Re: The Origin of Storms (PG-13)
Teresa leaned against the office door, the tip of her tail flicking about restlessly. Whatever Syr had gone to do, she hadn’t expected him to take this long about it. It was beginning to look as though Syr’s search for answers would prove as fruitless as Madeline’s had.
“Might as well look in on Esaax again,” the chansey said wearily. “I imagine he’s still asleep in there, though…”
Madeline turned in her seat to face Teresa. “Do you think maybe I could…?” She was fluttering her fingers and wearing a self-betraying smile.
Teresa looked her in the eyes, wearing an amused expression. Before she could say anything in response, however, the door was flung open. Teresa was catapulted onto the floor, where she rolled for a short distance before she was able to pick herself back up again.
Regarding the sticky remnants of the now shattered egg in her belly pouch with severe annoyance, the chansey readied an angry glare for whomever was making their entrance. As it turned out, it was Jen who stepped into the room. Before Teresa could chew him out, though, words came tumbling out of his mouth at maximum volume, completely unintelligible.
“Say that again. And breathe this time,” Teresa said, seizing the snorunt by his shoulders.
“There’s-someone-at-the-front-door-and-I-don’t-know-who-or-what-she-is-but-she’s-here-to-see-Esaax-and-she’s-really-freaked-out-and—” Jen very nearly passed out right then and there.
“I thought I told you to breathe,” Teresa said. “Thank you for letting me know about that, Jen. Now please go sit down and relax somewhere before your heart explodes.”
Teresa went over to the desk upon which she’d set down the microphone unit for Esaax’s cell, retrieved the device, and handed it to Madeline. “If he’s up, you can tell him he has another visitor. But if he’s not, don’t wake him.”
The chansey left the room, with Jen tottering woozily behind. Madeline watched them go, then set out herself in a bit of a rush.
Esaax had been placed in a part of the Haven that was rarely used, usually deserted, and far removed from the greater population of the hospital. This meant a bit of a walk for Madeline, but it was more than worth it as far as she was concerned.
Eventually, she found herself standing before Esaax’s cell. She hit the switch on the microphone unit controlling the window, and once the window had opened, she peered through it eagerly. The dim light fed into the room at all times revealed that Esaax was still sleeping, his slender, spidery body curled up on the floor.
Madeline marveled at the sight before her, impressed with Esaax’s new form beyond even her own expectations. If only he were awake, she wished silently, then I could see him in action…
The Mr. Mime began to turn away, sighing in disappointment. Then she thought she saw something moving out of the corner of her eye. Turning back, she saw something long, black, and bearing a ring of eyes appear in the window, searching about like a periscope. Rising up from the floor after it came Esaax’s new, saurian face.
Madeline switched on the microphone and speaker in a hurry. “Aww, did you wake up just for me?” she asked.
“No,” Esaax croaked. Madeline wilted in mock embarrassment. “I wasn’t asleep,” the kwazai added.
“I was faking it the whole time.”
“Faking it, huh?” Madeline echoed skeptically. “What about the sleep powder Teresa blasted in there?”
Esaax smirked. A lime-green aura briefly shimmered around him.
Safeguard… Madeline just stared at him, her mouth hanging slightly open. She wondered how he had managed to activate that defensive aura without Teresa noticing it.
She continued to watch Esaax through the window, and he gazed right back at her almost… longingly… Madeline felt her mouth go dry. Could it be… does he really…? she wondered.
“You… you really do understand the way I feel about you, don’t you?” she asked, her pulse quickening.
Esaax merely blinked at her, pressing his vaguely smiling muzzle against the glass.
Whether that was a “yes”, a “no”, or anything in between was utterly irrelevant; Madeline had already made up her mind. She threw a glance over her shoulder at the security camera that looked down upon them. It, like all the rest of the Haven’s cameras, had gone out of order a couple of days prior and had still not been repaired, but she still had a fleeting notion that she should perhaps disable it telekinetically.
She decided against tampering with the camera, however, and instead turned her attention back toward another device. She uncapped a tiny green button on the microphone unit and allowed her finger to hover very briefly over it before pushing it. There was a faint tone. Then, smoothly and almost silently, the door to Esaax’s cell slid open.
The gangly shape within stirred, framed in soft light and looking ghostly. Esaax lurched forward and emerged from his cell, bowing his already low-slung head even further as he passed through the doorway. Now that he was no longer contained, he seemed much larger than he had appeared to be while within his cell, and there was something about him that affected Madeline in a way that she hadn’t anticipated, something that her psychic centers were beginning to react to in a primal and increasingly uneasy way.
Esaax moved toward Madeline with slow, graceful steps. He loomed over her, twice her height. He drew an incredibly long, deep breath, his broad chest swelling immensely. A long, red tongue flitted quickly across his lips.
Madeline looked up at Esaax with an expression of awe, struggling to breathe more calmly and to stop trembling so much. Bringing a smile to her face that seemed unusually hesitant to form, she reached for one of his massive hands.
The spidery, blue fingers closed over Madeline’s own with an iron grip. It was all she could do not to yelp in pain.
Esaax moved even closer and lowered his head, his face just inches from Madeline’s. His lips drew back, baring his jagged teeth. He began caressing her face with his muzzle, drawing short, panting breaths, taking in her scent.
Madeline felt a wave of revulsion wash over her. This was not the experience with Esaax about which she’d fantasized so many times. He was starting to scare her, and not only by his behavior alone—the discomfort in her psychic centers that his mere presence seemed to cause was still growing and was strong and distinct enough now that she recognized its warning for what it was: He’s a dark-type now.
Nonetheless, she forced herself to look at him directly, trying as hard as she could to not appear as unsettled as she felt. She thought, or at least hoped, that perhaps if she could continue to treat him with affection, he would snap out of this disturbing phase and treat her more pleasantly.
She sent her other hand up to touch the kwazai’s face, caressing it with fingers that shook in spite of her efforts to prevent such. His skin was rubbery and quite smooth. She found it pleasant to the touch, and she tried to focus on how nice it felt rather than on the fear that was steadily overtaking her. It began to work, too. But then Esaax’s head suddenly moved with surprising speed, the jaws snapping harshly. His serrated teeth sank deeply into the meager flesh of her arm.
Madeline screamed in pain. All the love that she’d had for Esaax was gone from her mind now, replaced by pure, primal terror. Knowing that she currently had access to no attacks that could do him any harm and aware that she would likely just get them thrown right back at her at twice the power if she did have any, she tried desperately to free herself from him, but to no avail. Her escape was foiled soundly, not only by Esaax’s sheer physical strength but also by the dark gray aura that flared into being around both pokémon at her attempt to escape, signaling that Esaax had retained his shadow tag ability.
Esaax worried Madeline’s arm in his jaws with shredding teeth and sharp, jerking movements of his neck until the appendage was torn away at the elbow, gruesomely freeing one side of her, drawing more cries of agony. His left hand clutched her right hand even more tightly, and there were several sickening cracks as the bones in his grip yielded to the pressure. His other hand shot forward and slammed into her chest, pinning her to the wall.
Now struggling to breathe, Madeline stared through eyes blurred with tears at the empty space where half of her arm had once been. Then, fearfully, she looked up at Esaax once more. His head was already raised for another strike. Her blood dripped slowly and thickly from his jaws, and she glimpsed a couple of her own fingers protruding from between his teeth before they, along with the rest of her severed limb, disappeared into his mouth and down his very long throat.
It was in that moment that Esaax became aware of something new. He had discovered the presence of a power within him into which he had not yet tapped. He summoned it forth, and it rose up through his spine, radiated out through one arm, and gathered in his hand.
Esaax went ahead and released Madeline, letting her slump to the floor in her wavering consciousness, knowing that she couldn’t escape anyway. He gazed at his hand with curiosity. Energy in a shade of black that he’d never seen before danced in a slow vortex around it with a glow that was intensifying by the second.
He drew that arm back as if he were working an invisible bow. All of his senses focused fully on the bleeding, shaking Mr. Mime before him. His concentration became heightened to its maximum acuteness. At this range, it was virtually unnecessary to take aim, but he nonetheless sought out the most lethal trajectory for his new weapon.
His arm thrust forward. With a loud, hollow sound, a glowing black beam of incredible intensity exploded from his hand, blasting Madeline point-blank.
At the exact moment that the beam struck Madeline, a horrible, sudden pain hit Esaax like a wrecking ball, taking his breath away. Red light exploded in his vision. His nerves seared excruciatingly for what felt like innumerable seconds, and his head felt as though it were blowing itself apart.
In his suffering, Esaax staggered and fell to the floor. When he rose once more, his mind surfaced from the altered state that it had been in for nearly the entire duration of the time since he’d evolved.
His vision returned in the next moment. He saw blood before him, as well as something black and twisted—a corpse. Something—someone—who, mere moments ago, had been alive—until he had killed her.
Esaax recoiled with a scream, suddenly frantic to be as far away from the scene as possible. His stomach violently expelled its contents. His renewed clarity wouldn’t let him delude himself into believing that this was a nightmare or a hallucination. The scene before his eyes unflinchingly spoke the truth: he had murdered this pokémon. He had tasted her blood. He had eaten her flesh…
A howl of anguish and horror tore its way out through his throat. With fear, confusion, and disgust like none that he had ever known, all directed straight toward himself, Esaax brought his newfound technique to bear on the wall, letting it linger there until a large area of the wall had turned black and disintegrated, and then fled into the night.
A little story regarding Karo’s name: One day, at my cousin’s house, I allowed her to read this chapter while this story was still a work-in-progress. After she’d read it, she led me into the kitchen. I had no idea what she was doing. Then, she pulled something out of a paper grocery bag that was sitting on the counter and showed it to me, making sure I got a good, long look at it. That something was a bottle of corn syrup. Its label read… “Karo”. And my cousin has not let me live that coincidence down ever since.
In my defense, his name is not pronounced the same way as the name of the corn syrup. (It’s car-o, not care-o.) But… yeah, even I don’t think that really helps things much. XD Alas…
Shortly after the corn syrup incident, my cousin also informed me that Esaax might as well be “Ex-Lax”. Alas again… XD
Next chapter: Karo has something that he thinks Syr should like to see. (Get your mind out of the gutter! XD) See you then!
- Sike Saner
Last edited by Sike Saner; 06-03-2011 at 10:01 PM.