Target Pokemon: Houndour
Story Length: 10k - 20k
Final Character Count: 25401
Note: This story was inspired by the game Jak II and the character Gen Shishio from Kekkaishi. This story is going to be a trilogy
And now, the continuation of Bill Mason
This story has been rated PG for some frightening images
"Do you think it will work this time?"
The white, lab-coated scientists stood almost in a circle around the table. On it was nameless man, no older than thirty, laying shirtless and strapped under a large machine. His black hair was soaked with sweat from anxiety of what was going to happen next. His muscles trembled in fear; he looked almost like he was having a heart attack.
"I'm uncertain," a man in white responded to one of his comrades. "The other subjects did not survive the process. I don’t know if his results will be different."
"Hook him up," a stern voice sounded from the back of the room. The scientists all turned towards the back doorway to see an elegantly dressed black-coated man, his black hair gelled into a perfect small mass above his head. A red "R" was emblazoned upon his suit jacket.
"Yes sir," one of the men replied. Two scientists stepped forward from the circle and each took a tube that was connected to the machine. They affixed both needles into their helpless lab rat's arms; his veins stuck out from his constant fear. The machine itself lowered down from the darkness revealing a thin needle that inserted itself into the subject's chest. He grunted in pain from the needles, but the greater pain was wondering what was going to be injected into him. Another scientist from the circle walked over to a nearby computer and pressed a few buttons. He hesitated after a few presses indicating he was about to start a process that might not allow going back.
"Do it," the dressed man ordered. The scientist responded with a nod and pushed the final button on the control panel. Suddenly, several gears in the machine started spinning; black and purple sparks flew around its joints. They inched closer and closer to the victim below; his eyes widening with terror. The unknown man shouted in pain making half of the scientists cover their ears. The poor soul felt as if another force was coursing through his body until it finally reached his head. He closed his eyes wishing it would stop when suddenly, he was unresponsive. Seconds later, the machine raised the needle out of his chest and moved itself back up. The computer began to announce a message to the observers.
"Dark plasma injection cycle complete. Bio readings are negative. Subject is deceased."
The scientists around him sighed and started whispering various things to each other. The lead scientist came forward to the lifeless body and simply said, "How disappointing. Another failure."
The black coated man came forward out of the shadows toward the lead scientist. "You've tested nearly a dozen subjects and have given me no results!"
The room grew silent for a second. Finally having the nerve to speak, the lead scientist explained, "It seems, sir, that our subjects are too weak to handle this dark substance. I don't know what this means for your program that you've been trying to initiate."
"I've spent time, money, and manpower on this experiment," the dark man said while raising his voice, "and I will not walk away without results! Now do you plan on giving them to me or not?!"
The lead scientist simply adjusted his glasses. "I have a new theory on how a person can successfully survive exposure to this material."
"I'm listening," the boss said as he crossed his arms.
"Recently, we've tested a certain Pokemon of ours to detect a person's 'spirit' and how bright it is. If we can find a subject with a strong 'light spirit,' then we may be able to successfully inject our dark plasma into him without a fatality."
"You're riding on thin ice, doctor," the leader said with a finger pointed at him. "I expect results this time. One more failure, and your career at Team Rocket is over!"
"Trust me, sir. I won't fail you."
The sun rode straight over Celadon City. Buildings towered high into the sky. Tourists and residents alike moved along the streets like ants; the bustle could be heard from as far as fifteen stories up. Whether it was work, shopping, or heading the game corner, the people of Celadon were always on the move. In a remote corner of the city stood a giant domed building decorated to seem like a Gloom's bulb. A trainer was just exiting through the automatic doors, his dirty blonde hair swaying in the wind as he stepped outside. A Pokemon wandered by his side slithering at the pace of his trainer's steps.
"Bye! Thanks again for the challenge, Erika!" he said as he walked further away. His green-eyed gaze immediately returned to the multicolored metal wheel-like badge in his hand. Turning his head, he could see his Serperior's red eyes looking up at him.
"She didn't stand a chance against you, didn't she?" the man asked.
The grass snake Pokemon simply shook his head, his yellow tendrils swaying in time with his head. The man stuck his open hand out at his Pokemon; Serperior took his leafed tail and slapped it against his master's hand.
"Let's go see some of the shops. I think you've earned a break, so I'll get you something to drink."
Serperior nodded his head and started moving his long and slender body, the yellow marks dappling his mid section changing sizes as muscles flexed and relaxed. His trainer opened his backpack and pulled out a plastic case. Inside it were several holes for badges. He found the slot matching the shape of the badge and clicked it in. The top of the case a picture of the trainer along with his trainer ID. The name read "Bill Mason." Flipping it back into his backpack, Bill pulled his black leather jacket flaps over his chest and began walking away from the giant flower-like gym.
Downtown was quite busy this time of day. Every company was letting out its employees for a well-deserved lunch break. Some ate; some shopped. Regardless, there were always people everywhere. Serperior had to swing his body segments in several directions to avoid running people over or having his tail getting stepped on. Bill wandered along the sidewalk looking for some place to get a drink and rest. Suddenly, he heard a howl emanating from the alleyway he just passed. Bill peeked inside there to see what was the matter. A pair small red eyes affixed itself onto Bill. It began walking forward into the sunlight revealing a gray crest and orange snout. The black fur was camouflaged well in the darkness; the sunlight didn't reveal it that well either. Before Bill could even react, a black uniformed man jumped out from the alley ahead of him. His brown eyes squinted to align the sights on his gun with Bill's head. Another armed guard sprang from the alley behind Bill as well; this one focused on Serperior. Bill stood there in pure shock of what was going on; Serperior coiled himself up and began hissing at the henchman.
"Return your Pokemon!" the man said loudly. Bill slowly reached for a Pokeball on his belt and aimed it at the coiled grass snake. His Pokemon pal became a red light that was taken inside and was not seen anymore. The two thugs inched closer to Bill; Houndour started emerging more from the alley as well growling at his human target. There were only a few people around the three; even if they were brave enough to help, there was no way a police officer could respond in time.
"You sure it is strong with this one?" the forward Rocket asked the hellhound. It simply barked and nodded and resumed snarling at Bill. Bill had no idea what he was talking about. "We've been looking for someone like you," the dark clothed man said. Bill started looking around to see if there was any way out of this. The only thing he could remember seeing was Houndour's face instantly switch from snarling to shocked as a sudden blow to the back of the head knocked him out cold.
Bill's vision was foggy as he tried to awaken from his deep slumber. His head felt like iron when he tried to move. He began to hear some chatter around him, but it was barely audible. A blurred sight of a large gray machine hovered over him. He grunted once as if he was waking up from sleeping; but when he tried to move his arms, something on his wrist prevented them from moving. Bill came to his senses and turned his head to see his right arm fastened with a metal clamp to the table he was on. Swinging his head to the other side, he saw the same thing. He lifted his head to look at the rest of his body only to see his bare chest exposed and another metal restraint around his waist right above his blue jeans.
"He's coming to," a voice said from behind him.
"What is this?" Bill asked only to receive no answer.
A white coated man wandered up next to Bill and looked down over him. "Hello," he said with an evil smile across his face.
"What is this?" Bill repeated. "Where the hell am I?"
"Relax," the scientist told him. "You are a candidate in our new experiment. Do you have what it takes to become our dark warrior?"
"Dark warrior?" Bill said with the utmost confusion. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"You will soon enough. Just relax and you might have a better chance of survival." Bill could not relax at those words indicating the possibility of death. He started to grunt and shove his clenched fists upward, but they were no match for the metal restraints.
Suddenly a deep voice sounded from the back of the room saying, "Enough talking with the subject." The scientist turned his head to see his boss entering the room. "Do you have an ID on our new candidate yet?"
"Yes sir," the scientist responded moving towards a computer monitor. "I hacked into his medical records. His name is William Mason, nineteen years old, male, height: 5 feet 9 inches, weight: 135 pounds, from Nuvema Town in the Unova region."
"Nineteen years old? Isn't that a little young to be injecting the serum into?"
"Negative, sir. We've tried candidates that were around his age before. This shouldn't be a problem."
"From Unova? Good, then nobody will miss him. I'm counting on you to give me results this time, doctor."
"Yes sir," the scientist said bowing his head slightly. He then nodded at two other lab-coated men standing around the table. The two subordinates moved toward Bill on both sides. They both reached for tubing connected to the large machine hanging over the subject's body. Feeling a piercing in his arms, Bill turned his head to watch a needle being injected into his vein. Bill looked around the room and spotted several other scientists in a circle around him watching with glazed looks in their eyes. A black spot at the corner of his green eye caught his attention. Bill turned his head at a sharp angle to see the Houndour from earlier. It watched curiously at what would happen to this subject on the table. However, Bill's gaze was averted again at the sound of a few gears turning and a large machine decending towards his bare chest. A needle drifted downward and injected itself into Bill's sternum. It was a small needle, but it felt like a sword stab. Bill squirmed violently with every part of his body, but it was no use. The metal clamps kept his body motionless.
"Do it," the black coated man ordered. The lead scientist nodded his head and pressed a button combination on his computer. The motor began cranking; the gears began turning; the sparks began flying. Bill didn't even get a split second to react before the sparks reached the needle in his chest. Bill shrieked and struggled violently to stop this madness. Houndour inched forward with a look of worry on his face when he saw the sparks. The pain began moving from Bill's chest into his neck until finally it burned in Bill's head. Bill's mind could not handle this pressure; it was as though another being was trying to force itself into his brain. Bill's vision blurred in and out with light and darkness; it was as though his eyes were trying to decide which to see. His ears squealed with a high-pitched whine that seemed louder than an aircraft carrier deck. His chest vibrated up and down violently as though it was about to burst. The pain seared through his nerves sending a painful strain over every last inch of his body.
Finally, the gears stopped and the pain began to lessen slightly. The needle lifted itself out of his chest and a small amount of blood flowed from the wound. Bill could barely see a thing, his vision still flashing from the injection process. A faint computer voice buzzed in his ears.
"Dark Plasma injection cycle complete. Bio readings are nominal. Subject displays no reaction to substance."
The scientists began to chatter among themselves. It was audible but the quantity of voices was too great to make any sense out of it. Besides, there was no way Bill could focus enough to do anything at the moment. His head swirled about from enduring this harsh experiment. A black coated man entered his field of vision and hovered over him. Bill couldn't even tell how his face looked due to his own blurring vision. The only thing he could pick up was an "R" emblazoned on the side of his jacket.
"Interesting," the man said. "All the other subjects died during the process."
"Yes I was intrigued too," a white-cloaked man said coming over to Bill as well. "My theory must have been correct. I think Houndour did a good job of finding our subject." The scientist's head turned back to the beast, but all it did was stare in awe of what just happened to Bill.
"Still, I thought we would have successful results with this one. Why didn't the plasma transform him?" the boss asked.
"I am uncertain, sir. It might have diffused in his bloodstream or…" the scientist paused.
"Or what?" the boss interrogated
"Or it might have fused successfully, but it might not be manifesting itself yet. He could be able to transform upon random circumstances, provocation, or his own will as far as we know."
The boss stood there with his arms crossed.
"But that theory is highly unlikely, sir," the scientist continued. "It is usually impossible for a person to still maintain their form while the plasma is inside them."
The boss began grunting at a steadily increasing volume. "He should at least be dead with all the dark plasma you guys pumped into him!" he shouted.
"I am disappointed with the results as well," the scientist added. "As far as we can see, our efforts to produce a dark warrior for our cause have failed."
"We've wasted time and resources on this project and have come up with no results. I'm shutting this project down. You will be relocated back to your normal position at enhancement drugs," the boss said as he began walking toward the door.
The scientist bowed his head realizing that his time as project head was over. "Yes sir. What shall I do with our subject?"
The boss stopped at the doorway and paused before saying, "There can be no witnesses. Kill him."
Houndour gasped at this statement but tried to keep it as inaudible as possible.
"Sir, there are other means to ensure protection," the scientist objected. "We can use Psychic types or drugs to purge the memories."
"Memories never truly fade, and they can be reawakened with any related stimulus. It's too risky. Kill him."
"Yes sir," the scientist agreed. The boss walked through the lab doors which closed behind him.
"Alright, take a break team," the lead scientist said. "We'll terminate him later today."
The circle of scientists around Bill began walking away from his table; all were chattering about the results of today's test. The room was silent save a few computers beeping or bubbles from hot beakers being heard. Bill simply relaxed his head toward his right side and tried to pull himself together. What had happened? What is happening now? And what is going to happen?
Bill's eyes were affixed on a desk with a computer. His vision started to come together to the point of seeing the computer and a few test tubes laying on a rack; it was still to bad to decipher what was on the screen in the distance, though. A tiny black figure began to emerge from behind the desk. Bill recognized the gray crest and the orange snout and started to piece together what it was. It peeked its head around the room to make sure the coast was clear. Seeing nothing there, Houndour dashed toward Bill's table and jumped onto it. It's red beady eyes examined the lethargic human. Houndour saw the clamps holding down Bill's arms and began to bite on them. The Pokemon's teeth were powerful but not strong enough to bite through tough metal.
Bill started to breathe heavier and more audibly; a faint grunt hung in his repetitive breathing. Suddenly, Bill snapped his body forward breaking the restraints on his arms in the process. Houndour immediately backed away at sight of this amazing strength, but what he saw next was the truly horrifying. The young man's skin was visibly darker and lined with red markings in an eerie pattern. His muscles were much bulkier than normal. Claws entended from the tips of his fingers with the sharpness of knives. His teeth elongated to be like that of a wolf. His hair was black and spiked in all different directions which was a great contrast to his normal dirty blond, neatly-combed hair. Purple sparks similar to the ones the machine produced flew all around his body. Houndour gazed up into his yellow eyes and began to back up until it felt the wall behind it. The creature inched forward towards the pup and swung his arm backwards ready to slash his victim.
Suddenly, his skin faded to its normal light shade; the claws retracted; the yellow eyes returned to their normal green; the hair returned to blond; his body returned to its slender frame. Bill placed a hand over his face as he tried to come to his senses. His head swayed along with his disoriented body. He could see the Houndour in front of him frightened and shaking against the wall. Bill reached down to pet it; it retracted its head. Bill kept inching forward and finally managed to do so. Houndour tried to relax but instead displayed a confused look on its face. What just happened?
Bill collected himself a little more and began surveying the room. A few computers were there along with his former prison table. A glimmer from one of the desks caught his eyes. Bill walked closer to them with all the composure he could and realized from the red and white finishes that they were Pokeballs. One of them was shaking violently like the Pokemon inside was trying to escape.
"Those must be my Pokeballs," Bill reasoned. "I definitely know what the shaking one is."
Bill touched the button on the vibrating Pokeball, and a flash of white jetted from the open orb. It materialized into a tall figure with a round headpiece. The light faded to reveal a human-like Pokemon that seemed to be wearing a long white dress; its green headdress provided a splendid mixture of colors when contrasted with its red eyes.
"Master," a female voice echoed in his head. "I sensed you were in danger and tried to escape my Pokeball. I fear that I am too late."
"It doesn't matter right now, Gardevoir," Bill said faintly using whatever energy he had left. "Please teleport us out of here before they come back."
"Yes sir," his psychic ally said, closing her eyes to start the process. A blue aura began forming around the two before Bill interrupted, "Wait."
Gardevoir opened her eyes and waited for her trainer to say something.
"Houndour comes too, if it wants to, of course," Bill interjected.
Houndour was a little hesitant and backed up a little, but after a few seconds of contemplation, it walked over towards the pair. Gardevoir closed her eyes and resumed the teleportation. The scene around Bill began to fade to a blue scrolling background like he was moving into lightspeed. There was a light at the end of the "blue tunnel" which began to widen. It expanded over the three, and Bill saw he was back in his Pokemon Center room he had reserved for the night. Seeing that he was finally in safe territory, Bill gave into his weariness and fell upon the medium-sized bed. It wasn't even a split second before Gardevoir dashed over to his bedside.
"Bill? What's wrong?" she asked. Bill gave no response as his green eyes sank into the back of his head.
"Bill, answer me!" she continued. "Bill? Bill?!" Houndour frowned and wondered if his new companion would be alright…or if he would transform again.
Bill laid there on his bed in the deepest sleep one could possibly experience. No doubt his body had collapsed from fatigue during the experiment, and it would stop at nothing to obtain this much needed rest. Gardevoir sat in the chair over by the vanity area never taking her eyes off her resting master. Houndour was resting at the foot of the bed a good distance away from Bill's feet.
Bill's eyesight was empty inside his sleep; all around, everything was nothing. It was almost like he was floating against a gray backdrop. However, the grayness began to dim slowly. A man's voice echoed somewhere in the distance.
Bill's eyes slowly shifted open to stare into the darkness around him. He started to turn a little bit to stand on his feet. His bare chest flexed in and out from his easy breathing. Bill turned his head to the left then to the right but saw nothing.
"Who's there?" Bill said softly into the distance.
"Bill..." the voice said again.
"Who are you? Where are you?" Bill said as he began to look around.
"Behind you," the voice replied.
Bill snapped his body around to see what was the voice. Standing about ten feet away from him was a tiny quadripedal figure. The tuft of fur on its head was emblazoned with a fiery shade of red. A pitch black mane draped its neck. The blue irises shined a little bit into Bill's green eyes.
"Who are you?" Bill questioned.
The being simply smiled with its canine teeth. Suddenly, it became cloaked in a bright purple aura and began to change its shape. When it finished, Bill could not believe his eyes. Standing across from him was a slender looking human. Blue jeans covered his legs; a mass of dirty blond hair covered his head. Bill's eyes widened when they stared into the figures green eyes.
"You're...me," Bill said.
"That's right," the replica said with the same voice as Bill. "You and me are exactly the same. There's just one difference between us."
"What's that?" Bill asked while still examining his clone's body.
"Unlike you, I fear nothing," the doppleganger responded. "I don't run from the darkness in my heart. I embrace it."
"What makes you think I'm running?" Bill asked.
"You hesitated when you were about to kill that Houndour. What made you relent?"
"I don't know what happened. All I remember is that I had these really malevolent thoughts in my head. I had to come to my senses and that's all I remember."
"You could have killed it. It is what got you like this in the first place."
"True, but it also tried to break me out of my prison."
The evil twin suddenly started to emit purple sparks around his body. "Foolish man, witness what the darkness can really do!"
The being abruptly started to grow larger as its muscles bulked up. Its skin became darker and red linings began to appear around it. The nails on his fingers extended into six-inch claws. Its yellow eyes flashed at Bill as a sinister smile from its enlarged teeth.
"Open your heart to darkness!" it shouted with a much deeper voice.
Bill stood in awe at the transformed being. Was this really him? Is this what really happened back at the lab? Bill began to back up a little bit as it started to inch closer to him. Suddenly, a purple being materialized in front of Bill. It's red eyes stared in a focused look of anger. Dark spikes protruded in various patterns along its black. It suddenly began to conjure a black ball of shadow in the spread of its arms.
"Away with you!" it shouted.
The ball flew forward towards the dark being. It struck him flat on the chest and caused it to fall backwards. It started disintegrating in a purple mist and seconds later, it was no more.
A dark purple being emerged from Bill's resting body, its spikes pointed in various directions along its back. It got off Bill's bed and began to walk over to Gardevoir. It had a saddened look on his face as it tried to look into Gardevoir's eyes.
"Did you find anything?" Gardevoir asked.
"I checked his body for any signs of mutations," Gengar explained. "I couldn't find anything. But…"
"But what?" Gardevoir inquired.
"I saw Bill was having more than just a dream. Inside was a spirit I could sense, so a sentient being was causing it. It was Bill's form, but not his spirit. It then started transforming into what Houndour said he saw earlier."
"What did it do?" Gardevoir asked.
"It tried to get Bill to 'open his heart to darkness.' I managed to dispatch it, but I can tell it will return."
"What makes you say that?"
"Something wasn't quite right when I examined his spirit. When I first saw it at our encounter at the Pokemon Tower, it was almost pure white, as bright as day. I looked into it this time, and I found…a dark spot of some sort."
"A spot? What does it do?"
"I'm uncertain. It might have caused that transformation Houndour witnessed earlier."
"I see," Gardevoir said.
"But the problem is that I saw it expanding at a slow but constant rate. It will eventually black out his entire spirit."
"And that means…" Gardevoir said as she started to ponder.
"Yes," Gengar confirmed. "Unless the shadow is purged or controlled…he won't survive this."