The radio crackled to life, a distinctive Emergency Announcement Signal dial tone beeping away.
"We interrupt our programming; this is a national emergency."
The tone beeped before continuing:
"This is an Emergency Action Notification. All broadcast stations and cable systems shall transmit this Emergency Action Notification Message. This station has interrupted its regular programming at the request of the White House to participate in the Emergency Alert System. During this emergency, most stations will remain on the air providing news and information to the public in assigned areas. This is RTEYW Station. We will continue to serve the Nevada area. If you are not in this Local Area, you should tune to stations providing news and information for your Local Area. You are listening to the Emergency Alert System serving the Nevada area. Do not use your telephone. The telephone lines should be kept open for emergency use."
A few more beeps. Then:
'At 11:30pm, April 20th 2035, multiple sightings of unknown creatures have been reported worldwide. These creatures are not natural, and have been observed using elemental abilities by eyewitnesses. Do not approach these creatures. Shelter in place and await further instructions. If you are not near a suitable shelter, seek your nearest community center immediately. Any attempt to leave your shelter may result in loss of life. This concludes operations under the Emergency Alert System. All normal programming operations may now resume."
"We're in it for the long haul," Michelle said. She switched off the radio. What was she to do now? She couldn't escape from this event, especially when proof of it was in the next two rooms over. Not certain how to start a conversation about herself, she decided to listen to whatever her co-workers talked about.
"Man, how are people outside taking things right now?" Todd asked.
"I bet you a hundred bucks there are a group of drunk rednecks out there shooting fire-breathing birds right now!" Michelle tapped her duty pistol. "Not with the cheap pistols either. I'd love to see whatever recipes could be made with that sort of meat."
"That's not what I meant," Todd replied. "I mean like what they'd think."
"What they'd - hah! Some of them are figuring out it's a dream come true! Maybe they're throwing themselves into it hoping they never wake up! Or, well, they're screaming that it can't be real, that Pokemon are nothing more than fucking Saturday morning cartoon characters! Don't tell me you went through that. I know, because I went through that!"
"You're taking it surprising well," Todd said at last.
"Try it. You woudn't know just by looking at me. I insulted the Pokemon you brought in. Didn't matter - I couldn't believe they were real."
"Do you believe they are real, now?"
"I don't. When I went to sleep yeaterday, I thought I'd wake up back in bed, and it'll be another boring day. Obviously, that didn't happen." She sighed. "The one time I hope something interesting happens, the whole world is turned upside down. Just my luck. Leave me for a while, Todd. I need some time to think."
Todd watched his colleague, slumped forward on the table. She was not taking the events well.
Then again, he was one of the first human of Earth Victini ever saw. The ones who aided it.
He'd taken the job because he truly wanted to help others, no matter what. While the trade of a veterinarian didn't interest him, he still liked seeing pets returned to their owners.
Then, there were the ones he had to help put down...
Every owner cried like mad, especially the older ones, he noted. He couldn;t fathom that, losing the only company one had.
Now, his skills would be put to the test. Handling creatures of incredible power with little more to go on except a wiki for a once-fictional franchise. The door of the armory and weapons lock-up stood in front of him, sealed with an electronic lock. He only hoped that the tools contained within would be enough to handle whatever challenges arose.
If Michelle had been told a fictional franchise would become real a week ago, she'd have laughed in the face of whoever said it. This wasn't the time for laughing however.
She was back with Victini - sans gun. The only things she carried was her walkie-talkie and flashlight.
Everyone else had had their introductions. A lump formed in her throat, and she swallowed.
"Are you gonna forgive me for my behavior in the past few days, or should I expect to be turned to ashes soon?" Forcing a deep breath, she ran a hand over her bullet-resistant vest while her knees shook inside her trousers. The Pokemon was not going to see her fear.
"I will forgive you, as long as you do not insult me from now on."
"Thank you. I apologize for my behavior last night."
"I can see your emotions. You and your... friends... saw the world change beyond comprehension in an instant."
"Shock and fear are natural reactions. Most people have a strong fear of the unknown after all." She sighed. "I think it's going to get much worse before it gets better."
There was no response this time. Exhaling, she continued, "Oh! I was supposed to bring you food. Just a moment." She pushed open the door with a mighty heave, rasign the walkie-talkie to her mouth. "Get that Pokemon a bowl of food."
"Any idea on what it prefers?" Todd asked.
There was no answer. "I'd start with a mix of washed berries and cooked meat, no seasonings," she replied. Her mind was being probed; she was certain of it. "Just going off the fact it has fangs."
"Loud and clear," Todd replied. "I'll get that done now."
"Todd," she said, "Can you come in and help feed that Victini? It was willing to forgive me, but I'd like to establish trust slowly."
Victini chewed on a small piece of meat. Michelle crouched beside it, scratching it between the ears.
"Will I need to do anything while I am here?"
"Normally no. However, your abilities might prove useful to us," Todd replied. "Psychic abilities might help us when we start bringing in more Pokemon. Being the first contact for Pokemon as a whole in this region might mean we'll be sent to handle Pokemon specifically instead of normal animals. We'll be sheltering here for a few days on orders. After that, soldiers from the National Guard will come around to assist us. Leave them alone; they mean us no harm."
"Listen. If you need to eat or relieve yourself just give us a mental shout. That's all. See ya, Victini." She stood up and left the room with Todd.
"Michelle! You're not an animal person, are you?"
She snorted in response to Todd's question. "Yes, I am not, thank you very much. Let's get into the staff lounge and turn on the TV. With luck we can catch a good sitcom instead of the news."
In the staff lounge, the co-workers were all glued to the televison, unable to look away.
"... reports from Germany, Britain and Australia are flooding in. Their citizens are sheltering in place with their militaries accessing the situation. As always, stay in your shelters. if you are not in a shelter, seek your nearest community cneter, such as a church or school, immediately. Attempts to leave your shelters may result in loss of National Guard has been deployed nationwide to assist. Do not interfere with operations occurring in your area."
"For God's sake," she muttered under her breath. For all Michelle knew, she was waiting for the events around her to become a normal Friday night. What would she do then?
She'd hold on a little longer, see how things turned out. That was all she needed to do.
I've been reworking the previous chapters to be more focused on life in the city Post-Arrival, starting from the early stages.
Also: there is a Fanfiction Treehouse server! Come and chat with this link: discord gg/9XG3U7a
See you until the next chapter!