I see a light. It flashes on and off. Red into nothing. Nothing into red. It's so dark without it, and yet with it somehow feels even darker. Everything washes into such a violent color...
Where am I?
I sit up even though my head feels like bursting. I must have fallen, right? Or tripped is more likely I realize as I look down. There's nothing but scattered glass, and tangled cables all over the metal floor which looks as red as everything else whenever the light bothers to flicker onto it. Which reminds me, the light? It's coming from a lamp set into the wall above an open door. Looks like an emergency backup. Guess that's why it's so dark in here.
I squeak out a sneeze. Okay, so now the next question is why am I so wet? I'm practically lathered in some kind of cold, icky goop. Shivering, I hug myself tightly, feeling my matted fur.
Fur? Have I always had fur? Of course, I must have… right? I look at my tiny hands. Have I always had so few fingers?
I turn around, and the sight makes me gasp. Behind me are the gaping jaws of a monster. Shattered teeth glint at me in the red light that blinks off again, sending me frighteningly into darkness for another moment before blinking back on. The monster hadn't moved, but wait… I sigh in relief. It isn't a monster at all. The teeth are nothing more than the broken edges of some giant glass tube, and there are more cables and such all knotted and twisted around it like some kind of metal tangela. They all disappear way up above where there's nothing but darkness. If there's a ceiling up there, it's way too high up for me to see it. Okay, maybe relief wasn't the right word for how I felt. This place is really starting to give me the creeps.
"Ma-zzz-ter? Are you -zzzt- there?"
My eyes finally fall on the heartbreaking scene. Not too far from me, near the broken machine, there's a body lying limp on the ruined floor. A human body. They aren't moving, but their head is being gently cradled on the lap of a metal dress. There's a terrible CRACK! as sparks fly like blood from the gash of gears and wires in the magearna's side. Her head twitches with the static of her fading voice.
"Ma-zzz-ter? Did it -zzzt- work?" Her eyes glow with the same eerie color as the rest, looking straight at me. When the lights switch off, her eyes become all I can see. "Ma-zzz-ter… Did we… -zzzt- win?"
"Are you okay!?" I quickly get up, slipping a bit as I try scrambling over to them on the slicked floor. I have to look up at her when I draw near, she's so tall, and she looks down at me as my hands tremble about her wound. "Oh no. That looks real bad."
The magearna's head makes another twitch. "Ma-zzz-ter… I'm so glad. I -zzzt- I'm… zzzt-orry…" As their voice shuts down, the magearna's eyes flicker, and then dim completely. The metal form grows as still as the body she held.
I draw my hands to my chest to stop them from shaking. Okay, for real now, what in Arceus happened here? What happened to this poor pokemon? And what happened to me? Why am I so small? Why can't I remember a single thing? The room is hollow with a silence that answers none of my questions. All it does is flicker that creepy red light.
Red into nothing. Nothing into red.
Red into nothing. Nothing into red.
I manage to scramble out of that horrible room, through the door under the flashing light, but somehow manage to trip on a cable at the last second and am sent sprawling into the hall. Letting out a groan, it's so annoying being this small, I unplant my face from the floor and look up. Down the hall, through the darkness on either side of me, there's more of those bloody emergency lights. At least these aren't blinking. Still super creepy though.
I gulp, my heart feels like it just might break from my nervous chest, but, well, I can't just sit around here can I? And I definitely don't want to stay in that room.
Walking down the hall, my tiny feet hardly make a sound. That's good. I won't be accidently alerting whatever monsters are lurking in this place.
I shake my head. What am I even saying? Monsters? Get those silly thoughts out of your head. You're just scaring yourself. But, well… I think back to that poor magearna. That terrible gash in their side, the one that had taken their life, it had to have come from somewhere.
Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! All these thoughts are going to give me a heart attack. There's more wreckage, and torn bits of wall along this hall as well. Shadows are in every corner, but that's all. Nothing dangerous about it.
That's when I see the movement in the corner of my eye.
"EEK!" CRASH! BANG! THUD! Tinkle Tinkle. Roll… roll… roll… clatter clatter. I clutch to my racing heart as the upturned debris resettles. A loose wheel had rolled several feet down the hall before losing its momentum, and peetering to a stop, but I don't care about that. I care about the terrified face gaping back at me.
Oh wait, no… it's just a victini. Looks like I've given them quite the fright as well. Their little hand is clutched over their chest. Just like me. Wait… Am I? I am! It's just a mirror. As I see this, my eyes sparkle with excitement in the reflection of the glass. I come right up to it, my snout presses against the pane. This's so cool! Victini's are super rare, aren't they? I never knew I was so special!
Though, excited as I am, there's still a creeping nag in the back of my mind that I probably should have known that already. Annoying thing, amnesia. I don't suppose I'm going to be lucky enough to remember how to use any of my moves either.
I crouch into a fighting like stance, bring my hands together like I'm charging up, I don't know, something with fire probably. I concentrate really hard, imagining the flame, becoming one with the flame, and… I thrust my hands out to use a glorious Flamethrower!
"Yeah, that figures." I let out a sigh.
A sudden CRASH! down the hall, this one not caused by me, makes me jump in fright again.
"DAMN IT!" A monstrous roar follows soon after. "Qwaggersh! Where the hell are you!?"
In the red lighting of the hall ahead, I can see something moving this way. My first impulse is to hide. There's a fallen ceiling panel propped up against the wall which I scramble behind just in time. The sound of claws clicking against the floor fills the space. They grow nearer, and nearer. Very soon they're almost on top of me.
"Where the hell ish that damn shalamander?" The voice lisps right next to me. I peek out from behind the panel.
In the darkness of the red light there's no monster at all. Just an absol. He looks giant, but well, I guess everything does when you're about a foot tall. I can only see one side of his face as he's looking around.
"Qwaggersh!" He shouts again, stalking further down the hall.
I doubt that I'm this Qwaggers he's calling for, but relieved to see another pokemon, I step out from hiding. "Excuse me?"
The absol whips around, and I can't help but yelp. Now facing me, I see the whole of his face. The side of his face I hadn't seen at first looks like it's been completely melted. One of his eyes is just an empty socket in his pale, exposed skull, and his jaw hangs open in a sneer with flesh and saliva dripping down to the floor.
"Oh Arceus!" I gasp. There really are monsters. "What happened to you!?"
The absol had crouched into a fighting stance. He glares at me, but then hesitating, lets the tension in his body release some.
"Jusht victini." He hissed to himself. The lack of half a mouth is probably what's causing the horrible lisp. He straightens, and prowls towards me. "You're shafe, but where are the othersh?"
I take a few steps back, then feel guilty about it. This guy looks horrifying, but that's not his fault. He's acting kind. I have no idea what he's talking about, though. "Others?"
"Gaea, and Mashter. Where are they?"
"I don't…" but my thoughts drift back to that room. Master. That magearna had called someone by that too. The magearna that was now… the memory of it makes me tear up a bit. "I'm sorry, I…" I can't say it, not when I look up at his face, and my voice falters. His eyes… his eye. He's glaring at me with such hatred, his entire body practically shaking with it. It makes me take another step back.
"Well?" The absol persists.
"I'm sorry, I think they're dead."
The absol glares at me for a long time. Ropes of spittle oozing. Dripping… dripping…
I don't really know what even to say to that. "I mean, I could be wrong..." I tell him about what I'd seen. About the human, and the magearna, and-
"LIER!" The absol gives an unnatural, beastial howl before clenching his teeth, and shaking his head. "Sorry." He didn't sound it.
The venom in his words is making me really nervous. "That's okay. Were they… friends of yours?"
"I-" The absol grits his teeth. He trembles, as if fighting himself. "Yes, they are."
But maybe he wasn't angry at all? Of course, he'd just heard he might have lost a friend. He must really be torn up by what I've said.
Hesitantly, I scooch up to him, resting a hand on his paw for comfort. "I'm really sorry. I… I had to leave them behind in that room, but I could be wrong. Maybe, we can go back to check, and see if maybe they're okay? Okay?"
"I…" The absol nods. "Yesh. Very well." Drip… drip…
I show my best smile. "I'm…" I hesitate. Oh great. Of course I don't even remember my own name. That'd just make things too simple. "I'm Vic." I lie, figuring now's not the time to complicate things more for the guy. Not when he's already dealing with the possibility that he might have just lost his friends. "Can I ask yours?"
The side of his face that was normal curled slightly into what could almost have been a sad smile. "Darknesh."
I give him a gentle tug on the paw. "Nice to meet you, Darkness. Here, I'll lead the way."
Walking back to the room is a nerve wracking experience. I know what I'll see there, but how will Darkness respond to it? I glance up, and regret it as I catch another sight of the bare grin of skull along the side of his face. He looks down, and I startle, and glance away, trying to hide the fact that I'd been staring.
We come up to the door. The one light inside flickers ominously, and I feel an even stronger urge to turn back. But I face Darkness. "Are you sure you want to see?"
"I have to know." Darkness growls, pushing past me, and into the room. I sigh, and follow.
I know just where to look, and there they still lay. The limp body of the magearna cradling the head of the dead human.
"Mashter…" Darkness's voice sounds numb. He pads over the mess of cables to where the two rest in silence. My heart sinks. I see I wasn't wrong. Darkness nudges the human's hand, but they don't stur.
I slowly come to stand next to him. I look up at him, but it's like I'm not even there to him. "Are you okay?"
"No." His voice sounds broken.
"Again, I'm real sorry," I rest another hand on his paw for comfort.
"DON'T TOUCH ME!"
His paw catches me in the stomach. Winding me as I'm knocked several feet into the air, only to come crashing down coughing. I struggle to get up, clutching my belly. "H-hey! What in Arceus…" My voice peeters out into a gulp as I look up, and see the red of his eye twisted in fury.
"THIS IS ALL BECAUSE OF YOU!" Darkness roars in hatred. He doesn't even sound normal anymore. Something's guttural about his voice. Beastial.
"I-i don't…" have even the slightest clue what he's talking about, but I don't say it for fear of how he'd retaliate.
"YOU KILLED THEM!"
"I didn't." I take several steps back towards the door, tripping over the debris.
Darkness shakes his head violently. For a second he sounds normal, "No… this isn't-" then he roars, "AND IT WAS YOU WHO TURNED ME INTO A MONSTER!"
He Slashes his horn at me, and I have to jump backwards to avoid it. My foot catches on something, and I end up falling right on my butt.
"Wow! Hey! Calm down!" I cry, my arms raising defensively. My heart races, but Darkness is towering over me already. His eye, and empty socket are full of murder. Strands of saliva ooze from the hole in his jaws.
He growls, "Run. I can't-"
"What?" I can barely whimper.
"RUN!" His massive paw raises high. I scream, scrambling backwards. His claw comes crashing down over the spot my head had been. Scrambling up, I race out of that room, and down through the hall as fast as my little legs can carry me.
"YOU CAN'T GET AWAY!" Darkness's voice echoes from behind. A wind picks up, clawing at my fur, and scraping at my face in a Razor Wind. I steal a glance over my shoulder only to see him bounding after me. Diving under a pile of scrap metal, I pop out on the other end. Moments later the pile explodes as Darkness barrels right through it. He's too fast! He's going to catch me!
"Somebody!" I scream, my own voice rings loud in an echo in my ear. "Somebody, help me!"
"DIE!" the absol roars instead. "DIE! DIE! DIE!"
I don't want to die!
I feel his breath on the back of my neck. There's no way I can outrun him.
My eyes squeezing shut, I dive to the side right as he comes crashing over top of me. I hear him skidding to a stop as ruins come cascading down around us, but dare not look as I go scurrying down the hall in the opposite direction. I know I'm going to die. I'm really going to die! My throat feels raw from the pain in my choked gasps for air, and my screams, and I can hear the padding of his feet crashing after me.
"Help! Somebody!" I don't even know if there's anyone else here to hear.
I reach the end of the hallway. It splits off into a T. Left or right? There's no time to think, so I try and veer left, but just then I feel the massive force hit me in the back. I cry out in pain as it sends me sprawling. Before I can even get up, Darkness pounces on top of me. His jaws are gaping, and salivating.
"Hey. Snap out of it!" I squeak, squirming pathetically. I can't get free. His tongue is lolling from the gap in his teeth. "I'm sorry. I don't know what I did, but I'm sorry!" My words aren't getting through to him.
"NOW YOU DIE." He rumbles in that chilling voice. His head is lowering. His jaws opening till I can see his gullet, and I know then that he's about to eat me.
I squeeze my eyes shut as ropes of spittal smear my face. I'm going to die. No! I'm too cute to die! I have to channel my fire, or do something psychic like, or something. I try my best, but I can't. Can't concentrate, I can't even fight back. His weight is completely crushing me, choking me of air. I feel the steam of his breath as his jaws draw near my throat. His teeth graze against my matted fur.
If Darkness can hear me, he's blind to my plea. Frightened tears well to my eyes. His jaws are closing, deadly as a guillotine. I scream.
Suddenly, the pokemon's weight is lifted from me. My eyes open wide. I jump to my feet. Darkness has been knocked to the floor, and struggles to get up, but right above me now towers a figure of sleek black fur. A beautiful cascade of red hair falls down his back, tied up like a tail, and when I say towers, this time I really mean it. He's at least five times my height.
It's a zoroark. He's crouched in an offensive stance, ready to intercept whatever strike Darkness might throw at him. His pale blue eyes glance down at me, and his lips form a friendly smile.
"Don't worry little one. I'm here for you." He says, and I start to cry.