No. of Characters: 19,820
Target Pokémon: (Shiny) Ekans [Simple Level; 5000-10,000 characters]
Disclaimer: The following story deals with violent matters. If blood and brain matter unnerve you, turn away now. Also, the story contains a few swear words, and has guns in it, so children, go away!
*image credit goes to HikaruIzumi
JUBILIFE CITY, SINNOH REGION; 2 WEEKS AFTER FIRST INFECTION
The rain started to cease, revealing a sky blanketed with clouds that hovered above Sinnoh’s largest city, which seemed to look over the area in utmost dread and sorrow. Francis went out to the building’s twenty-eighth floor, in hopes of experiencing the heat of the sun on his face. He felt no such thing, as the clouds have completely consumed any trace of the sun, depriving his location of sunlight. From the floor’s balcony, he gazed upon the desolate city. For once, the hustle and bustle of Jubilife City was not present, and now he thought of regretting how he then wished for all the urban noise to go away. Nothing moved, and everything seemed so peaceful and sterile, to the point that one could mistake the city for Celestic Town. He felt for a moment that the world was his dominion, like it was his to rule over.
But that moment was short-lived. Six stories below, Francis heard an eerie, almost lifeless moan. It was another of the infected people who treaded lazily down the street, hitting into piles of Pokémon and human carcasses that were littered everywhere.
Francis raised his rifle, a standard Ruger Mini-14, placing the scope to his eye. He looked back to where he spotted the shambling figure. He located it once more and fired, the bullet ricocheted with much speed. The zombie’s head burst in a small display of red, creating a firework display of blood and brain matter.
He nodded as he admired his work. Francis decided to take a break and marched back inside the apartment. Ivan sat in a corner, surrounded by several types of ammunition and dissected barrels of his array of guns. Chloe too, sat in a corner, which faced adjacent to Ivan, picking up trash from the floor. For someone who was obsessively compulsive, the world’s current state was living hell for her. Francis’ third friend, Ted, stood propped up against the empty doorway that led into the bedroom, smoking a cigarette. All of them were around Francis’ age, which was sixteen to seventeen.
“You got one,” Ted said, the dark bags under his eyes signifying his sleeplessness. No one had been able to sleep much after the virus had broken out, as clearly, insomnia plagued each of them. Something had caused these people to go mad, to eat, to devour on the flesh of their own family or neighbors. Even the Pokémon were like this. And now, a group of teens were trapped in an apartment on the twenty eighth floor of a building in a zombie-infested city.
Francis nodded. “Yeah.”
“How many of those bastards have you shot today?” Ivan asked from the corner, fitting a clip into a 5.56mm caliber assault rifle.
Francis responded with a shrug. “Three, maybe four. I haven’t counted.” He looked down at his feet, him knowing that everyone else in the room was feeling the same as he was. This was the start of the end. The end of everything. As of the moment, planes might be flying and the rest of the world went on as normal, but not for long, he reckoned. The epidemic had gotten to the extreme, and had done too much damage already. Jubilife, in all irony, was dead, and with it, the Sinnoh Region would fall too. Then, the rest of the world would follow.
The beginnings of the catastrophe were well imbedded in Francis’ mind, as the media had covered events very well when there was still power. It all started two weeks ago, when Pokémon smugglers from Kanto imported a crate of the rarest kind of Ekans—the Celadonian Emerald-skinned variety. The species were so rare that until then, no one knew such a breed of Ekans existed.
Unfortunately, they weren’t only just the rarest kind. They were also the most vicious, violent kind there was. The Ekans carried in their poison a type of virus the medicine industry was not prepared to counter. It was like rabies, except it spread exponentially faster. One of the smugglers got bit, and it all went downhill from there.
As the virus infected Pokémon as well, many of the trainers were forced to release their partners during the first few days of the infection. Francis, Ivan, Chloe and Ted were one of those trainers.
“How are the supplies?” Francis uttered.
Ted motioned to the kitchen, a doorway next to the only bedroom of the apartment. Ted spoke no word when he came back, and he only wore the same lifeless expression on his face.
Francis nodded. He knew what to expect. He walked slowly as he entered the kitchen. Pots with chunks of various sorts of food still sat on the stove, which attracted mold and flies. The floors still bore marks of horrific action from the treatment they had done to the other teen they had brought along. He had been infected. They had shot him and tossed his body over the balcony two days ago, seconds after the infection had completely overrode the senses he had left.
Francis reached the fridge and stood there, looking impudently at it, hesitant to know what was inside. Finally, he snapped back to reality and mustered his nerves, as he gripped the handle and swung the door idly open. What comestibles remained for them to consume were a six pack of soda, a loaf of stale Oran cake, and some cheese that surprisingly hadn’t yet started to decay. He then checked the pantry, but all the same he had not gotten his hopes up. There was an unopened bag of Poffins, a pack of candies, and two cans of Pokémon food, which, judging from the can’s label had expired exactly four days ago.
And that was it. Francis sighed and exited the kitchen sullenly, his face read forlornness. He turned to Ted. “There’s not much left,” he began, “It won’t last. I don’t know how we plan to stay in this building, but the rations that we have will only provide half a week’s worth of sustenance—if we even choose to eat anything from the kitchen. We need to move. We need to move now.”
Ted looked at him obliviously, took a long pull from his cigarette and said, “I’m almost out.” Francis did not say anything. It was normal for Ted to say things off-topic when he was uncomfortable, which was almost every minute or so. Francis didn’t blame him, as all of them had the reason to be shaky.
Francis thereafter turned to Ivan and Chloe.
Ivan got up and smacked the clip into his M-16. “I don’t see why the hell not. It’s not like we’ve got any other option.” He looked at Francis with all honesty. “Heck, we’ve been lingering here way too long and haven’t killed enough of those ass-hats. I think it is time to make a move.”
Francis agreed and turned to Chloe. She, too, got up. She fixed a gaze on Francis for a few seconds with the same empty look in her eyes, the look of misery and despair. She just nodded, almost as if she had begun to show apathy for their survival. “It only seems right,” she said and turned away to hide he tears. The epidemic had really gotten to Chloe. Francis knew that the others, him included, were actually equally affected by the outbreak as her, but she didn’t possess the nerves to endure it. Francis briefly contemplated to resort to euthanasia—to kill her and set her free of her sufferings. Then he pushed the thought away. Chloe was strong. At least, that was what he had forced his mind to believe in.
Francis then looked at the floor again. “So.” He said, but found no words.
“We are going to leave,” said Ted. He scrunched the butt of his cigarette on the wall and directed his stare towards Ivan. “Hand me one of those bitches.”
Ivan smirked and went back to the corner and came back with a fully loaded SIG P220 Pistol. He slapped it in Ted’s hand. Then, reaching to his back pocket he retrieved an extra clip, which Ted took as well. Ivan and his family hunted a lot, and his step father had been obsessed with guns, who had even owned an illegal gun shop that sold fire arms to Team Galactic. Just after the epidemic broke out, Ivan had raided the gun shop using his father’s key and taken anything he could.
Francis nodded, as a small line of a smile that didn’t reach his eyes imprinted on his boyish features. “I’ll get the supplies.”
Francis went back to the kitchen and retrieved his backpack from the counter. He removed the technical machines he had stored there, as those where useless to him now. In it he placed all the food they had. It surprisingly fit well. And then, in a larger pocket of the backpack, he placed their med kit.
While he was doing this, he wondered what they should expect once they exited the building—zombies, both Pokémon and human alike to be sure. But what about survivors? Were they the only ones in Jubilife? Well, if we are, he thought to himself, we’re in a shit load of action.
If you even do exist, damn you and your dragon-spawn, Arceus.
When all was done and prepared, each of the survivors exchanged long stares with each other. Francis had the backpack with all their supplies slung over both shoulders. It didn’t really matter if it slowed him down; because they would all die sooner or later. He kept this pessimistic view to himself, him not wanting to worsen the situation. Francis carried a Desert Eagle implanted in its holster strapped around his right thigh.
Chloe had the least of the load. She had a machete covered in dry blood, which was shoved between her belt and her pants where her Pokéballs would otherwise be normally attached. Like Francis, she also held a Desert Eagle in hand. When Ivan insisted on giving her a holster, she had refused. She claimed that it was better to have a gun in hand, than a gun uselessly at her side. She had an extra two clips shoved into each of her back pockets.
Ted had a dagger made from his fallen Nidoking’s horn shoved into his boot and a SPAS-12 Combat Shotgun. And as a secondary form of defense, he had a Glock-19 Pistol set in its holster at his right thigh and had an extra magazine for it set in another holster on his left thigh.
Like a soldier readying for war, Ivan was the most equipped. In his hands sat confidently was his recently oiled M-16 and he had two lines of lustrous bullets crisscrossing across his chest. He had a revolver stuffed into the groin of his pants and bare bullets jingling in his left pocket. On his left thigh was yet another Desert Eagle with an unused clip stuffed perfectly into his other pocket. In his right boot was a jackknife. “Let’s head out,” he said, and they were off.
* * * *
The troop exited the apartment building. It had taken them a while to leave because the elevators were not functioning due to the absence of electricity, and they also had to descend down an almost unending number of flights of stairs. They had only encountered three zombies, one of which was a near-dismantled Drapion, possibly a Pokémon that belonged to one of the apartment staff. It took two hits from Ted’s shotgun, after which it writhed and died in its own pool of infected blood. They were surprised by the fact that the moaning fuckers hadn’t come knocking on their door before.
Ivan led the party gallantly, who stood up straight and waved his gun nonchalantly, and at the same time bore an arrogant gin on his face. To him, this was all in good fun.
Francis, though, thought differently of the situation. He was scared—scared beyond his wildest dreams. He didn’t want to fight zombies. The only good, not to mention safe way to kill a zombie was from the twenty eighth floor of an abandoned apartment building was his philosophy. And he had good right to be scared. He, like the others, of course, had seen how the silver screen portrayed the zombie apocalypse in movies.
Chloe was scared, too. She was on the verge of panic, and the only thing that gripped her to her senses was the Desert Eagle she held loosely on her hand. As such, the others were very well knowledgeable that she was close to insanity and would not restrain her id she decided to abandon them in a frenzy of laughs of mad-enforced mirth. But she was not insane yet, and she tried her hardest to keep her cool—to confide with the realms of society and its norms. She pondered for a second if there was even a “society” to speak of, but she stopped, justifying that it could further lead to self-induced insanity. And so, she lifted her Desert Eagle and scanned their surroundings.
Ted was about as lackadaisical as Ivan, though he managed to keep the stupid grin from creeping up his face. He liked this scenario. He had nothing to lose—absolutely nothing. He was the only survivor in his family, and all his Pokémon contacted the infection, even his beloved Nidoking, whom he himself killed. All that was left of his starter Pokémon was its horn, stashed tightly in his boot. He kept his cool, his shotgun in his hand, but lowered to his side. He lit another cigarette. “My last one,” he informed others and managed to squeeze out the last of the fluid in his lighter. He tossed the empty canister to the side. “Boy, I better fucking enjoy this.”
Francis smiled at this. Ted was the same, even during an apocalypse. Sometimes, people just never changed. Or that could all just be an act to cover up inmost fears his friends might’ve had.
Around them were dead bodies of the zombies that Francis had taken out. Smoldered lines of cars were littered haphazardly everywhere and discarded miscellany flew in the desolate wind. The buildings were vacant and the streets were hard to get across considering the abandoned cars and buses. To their left, an overturned train lay against a collapsed wall of a warehouse.
Eerily, they all sighed in unison.
* * * *
They had been walking what seemed to be eight minutes down the main road before a zombie shambled in front of them. Ivan put his hands up. “This one’s mine.”
He shot the assault rifle from the hip. A myriad of bullets catapulted through the air and slapped wetly into the approaching zombie, who looked like an employee of the Pokétch Company, as his uniform can attest. Gore and intestines leaked from the holes in its body and smoke through the air. The rotting creature collapsed to the ground. At this sight Chloe held back a scream, her heartbeat raised faster as they approached the lifeless remains.
The survivors cautiously advanced towards the still body. Ivan reached it and kicked its shoulder. Suddenly, the abomination’s head jerked up and he sputtered blood in a terrorizing growl. The zombie shot its hand at Ivan’s leg and grasped it hard. Ivan lost his cool and yelped in terror.
Ted raised his shotgun and shot. Half of the ghoul’s head blew off, shards of fragmented skull and slabs of flesh and brain washed over the concrete street. The hand fell limp from Ivan’s shin. Ted looked at Ivan haughtily. “Dumbshit.”
Francis chuckled. Ivan turned around and glared at him, as Francis immediately shut his mouth. Ivan raised his head, scrutinized Francis and nodded threateningly.
Then, more moans reverberated down the street.
The survivors looked up in sheer terror. A horde of undead, half of which were composed of Pokémon they once knew as amicable, were know in the form of rotting, putrid bodies of gory flesh which marched down the street towards their destinations. At that moment, Francis thought that ‘survivors’ might have been a misnomer for them.
Ivan’s jaw dropped and he raised his M-16 instinctively. He shot randomly at the frontlines of the ghouls. A few fell, including a Luxio, but the majority of them kept their pace. Then, all the survivors were shooting their bullets at the advancing army of undead, clouds of smoke rose from their repeatedly firing weapons.
Soon, the zombies were only ten yards away. Chloe snapped. She screamed maniacally, ran forward, and threw herself before the lines of the dead.
The ghouls poured onto her.
Francis shouted. “Oh shit, Chloe!” He raised his Desert Eagle and shot more, but this was to no avail as he took down only a few.
Then the dead were upon them.
Ted managed to behead one as an infected Arcanine lunged for him, which splashed brains all over the street and the rest of the zombies behind it. Meanwhile, Ivan waved his M-16 to and fro, never loosening his grip on the trigger. Three rows of undead fell before him. He was doing well.
But that was until a Garchomp—an infected one, to be precise, from his left flank shot down at him with amazing speed compared to the other infected Pokémon. Ivan screamed and still shot wildly, as he fell to the ground. The Garchomp was atop him. It moaned, and tore a hole into his stomach with its Dragon Claw, and bit a chunk of flesh from his arm. “Kill it! Kill the motherfucker!” he screamed, sheer terror and agony evident in his shrill voice.
Francis shot at the zombie, but only scored two hits out of his three. One penetrated violently into the Pokémon’s stomach and another hit its clawing arm. The other hit Ivan in the leg. Ivan screamed in terror—such terror that it struck a nerve in Francis, which caused him to lower his weapon, to gawk at the scene that had opened up before him. Soon, Ivan’s obscenities and curses were lost under the tumult of moans as the undead piled onto him, the zombies tore him limb from limb and ripped his insides from his body. Within seconds, Ivan was gone.
Other zombies shambled towards Francis, who was still shocked at what he just saw. He seemed not to notice the approaching zombies. Thoughts of death, of horrible terror, of pain unbounded shot through his mind, but he still did not catch sense of the zombies closing in on them, with their clacking jaws and dripping saliva.
They were almost upon him now, and soon he would end up like Ivan and Chloe.
Then, a hand shot out and gripped his arm, turned him around and soon Francis looked into the now-urgent eyes of Ted. “I am honored to have known you in this life...” Ted said, as he held his Nidoking’s horn. “What will remain of me shall stall them, but not for long. You should run, Francis. Run like hell.”
Before Francis could react to what Ted had told him, his friend pierced his own chest with the dagger. Francis knew that the dagger was poisonous, and there was no use saving his friend, who did not want to be rescued anyways. Like what Ted predicted, the horde stopped to feed on his corpse.
Francis came to his senses then, and fled with haste to the warehouse the train blocked up street. He climbed up the sideways train, and jumped in front of the warehouse’s steel doors. Thankfully, it wasn’t locked, and he just had to remove a steel bar that was propped up against it, in order for him to enter. He quickly did the task, as sweat poured from his forehead. He could hear the undead and their echoing moans from the distance. He entered the warehouse and wasted no time in barricading the doors with anything he found inside. He knew that the zombies would eventually get through, but at least he had to try, lest Ted’s sacrifice was for nothing.
After mere minutes the zombies began to barge the steel doors open. Francis sat in a corner of the warehouse’s stone-cold floor. He retrieved a magazine from his back pocket, in an attempt to reload his pistol. When he did, a small, spherical object came with the magazine. It was an empty Pokéball. Nostalgia rushed to him, as the capturing apparatus reminded him of his now-infected Infernape. Suddenly, the doors started to collapse, and little by little the moans of the dead became more audible. Then, something cold struck his arm.
There was a flash of green.
Francis’ vision began to fade, and the last he saw was a figure retreating to one of the crates inside the warehouse. He blacked out, and released the magazine and the Pokéball from his grasp, the latter hitting his unknown assailant.
The reinforcements Francis had laid earlier proved to be faulty. The zombies had broken in, and on that day, Francis Matthew Adamson would have suffered a most brutal death.
In pace requiescat.
-- END --