laughing. The Mawile was laughing.
Growling, Castor twisted around as he fell, scratching and biting the steel skin of the Mawile to his best ability, in attempts to ward off Mawile’s persistent advances, as well as to quiet her horrendous, mocking laughter.
In an act to further distance himself from the Steel-type, he waited until he was on top of the spiraling mass, before surging forward into the Mawile’s body with a Quick Attack, using her as a push off to further distance himself from her, and he succeeded. Now, he was falling faster and deeper into the expanding crevasse.
There was no sign of pursuit on the Mawile's part, her ruby eyes shifting down in what either could be curiosity or amusement. However, Castor knew it was only a matter of time before the Mawile got frustrated and attempted to catch up with him.
Castor then forced himself upright, a growl rising in his throat as the faint silvery glow of Iron Defense covered the Mawile’s body, adding not only to her defense, but to her weight. No doubt she was trying to catch up with him, and she wanted to do it slowly -- to make him suffer. Castor snorted at the idea. He would turn this situation into his advantage and her downfall; he would make certain of it.
He bared his fangs, chancing a glance down at his oozing leg. The sharp pain beginning to surface as the Swords Dance’s effects began to decline. He would have to work quickly.
Focusing on the task at hand, Castor’s eyes glowed a pure white as he focused on calling an otherworldly force that had been in his family's line for centuries. At his call, the very atmosphere shivered, and vague images of what was to come flashed rapidly through his brain, though nothing was detailed and definite enough for Castor to make out clearly. The glow in his eyes gradually faded and his vision cleared. Outwardly, nothing appeared to have happened, but Castor knew better.
Now, all the Absol had to do was wait.
The Mawile was using Iron Defense again, her laughter bouncing off the abyss’s walls. Despite the added weight, she appeared to be no closer to Castor then what she had been before. The Mawile appeared to have noticed this, shouting angrily: “Dead, dead, dead!”
Castor didn’t answer the Mawile’s taunt, feeling the subtle changes in the cave’s atmosphere as it prepared to host the coming attack. Even now, Castor could see evidence of its approach. Small pinpricks were slowly beginning to eat their way through the darkness, gathering energy. The air was beginning to take on a staticy quality to it while the fur on the back of his neck was starting to rise. Castor himself, however, continued to fall.
A fierce gale tore through the abyss, but the Mawile showed no sign of comprehension of what was coming, insisting on repeating her angry taunt in rapid, quick-fire succession.
“Dead. Dead. Dead!”
The light had now formed into a perfectly symmetrical orb, surging upwards with a deadly intent, its energies swirling in a plethora of colors. It brushed past Castor with a silent, deadly efficiency, leaving a cold, dead chill like the breath from a tomb in its wake.
Mawile’s continuous jeers ended as abruptly as they had started as she finally beheld the coming attack; however, the Mawile made no move to evade the Psychic assault. She didn’t even cry out when the Future Sight fully enveloped her tiny body; instead, giggling like a happy child while the orb held her body aloft, as if to show her mercy.
But the orb held no mercy for the laughing Mawile within, just as there was no mercy in Castor’s glassy eyes, as he fell deeper into the abyss, himself becoming no more than a pinprick of white. The Mawile’s giggles quickly turned into high-pitched screams as the Future Sight finally took hold, its energy coursing around the Mawile like electricity. The Mawile’s body spasmed and jerked as the Future Sight shattered her steel defenses, and her pained cries fell on deaf ears.
Castor could only listen as the screams slowly faded away, until they finally stopped altogether just as the Future Sight began to wane, fading away like it had never been. She made no sound afterward, not even a whimper. Whether she was unconscious or dead, Castor did not particularly care. His objective had been accomplished, and now his mind was strangely blank. An odd numbness was coming over his body, and he suddenly felt cold. Terribly cold, but he could do nothing about it. He couldn’t even move, only think jumbled thoughts, until finally, he surrendered to the abyss, the Mawile’s chant echoing oddly in his head.
Falling… Falling… Falling…