A Slenderman URPG story
NOTE: Inspired by the fact that various ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) have their own sort of mythos for Slenderman, I’m going to be doing the same thing. As such you won’t really be seeing the terms Slenderman, Proxies, Operator Symbol, and so on, except maybe in reference to general lore. It’s all still the same concept, just with different names to give it its own special flare.
On December the 22nd, 2012, the Apocalypse struck.
It wasn’t zombies, or a meteor, or any of the massive volcanoes spewing enough ash and debris into the atmosphere to cause the next ice age. It wasn’t the sun exploding, or the poles shifting, or nuclear war. It was the work of man, doing what he did best: that which he should not.
For decades, the worldwide company known as EnvironMental had been the leading group in the health industry. Their medicines, vitamins and other goods were all obtained in environmentally-sound and Eco-friendly manners, always using renewable and organic substances. However, what most people didn’t know, including a good number of those working for the company, was that many of the breakthroughs that had led to a majority of EnvironMental’s innovations came from illegal genetic testing. Most of this was carried out on Pokemon, who’s DNA held extraordinary secrets for those with the patience and technology to unlock them.
This experimentation was done in top-secret, highly secured testing labs located all around the globe. The scientists working in these labs often had no family or friends to speak of, most of them actually living their whole lives in the facilities. This was one of the facts that would eventually lead to the outbreak of what would come to be known as the Crossbreed Virus.
For years, the top laboratories of EnvironMental had been working on a way to use Pokemon stem cells in various treatments for humans. The Pokemon cells were much more resilient and versatile than human stem cells, and much easier to collect. Scientists thought the keys to Pokemon hardiness and even their ability to use incredible powers could be linked to the stem cells. They hoped to use this to overcome crippling diseases such as cancer and AIDS, and to extend human longevity as well.
The majority of their testing was centered around taking Pokemon stem cells and injecting them into human subjects suffering from various ailments. Most of the subjects reacted badly to the foreign cells, becoming extremely sick as their bodies tried to fight off what it perceived as a bizarre infection. Others were unaffected by the cells, aside from mild cold-like symptoms such as coughing for a few days. Other than these cases, though, there’d been no success to the scientists’ endeavors.
On the third of December, 2012, however, their continued patience paid off, though in a way entirely different from what they’d been expecting. A young man had come into their custody, one who had only a tiny portion of his left lung thanks to a childhood infection that had destroyed most of the organ. He was injected with Gallade stem cells, but instead of the results that had come to be expected, the cells began to fuse with those of the young man. The Gallade DNA then started to meld with the man’s human DNA, something no one had ever thought would occur. The fusing of DNA altered the man, giving him certain physical characteristics of a Gallade and even imparting many of the Pokemon’s abilities to him.
And so, the world’s first Hybrid was created.
The melding of Pokemon and human DNA caused random mutations, though, mutations that resulted in a malignant strand of DNA forming in the Hybrid’s cells. This newly-formed virus began attacking its host, seeming to focus mostly on the brain. Within a week, the Hybrid had been reduced to a mindless raving beast, attacking anyone who came within sight with a frightening savagery. Even Pokemon, when brought near the Hybrid, were ruthlessly set up if they could be reached.
The Hybrid’s rapid and unexpected mental decline, on top of the fact that he’d been so mutated to begin with, meant those in the lab were poorly prepared in regards to handling and containing him. All it took was a well-placed Psychic blast to knock the door of the Hybrid’s cell off its hinges and set him loose in the underground Unova facility. Most were killed, left mutilated beyond recognition, but a good number somehow managed to survive. The Hybrid himself eventually worked his way to one of the emergency exits and from there, out into the forest surrounding the well-hidden entrance to the laboratory.
Once in the wilds, he attacked any living creature he came across. Many were able to escape with only minor injuries, but there was a fatal truth to the virus now rampant in the Hybrid’s body. It was contagious, highly so, and was carried in all the Hybrid’s bodily fluids, even saliva. Most of the Pokemon he attacked ended up with some of the virus in their system in one way or another, where it quickly set to work reducing them to crazed beasts. On top of them, those living in the lab who’d managed to survive the Hybrid’s riot were infected as well. Most of them ended up dying, but those that lived through the second ordeal became insane Hybrids as well. Like the one who’d infected them, they soon managed to find their way out of the lab into the world.
It wasn’t long before the Hybrids and infected Pokemon reached civilization. They came to Mistralton City first and completely wiped it out, leaving all its inhabitants either dead or mutated into Hybrids, or in the case of Pokemon, dead or infected. The virus, adapting to the species of whatever host it infected, would carry the DNA of that species into any humans that survived an attack. Thus a wide variety of Hybrids came out of Mistralton, and from there the virus made short work of Unova.
On December the 22nd of 2012, Mistralton City fell and the beginning of the end arrived.
The rest of the world fared little better than Unova had, as there were many Hybrids and Pokemon who could fly or swim to various parts of the planet. They arrived at other regions in droves, too many to destroy before they started to rampage all over again. However, humanity was determined not to let itself be wiped out. When it became obvious the Hybrids and infected Pokemon were too numerous and too powerful, entire cities and towns were evacuated into underground bunkers and safe houses.
And yet, the world above ground wasn’t completely lost to the crazed Hybrids and infected Pokemon, which had been termed Mongrels and Ferals, respectively. There were people who were able to assimilate the virus perfectly; they became Hybrids, but didn’t suffer any of the mental decline of the Mongrels. These Hybrids roamed the surface, some trying to find a place in the world, others out only for themselves. Some wanted to find a cure for the Crossbreed Virus so the infected could be cured of their madness and humans could safely emerge from their underground vaults.
The year is now 2017, and humans have been leaving their vaults in waves thanks to overpopulation and unsanitary conditions. The world is still teeming with Mongrels and Ferals, and sane Hybrids are harshly prejudiced against. There has been no success in coming close to finding a cure for the Crossbreed Virus, if one even exists. For now, all that can be done is struggle to survive in the wasteland that is now Earth.
It was the middle of the night, a little after midnight according to the glow-in-the-dark Hoothoot clock on my nightstand. I was sitting up in my bed, having recently been woken by…well, I wasn’t sure. It was a creeping sensation, like someone was staring at me. But there was no one in my room other than myself and my various Pokemon plushies. The feeling of being stared at remained, though; in fact, it grew even stronger. I clutched my quilt as fear thrilled through me, but I wrestled it away after a moment. I was fifteen, no longer a little kid to be scared of the dark. Besides, I was too tough to be afraid. Years of helping my parents run their privately-owned Daycare had seen to that.
“Stop being such a girl, Rena” I said out loud, but my voice sounded hollow and tiny instead of brave. “Real women don’t let their imaginations scare them…” I then scowled and tossed my quilt aside, swinging my legs over the side of my bed and standing. On a whim, I strode to my window and pushed the curtains to the side, determined to prove to myself that there was, indeed, nothing to be frightened of. I peered out of the window, scanning the sidewalk and road for any trace of danger. I didn’t see anything and nodded to myself, forcing a laugh at the dread still gripping my innards.
“See? There’s nothing out th-“ I abruptly cut myself off when my wandering gaze came upon something that simply didn’t belong. Tall and thin, clad in black, standing in the middle of the road…I blinked out of shock, and when my eyes opened, what I’d thought I’d seen was gone. I let out another laugh, this one shaky and faint. I hastily tugged my curtains closed and tried to ignore the urge to rush to my parents’ room. I was way too old to go crying to Mom and Dad just because a shadow had spooked me. I shook my head and made a compromise with myself; turn my light on for the rest of the night. I hadn’t needed a light on in years, but I figured that this one time wouldn’t really matter. I turned from the window-
I froze, fear exploding in me like New Year’s fireworks going off in my veins. My mouth went dry and a chill settled in my bones. My heart began to race to quickly it hurt, as if I were gripped by a heart attack. Breathing was nearly impossible, since it felt like my chest was shrinking and constricting my lungs. I could only stare, incapable of making any kind of noise, at the figure standing in front of my closed door.
Tall, far too tall. My ceiling was nearly ten feet high, but this…this thing…almost had to bend over to avoid hitting its bald, pale on it. Thin, so much so that it looked almost fragile. Its arms and legs were long and lanky, almost skeleton-like. It wore what looked like a black tuxedo and a dark red tie. But the worst thing of all was it had absolutely no face. In the faint light of my clock I could see the contours where facial features should be.
And then several ropey black tendrils rose from behind the creature, snaking through the air towards me without a sound and with more speed than I was expecting. They ensnared me before I even realized what had happened. The last thing I saw before I was completely enveloped was that pale faceless head, and a voice whispering words I couldn’t understand.
I startled awake, blindly swiping at the air as a rough cry rose in my throat. I blinked groggily when my claws hit only empty air, shifting in the plush recliner I’d fallen asleep in and glancing around blearily. I was the only occupant in the room, which was how it should be. I grumbled under my breath and wiped at my eyes to clear the blurriness of sleep from them, sitting up and stretching afterward. I then reluctantly stood and stifled a yawn before heading to the kitchen.
I’d been having this dream for nearly a week now, this dream where I was abducted by a faceless being. It was probably just the stress of being attacked by Hybrids the past several days. Not Mongrels, either, but sane ones like myself. The stress was simply mixing with old stories my family used to tell of a being just like the one in my dreams, a being known only as The Overseer. My family had a long history of psychosis and random disappearances; the stories went that this Overseer either made my bloodline insane or stole them away. The tales were nothing but feeble attempts by my family to excuse the deviancy it was partial to, a way for them to avoid taking the blame for the issues.
The dreams had reminded me, though, of the night six years ago, when I had been kidnapped. Someone had gone through a lot of trouble to impersonate The Overseer; either they’d gotten stilts and a suit and the whole shebang, or they’d had a Pokemon create the illusion of The Overseer being there. My money was on the latter, since it would be easy for any Ghost or Psychic Pokemon to make me experience what I had that night. I had ended up passing out just as the tendrils had wrapped me up all the way, most likely due to a Hypnosis. I’d been gone a whole year before eventually being found in a park about five blocks from my home, wandering aimlessly with no memory of the past twelve months. The amnesia was probably the work of whatever Pokemon had helped snatch me away in the first place.
I also remembered the fact that my parents had been thoroughly freaked out by the incident. Even though a visit to the hospital revealed I hadn’t been abused or injured in any way, within a month we’d moved from Goldenrod City, located in Johto, all the way to Canalave City in Sinnoh. It had taken time to get used to the differences, since living in a port city was a lot different from living in a suburban city, but as the months passed, my parents became less paranoid and things started to return to normal.
At least, they had before everything had gone to hell in Unova.
A group of half-human, half-Pokemon creatures, as well as a veritable horde of Pokemon, had descended upon Mistralton City and obliterated it within days. The humans who’d survived ended up turning into bizarre half-human, half-Pokemon creatures as well, and the surviving Pokemon went as bonkers as the ones that had first attacked the city. It hadn’t taken long for Unova to be completely decimated, or for what scientists started calling the Crossbreed Virus to make its way to other regions.
Coastal cities and towns of Kanto and several other regions, including Sinnoh, were hit first, swamped by hundreds of what were now called Hybrids and Ferals. Those that could fly swarmed other locations; even though the Sinnoh branch of the Pokemon League, in addition to the Sinnoh military and numerous Master Trainers, had been present to deal with the threat, they’d been quickly overwhelmed by the number and ferocity of the invaders. Canalave had been one of the first cities to fall, though my parents and I had fled the city before it became a graveyard. We, as well as numerous other people, had gone to Snowpoint City under the assumption that its location and frequent inclement weather would prevent Hybrids or Ferals from overrunning it. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to mind the snow and blizzards and freezing temperatures, because it wasn’t even a week after they arrived in Sinnoh that Snowpoint was raided.
It was in that attack that a Kangaskhan Feral literally smashed through a wall of the house we were staying at, killing most of the other people living there. My parents and I were all bitten by her when we tried protecting the others; Mom and Dad ended up becoming Mongrels, but something about me was different. I became a Hybrid, yes, but I retained all my mental faculties. I can assure you that the process was extremely horrible and painful, not to mention the random hallucinations I had as the virus ran rampant through me. I later learned other Hybrids remained sane as well, though in comparison to the Mongrels, we were definitely the minority. I still don’t remember much of what happened after I was bitten, but the details I do recall are very vivid. Candice had arrived shortly after the Feral and dispatched of the rampaging creature with her Medicham before hustling the survivors out of the house. I was being taken to a hospital before blood loss from my injury made me pass out, but not before seeing my parents begin to go crazy from the virus.
I shook my head, pushing aside the dark reminiscing and realizing that I had opened the fridge while my mind wandered to days gone by. I stared at the contents, which had gone bad so long ago that they no longer produced an odor. Most everything was now just little shriveled piles of whatever it had once been. Since such privileges as electricity and running water had ceased to be once the Crossbreed Virus had swept through the region, it wasn’t surprising that the items contained in any fridge had long since lost the right to be called “food”. I supposed it was only deeply-rooted habit from my pre-virus days that had caused me to go to the fridge rather than the cabinets.
This house, it seemed, had been raided already, either by sane Hybrids -or Civilized, as I liked to call us- or humans. There was a random pack of stale PokeChow way in the back, but I didn’t feel like eating years-old food. My stomach rumbled dully to remind me I hadn’t eaten a decent meal in nearly four days, which prompted me to throw my clawed hands into the air with an exasperated sigh.
“I’m trying here, okay, but other than going to the nearest PokeMart and snagging canned PokeChow, there’s just not much food to be found lying around,” I grumbled. My stomach made a few offensive noises before grudgingly falling silent. I shook my head and hopefully pawed through a few other cabinets, but didn’t find anything remotely edible. Groaning in defeat, I turned and left the kitchen. A few minutes later I passed through the living room and opening the front door when I reached it. I was stepping outside when I noticed something in my peripheral vision, a tall flash of black in the distance that made me jerk my head in its direction to focus on it. There was nothing but a few twisted trees, though, and I chuckled at myself for how jumpy I’d become recently. It seemed stress and hunger could cause a person to see some pretty bizarre hallucinations.
I set off at a brisk trot, not bothering to close the door behind me when I left. There were several houses in this area I hadn’t checked yet, but last night I’d been forced into hiding when a group of Mongrels passed through. The fact that I was a Hybrid as well hardly mattered, since Mongrels and Ferals would often fight each other as well as any humans or Civilized they came across. It was rare to see more than two or three traveling together without some kind of fatal battle breaking out, but a gang of at least ten had come around the previous night. There’d been no way for me to fight all of them, so my only option had been to lay low until they moved on.
Now I made my way to the closest house, a tiny little thing that looked more like a fancy hut than an actual house. When I reached the front door I found it was locked, as was the back door and all the windows. This was a good sign; only those who could Teleport or phase through the walls would be able to get into the house without breaking down a door or shattering a window, but everything was intact. There was a good chance I could find some decent food here. Having been subsiding mostly on overly-sweet Berries and the occasional can of PokeChow the past four days, I was ready for some real food.
I glanced around to ensure the coast was clear before sinking the claws of both hands into the wooden door. I then spread me legs in a wide stance and set my shoulders before yanking backward, using my tail as additional force to help wrench the door off its hinges. They squealed loudly for a few seconds as the metal warped and twisted before snapping, the door coming free so suddenly I nearly toppled over. I looked around again, but nothing seemed to have heard the noise, so I quietly set the door down and wiped my palms on my pants before heading inside.
It was a nice little place, with soft cream carpets and walls that were painted a rich, warm honey color. The plush couch and loveseat in the living room were made from amber fabric and some kind of dark wood for the legs, and the tables here and there were a light brown color with an immaculate shine. There were bookcases filled with various knick-knacks rather than books, and a multitude of paintings hung upon the walls. There was an entertainment system that was bare of anything save a few cables; the work of petty raiders, stealing valuables and electronics when the world had been going absolutely crazy. In the end, money had come to be worthless, and most raiders met their demise at the fangs and claws passing Mongrels and Ferals.
The house was set up in a weird way, with the front door leading to the living room, but then having to go straight back through a bedroom to reach the kitchen. As I passed the bedroom I caught a flash of movement from the corner of my eye. I whirled to face what I was certain was a threat only to find the movement had come from my reflection as I walked by a full-length mirror hanging on the door. I paused for a moment and stared at the mirror, my racing heart slowly receding to a more normal speed.
Even after five years, it was still sometimes a surprise to see myself, especially when I wasn’t expecting it. I stood at roughly 5’11 tall and, unlike the Pokemon that had infected me, was lean and muscular rather than bulky. My body, rather than skin, was covered in smooth and supple gray-brown scales that were, surprisingly, more sensitive than my human skin had been. Platinum-blonde hung to my waist and usually hung in my bright red eyes, which is why I tended to tie it up in a simple braid. Above each ear I had a small, blunt white horn; these weren’t good for stabbing or goring, but could help me deliver a nasty head butt. The small but sharp claws on my fingers and toes, however, were very good at stabbing and goring. To finish the whole thing off was a thick, powerful tail growing from the base of my spine, extending about three feet behind me. All in all, other than my (not very imposing) height, I wasn’t exactly the kind of Hybrid to send people fleeing as they screamed for their lives.
I sighed and picked at my clothes as I studied my reflection. A simple white long-sleeved shirt and tan khakis were all I bothered wearing. The shirt and pants were torn in several places thanks to numerous fights I’d been in, but they weren’t so damaged that they were overly revealing. At any rate, they were still comfortable and I felt incredibly awkward pawing through another person’s clothes, so I hadn’t bothered swapping them out for something in better condition. I didn't bother with shoes of any kind thanks to the calloused scales on the bottoms of my feet, which offered better protection than most footwear.
Staring at my reflection too long inevitably sent me back to memories of my parents and the attack that had, quite literally, completely changed my life. I shook my head to clear the depressing thoughts and turned from the mirror, marching to the kitchen and focusing on trying to find something relatively nourishing.
The cabinets contained nothing but random dishes, but there was a pantry in the back of the kitchen that was crammed full of various foods commonly used for disaster situations. A few pails of MREs, the kind you could get at a store, dozens of canned goods, several boxes of Twinkies (those things were about as immortal as Arceus, it seemed), an entire shelf packed with bottled water, and other goodies were ripe for the taking. I could barely contain my glee as I grabbed a few cans of SpaghettiO’s before rummaging in a cupboard to find a can opener. I quickly opened the three cans and dumped the contents into a small pan obtained from under the sink. I then inhaled, holding my breath for several seconds, before releasing it as a red-and-orange burst of flames.
After using my Flamethrower for about seven minutes, the SpaghettiO’s were nice and hot. I grabbed a spoon and proceeded to scarf them down straight from the pan, ignoring the scalding of my tongue as I inhaled the delicious pasta-and-meatball goodness. It took less time for me to eat the stuff than it had for me to heat it up, but at least I was no longer ready to gnaw off my own arm and eat it. Once I was done, I found a rag and wiped out the pan. I’d probably be hanging out here until the food was gone, so it would be best to keep any dishes I might use in the future clean rather than leaving them sit to get nasty.
I snagged a bottle of water from the pantry and left the kitchen after I was done tidying up, heading back into the living room and plopping onto the couch. I wasn’t heavy enough to cause any damage, barely weighing in at one-hundred and sixty pounds, but the plush stuffing made the couch poof up around me in a way that momentarily caused me to worry that I’d broken something. Then the stuffing settled down and I snorted at my concern for breaking something that would most likely never be used again once I left this place.
It wasn’t long before melancholy set in. I absently sipped at my water as I thought about my past, unable to avoid the memories since there was nothing else to occupy myself with. No electricity meant no TV, no internet, no games. There were no radio stations sending out signals, and all devices that might have had music on them had long since died, no longer able to be charged. I’d never been big on reading, as staring at words on a page for more than a few minutes tended to make me dizzy. There was certainly no one to talk to. The only thing I ever really had to worry about was avoiding the Mongrels and Ferals, and even that wasn’t something that took up very much time in most cases.
I sighed and twirled the bottle, watching the water inside swirl around and dwelling on memories of days long since gone by. I thought about the Daycare and all the Pokemon I’d helped raise, all the Pokemon that had been born. Then I found myself wondering how many had managed to survive the past few years, and how many of those had ended up becoming Ferals. I thought about my classmates being jealous when I got to leave school to work at the Daycare. I thought about the weddings, the reunions, and the funerals I’d attended. I thought about my abduction and the things that may have occurred during the year I was gone. I thought about the day I decided against becoming a Trainer and traveling the world, instead opting to stay at home and work with my parents. I thought about all the adventures I might have had as I journeyed with a team of Pokemon, and thought about the adventures I had while dealing with all kinds of Pokemon at the Daycare.
Eventually I got tired of remembering the past and downed the rest of the water in one gulp, tossing the empty plastic bottle to the floor and standing up. My good mood at finding a place well-stocked with food had soured by now, and all I could feel was bitterness that I’d had to resort to this in order to survive. I glared at the empty bottle before turning and heading back to the bedroom, suddenly tired even though I’d just woken up a little while ago. Maybe it was because I had a stomach full of actual food for the first time in days and my body needed some rest to get to digesting, or maybe my brooding had taken a mental toll on me and I needed more sleep to recharge. Or it could have been because I hadn’t slept more than three or four hours at a time in months thanks to the constant threat of being attacked. I’d become something of a light sleeper of the years, a vital habit when the softest sound might alert you to the presence of possible death.
I opened the bedroom door and stepped inside the room, closing the door behind me before trudging to the bed and sitting down. For a moment I stared at wall across the room, wondering what kind of person had lived in this tiny place and what had become of them ever since the Crossbreed Virus broke out. Then I laid down and did my best not to think about anything else other than falling asleep. My mind didn’t like being reined in and tried its best to bring up all sorts of things I didn’t want to be bothered with, but luckily slumber was quick to snatch me from the waking world and all the troubles and sadness it held.
I woke from a deep, dreamless sleep, completely confused and disoriented. It took me a few minutes to remember where I was and how I’d gotten there, at which point I discarded the thought that I hadn’t had the odd dream again. The only time I ever woke up like this, suddenly and without warning, was when a noise or presence startled me awake. I remained still, only moving my eyes as I made sure there was nothing or one in the room with me. Once I’d confirmed I was the only occupant of the room I quickly sat up and flung my legs over the edge of the bed, standing and creeping towards the closed door.
A moment later I heard a crashing noise, like something falling over. I jumped, not having expected something so loud, then cautiously opened the bedroom door a crack. There was nothing in the hallway that I could see. I considered my options for a moment: I could either confront who or whatever had broken in, fling the door open and make a mad dash for the front door, or climb out of the window and hope no Ferals or Mongrels were hanging around and spotted my attempt at escape. The window was looking like my best bet, seeing as I had no desire to confront my “visitor” and find something unpleasant like a Steelix Mongrel. Trying to run to the front door would only draw unwanted attention and most likely result in an equally unwanted chase. I wasn’t exactly built for long-distance running, or running at all, really. I preferred an easy amble over a stressful sprint, though over the years I’d developed an endurance to hours of continuous jogging. Taking one’s time wasn’t a good idea these days, not if you wanted to keep living.
I was stepping back to close the door when I heard another sound. This one was faint and I barely heard it; if I’d been making any noise I would have missed it. It sounded like heavy, gasping breathing, almost as though who or whatever making the noise were on the verge of breaking into tears, or maybe just throw up. I paused for a moment, unsure of what to do. What if it was a kid or someone who’d been hurt? I couldn’t just leave them behind without seeing if there was something I could do to help. The urge to save my own hide warred with the protective and caring nature I’d developed over the years tending to newborn Pokemon. Flee and guarantee my safety, or stay and possibly put myself in danger?
“Dammit,” I muttered, pushing the bedroom door open and warily stepping into the hallway. I glanced towards the kitchen, since that was the direction the crashing noise had come from, and found a small pink Pokemon poking through cans and packages. It currently had its back to me, but I could still see the pink ponytail and what looked like salmon-colored pants with a white waistband covering its lower body. It was a Happiny, a Pokemon I’d only ever seen a few times before when I was younger. They were incredibly rare and hard to breed, but people loved them for their cuteness. Well, that and the fact that they evolved into one of the bulkiest Pokemon around.
It seemed the Happiny had been trying to climb the shelves of the pantry but pulled one down instead. The crashing I’d heard had been the multitude of cans hitting the ground, as well as the heavy wooden shelf. The little Pokemon didn’t appear to be hurt, but was making that heavy panting noise. Maybe she could smell some of the food and was unsure how to get at it; she did look rather thin, not at all as round and plump as a healthy Happiny should be. I felt sorry for the Pokemon and started to walk forward, but at that moment she fell still before turning to face me.
“Well…damn,” I sighed. Happiny’s eyes were tinged a soft rose color, a sign that she’d been infected by the Crossbreed Virus. I didn’t know exactly why it happened; maybe the virus caused blood vessels in the eyes to pop or something. Whatever the cause, Mongrels and Ferals all had the same rosy eyes. Upon spotting me, the Pokemon’s face contorted into a visage of mindless rage. She completely forgot about the food and instead squealed at me; it would have been funny had she not looked ready to rip my head from my shoulders.
“Okay, I think I’m just gonna go now,” I said aloud, hastily backpedaling from the Happiny as she started to stalk towards me. She was small and starving, and Happiny weren’t really known for their prowess in dealing out damage, but the Crossbreed Virus drove Pokemon completely nuts. Their madness and fury leant Ferals strength and endurance a normal Pokemon didn’t possess, and that made them extremely dangerous. This Happiny was about as harmless as a rabid Houndoom.
Before I could get too far, Happiny inhaled deeply and started to stomp around, unleashing a reverberating scream a moment later. I flinched at the sound, my teeth grinding together as my ears were assaulted by the Uproar. A thought occurred to me that the noise might attract unwanted attention, but the sheer volume of it left me unable to think clearly. After a moment, though, Happiny had to stop her attack in order to breathe. Shaking my head and momentarily only able to hear a piercing ring, I leapt towards the Feral. When I’d closed the distance enough, I shifted my weight to my right foot and pulled back my left, then whipped it around with all the force I could muster.
The Mega Kick caught Happiny straight in the gut and sent her flying into the pantry, causing more cans and packs to fall to the floor. Happiny herself hadn’t hit any shelves but instead landed on top of one. Despite the blow she’d taken, she didn’t stay down for long. She couldn’t stand up since there wasn’t room between the shelves, but that didn’t stop her from grabbing a can and heaving it at me. I was too surprised to dodge and ended up getting conked on the forehead, causing me to stumble back with a rather colorful string of choice words. I reached up to rub the stinging ache that bloomed from where the can had hit before noticing Happiny had wiggled herself from the shelf and was on the floor again.
“All right you little-“ I started, only to be cut off when a harsh white light exploded from Happiny’s body. I yelped and squeezed my eyes shut, flinging my arms up out of instinct. Once the glare died away I dropped my arms and blinked away the tears that had formed. Everything looked a little bleary no matter how much I blinked or rubbed my eyes, and it now appeared as though there were two Happiny standing side-by-side.
During the time I’d spent trying to recover from the Flash, Happiny had been preparing yet another attack. Both she and her afterimage opened their mouths and exhaled a bright red stream of flames. I dove to the left, barely dodging the Flamethrower as it tore by. The heat of it singed my right side a bit, but it was better than getting hit. I hit the ground in an ungraceful heap but quickly rolled to my feet, lifting my right foot as I stood. Happiny hadn’t even had time to end her Flamethrower before I slammed my foot down, feeling the impact resonate through my body. As soon as my right foot came down I smoothly shifted my weight to it and raised my left, repeating the process. It was a jarring series of stomps, but after a few moments the ground began to quake. As Happiny’s Flamethrower finally petered out, a series of giant cracks and fissures tore themselves open with a succession of sharp cracks and resounding pops. Splinters of wood went flying every which way as the floor was ripped up, and the force of splitting wood sent Happiny tumbling when one of the larger fractures went between her feet.
While Happiny struggled to get back to her feet, I took a moment to recover. Earthquake wasn’t my favorite move since it taxed my feet and legs so much, and I’d definitely be having cramps later, but it was one of the best attacks I had for tripping up enemies. It had saved my life more times than I cared to admit, and now it would help me get away from this crazy little Pokemon before things got any worse. After the numbness in my feet subsided some, I hurriedly exited the kitchen and made for the front door.
I was fairly certain I was in the clear when I reached the empty doorway, but at that moment a strange windy trilling noise reached my ears. I made the mistake of slowing down a bit, frowning as I tried to place the sound, and ended up getting hit square between my shoulders a second later by something unbelievably cold. I staggered forward and let out a shrill curse as a deep chill raced through my body, settling itself in my bones. I found myself shivering and tried to force myself to keep moving, but the cold was so intense I couldn’t achieve anything faster than a sluggish walk. My teeth chattered together a few times as I turned to see Happiny running towards me, her arms outstretched.
“I-I-Icy Wi-i-i-nd,” I stammered with a dark scowl, irritation and concern fighting to be the dominant emotion. I was too cold to run and probably too cold to fight effectively, and while Happiny was definitely moving slower than before, she wasn’t weak enough to leave me be. I shook my head to try and clear my blurred vision and get rid of the icy fog gripping my mind. I needed to come up with something to end this before Happiny ended me.
Gotta get warm or I can’t do jack, I thought, sucking in as deep a breath as I could. I inhaled until I felt like my chest was going to burst, then tilted my head back as I clenched my gut. I have no idea what kind of reaction doing that caused, only that the end result was me spewing up a cascade of brilliant orange-red flames. My Flamethrower exited my mouth with a dull roar, burning larger and hotter than Happiny’s had earlier. The fire rose into a pillar before arching back towards me, engulfing me a moment later. The flames were pleasantly warm, not setting me or my clothes on fire as most might expect. It was just one of those weird Pokemon things science had never gotten around to explaining; so long as a Pokemon’s attack didn’t hit them because of something like Counter or Mirror Coat, it didn’t cause them any harm.
The Flamethrower quickly melted the ice in my veins and chased away the bone-deep chill, and I let the attack die out. When the fire died away I saw Happiny standing a few feet away, a murderous gleam in her rose-colored eyes. I was surprised she’d come this close with my Flamethrower raging around me, but I didn’t have time to think about it before she suddenly lunged at me. I stepped back but not quick enough, and the Feral’s skull collided with my chest. The Headbutt knocked the wind from my lungs and I nearly fell over, only just catching myself by grabbing the doorway with my left hand. I then balled my right into a fist and drew it back, narrowing my eyes in an attempt to focus and clear my vision. That earlier Flash was proving to be a pain in the ass, for certain.
Before gravity could take hold of Happiny, I finally decided my aim was as good as it could get and snapped my fist around. It connected with Happiny’s left side, and the moment it made contact with the Feral’s soft body, I felt a jolt race through my arm into my body. It spread like fire, only instead of burning, this was a satisfying sensation as the ache from my various injuries lessened a bit. A sharp burn had started to flare in my chest where Happiny had hit, probably the result of a fracture or something, but it lightened to a tolerable level after my Drain Punch replenished some of my energy.
Happiny wasn’t quite as lucky and didn’t fare nearly as well from the attack. The force of it sent her into the wall, which she bounced off of with a little squeak. It almost sounded like someone throwing a squeaky toy against a wall, and I would have laughed had I not felt a little sorry for the poor thing. She hadn’t asked for this, after all, and it wasn’t her fault the virus had driven her crazy. I willed her to stay down, to give up so we could leave it at that, but it seemed she had a bit of fight left in her. She struggled to her feet, clearly feeling that last attack, and made a hissing noise I’d never heard a Happiny utter before. The sound and the twisted expression of uncontrollable fury struck me as horribly wrong. Happiny were supposed to be such joyful and peaceful Pokemon, almost impossible to anger.
My pity for the Feral gave her time to ready her next assault. She opened her mouth and started to make an awful gagging noise. At first I thought she was choking somehow, but suddenly the Feral spit a mouthful of thick, sludgy goo at me. It was a sickening green-yellow hue, tinged with dark purple streaks, and even before it reached me I could smell a horrid bitterness radiating from it. Words cannot describe the level of disgust I felt when the glob struck my right arm, despite my best attempts to dodge it.
The moment the glob hit my flesh I felt an intense stab of burning pain race through my arm and back. I cried out and hastily tried to swat the goo away, but only managed to smear it around and get It on my left hand. Without thinking, I tore my shirt off with my claws and madly scrubbed the fabric against my arm and hand, wiping the acidic gunk from my flesh. It left a painful, angry purple mark where it had touched, and I started to feel a roiling in my stomach. A cold sweat broke out over my body and I felt like curling up in a corner somewhere.
“That is the most disgusting Toxic I’ve ever seen,” I mumbled, my limbs feeling shaky and weak. Happiny, at least, seemed to need some time to recover before attacking again, as she hadn’t made any further moves against me since spitting up that Toxic. I decided to take the chance to finish the battle, since the longer it went on, the worse and worse the effects of Toxic would become. I needed to wrap this up so I could go rest somewhere for a while.
I held up a hand and concentrated on my flagging energy, drawing my focus to it and shutting out everything else. I blocked out my pain, I blocked out Happiny’s labored breathing, not letting anything distract me. As my attention drew inward to the pulse of energy flowing through my body, I gently exerted my will on the insubstantial power and directed its flow to my raised hand. I watched as it started to form a visible orb floating about an inch above my palm, a tiny sparkling brown dot that rapidly grew in size until it was about as big as a basketball. At that point I cut off the flow of energy and allowed my focus to expand. Once my perceptions returned to normal I turned my attention to Happiny, who still hadn’t moved and was simply glaring at me with baleful eyes.
With a flick of my wrist I lobbed the Focus Blast. Happiny seemed to sense that it would be bad for her if it struck, since she attempted to dodge it by ducking to the left. Her fatigue hindered her, though, and she didn’t move fast enough to evade the glittering sphere. It hit her in the side, causing her to spin about comically before falling over. At the same time I felt a rush of fresh pain and nausea as the Toxic grew stronger. I groaned and clutched my stomach, struggling to stay on my feet and not simply collapse where I was standing. Happiny, thankfully, seemed down for the count. She looked fairly beat up, but after a bit of rest she’d be fine.
Speaking of rest, I needed to get some as well. I was too tired and disoriented from the combined effects of Toxic and Flash to search for a safe place to recover. Despite the noise my little dance with Happiny had made, it didn’t appear as if anyone or thing had been drawn to investigate the commotion. For now, the best option would be to hole up here until I’d regained enough strength to move on. Still, I couldn’t just leave Happiny here like this. If she recovered before I did it would be bad news for me.
Gritting my teeth and staying upright only through sheer willpower, I tottered to where Happiny was knocked out and bent over to gather her up, almost falling over in the process. I then proceeded to take her outside, only taking her a few houses away before leaving her under a hedge. By the time I returned to the house, several more jolts had hit me and I was struggling not to get sick everywhere. My whole body was shaking and I felt incredibly weak and cold, despite the sweat practically pouring from my scales. Gasping and close to passing out, I somehow made my way back to the bedroom. I had the presence of mind to shut the door behind me, though I wasn’t even aware I was doing it, and barely made it to the bed before the Toxic raging through my veins ate up my last bit of strength and sent me spiraling into unconsciousness.
Pokemon Going For: Happiny
# of Characters Needed: 30-40k
Total # of Characters: 43,903-ish
EDIT: Forgot to mention this is also a story deal, Happiny is going to Bee for a lovely Krookodile :D.