It was monumental, for me at least. Not only did I FINALLY
pre-order a new-gen Pokemon game, I actually went and picked it up on the day it was released. Yes, it had taken five generations, but I was finally one of the first people to get my hands on an (official, not hacked in any way) copy of a Pokemon game. I was probably a little more excited than I should have been; after all, I already knew pretty much everything about Black and White from the carefully (and sometimes, not-so-carefully) leaked information coming out of Japan as the game was being made. All the same, I was gleeful when I shoved the game card in my DS and powered it on.
Now let me say right up front that I’m a hacker when it comes to Pokemon, but only after I’d beaten the main story. The same was true for Pokemon White, and the moment the end credits rolled for the first time I was plotting the various things I could do with my Action Replay. At the time, the codes I was most interested in didn’t exist yet, so I settled for doing other stuff like hunting down the Sages and prepping my team for a second bout against the E4.
And finally, FINALLY, the codes I wanted came into existence. It had taken a while, but I could now use the codes all hardcore breeding fans gush over (or at least this hardcore breeding fan): Obtain Egg and Fast Egg Hatch, as well as a code to give Pokemon the PokeRUS (I’m big on competitive battling as well as breeding in general). Close to bursting with joy, I updated my AR (which I had failed to do until that point for various reasons) and put in those all-important codes, and then it was off to the Daycare!
Over the course of the next few months I must have bred over a couple hundred Eggs, hatching a ridiculous amount of Pokemon in my goal of raising those best suited for the metagame. At one point I got a Zorua
from a friend at work (having been unable to hack one myself since my left trigger button didn’t work) and decided to breed a few of them to give to other friends. The Zorua itself was perfect; she had a Modest Nature and perfect IVs in Speed and Special Attack, and I was more than eager to get to raising her once I’d squeezed some Eggs out of her.
I got home later that night and turned on several of the lights, as my mother was working late and wouldn’t be home until around midnight; I always turned on a few lights so the house was well-lit for her when she worked late shifts. After taking a quick shower and eating some dinner, I went to my room and prepared for an hour or so of hacking. Once I’d placed the AR and game card, I booted up the system, selected the appropriate codes, and started the game itself. After my save data loaded, I merrily went to the Daycare and dropped my Zorua off, also depositing one of my Daycare regulars, a random Ditto
I’d caught at Giant Chasm.
And that's when things started to get…unpleasant.
After dropping Zorua off, the Daycare Lady didn’t give her normal message of, “Okay, I’ll raise your X for a while. Come back for it later.” Instead, a text box popped up saying, “……….”. On top of that, I became aware of the fact that there was no music playing. I thought maybe I’d turned the volume down on accident, but when I went to turn it up I found the volume was already at max. I frowned a little, wondering if maybe the Daycare Lady was about to say something important, something unique, maybe something to do with some kind of Easter Egg or something. The text box vanished when I hit the A button, though, and nothing else happened. Slightly worried that maybe my continuous hacking of the game had done some kind of damage, I exited the Daycare and pressed the Select button to generate an Egg.
When I spoke to the Daycare Man, he gave his normal spiel he gives when there’s an Egg waiting to be picked up. I went through the process of make-an-Egg, get-an-Egg five times, the first slot of my Party taken up by Ironbeak, my beloved Braviary
. After getting the five Eggs I made to leave, intent on hatching the Eggs and dropping off the newly-hatched Zorua in the PC. However, the second my character sprite turned away, another text box popped up. This one said, “Wait, please…” Feeling a bit uneasy for reasons I couldn’t name, I hit A and the text changed to, “Don’t leave…please…” A chill slithered down my spine at the words, which somehow seemed frightened and pleading. My stomach clenching a little, I pressed A again and the text box vanished. When I tried talking to the Daycare Man again, he turned to face the Daycare behind us. A second went by before yet another text box came up, this one saying, “…” before disappearing without my pressing any buttons. Feeling more than just a bit freaked out, I got on my Bike and zoomed off.
Normally, using the Fast Egg Hatch code meant Eggs hatched the moment the Daycare was no longer in view. This wasn’t the case this time, though. I biked for about five seconds before realizing something wasn’t right; Eggs normally hatched within two or three seconds using this code. Scowling, I brought up the options window and accessed my Party, meaning to check the status of the Eggs and see how close they were to hatching. The moment my Party screen loaded, the knot in my stomach tightened; all five Eggs were titled as “Bad EGG”, with each little Egg sprite being an unhealthy green-yellow color. None of them were moving, which was also strange.
Then I noticed something else that made my skin tingle: Ironbeak’s nickname had somehow changed. It now read “Suffering” and, even though it had been full just seconds ago, his HP was now down to about half. His sprite was also moving slowly, like it does when a Pokemon’s HP is in the red. Somehow it spoke of pain, though I had to be imaging it…right?
As odd as the thing with Ironbeak seemed, I soon became more concerned about the Bad Eggs sitting in my Party. Thanking whatever deities had prevented the Bad Eggs from being affected by the Fast Egg Hatch code up to this point, I decided the best course of action would be to save and then remove the AR (after all, ARs don’t have switches or buttons to turn them off like GameSharks of old do). Once that was done I’d boot the game back up, head back to Daycare, and dump the Bad Eggs in my PC for the rest of eternity.
Since I was afraid that even just viewing the Eggs’ summaries would unleash some hellish glitch into my game, I simply pressed B to back out to the main options menu in order to save. When the screen went black to transition to the previous screen, though, a horrendous sound screeched from the speakers of my DS. Up until now the game had been completely silent, and the shriek issuing from my game startled me so bad I jumped a good foot into the air. The sound itself took me a moment to identify, but when I did I felt the hairs on my arms stand on end. The sound was Ironbeak’s cry, except it was several pitches higher than it should have been and lasted about twice as long. It was a drawn out sound that was full of agony, the death scream of a tortured, dying eagle. The sound then abruptly cut off, and a moment later the screen loaded up my Party page again.
Instantly my eyes went to Ironbeak’s sprite. His HP bar was missing and his nickname now read “Deceased”. But the thing that turned my unease into fear was the fact that Ironbeak’s sprite was now just a crumpled heap of brown and white pixels, barely recognizable as a Braviary. Almost against my will, I used my stylus to tap Ironbeak’s slot, then selected Summary from the options box that popped up. When the screen loaded, the first thing I saw was Ironbeak’s full sprite. Just like the overworld sprite, this one was lying in a motionless heap, but I could see more details in this larger image. For one thing, his left wing was just…gone, like it had been torn off. But worse than that were his eyes, or rather, the lack of them. They appeared to be gouged out, nothing more than empty black holes with thin trickles of blood running from them.
“What the hell…?” I whispered, staring in horror at the mangled body of my Braviary. There was nothing else on the screen, none of the normal summary information that normally populated this page. Well, there was one other thing, three simple lines that caused my heart to start beating rapidly… 6/19/2011
What the hell was going on here?! Suddenly desperate, I flipped through the other summary pages and found them all to be empty, void of any kind of information. When I found myself back on the main page starting at Ironbeak’s twisted sprite, I became aware of how dry my mouth and throat had become. I swallowed a few times, and then mashed the B button to back out of the summary screen. When the Party page loaded again, the titles of the Bad Eggs had all changed. It took my shocked mind a moment to comprehend that they were actually forming a sentence: This
Fault This is all your fault
…For a moment I could only stare at the screen, frozen by the words that were echoing in my head. Then I snapped back to my senses and, with fearful urgency roiling in my stomach, I went to turn off my DS. Except the game didn’t shut off. The dread in my stomach churned stronger, threatening to make me physically ill as I slid the power button up again and held it for several seconds, desperately hoping that I just hadn’t held it long enough the first time. I then let the button go, but even though I’d held the damn thing for maybe five or six seconds, the game still refused to shut off. Something was keeping me from escaping this sudden descent into Horror Land, something I couldn’t name or understand.
“Well then,” I snapped at the game abruptly, startled by how frightened and at the same time vicious I sounded. “Fine! IF you won’t turn off then I’ll just leave you on until the battery runs out!” I then turned the volume all the way down and dropped the game onto the floor. Any other time I would have practically had a heart attack had my game been jostled in such a manner with the AR still in it; just barely touching the AR could cause your game to lock up on you. Dropping it could have possibly permanently and irreparably screwed up my entire game, but at that point I was more concerned with trying to avoid whatever demonic thing that had turned my game from a fun pastime into my own personal horror movie.
I went to use my foot to kick the game system under the bed so I wouldn’t have to look at it, but the moment my foot touched the system, a stab of pain lanced through it and up my leg, spreading quickly throughout my entire body. The force of it stole my breath, so instead of crying out I could only manage a wheezing gasp. It felt like I’d stepped on a live wire and had several thousand volts of electricity running through my veins; even if dropping my game had caused some sort of weird electrical short in it, there was no way it could have generated enough power to give more than a strong static shock. No, this was caused by whatever was screwing with my game, screwing with me
At the same time that the painful current ambushed me, the tall floor lamp sitting to the right side of my bed flickered and then went out, plunging the room into complete darkness. The other lights I’d turned on also died, stealing the warm, comforting illumination. And even though my blinds were up, no light was coming in from the street lights outside. When I recovered my wits enough to start feeling raw terror gnawing at my mind, I noticed there was a tiny bit of light after all. It was coming from under my bed…
…coming from the game.
Which, at that point, I realized was making noise even though I’d turned the damnable thing all the way down. It sounded like soft static, like when you’re tuned to a radio station that’s currently off-air and turned way down. But the sound quickly grew louder and, as it did, more distinguishable. That was no static hissing from my game’s speakers, but several voices harshly whispering at the same time. The whispering started growing louder, though, until it had risen into screams at a volume that should have been impossible for the DS’s small speakers to reach. It was like a group of people were standing right in front of my, all shrieking at the top of their lungs directly in my face. And even though this jumble of voices was screeching at the same time, I could still make out individual sentences, as if each one was one an individual frequency and I was picking up on all five at the same time.
“DON’T THROW US AWAY!”
“LET ME OUT!”
“WE WILL NOT GO AWAY!”
“YOU WILL NOT ABANDON US!”
And then all the voices spoke the same thing in unison, the scream being that much louder for several different beings speaking it at the same moment: “YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!”
At that moment I realized I, too, was screaming, the sound clawing its way out of my throat and voicing the terror that was threatening to send me over the edge into madness. I also became aware of the tears streaming down my cheeks, but I paid no mind to it. Instead I practically jumped from my bed, hitting the floor in a heap and blindly slapping the carpet beneath my bed in a crazed effort to find the game and try to stop this insanity. Finally my hand landed on the game, and the moment it did all the lights in the house flickered back to life; the god-awful screaming stopped as well, thankfully.
For a while I just laid there on the floor, my hand covering the screen of the game. I’m not sure how long I remained like that, but eventually I noticed that I was getting sore from lying in the same spot for so long. Moving slowly, I sat up and crawled back on to my bed, suddenly too exhausted to try and stay sitting up. I flopped onto my stomach and set the game on the bed in front of me, staring at the little sprites of a dead Braviary and five demonic Eggs.
Abruptly, the game switched from my Party screen to the overworld map without any of the normal transition. After a moment I steeled myself and directed my character’s overworld sprite back to the Daycare. The only way to get this over with was to get those Eggs out of my Party, and this wasn’t just something I was hoping, either. Somehow I knew that if I could just remove these cursed things from my current team it would return everything to normal. It wouldn’t be much longer now, the Daycare was just a few steps out of sight…
When it came into view I knew things were going to get worse before they got better. For one, the Daycare was wrecked. The door was missing, there were holes in the roof, and the Daycare Man was nowhere to be seen. I rode my Bike to the empty doorway and was surprised when I was stopped at it, like I’d hit an invisible wall. A moment later a text box popped up saying, “See it through.” It was then replaced by a smaller box with the options of Yes and No in it. I took a few deep breaths to steady my frayed and broken nerves, then hit the A button with Yes highlighted. The box vanished and I once more tried entering the Daycare; this time I was able to.
Despite how badly I wanted this to end, I still wish to this day that the game had refused to let me in that place.
The transition screen from overworld map to inside the Daycare stayed black for several seconds longer than it should have, which by now, I knew, could only mean something awful was being set up. I had no idea how right my fears were until the screen finally loaded, showing me a sickening scene for which I was in no way prepared. The screen loaded, revealing not the normal interior of the Daycare, but what appeared to be a real-life photo of the same thing. There was a counter in the upper left-hand corner of the room, a computer to the right of that, and a black doorway leading to some other part of the Daycare. But that wasn’t what struck me with such horror that it was practically a physical blow.
Three bodies were here as well. One of them was the bald guy who randomly hangs out in this generation’s Daycare. His head was missing, just gone. His arms and legs were severed from his body and set in a bloody pile near his right side. His clothing was torn to shreds, and his chest was badly mauled. He was lying in the upper right-hand corner of the room, across from the PC, which had been knocked over and broken apart. The other two corpses were those of the Daycare Man and Lady, and their remains were more nightmarish than those of the Cueball. The Daycare Man was sprawled in the middle of the floor, his entire body mangled beyond belief. He was lying on his stomach, but his neck had been so grossly twisted that his destroyed face was staring at the ceiling. He looked like he’d taken a sawed-shotgun and shoved the barrel in his mouth before pulling the trigger. His arms and legs were lying at impossible angles, clearly having been shattered beyond repair to be in such positions. There were wounds on his back that were so extensive I could clearly see his guts and other internal organs. Finally, the Daycare Lady was lying across the counter on her back. Her body was split open from throat to groin, her entrails tossed about like party streamers. Her head had been ripped from her neck and placed in her stomach; empty eye sockets crying trails of blood stared back at me emptily. Her hands were missing at the wrists, looking like they’d been taken off with sheer physical force.
I took the scene in, my overloaded, terror-riddled mind not at first noticing the almost impossible amount of blood painting the walls and floor. Nor did I readily notice the fact that I was viewing this hideous image through my character sprite’s eyes, as she was nowhere in the image and the angle of it wasn’t the normal top-down view of the game. I stared for several minutes before something managed to pierce through the thick haze of fear strangling my mind.
Movement, something in the doorway that was coming forward. Against my will I focused on what was approaching, and it soon revealed itself to be a Zorua. Like everything else, it appeared to be a part of the real-life look to the picture, only the picture now appeared to be more like some twisted snuff video. The Pokemon looked like a small black bat-eared fox, if a bat-eared fox had a tuft of fur on its forehead and a thick mane around its neck. The tips of all four paws, normally a maroon hue, were slick and stained nearly as black as its pelt by blood, and its red eyebrows looked more like raw, weeping wounds. Its ears were pressed against its head and its tail puffed up, speaking clearly of its anger and aggression. But even worse than that were its eyes; Zorua usually had piercing electric blue eyes, but this one’s were dark crimson orbs burning with a loathing that nearly made me physically ill, it was so strong.
Those horrid eyes held my attention so firmly that it wasn’t until the little fox leapt on the counter near the Daycare Lady’s body that I noticed something pink in its jaws. It took me a moment to realize what it was: a Ditto, with bloody gashes on its body and vicious bite marks on what most likely were its throat. The thing resembled nothing more than a giant blob of chewed gum, but even so, the sight of its obviously dead body was somehow…wrong. With a toss of its head, Zorua spat Ditto’s body out and it landed on the floor with a wet thud that made me wince. I then noticed that what before looked like random slashes were actually marks spelling out something: FATHER IS DEAD
Father…? Wait, this Ditto, then, and this Zorua…these must have been the Pokemon I’d dropped off in the Daycare before this madness started. Zorua glared at me with her baleful eyes, then abruptly turned her right side to me. There were words carved into her flesh as well, each of the wounds oozing blood that was matting the rich ebony fur around them: MOTHER KILLED HIM
And as soon as I finished those words Zorua spun around, revealing on her other side: YOU’RE NEXT
I felt a slimy, cold sweat erupt all over my body at those words etched into the side of my Pokemon, and when she turned to face me again, she let out a snarl that made my blood freeze in my veins. As if that weren’t bad enough, at that moment a black text box popped up at the bottom of the screen. Instead of just saying, “Oh?” like it did when an Egg was about to hatch, this time it said, “Oh…no…” and the next instant had flashed to five rocking, bloodstained Eggs that were arranged in the shape of a star. Music started playing all of a sudden, making me cry out in alarm. The music was Egg-hatching music, except distorted to demonic levels.
I watched the Eggs shake and wiggle with mounting dread that made my stomach cramp painfully until finally, with a startling cracking noise, all five of them hatched. The screen flashed white and a nerve-wracking jingle played, and then the previous screen loaded. Only now instead of five Bad Eggs, there were five gruesome Zorua looking back at me. Each one looked partially decayed as well as badly deformed; the worst one was the top one, which looked like it had been skinned and gutted. Like their mother, each one had blazing red eyes that looked full of blood.
The screen went back to the realistic shot from before. Before me stood the skinned Zorua, while to my left was one with a squashed head and bones sticking from its sides and legs. On my right was one whose lips were gone, making it look like one of those smile.jpg pictures, and its ears were nothing more than small holes in the side of its head. Behind me were the other two, and I swear that in my room, I could sense the presence of those things, like they really WERE right there. I could almost feel their rotten breath on my skin…
The Zorua before me swiped a paw, growling and barking in Poke-speech. A white text box appeared at the bottom of the screen, obviously translating what was being said: MOTHER WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU. BUT YOU ONLY WANTED TO USE HER. FATHER LOVED YOU,
BUT YOU LEFT HIM HERE, ABANDONED, AND HIS LOVE TURNED TO BITTERNESS.
The text box vanished a second after I’d finished reading what was in it. Then the earless Zorua, who was standing to my right, swiped a paw and started “speaking”, and the box came up again: YOU THREW WEAVER IN A DARK PRISON TO MAKE US,
EVEN THOUGH SHE DID HER BEST TO MAKE YOU HAPPY.
YOU DIDN’T CARE HOW DEEPLY IT HURT OR SCARED HER.
Weaver…she was the Sewaddle
I had been EV training. I had needed to put her in the PC in order to free up as many spots in my team as possible for the cursed Eggs I’d picked up. Now, with an overload of terror pounding at me, I felt something else added to the maelstrom raging within me.
I didn’t have much time to process this new emotion before the text box disappeared, only to come back when the Zorua with the squashed head lashed at the air: YOU CARED ONLY FOR YOUR OWN GAIN, NOT FOR THE
FEELINGS OF THOSE YOU WERE CONTROLLING. YOU
MADE UNNATURAL THINGS OCCUR AND IT CREATED US.
And finally, Mother Zorua whipped a paw through the air. This time the text box didn’t vanish before she started to speak: FATHER USED ME, BUT ONLY BECAUSE YOU WERE USING
HIM. HE HURT ME, BUT ONLY BECAUSE HE WAS ALSO
BEING HURT. THESE PEOPLE WATCHED, UNCARING AND UNWILLING
TO HELP US. WEAVER SITS IN A WORLD WITH NO LIGHT
OR SOUND OR SENSATION OF ANY KIND. YOU WILL HURT
NO ONE ELSE AFTER THIS, JUST AS THESE ONES WILL
NEVER BE ALLOWED TO SIMPLY WATCH US SUFFER.
I WILL MAKE SURE OF THAT.
And then, with no warning, the little black fox lunged forward with a shrill yelp. I jumped in surprise as the screen went black, hoping that maybe the nightmare was finally over. But then the screen loaded again, and this time it was focused on a new element. It was a young woman, sprawled on her back with gashes along her arms and chest. The words “NEVER AGAIN” were etched into her stomach. This person wasn’t dead, which was obvious from the terrified screaming and crying she was doing.
I started to gasp uncontrollably at this new sight, this final straw, and I could feel the last remaining threads of sanity I had snapping away, one by one. For that woman on the floor I was looking at wasn’t my in-game character…
…she was ME.
I had barely processed this when the game suddenly blacked out and started emitting a feeble, continual beep. I paid it no mind, trying to come to terms with what I’d seen on the screen. As I tried to force myself to understand it, a blaze of pain abruptly erupted along my arms, as well as my chest and stomach. Just before the pain chased me into blackness, two simple words echoed in my mind: NEVER AGAIN…
I woke to shaking and the panicked voice of Mom calling my name. Instantly I was aware of a horrible pain in my arms, but I barely cared about that. It took only a moment for me to spot the game on the floor, laying near the lamp. It had died at some point, no longer making sound or even powered on. I shuddered as I stared at the screen, expecting it to come back on and show me more horrid things.
As soon as I was awake Mom asked what had happened. I could tell that she was still worried sick for me, and I could understand why; coming home to find her daughter unconscious with gashes all over would have made any mother fearful. I found myself unable to explain what had happened, though, and not because I didn’t think she wouldn’t believe me. There was just some part of me that refused to be honest, as if I were unconsciously afraid of somehow putting her in danger or something. Thankfully, she seemed too concerned about my health and didn’t wait for an answer before bustling me to the car and taking me to the emergency room of OSU Medical Center.
I had eight deep gashes that needed dozens of stitches to close, four on each arm and all of them going from shoulder to wrist. Thanks to the severity of the wounds (which were only bleeding a bit now and partially scabbed over), I was given higher priority than the other people in the ER and instantly whisked away to a trauma unit for immediate surgery. I was hooked up to a machine that delivered a powerful dose of anesthetic, and the last thing I was aware of was someone making a comment of why someone would do something like this to themselves.
I came to some hours later, my eyes feeling thick and full of Neosporin. Everything was blurry and I felt groggy enough to fall back asleep. I forced myself awake, though, and instantly noticed the thick bandages wound around my arms. I stared at them for a moment before some doctor or another came in, made a remark about me being awake, and bustled back out to get my mom. There was a whirlwind of activity I can’t really remember, but at some point I was helped into a wheelchair and taken outside to where Mom’s car was. No words were spoken as she drove me home, other than her briefly mentioning that the surgeon placing the stitches had told her no one could identify what had caused the wounds. They hadn’t been put there by claws, or a knife, or a razor, or any other number of objects capable of such precise, perfectly straight slashes. On top of that, the wounds had just barely missed major veins and arteries, such as those in my wrists and the bend of my elbow. I didn’t say anything in response and by some instinct Mom knew not to push me on the subject, for which I was grateful.
When we got home Mom let me rest in her bed, as my sheets were covered in blood from the injuries on my arms. As she was busy bundling up the sheets to wash them, I went into the bathroom and quickly examined myself for the cuts I hadn’t mentioned to either Mom or the surgeon. There, just as I’d known there would be, were dozens of smaller, minor scratches and tears in the skin. And on my stomach were the words NEVER AGAIN. The cuts making these words had already scabbed over and were no longer bleeding, but it was obvious they would leave a scar I’d carry for the rest of my life.
As I stared at those wounds, something in the back of my mind stirred. Something that was beginning to overcome the fear, a rational side of my brain that demanded answers, no matter if they were right, wrong, or not even plausible. Maybe it was my strong belief in the supernatural, the otherworldly, or maybe it was inspired by the horrid events that had taken place, but after several moments an explanation for what had happened unfolded in my psyche.
Something, some cruel and powerful entity of some kind, had decided to have a bit of fun with an unsuspecting mortal. It had most likely chosen its victim at random and, once it found them, deigned the most convenient way of screwing with their heads. If it had been someone watching television, then maybe they would have had their favorite show warped in some horrific manner. If it had been someone surfing the Internet they would have likely had their computer taken over by the macabre. It just so happened that I was the unlucky winner of that celestial lottery, and at the time I had been playing my game.
This thing, whatever it was, had used my game and DS as a medium for its sanity-draining prank. Things that had at first seemed like the programming gone rogue most likely were just the doings of the entity, twisting the programming and forcing these heinous glitches to happen. The programming for each letter was there in the game; with a bit of its own hacking, the entity could have easily strung together coding for the things it had made the game say. Coding for the various colors was also there, and the thing that had gotten into my game would have also been able to rearrange the order and colors of the pixels in order to make Ironbeak dead.
However, the impossible noises and the real-life sequence at the end…those were in no way generated by the game itself. Instead, the entity simply used the game as a window, one that glimpsed into some alter-dimension where these things were really happening. It was horrible to think that in some different universe there really were three dead bodies that were there simply because a heartless deity of some kind wanted to toy with me; as soon as the thought occurred to me I reverently hoped I was wrong about this theory. It could have been an illusion, perhaps, one projected either on the screen or maybe directly into my brain, and even though the latter idea was troubling, it was still better than the possibility of random dead bodies used solely for my torment.
The idea of some ancient, evil-hearted thing taking over my game could also explain my injuries and the nasty shock I’d received after tossing the game to the floor. By using the game system as a medium, whatever had taken it over would have been able to do a sort of energy transfer. This would have only worked with me holding the system so the energy could pass into me, which was why I didn’t get the shock until I’d touched the game with my foot. If I hadn’t been holding the system when I’d seen myself torn up in the game, those injuries wouldn’t have found their way onto my flesh, either.
And what of other possibilities? Maybe I’d fallen asleep playing my game and something had found me then, twisting my dreams into a nightmare and inflicting those injuries on me while I slept. Perhaps some psycho had broken into our apartment, drugged me, and meticulously cut me open while vicious sights plagued my unconscious mind. The more I thought about it the more confused and uncertain I felt, until finally I forced all thoughts of the event from my mind, refusing to dwell upon it any longer. What had happened had happened, and at that moment, my mind was too broken and my nerves too frayed to keep contemplating the possible causes for the occurrence.
I may not know what had actually caused those things to happen that night, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to play my White version since then. As Mom was putting my sheets in the washer I cautiously went to the DS on the floor, removed the AR from it, and nearly broke it as I wrenched the game card out of it. I then put the game card back in its case, which I buried under books and papers in one of my dressers. The AR itself I threw in the trash, and the DS I kept, dead and empty, in my computer bag. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to play it again, but if I do, after that experience I won’t ever even think about hacking it.