Hayward: Look here
The Silver Forest
jolteonjak: Look here
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Arc_Angel & lilbluecorsola: The tension in the room became palpable at the man’s eerie remark. How does he know the two of you? You’ve never met him before in your lives… or have you? Stacey seems to think so, much to Jess's surprise.
Felicia gladly continues her meal, oblivious to the whole conversation. If there’s any comfort to be had, it’s that at least she’s far from one of her psychotic breaks. Her father, on the other hand, seems strangely unfazed by his apparent slip-up. What if it wasn’t a mistake at all? He takes a sip of his drink, puts down the glass slowly and looks at you with a truly unreadable expression – for the first time since you met him. His eyes land on Stacey, in response to her reassuring words.
- Oh, I know love. I wasn’t to blame for any of it… All the while, I’ve been the victim, since I was a child! But now, thanks to you, I can finally be free of it all…
You exchange a confused glance. A groggy, heavy glance, that is somehow much harder to pull off than such a simple motion should ever be… You feel as if you’ve been awake for two weeks straight, unable to fight the drowsiness. You struggle against the unnatural feeling long enough to see Felicia’s head drop flat on the table, but it’s so hard to fight back… so hard.… so……
Stacey: You feel exhausted; you’ve been running for so long now, carrying the motionless bodies of a Teddiursa and Koffing in your arms; their weight is beginning to feel unbearable, but you have to keep running, or they’ll catch up to you! The Lyanazia woods are dark, the air is thick with moisture and feels uncomfortably warm as it enters your lungs; the branches and rocks graze your feet and ankles, making you wince in pain, but you have to keep going. You try your best to keep up the pace, until you hit your leg on a soaked block of timber and go flying several feet forward, landing less-than-graciously on the muddy floor of the rainforest.
Your body aches all over, but you persevere. It’s been too long, too hard, too unbelievable of an adventure to give up now. And they’re depending on you… You get to one knee, then back to your feet, legs wobbly and in pain. You spot a lone Stantler in the distance, a welcome sight amidst the desolation. Next to it however, something unexpected, something amiss… a foreign sight in an otherwise familiar painting. A mass of swirling shadows, at first vaguely and then definitely resembling a tall, slim man, pets the Stantler on the head… and then slaps it on the thigh, making it pin up and dash forward, frightened, straight at you! Your body and mind are too numb, too beaten up to react as the beast’s sharp horn pierces you right under the breast, tearing skin, flesh and bone, throwing you to the floor once again… and, with every last ounce of strength escaping your body, the blurry image of your Spiritomb gracing your eyes one last time… you die.
Slowly, ever so slowly, your eyes begin to part open again. In front of you… a Stantler and a man of shadows stand in the distance. That was quite the tumble; you even lost hold of Teddiursa and Koffing! Your body is taken over by a now familiar fatigue. You get to one knee, then to your feet, and just then, the Stantler dashes toward you, piercing you with its horn; an unbearably sharp pain runs through your body, and you fall down. With your dying breath, you silently call for Reaper’s help, but it doesn’t come…
You fight hard to get back up, take a deep breath, get to one knee and then back to your feet. The forest, humid, dark and cold, sprawls in front of you. Close by, a lone Stantler enveloped by a veil of darkness, next to the faint outline of a human, catches your eye. You feel so tired, so anxious, but all you can muster when the animal suddenly bolts forward and stabs you with its antler is a gasp, followed by a loud scream of agony as you tumble to the ground, blood gushing from the wound, your life draining away with it…
The mud tastes indescribably terrible, and the wet feeling against your face is bothersome enough to force you to get back up, first to one knee, then back to your feet. You have to hurry and find the Pokemon you were carrying, or you’ll be caught! But your body, your abdomen in particular, is in so much pain, as if a knife had split it open a hundred times… You fall back down, one hand clutching your rib-cage below the breast, the other closed in a fist as tightly as possible as the pain washes over you. Why does it hurt so much? Not even the otherwise-soothing sight of an oblivious Stantler eases the torment... Suddenly, the deer yelps, scared senseless, and starts galloping toward you. You somehow know what happens next, and again feel completely powerless to stop it; you watch passively as death approaches yet one more time, and will continue to do so over and over again, perhaps forever… This time however, just before impact, you spot a brief glow of light emanating from your closed hand, soon vanishing and being replaced by a… metallic feeling? Before you can dwell on it, the antler pierces your ribs and liver again, and again you fall, lifeless, under the apathetic gaze of your Spiritomb.
The cold, uncomfortable stinging feeling of rain dropping and trickling down across your face makes you open your eyes. Through some inhuman power, or the sheer force of routine, your body rises, almost on its own, to face the ordeal yet again. The brief moment of silence, of rotten peace, of extreme exhaustion just before the tragedy are almost as unbearable by now as the stab itself. You know you’ll be powerless to stop it, your limbs won’t comply, and all you can do is wonder if this will ever end. But then you remember… Your fist loosens and you open your hand to reveal a tiny metal sphere, black in its entirety save for the cyan neon stripes that cross its surface. A Blue Cyberball… In the midst of your numbness, you recall that you used one such ball to house a Pokemon who’s recently been at your side. Was it really recently, though? How long have you been here, anyway?...
The cry of terror is heard again. The shadows release the angry Stantler in your direction once more, sharp horns crying for your blood and your life for the hundredth time, the thousandth, you can no longer tell. But can this time be different?
What will you do?
Jess: The noise of the crowd is deafening, a sea of people filled with joy and contentment at the magnificent spectacle being put on in the streets of Fizzytopia. After all, this was the first time Connor’s feats were celebrated, in honour of the eightieth anniversary of his heroic victory that saved all of Fizzy Bubbles. The speeches of both Mayor Thompson and the event’s host, Charles Higginbotham, close friend of the legendary hero, inspired the listeners and filled them with a sense of pride to be Fizzytopians. Your own heart is still racing after your amazing victory at the Hero’s Balloon Game.
Until suddenly, the cries of happiness turn to terrified screams, and waves upon waves of people start running in every direction, bumping into each other and almost dragging you along. You look in the sky and see the Hero’s Float consumed by flames and losing altitude fast, about to crash on countless bystanders! But as you’re pushed around by the rampaging mob, you lose sight of your beloved Atzu the Azumarill. Filled with a sense of urgency, overtaken by a dark, ominous feeling, you start to panic as you call out to the Water-Type to no avail. Trying to fight your way through the crowd, you try to spot the blue rabbit; shoved, pushed, kicked and bumped into, the ordeal almost proves too much until you finally spot a blue sphere through the masses. Atzu’s tail! You get as close as you can, ducking and dodging, and when you finally reach the Azumarill… the sight makes your stomach turn violently. Atzu isn’t moving, isn’t breathing, his body is covered in bruises and shoe marks. Your beloved partner… is dead.
A wave of despair, guilt, sheer disbelief washes over you, a mix of dark feelings that would make anyone fall to their knees and cry as loud as they could. But you have no time that, as the terrifying realization sets in that your belt, usually holding your companion’s Pokeballs, is entirely empty… followed by a faint, but unquestionably familiar cry of ”Corsola!” It’s Haruki!!
You rush in the direction of the sound, too concerned to think about anything else by now – you already lost Atzu, you can’t bear to lose anyone else! The cries get weaker and weaker, but as you close in on the origin of the sound, a new, heartbreaking one is clearly audible through the commotion – a snapping, crumbling noise. As you approach Haruki, you lay eyes on the countless fragments of shiny blue coral scattered across the floor, practically trampled to dust, and instinctively turn your gaze away. Tears start welling up, and just then, through the mass of ever-shifting legs to your right, a faint red light glows atop a green helmet… Alice?!
You run over as fast as the crowd lets you, but the red glow fades shortly before you reach it. By the time you arrive at where Alice was, only her body remains, in a state much like Atzu’s, another gory, soul-crushing sight. Dominated by an overwhelming apathy, you stand motionless as the mob around you continues to panic. One of the many faceless people bumps into you hard, sending you to the floor, only to be stepped on by hundreds of uncaring feet, stomped against the harsh gravel over and over again, with no chance to even try and get back up. Are you… going to end up like all of your Pokemon? Maybe… maybe it’s for the best now…
You hear a horn in the distance, followed by the unmistakable sound of an engine. The crowd is slowly dispersing by now, but your body is broken, beaten to the limit of its endurance. You can only watch as one of the many electronic equipment vans that were parked next to the parade comes speeding off straight at you, oblivious to your presence; the driver – hardly resembling a human, but rather a… mass of shadows? - probably focused on nothing else except leaving this god-forsaken festival. As the vehicle draws closer and closer at alarming velocity, a brief flash of light glows above your fractured right hand, and is soon replaced by a pristine-white Snow Ball. The presence within is instantly familiar to you even still inside the device…
What will you do?!
empoleon_dynamite: Look here
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The SS Leviathan Shipwreck
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Ex-Admiral Insane: Look here