~~``Mind Games``~~ [WWC]

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    Default ~~``Mind Games``~~ [WWC]

    ~~``Mind Games``~~


    This place…I can feel the malice coming from it. The walls ooze hatred, the ceiling drips disdain, and the windows and doors laugh cruelly, trapping me instead of being portals to freedom. This house…no, this place is not a house. Not even a prison. Prison is too light a word, too cheerful and bright. No, this place is...loathing manifest, a construct of physical abhorrence. As if it was crafted from thin air by nothing but overwhelming disgust.

    It’s always like this. Every time I lay eyes on this place, I can feel intense dislike enveloping me like a crashing, crushing wave in a storm-churned sea. It gets worse when I approach, the sensation of being hated becoming something like pain within my body. And when I go inside…I know it’s trying to chase me off, to get rid of me, but I refuse to be run off by a house, of all things. And I know that once it realizes I won’t run, it’ll try to destroy me instead. I can already feel it happening. My mind feels tattered at the edges, and the fraying keeps crawling deeper and deeper into my brain.

    It’s worst when I sleep. When I sleep my subconscious is even more vulnerable to the foulness of this place. My dreams used to be pleasant, but ever since I came here, they have become warped, terrifying scenarios that seem determined to utterly annihilate my sanity. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell when I’m dreaming and when I’m awake.

    Even now I can’t be sure. Am I awake, or am I gripped in some torturous nightmare that refuses to release me from its sweat-slicked hold…?


    ===/===

    The afternoon was overcast but still unbearably muggy, as if the water in the gray clouds above was slowly leaching into the air instead of falling as rain. The leaves of the towering trees were browning thanks to the unnatural heat of the past three or so weeks; every now and then they would rustle faintly, but for the most part there was absolutely no wind, and so there was silence.

    The trees encircled a ranch-style house on the eastern fringes of the Eterna Forest. The house was nothing special; cheap white paint that was flaking badly covered the exterior, while the interior was a slightly darker shade of white. The paint on these walls was peeling in numerous places, but not in such amounts that they needed to be repainted just yet. The windows-two on all fours sides of the small building-were grimy and would benefit greatly from a vigorous washing. The carpet covering the floor was had been white once, but over time it had become a dingy gray shade interspaced with stains of various size, color, and origin. Sparse furniture filled the rooms; in the living room there was only a sagging red couch and a second-hand wooden table. The kitchen simply had a rickety table and decades-old appliances -a fridge and a stove-, and only one of the three bedrooms boasted a bed. A second bedroom held a computer desk, an old office chair, and a rundown PC that looked as if it belonged in an antique museum.

    The house was old and no one had lived in it for years. The original owners had moved a single year after having it built, claiming it was haunted. Over the next ten or so years it had seen over ten different owners, all of them leaving within several months to a year. There were no paranormal experiences, though, no ghostly knockings or moans, and no levitating objects. Everyone had left because they simply couldn’t handle the atmosphere of the place. People claimed the house hated them, that it wanted them to leave. They couldn’t stand the sense of menace that steadily grew stronger the longer they remained. So after the last residents left, it sat for nearly twenty years, slowly falling into disrepair.

    The location always attracted people, though, and the old house had recently become inhabited once more. Four months ago, a 22-year-old Pokemon Trainer named Kesso Downing had moved in, having liked the scenery, the remoteness, and the fact that he could walk three yards from his front door into the forest in order to train his Pokemon. Since he traveled quite a bit and rarely spent much time indoors, the sparse furniture left over from the last occupants served his needs well enough, though everything had needed serious refurbishment.

    Like all others who had been drawn to the house, Kesso at first scoffed when the real-estate agent told him of the old building’s history. He came to the conclusion that the previous owners simply became nervous and jumpy living so close to the massive Eterna Forest. The nightly sounds of nocturnal Pokemon and the lack of normal rural noises like cars had probably attributed to their sense of unease, and the general isolation had most likely only enforced these emotions. Kesso, however, had always liked being alone, and being a Pokemon Trainer he was used to being away from civilization for long stretches of time.

    But when he finally went to the house for the first time to see it, he knew immediately he was wrong. Something was…off…with the house, as if it were watching him with hatred no living being could ever come close to experiencing. He had almost abandoned his ideas of buying the place then and there, but Kesso had always been stubborn and brave, though others would call his bravery stupidity. Instead of listening to his instincts and fleeing from the old house, Kesso had gone ahead and settled a deal with the real-estate agent, who hadn’t looked at all uneasy.

    That night was the first in a long series of many in what would become the worst time of Kesso’s life.

    ===/===

    I know I’m awake because Dreamer has told me. He’s a Hypno, he would know if I were asleep. But if I’m awake why are things so WRONG?! It shouldn’t be like this, it never has been before. Before, when I knew I was awake, things would settle down if only a tiny bit. But not this time. This time they’re worse. I’m seeing things now, things I shouldn’t see unless I’m asleep. Dreamer can’t see the things I do. I asked if he can sense anything, but of course he said no. He always says no.

    If a Psychic Pokemon can’t sense something that you know is there, does it mean it’s in your head? Is all this in my head? I wish I could open my skull and find out. Maybe I could stab my brain a few times and see if that made things better. It certainly couldn’t make them worse.

    It’s in the middle of the day! Why am I
    SEEING this?! Even though I’m awake and therefore shouldn’t be seeing this to being with, at the very least it should only be visible at night! But there it is, in the corner of my bedroom, staring at me with those beady little red eyes. A mangled Alakazam, its long, thin arms and legs twisted and shattered. Its head was in ruins, the top caved in and spilling bits of brain. Its face was a mess, too; everything beneath its eyes was a bloody pulp, like someone had whacked it with a sledgehammer or something. Its chest and stomach were laid open and its guts were strewn around its feet. One of its hands was missing; the other looked like raw hamburger. Its normally brown-gold skin was the color of a nasty bruise, dark purple tinged with yellow. It looked like it had been hit by a truck, maybe, or attacked by some overly vicious Pokemon.

    Does it matter what it looks like or why it looks like it does? It shouldn’t be here! All it’s done for the past hour is stare at me. I know it hates me, just like this damned house! I know it wants me to leave, and if I don’t leave it wants me dead. Dead, like it is. Well obviously it’s dead. Nothing can look like that and still be alive. A ghost? Haha, a Ghost Pokemon! It’s hilarious when I think about it like that, but when I laugh the Alaka-dead looks angry. It’s terrifying, but I can’t stop laughing. A Ghost Pokemon! Classic!

    Dreamer looks worried about me. I should tell him I’m okay, but I can’t bring myself to say anything. I just laugh, and when it finally stops I realize I’m hungry. I really want hamburger all of a sudden…


    ===/===

    Kesso was tall, standing at nearly seven feet even. He’d always been tall, though, and solidly built. Not overly muscular like a football player or anything, though. It was one reason he’d developed such a daring nature. Most people and many Pokemon didn’t like the idea of messing with him because of his size, and so he became more and more confident as he grew older. His odd appearance had also made people avoid him, at least when he was younger. Kesso had a complexion so pale he was sometimes mistaken for an albino. His shoulder-length hair was platinum blonde, and his eyes appeared colorless, though they were in fact an extremely light shade of jade. With his preference for darker clothes, Kesso had always looked intimidating even without his size.

    The young man was dressed in one of his normal dark outfits -a navy blue shirt with black jeans and black biker boots- when he left to head to Eterna City for something to eat. As was always the case when he left, the concentrated negativity fell away from him, leaving him feeling immensely relieved. He paused a few steps outside the house, listening to the sounds of the forest, inhaling deeply and breathing the earthy scents of the forest. The crisp smell of the thousands of leaves; the loamy aroma of the dirt beneath the leaf litter carpeting the forest floor; the heady mix of overly-ripe fruits going sour on branches and on the ground. Combined with the din of the forest denizens crying, singing, chirping, screeching, and howling, the cocktail of scents was enough to give a person unused to the senses overload a headache. All this on top of the array of things to see and look at. Every time Kesso left the house, it seemed as if a veil was lifted from his vision and he saw things with a sharp clarity. The trees with their dark brown trunks and vivid emerald leaves, the dark green vines hanging from branch after branch, and the myriad of colors from dozens of different flowers dominated one’s sight no matter where one turned. Despite how unbelievably humid, sticky, and hot it was, Kesso couldn’t be happier to be outside.

    After taking a few moments to appreciate his temporary freedom, the young man headed off towards the city. It was about a thirty minute walk or so, and within ten minutes of leaving the house, the dark skies opened up with a fierce downpour. Rain fell in warm sheets so thick Kesso soon couldn’t see more than a few feet in any direction. He was soaked through in seconds, but he didn’t mind. The rain felt clean and fresh, unlike the overbearing feelings he suffered inside the house.

    When he reached the city Kesso discovered pretty much everyone had retreated inside. Unlike him, they weren’t confined in a building that suffocated them with its malice. They had no reason to enjoy traipsing about in the rain. Kesso, on the other hand, was hesitant to go inside out of the deluge. The feel of the water against his skin was heavenly after his horrible hours in the house. If he wanted to get some food, though, he had to go inside sooner or later. He chose sooner and angled towards one of the larger supermarkets further in the city.

    When he reached the main supermarket in Eterna, the Eterna District, the young man stepped through the sliding glass doors and wiped water from his eyes, slicking his pale hair back and peering around. The air in the market was cool thanks to the air conditioner, and it made goose bumps break out on Kesso’s bare arms. His clothes, plastered to his body, quickly became as chilly as the air, but it was refreshing after the heat outside.

    Kesso didn’t bother grabbing a cart as he headed back towards the meat section. The tile floors were white and clean, reflecting the dozens of fluorescent lights in the ceiling with almost painful intensity. Kesso’s wet shoes squeaked noisily over the floor, a sound which quickly got on his nerves. Ignoring it as best he could, Kesso passed through the produce department, turned right, and went by various dairy products before coming to the meat section. He picked through the various packs of hamburger, hunting for one that was both cheap yet offered a decent amount of meat. He finally found a three-pound pack of meat for five Poke even. After deciding to head back to the produce department to pick up some red and green peppers for his hamburgers, Kesso took his items to an express lane to pay for them.

    As an elderly, white-haired woman scanned Kesso’s food, the young Trainer let his mind wander. He’d have to get back home to get his food cooked, but he was already dreading his return. It was almost worth it to just put the food back and go eat out somewhere, but Kesso wanted something he’d made himself. For nearly four months straight he’d eaten out to avoid the house as much as he could, and he was getting sick to death of fast food. He wasn’t so poor that he couldn’t afford to go to a restaurant; being a Trainer meant he got great discounts at just about everywhere he went, and it was an occupation that offered enough money for someone to more than live comfortably. But Kesso had always been a bit of a penny pincher, preferring to choose whatever would save him Poke.

    “-near the forest?”

    The words startled Kesso back to the present, and he focused on the old woman. He shook his head a bit and offered a faint smile.

    “I’m sorry?”

    “I said, don’t you live out in that old house by the forest?” the woman said, sounding a little irritated at having to repeat herself. Kesso held back a sigh, both at the woman’s attitude and the question. Most everyone in Eterna City knew Kesso indeed lived out by the forest; this old lady must be new in town, if she had to ask for verification. Instead of just shoving money at the woman and leaving without answering, Kesso decided to humor the woman.

    “Yes, I live out there.”

    “So odd, such a young Trainer already settling down in one spot,” the woman said, eyeing Kesso closely. “You don’t seem like you have anything wrong with you, either.”

    “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with me,” Kesso replied with a strained, tight smile. Except I think I’m slowly cracking up, he thought, then shoved the internal monologue away. “And I haven’t really settled down, I’m just taking a break from Training for a while is all. I plan on getting back to it eventually.”

    “Oh, that’s nice. We all need a vacation now and then,” the old lady said with a smile. Kesso wanted to say something, but kept his mouth shut. He wasn’t taking a vacation; he’d decided to take time away from his Training because of serious family issues that required him to be close to Eterna City. His parents and two younger sisters lived near in the center of the city, and four months ago his father had been diagnosed with some kind of brain cancer. Unfortunately, Kesso and his father didn’t get along at all, and one might even say they quite literally hated one another. The older man had been a raging alcoholic when Kesso was younger, often beating on his son when he came home absolutely plastered. Even though the man had gone to rehab and since then recovered from his addiction, Kesso had never forgiven him for his past transgressions. His father felt Kesso simply liked holding on to past grudges. The only real reason he’d was taking time from Training was for his mother’s sake, not because of any feelings of warmth or love towards his father

    After paying for his purchase, Kesso hurried from the store back out into the rain. It had been warm before, thanks to the heat of the day, but after the chilly supermarket it felt downright hot. The heavy scent of fresh rain was in the air, but the deluge was so strong Kesso could barely breathe without the risk of inhaling water. Ducking his head a bit and breathing through his mouth, Kesso started back towards his house, dread knotting in his stomach and making him feel sick.

    Maybe I should do what Mom wanted and just go stay at the house with her and the others, the young man thought, staring at his shoes as he walked along. Even living with Dad has to be better than that house…no! I WON’T run away, dammit! Whatever’s up with that house, I’ll just have to see it through. Despite his resolve, Kesso quickly realized that his body was heading towards his parents’ house. Gritting his teeth in anger, he forcibly turned away from the path he was on and began striding back to his house near the forest.

    ===/===

    There it is again, that mutilated Alakazam. It just keeps staring at me, like it’s waiting for me to do something. Can’t it see I’m trying to eat my steak? I wave my knife at it but it just keeps watching me. Dreamer gives me a look like I’ve lost my mind and I have to wonder if he’s right. But wait, if you can question whether you’re sane or not, doesn’t that mean you are? Crazy people never consider that they’re nuts, right?

    And then, while I’m busy losing my appetite, another Alakazam just sort of floats into the living room. This one doesn’t look as bad as the other one, though it’s clearly messed up. Huge black patches cover its pale body, and its eyes are heavily glazed. Its thin muzzle looks puckered, like it just tasted the world’s most sour lemon; in fact, its entire body looked wasted. This one’s loosely gripping a spoon in each three-fingered hand. It joins the torn-up Alakazam, who fondly reaches up with its bloody stump of a hand and strokes the other’s long mustachios. It’s a sweet, tender gesture, but it leaves a bloody smear where it touches and that just kills my appetite completely. I stand up and go to the kitchen, tossing my only plate into the sink with a disgusted grumble. The plate, luckily, is plastic, so it doesn’t break, though it does bounce off the pan already sitting in the sink.

    I curse angrily and bend down to snatch the plate and half-eaten steak off the floor, throwing the former back into the sink and the latter into a plastic bag. I then hook the bag on the front door, telling myself I’ll take it out later and toss it into the forest for something to find and eat.

    Maybe it’s time to see if I can’t get this place cleaned up…


    ===/===

    Kesso felt ridiculous, of course, but he couldn’t really think of anything else to do. The young priest, dressed in a flowing black cassock, was busy staring at the mutilated Alakazam hovering motionlessly in the corner of the living room. The shriveled one had vanished the moment the priest arrived, for reasons Kesso couldn’t guess.

    “Sooooo…what’s the verdict, Father?” Kesso asked. The priest, one Father Geo, waved a hand for Kesso to be quiet. Kesso complied ungracefully, stalking away from the priest and looking out one of the living room windows.

    “This place harbors much hate,” Father Geo finally said, and Kesso turned to find the baby-faced priest staring at him. The young man had bright brown eyes and short hair of such a matching shade it was silly. He was slightly pudgy, never having completely lost all his baby fat. He folded his hands across his stomach and glanced back at the Alakazam floating in the corner, then turned back to Kesso. “But it’s not coming from this spirit, or the other one I sense. These ones are angry and sad, but they aren’t giving off the hatred this place burns with.”

    “Then what IS the source?”

    “I’m not sure. In fact I’m having doubts that the emotions we’re feeling are coming from this house at all. It’s very, very rare for an inanimate object to radiate its own emotions, you see. Most of the time they absorb the emotions of those around them.”

    “All right then, how do we find whatever’s giving off all this hate and what do we do to destroy it?” Kesso asked, feeling a stab of fierce hope. The house wasn’t the problem, then, just something in or around it.

    ”Slow down, son!” Father Geo replied, raising his hands and waving at Kesso. The Trainer bristled at the endearment; Geo couldn’t be a year or two older than Kesso’s twenty-one. “First of all, we aren’t destroying anything. I said something is giving off a vicious hatred, not evil. When we find whatever’s emanating that hate, we should instead try to help it in whatever way we can.” He paused for a moment, watching Kesso closely.

    “Not evil, huh?” the Trainer muttered darkly. “I don’t see how anything can be that hateful and not be evil.”

    “All the same, when we find it we’ll try to save it.” Father Geo then patted at his cassock until his left hand landed on a small pouch hanging from a plain black sash tied around the priest’s waist. He tugged the pouch open and drew from inside it a pitch-black PokeBall. This he dropped to the ground, where it burst open to release the Pokemon contained within. After the brief white glare that accompanied the Pokemon’s release faded, Kesso saw that the priest had released a Spiritomb.

    “Now that’s ironic,” Kesso mumbled to himself. Father Geo apparently heard him, though, and smiled a bit at the Trainer.

    “A priest using a Dark-type Pokemon is a bit of a stretch, isn’t it?” he said, offering a small shrug. “Still, a Spiritomb is an excellent companion in helping with exorcisms and the like. Being part Ghost, they draw spirits that are trapped on this plane to themselves. Being part Dark, they can uncover deceptions and are immune to a spirit’s tricks.” The young priest then turned to his Spiritomb as the whirling purple haze floated about a foot off the floor. Its eyes were lime-green, and its mouth was a jagged green rip across its face. There was a dark brown-gray stone at the base of the purple cloud, that being the Odd Keystone that all Spiritomb possessed and were bound to. The emerald splotches around its body seemed to constantly shift and warp, making it appear even more eerie.

    “Now then, Dorrin, see if you can’t track down the source of the hatred filling this house,” Geo asked of his Pokemon. “This won’t take long, he’s an expert at ousting troublemakers,” he added to Kesso, who watched as Dorrin closed his eyes and began to gently sway from left to right. In the corner, the mutilated Alakazam watched in silence, and after a moment the shriveled one returned, floating next to the other. The two exchanged a quick glance, and then the shriveled one nodded once, as if pleased with what was going on. The two then disappeared without a sound, neither of them looking at Kesso before vanishing.

    After a few silent moments, Dorrin suddenly opened his eyes and zoomed off towards the back of the house. There was an old utility room located in the back, and it seemed that’s where Dorrin was headed. The Pokemon easily passed through the closed door, which Geo carefully pulled open when he reached it. The sight that greeted them was bizarre, to say the least.
    Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 23rd December 2010 at 12:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ~~``Mind Games``~~ [WWC]

    Dorrin was floating near the ceiling in the very middle of the empty room. Below him stood a Pokemon that was about the size of a four-year-old child. The small creature had saffron-colored skin except for its brown chest and shoulders, which were large for such a small thing. On top of its wedge-shaped head were two large ears, which were currently flattened to its skull. A long, thick tail about as long as the Pokemon was tall lashed the air behind it, and both its three-fingered hands were curled into tight fists. It was an Abra, and a very unhappy one at that. Its eyes were open, a rare thing for an Abra, revealing them to be a milky shade of lavender. They focused with frightening intensity on Kesso and Geo, and Kesso felt a stab of terror rip through him.

    On either side of the Abra were the Alakzam; on the right was the mutilated one, and on the left, the shriveled one. They were facing the Abra, staring at it with sad expressions. The little Pokemon didn’t seem to notice they were they, or perhaps it was just ignoring them. When the shriveled one’s mouth started moving, the Abra’s right ear flicked away from its skull for a fraction of a second. Then it hissed, a sound Kesso had never heard an Abra make before, and the Alakazam abruptly stopped trying to talk. It glanced past the smaller Pokemon to the other Alakazam, and then both of them looked towards Kesso.

    “This Abra, then, must be the cause of the hatred that haunts this house,” Father Geo said in a soft voice. The Abra hissed again at the sound of the priest’s voice, but made no effort to flee or attack. “Dorrin, if you would please show us?”

    Kesso was about to ask what, exactly, Dorrin was supposed to show them, but was cut off as the Ghost suddenly dove for the Pokemon beneath him. Instead of colliding with the Abra, though, the Ghost blurred and seemed to vanish inside it. Even the Keystone disappeared into the Abra’s body, something that surprised Kesso. He watched as the Abra twitched and jerked, curious about what was going to happen next.

    “Dorrin is going to possess the Abra and use its Psychic powers to project any memories relevant to its behavior,” Geo offered blithely, noticing Keeso’s intrigued bemusement.

    “Aren’t priests supposed to stop possessions?” Kesso asked, shooting the other man a look as he lifted an eye. Geo simply smiled silently and, without so much as glancing at the Trainer next to him, motioned to the Abra. The little Pokemon’s spasms had ended and it now stood with its head and arms hanging limply. Behind it, its tail gave a single feeble flick before lying still.

    A few moments passed, and then the Abra slowly raised its head. A wide grin stretched across its lips, and it lifted a hand to salute the men standing in front of it. Out of the corner of his eye Kesso saw Geo nod once, acknowledging some sort of signal.

    “He’s just letting us know everything’s going as planned,” the priest told Kesso. He wasn’t given a chance to elaborate further, because at that moment the Abra-cum-Dorrin waved its hands around as something shimmered in the air between Pokemon and humans. Several heartbeats later the shimmer stabilized and was revealed as a miniature three-dimensional image. It was a forest, with towering trees and choking undergrowth. The image grew larger, filling all the space between Kesso, Geo, and the possessed Abra.

    The scene was at the edge of the forest, looking out over a sprawling field. Kesso was startled when he recognized that the area he was looking at was the same as where the group currently was. He didn’t bother to mention the fact as the view suddenly turned to the left and an Alakazam was revealed. It was looking down and its mouth was moving, though Kesso couldn’t hear anything within the projection. There was a moment of confusion before the young man realized they were seeing the proceedings through the eyes of the Abra.

    The little Pokemon turned to its right as the Alakazam was still speaking, now facing another Alakazam. This one was smaller than the other and more slender; a female, most likely. These two Alakazam must have been the Pokemon’s parents. Both wore worried, confused expressions, and after a moment the scene abruptly faced forward once more. In the distance Kesso and Geo saw something approaching. The unidentified figures eventually took on the appearance of various construction vehicles. There were a few bulldozers and cranes, and some other machines Kesso couldn’t name.

    The scene jumped forward suddenly to show the two Alakazam standing in front of the oncoming machines, their arms spread out in defiance. Their child had remained in the forest, watching from a safe distance as the conflict took place. The vehicles rumbled to a stop and the drivers got out, yelling at the Alakazam and waving at them in an attempt to scare them away. The Psychics were having none of it, though, and waved at the humans just as fiercely. It was obvious they were trying to protect their home from being destroyed.

    One of the men then reached into a pocket and drew out a PokeBall, throwing it to the ground to release whatever was inside. A brilliant stab of white light flashed; when it faded, a Skuntank was standing in front of the man. It had purple fur on its back and halfway down its sides, and dirty-white fur covering its lower sides and underside. Its thick furry tail was arched over its back, the tip resting square between the Pokemon’s dark emerald eyes. It had the face of a cat, but the general build and body shape of a skunk. Its stout legs were short, but it had a wide figure, giving it a burly appearance. It was wider than its Trainer and stood almost to the man’s knees, unusually large for a member of its species.

    The man said something to his Pokemon, who had contempt in its eyes that the others could see despite how far it was from the observing Abra. It whipped its tail into the air as it flattened its ears to its head, releasing a heavy, noxious plume of purple-black gas from the tip of its tail. There were strange purple-red-blue streaks in the plume, and Kesso knew that the Skuntank had combined some of its Dark essence with the toxic cloud. The cloud quickly spread towards the Alakazam, who didn’t seem to notice the particular dangers of the fumes about to engulf them. Most likely they thought they could erect some sort of mental barrier to protect themselves from the oncoming fog.

    A moment later Kesso’s thoughts were proved right. Both Alakazam swung their outstretched arms forward, emitting pulsing lavender waves from the small metal spoons they gripped in their hands. These formed into a scintillating white wall in front of the Pokemon, but when the poisonous cloud reached the barrier, it breezed right through. Neither of the Psychics had time to retreat as the Dark-infused Poison Gas swept over them. In seconds both had doubled over in obvious pain, and even though the Skuntank looked coldly pleased with itself, its Trainer was shouting at it with an angry look.

    “He didn’t want it to do that,” Kesso mumbled as the scene continued to unfold. The female Alakazam reached out to her mate and grabbed him before both vanished.

    “Do what?” Geo questioned, not looking from the projection as the Alakazam reappeared in front of their child, who rushed forward as its parents collapsed in convulsing heaps.

    “Those weird-colored streaks in the gas cloud were Dark-typed energy. Like what’s used for a move like Dark Pulse, only in a more concentrated, raw form. The Skuntank’s Trainer was clearly mad that the Skuntank put it in the cloud, or that it put as much in as it did.” As he spoke, both men watched as the male Alakazam went into violent seizures, sickly pale yellow foam flecking the Pokemon’s lips. Nasty black patches were appearing across its quaking form, the result of pure Dark energy destroying the Psychic’s body. It also appeared to shrink, though in reality it was another result of the Dark energy, causing the Pokemon’s body to waste away.

    It wasn’t long before the male stopped his trembling and lay still on the ground. The female hesitantly reached out to touch him, pain and grief clouding her amethyst eyes. When the tips of her fingers brushed the male’s chest, those piercing eyes flew open and the Pokemon gave a faint cry. Tears welled up and slid down her cheeks as she struggled to stand from where she had fallen, but the Dark energy in her body had left her too weak to get up. Turning her sorrowful gaze to her child, she held a hand out to it and said something. The Abra responded by reaching out and taking its mother’s hand; moments later the scene went dark.

    It only took a moment or two for the projection to focus on another scene. The female Alakazam was lying in a sobbing pile on the ground, surrounded by waist-high grass and fallen trees. The Abra was near her, watching its mother. There was an odd mistiness to the scene, which Kesso soon realized was tears. Well, it was only to be expected, considering the Pokemon had just lost its father.

    The Trainer then realized that the grass was swaying unusually fast. He focused on the puffy white clouds in the bright sky and noticed they were skittering through the vast blue expanse quicker than normal. He didn’t figure out what was going on until he saw a bulldozer in the distance, bearing down on the Abra and its mother at impossible speeds. Apparently, Dorrin was “fast-forwarding” through the scene to the important part. Kesso hoped that the Abra wouldn’t suffer any mental harm from the practice.

    Once the bulldozer was several yards away, the scene slowed to normal speeds. The Abra’s mother had since fallen still, her brilliant amber eyes glazed over. Her breathing was thin and labored, and Kesso believed most of the Pokemon’s distress came not from the Dark-laced poison in her system, but from the death of her mate. Even as the bright yellow bulldozer bore down on the two, the female didn’t stir from her place. The Abra went to its mother and shook her side, but still she stayed in a heap on the ground. The scene blinked black for about a second before coming back into view. The Abra and its mother were only a few feet from where they’d started, and Kesso instantly knew that the Abra had been too young to teleport itself and its mother any further after the first time.

    Geo and Kesso could only watch in growing dread as the bulldozer silently bore down on the two Pokemon. The Abra tried to rouse its mother, but she was too far lost in grief to realize the danger. When the massive vehicle was only feet from the two, the little Abra had no choice but to flee by itself, leaving its mother behind. Once again the scene went dark, and when it came back into focus the Abra was on a small hilltop several dozen yards away. The bulldozer was a tiny shape in the distance, and there was no way to see any details. But after a few moments the bulldozer came to a halt and the driver’s side door flew open. The driver, a person of indeterminate gender wearing dark clothing, spilled out of the machine and went to look at something, and a moment later they went down on their knees. With a sick twist of his gut, Kesso felt certain that the figure had discovered the mangled remains of the Alakazam they’d just hit.

    So these ghostly Alakazam are Abra’s parents, Kesso thought, watching as the two shimmered back into view. They hovered on either side of their child, looking at Kesso with hard, expectant stares. The wasted male motioned with a hand towards the little Abra between he and his mate; it was obvious they wanted Kesso to do something concerning the young Pokemon. Kesso shook his head slightly, unsure of what was being asked of him, and at that moment Dorrin suddenly came flying out of his host. The Ghost shot about five feet away from Abra before drawing to a stop, a surprised expression on his face. Geo made a shocked noise as the Spiritomb glanced back apologetically, hovering in a manner that somehow reminded Kesso of shrugging.

    Abra must have forced him out, then. I guess he didn’t like his mind being invaded and made public like that. Ironic, actually, Kesso thought, watching as Abra blinked a few times before squealing in anger. The small Psychic raised its hands and thrust them at Dorrin as a thick lavender energy filled its eyes. The energy then seemed to jump from Abra’s eyes, swirling and twisting its way to Abra’s shoulders before twining down the Pokemon’s arms. It then coalesced into twin purple orbs in Abra’s hands, and as Kesso watched, streaks of dark purple-blue flashed through the spheres. Abra then slapped its hands together, allowing the two smaller balls to combine into a single large one roughly the size of a basketball. Drawing its left arm back, Abra gave another shrill screech before whipping its arm around, releasing the dark orb and sending it flying at Dorrin.

    The specter seemed too dazed by being forcibly ejected to focus on the Shadow Ball spinning towards him. He tried to evade the attack, but he moved too slowly and was caught near his KeystoneThe force of the collision was enough to flip the Spiritomb over a few times while pushing him back another four or so feet.

    “Dorrin, get your wits back!” Geo called, but his Pokemon was too disoriented by everything to listen. He trembled in the air, unable to focus on anything. Kesso, sensing the Ghost would be in no condition to battle for some time, waved a hand at Geo in a signal to back down. He then stepped forward and whistled sharply to get Abra’s attention before reaching into a pocket.

    “So…let’s see if I have this straight. After this house was built, your grief over losing your parents turned to hatred, and you directed that hatred toward anything human. Your emotions were so intense they permeated the house itself, and anytime someone moved in here you did everything in your power to drive them away. You didn’t want anyone to enjoy living here because of what its construction took from you. Well, I understand that, but only to an extent. You were so blinded by your emotions that you never realized what happened was an accident, and that if anyone’s to blame, it’s that guy’s Skuntank. But you don’t hate Dark Pokemon or even Skuntank in particular; you only hate humans. And to top it all off, you’ve been making people who had nothing to do with your parents’ death suffer.” As he spoke, the young man drew an odd Ball from his pocket. It was pitch black with an electric blue stripe around the middle. It didn’t appear to reflect light; instead, the inky darkness of the smooth metal almost seemed to absorb the light around it, making it look like the area within a foot radius of the orb was darker than everywhere else. Kesso stared at the Ball with a bored expression, then casually tossed it to the ground.

    “I can sorta understand your feelings, but you’ve got to learn how to deal with your pain in a more appropriate manner. I know it hurts to lose someone you are about, but making others suffer needlessly just to make yourself feel better only causes more misery,” Kesso added while the Ball opened with a faint noise that sounded oddly like a hissing snap. Instead of the familiar white flash, a stab of blackness flared up, then died almost as quickly as it appeared. When it faded, a strange Pokemon hovered in the air before Kesso. Geo gasped in surprise when he saw it, though Abra simply narrowed its eyes and glowered at its new foe.

    “A Sazandora?” Geo whispered in amazement, staring at the three-headed hydra as it pumped its six thin, powerful black wings. It was a little under a foot shorter than its Trainer, but was much wider than the young man. Its chest, neck, and arms were pitch-black as well. Two of the Pokemon’s heads grew from the palms of its paws; all three heads, as well as the rest of its body, were a dark blue-gray color. Two thin purple stripes ran down its belly, combining into a single stripe going down the middle of its tail, which ended in a tuft of black fur. It turned its main head to face the human behind it while its smaller heads snapped aimlessly at the air. It was a male to boot, obvious from its size; it was believed that male Sazandora were twice as hard to control as their more docile female counterparts. His eyes, ebony with blood-red pupils, regarded his Trainer with some intense, unreadable look, causing Geo to shiver violently. It almost seemed like the Pokemon was thinking about how good his Trainer might taste.

    Kesso, however, was unaffected by the Pokemon’s bizarre expression. Having been to Isshu and interacted with several of the darkly Dragons, he knew it was just their nature to view everything as potentially edible. Even, it turned out, their Trainers. They were one of the most dangerous Pokemon to raise given this tendency, along with their inherent aggression, but their strength made them worth the risk. All the same, despite his skill and experience, Kesso preferred battling with this particular Pokemon only when necessary.

    “Dago, we’re going to battle this Abra,” Kesso calmly told his Pokemon, not showing just how nervous he actually felt. “Do you feel up to it?”

    Dago cocked his main head to the side a bit, then gave a single nod and turned to face Abra. The crest of red feathers growing from the back of his main head stiffened and stood straight up, showing that the Dragon was ready to fight. Kesso sighed faintly, grateful for the Pokemon’s complacent mood. Normally he had to act much tougher to get Dago to do what he wanted.

    “Doooooor,” the hydra growled softly as Abra suddenly vanished with a faint cracking-pop sound akin to a car backfiring in the distance. The beast glanced around for a moment, trying to spot his foe, and before Kesso could give any commands the Abra reappeared with the same odd noise. It was now above Dago and had both arms pulled back. It squealed sharply, sounding like a pig whose tail had been stepped on, and flung its arms down towards Dago’s main head as it fell. When it landed on the hydra it slammed both hands against the his skull. Dago screeched when the Abra’s hands connected with his scaly flesh, thrashing about and flinging the smaller Pokemon to the ground.

    “What happened?” Father Geo asked, confused by what had happened.

    “Abra used a dual Ice Punch,” Kesso replied. “See, you can see the patches of ice on Dago’s head.” And indeed, there were two clear, shiny areas on Dago’s head, covering nearly his entire skull. Even though Abra weren’t very powerful physically, Dago was still a Dragon Pokemon and therefore weak to Ice moves. Even a weak one would have caused him a bit of pain, but it had looked like Abra’s attack was unusually strong.

    “Dago! Hit it with an Assurance!” Kesso now commanded. Dago snarled angrily, jerking his head down and directing his smaller heads to break the ice. They did so quickly, recklessly smashing their snouts against the rime until it shattered and fell to the floor. Only then did Dago acknowledge Kesso’s orders, roaring at Abra and releasing a pulse of energy from his body. Abra, who’d been stunned from hitting the ground, wasn’t able to react as the energy washed over it. The Assurance move, made more powerful by absorbing leftover energy from Abra’s last attack, sent the little Pokemon tumbling until it hit a wall.

    “Now Dago, before it can recover, use Head Smash! Don’t give it a chance to catch its breath!” Kesso called. Dago swished his heavy tail once before flying over to where Abra was propped against the wall. As he flew, Dago lowered his head and gathered as much momentum as he could, readying to smash his smaller opponent and win the battle. Abra, though, had other ideas. Whether it had only been faking its stunned daze or was simply lucky enough to recover when it did, Abra screeched when Dago was only a few feet away and slashed its hands through the air. A sparkling brown shield expanded in front of Abra, contorting around it within a heartbeat. Dago, who was too close and moving too quickly to change direction, flew head-first into the barrier. Abra cried out in pain, feeling the force of the Head Smash through its Counter shield, but Dago fared much worse.

    Just like the hydra’s previous Assurance used the foe’s energy against them, Counter worked in much the same manner. The shield added energy to the damage dealt and doubled the strength of any attack physically striking it. Then, the shield directed this energy back at the attacker. Dago was thrown away from Abra, crashing into the floor and ripping up a good section of the carpet. He flipped heads over tail twice before coming to a rest on his belly, growling softly.

    Abra didn’t come away from the event unharmed, though. The Pokemon got to its feet, shaking from head to toes. It was probably feeling pretty awful after that Head Smash, but its anger and hatred drove it to keep fighting when a normal Abra would just Teleport away. Casting a baleful glare at everyone present, the little Psychic lifted both arms into the air and started gathering energy. At first it wasn’t visible, but then it took on the form of sparkling clear energy. This, in turn, rapidly darkened until it was a dark emerald color. The orb was about the size of a beach ball and scintillated like an out-of-control sparkler. The whole time it was forming, the attack crackled and sizzled softly, sounding like static on an out-of-tune radio station.

    “Dago, Protect!” Kesso yelled, certain that Dago was too dazed to dodge or counter with a more complicated attack. When Abra released its Energy Ball and Dago was still lying in a heap on the floor, Kesso was certain the hydra was about to take another nasty blow. But, just like Abra had seconds before, Dago recovered at the last possible moment and lifted his head, bellowing fiercely. A blazing white shield that emitted a loud hum erupted into existence before him, which the Energy Ball struck within the same second. The attack ground itself against the shield, petering out a few seconds later. As soon as the Energy Ball had dissipated, Dago’s shield fizzled once before dissolving away.

    “That was close,” Kesso breathed, shaking his head. Then he spotted movement in his peripheral line of vision; turning back to Abra, he saw the Pokemon drooping and looking exhausted. Dago’s Assurance from earlier would have taken a nice chunk out of the Pokemon’s HP, and that Head Smash was certainly stronger than a love tap. After using such a powerful Energy Ball, it was no surprise that the little creature was running out of steam. It was clearly not about to call it quits, though. Even when the ghostly Alakazam phased into view on either side of it, the Abra refused to simply back down. Kesso saw the sad looks on the faces of the deceased Pokemon, and when they faced him, he saw the pleading look he hadn’t noticed before. It was obvious they wanted him to help their offspring. Kesso nodded at them once, acknowledging their silent entreaty, and focused on Abra.

    The small Pokemon was staring at nothing in particular, its eyes glowing a vivid lavender hue. The glow seemed to creep out of Abra’s eyes, casting eerie shadows on its face as it slowly raised a hand and pointed it at Dago. By now the hydra had gotten himself back into the air, looking roughed up but more than ready to continue. He seemed completely oblivious to the fact that Abra was getting ready to attack again, instead facing Kesso with a look that clearly said, “Can I eat it now?”

    “Dago, get in close and hit it with a Bite,” the young man said. Dago snorted loudly, clearly unhappy with having to resort to such a weak attack. “Look, we don’t want to hurt it, just get it weak enough to catch, okay? And don’t Bite too hard, either. It’s a lot smaller and has soft skin and flesh.” Dago grumbled irritably in his chest, but nodded once to show he would do what he was told. He then pumped his wings and leisurely flew towards Abra, not at all concerned about the impending attack Abra was about to release.

    Just as Dago reached Abra, the little Pokemon jerked its arm down. A bright whip of purple energy lashed out from the glow in Abra’s eyes, the Psychic move so strong it was clearly visible. But instead of knocking Dago for a loop as expected, the Psychic bounced harmlessly off his scaled hide and faded away. Abra, too surprised by its failed attack, had no chance to get away before Dago lashed out with his smaller heads. The left one snapped its jaws shut around Abra’s chest, while the right one clamped down on Abra’s right hip and leg. Both heads then delivered a strong, painful Bite before tossing Abra high into the air. The little Pokemon squealed in pain as it was attacked, making a sort of ‘omph’ noise as it smacked into the ceiling. It then fell, hitting the floor and bouncing once before landing in a groaning heap.

    “Good job, Dago,” Kesso told his Pokemon, who was looking bored and irate. The hydra simply grunted at the praise he received, giving his Trainer a look and landing on the floor. Kesso sighed at his Pokemon’s attitude, shaking his head and trotting to his room to grab a spare PokeBall from his desk. He then went back and saw that the ghostly Alakazam were hovering over their crumpled child. When Kesso returned, they turned to face him with expressions of mingled relief, gratitude, and sorrow. They both nodded once, slowly, and then faded from view.

    “They’re gone,” Geo announced a second later, and Dorrin shuddered in that weird way that reminded Kesso of a nod. “It seems they’ve been watching their child all this time, trying to help it get over its feelings. But it ignored them, so they had to rely on someone else to do what they could not. It would appear that they feel you are the one to do this.”

    “Well, let’s hope they didn’t put their faith in the wrong guy,” Kesso replied, going over to where Abra was lying on the floor and dropping the empty PokeBall over it. The Ball landed on Abra’s right arm, snapping open with a crack-pop noise the moment contact was made and releasing a flood of glittering red light. This light engulfed Abra, breaking it down into a sort of energy cloud before retreating back into the PokeBall, taking Abra with it. Afterward the Ball clicked shut and landed on the carpet, rocking feebly from side to side as the Pokemon inside attempted to get out…

    ===

    Pokemon Going For: Abra
    # of Needed Characters: 20-30k
    Total # of Characters: 48,701

    Yet another fine example of overkill from yours truly XD. Also, split into two posts instead of being one single post to make it easier to read ^^.
    Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 31st December 2010 at 02:19 PM.

  3. #3
    URPG Moderator Ataro's Avatar
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    Default Re: ~~``Mind Games``~~ [WWC]

    Introduction: I'm gonna be straight forward on this. The front part pretty much bored me out. The first paragraph created that sort of impression that seems to drag you into the story with the mysterious descriptions, but when I continued reading all the way into the introduction of the area, I wasn't really "captured" in that sense.

    I think the problem revolved around your introduction of the area. You started off by describing the weather (which was alright still) and moved into the description of the ranch-style house in Eterna Forest. In my opinion, there was a little too much information. Yeah, I noticed it's really annoying. Graders keep telling you to describe and describe, and here I am telling that you're over-describing. There was nothing wrong with being detailed, but the way you described in that paragraph came pretty rigid to me. It especially didn't help when I read "The" as the starting word at least six times in the paragraph. I think what you could have done was to perhaps include some sort of transition connectors, or even not focus on the sight throughout. If you noticed, the entire paragraph of description was about how the house looked like at all. You could have for instance, mixed in other senses. Were there eerie moans from time to time? Or were there perhaps the creaking sound of the door due to the wind blowing through the windows? Or even for smell. How did the interior of the house smell like? Did it smell like some sort of moldy confinement? Or perhaps there was a sort of old house odor that smelled like foul rotten, decaying flesh, or even cat pee that was left untouched for several weeks. I felt that you could have mixed these in while describing how the interior of the house looked like, to sort of maintain the "alive" feeling of the description, instead of it being all mechanical-like.

    Story/Plot: Amazing. Do I even have to say anymore? I really liked how you wrote it in 3rd POV, but still included the 1st POV (Kesso's thoughts) from time to time. Not only did it spice up the story with the POV changing, it also allowed me to understand the character more.

    Anyway, this was a intriguing plot definitely. Sure, I might think the front part is a bit boring, but you proved me wrong when the action started to begin. You wrote it in some sort of mysterious prologue and slowly, but steadily, introduced us to both the character's and the house's history. Then, you allowed yourself to turn it into some sort of find-the-problem-and-solve-it sort of scenario by making Kesso find a priest to "clean" the house. As if your plot wasn't already well-thought out enough, with a steady momentum even (people tend to rush with their stories unconsciously), you went on to introduce Spiritomb. I really liked what you did with Spiritomb. XD You could say it's a no-brainer, but the plot really fitted it perfectly. All in all, I have nothing to complain for plot-wise. Great job on this.

    You also managed to make your story albeit a suspense thriller sort of story, but also a comical one at times. Certain parts like the character imagining Alakazam's hand to be a hamburger and the irony of the priest having a Spiritomb were all comical moments, that I did indeed chuckle at the thought of that. This is good since having your reader laughing is a sign that he is enjoying it and is pretty much absorbed in the story.

    Grammar/Spelling: Yeah, you're good.

    Length: If I were you, I'd have made some sort of connection in the end that says two Abra, instead of one.

    ... Which also means good.

    Details/Description: Like what I said earlier for the introduction part, the description of the house was too "rigid" for my liking. It seemed almost mechanical, as if you're describing for the sake of it. It'd help wonders if you included connectors, or simply refrain from starting the sentence with "The" too often within a paragraph, or simply mix it up by also incorporating other senses (other than sight), especially smell and sound, to make the description seem more "alive" and interesting.

    Your other descriptions were still okay. All of them were very thorough, and you managed to strike a balance between describing and still not straying far from the story (many people tend to describe in a way that it becomes a separate entity to their story). I especially liked how you compared mangled Alakazam's hand to that of a raw hamburger. Both appropriate and yet, comical. I'm afraid you've left me speechless then. Your descriptions are mostly fine, except I'd love to see more "heartbeat" in them. This is more of a opinion thing, I guess. I love to see descriptions that don't separate themselves from the story, I need to be able to see the description and yet still feel like it's still part of the story, or action, and not reading a descriptive encyclopedia. I might have complained about your other descriptions as well, but I liked how you incorporated figurative descriptions into your story as well, making it easier to visualize and makes your story seem more "alive" as well.

    Battle: B/W mon huh? :b

    I will start with the overall comment first. Definitely two-sided and balanced out, you did use a variety of moves, and it was of a decent length too.

    I liked what you did with this (then again, what didn't I like?). Although it was just an Abra, and you had a Pokemon so friggin' overpowered, you managed to strike out such an even balance within them. Looking at it closer, it could have been a little godmode-like for Abra to have so much power, but it was definitely justified when we're dealing with this Abra. Side-tracking a bit, I thought you could have made Abra scarier. It was supposed to be some sort of really enraged spirit or something like that. Call it drama or whatever, but I think it'd have been even nicer to read had Abra been like a dramatic lunatic spirit. Heck, it might even craze up the battle even more.

    I thought it was a sort of pity though. You failed to make use of your surroundings. Many writers tend to forget about this part. People keep concentrating on how to balance out the battle and stuff like that, that they completely forgot what makes the battle even more exciting and interesting. Incorporating the surroundings would not only increase the diversity and possibility of how attacks can work in a battle, but also provide insight to the reader of how the surroundings is like. In this case, your character was battling in some sort of house, but I had little idea which room they were in. While reading the battle, I kept hoping that you'd make use of the surroundings, and tell me where were they battling in, stuff like that, but I remained disappointed. I thought this could have made your battle even better.

    A brief example would be perhaps you're battling in a sort of hallway where you just discovered the Abra. In the hallway, there are stuff like the carpet, perhaps wall lamps, and maybe even cabinets. How would these things affect your battle? Perhaps you can even have Abra use Psychic on the flames in the wall lamps to convert into some sort of fireball launch attack or something like that. That's just a suggestion, there are just so much possibilities that you can have when incorporating the surroundings into your battle. Adding on, a bulky Pokemon like Sazandora would probably have had trouble moving around in such a confined area right? It is possible that the area is large, but unfortunately, you didn't mention anything much about it.

    Outcome: I'm not going to even try being dramatic here, or try holding you in suspense. Abra captured!

    I mean, seriously, did you doubt you had that capture? XD You had a fantastic plot, you over-killed the length, and you were already above average definitely for your description/battle. The only complain I had throughout was probably the introduction/description of the house near the start. And of course, the disappointment in the battle section. But nonetheless, this was a job well done. ^-^
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