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Old 02-27-2008, 03:27 AM
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Default Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Monsters of the Machine
Rated PG-17 for Violence, Gore, and Mild Language

Note: If any Grader who knows nothing of Hellsing decides to Grade this, you can get all you need to know from Wikipedia.

EDIT/NOTE: This story is, obviously, very AU. While most things in the Hellsing universe are the same, there will be some very big changes once I get to the plot. Those of you following the Hellsing Ultimate OVA or the manga will see what I mean. As stated above, this story is based on events and characters from the manga/Ultimate OVA, NOT the original 13-episode TV series. Sorry Incognito fans :P.

+Prologue+

The night was heavy with death.

I stood amid the slaughter, looking about sadly. Several of the small houses were aflame, casting a dancing light on the ghastly scene sprawled before me. Blood was awash in the streets, painting the walls of nearby buildings, puddled thickly on the ground. Bodes were piled everywhere, limbs flung carelessly, if they weren’t missing. Stomachs ripped open, entrails and other organs dragged from their body cavities. Faces torn from skulls. Carcasses crushed into smears of gore. Men, women, children, Pokemon, and even a few animals decorated the village with their remains. The bitter, harsh scents of death, fear, anger, and waste bit at my sensitive nostrils, and I couldn’t hold back a sneeze.

I turned my back on the scene, only to have it greet me again. It didn’t matter where I looked, everywhere there was murder. My paws curled themselves into fists, and I felt my claws prick at the palms. With a sigh I uncurled my fists, ignoring the trickles of blood coming from the small holes my talons had caused. I swished my tail, angry with all this mindless killing, and my wings fluttered in agitation as I closed my amber eyes for a moment. After I felt a bit calmer, I opened them again and walked to the closest building, a tiny, ranch-style house with its windows shattered and door missing. I stared at the sad-looking structure for a moment before walking inside, carefully stepping around the streaks of blood and meat that were sprinkled about. After a moment I found the bathroom and looked into a full-length body mirror, almost hating what I saw reflected in it.

Even though the only light was that coming from the fires, my sharp eyes saw my reflection as if it were midday. The glass showed me a creature of about seven feet tall, looking surprisingly human from the waist up, for the most part. A lean upper body covered in a simple white tee-shirt, an elf-like face framed by a long golden mane. Amber eyes that gleamed in the darkness, a small mouth that hid deadly fangs. Muscles cording under the flesh, strong yet petite shoulders tapering into long, powerful arms. Hand-like paws that ended in five digits, each tipped with a wicked white talon, with the middle one being about an inch longer than the others. From my back, between my shoulders, rose a long thin fin covered in dark blue scales, and two more fins grew from the bottoms of my upper arms. They were covered in the same midnight-blue scales as the fin on my back, against which were folded long black wings, two on either side of my back-fin. What looked like cream-colored flesh was actually thick, callous-like skin.

From the waist down I looked more like my host, a Garchomp. My legs were reptilian, bending backwards at the knee and ending in thick, heavy paw-feet. On each of these was three toes, all six of them tipped with claws that were smaller but no less sharper than the ones on my fingers. Two large spikes rose from the upper half of each legs, and a thick, powerful tail sliced the air behind me. Everything below my waist was covered in tough scales the same midnight-blue as my fins, except my stomach. This was covered in thick orange-red scales, as was the underside of my tail.

I snarled suddenly, whirling from the mirror and smashing it with my tail. It shattered with an explosion of smashed glass, which fell to the pale-white linoleum with a sort of tinkling crash. I felt a sharp sting along the side of my tail where a stray piece of glass sliced through the scales and meat, and felt a fierce sort of self-destructive pleasure arise from the pain. Then the moment passed, and I sighed heavily as I felt the cut begin to heal. Sometimes I hated what I was, just because of the fact that my kin were such...monsters.

I was a DeMon who hated senseless killing, who didn’t revel in chaos and terror and murder. That had set me apart from just about every other DeMon, and not in a good way. They all saw me as a weakling, a traitor to DeMon-kind. I can’t count how many times I’ve had run-ins with my brothers and sisters, but I can tell you that each of them ended with my brethren trying to kill me for the simple reason that I had a conscious. How many of them I’ve had to slay, how many poor Pokemon, commanded in a horde or made into Bound that I’ve had to kill.

Outside was the cause of one of countless battles for survival. I had come to this town in the guise of a normal Garchomp, since we DeMon are able to appear fully as our hosts for short periods of time. I had heard rumors of strange Pokemon attacking the townspeople here, Pokemon who weren’t being led in a horde or Bound. These Pokemon had been in their own small group, about five or six, all different. They had been said to have possessed glowing red eyes and huge fangs, and had attacked people and ripped into them to feast on their blood. My reason for deciding to check out these rumors was simple: I’d heard of similar things happening all around the country, but this happening had been closest to me at the time.

I had flown here to check on things, only to find that another DeMon had beat me to it. This one had been a Raichu DeMon, and, like all my other ilk, he chose to look like a horribly mutated version of his host, whereas I preferred looking as human as I could. He had been only about half my height, covered in dirty, pus-yellow fur that had been missing in large clumps, revealing black, swollen flesh beneath. His legs had been about two times too long for his height, his arms nearly two times too small. His arms and legs had abruptly ended in massive white claws: there had been no paws or digits. His tail had resembled a scorpion’s more than a Raichu’s, long and segmented with a giant, poison-drooling stinger at the tip. His face had been mashed in, his mouth wide and so full of ripping fangs that it hadn’t been able to close fully. He’d had six pulsing red eyes, each of them full of madness and loathing when he had seen me. His ears had been simple holes in the sides of his head, and spikes had been running down his back. All in all, he had been extremely unpleasant to look at.

He had told me, as a manner of gloating, that he had come here to take advantage of the chaos being caused by the weird blood-drinking Pokemon. No one had paid him any mind at first, because several people had been killed or severely injured by the Pokemon, and only after the DeMon had Summoned a massive horde of at least one hundred Raichu had the humans realized a DeMon was among them. The male had also had a few Bound with him, but no one had really cared about them. Their DeMon hadn’t ordered them to do anything, and he hadn’t been in any danger, so they had simply loafed around as the Summoned Raichu and the DeMon had carried on killing.

I had lost my temper when that little freak had bragged about how easy killing all those poor humans had been. I’d slipped from my Host form to my Pure form, the twisted shape our host bodies take upon a DeMon’s initial possession of a Pokemon. I hated that form, how hideous it was and the evil it represented. That I had taken such a sick shape had driven me even further into rage, and when the male DeMon had ordered his Summoned and Bound to attack me, I had killed them with a massive outpouring of one of my Professions, Flame. A hellish blast of red flames had exploded from my body, created and powered by my spirit, focused and strengthened by my host’s body. The Summoned and Bound had died instantly in those flames, though their DeMon required a bit more force to take down. After having finished the battle, I’d calmed down enough to assume my Hybrid form, the one I preferred being in.

Now I stalked out of the house, trying to avoid all the death spread out around me. I spotted the remains of one of the Summoned Raichu in the distance and felt a pang of regret hit me. Those poor things, and the Bound as well, hadn’t deserved to be used as tools as they had been. They hadn’t deserved being forced to fight. They shouldn’t have had to die, but when a Pokemon is Summoned, its mind is warped for the rest of its life, and Bound are loyal to their DeMon until the last breath leaves their bodies.

And I’d learned nothing, had absolutely nothing, to show for it. All this bloodshed I’d subjected myself to, and hadn’t caught even a glimpse of one of the odd Pokemon that attacked the village earlier. I growled softly as I left the tragic scene, my wings peeling open as I walked. As soon as I passed the boundaries of the village, I looked up at the full moon and pondered where to go next. The closest big city was about an hour’s flight from here, and it would be there that I would most likely get any information about where to go or what to do now. I was fully dedicated to solving the mystery of the strange blood-drinking Pokemon, because some part of me knew it had something to do with DeMons as well. I didn’t know how I knew it, exactly, except maybe as some sort of instinct or intuition.

My wings opened to their full span of nearly twenty feet, and I refused to look at the scene behind me as I crouched, then leapt into the air. My wings pumped a few times as I gained altitude, and as soon as I was high enough I switched to soaring.

And with my departure, the only one left looking upon the sad, terrible massacre was the cold, indifferent moon...
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:44 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine

+Chapter One: Encounters of the Fateful Kind+

"There's no one else to blame but you
Choose your way, choose what to do
Pick your poison, pay the price
Change of fate, wouldn't that be nice?..."


Day came swiftly. I had entered the city around two or three in the morning, then landed, taken my Host form, and found somewhere to sleep. The events of the night had left me surprisingly drained, both physically and mentally. That was no surprise, seeing as it had been months since I'd last had to kill, since I'd last had to bear witness to such slaughter.

I woke to the sound of voices nearby. I shifted slightly, trying to rouse myself fully. I had found a small, cramped alleyway between two large buildings, and stuck against the concrete wall that made the alley a deadend was a large radiator. It was under this I had taken shelter, certain that no one would come upon me here. So much for that.

The voices were coming closer, and now I could tell they belonged to young children. I shifted again and peered from under the radiator, seeing nothing but a tangle of legs and feet. They were closer than I had thought, if that was all I could see. I moved my buik backwards, only to feel the cold of the concrete wall against my tail seconds later. The only way out from under this thing was forward.

"I'm telling ya, it's huge!" said a voice, a boy's. "I never seen such a big Garchomp, not never!" I groaned faintly at his words; the hope that maybe they were just here to play dashed itself to pieces against the child's words. I wondered when the boy had seen me, how he had come upon this alley and thought to look under the radiator.

"There ain't nothing under here, I bet," said a girl's voice. "You always lie about stuff and then try and scare us, well, it won't work this time! I don't even know why we bothered to listen to you, you little brat."

"Aaww, shut it and look already!" the boy huffed, and seconds later a face appeared less than two feet from me. It was a girl, of course, her face covered in dirt and freckles. Even in the shadow I could see her eyes were blue, full of irritation that quickly changed to surprise and excitement. She blew out her cheeks and made a funny noise as she stared at me, eyes getting wide. A lock of dirty, matted red hair fell into them moments later, and she shoved it aside with a grimy hand.

"Well lookit that! There is a great big old Garchomp under here!" she crowed, kneeling down. She was wearing a dingy pink dress, which was covered in stains. She clasped her thin arms around her knees, revealing old scars and fresh scabs, and mud caked on at least three layers deep. She cocked her head as she studied me, and behind her the other children were jostling in order to get a look at me. I lowered my head a bit, just a fraction, wondering what to do. As I was thinking, another kid, this one a boy no older than eight, dropped to his knees beside the girl and pointed at me, squealing in fear and delight.

"Garchomp, Garchomp!" he chanted, and it seemed to drive the others into a kind of frenzy. They pushed at one another and the two before me, almost desperate to get a peek at the famous Garchomp. They shouted and yelled, and the noise quickly gave birth to a throb in the back of my head. This wasn't good, not at all, and as I did a quick check on my energy level I found just how not-good it was.

My energy level was distressingly low. I had been in my Host form all night and most of the morning, and I could only hold this form for about ten hours. See, depending on spiritual strength and the size of our hosts, we DeMons can hold our Host forms for as little to an hour to as long as an entire day. My limit was fast approaching; I had twenty minutes tops before I would have to revert to my Pure form. What I wanted to do was get out of here and find a safe, secure place where I could assume my Hybrid form. That form took almost no energy to hold, and it was possible to gain energy back while holding it. Of course, I couldn't do that here in front of these kids.

Don't get me wrong. Humans have known about us for years, seeing as DeMons have made our existence obvious with all the killing and ravaging they do in plain sight of humans. It's not like I was trying to protect my brethren by hiding the fact that we exist. I wouldn't mind them being destroyed, seeing as they were all evil, sick-looking murderers themselves. No, it was the fact that I didn't want to change forms in front of these children because doing so would terrify them. The last thing I wanted, or needed for that matter, was for these little humans to go screaming to their parents, wailing that a vicious DeMon had attacked them out of nowhere and tried to eat them. That would bring a medieval mob armed with modern-day weapons down on me, and I had come here seeking information, not to be chased all over or forced to fight.

The thing was, I didn't want to hurt the kids either. I could try scaring them away by roaring or something, but then they would just run home screaming that a vcious Garchomp had attacked them out of nowhere and tried to eat them. I thought long and hard about what I could do to get out of here without getting into any more trouble, and then it came to me as silent as a cloud passing by. By this point, the kids were trading weak blows, knocking one another around in an attempt to assert dominance and be the first to see me. The girl had joined in the battle, though the young, black-haired boy was still pointing at me and screeching, Garchomp, Garchomp

"That's quite enough of that!" I said loudly, and instantly the fighting came to a stop. The boy in front of me let his hand fall limply to his side, his jaw dropping in shock as he gawked at me. His brown eyes grew huge as I pushed my way forward, and he fell back onto his butt and scrabbled away as fast as he could as I moved. The other kids broke apart, jumping to their feet if they had fallen, scooting back rapidly as I finally cleared the radiator and stood, dusting myself off absently. I scanned the group, guessed there were about twelve of them, and jabbed a claw at them. "Really, do you have to fight like rabid animals just to get a look at me? I'm just an ordinary Garchomp, for crying out loud, maybe a little bigger than most, but just a Garchomp all the same. Why did you have to come here and wake me up? If you wanted to see a Garchomp you should ask a Trainer or something, not go poking around the temporary nest of a wild one. You know, most Garchomp would have been really mad, and might even have attacked you for waking it up so rudely!" I paused my rambling, eyeing the children with the air of a stern parent handing out a punishment. "You should all apologize, I think."

"Y-yo-you can talk!" the little boy who'd been pointing breathed, and I made a show of rolling my eyes and sighing heavily.

"Oh, yes, well, so? You can talk too."

"B-but you're a Pokemon! Pokemon don't talk!"

"Of course we do!" I replied, mustering all the heat and indignation I could. "We talk all the time, just not in a language you humans understand. What do you suppose we're doing when we say our names over and over again? Having fun? There's subtle meanings in all those utterings, y'know."

"Why do you talk so we can't understand?" asked the girl who had looked at me first, and I flicked a claw at her.

"Because we don't want you knowing what we're saying, why else? Now look, I'm very tired and I would like to go somewhere where there aren't a bunch of annoying kids keeping me awake and asking lots of questions." I gave an exaggerated huff. "And none of you even said sorry for waking me up like you all did..." And with that I strode forward. The group parted like butter around a knife; the effect I'd wanted had been achieved. The kids were shocked by a talking Garchomp, and a little afraid too. Not so afraid that they'd run off crying to some adults though, which was the main thing. I didn't look back as I stomped off, trying to make it so the kids wouldn't be tempted to follow me. It must have worked, because a few minutes later I was walking down another alley and no one was trailing me.

I sighed heavily, this time meaning it, and assumed my Hybrid form. I felt a little better afterwards, for the strain that had been settling on my body was eased now that I wasn't expending so much of my last remaining bits of energy. I wandered further into the alley, feeling proud of myself. The kids would talk about our encounter, of course, but everyone would just think they were making up some wild story. They were just kids, after all, and how many countless times did kids have fantasies of meeting talking Pokemon?

I wandered until I felt thoroughly lost, only feeling truly safe when I was sure no one would be able to stumble upon me. This alley was different than the last, in that it twisted and looped all about, branching off every which way into other, smaller alleys. I was in one of these tinier alleys, and it would only be by a stroke of extreme misfortune that I would be found.

I stretched as I came to a halt, scratching at my bare stomach a moment later as I leaned against a wall. That was another thing: after taking my Host form, my shirt had been pretty much destroyed by the extra bulk that had filled it. That meant I would have to find a new shirt soon, since I felt uncomfortable wandering around stark naked. I know, that probably seemed weird, but it's because-

I noticed movement in the shadows a few feet to my left. I turned my head just a little, looking out of the corner of my eye and trying to pinpoint the disturbance. My vision wasn't as good in my Hybrid form as it was in my other two, but it was still much sharper than a human's, and within seconds I spotted what had been moving.

It was a Spiritomb, hovering near the corner of the wall I was leaning on. It was a whirling mass of violet energy with glittering green spots scattered here and there, and near the bottom was a small grey stone that seemed to be pulsing. I blinked, focusing on the Pokemon as I turned to face it fully. It was fading, as if it were merging with the shadows all around. Suddenly, though, it twisted around to face me. Holes ripped open in the place of eyes, and a gaping tear formed under the smaller rends, all three of them the same color as the emerald spots. It stared at me, or maybe glared, or maybe something else entirely. I couldn't be sure, since there was no real expression to read. Then the rip that made its mouth stretched and curved until it was a wicked grin, and it floated backwards until vanished into the darkness of the alley.

I watched the place where the Pokemon had disappeared, feeling highly uneasy. It hadn't attacked me or acted malicious in any way, but something about the way it had grinned at me was unsettling. It was like it knew something that I didn't, something important, and I wondered if maybe it had something to do with the Vampiric Pokemon I was, for lack of a better term, investigating.

After a few minutes I turned from the shadows, that unpleasant sense of dark foreboding making itself at home in my heart. There was nothing to be done about it now though. The Spiritomb was gone, hopefully for good, and I was still alive and healthy and capable of continuing my search. I titled my head back, judging by the position of the sun that it was close to one in the afternoon. It would take me a few hours to regain enough energy to assume my Host form and go out to try and find more information. Not only that, but my stomach reminded me with a dull roar that I hadn't eaten for nearly a day. It would be best to rest up and then find something to eat.

After a bit more searching, I found an abandoned nest that had once belonged to a large Pokemon, maybe a stray Mightyena or Purugly. The scent of whatever had made this had long since gone cold; in fact, there was no fresh scent on or near it at all. That meant there was no concern that a new owner would come and find me stealing their bed, which meant I could rest unmolested. I laid down on the large structure of shredded blankets, grass, small twigs, and old fur, curling up and falling back asleep almost immediately.

It seemed like I had just closed my eyes when I was startled awake by screaming. I jerked, disoriented and unsure of where I was. Why was it dark? It lasted only for a moment though, and I sprung to my feet-paws as the screams rang out over and over. Night had fallen; I must have been more tired than I'd realized, and my stomach was competing with the endless shrieks for my attention. A hunger pang stabbed at me, and I gave a little grunt as I glanced around blindly, not sure which way I wanted to go.

Finally I moved forward, and after a lot of turning and back-tracking I exited the labyrinth of back paths and alleyways. I was opposite the side of all the screaming, and though I was horribly curious to find out what was happening, I was more concerned with finding something to eat.

I assumed my Host form as I left the alley, casting about cautiously before moving into the open. There was no one around, and I assumed everyone had gone over to where the commotion was taking place. That was good for me, as I could find some food without much trouble, since no one was around to chase me off if I got too close. People tended to be wary of Garchomp, especially wild ones. Luckily, this meant I could travel around in my Host form without too much confrontation. As long as I didn’t bother anyone, most people were more than happy to leave me to my own devices. The only exception was the occasional Trainer who thought they could catch me.

The first house I came to become my target. I peered through the closest window, saw no lights on and sensed no movement. I made my way to the front door and hooked my claw over it, twisting my whole arm down in order to turn the knob. It was unlocked, much to my surprise, but I quickly got over it and hurried inside. Once I did, I shut the door silently and crouched low to the floor. If the door was unlocked, there was a good chance someone was home. I wanted to avoid detection if I could, so I practically crawled along the floor as I explored the two-story building.

It took a few minutes because of the size of the house and how slow I was moving, but I finally came upon the kitchen. Once I was there, I went as fast and quietly as I could to the refrigerator. I was glad to see it was one of the older ones, with the handle that stuck out of the door like a little rectangle. It was easy to hook my claw around it and tug it open, and instantly I was rewarded with the heavy scent of beef.
Without hesitating, I shoved my head into the fridge and started looking for the meat. I found it seconds later, in a large pan on the bottom shelf that was covered with foil. The thin aluminum was easily torn away with my fangs, revealing huge strips of dark brown meat marinating in heavy juices that were a few shades darker than the beef.

I heard, as well as felt, my stomach give a loud, long gurgle of impatience. I nodded a few times in agreement; it was time to eat! Tenderly, trying not to get drool all over, I stuck my snout in the pan and scooped up a jawful of the stuff. Then I gave a little groan, because it was freaking awesome The beef was so soft, and the thick juices helped define the subtle flavors of the meat. I swallowed the food without bothering to chew, then took another large jawful and slowly pulped it between my fangs, savoring it. After gulping it down, I took a few more smaller strips and stood, not wanting to be greedy and take all of what had doubtlessly taken hours of work to cook. I chewed quickly, swallowed, and then nudged the door shut with a foot-paw.

And saw the man standing in the kitchen doorway.

I froze, staring tensely at the human. He was middle-aged, with thinning grey hair and a paunch that spoke of long days in front of the television. He was wearing a black sleeping robe, and on his feet were, of all things, pink fuzzy slippers. I would have laughed at the sight, had I not just been caught raiding the man’s food. I wanted to lick my jaws and get the last drops of juice clinging to them, but resisted the urge; I DIDN’T want this man to think I was licking my jaws and envisioning him as the next course.

“Eeeeeaaaasy now,” the man said suddenly, in a voice that people reserve for a dangerous dog or unstable person. “Eeeeeeaaaasy now, that’s it, see, I won’t hurt you, just stay calm, everything’s okay...you must be really hungry, I’ve never heard of a Garchomp breaking into someone’s house to steal food, though I'd have thought there'd be enough food for you all..." As he said it, he looked guilty, but I didn't even understand what he was talking about, so I had no idea why he looked so bad for saying what he had. "But nice and easy, that’s it, that’s right...” As he was speaking, the man was easing his way around the kitchen to the back door. I followed his movements carefully, in case he decided to grab a knife and try to fight me. He kept talking in that low, gentle voice, which quickly started getting on my nerves. I wasn’t some simple animal!

With a sigh I turned to the door the man was heading for and walked to it. The human stopped cold as I did, watching me as I hooked the doorknob and twisted it. A moment later I was outside, not bothering to look back when I knew I would see a relieved human watching me go.

I shook my head as I made my way to the other side of the city, from which I could now hear sirens coming from. I had been lucky; that man could have had a gun on him or something. We DeMons heal fast and can take a lot of damage, but that doesn’t mean we’re immortal. A bullet in the right place will kill us as sure as it would a human.

I moved faster, anxious to see what was causing such a ruckus. As I drew closer and closer to where the main commotion was taking place, I saw smoke rising from several places. I shuddered, remembering the carnage of last night, which had been bathed in the light of flames. I hoped I wouldn’t have to be witness to anything like I’d seen then. Somehow, though, I knew that the things that would happen tonight wouldn’t be pretty or fun.

And suddenly I was in the middle of chaos. People were running, screaming, shooting guns, lying on the ground, sobbing, ordering Pokemon in battle. The cause of all this was a mass of Garchomp, a Horde. A loud growl worked its way through my chest, up my throat, and out of my jaws. There was another Garchomp DeMon here The thought made me shake with disgust. At least now I knew what that man had meant by his somehwat morbid comment of there being enough food...

Suddenly a bullet zipped by my head, missing by half a breath. I yelped in surprise and turned in the direction the shot had come from. A younger man was facing me, legs spread in a wide, unbalanced stance. He was holding his weapon, a small pistol, in both hands, which were shaking something fierce. In fact, his whole body was trembling, and his eyes were showing whites all around in his terror.
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Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 01-28-2013 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine

Chapter One con't

“No, no, go away, leave us alone, no!” he cried, short brown hair flying everywhere as he shook his head madly. “No, leave us alone, don’t come near me, go away!” And then he was knocked down by a Garchomp that had snuck up behind him, and the gun was knocked from his grasp. He wailed as he fell, and I leapt forward in a vain effort to help him. The true Garchomp fastened its fangs around the back of the youth’s throat and shook him back and forth, snapping his neck as if it were a twig. I bellowed as I slammed into the Pokemon a moment later, slashing my fin at its face. The Garchomp screeched as the sharp edge of my fin sliced it from one side of its face to the other, blood spurting as it crashed to the ground and thrashed about. Without hesitating, I jumped on the other and kicked at its neck, seconds later tearing a massive wound open. The warped thing convulsed as its life poured out with its blood, and seconds later it lay dead. After a second I turned to the young man, slowly walking over to stand in front of him. He was lying on his stomach with his head twisted almost all the way around, and I was shocked to see a bit of life left in his grey eyes. He tried to speak, but his throat had been destroyed when his neck had broken. It was easy enough to read his lips, though: “Help me...”

I sighed softly, feeling my heart break for this poor human. Then I bent down, putting my face close to his. The man’s eyes widened a little in fear and pain, then in shock, as I said, “I’m sorry, human, but there’s nothing I can do for you. All I can do is try to get someone over here that can make you comfortable...”

“DeMon...” the youth mouthed, and I nodded slowly.

“Yes, I am, but not like the one that’s Summoned these Garchomp. But it’s not your concern, human. Right now, you need to rest, and I’ll take care of the one who’s causing all this madness. Close your eyes and sleep now...” The young man blinked sluggishly at my words, mouthed something I couldn’t understand, and died.

I stared at him for a moment, then turned away as I stood. All around me were more people being killed by the infuriated, maddened Garchomp, and there were so many I didn’t know where to start helping. Eventually, I decided to start with the ones closest, and so I leapt into action as I assumed my Hybrid form, which would let me use more energy for my Professions and less energy holding a form that wasn’t my Pure one.

The second Garchomp I targeted fell to a whirling black vortex of flames, screaming and kicking as the fire melted through its thick scales and utterly destroyed the thing to its very core of existence. As the last few ashes floated away on a warm breeze full of the scents of battle, I turned to face the older woman I’d just saved. She was staring at me in open-mouthed astonishment, weakly clutching a scimitar in one hand. Apparently the appearance of a DeMon in their (naked) Hybrid form was enough of a shock, let alone the appearance of one that was helping you.

“Don’t just stand there, get moving!” I hollered, waving an arm at the woman. “Come on, if you just stand there you might get attacked by another one, you gotta keep moving!” Finally, the surprise wore off, and the old human nodded. Together we took down another Garchomp, rescuing a teenage boy in the process. And so it went, with each person we saved joining us, and our ever-growing group picking off more and more of the Summoned.

Then I heard a piercing cry. Without waiting for the others, I turned in the direction it had come from and broke into a dash, coming upon the scene moments later. A huge Garchomp that had at least two feet on me was standing over a tiny form on the ground, pulling itself to its full height and swaying as it prepared to strike. I let out a roar in order to distract it, charging at the Pokemon as it snarled and turned to face me. As I threw myself at it, I saw the heap on the ground was clothed in a pink dress and covered in dirt and mud...

I blinked at the girl who had been so shocked to see me shoved under the radiator earlier, and it was all the time the Garchomp needed. It took advantage of my lapse in attention, finding its balance before it could fall and slashing a claw at me. I gave a startled cry as it sliced across my right shoulder, opening a deep gouge that bled fiercely. On the ground, the girl whimpered in terror, and I ignored my injury as I leapt at the Garchomp again, driving it back with twin Dragon Claw attacks. Golden energy enveloped my claws as they tore through the air, leaving faint trails of shining energy in their wake. The land-shark deftly avoided the blows as it bellowed at me, and I positioned myself between it and the girl as my shoulder slowly started to mend itself.

“Are-are you a g-good DeMon?” the young human asked, her voice pitched high in her fear. I glanced back at her, just for a second, and gave as reassuring a smile as I could.

“You’re going to owe me an apology AND a thank-you after this,” I said, and I could see the child instantly understood the significance of my words.

“You’re the Garchomp from before!” she said, and I simply nodded before turning to face the Garchomp before me. It was screaming and shaking something fierce, but it wasn’t attacking. I watched it warily, wondering what was going on. It was obvious it wanted to act, but something was holding it back...

Then it turned and tore away, and within seconds it was gone. I waited for a few to make sure it had left, then turned to look at the girl. Confusion was shining in her eyes as she stared after the Garchomp.

“The DeMon who Summoned it must have called it back to them,” I explained. “That can’t be good. Come on, I’ll take you to join some others so you’ll be safe, then I need to see if I can’t track down the DeMon and stop this.” I knelt down and offered a hand-paw to help the girl up, and she stared at my claws for a minute before tentatively grabbing hold and pulling herself to her feet. She then dusted herself off, and without another word we headed back the way I’d come. After making sure the girl was safe with the other humans, I told them I was going to go off and seek out the DeMon who had done all of this. They didn’t seem to like the idea of me leaving them, but they didn’t try to stop me from going.

I wandered, taking care of the stray Garchomp that seemed unsure of what to do. They were now walking around, barely-retrained ferocity dripping from them. They wanted to kill, to maim, to murder, but something was forcing them not to. The one who’d Summoned them must have changed their mind about having a Horde wipe out the city. Maybe they wanted some of the slaying for themselves. Maybe they were trying to take stock of how many Garchomp they’d Summoned. I didn’t know, and I honestly didn’t care.

I soon reached an empty part of town. There was a house burning steadily a few yards ahead of me and to my left, and I assumed this was where the Summoned had first struck. There were all sorts of signs of a rushed evacuation: doors left open, cars still parked in driveways, personal items scattered here and there after being dropped and completely forgotten. There would be nothing to gain from staying here, so I turned and started to head back the way I’d come.

And then it happened.

A deafening BANG sounded out behind me, and a heartbeat later a horrible agony exploded in the same shoulder that had been torn up by the Garchomp. I let out a strangled little shriek as I stumbled and collapsed, barely aware of the blood spurting from the new wound. In fact, I was barely aware of anything, for a fog of pain settled itself firmly around my mind, making it nearly impossible to focus. Distantly, I heard a man’s voice say, “Pity, if you hadn’t moved, you’d be dead instead of hurting.”

The words, the voice. I clung to them and used them to pull myself back to my senses. Gritting my fangs, I pushed the pain away and rolled to my feet-paws, whirling to face whoever had injured me. The sudden movement caused a new flare of hurt to pound through me, but I growled softly and refused to let it incapacitate me.

My attacker was a man, though I could instantly tell he wasn’t human. The way he moved, his very essence...I narrowed my eyes as I watched him slowly coming closer. His lean body was draped in a red overcoat, and a wide-brimmed red fedora was set at an angle on his head. Orange sunglasses gleamed in the light of the house fire, and one of his white-gloved hands was extended, a massive gun held at me. Black boots moved soundlessly over the street as he came, a smile growing on his face as a stray wind tousled his short ebony hair.

“Now be good and hold still so I don’t have to waste anymore bullets on a piece of trash like you,” he said, his voice tinged with disdain. I stumbled back a step as he came to a halt, shifting his weight slightly as he aimed the gun properly. Any second he’d fire another bullet, and I knew this one would find my heart...

“Stop!” I wheezed, ready to throw myself to the ground in case he didn’t. “You...are you looking for the DeMon who attacked the city?”

“Stupid thing to ask, wouldn’t you say?”

“No, because I didn’t do it! I can show you a group of humans I’ve been helping, they can tell you-“ I cut myself off suddenly as a weight pressed itself on my mind, probing, searching, prying. I gave a cry and shook my head, unprepared for the abrupt assault, and struggled to build up the mental walls to keep this...being...from seeing into my mind. Shock and pain, though, worked against me, and it was with a great effort that I managed to bring up my shields. And as suddenly as it had descended, the weight was gone. I gasped as I staggered back a few paces, letting the walls drop as I struggled to stay upright.

“Hmmmm, why would you have anything to hide if you’re telling the truth?” the other asked, a mocking tone coloring his words. “Really, I hate it when freaks waste my time.”

“No,” I choked out, coughing weakly, “no...you...I hid m-my mind...you d-d-didn’t ask...I was suh-surprised...” I finally managed to catch my breath and focused on the man, sagging a little because of the pain from where I’d been shot. I recoiled when I saw how close he was, less than a yard away. “You don’t just hop into a DeMon’s mind like that...anyways, don’t you think, if I were the one that attacked this place, that I would be bringing my Horde and Bound down on you instead of trying to talk my way out of being shot?”

“I would think you know your pathetic little band of warped Pokemon wouldn’t get here in time, so you’re stalling,” the man answered. “If I didn’t know any better,” he added after a moment before lowering his gun. His smile widened into an insane grin as he looked away. “It would seem I’ve made a mistake, then. DeMons don’t know how to stall, all they know is mindless killing. I could put you out of your misery, though, if you like. That wound looks awfully painful...” As he spoke, another warm breeze blew by, bringing his scent to me for the first time. I scowled as I caught my first whiff of it, then drew a sharp breath as I recoiled once again.
He was a Vampire!

“Why are you hunting down a DeMon?” I blurted, bringing the Vampire’s attention back to myself. “Why...?” He chuckled a little, then turned away from me without answering my question. He started off in the direction from which I’d come, and after a taking a moment to shove away the pain of my injury, I headed after him. However, I couldn’t keep up, and minutes later I was wandering around with no idea of what to do next.

Despite my best efforts to ignore it, the gunshot in my shoulder was raging with pain, with small fingers of it branching out to throb in my back, side, and chest. I came to a stop and reached up with my left hand, hooking it over my shoulder and tentatively feeling around. Even though I was using the faintest touch possible, a new blaze of torment ripped through me as my claw-tips grazed over the wound. I was knocked senseless for a moment, sinking to the ground as I gave a little whine. When I came back to the present, I took a shuddering breath and forced myself to my paw-feet.

My shoulder had been ripped open by the bullet, and I could only assume that my shoulder blade had been shattered. I tried to wiggle the fingers of my right hand, only to find I couldn’t even twitch them. I gave a faint moan, the sharp, metallic scent of my blood making me want to sneeze. I held it back though, knowing it would only cause more pain. Instead, I focused on concentrating more energy on my wound. I would worry about the bullet later; at the moment, I needed to close the wound before I lost anymore blood, as I was beginning to feel a bit faint.

It took quite a bit of time, but finally I managed to close up the wound most of the way. There were still small gouges oozing blood, both were the bullet had hit me as well as where the Garchomp had slashed me, but at least I’d healed up enough to not die from blood loss or something. The pain, too, had receded to an annoying but tolerable deep-set throb.

The entire time I was mending my wounds, I kept thinking about the Vampire and why he might be after the DeMon who’d attacked the city. I doubted it had anything to do with the bitter blood, excuse the pun, between our races. Oh, I should explain. Vampires don’t have any love for us DeMons, you see, because once we’ve possessed one Pokemon, we can do it again and again for eternity, if we remain strong enough. We can only possess Pokemon though, after becoming a DeMon, but the point is we can keep living. Once a Vampire, or just about any other creature, dies, that’s game over for them. Most Vampires, and probably a lot of other races, resent us for our near-perfect immortality. Somehow, though, I knew this Vampire wasn’t like that. He was hunting this DeMon for some other reason, which I couldn’t fathom. The only way to find out would be to track him down and see if I could get him to tell me. Yeah, fat chance there...

I headed off, following the scent of the Vampire and wondering about everything that had happened within the past twenty-four hours. It was only when I heard the blast of that gun again did I realize I’d slipped into a walking stupor, which I was abruptly knocked out of. My head snapped to the left, and there in the distance was the Vampire. On its knees before him was a Garchomp DeMon, and I felt a thrill of the utmost revulsion pulse through me. Yeah, I know that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of Garchomp DeMons in the world, but I didn’t have to think about sharing the same body as those horrid things if one wasn’t in my view.

Like all other DeMon in Pure form, this one was a twisted mockery of what the host had once been. A bloated thing with blackened scales covering its rotund body, it looked like a corpse that had been left to stew in the sun and become horribly distended. Its legs were spindly and jointed like a spider’s, and the claws of its feet-paws had split into dozens of long, thin needles. It had no arms; in place of the limbs were huge ten huge spikes, five on each side, and all of them were at least the size of a normal Garchomp arm. Its neck was about twice as long as a real Garchomp’s, and set on top was a toad-like head. The torpedo-like projections on the sides of its head had elongated and thickened, becoming sharp horns that shone, no doubt with some kind of venom. Its back fin was missing scales and flesh on one side, revealing some pulsating organ that shuddered and jumped erratically; most like the thing’s heart. Its tail was a covered in raw, angry red sores, all of which were dribbling a thick black fluid. I knew if I got much closer, the scent from that goo would be ten times as bad as a a whole graveyard of unearthed corpses.

Next to the Garchomp DeMon was a Spiritomb, floating around the beast with an air of desperation. It made an eerie moaning noise, and I strode over as the Vampire let fly another bullet. I didn’t see where the last one had hit, but this one caught the DeMon in the head, turning it into a fountain of blood, brain, and bone. The body convulsed a few times, then fell forward and hit the ground with a wet, heavy thud. Behind it, the Spiritomb gave a ululating howl and jerked back and forth; it was obviously a Bound. Then I started, because there could be no doubt: this was the same Spiritomb from earlier!

I came to a stop a few feet away as the Spiritomb suddenly began to glow a sickly hue of dark maroon. It let out a wild cry, its eyes locking onto the Vampire that had slain its DeMon.

=DAMN YOU!= it screeched in a voice that, despite being distorted by rage and grief, was unmistakably male. How a Spiritomb could be either male or female was something I’d always wondered at, but now wasn’t the time for such idle thoughts. =BOKA, YOU KILLED BOKA! HIS SPIRIT IS GONE, YOU KILLED HIM, HE’S DEAD!!!=

“What’s that thing going on about?” the Vampire asked, causing me to jump. It was clear he was talking to me, and I felt a shiver work its way down my spine. I had given no signal of my approach, and he had seemed completely occupied with killing the DeMon. I cleared my throat and translated the Pokemon’s words as the glow around it darkened and expanded. The Vampire didn’t seem troubled by the fury the Spiritomb was exuding, though, and I twitched uneasily as I watched him.

“Er, I really think standing there isn’t such a good idea,” I said. “This Spiritomb is extremely angry, if you haven’t noticed. You did just kill the DeMon he was Bound to, you know.” The Vampire simply smiled a little at my words though, only to get caught full-force in a vicious Ominous Wind attack seconds later. The darkness surrounding the Spiritomb blew outwards, forming a black whirlwind that engulfed the Vampire. I watched, dumbstruck, as the attack shredded his clothes and flesh, sending blood splattering everywhere. After several moments, the attack faded, and the bloody mess that had once been the Vampire fell in a heap to the street.

I blinked, then looked up at the Spiritomb, which had now decided to target me for some reason. I started to back away, in no mood to fight the heartbroken Pokemon, but an absolute darkness fell upon me suddenly. Shocked, I looked around, but it was like I was standing in a void of nothingness. I growled softly, hooking my claws and readying for whatever was coming. A heartbeat later something slammed into me from the right, and something hard struck me forcefully in the ribs. I wheezed as the breath was jarred from my lungs, staggering and twisting to the side as I fought to stay on my feet-paws. After a few moments I found my balance, and the darkness of the Faint Attack lifted to reveal the Spiritomb hovering about a foot away.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Chapter One con't

Without hesitating, I whirled to face forward and called upon my Electricity Profession, sending dozens of thick tendrils of crackling, bright blue lightening flying towards the Forbidden Pokemon from my right arm and hand. The wounds on my shoulder sent shards of pain through me as I flung my arm out, but the hurt wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t push it away. Instead of paying any mind to it, I drew my focus to the electricity I was forging out of the energy of my spirit, weaving the tendrils into a sort of net.

“Electricity Profession, Specialty: Electric Matrix!” I cried, and the glowing blue net of power flared, turning white for a second before returning to its sharp crystalline cerulean. A massive burst of energy coursed through me and down my arm, exploding out of my hand and making the now-pulsing net send hundreds of snaking whips of electricity blasting out. These arched over the Spiritomb and enwrapped him, holding him fast while the main net closed itself slowly around the writhing, screaming Ghost. After he was sealed within the net, I uttered, “Activate.”

Let me take a quick second to explain this. See, Specialties are the specific attacks of any given Profession. Electric Matrix was one of the strongest moves of my Electricity Profession, and it took a great deal of energy to initiate and power it. However, the element of a Speciality doesn’t do anything until it’s activated. For example, a Flame Specialty won’t burn, a Water Speciality won’t drown, a Toxin Specialty won’t poison, until the DeMon activates it. It’s to ensure we don’t catch the wrong target in our Specialties, you know. And since we’re on the subject, Professions are elements a DeMon has learned how to create and control. There are quite a few, and a DeMon can only learn up to three of them, so we have to choose carefully. Anyways...

The Spiritomb let out a horrendous screech when I activated the Electric Matrix, trying to thrash his way free of the Specialty. I grunted a little, because the effort of holding the Ghost was already starting to wear me down. I could feel my wounds opening up again, the strain of my attack ripping the frail, newly-healed flesh. The pain was beginning to turn from a throb to a stabbing pulse, and it wouldn’t be long before I’d have to stop the Specialty and take a moment to rest.

At that moment, though, the Spiritomb seemed to come to its senses. His form became misty for a moment, then faded to a barely-visible haze as he became incorporeal. Now that he was no longer physical, he wasn’t effected by the Electric Matrix, which I let drop a second later. I narrowed my eyes, wondering how I was supposed to fight a foe that I couldn’t touch fang, claw, or attack to. I didn’t need to wonder for long; the Spiritomb soon became solid once more, and I supposed it was because remaining immaterial took too much energy to stay like that for long.

I didn’t have very long to think about it, though, because a second later the thing’s outline wavered. Within the same instant he shot forward, seeming to slip into the shadows of the night, and reappearing a millisecond later. He was less than an inch away, and I had no time to dodge or block the attack before the thing slammed into me, the Keystone to which it was bound cracking against my chest. I let out a little hack and stumbled a few paces away, one hand reaching up to clutch at my aching chest and the other going out before me. My claws began to sizzle with golden light, which grew brighter and brighter until the light had covered my entire paw-hand. Then I jumped forward and slashed at the Spiritomb floating before me, my shimmering talons trailing light like a sparkler.

The Pokemon tried to evade the Dragon Claw, but he was too slow. The attack caught him in what might have been his stomach area, if he’d had an actual body, and sent him flying back. I then crossed my arms in front of my face, focusing the energy in my body and directing it to my arm fins. A moment passed and a faint, silvery gleam started to expand around the fins, rapidly spreading and intensifying. Within ten seconds my arm fins were coated in a scintillating sheen of power, and I lunged forward with a short, sharp roar as I ripped my arms down and apart.

The Dragon Rush slashed the Spiritomb, who’d been recovering from my Dragon Claw, across the face, resulting in the thing giving an ear-splitting howl. He shot backwards, his body quaking violently as the Keystone he was bound to jerked back and forth. I was preparing to continue my assault on him when a chill threaded its icy fingers down my spine, causing me to freeze and give a faint gasp. I glanced around, temporarily forgetting about the battle, and tried to spot what had caused the shudder to pass through me. A second late I spotted it, and I was so shocked I swear the back draft of a waving feather could have sent me sprawling.

The bloodied remains of the Vampire were smoking, or something. A thick haze was rising from his corpse, and an eerie blackness had settled over his body. I blinked, stumbling back a step, feeling my muscles tense beneath my scales. No way, there was no way he could actually have survived that! No way could he be regenerating his shredded, mangled carcass! But it was obvious that was exactly what was happening, because I could see the blood that had spurted from his wounds creeping back to the body, a sight that made another shiver jump through me. Faintly, I was aware of the Spiritomb hovering about a foot away, and I blankly turned to see him riveted by the Vampire’s healing. He, too, was apparently shocked beyond reason that his victim was still alive. Well, as alive as a Vampire can be considered to be...

My gaze was drawn back to the body as a soft chuckle drifted from the haze, which was now beginning to clear. The black-coated form slowly pulled itself upright, like liquid pouring upwards. Several moments later, the Vampire was standing before us, his body healed, his old-style outfit mended. His hat was tilted at an angle on his head, and a grin stretched across his face. He twisted his head from side to side, a loud pop emanating from his neck as he did. I blinked again; he was acting like he’d done nothing more than wake up from a good nap.

“How irritating,” he said, giving another chuckle. “I wasn’t expecting to have to deal with some broken wretch of a Pokemon too, and a Ghost, no less. Ah well, maybe I can get a bit of fun out of this, instead of another heap of disappointment.” As he spoke, one glove-clad hand reached up, two fingers gripped the bridge of the sunglasses. The Vampire then pulled them away and let them drop carelessly to the ground, revealing eyes of the darkest crimson. He wasn’t even looking at me and I could feel the power his gaze held. I took a slow breath and held it in for a second, trying to calm my jangled nerves. This night was becoming crazier and crazier...

“This isn’t your fight anymore, girl,” he said, snapping me back to attention. I shook my head a bit and focused on him, unnerved to see him staring at me. “You’ve taken a beating, isn’t time for you to crawl away and lick your wounds?”

“Don’t try and make me out to be weak!” I snapped, anger flaring in me. “I came to this city for a reason, and I’m not going to slink away no matter what you think! Anyways, you still haven’t answered my question about why you would bother tracking down a DeMon. If it has anything to do with the Vampiric Pokemon, then I want to know. Besides, this Spiritomb is stronger than he-“

Before I could finish, I heard the sound of paws slapping the concrete behind me. I saw the Vampire’s left eyebrow arch a little and began to turn, certain that some huge Pokemon would be looming over me and spewing doom. Much to my surprise, I caught the form of a little yellow blur hurtling at me, colliding with my side a heartbeat later and sending me crashing to the ground. I landed hard on my wounded shoulder, biting back a cry as pain exploded through me. I pushed it aside and rolled to my feet-paws, crouching as I sought my attacker.

I found it a moment in a most surprising form: a Psyduck! The little yellow duck was glaring at me with burning red eyes, its cream bill gaping open as it breathed hard and made little growling noises. The black feathers on its head were ruffled, a clear sign of not just agitation, but senseless fury, though you didn’t have to see the Pokemon to know how mad it was. Rage crashed from it in waves so strong even a human would have sensed them.

The Pokemon gave another mindless shriek as it sucked in a breath, disgorging a huge bullet of crystal-blue water an instant later. I jumped to the side, avoiding the Hydro Pump, then heard an explosion behind me. Startled, I turned to see that the Vampire’s left arm had...mutated, you could say, into some huge black dog-like thing. Red eyes ran all over his arm, or maybe I should say its body...either way, a side of its head was missing, an injury obviously inflicted by the Spiritomb that had re-engaged the short battle from earlier.

There was no time for that, though, because I heard a little screech from the Psyduck and whirled just in time to see it charging at me. I reacted quickly, slashing my good arm at it and sending calling upon my Electricity Profession again.

“Electricity Profession, Specialty: Electrocution Barrier!” I hissed, and bright orange threads of power sparked from my claw-tips. They then wove themselves into a magnificent glowing field of electricity at a blinding rate. "Activate!" I completed the Specialty just in time; the Psyduck slammed into it and howled as unnatural electricity pounded through it. After several moments it was thrown to the ground, where it lay stunned, and I dropped the Electrocution Barrier with a heavy sigh. I was running dangerously low on energy, and I wouldn’t be able to hold my Hybrid form for much longer, let alone power my Professions. This battle needed to end, and end quickly.

“All right pal, this is what’s gonna happen,” I panted at the Pokemon as it struggled to its webbed paws, “I’m gonna fight you and then I’m gonna Bind you, because I don’t feel like killing anything else now. There’s been too much death tonight...” While I had a moment, I turned to the Vampire and the Spiritomb, who were having some strange shadow-duel or something, and called, “Hey, don’t kill that thing, I’m gonna Bind it, got it?” Of course, I received no answer, but it wasn’t like I’d honestly been expecting one.

I gave a little huff and faced my foe, who had gained its feet by now and was giving me such a vicious look that I felt my heart flutter. Then it opened its bill wide, and I saw the possibly the most shocking thing of the past twenty-four hours. Two huge, white fangs dropped from its top bill, and I realized that I was fighting one of the Vampiric Pokemon I’d been searching for!

=NNNNNAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!= it screamed, stomping one of its feet and flailing its arms around madly. Its eyes flared brightly for a moment, and a purple glow began to grow around it. Within seconds, it had engulfed the duck so much it was barely visible, and I took a step back. Before I could do much else, the Psyduck slashed its right paw at me, sending a thick vine of the purple energy flying at me. It wrapped around my injured arm and jerked me into the air, earning a harsh cry of pain from me as my shoulder was wrenched about. As I was lifted higher, the energy flowed up the cord connecting me to the Pokemon and started covering me, leaving a cold, painful sensation where it touched.

I thrashed against the Confusion, but there was no breaking free. After a moment the mental energy had washed over me completely, and I felt a horrible senselessness befall me. I couldn’t tell what was going on, couldn’t think properly. I was so befuddled I could scarcely remember how I had got like this. With a massive effort, though, I remembered I was in a battle and currently at the mercy of a crazy vampirized Psyduck. I grunted weakly and stared struggling, trying to get free, but felt myself released in the next instant. I fell to the ground, landing on my good shoulder this time, and staggered as quickly as my baffled mind would let me.

Before I had a chance to collect my senses and try to break out of my confusion, I felt a hard blow to my gut. I gasped and stumbled back, clapping my arms over my stomach and doubling over as the wind was once again knocked from me. The attack helped me snap out of my confusion, though, and as I coughed and wheezed I looked up to see the Psyduck land on its rear. Apparently it had just used a Zen Headbutt on me, because it was wailing and clutching at its head; that last attack must have caused its headache to worsen. I took advantage of this and jumped at it, swinging my upper body down and opening my jaws, then chomping down on the Pokemon’s head in a Crunch move. I lifted it into the air as it let out keening cry, shaking it back and forth before tossing it to the ground. It hit with a dull thump, bounced once, and then lay still.

I wasn’t taking any chances though. I jumped back and sucked in a deep breath, focusing the energy within me. I then opened my jaws wide as the energy began to gather behind my fangs in a sparkling orange orb. Several seconds later I snapped my head down, firing the prepared Hyper Beam and watching it hit the Psyduck smack-dab a moment later. The little duck made a strangled noise as it was struck by the move and sent flying. When it landed again it grunted weakly, but made no effort to stand.

I inhaled deeply as I took a moment to recharge from the powerful move I’d just let loose, stretching a little and quickly checking my energy level. Low, very low, and I still had to Bind the Psyduck as well as finish weakening the Spiritomb enough to Bind it, too. I groaned softly; I was going to be sore and tired for days after this night, but the knowledge of what I would gain helped keep me going.

After recovering, I trudged over to where the Psyduck was laying and knelt beside it, reaching out to place my left hand-paw on its back. Then I forced a little rope of energy down my arm, out of my hand, and through the Psyduck’s back. My eyes slid shut as I worked, and instantly a sort of vision come to me. I could see the Psyduck’s internal workings, the highways of veins, the structure of the skeleton, everything. I followed a particularly large vein until I became aware of a sickly, pulsing essence that was the Pokemon’s spirit.

I recoiled from it at first, because the wrongness of it was so horrible I almost felt physically sick. The Psyduck’s spirit shouldn’t have been this ill-looking purple, shot through with dark yellow threads of corruption that brought to mind an oozing, infected wound. It should have been a gentle white, with the faint blue of the duck’s element woven around it.

I didn’t want to touch my energy to that darkness, end of story. There was no way around it, however. If worse came to worse, I could always put the poor thing out of its misery, if I couldn’t do anything for it after Binding it. After taking a moment to steel myself, I pushed forward and started wrapping my energy around the Psyduck’s tainted soul. The sensation of it was terrible, like my body wanted was trying to turn itself inside out. Beneath my hand-paw, the Psyduck started trembling and whimpering. I wondered if maybe the process of Binding it was causing it pain, then sighed and drew my awareness away from it. My eyes opened as my energy continued to Bind the Psyduck on its own. Now that the process had been started, only a few things could interrupt it. Unfortunately, one of those things could possibly be true, and that was that I might not have enough energy left to spare for Binding. Ah well, I'd find out soon enough.

I pulled away from the Pokemon and stood, feeling horribly tired as I did. The last thing I wanted to do was jump back into battle, but there was no chance I was going back down now. If I could Bind the Psyduck and the Spiritomb, I might be able to get information otherwise unavailable to me. The Psyduck could tell me how it had become Vampiric, the Spiritomb could inform me why his DeMon had called off his Horde earlier. The latter might not have been very important, but some deep instinct told me to find out anyways.

I turned to the battle being fought between the Spiritomb and the Vampire, rubbing my hand-paws together and preparing myself. Then I nodded once and tilted my head back, inhaling as deeply as I could. Once my lungs were full, I pulled in my gut, squeezing a special sac located above my intestines and sending a jet of chemicals shooting into my lungs via a long, slender tube. As soon as the chemicals and the air combined, the oxygen combusted and I snapped my head down, spewing a massive Flamethrower attack. The brilliant orange flames ate up the distance between myself and the Spiritomb within seconds, washing over it and wretching a cry from him.

I tore forward, ignoring the Vampire as he turned to face me with a scowl. I didn't care if he was angry with my taking his battle, there were more important things to worry about. I jumped as the blaze of the Flamethrower extinguished itself, revealing a stunned and vunerable Spiritomb. My leap carried me over the Pokemon, and when I was directly above it, I flipped myself upside down and grabbed the top of its whirling mass in my jaws. It was the strangest feeling, like I had taken a big bite of cotton candy that was melting and staying firm at the same time.

After snatching the Pokemon, I flipped backwards so I was right-side up. When I landed the next moment, I used the momentum from the leap to throw the Ghost into a nearby tree. It hit hard, the Keystone cracking loudly against the tall plant's truck, and let out a little groan as it slowly started to sink to the ground. But the thing really was stronger than he looked, because he let out a snarl and lifted, quite suddenly, into the air. He cackled madly, spiraling about like a violet arrow, then screamed in sadistic pleasure. I winced from the sound and knew what it meant; the Spiritomb had just conceived a Nasty Plot, and was now preparing to fulfill it.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Chapter One con't

I crossed my arms in front of my face, determined to end this attack before the Ghost could unleash its fury on me, but he remembered the pose from the last time I'd used my Dragon Rush. He shot up higher into the air, out of my range, and laughed maniacally as he floated back and forth. I growled softly, deciding to try another Flamethrower, but I didn't get the chance to do anything. A rush of darkness flew by me, making my mane blow all over the place from the backwind. I yelped and jumped to the left, looking back to see that the Vampire's arm had once again warped into some eye-covered thing. A twisted smile sat on his face as he looked up, and I did as well to find the Spiritomb caught in the freakishly large jaws of what had once been an hand. The Spiritomb screeched as he was then dragged back down, and within a minute he was back in my range of attack. I had no time to use one, though, because the air around the thing began pulsing and weaving, making it look like a miniature heatwave had generated around him. It wasn't heat that caused the disturbance, though, but a ripple of darkness that snapped to life before the Forbidden Pokemon. The air shuddered more and more as the pulsating darkness grew darker and larger, and suddenly it exploded out in a wicked Dark Pulse.

The jaws holding the Spiritomb down were disintegrated by the power of the attack, which had obviously been the Nasty Plot he had come up with earlier, and knocked me back several feet. I toppled to the ground, stunned and hurting all over, heard the Spiritomb giggle in awful triumph. I made a sound somewhere between a growl and a groan, then pushed myself unsteadily to my feet-paws.

=Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, soon you'll be dead, dead like poor Boka, dead, dead, dead, dead...= the Pokemon was saying in a crazed, sing-song voice. It was unsettling, the way his voice rose and fell as he repeated the word "dead," then become monotonous and bland when he said everything else. I shivered and glanced around for a moment, looking for the Vampire. He was standing about a foot away, having been far away enough to avoid the brunt of the Dark Pulse. His arm was back to normal, other than looking a bit ripped up, and when he noticed me looking at him he chuckled a little.

"Your friend's got some strength in it," he said, holding up his hand and flexing his fingers. "Must be at a high level, or pumped up on vitamins. I've never had this kind of trouble from a Pokemon, not even a Ghost." He laughed, louder this time, and turned his gaze to the Spiritomb, who had apparently become enthralled by his own song about how the Vampire and I would soon be dead. I scowled at the Pokemon, then felt a jolt course through me. I gasped in surprise, then clenched my jaws and took a deep breath. I had five, maybe six or seven minutes, to finish this battle and Bind the Spiritomb, not to mention finish Binding the Psyduck. After that time my energy would be completely spent, and as experience had taught me in the past, I would end up unconscious from the thorough drain.

As the Spiritomb continued singing, I once again sucked in a large amount of air, injecting the chemical mixture from my acid-sac into my lungs and combusting the oxygen. Instead of automatically releasing the fire as a Flamethrower, though, I forced another squirt of chemicals into the flames. The effect was instantaneous: my jaws were forced open as a massive conflagration rocketed up and out of my throat, splitting itself into the shape of a five-pointed star. The body of the attack, where the five arms connected, slammed into the shocked Spiritomb, and the arms of the Fire Blast enveloped him as the attack collapsed into a giant orb of brilliant red flames.

From within the vortex I heard the Spiritomb screaming, and every so often a black flare would skewer through the large blazing sphere as he tried to break free. None of his efforts paid off, though, and the attack petered out on its own about a minute later. As the last tongues of the Fire Blast were blown out by a stray breeze, I watched the Spiritomb that had been entrapped within them sink to the ground, its eyes half-shut in pain and fatigue. When I walked over and knelt before him, his eyes cracked open a bit more before narrowing to slits.

=My Boka...= he muttered, =he’s gone, I’m alone again...=

“No, no,” I said softly, slowly placing a hand-paw on his Keystone. “You’re not alone. Your DeMon is dead, yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to be alone.”

=It hurts,= the Ghost whispered in response, surprising me. =My spirit hurts, the place where he was is empty now...= I remained silent, not knowing what to say. I had never made any Bound of my own in the past, hating the idea of taking away a Pokemon’s choices by making it into a blindly loyal slave. I only knew of how a Pokemon’s spirit looks from descriptions I’d heard over the years, not from actually seeing one. I’d never heard anything, though, of what it was like for a Bound to lose their DeMon, at least not like this. I knew they were always filled with rage and grief when their DeMon truly died, but I didn’t know they felt a physical pain as well.

“Well, it won’t be empty for long,” I said after a moment’s silence. “I’ll make you into my Bound, and you won’t have to be alone or hurt anymore.” At my words, the Spiritomb seemed to sag slightly. It was as if he had been thinking about trying to continue fighting, but had changed his mind with the promise of not “being alone.” His eyes opened fully as he stared at me, and I nodded gently as I closed my eyes and once again forced a bit of my energy from my body and into another’s.

It was different this time, though. I found myself seeing the nooks and cracks and tiny bits of material that made up the Keystone to which the Spiritomb was bound. A feeling of being steady and infinitely patient washed over me, and I felt the pain from the battles and strains of the night fading, as if I were becoming hard, unfeeling stone myself. I lingered for a moment, enjoying the sensations, then forced myself to focus on the task at hand.

I pressed forward until I came to the Spiritomb himself. It was a somewhat unbalancing transition to go from ancient stillness to whirling existence as suddenly as I did, and the shock of it almost made me lose my concentration. I managed to draw my focus back, though, marveling at how different the Ghost’s essence was from the Psyduck’s.

He had no body, so I didn’t see any of the internal workings like I had with the duck. Instead of veins and bones and such, I saw millions of pulsing lights that seemed to have some strange pattern to their trembling. Here was a tight ball of several bright purple lights, thumping in a rhythm that reminded me of a heart. Everywhere I looked were long strings of soft blue light, seeming to flow like blood through a vein. It was as if I were looking at ethereal organs, the insubstantial body systems of a creature with no real body.

I oriented myself on one of the larger light-flows, following its curving, twisting path until I came to the Pokemon’s spirit. It was strange, because there were faint cracks in the gentle white soul, as if it had been split into many different pieces. All of these were connected with the tiniest threads of black and deep-maroon, the colors of the Spiritomb’s types. After a brief moment of being puzzled, I remembered that Spiritomb were created by the combining of many different spirits, all of which were held together by the Keystone.

I centered myself for a long moment, knowing it would be harder to Bind a Pokemon who’s spirit was whole, yet divided. I split the energy within the Spiritomb’s body into dozens of barely-there cords and set to threading them about each piece individually. After that had been done, I sent another wash of energy to wrap around the enitre spirit. I didn’t know if the former had been needed, but I didn’t want to take the chance of somehow leaving a part of the Spiritomb un-Bound. I had no idea if that was possible, but I was in no shape or mood to find out.

After all that was done, I pulled my awareness from the Spiritomb and collapsed back onto my butt, terribly sore and tired. I only had a few scant moments left before my last dregs of energy fled me, but I was determined to stay conscious long enough to see whether or not I’d managed to Bind either of the two Pokemon I’d fought. My wary gaze bounced back and forth between the Psyduck and the Spiritomb, and, for the moment, at least, I forgot about the Vampire as I anxiously waited for what would come next...

***

Pokemon Going For: Spiritomb and Psyduck
Number of Characters Needed: 40-60k
Total Number of Characters: Er, no idea, but it’s definitely over 70k. God I hate Word Perfect, with it’s not counting spaces in its character count ><...

To Graders: This chapter is a Story Deal, with Psyduck going to Chris (Younglink). The Tomb is mine ^^.

Oh, those things in italics after the breaks are song lyrics. I'm putting them in after each break to set the mood for each part of the story. The song for this Order is Change of Fate, by Cousin Eddie. Yeah, I started doing song lyrics in another chapter, but decided to add them to the chapters before as well. So whewt.
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Old 03-16-2008, 05:27 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Introduction: Wow. You have an active and, ummmm… gory imagination, I see. (xD) Well, it certainly was interesting to say the least. I loved how you opened upon such a shocking scene, with such a solemn sentence: “The night was heavy with death.”

The beginning immediately seized me and absorbed me into the story as a whole. I thirsted for more description of the bloody scene, and you surely didn’t disappoint.

We get a very thorough background of the main character, who apparently is a fusion of some sort of human-monster and a Garchomp. You tell us about his personality in a couple paragraphs, without it harboring that feeling that you unloading too much information on us. You used a few words, such as Demon, Bound, and Summoned, but lacked to provide us with a definition as to what they really. This would be very confusing to the reader if they didn’t have any prior knowledge of the subject and such.

Finally, what is the character’s name? In the Prologue, you simply referred to it as the Garchomp-host, and I felt a little left out of the loop. ;_______;

Story/Plot: So the story opens upon a blazing village, which has ill fatefully been the scene of a massive battle between our main character (who doesn’t have a name, so I am just going to call him “Garchomp”) and another Raichu DeMon. He has destroyed the fiend and all his Bound and such and then takes flight, heading toward the next city. He falls asleep under a radiator and is awakened by some rude kids. Garchomp startles them into silence then walks away to fall asleep in another, more peaceful alleyway, but not after witnessing a mysterious Spiritomb floating around nearby. Garchomp awakens to screaming and blazing destruction happening on the other side of the city, and after taking a detour to raid a man’s fridge, goes over to battle an opposing Garchomp DeMon, who is wreaking havoc with his Bound. The main character saves some humans, defeats various Bound, then stumbles away to be confronted by a Vampire, who shoots him. The Vampire runs away after realizing that this is the wrong DeMon, and after chasing him, Garchomp sees that he has killed the bad DeMon afterwards. The Spiritomb approaches and goes into a fury at having his master killed, and begins battling both the Garchomp and the Vampire. A random Vampire Psyduck appears and Garchomp must defeat both and Bind them in order to stop more deaths occurring that night.

I liked it for the most part. Although I am only vaguely familiar with the Hellsing franchise, I could definitely detect some similarities, since this is, well, a crossover story. I expected a well-thought out plot, and that is exactly what you delivered. It seeped action as though it were perspiration, yet had a dramatic tingle to it.

Your characters were nice as well. I loved how the Garchomp despised death and destruction and everything that the opposing DeMon brought about. He was a lone wolf kind of person/creature, having nobody else in the world. The Vampire and Spiritomb were also pretty interesting. I liked how at the end you had the ghost have a more humane personality, and that his violence only resulted from his intense longing for his prior DeMon.

I found the scene about the children discovering the main character to be both charming and amusing. It was definitely one of my favorite parts. You presented the behavior of kids in such a accurate way, and I guess that the truth made me laugh. Their shock at his being-able-to-speak was genuinely delightful.

Quote:
"We talk all the time, just not in a language you humans understand. What do you suppose we're doing when we say our names over and over again? Having fun?
Wow. That is without-a-doubt my favorite sentence(s) that I have ever read in a URPG story. I seriously laughed out loud at this….. Each one of us has always wondered why Pokemon only repeat their name over and over, and now we have an answer, plain and simple.

I liked that throughout the last third of the story [give or take a little] after the main character had been shot, that you continued to mention the pain that he was in. It is all too often that a writer will mention that their character is seriously injured (shot, for example) and describe the pain at that moment, and then just leave it at that, without telling about the pain that would stick with them for days afterward. Nice job there; it just added to the realism of the whole thing.

Something that irked me a bit about this story was the fact that I got the feeling like the Garchomp was telling the whole tale to a friend. The majority of it felt like a professional piece of writing, but there were certain points (like when you would stop to explain something like the relationship between Vampires and DeMon or what Specialties were) that were….. I don’t know…. Put a bit too blatantly, as though we were reading from a textbook or hearing a lecture. You don’t want abrupt points of explanation popping up all over your story, because that will both confuse the reader and draw them away from the story.

Grammar/Spelling: You had this under control. There were only minor mistakes here and there…. Nothing too big that you should worry about. Here were just a few that I picked out:

Quote:
Bodes were piled everywhere, limbs flung carelessly, if they weren’t missing.
I can tell that this was just a careless mistake, but (bodes) should be (bodies). ^_^

Quote:
Stomachs ripped open, entrails and other organs dragged from their body cavities. Faces torn from skulls. Carcasses crushed into smears of gore.
All of these sentences are actually fragments. None have a clear subject or predicate, and therefore cannot be called complete sentences.

Quote:
my brethren trying to kill me for the simple reason that I had a conscious.
This is somewhat of a common mistake. Conscious is actually an adjective. I think you were looking for the noun form, conscience.

Quote:
This one had been a Raichu DeMon, and, like all my other ilk
Ummm…. Ilk? XP

Quote:
I had found a small, cramped alleyway between two large buildings, and stuck against the concrete wall.
The comma between (buildings) and (and) is unneeded. When saying that a character performed more than one action, you simply need the (and)…. The comma would only need to be applied if it were a compound sentence, which it isn’t.

Quote:
This wasn't good, not at all, and as I did a quick check on my energy level I found just how not-good it was.
Ha. (Not-good)? Wouldn’t it just be easier to say (bad)? XDDD

Length: You had about 73,000 characters, give or take. One should always want to go 10k or so over the designated length, just to make sure that length won’t be a factor, and you did that. Nice work.

Detail/Description: Well, what can I say? It was awesome as usual.

I feel like your attention to details far surpassed your description of things. Your word choice was invigorating and somewhat sophisticated, and there were only one or two instances in which I had to pop open a dictionary to figure out what a word meant, which is a good thing, since you don’t want to distract your reader by having them look up a particular word.

There were some instances in which I felt you sort of just dropped everything to describe one object, like in the beginning when you were describing what the Garchomp looked like. You want things to flow seamlessly….avoiding big blocks of description on just one thing. Try to work on that.

Other than that, everything was good. :]

Battle: You seemed to take a different approach to this.

The battles themselves were engaging, what with the introduction of a new sort of weapon: The Garchomp’s Specialties. You avoided using cliché attacks like Psychic and Tackle and whatnot, and went right for the throat using Dragon Claws and Electric-type Specialties….etc.

All of the attacks were described nicely and there was a great variety in them. You showed every little bit of damage that was coming to each Pokemon with every attack, and didn’t rush things.

If you were worrying about length, it was unfounded. The battles took up a great chunk of your story and probably had the biggest impact on the tale as a whole. It was also two-sided. Very nice.

HOWEVER! What is up with the appearance of the Psyduck? You didn’t expand on this at all, and I was like “WTF!?!” when it just popped out of nowhere. (xDDD) Mind explaining?

Outcome: Woah. My mind is like Jell-O now….Having pushed myself to read it all in one sitting & then write this grade for it. (And I have no regrets in doing it… for this was an amazing story). You excelled in pretty much everything, with having only a few flaws in each category. I am sure you have been waiting a long time to see these words, so I won’t hold you from it any longer. Spiritomb and Psyduck Bound! (Haha, that would be the first time that I left out the word “capture” :D) Have fun with your mentally-disturbed ball of floating gas and tell Chris to watch out for the fangs on his new Ducky. Your story was a pleasure to read, great, great job. <3333

[size=”1”]One last note:[/size]

Erm, for your next story, might I suggest that you use a non-eye-blood-inducing color. (lol) I had to highlight the entire thing in order to allow my eyes to even touch it. XDDDDD
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryceBoy10 View Post
You used a few words, such as Demon, Bound, and Summoned, but lacked to provide us with a definition as to what they really. This would be very confusing to the reader if they didn’t have any prior knowledge of the subject and such.

Finally, what is the character’s name? In the Prologue, you simply referred to it as the Garchomp-host, and I felt a little left out of the loop. ;_______;

^^ I'm actually going to give a few definitions and such before I start in mah next post, before the main story. Also, I meant to leave out the DeMon's name, because there was no real instance for me to give her name yet. Yush, she ish a girl lol. Anyways, don't worry, I reveal her name early on in the next chapter.

Story/Plot:
Something that irked me a bit about this story was the fact that I got the feeling like the Garchomp was telling the whole tale to a friend. The majority of it felt like a professional piece of writing, but there were certain points (like when you would stop to explain something like the relationship between Vampires and DeMon or what Specialties were) that were….. I don’t know…. Put a bit too blatantly, as though we were reading from a textbook or hearing a lecture. You don’t want abrupt points of explanation popping up all over your story, because that will both confuse the reader and draw them away from the story.

Heh, yeah, I was worried about that. What I was trying to do was have the main char give simple descriptions at certain points in order to keep the reader from getting more confused. Such as the Specialties are. I was worried if I kept on going without taking a second to explain them, it would only leave the reader asking, "WTF is she talking about?!" lol. I'll work on making explainations less textbook and formal, though ^^.

Grammar/Spelling:
I can tell that this was just a careless mistake, but (bodes) should be (bodies). ^_^

@__@ I meant to change that and kept forgetting lol.

All of these sentences are actually fragments. None have a clear subject or predicate, and therefore cannot be called complete sentences.

Heh, true, but it's acceptable if you wish to make more of an impact with your writing. However, I tend to avoid using sentences like those, since they don't really work well most of the time.

This is somewhat of a common mistake. Conscious is actually an adjective. I think you were looking for the noun form, conscience.

Whoops XD.

Ummm…. Ilk? XP

Fancy word for brethren lol. Like kin, or race or something ^^.

Ha. (Not-good)? Wouldn’t it just be easier to say (bad)? XDDD

XP Yeah, but I wanted to be different here, that's all I can really say. It sounds funny to me too, but I couldn't bring myself to change it to anything else for some reason.

Length: You had about 73,000 characters, give or take. One should always want to go 10k or so over the designated length, just to make sure that length won’t be a factor, and you did that. Nice work.

^^' I have a habit of going way over the length for the Mon I need lol. I just can't jump into a story without taking time to build up to the plot, you know? I think I wrote a Magikarp story that was over 20k, if not more, all because I HAVE to develop the plot. I simply can't jump right into it after 5k ;_;.

Detail/Description: Well, what can I say? It was awesome as usual.

I feel like your attention to details far surpassed your description of things. Your word choice was invigorating and somewhat sophisticated, and there were only one or two instances in which I had to pop open a dictionary to figure out what a word meant, which is a good thing, since you don’t want to distract your reader by having them look up a particular word.

I try really hard to avoid using the same words over and over. Like during the battle with the Spiritomb, I didn't want to keep saying, "He cried out," "He gave a cry," etc etc etc. So I threw in some nifty things like "ululation" and "howl" to give it some flair and not make the descriptions boring.

There were some instances in which I felt you sort of just dropped everything to describe one object, like in the beginning when you were describing what the Garchomp looked like. You want things to flow seamlessly….avoiding big blocks of description on just one thing. Try to work on that.

Mwuah, I'll make a note of that. I have the tendency to ramble on and on about something in an effort to give as clear a picture as I possibly can on it ^^'.

Battle: You seemed to take a different approach to this.

The battles themselves were engaging, what with the introduction of a new sort of weapon: The Garchomp’s Specialties. You avoided using cliché attacks like Psychic and Tackle and whatnot, and went right for the throat using Dragon Claws and Electric-type Specialties….etc.

All of the attacks were described nicely and there was a great variety in them. You showed every little bit of damage that was coming to each Pokemon with every attack, and didn’t rush things.

If it's one thing I love about stories, it's the battle. I can't help it, I absolutely adore giving a description to all those awesome attacks we so love in our URPG and Shoddy Battle lol. For every battle I write, I head straight to Veekun and see what moves my target Pokemon have to them, and then use as wide a range as I can. Using the same attack over again and again would be boring to write, and I hate reading stories in which the same two moves are repeated twenty time. Taking that to heart, I try to make the battle as engaging as possible by making the attacks as varied as I can.

If you were worrying about length, it was unfounded. The battles took up a great chunk of your story and probably had the biggest impact on the tale as a whole. It was also two-sided. Very nice.

I was worried about the battle with the Psyduck, since it only got in like, three attacks. However, I made that battle so short because I was trying to keep the story as realistic as possible: since the DeMon had already been wounded earlier, I couldn't really have a long battle with a Psyduck on top of needing a solid one for Spiritomb. I figured that the Psyduck would be weaker, despite being all Vampire-y (XD) and thus would be beat relatively easily.

HOWEVER! What is up with the appearance of the Psyduck? You didn’t expand on this at all, and I was like “WTF!?!” when it just popped out of nowhere. (xDDD) Mind explaining?

^^ It's foreshadowing, that. Why the Psyduck was there will be explained when I start delving into the plot. Trust me, though, when I say it wasn't just some random thing. The Psyduck was there for a reason, which will become clear later in the story.

Outcome: Woah. My mind is like Jell-O now….Having pushed myself to read it all in one sitting & then write this grade for it. (And I have no regrets in doing it… for this was an amazing story). You excelled in pretty much everything, with having only a few flaws in each category. I am sure you have been waiting a long time to see these words, so I won’t hold you from it any longer. Spiritomb and Psyduck Bound! (Haha, that would be the first time that I left out the word “capture” :D) Have fun with your mentally-disturbed ball of floating gas and tell Chris to watch out for the fangs on his new Ducky. Your story was a pleasure to read, great, great job. <3333

^^ Thankies much Bryce, you can't imagine how much I appreciate this. I was worried this would sit for a month or more before someone claimed it, seeing as how so few people around here know anything about Hellsing (and that probably only a scant few are Graders ;_;).

[size=”1”]One last note:[/size]

Erm, for your next story, might I suggest that you use a non-eye-blood-inducing color. (lol) I had to highlight the entire thing in order to allow my eyes to even touch it. XDDDDD

Heh, I've been meaning to change mah font, I'm getting tired of red. In fact I think I'll go play with some different colors and such right now ^^.
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Definitions and Such


Before I get to the actual story, here are some definitions of terms found throughout the story:

DeMon- a Demon who has had their physical body killed and possessed a Pokemon's body. It is a combination of the words Demon and Pokemon, and is pronounced "dee-mahn," with emphasis on the "dee."

Profession- an element a Demon/DeMon is/has learning/learned to control/create

Host- the body a DeMon possesses

Assume- to take a certain form

Hold- to remain in a certain form

Bound- Pokemon who have been bound to a DeMon's spirit

Bind- the act of making a Pokemon Bound

Summoned- Pokemon of the DeMon's host's species who have been drawn to the DeMon, and who are driven mad in the process

Horde- a group of Summoned Pokemon

Possess- When a Demon possesses a living creature, that creature's soul is forced from its body (which becomes the host). This "kills" the creature and allows the Demon's spirit to assimilate with the body, which then revives and mutates in order to accommodate the Demon

Normal Demons- The majority of Demons; they can be vicious and evil to completely indifferent, depending on their moods, and have no care for others except themselves

Benign Demons- The minority of Demons; they are kind, caring, gentle Demons who care greatly for the well-being of others, and have strong bonds with family and friends

Future definitions will be given in the post following the one the word was first used in, as is being done now.

With that out of the way, on to the story!

Note: Hopefully the new color is easier to read...

***

Last time in Monsters of the Machine...

A Garchomp DeMon has been investigating cases of Vampiric Pokemon, which have been appearing in numerous places the past few weeks. After a fight with another DeMon, she went to a large city in order to rest and continue her search for information.

However, the next night she's thrust into battle once again. Another Garchomp DeMon appears in the city, bringing a Horde with him and setting them on the humans. After some intense fighting, the Horde is called off, and our heroine goes off in order to find the other DeMon and destroy it.

She gets more than she bargained for when she runs into a Vampire, who is also looking for the other DeMon. In a case of mistaken identity, she ends up getting shot before the Vampire leaves to find his target. Our DeMon follows, finding the Vampire again just in time to see him kill his target.

Afterwards, the DeMon's lone Bound, a Spiritomb, attacks the Vampire out of grief, reducing him to a gory heap in the street. He then turns on our DeMon, but not for long as the Vampire soon regenerates and engages the Ghost in battle. In the meantime, our hurt and tired heroine is attacked out of the blue by a Vampiric Psyduck!

After a short battle, she starts Binding the duck and goes to finish weakening the Spiritomb in order to Bind it as well, knowing the two Pokemon might have information she can use. The battle with the Spiritomb is long and rough, even with the occasional help from the strange Vampire, but eventually our DeMon wears him down enough to being Binding him as well. Several seconds later, the two have become her Bound.

And now, chapter two of Monsters of the Machine...

***

+Order Two: Of Vampires and Missions: +


"Complicating, circulating
New life, new life
Operating, generating
New life, new life..."


The moments ticked away, drawing out into eternity as I struggled to stay aware of things through my haze of pain and fatigue. However, a faint rush that zapped through my very being jolted me out of the fog, and I jerked my head back and forth sharply between the Psyduck and the Spiritomb. I’d never felt it before, but instinctively I knew exactly what it meant. One of the Pokemon had just been Bound, and another rush the next second told me the other had been as well. I sighed softly in relief, then felt a horrible stab rip through me.

Time up.

I shuddered for a moment, blinking when the Spiritomb gave a soft sort of cry, then collapsed forward as darkness enshrouded me and I fell into unconsciousness. Annoying, yes, but at least I didn’t have to be aware of the fact I had reverted to my Pure form now.

However, something strange happened after I passed out. One moment it was like being in a deep, dreamless sleep, and the next I was floating in a void with the forms of the Psyduck and the Spiritomb in front of me. Seriously weird...

“Eh...” I muttered, glancing about. “What’s...going on?”

=You don’t know?= the Spiritomb asked, looking at me as if I had just said the most idiotic thing for someone to ever say. Then I thought about it and decided it was a pretty damn stupid thing to say, for a DeMon at least.

“Well...yes, er, no, eh...”

=You’ve never had any Bound before now?=

“No, I haven’t,” I said irritably. “I never liked the idea of making slaves out of Pokemon.”

=Ah, well, now that our spirits are all nice and interlinked and all, we have the nifty ability to speak with you whenever you’re not awake. It’s not a mental experience or a dream or anything; it’s more like our souls resonating with one another. It’s hard to explain,= the Spiritomb replied, floating in a lazy circle. I nodded a few times and then glanced at the Psyduck, who was looking slightly dazed.

“How are you?” I asked it, and when it spoke I was surprised to hear the subtle intonations of a female.

=I feel...better...= she answered, her voice soft. She looked around, a far-away expression glazing her eyes. =Before, I felt terrible. I was so angry and...and...= A visible shiver worked its way from her head to her webbed toes, and she absently reached up to grab at her head in the way Psyduck are known for doing. A haunted look replaced the stunned one as she looked directly at me, her eyes a beautiful shade of deep cyan. =There was a thirst. Like I had run for miles and miles through a scorching desert, and found a lake, but the lake was tainted and poisonous, so it was the best and worst thing ever. And the only way to make the thirst go away would be to do something horrible, to drink that wonderful, horrible water...=

“Wait, you mean you don’t feel that way now?”

=No. I...I think I’ve been cured...before, even when I was asleep I felt that awful thirst, but I don’t now. It could be because this is different than being asleep, but I don’t think so. I think I’m better, that maybe somehow you made me better.=

“But...but how I could un-vampirize you? All I did was Bind you-“

=That was it,= the Spiritomb cut in, and I turned my gaze to him.

“What?”

=Binding her. That was all you needed to do in order to cure her.=

“How do you know that?” I asked, and if I had actually been awake and everything, my heart would have started thumping faster. “What all do you know about the Vampiric Pokemon?”

=I only knew that, because that’s all Boka ever told me. He never mentioned anything else about them after that. He said that all it would take to make a Pokemon not be a Vampire anymore was to simply Bind it. He never said how it worked, either,= the Ghost added before I could ask. That was okay, though. I now knew something I would have may have never guessed.

“And can you tell me how who or whatever made you Vampiric did it?” I asked the Psyduck. She blinked a few times as she thought, then shook her head.

=Not really. I don’t remember much, but I remember big things. Like...I remember being kept in a little cage for a long time. I also remember being jabbed with a needle a while back, and then I got really sleepy and confused. They did some things that hurt bad, though I don’t remember anything about what they did, sorry, but I do remember that the back of my head had hurt the most when they were doing whatever it was they were doing.=

“Huh. I don’t suppose you remember who “they” were?”

=People who had the thirst,= she responded simply, and for a moment I couldn’t think straight, I was so shocked.

“You mean Vampires did it?!” I blurted a moment later, and the little yellow duck shrugged as she dropped her arms to her sides.

=Yes, it must have been. They felt wrong, you know, I could sense it, and I felt like that after they did all those painful things to me. It was strange and awful, to be aware of how unnatural I was.=

“Well, at least you’re better now,” I said, rubbing my hand-paws together and going over everything I’d just learned. Vampires were behind the making of the Vampiric Pokemon, and Binding them could, somehow, cure them of that condition. I tried to think of why Vampires would bother with such a thing, but couldn’t come up with anything that made very much sense.

=The Vampire is coming towards me!= the Psyduck piped suddenly, and I scowled a little as I focused on her.

“How do you know that?”

=Our spirits are communing, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still active and aware. In fact, our bodies are being active and aware this very second. The spirit does all sorts of things while the body is engaged in everyday things. The two are sort of independent of one another, yet dependent. It’s difficult to put into words,= the Spiritomb said. I pondered it for a moment, then shrugged.

“So basically you’re here and there at the same time?”

=There is no “here” and “there,” actually. You’re unconscious, our spirits are speaking, and I suppose the closest comparison is your mind is making it like a dream so it’s easier for you to understand. Eventually, you won’t need this visual interference. Eventually, we’ll speak with just our spirits.=

“Er...okay then...”

=He’s studying me,= the Psyduck said, sounding tense. I made to move towards her before remembering I was floating in a black abyss, but much to my surprise I moved without moving. It was weird, one moment I was several feet from her, the next I was standing, er, floating, whatever...right in front of her.

“Most likely he realized you were Vampiric before I did, and now that you’re not, he’s trying to figure it out,” I answered, trying to sound as reassuring as possible. After what had been done to her by Vampires, the poor Psyduck had a good reason to be scared of them. The little Pokemon looked up at me, fear in her eyes, and I knelt to put a hand on her head. “Hey, do you think you can maybe get him to understand that I helped cure you?”

=Maybe,= the Psyduck muttered, and I nodded as she suddenly went still. I watched for a moment, then started to grow worried. Seconds clicked by and she neither moved nor spoke; she didn’t even blink.

=She’s fine, it’s just that what she’s doing is taking all of her concentration,= the Spiritomb said as he floated over, seemingly having no trouble maneuvering in this strange dream-place. He must have sensed my worry for the duck, or maybe I was giving off some spirit vibes or something, for him to have so accurately picked up on how troubled I was.. =There are times when the spirit and body must function on the same level, such as when one is doing something while being afraid.=

“I suppose she must be pretty darn scared,” I replied as I stood, my wings twitching as I rubbed my arms. “If I were her and had done to me what she did, I’d be scared too.”

=The true mark of courage lies in being afraid yet carrying forward,= the Spiritomb said sagely. I nodded absently as I watched the Psyduck, waiting for her to begin moving again. After a moment the Spiritomb fell still in the same eerie manner, and I figured he was doing something that required all his attention as well.

Several seconds later, though, both of them snapped into movement with sharp hisses of agitation; the Psyduck stamped a webbed foot as the Spiritomb zipped back and forth crazily. I jerked back in surprise, wary and uncertain of what to do. What the heck was making these two act nuts like this?

=Oh, that was RUDE!= the Psyduck said, her voice brimming with ire. =He could have done that much more gently, given your current state!=

“Done...what, exactly? What’s going on?”

=We got the Vampire to realize that you made me better, or at the very least, that you helped make me better, and then-=

=He picked you up and threw you over one of his shoulder!= the Spiritomb cut in angrily. =He’s carrying you off! Tell us what to do, give us the order to attack him, to show him he can’t treat our DeMon so callously!=

“Aah, no, wait!” I yelped, lifting my hand-paws and shaking my head. “He’s after information about the Vampiric Pokemon too, I knew it...er, anyways, he’s probably just taking me back to wherever he’s staying so I can tell him what happened when I wake up. And if I tell him what I know, then hopefully he’ll tell me what he knows.”

=How long do you suppose it’ll take for you come to?= the Psyduck asked, and I shrugged as I folded my legs beneath myself, taking a sort of sitting position.

“Well, I thoroughly drained myself tonight, which is something I’ve only done two or three times in the past. Based on those experiences, I’d say it’ll probably be at least five or so hours before I regain enough energy to come around. But hey, until then, we can start getting to know one another!” I smiled a little, looking back and forth between the two Pokemon. “I think the obvious place to start is our names. I’m Nilazcion. But my little brother can’t pronounce my full name, so he calls me Nee. That’s what everyone calls me really, after a while, since my full name is a pain to say all the time.” I turned to the Spiritomb, who ceased his irritated zooming and settled for a mildly irked weaving motion.

=I am Mukakariasa, though my name was shortened as well. My previous DeMon called me Musa.= As he spoke, I was aware of the twinge of grief in his words. It would be a while, I supposed, until the Ghost came to terms with the death of his old DeMon.

=I don’t...I don’t remember my name...= the Psyduck said softly when Musa and I turned to her. =Those things they did...after a while, I just kind of gave up on remembering happy stuff like my name. It was too painful, you know, here,= as she spoke, she pressed a paw over her heart, =to think about good things when all that bad stuff was being done. It made me miss it so much...so I just stopped remembering, to make the pain go away some. But there was one thing I could never forget, not ever, and that was my Momma’s name. She was called Zaphaina.=

“Zaphaina...the Kaalith word for ‘blue,’ right?”

=Uh-huh,= the little duck replied with a nod. In case you’re wondering, Kaalith is one of the sub-categories of the Pokemon language. Yes, they have different languages, just like humans. The Kaalith language is to Pokemon what English is to you humans, in that it’s the general and most popular one.

“Well, how about we call you Phaina? Your name will be a pretty way of saying ‘hue,’” I suggested. ‘Phaina’ was the root of ‘zaphaina,’ and basically meant ‘color.’ The ‘za’ part was what gave the word it’s real meaning, as it had the surprisingly complicated meaning of ‘red and green as one.’

=Ooh, I like it!= the duck said joyfully, clapping her paws together.

“And if the time should come that you remember your proper name, be sure to let us know.”

=I think I like Phaina more than my old name,= Phaina replied. =And there’s a lot of pain and hurt that are with the old one. Now I have a new name to match my fresh start on living!= Again, she clapped her paws together and let out a happy little quack, at which I couldn’t resist giggling at. It was cute, actually, even though I wasn’t the type who normally fell for the cute stuff.

=Nee, it’s clear you are not of the normal DeMon population,= Musa stated a few seconds later. I gave him a look, lifting an eye at being called “not normal.” =Ah, I should explain. Of all the DeMon I have ever met, Boka included, none have been like you. You are different. You are kind, caring. You hold your Hybrid form instead of your Pure one. You have no Bound except us, have never had any before us. I think I can safely assume you’d be disgusted with the thought of ever having to Summon. And you just spoke of your little brother as though you are still part of your old Clan. Why are you like this? Why are you so different from other DeMon?=
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Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 10-02-2009 at 03:17 PM.
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Order Two con't

“Oh, that’s what you mean. Well, it’s simple really. See, I’m Benign,” I replied. “When I was a Demon, I belonged to the Shatoki-Mino Clan.”

=What’s Shatoki-Mino mean?= Phaina asked.

“It’s DemonTongue for “Fate Claw.” So I was a part of the Clan of Fate Claw. And even though I’m not related to my brother or any of the others in my Clan now, they still consider me a part of it. We’re family in spirit, if nothing else.”

=Benign Demons don’t make it a habit to kill, for the most part,= Musa commented. =I’ve heard that a felled Benign Demon will let its soul simply vanish, instead of killing an innocent being in order to continue existing. How is it you became a DeMon?=

“Ah, that,” I said softly, my memory doing a hyper backpedal to when I was still a Demon, back to when I died for the first time. I chuckled distantly and rubbed my arms, absently aware of the goose bumps that had arisen from the memory. “Well, about ten years ago the Shatoki-Mino got into an all-out war with a Clan of Normal Demons, you know, the ones who are pretty much the opposite of us Benign creatures.

“Anyways, we had been having a lot of problems with this Clan for years. They wanted the land we controlled, because there was what they called “good hunting” to be found there. What they meant, of course, was that there were a lot of human families that lived within our territory, families they could use as sport or food.” I growled a little at that, then shook my head and continued.

“Benign Demons don’t like fighting and hate to kill, but aren’t naive or stupid. When it’s time to defend the Clan, to defend your values and beliefs and what’s right, then you can’t let a petty think like a dislike of fighting hold you back. So we threw ourselves into the fight, trying to slay all the Demons before they could slay us.

“I was fighting three of them when I got distracted. Some of the Pokemon my Clan had befriended were protecting my brother and some of the other young Demons, and my brother got scared about something and screamed. I looked over to see what was wrong and had a pair of six-inch claws shoved through my heart.” I shuddered a little as the phantom pain of the memory pulsed through me for a moment. “I died a few seconds later, and luckily I was strong enough to remain in spiritual form and head off to look for a suitable body.

“Of course, I wasn’t going to kill some innocent being. Even possessing a squirrel or a bird would have been wrong; I hated the idea of murdering some poor animal or person just to keep on living. Instead, I was searching for someone who deserved to die, a criminal of some kind or something. Instead, I came upon an old, wounded Garchomp.

“She’d been in a battle of her own and terribly injured. Her chest was ripped to shreds, her throat torn up, her sides and stomach slashed to hell and back. She was dying and in a great deal of pain, so I decided I’d put an end to her suffering for her. There was no way I could move on and simply leave her in such a horrid condition...

“And that’s how I became a DeMon. I did it to end my host’s pain, and at the same time I managed to ensure my own existence. And after I rested up, I went back to help finish the Demons who’d attacked the Clan. My brother was so shocked when he saw me.” I smiled faintly. “And Father got this funny look and asked when I kicked the bucket, and said it would be funny for me to go to my own funeral. Mom smacked him for it. All together, we only lost one member of the Clan that night.”

=Do you still go to see them?= Phaina asked, and I nodded as I focused on her.

“Yeah, every now and then I go around to spend some time with them and catch up.”

=We’re approaching a limo,= Musa interjected, and both Phaina and I turned to face him. =And there’s another car a few feet away from it.=

=They’re both black,= Phaina added, almost as if wanting to show she could provide me with information just as well as the Spiritomb could. =And now one of the back windows is going down, and the Vampire is going to it.=

=There’s a young woman,= Musa continued. =She’s in her mid twenties or so, not much older, platinum hair, blue eyes...she’s dressed in a man’s tuxedo, from what I can tell. I really can’t make out anything else, I don’t want to get too close and cause any alarm.=

=Ooh, they’re talking now!= Phaina chirped. =The woman is asking why the Vampire thought he should bring the DeMon along after dispatching it.=

=And he’s replying that this is a different DeMon. He’s explaining what happened from the time he met you.= The Ghost became silent for a moment, then said, =And now he’s just said how Phaina was Vampiric before you started fighting her, but after you finished fighting me, she wasn’t.=

=The woman’s telling him take you with him in the car,= Phaina now supplied. =She says she wants you to get looked at by some doctor and then when you wake up she wants to see you.=

=The window’s going up and the Vampire is walking to the car now. The limo is driving off, but the Vampire doesn’t seem to notice. He’s opening a backdoor and putting you on the backseat,= Musa told me. =There’s a man in the driver’s seat, young, with a black patch over one of his eyes. He’s looking at you like you might wake up and rip him to pieces.=

=The Vampire is telling him that you’re coming back to the mansion with them, and to quit wasting time by staring at you and get a move on,= Phaina commented, smiling a little. =And we’re getting in now, and he is too.=

“Huh, so we’re going to a mansion, are we? Hmmmm...” I pondered about what my Bound had told me, about what it meant. “Hey, that woman, the Vampire was talking to, what was she?”

=Eh...you mean like, what race or something?= Phaina asked, and I nodded.

=Human,= Musa said simply. =Why?=

“Why would a Vampire be taking orders from a human? I thought he was doing all this on his own accord, but now it looks like he’s searching for the same information as I am for the sake of a human.”

=Nee, haven’t you ever heard of the organization that dispatches Vampires and other so-called “supernatural” threats? The one that, ironically, employs two Vampires for that very job?= Musa asked, and I stared at him for a long moment before I could speak.

“Wai...wait a minute here...are you trying to say that woman is the leader of Hellsing...that the Vampire...no. No. That’s ridiculous. There’s no way it’s possible. Of all the things that would happen to me, running into Hellsing and their pet Alucard would have to be the one least likely!”

=How many other organizations do you know of in Great Britain that use Vampires?= Musa inquired. =And do you think a Vampire of his strength would be taking commands from a human if he weren’t serving them? Honestly, do you think ANY Vampire would?=

“But it’s just so crazy!” I argued. Behind me, my wings fluttered anxiously as I rubbed my arms. “Just my luck, though, to end up in this kind of situation.”

=Consider the pros of it: you want information about the Vampiric Pokemon, right? Who better than Hellsing to help you obtain it? You should look at this as an opportunity, not a hassle.=

“Meh, good point, I guess,” I responded, feeling my optimism level go up a bit. The Ghost was right, after all. Hellsing was the big bad wolf all the “so-called supernatural” beings were afraid of, in Great Britain anyways. Vampires, Demons, and others whispered tales of how the organization ruthlessly went after any trouble-causes on British soil, and even those in other countries. They wove chilling stories of the mighty Alucard, possibly the most powerful Vampire in existence, who served the Hellsing Organization. His power, his strength, his heartless nature, his calculating madness...He was the Boogeyman the Midians checked under their beds for and saw in the shadows of the night. Basically, he was someone I would rather be a couple thousand miles from.

To distract myself from the creepiness of it, I focused on learning more about Musa and Phaina. Musa was a shocking ninety-three years old, and by Spiritomb standards was still just a baby. When I asked how he was so strong if he were still that young, he confirmed what Alucard had said earlier: he was not only at a high level, but Boka had stolen several dozen vitamins from a PokeMart and fed them to the Ghost.

“That sounds so weird, you know. You’re still a baby but you’re at a high level...”

=A Pokemon’s age and their level are independent factors. Our level is determined by how much experience we have gained through battling. You can be a Pokemon at level eighty and barely be a year old, if your style of life includes much fighting. In the same instance, you can be thirty years old and barely be at level ten, if you tend to avoid conflict.=

“I know that,” I replied with a frown. “I was just saying it sounded funny.”
Phaina, on the other hand, was only four years old. In Psyduck terms, she was just entering juvenile-hood. She was nearing her level of evolving, and that was something she was excited about. At the same time, though, she seemed a little sad, and the answer as to why was soon given.

=I don’t really remember a lot, but like my Momma’s name, there’s one thing I’ll never forget. Momma always told me when I evolved, she was going to have this big celebration, and it would be the happiest day of my life. Then I was taken from her, and now I don’t know where she is. She’ll never get to see me evolve, to see me get stronger and become just like her...=

“Come on now, don’t think like that!” I said, patting her on the back consolingly. “How about this: we’ll investigate the Vampiric Pokemon, and at the same time we’ll do our best to find your mother?”

=Really? We can look for her?= Phaina asked, eyes getting huge as hope filled them up. =Oh, that’d be great, thank you, Nee!= As she spoke, she launched her small yellow self at me, her stubby tail snapping back and forth in her joy. I laughed at ruffled the black feathers on her head as she made a strange sort of cooing noise, her little arms clamped around my waist.

“Of course we can look for her! And we’ll find her, I know we can!”

So the time passed, and about two or so hours later Musa announced that we had arrived at a large mansion. After giving a heads-up that he was going to leave the car and take a closer look, he fell into that strange stillness again, and I held Phaina against my chest as I watched the Spiritomb’s motionless body hanging in midair.

“I seriously don’t like that. It freaks me out when you guys just sit there like that,” I muttered. “I mean, I know these aren’t your physical bodies and Musa explained what’s going on, but it still just creeps me out.” Phaina looked up at me with sympatric blue eyes as she gave a noise somewhere between a sigh and a quack.

=You’ll get used to it, eventually.=

“Yeah, but for now it bothers me.”

Silence fell between us as I floated back and forth aimlessly, waiting for Musa to “return,” so to speak. After several minutes, the Spiritomb gave a little shudder and blinked.

=It’s large, very large. Big enough to easily hold a hundred people, if not more. Old, almost as old as me, but sturdy. It looks like it might have some Victorian influences. Brick, different shades. Lots of windows, many decorative with no glass inserted, though these are high up from the ground and rather small,= he said. =A fitting place for such an organization such as Hellsing to work out of.=

=We’re parking,= Phaina announced almost immediately after Musa had fallen silent. =And now we’re getting out, and Alucard is kind of...dragging you out of the car...=

=You are quite a big bigger than him though,= Musa added, a faint smile curving his spectral mouth. =It’s somewhat amusing, actually...your claws seem to have snagged on the seat, so he’s making the human who drove the car get on the other side to help free you.=

=That guy doesn’t look too happy about it either. In fact, he’s cursing up a storm about how you’re going to wake up at any minute and snap his head off,= Phaina chuckled. =But now you’re unstuck, and now we’re heading for the mansion.=

So it went, with the two Pokemon giving commentary on what was going on evert few seconds. They kept it up until Alucard deposited me in a spare room, dropping me onto a bed and then leaving to do whatever it was he did when not out giving all the nasty non-human creatures nightmares.

The next few hours passed by somewhat slowly, but I didn’t mind. I learned more about my new Bound, and in turn gave some more information about myself. By the time I felt myself beginning to stir, I felt as if I had known these two for years, instead of a few mere hours.

=The Vampire is back,= Phaina said, her voice and form getting blurry as I began to awaken. =I guess he’s here to tell you the woman wants to talk to you.=

=We’ll see you on the other side,= Musa said with a grin, and I flicked a hand-paw at him with a snort as the blackness dissolved, along with the forms of the two Bound. A moment later my eyes cracked open, revealing a dull gray ceiling above me with a single fluorescent light giving off dim lumination. I blinked slowly a few times, allowing my eyes to adjust to the light, then assumed my Hybrid form. After that was done, I slowly pushed myself into a sitting position and looked around.

Musa was floating near my head and Phaina was sitting beside me. I instantly spotted Alucard standing by the door, but ignored him for the moment. Instead, I gazed around the room, taking stock of what was where in case I needed to make a break for it. There wasn’t much to look at, though. A few small oak tables were scattered here and there, along with a single chair sitting in the middle of the room. The walls were the same gray as the ceiling, and the bed I was in was pushed up against the left-side wall. A lone dresser with a small mirror attached to the back was against the wall opposite my bed, its warped wood so brown it was almost black. All in all, very bland, but practical.

My inspection complete, I turned my attention back to Alucard, who was still standing by the open door. He had, at some point, donned another pair of sunglasses, which made it hard to read his expression. I narrowed my eyes a little as I clenched my fingers. For a moment I wondered if I should tell him I already knew why he was there, that I knew the Hellsing woman wanted to talk to me. Then I decided it might be better to keep that to myself; it might be a good idea to keep quiet about how I could talk with Musa and Phaina while knocked out.

But this was the great “No-Life King,” of course. He studied me, or at least I assumed he did, then gave a faint smile before approaching the bed I was on. He stopped a few dozen paces away, his head tilting down a bit as he stared at me.

“Your Bound have told you that my Master wanted to speak with you when you woke, did they not?” I tensed a little, and the Vampire gave a soft chuckle that sent a shudder through me. “I know all the tricks you DeMon have. Communicating spiritually with your Bound when you’re unconscious...nice try at attempting to keep it hidden, though. Now I’ll ask again: they’ve told you Integra wants to see you, right?”

“They might have mentioned it,” I replied stubbornly, not wanting to give him any satisfaction at hearing me admit something I was indeed trying to keep hidden. “So let’s go see her already. I’m sure she’d like to hear what I have to say. But I have a request.” At that, one of Alucard’s eyebrows arched, and I gave a little mental dance of victory. I had piqued his interest, and call it shallow, but I considered it a score in my favor.

“And what would that be?”

“I want you to be there, because I’m pretty sure you know some stuff too, and if it’s anything about Vampiric Pokemon, I want to hear it.”

“Integra knows what I know,” he replied simply, and I snorted softly as I scooted off the bed. Then I remembered my modesty and glanced at the dresser. “Do you know if there are any shirts in that?”

“This isn’t my room,” came the reply, and I gave an annoyed growl.

“I’ll take that as a no,” I muttered, stalking over to the old piece of furniture and pulling the top drawer open. Much to my surprise, it was full of shirts in a variety of colors. I fished out a black one and held it up, eyeing it to make sure it wasn’t too big. When I was pleased with my choice, I laid it on top of the dresser and spread it flat, with the back facing the ceiling. “Think anyone would mind a minor modification on this?”

“I doubt anyone would care about the fate of a single shirt,” Alucard answered, and I could hear the mocking note in his voice. I resisted the urge to set Musa on him and instead concerned myself with making a hole with a claw in the black fabric of the garment. I worked along the seams, making the hole neat and ensuring it could be easily repaired if anyone was offended by my handiwork. I also sliced tow larged holes on either side of the first. After doing that. I carefully cut off the long sleeves and stowed them in the dresser, again working along the seams so fixing the damage would be easy, then slipped the shirt over my head. I had to be careful when putting my arms in, making sure the sharp edges of my fins didn’t snag or rip the sides. Once I’d accomplished that, I worked my back fin and wings through the holes I’d made. All in all, the process took about five minutes. Imagine if I had to get into a pair of paints and some shoes...

“All right, now I’m ready,” I announced as I went back to the bed. There, I bent over to pick Phaina up, holding her against my chest. I then straightened and faced Alucard, who turned without a word and led the way out of the room.

The hall was considerably darker than the room we had just left, seeing as there were only lights every few yards. Most of the light was cast by the setting moon, shining in through the glass-less windows Musa had told me about earlier. The floor was covered in a thick, plush red carpet. The walls were bare save for the old pictures of various Queens and stern-looking men, and the occasional decorative rug. The simplicity of it was sort of nostalgic, somehow, and I found myself relaxing a bit as we walked.

=Don’t let your guard down too much,= Musa said softly as he floated along my head. =I’m sure no one here means us any ill will, but that Vampire...well, you know the stories they tell about him.= I nodded once, not replying verbally because I didn’t want Alucard to know what was being said.

The rest of the way was walked in silence, and soon we came to a large set of dark navy double doors. Alucard gave a single knock, then stepped back as a hard, feminine voice called, “Enter!” from within the room. I hesitantly reached out and took the knob of the right-hand door, then twisted it and pushed. The door opened with the barest of creaks, and I was surprised to find the room on the other side to be as dimly lit as the hallway outside.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Order Two con't

“Come on then, I don’t have all night,” a voice from the far side of the room said. I jumped in surprise, then gave a faint snort and pushed my way into the room, shutting the door on my way. I then took a few uncertain steps forward, glancing around as Musa floated up to hover by the top of the door. I supposed he wanted the best view of the entire room, in case anything should happen.

The room was wide and open, with a single large desk placed near the full-length window that took up the entire rear wall. There were some dressers at both ends of the room, as well as some squat, gray filing cabinets. The floor had the same dark red carpet covering it as the hallway, but it was accented nicely by a giant oval rug placed directly in the middle of the floor. It wasn’t any specific picture, just an intricate, beautiful pattern of multi-colored circles that overlapped again and again. Hanging on the three non-glass walls were more pictures, though not as many as out in the hall. The most prominent one was of a man who looked not stern, but kindly. In the portrait he was depicted with graying hair and gentle blue eyes, a little smile set on his strong face.

“Come on, we all have better things to do than stand here gawking,” came the voice again, and I blinked as I turned to face the young woman seated in a large leather chair situated behind the desk. She had her elbows propped on the desktop, chin resting against her gloved and clasped hands as she watched me. I said nothing as I walked forward, trying not to snag my toe-claws on the nice rug as I passed over it. Phaina wiggled a little in my arms, and I gave her a reassuring squeeze to try and calm her down.

I stopped about a yard from where the famous Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing was sitting, taking her in as she was doing me. Her hair was long, falling to just above her knees, and was a brilliant shade of platinum blonde. Her eyes, even in the shadows, were easily seen for their ice-blue color. Her glasses only seemed to make them more severe, though it if were anyone else the effect would have been opposite. She was wearing a man’s suit, dark blue in color, and had a fancy red bow tied at her throat. Hanging around her neck was a thin gold chain, and though the pendant that hung from it was hidden, I knew from the stories it was a golden crucifix.

“So, you’re the DeMon who’s looking for information on the Vampiric Pokemon? I’ll bet you’re unawares of this, but there has been talk of you in the non-human underground, so to speak.” As the young woman spoke, she straightened up as she reached down with her right hand. There came the sound of a drawer opening, and seconds later the Hellsing lifted a dark brown cigar to her lips. Another moment brought a lighter into view, which clicked alight and set the end of the cigar glowing brightly. Once it was lit, Integra flicked the lighter off and placed it back in the drawer, which she closed before focusing her attention back on me.

“What do you mean, talk?”

“Word got around among your kin that you were looking into the matter of these warped Pokemon, and then it spread to the likes of the Vampires and such. And, considering how...”closely”...we work with these beings, it’s only natural that we ended up hearing about you as well.” The human fell silent as she took a drag on her cigar, expelling the smoke a few seconds later. “How ironic. I was thinking of sending Alucard out to find you, but you end up finding him.” she chuckled a little at that, though I hardly found it amusing. After all, she hadn’t been the one to get shot. With the memory of that wound came the memory that the bullet was still in my shoulder. I winced a little at the thought, making a mental note to ask if I could see this “doctor” Musa had mentioned earlier.

“Yeah, ironic, sure. Look, he said you wanted to talk to me, and I suppose it’s about why Phaina’s not Vampiric anymore, right?” Integra smiled a little, inclining her head but saying nothing. “Right, well, I don’t mind telling you what I know, but in return I want whatever information you have as well.”

“Very well, I see nothing wrong with an exchange like that. Now, if you would explain how it is you cured this Pokemon of its Vampiric condition?”

“Right, well, I don’t know much, actually...just that Binding a Vampiric Pokemon makes it better.” I nodded back at where Musa was floating. “He told me earlier, he said that his old DeMon told him that, but nothing else. Though why a DeMon would know something like that is beyond me.”

“Ask him,” came the response, and I recognized it as an order, not a suggestion. I bristled at being treated like that, but bit back the retort I was getting ready to snap out. Instead, I shifted to look back at Musa, calling, “Hey, come here for a minute.”

=What is it?= the Spiritomb asked as he zoomed over, coming to a stop about a foot from my head.

“Miss Hellsing-“

Sir Hellsing.”

“Right, sorry, Sir Hellsing wants to know why your DeMon knew anything about Vampiric Pokemon.”
=He never explained it. The only thing he mentioned was that Binding a Vampiric Pokemon would cure it.=

“Why would he bother telling you something like that if he wasn’t going to explain everything?” Integra asked after I finished translating Musa’s words.

=One evening we saw a group of them attacking a town. I mentioned that it must be awful to be like that for the rest of one’s life, crazy and bloodthirsty, and Boka absently said that they wouldn’t stay like that for life, if they were to be Bound. I tried to get more out of him, but he refused to say anything more on the subject.=

“I see...so when you make a Vampiric Pokemon into a Bound, it cures them? Interesting,” Integra said softly. Then she made a tsk sound in the back of her throat, adding, “I hope you tried to actually get some information from that DeMon before destroying it?”

“Of course, ask the Ghost,” came Alucard’s response from somewhere near the door. I jerked, but resisted the compulsion to whip around and look for him. He hadn’t come in through the door with me, and I hadn’t heard it open after I’d shut it. Damn, but he was creepy!

“What else do you know?” Integra asked me, completely ignoring Alucard’s comment.

“Phaina told me that Vampires are the ones making the Vampiric Pokemon, which I guess kind of makes sense. Though I can’t figure out why they’d be doing his, and Phaina doesn’t know either.”

“Vampires?” Integra repeated, her voice rising a few octaves in her surprise. She then turned her gaze to Phaina, speaking directly to the little Psyduck. “Are you certain?”

=Yes,= the duck replied. =Like I told Nee, I could sense how wrong they were when they took me from my Momma. And I know for sure that meant they were Vampires because I got the same feeling from him.= As she said this, she motioned in the direction Alucard’s voice had come, and Integra gave a little smile.

“Can you tell me what happened to you?”

“I can do that, actually,” I cut in, and Phaina gave me a relived look as Integra glanced back up at me. “It was...well, from what she told me, it was pretty traumatic. I don’t think she really needs to go through it all again, so I’ll tell you what she told me.” I then repeated what Phaina had said earlier, about how she had forgotten a lot, about the cage she was kept in, about the strange procedure they did that cause her so much pain.

“And this thirst, as you all it, you started feeling it after they did whatever it was they did?” Integra asked. Phaina nodded, fidgeting in my arms and casting about anxiously. “Very well. If you wouldn’t mind, may I have a look at the back of your head?”

The question caught the Psyduck and me both by surprise. She stopped her twitching and I blinked several times. Then Phaina tilted her head back to look at me, doubt and the first threads of fear showing in her cyan eyes. I gave a single nod, then stepped up to the desk and set Phaina beside the large computer that took up most of the space. She jerked a little as she stared at Integra for a moment, then slowly bent her head down. I knew that it took a great deal of trust in my decision for her to do that: most Pokemon didn’t bow their heads to strangers like Phaina was, because it made them too vulnerable to attack. If the one they were bowing to decided to strike, it would be hard to launch a counterattack with one’s head down.

However, that thought was wiped clean from my mind when I saw the thick, raised scar that twisted about three inches across the base of Phaina’s skull. It was jagged, as if the wound had been made by a dull knife, and an ugly sort of yellow-purple. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it before. Then again, it was in a spot that was normally hard to see when the Psyduck held her head up. I saw it the same moment Integra did, for we each drew in a sharp breath at the sight of it.

“It looks as though they did some sort of ill-prepared surgery,” the younger woman murmured. “Perhaps we should have her looked at and see if we can find anything. I’m sure Doctor Kreil can find out what was done to her.”

“Erm, that’d be great, and do you think he could look at me too?” At Integra’s look, I muttered, “Someone took the liberty of shooting me in the shoulder while I was looking for the other DeMon.”

“Did they now?” Integra asked as she glanced lazily in Alucard’s direction. “I’m actually aware of the fact that you were wounded. I recall telling you to have Doctor Kreil examine her before taking her to a room?” This was directed at the Vampire, who gave an eerie chuckle.

“It must have slipped my mind, what with so much excitement going on lately, I’m sure you understand.”

“”Slipped my mind?” Bloody idiot, don’t try to play me for a fool! I know damn well it didn’t slip your mind. Honestly...” She then gave an irritated sort of sighing-growl as Alucard only laughed at her anger, turning her attention back to me. “Once we’re done here, I’ll have Walter take you and your...Phaina, you said?...you and your Phaina to see the doctor.” I bowed my head in thanks as Integra took a moment to puff on her cigar. When she spoke next, her eyes found mine and refused to release them.

“Listen well, DeMon. What you’ve told us is of great importance. Until now, we had only assumed some sort of non-humans were behind this. Either that, or humans were being manipulated into it. Now that we know for certain it’s Vampires, though, we can begin a more solid investigation. Also, we had no idea that these Pokemon could be cured. Until this point, we’ve had to...dispose of them. For their own sake, and for the safety of those they could have encountered and injured or killed.

“However, if Binding a Pokemon really does cure it, then I would like to ask you to help us. If you accept, it would be your duty to cure any Vampiric Pokemon we encountered or were sent after. What would you want in exchange for rendering such services to us?”

“Information,” I answered bluntly. “Like you said, I’ve been looking for data on the Vampiric Pokemon, so anything you have, I’d like to know.”

“I’m afraid that what we know is sorely inadequate to be sufficient compensation,” Integra said, spreading her hands and splaying her fingers. “I can tell you what information we possess, though, if you like.”

“I have an idea, but tell me what you have, please, and then we’ll talk.”

“Very well,” Integra said with a faint smile, puffing her cigar as she stood and went to stand before the window-wall, her back to me as she clasped her hands behind herself. She was an impressive sight, outlined by the brilliant, gossamer moonlight streaming through the carefully crafted glass. It threw deep shadows onto most of her body, making her strong form an even more powerful-looking silhouette. It was a sharp contrast to the way her hair shone, as if it were lit from within by some ethereal glow. Every now and then a little cloud of smoke would rise, resulting from her silent drags on her cigar. Finally, she spoke.

“We have come to realize that, for the past two weeks, DeMons have been present when Vampiric Pokemon were attacking. It seems as though this is just a strange coincidence though, for there is no proof that these two happenings are connected. We know that Vampiric Pokemon are maddened, like Summoned Pokemon, and will viciously assault anyone or thing in their vicinity. We know that certain ones cannot be Vampirized; some reasons are obvious, others are not. How is it a Golem can be Vampirized, yet not an Electrode?” Silence, then, “Maybe your little Psyduck can help us learn something...”

“So basically, neither you nor I know much on our own,” I said as Integra turned to face me. She inclined her head at my words, and I continued. “So here’s my deal. I’ll help you out, I don’t mind helping cure the Vampiric Pokemon. It’s terrible that this is being done to them...Anyways, here’s the thing: I want to be kept in the loop on anything you learn, while remaining my own agent. I’ll work with you, not for you, and I’ll also share with you anything I learn, in addition to helping with the Vampiric Pokemon. I want to make it clear that I’m not one of your soldiers, to be ordered about mindlessly. I want us to come to an understanding that I can leave at any time and not be challenged, and that you may dismiss me of my services at any time without argument on my part. I want to make it clear, basically, that you don’t own me.”

“You want to be independent of us, yet dependant on us, then? And we of you? That sounds an awful lot like something a traitor would say...”

“Then I suppose we’re done here,” I replied with a shrug, going to pick up Phaina and turning. Without a word I walked towards the door, feeling a little dejected. The woman knew of me, or at least my reputation, and still wanted to act like I was the same as every other non-human creature in existence. What she must have failed to realize is that I was Benign, and that “traitor” was a word I detested with all my being. I thought about telling her for a moment, but decided against it, as it would only make me seem desperate. Well, I was, but there was nothing to gain from letting it be known.

=We don’t need them anyways,= Musa said softly, obviously picking up on my distress and correctly identifying the cause. =We can learn what we need on our own, and cure the Vampiric Pokemon as we run into them.=

“Thanks,” I said softly, reaching for the door as I came to it. However, just as my claw-tips were touching the metal of the knob, Integra called faintly, “Wait.” I froze, my hand-paw ready to close around the knob, but I didn’t turn or say anything. Instead I waited, wanting the human to continue on her own. “Your pardon, DeMon. You’re right. Neither of us can afford to be tied to the other. These days, I have enough problems to worry about than whether or not a stray DeMon wishes to be under my command. And you should be free to leave as you see fit. I suppose I spoke out of turn.”

“Well, if it helps, I’m Benign,” I offered as I turned, finding that Integra had sat back down. “And we Benign creatures don’t much like traitors, in case you didn’t know. In fact, I’d say we outright hate them. If you want to know just how much, consider this: Benign creatures don’t like killing unless absolutely necessary, right? Well, we’ll kill a traitor outright, if they did it out of malice and have no remorse or regret.”

“If they did it out of malice...?”

“There are times when you’ve got to hurt someone you care about in order to help them,” I replied with a shrug. “And technically that’s no being a traitor, I guess.”

“I suppose my comment was more out of turn than I thought,” Integra said. “I had no idea that you might be Benign. I assumed you might simply be an over-manipulative DeMon seeking things for your own gain.”

“Heh, Benign DeMon are pretty rare, I know, so no harm, no foul,” I responded, smiling a little. “So do we have a deal? Forgive the cliche, I hate them but tend to use them a lot, annoyingly.”

“We have ourselves a deal,” Integra repeated, nodding firmly. “You will now be an unofficial operative of Hellsing, not working for us, but with us. You will be given free roam of the mansion, save for Alucard’s domain of the dungeons. He will tell you where you are and aren’t welcome. You are under no one’s command, and only my suggestion. To the same extent, however, you will have no command over any man not directly placed under you by my orders. You will be given full soldier rights, and any intelligence we gain on the subject of Vampiric Pokemon will be passed to you. In exchange for all of this, you will assist us in dealing with Vampiric Pokemon we come across, as well as delivering information on them you may acquire. You may leave as you see fit, as I am free to dismiss you of your service if we no longer need you. These are the terms to our agreement.”

“I understand,” I said. “Everything sounds good to me.”

“I’m glad to hear it,” Integra replied, reaching for a phone sitting near the computer on her desk. “Now then, I’ll have Walter show you to Doctor Kreil’s section, and once you’ve been taken care of and fed we’ll have a little meeting of sorts.” She then flicked her hand at me and turned away, and I recognized the gesture as a dismissal. I started to bristle, because we had just made a deal that I wasn’t to be treated like a common soldier! Then Integra added, “You're free to go now DeMon. But before you do, what is your name?”

“Just call me Nee,” I said with a grin.

***
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Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 10-02-2009 at 03:25 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2008, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Order Two, con't

"I stand before, a road that will lead,
Into the unknown, at least unknown to me..."


The man Integra kept calling Walter arrived a few minutes after the young Hellsing woman called him, entering the large room with a courtly bow before facing me.

“Good evening, ma’am,” he said. These British men, always so polite and gentlemanly. Well, most of them anyways. I’d met quite a few of them I wouldn’t have minded giving a good smack or two for their lack of manners. “If you’d follow me, I’ll take you to Doctor Kreil’s quarters.” I nodded, and he turned and led the way out of the room.

As I followed behind him, I found myself surprised by his age. He was easily in his sixties, but there was a lean, delicately controlled power in him. He held himself the way only someone confident in their strength and ability can, and despite the his age I knew he could easily take me one-on-one. He was in very good health for a human of his years, as well. Slender, but not overly skinny, with a fair amount of muscle on his bones. His hair fell to about halfway down his back, pulled in a simple ponytail and shockingly free of gray. Trust me, that raven black hair was natural, not obtained through a bottle of dye. I highly doubted he actually needed the monocle he wore; I was sure those dark gray eyes of his were just as sharp now as they’d been thirty or forty years ago. Most likely he wore it for show.

=He must be a butler or something,= Musa muttered as we walked a few paces behind him. =His clothes...their color and style remind me of servants I saw a few decades ago. It wasn’t the exact same, of course, but there were similar elements.= I bobbed my head absently, more intrigued by the odd gold circlets around the old human’s upper arms than his clothing. The way they gleamed in the dull light of the hallways was almost hypnotising, and it took an effort to pull my attention away from them. Afterwards, I focused on the off-white and dark gray-blue of the human’s shirt and vest.

“So, ah, what exactly do you do?” I asked, attempting to strike up some friendly conversation to learn more about someone I would obviously be seeing a lot. Walter gave a soft chuckle as we turned a corner and headed down a wide series of concrete stairs.

“Well, many years ago I was one of the prime soldiers of Hellsing. Then I aged, as we humans do, and I retired to the position of retainer, as well as a weapons specialist. I designed and made Alucard’s guns, for example. Recent circumstances have had me seeing quite a bit of action in the field, though. It’s actually somewhat refreshing, to be honest. The life of a butler is a slow and easy one, but very boring when you’re used to the action and thrill of the battle.”

“Heh, I wouldn’t really know. I’m not much of a fighter myself, despite my appearance.”

“A Garchomp DeMon who’s not much of a fighter? A DeMon period who’s not much of a fighter?”

“Oh, that, well...my becoming a DeMon was more on accident than purpose. I’m a Benign DeMon, see.” I quickly retold the story of how I’d met an injured Garchomp and possessed her in order to end her suffering.

“I see,” Walter replied when I’d finished. “How lucky for you and her both that all those incidents took place in the same time frame.”

“Yeah, though for a while I considered it more of a freaky coincidence.”

And so we talked for a while, and Walter was politely surprised when I revealed that I was a few years younger than his sixty-three.

“Dear me, you don’t look an hour over twenty ”

“Well, Demons and DeMons both age a lot slower than humans do. I’m still pretty young, by DeMon standards.”

After a bit more walking and stair-descending, we came to one of the sub-levels of the mansion. I suppose it could have been the first sub-basement or something. Actually, it wasn’t even that: all the floor consisted of was a wide, long hallway. One either side were five doors, though only the one farthest from us on the right side was open. Cold light spilt from the doorway into the dimly-lit hall, casting odd shadows and seeming to beckon and warn away at the same time. It was quite eerie, honestly. I came to a halt as Walter walked on a few more paces before realizing I was no longer following him.

“Something wrong, ma’am?”he asked as he turned back to face me, and I gave a little scowl.

“Ugh, please, don’t call me that. It’s too formal. Nee will do, thanks.”

“Nee, then. Is something troubling you?”

“Ah, no, just a little jumpy I guess.”

“Understandable.” The old human smiled a bit. “I assure you that Doctor Kreil is much more amiable than Alucard, and less prone to shooting you.” He nodded his head back in the direction of the open door. “I’ll drop in and explain things to him, or you could do it yourself if you like.”

“I think it would be kind of a shock for the poor guy if I just waltzed in declaring I needed to have a shot shoulder and scarred Psyduck checked out. He’d probably have a heart attack, which would be really ironic.”

“Yes, you have a point. Well then, let’s go get you and your friend checked out then,” Walter said, turning away from me and walking on. I followed after a second, staring nervously into the darkening shadows as I walked closer to the open door. No crazy, trigger-happy Vampires or ugly DeMon leapt out at me, though, and a few seconds later I watched as Walter made his way into the doctor’s room. I waited outside, my eyes darting here and there as I took in what I could see of the room. Walter walked to the right and soon vanished from view, though I could hear him and another man speaking.

My immediate view of the room was of several long, thin metal tables, each with a thick white cloth draped over it. Complicated machinery reminiscent of a hospital was stuck at odd intervals, along with IV stands, small metal stands on wheels with surgical equipment on them, and a computer taking up the entire top of a table to the left. The walls and ceiling were white, which reflected, somewhat overwhelming, in the shiny linoleum of the floor. The effect was made even more dizzying by the glaring white fluorescent lights set into the ceiling, again reminding me of a hospital. The sharp tang of powerful cleaners and sterilizers made my nose and the back of my throat sting, and I coughed softly a few times as I snorted.

“...going to be helping us,” Walter was saying now. “So the faster you can get her and her Bound taken care of, the better.”

“Bring them in then, and let’s have a look ” replied the deep, resonant English voice that obviously was the Doctor’s. There came the scuffing of shoes on linoleum, then Walter stepped into view. He smiled and gave a small bow, motioning for me to enter the room. I did so hesitantly, coughing more as I blinked and glanced to the right, seeking the human that was going to check my shoulder and Phaina’s scar. When I found him, I was, to say the least, shocked.

He was nothing like what I was expecting. Tall, almost as tall as Alucard, and wide. Not fat, just...wide. Like a bouncer for a club or something. No doubt his frame required special measurements in order to have his clothes fit properly. His shoulders were broad, and under his off-gray shift and gleaming white slacks were visible, corded muscles. One of his hands could have completely covered my face. In sharp contrast to his clothing was his dark skin. It was as if he was out in the sun too much or something. His caramel hair was only a few shades darker than his skin, giving him an otherworldly appearance. A few stray bangs were hanging in his bright emerald eyes, though he didn’t seem to be bothered by it.

“So, you’re helping us out are you? Well, even if you weren’t, orders are orders, and I’m the last person you’d find going against Sir Hellsing’s wishes,” Kreil said as he walked over, his light brown shoes squeaking faintly as they shifted against the floor. I nodded slowly a few times as te man came to a stop about a foot away, looming over me by at least a foot. I tilted my head to look back at him, impressed with his stature, but not intimidated. The doctor’s bright eyes twinkled as his lips lifted into a please smile. “Might not have the craziness or the ugliness of a DeMon, but you’ve got the guts of one ” he exclaimed, giving me a friendly smack on my unwounded shoulder. I smiled in return, grateful he hadn’t just landed that blow on my other one; despite being light and compainionly, it had still packed a bit of force behind it.

“I’ve got the craziness if you make me mad enough, and the ugliness too,” I said, earning a deep, booming laugh from Kreil.

“I won’t believe it until I see it, friend.” He gave a wink, then folded his arms over his chest, becoming more serious. “Now then, what do I need to have a look at?”

“Erm, well, Phaina here has a nasty scar on the back of her head, and I guess Integra wanted you to see if you could tell what was done to her and all. And then I have a bullet in my shoulder.”

“Mmm-hmmm,” Kreil hummed as he shifted his gaze to the Psyduck in my arms. Phaina gave a little quack of hello, then bent her head down so the human could study her scar. “My, this isn’t too old,” Kreil murmured as he bent a little, running a finger lightly over the thick knot of mended flesh. “But I’ll worry about that in a moment. For now let’s worry about fixing up your shoulder.” He straightened and turned, walking over to a nearby table and plucking some gloves from a box sitting on it. “Where exactly were you shot?”

“Er, the back, near my shoulder blade. Right side,” I offered, and Kreil nodded as he pulled on the blue surgical gloves. “Uh, I’m not sure, but I think the shoulder blade might have gotten hit too.”

“We’ll find out,” the human said, waving at a large, white-yellow metal box attached to a mechanical arm some feet away. “We’ll take some x-rays and find out where that bullet is, and see if any damage was done to any of your bones. Go stand in front of that wall there...here, you can set your Bound on the floor and she can stand by you...” I did as he said, bending and setting Phaina down. I then walked over to the wall that Kreil had indicated, studying the large metal box and mechanical arm as I passed them. The box looked like a square camera, when I got a look at the front of it. There was a large, clear disk of glass in the middle, around which was a square handle. Thick wires ran from the box to various parts of the mechanism that held it up. I cocked my head at it, my wings twitching a little in curiosity.

=It’s called an x-ray machine,= Musa said, answering my unspoken question. =I’ve seen several in hospitals, before I met Boka. They take pictures of your bones using special rays. The pictures are called x-rays, shockingly enough.= The Ghost gave a smile at his own wit. =The rays can also show solid things like bullets and such.=

“Huh,” I replied, and Phaina pressed herself against my leg as she stared up at, to her at least, the intimidating machine.

“All right, let’s do this,” Kreil said as he came over, gently gripping my good shoulder and moving me into place in front of the metal box. “Erm, I hope your modesty doesn’t suffer any indignation, but you have to remove your shirt. The fabric can interfere with the rays the machine uses.”

“Er, no problem,” I said with a shrug, though indeed my modesty was very indignant with the request. Sighing, I went through the tedious motions of removing the shirt without damaging it, Kreil watching me in fascination the whole time.

“You bone structure must be like a human’s from your torso up, yet you move with much more flexibility than a human would have. Your muscles must be attached in different places, despite the similarities in bone structure, or there could be slight differences in build...and tendons and ligaments that don’t exist in humans probably lend some of that flexibility of course, but even though you resemble a human it’s silly to make assumptions like you are one...” he muttered, marveling at how I twisted and shifted to keep from ripping the shirt up anymore. When I finally got the shirt off, Kreil peered closely at my waist with a look of intense concentration. “With your torso sunk in so much, I wonder how your organs must be aligned and such? And your ribs look awfully thin, but a spider’s silk is much stronger than steel thread of the same size and thickness, so it doesn’t much matter how thick they are I suppose. And the way your human and Garchomp components seamlessly meld together is amazing...”

“Er, yeah, amazing,” I repeated dully, and Kreil’s eyes rose to my face as he gave an abashed laugh.

“I’m sorry, dear, it’s just I’ve only seen DeMon in their, er, flamboyant Pure form. I’ve never seen one in Hybrid form, so your build and structure and all that is very interesting to me. If it’s not too much trouble, would you mind being my living subject during your free time?”

“As long as you don’t stick me with any needles or do un-kosher tests on me and stuff, then I don’t mind, I guess.”

“Excellent, thank you, Lady DeMon!” Kreil exclaimed merrily, clapping his large hands together like a small child who’d just received a much-wanted gift.

“Nee will do, thanks,” I told the human, who nodded his head absently.

“Right. Now then, your shoulder. Does it hurt at all? From the way you moved it a moment ago, it seems to not be causing you much pain.”

“Well, I healed most of the damage earlier, and then I was unconscious for a while, so it’s had more time to get better since then. It doesn’t so much hurt as it does ache. Annoying, but tolerable.”

“I see,” Kreil replied as he turned, going to the machine and flipping some switch or another. The large piece of equipment started humming softly as it came on, and Kreil came over to me after checking a few things. “Here, stand to the side like this...” he muttered, turning me to face the right. He gently pushed my chin up with a forefinger, forcing me to lift my head for some reason. I gave a faint snort, and the human smiled a bit. “Straightening your spine is all, makes the x-rays easier to read.” After a second he pulled away, nodded and walked back to the machine. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him grip the gate around the lens and adjust the metal box a few times. “All right, deep breath, that’s it, now hold still for a second...” A second later there came a dull sort of “whirring” noise, then a dull click. There was a brief flare of light from the lens, but it faded about a second later.

“Is that it?” I asked, and Kreil chuckled as he came over.

“I need to get one from the front and one from the back, and then that’ll be it. What did you expect?”

“Well, I’ve never seen one of these before, much less know how they work,” I answered defensively, and the human smiled a little as he spread his hands in surrender.

“Fair enough,” he said. Then he had me face the machine and took another x-ray, and finally had me face the wall while he took the third and final one. After he was done, he had me sit in a chair while the x-rays processed. He stood behind the tall metal seat, which put my head level with his, and gently prodded my injured shoulder.

“You’re pretty lucky, actually,” he said as he worked. “Your wing muscle wasn’t hit head-on. There could be some damage to it elsewhere, but none that would incapacitate your wing permanently.” He stopped pushing around my shoulder for a moment, and I could sense him leaning closer as he inspected whatever evidence was left of my wound. “This is an awfully clean heal; there’s only a neat little hole to show where the bullet entered. How bad was this before you healed?”

“Well, I couldn’t see it, but I could feel it. It was pretty nasty from what I could tell: my shoulder was pretty ripped up.”

“Which is nothing that I wouldn’t expect. Amazing...” The last was muttered under the human’s breath, and I gave an inward sigh as I rolled my eyes. All I wanted was to be treated, not be ooh’ed and aah’ed over. Seeming to sense my impatience, Kreil went back to the task at hand. “Er, anyways, I can’t feel the bullet, so it must be embedded pretty deep. Once I see exactly where it is, we can decide if local anesthesia is enough, or if we’ll have to put you under to get it out.”

“Eh, what?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I keep forgetting you’re not familiar with medical terms,” Kreil said. “Local anesthesia is when a part of the body is numbed so minor surgery can be done. Full anesthesia, which is also known, less formally, as “putting one under,” is when the person is made to fall into a deep sleep in which pain won’t wake them. It’s used when more serious or time-consuming surgeries are called for. If that bullet is really deep, then local anesthesia won’t really be enough to numb the area sufficiently. Putting you under will cause less stress and pain to you.”

“Oh, I see. How much longer will it take for the x-rays to be ready?”

“A few more minutes,” Kreil replied with a chuckle. “Not very patient, are you?”

“Not really, no.”

Silence fell as Kreil continued checking my shoulder. I glanced around absently and was surprised to find Walter standing by the door; I'd thought the old human had left. His was facing out through the doorway towards the hall, hands clasped behind his back. I could see his mouth moving, and with a bit of focus I could pick up on his words.

“...and be fast about it. I know you have a short attention span, but do try not to get distracted too much this time. I expect you to be back within a few days.” I caught a flash of purple wing as whatever the old human was talking to turned in the doorway, then hurriedly faced away before Walter could see me looking. My stomach roiled a little with unease; I had the feeling I had seen and heard something I wasn’t meant to. I didn’t understand the feeling, but if it was one thing a DeMon never did, it was go against their instincts and gut feelings.

For some reason, Walter was not to be trusted.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Order Two, con't

Finally, Kreil stopped prodding my shoulder and went to collect the x-rays. As he walked off, I leaned down and muttered, "Guys, did either of you hear anything Walter was saying just now or see what he was talking too?"

=Sorry, I was dozing,= Phaina responded groggily, blinking up at me from where she was sitting by the chair. I glanced up at Musa, who trembled in a way that translated to a shake of the head.

=Me neither, I didn’t even realize he was still around,= the Ghost said, his voice growing tight. =Do you think we should keep an eye on him?=

"Yeah," I said, telling them what I had overheard and the purple wing I’d seen. "I think it was a Crobat, since they’re the only Pokemon with purple wings."

=We’ll make sure to watch him,= Musa assured me, a glint coming into his eyes. =And listen, as well.= Phaina nodded, yawning as she stretched, and a few moments later I turned to see Kreil walking back over, a small packet in his right hand. I also saw Walter, still standing by the door, but now looking at me. I pretended not to notice, keeping my gaze from lingering on him for more than a breath, and turned my attention back to Kreil. I forced back a shudder, trying to ignore the prickles making their way down my spine.

Definitely not to be trusted.

A moment later, Kreil was standing in front of a wall with some sort of opaque window attached to it. Running along the entire top of the long thin window was some protruding bit of pale yellow material. I watched as Kreil flicked a switch on the left side of the window, causing it to light up with bright blue illumination. Then he opened the packet and pulled out a long, thin sheet of what looked like plastic. It looked black at first, until the doctor jammed in into the protrusion along the top of the window. When he released it, the x-ray was held in place, and I could see it was actually a translucent shade of gray. Except now parts of it looked blue, thanks to the light of the window.

Curious, I slid off the seat and padded over to stand by the human, Phaina and Musa following behind me. I stared at the first x-ray as Kreil pulled out the other two and hung them a few inches apart. The human pointed out the things in each of the x-rays that would help him determine where the bullet was and what kind of damage had been done. The most obvious thing was a bright blue dot visible in all the pictures, which Kreil said was the bullet.

“We’ll have to put you under,” the doctor said as he turned to face me. “The bullet is closer to your chest than your back, but there are bone splinters from where the bullet struck your shoulder blade.” He turned back to the x-rays and pointed at the one that had been taken with my back to the machine. His index finger traced a circle around a cluster of long, thin silvers of blue. “These need to be removed as well, since leaving them there can cause infection. So I’ll remove the bullet from the original wound after I get those bone fragments. Then we’ll flush it out and make sure the wound is all clean, suture it up, and you’ll be good as new!”

“You don’t have to give me stitches. You can just put something over it, like a band aid, to keep it clean until I wake up. Then I can heal the wound myself.” Kreil lifted an eye at the comment.

“Fear of needles?”

“No, it’s not that, not at all. I just…I would rather heal on my own.” I shrugged, unable to really convey my feelings about the situation. “I mean…I know I can’t heal this wound on my own and that I need some help. But once you’ve cleaned it up, I can take it from there. I just…”

“You’re not used to relying on others for aid,” Kreil said softly. I knew the words, while sounding like a question, were a statement. I was silent as the human faced me again. “You’re used to being on your own, caring for yourself, healing your own ills and pains, bearing the hurt by yourself.”

“I’m Benign,” I muttered, refusing to look at him. “When I was a Demon, I had my Clan to help me out, to rely on. I still have them even now, when I’m not a Demon, not even related to my own mother or father anymore.” Still, the human was right. As much as the members of my Clan loved one another, even me, there was only so much they would do for each other. Injuries, if not life-threatening, were seen as challenges to overcome on one’s own. There were no words of comfort and solace for pain, only encouragement to stick it out and become stronger for it. I remembered a time I had broken a wing, when I was much younger and just barely learning how to use my healing powers. My own mother had refused to help me or comfort me, but had instead instructed me in healing the break. It had been so painful, physically and emotionally. All I had wanted was a hug and some gentle words of reassuring, and instead I’d gotten a detailed description of how to heal my wounds.

Silence loomed for a long while, me brooding over what Kreil had said, Phaina pressed consolingly against my right leg, Musa hovering protectively behind my head. Kreil watched me for several moments before returning his gaze to the x-rays. When he finally spoke, I gave a little start as I pulled myself to the present.

“The surgery will take about an hour, two at the most. We’ll get to that in a moment though: first, I want to take a look at your friend’s mystery scar,” he said, and I nodded silently as I bent down and scooped Phaina up. She wiggled a little, getting comfortable, and gave a little quack of happiness as Kreil patted her on the head with a smile.

“Go on Phaina, show him,” I said, and the Psyduck nodded as she bent her head down. Kreil bobbed his head a few times as he ran a finger over the raised scar.

“Not very old at all, maybe a month or two. I’ll have to examine it more thoroughly before I can give you anything worth listening to, but two things are obvious right away. One, the wound this is a result of was done either very hastily or with a very blunt cutting utensil. The inner edges are all very jagged and rough, and these lighter streaks indicate violent or sudden ripping in the flesh. Second, because of the severity of this scar, it’s obvious the tear was neither sutured nor cared for properly afterwards.” The man scowled a little as he looked up from his inspection, eyes boring into me. “What happened to her?”

“Vampires,” I replied, “are what happened to her. They captured her, took her from her mother, and did something to her to make her Vampiric.” At this, Kreil’s eyebrows shot up, and a trace of alarm spread across his features. I shook my head, adding, “When I Bound her, she was cured. She’s normal now.”

“Walter explained that you were going to help with curing Vampiric Pokemon, but he didn’t say anything about your little Psyduck here having been one.” The human patted the back of Phaina’s head, as if apologizing for having been startled when I’d said she’d been Vampiric. “Anyways, after I’ve fixed your shoulder I’ll take a closer look at her scar, take an x-ray or two to make sure there’s no unseen damage that needs to be addressed, that sort of thing.” Kreil clapped his hands together after he spoke, smiling a bit. “Come on, let’s get you ready.”

I followed him to one of the cots, which he waved to. I set Phaina on the floor and then sat on the cot, watching Kreil as he adjusted a massive light fixture situated above me. He flicked it on, and for a moment I could only see white. Then I blinked and looked away, my eyes watering and stinging from the sudden flare.

“Sorry about that, I didn’t realize you were looking at it,” the man said, and I shook my head as I reached up to wipe away the tears streaming down my cheeks.

“Oh, it’s all right, I’ll live,” I told him, blinking as my blurry vision slowly cleared. When I could see normally again, I looked to the doctor and shrugged. “So, er, now what?”

“Lay down on your belly, get comfortable. Prop your chin on that pillow there, I’d have a guard for you to put your face instead, but they’re being cleaned and repaired right now, so the pillow will have to do…” he rambled. I did as he said, not knowing or asking what a guard was supposed to be used for. “Right, now just let your wings drop, they will when you go to sleep anyways.” I scowled a little as I let my wings droop to the floor. How degrading, slapped on a table on my stomach with my wings down. I twitched as they touched the cold linoleum floor, but resisted the urge to fold them again. “Now…” Kreil hustled around for a moment, then wheeled over a small, complicated-looking machine with all manners of buttons and knobs adorning it. A long, thin blue tube snaked from the right side, ending in a plastic mask that was made to fit over the nose and mouth. After flipping a switch and fiddling with some of the knobs, Kreil gently pressed the mask against my face. “Now breath in and out, nice and slow, like you’re relaxing after a hard day.”

I did as I was instructed as a faint hissing sound reached my ears. I considered asking exactly how this would make me fall asleep, but within seconds of thinking it I found myself getting drowsy. I blinked sluggishly, giving a faint snort or alarm. Kreil gave a little chuckle, somehow picking up on my unease.

“Don’t worry. It’s just a special combination of gases that knock you out for a few hours. Nothing to get anxious over.” Even as he spoke, though, Kreil’s voice started getting muffled and distant. I blinked again, slowly, then my eyes slid shut and seemed to glue themselves closed. I tried to open them, but the pull of sleep was too strong.

Seconds later, I was fast asleep.

***

"And I take, the first step of a million more.
And I'll make mistakes I've never made before.
But at least I'm moving forward,
at least I'm moving forward,
At least I'm moving forward..."


Over the next several days, I spent most of my time getting acquainted with the Hellsing mansion and its inhabitants. I had my “meeting of sorts” with Integra, which turned out to be a nice dinner as she explained Hellsing’s existence.

“We are charged by her Majesty the Queen with defending Great Britain and her shores. It is our sacred duty and task to eradicate the vermin that crawl these streets and alleys. We have been hunting and exterminating the threats and nuisances to mankind for generations, and will continue to do so until the last one is slain,” she’d declared, and I had been so caught up in the whole speech (which was much longer, mind you) that my steak had been completely forgotten until Integra mentioned it.

I had met two of the mansion’s more prominent figures the next evening. I learned that the one with the long hair and the eyes patch was named Pip Bernadotte, and that he was the French leader of a group of mercenaries known as the Wild Geese. The terms of employment he and his men had agreed to had something to do with “new challenges” and “making more money than God himself” or some such things. He had been walking with the other Vampire Hellsing had in service, Alcuard’s fledgling Seras Victoria. Both of them had spotted me as I aimlessly wandered the halls of the large estate, trying in vain to find my room.

“Ze DeMon!” Pip had exclaimed in a hushed voice. He apparently thought that I couldn’t hear him at five yards away. What he didn’t know was we DeMons have very good senses of sight, hearing, and smell. “I ‘ear zat she is going to be ‘elping us with ze Vampiric Pokemon, and zat she is free to leave whenever she pleases.”

“You’d be correct,” I’d replied with a grin, waving a hand-paw at the young man. He’d looked like a train was speeding towards him, paling quite magnificently upon realizing his private, one-sided conversation had been heard by me. “ The name is Nee, and these are Phaina and Musa.”

In addition to that, I learned about Hellsing’s greatest adversary, next to that of “threatening and troublesome non-humans.” Some group called the Iscariot Organization, and more specifically, a secret service sect known as Section Thirteen. Apparently, the two groups of supernatural hunters and slayers had gotten into several conflicts over the years. Not only that, but it seemed that Iscariot believed Hellsing incapable and incompetent when it came to the hunting and killing of Vampires. From how Integra had explained it, Iscariot was on one hell of a high horse because their organization had been in the business for centuries, as opposed to Hellsing’s paltry handful of decades.

“Apparently, the fact that Hellsing has the most powerful Vampire working for them doesn’t mean anything,” I’d said, and Integra had given a sort of forced smile.

“They have their own kind of monster,” she’d replied before telling me of Father Alexander Anderson, a human with insane genetic modifications that allowed him to regenerate himself just as much as Alucard could. He was what they called a Regenerator: not very original, but very accurate.

I also got a taste of what life with the No-Life King was like. More often than not, when I saw Alucard he was either spooking the various men under Pip’s command, spooking Pip, or accosting Seras. The young woman, as a result, often walked with her head down, short orange hair hiding her face as she meandered absently through the halls.

Unfortunately, he seemed keen on bothering me as well.

Three days after my joining of Hellsing, I was sitting on one of the many ledges that projected from the mansion’s roof. Phaina, being afraid of heights, had remained in my room, claiming she wanted to take a nap. The night he’d looked her over, Kreil had done an x-ray on her, which had given her strange headaches that still persisted. The x-ray itself was taking an unusual length of time to develop, which Kreil explained was probably an effect of the Psyduck’s psychic abilities. Musa had come with me; the Spiritomb and I had become close in the short time we were together, and he accompanied me everywhere.

That night, the Ghost was busy tracing patters in the air, and I was content to simply watch him as he weaved and bobbed, dove and twirled. It was almost like he was dancing to some silent melody, moving to a rhapsody only he could hear. My wings twitched restlessly, and I made the effort of slowly stretching all four of them. Just as I was unfolding my top-right one, though, I’d sensed the Vampire’s presence behind me. I started to turn to face him, then caught myself. If he wanted my attention he could ask for it.

“So this is where you’ve been hiding lately,” Alucard drawled, and I let out a small growl as I resumed stretching my wing.

“You must have really sucked at hide-and-seek as a kid, if this is your idea of hiding. I bet you were the one standing on top of a rock shouting that no one could ever find you in a million years,” I countered, and Alucard laughed in a malicious sort of way.

“I was always the hunter, not the hunted,” he said, and I gave a shudder despite myself. There was more to that comment than was obvious, much more. “Unlike you, it seems.”

“Excuse me?” I asked coldly, finally turning to face the Vampire. I gave a little start when I saw he was closer than I’d thought: only a foot or so of space separated us. I glowered up at him, growling at the smirk that had spread across his pale face. He didn’t have his signature sunglasses on this night, and I found myself glaring daggers directly into his crimson eyes.

“The rumors about you, of course,” Alucard said, feigning innocence. “That your fellow DeMons hunt you down for being Benign. That you yourself prefer to avoid confrontation instead of going out to destroy those who would dare think so little of you.”

“They aren’t my “fellow” DeMons,” I retorted hotly, my out-stretched wing snapping back into a folded position. My lips lifted into a disgusted snarl as my lower-right wing unfolded. “They’re twisted mockeries of what their Hosts used to be. They’re heartless monsters with no place in this world. Every last one of them deserves to die.”

“Yet you allow them to live, allow them to pursue you and harass you like some injured, helpless deer,” Alucard jeered. “Maybe if you stood up for yourself instead of always avoiding the conflict, they’d give you the respect you deserve?”

“What do you think you possibly know about it?!” I snarled angrily, folding my stretched wing so suddenly I felt a joint pop. “Allow them to live? There are millions of them, and one of me. I can’t go out and declare a personal war on each of them! As for standing up for myself, I do that very well, I should have you know. You claim you’ve heard the rumors. Shouldn’t that mean you’ve heard that all of the DeMons who try to kill me have instead been killed?”

“Excuses,” Alucard said shortly. “They come to you and you kill them. The ones that come to you are always the weak ones, trying to prove themselves. You have to go out and find the stronger ones, the ones who have no need to prove themselves. You have to destroy them to show how strong you are, and then they will realize you’re not to be trifled with. Yet you don’t. You slink in the shadows and are content to let the weaklings keep coming.”

“Paradoxes aren’t fun,” I muttered as I stretched both of my life-side wings at once. “You say the weak ones go out in search of battles while the strong don’t because they don’t need to prove themselves. Yet I’m not out looking to fight, so shouldn’t that make me strong and not weak?”

“No. The situation is different for you. You have yet to prove yourself as being strong because you let yourself get pushed around by the weaklings. Rumors alone aren’t enough to deflect an opponent hopped up on their ego.”

“Gods and Goddesses, what the hell does it matter?” I growled, folding my wings as I turned to watch Musa. He was still tracing his patterns in the air, but was now facing us as he did. I assumed he was keeping an eye on things for now, just in case this little exchange of words should escalate to something more. “I don’t care about any of that. They might deserve to die, but I don’t find it to be my responsibility to see to it that they do. Unless they come at me directly or I encounter them through other means, why should I bother going to destroy them? At any rate, I know my own strength, so it doesn’t matter what others might think they know about it. I don’t see any need in going out to prove myself.”

“The words of a coward,” Alucard purred behind me, his silky tone dripping with mockery and disdain. “Pretty words to hide the fear that you’re not as strong as you-” The Vampire’s words were cut off as I let out a snarling little yelp of anger, snapping my left arm and behind me as I channeled a blast of my Electricity Profession at him. The sparkling tendril of yellow-and-blue lightening struck the Vampire in the chest, knocking him off his feet and sending him sprawling on his back a few feet away. In the same motion I gracefully rose to my feet-paws, lips pulled back in a tight snarl as my wings unfurled part-way. Behind me, Musa made a warning noise that was between a sigh and a cough. Whether it was directed at me or Alucard, I didn’t know. I didn’t really care either, at that moment. The Vampire had just crossed the line in calling me a coward.

“A coward?! Get up, VAMPIRE, and I’ll show you how much of coward I am!” I said, my words snapping out with each step as I advanced on where the Vampire was sitting up. I growled deeply when I noticed the maniac grin plastered across his lips, growled even more as he rose to his feet and absently patted at his charred, smoking shirt.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Order Two, con't

“Sadly, I don’t have the time to stay and play,” Alucard said with a chuckle. “This is the time of night when I have to go and watch the Police-Girl choose to remain the weak, pitiful thing she so desperately wants to remain.”

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a little bit of humanity,” I replied irritably as the Vampire turned from me. Seras had told me how consumed Alucard had become of late with trying to get her to drink blood. Every night for the past several weeks, it seemed, he would stand behind her as she again and again refused to feed from the blood packets Integra obtained for the two Undead., all the while taunting and tormenting her for her choice.

“The thing about that is, we are not human. We may have been, once, but that was wiped away when we made the decision to turn our backs from the light and embrace the darkness,” Alucard responded as began to walk off. “And she did make the decision. It’s time for her to quit acting as if she hasn’t. It’s time for her to acknowledge what she willingly became. It’s time for her to stop being weak.”

“Why is it so hard for you to see there’s more to us than just being strong or weak?” I shouted after the retreating Vampire, and wasn’t surprised when he didn’t answer. “Gah, get back here dammit!” Again I was unheeded, and seconds later Alucard had vanished.

Long after he’d left, I’d been agitated by his cold, precise nature. Of course, I shouldn’t have let it bother me so much, because I knew what he was like from all the stories I’d heard about him. It was always about who was stronger and who was weaker, always about who could kill who. Still, he appeared just like the DeMons I hated so much in that moment that he spoke so badly about Seras. So uncaring, so heartless, reveling so much in the destruction of others, trying to force what he believed was strength upon someone he deemed unworthy. After that moment, I felt a strong sense of connectedness with the younger Vampire. We both had to deal with those who were obsessed simply with the task of flaunting their strength and tearing down any who thought differently.

Then the agitation passed with the speed of a beating heart as I realized, in horror, that I had actually attacked the mightiest un-living Vampire in the world. The thought of my recklessness set me atremble, and I took several fast, deep breaths to calm myself. Musa floated over to hover comfortingly by my side, his essence brushing against my shoulder.

=The fact that you dared act against him like that, I think, gained you just a smidgen of respect,= he told me. =He, for one, has realized you’re not to be trifled with. I’d be careful in the future, though. He may decide you’re the perfect one to goad if he thinks it’ll get that kind of reaction out of you. He’s always looking for the perfect battle, the perfect opponent. If he gets it in his head that that’s you, it could make things a lot more complicated.=

Finally, the night came when I was called into Integra’s office to discuss the possibility of a mission. Walter escorted me to the large room, and I was surprised to find Alucard, Seras, and Pip there as well. Four pairs of eyes turned to face me, and I ignored them all except Integra’s.

“Very well, now that everyone is accounted for, let me begin,” the young woman started as she leaned forward in her chair, elbows on the desk, hands clasped before her. “We’ve just received word via intelligence that a dried-out corpse has been found in the Newport Recreations Park, in one of the heavily wooded areas. Special agents who were called in to examine the body and look for evidence found two interesting things. One,” she pulled her hands apart and held up a finger, “is that the tracks around the victim were those of Pokemon. Specifically, a Lickitung and a Riolu. Two,” and here she raised a second finger, “is that the body was covered in sets of small puncture makes. Some of the sets were bigger than the others.

Also, it seems people have been reporting sightings of Riolu and Lickitung in the woods, even though they normally don’t live there. There was no suspicion, though, and no attacks before this one, so no records were made of the sightings except for population levels data.

"Now, though, one of the agents has decided to call us in to investigate. He is a source, if you will; someone outside of Hellsing and the Round Table who we keep in the loop because of the services it offers. He wants us to go to the area the corpse was found and locate the Lickitung and Riolu. He’s certain that, based on information we have exchanged, these Pokemon are Vampiric. He wishes for us to come in and take care of the matter.

“Now then, Nee, you will of course be going to Bind and cure these Pokemon. Alucard will accompany you so you don’t have to battle them alone.” I started to protest that, getting ready to tell Integra I didn’t need the Vampire when I had my Bound to help me. The woman held up a gloved hand to cut me off though, and I grudgingly complied. “I would rather your Bound remain here where you won’t have to worry about them.”

=Nonsense!= Musa exclaimed heatedly, jerking back and forth in his agitation. Phaina pressed herself against my leg, a motion she’d made into habit and did when scared or upset. =Nee doesn’t need to worry about us and we won’t let her face any foes on her own, especially NOT with just that VAMPIRE to protect her!=

“I’m sorry, but I cannot understand your words,” Integra said softly to the Ghost, which instantly made him fall still. “However, I understand what you mean. Your reaction tells me clearly what yours words can’t. I know you don’t wish to remain here while Nee goes off without you, but it is for the best. Perhaps she doesn’t need to worry about you, but she will, and it might cause her to make an ill decision in battle.”

=But she is our DeMon,= Musa replied faintly. He looked at me, and I gave a shake of my head.

“She’s right though,” I said, hating it even as I said it, hating it all the more because it was true. I would worry about them, Phaina especially. “You guys should stay here. I’ll be fine, don’t worry.” Musa said nothing, but his form drooped a bit in defeat. I glanced down at Phaina, who looked scared. I smiled at her, trying to reassure the little Pokemon, then looked back up at Integra. She nodded, then glanced at Seras and Pip.

“You two will provide any back-up that may be needed. If other Pokemon are disturbed by the battle and try to interfere, it will be your job to keep them occupied until Nee is finished with Binding the targets. You’re also charged with making sure no one stumbles upon the battle. You’ll both be taking your Pokemon, and Walter will provide you with each with enough of the Tanks to fill your teams. Pip, you’re also in charge of getting everyone to and from Newport. Our source has prepared a boat for you to take, so we don’t have to worry about acquiring one ourselves.”

“When do we leave, my Master?” Alucard asked from behind me, and Integra laced her finger together as she leaned back in her chair, studying each of us in turn.

“You will depart immediately, and are to return as soon as the Pokemon have been Bound.” At this, Alucard chuckled a little.

“Very well, the let us depart,” he said. I looked back to face him in time to see him walk out the door. I scowled a little, then turned back to face Integra. She nodded at us.

“Good luck,” she said as she smiled faintly.

***

"So you want a piece of me - bring it on
Time is money, talk is cheap - bring it on
So if you're saying what you mean - bring it on
Bring it on, bring it on, bring it on, bring it on..."


About two hours later the four of us stepped from the boat and onto Newport Island. I glanced around, but found no one else present. Not very surprising, that. We had come around to the wooded area that had been indicated by a map Walter had showed us before we’d left the mansion.

There was no port or dock of any kind, but the shore was like a beach, so it was an easy matter for Seras and myself to drag the boat out of the water. We hauled it far enough up the sandy incline to ensure that it wasn’t swept away should the tide rise while we were busy with our mission.

Afterwards, the four of us trekked the small distance between the shore and the woods. The area we were crossing was full of short, stiff grass the crunched faintly when stepped upon, Despite that, it was surprisingly lush and soft against the bottoms of my feet-paws. Sand quickly gave way to cool, moist dirt, which my claws dug small furrows into as I walked. A small bush here and there held large blue berries that looked silver in the light of the shining moon: Oran berries. I trotted to a bush and snagged a branch full of the multi-flavored fruits, snapping it from the bush without a break in my stride. As I picked one of the berries from the branch and tossed it into my mouth, my eyes scanned the looming trees of the woods that were steadily growing closer.

“A Lickitung and a Riolu,” Pip said suddenly, and I glanced over at the lean human as he clasped his hands behind his head. “A Normal type and a Steel-Fighting type. ‘Ow do you think zat eez possible? I don’t think zat a Vampire would be able to bite through a Riolu’s steel hide. And vy would zey bozer with Pokemon anyways?”

“Er, Pip, the Vampires that are doing this aren’t going around biting random Pokemon,” I told the mercenary. “From what Phaina said and that nasty scar on the back of her head, it seems the Vampires are somehow turning the Pokemon Vampiric through surgery or something.”

“Has Kreil gotten that x-ray developed yet?” Seras inquired, and I shook my head.

“I guess Phaina’s psychic powers are still having lingering effects on it somehow. He said he’ll try again if it doesn’t develop in a day or two,” I answered. Seras opened her mouth to reply, but before she could say anything Alucard spoke.

“Bernadotte, Police-Girl, let your Pokemon out now. Order them to circle us as we move through the woods. Anyone coming towards us is to be turned away, any Pokemon trying to get in the way is to be dealt with accordingly. I will tolerate no distractions. Understand?”

“Uh, yes sir!” Pip exclaimed, a bit loudly. Seras, as was her habit, meekly replied with a timid, “Yes, Master.” We all came to a halt as the mercenary and fledgling reached into their pockets and grabbed out six PokeBalls each. Seras had four that were all white, and Pip had three similar ones. I recognized them as the Balls Walter had given them earlier.

“Er, what exactly are Tanks?” I asked, certain that Integra had been referring to the Pokemon contained in the ivory orbs as Seras and Pip released their Pokemon. She had said, after all, that Walter would be giving them as a way of filling the two’s teams.

“The Tanks are the bulky, aggressive Pokemon Walter trainers,” Seras replied as twelve PokeBalls cracked open and twelve flashes of white light lit up the field we were standing in. Several moments later, the flares died away, revealing the Pokemon the two Hellsing operatives had under their control.

In Seras’s party there were two Gyarados, two Aggron, a Flareon, and a Beedrill. The Gyarados rose their towering, blue-scaled bodies into the air as they stretched, their massive jaws opening wide and revealing large, deadly fangs. The frills growing the both sides of their maws, one on each side, fluttered as they swished their tails around. Then they slowly curled in on themselves, twitching the several fins that adorned their serpentine bodies, before locking their tri-pronged crests together in a mock battle. The two Aggron flexed their bulky gray bodies, the steel armor grating against their rocky hides. They waved their horns through the air, clenching their powerful paws into fists as the eyed one another. It looked like they’d start fighting, but then the two lost interest in one another and set to looking around. The Flareon trotted over to Seras and gave a happy little bark, swishing its bushy yellow tail through the air. Seras knelt to pat the orange Fire Fox between its large, diamond-shaped ears, then gave scratched the thick yellow mane circling its neck. The Beedrill buzzed over to hover beside Seras, its slender yellow-and-black striped body flitting up and down as its large clear wings pumped rapidly to keep it airborne. It tapped the massive white stingers at the end of its first two arms together gently, its wedge-shaped head cocking as large black eyes regarded the Vampire before it. Smiling, Seras reach up with her free hand to pat it on the head as well, and the Wasp gave a contented buzz.

Pip’s team consisted of a Gyarados, an Aggron, a Rhyperior, a Luxray, a Chatot, and a Lucario. The first three went to stand by the Tanks in Seras’s party, and the seven of them settled into what was obviously a routine of sparring. Meanwhile, the yellow-and-black Luxray sat beside Pip, its head level with its Trainer’s chest. Blazing yellow eyes took in the surroundings as the electric lion swished its tail, lifting a blue paw to rub at its thick mane. Blue ears twitched as it watched the Chatot as the multi-colored bird circled Pip’s head. After a few rotations, it alighted on Pip’s right shoulder, the note-shaped feather atop its head shaking as the little Pokemon ruffled its yellow breast feathers. Then it spread its baby blue wings, the metronome-shaped feathers that made up its tail ticking back and forth at a steady rate as it chirped, “Hello, hello, hello,” and shook the white crest around its neck. Then its blunt orange beak snapped shut and its eyes slid closed. The Lucario watched it with a little smile, and the bipedal, blue-furred jackal turned to face me, lavender eyes bright as its boomerang-shaped tail lifted stiffly. Long ears swiveled towards me, the spikes on the backs of its paws held out towards me as the creamy tan fur around its chest, stomach, and back bristled a little.

I, too, tensed up, reacting the the slightly threatening manner the Lucario was presenting. A soft male voice floated through my mind, tinged with disdain as Pip stepped up to the jackal and placed a hand on his shoulder.

~What is this, Master? Why is this thing here? Are we to fight it?~ he asked, and I felt my anger starting to pique at being called a “thing.”

“Non non, Guerrier! Zis eez our ally! ‘Er name eez Nee. Be polite.” Guerrier was tense for a heartbeat longer, then relaxed. His tail lowered to its natural position and his ears twisted away from me a little, his paws falling to his sides as he bowed his head at me.

~Forgive my rudeness, it’s just that we have had many unpleasant encounters with DeMons in the past.~

“Aahh, it’s all right,” I said, waving the issue away. “Everyone makes mistakes and bad assumptions.”

By this time, Seras had ordered her Pokemon to fan out and keep away any other Pokemon or people passing them. Pip scowled at her and ordered his Pokemon to do the same, only to fan out behind us instead of in front, as Seras’s party was doing. His team moved out, except for the Chatot, which was still perched on his shoulder. I cocked my head at the little bird, and Pip smiled as he reached up to rub a finger on the Pokemon’s head.

“She makes distractions for me, but she’s not very strong. She wouldn’t be able to ‘old off a Pokemon or someone determined to get past ‘er.”
__________________
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Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 10-02-2009 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 04-26-2008, 03:44 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Order Two, con't

“Let’s go,” Alucard interjected suddenly as he started off. I glared at his back as he walked by, then sighed and followed after him. In front of us, Seras’s Pokemon trotted off and spread out, and behind us I could hear Pip’s Pokemon positioning themselves. Within moments, the six creatures leading the way vanished into the foreboding woods, and soon we were swallowed up by the dark trees as well.

The woods were eerily quiet. The normal night sounds that should have filled the area were strangely absent; there were no Noctowl hooting, no howls of Mightyena checking one another’s locations, no huffing of Ursaring foraging, no bellows of one startled Stantler or another. It was as if the habitants of these woods had fled in light of the attack on the human, had fled in anticipation of the fevered hunt that would undoubtedly ignite once the corpse was discovered by other humans. It was as if the Pokemon had left their homes behind to make it easier for the Vampiric Pokemon to be found and punished for this.

I rubbed my arms as I looked around, my feet-paws moving over the light carpet of dead and decaying leaves and grass. The loamy scent of the woods permeated everything, and combined with the looming trees and pressing darkness, it created a sense of being closed in, captured, with no way out. I shuddered a little at the thought: I was no stranger to woods and forests, but this was a much different situation than usual.

We trekked on, none of us speaking. My eyes darted back and forth as I scanned our surroundings, scrutinizing every shadow, every flicker of movement. The sound of a snapping twig made me start, the old scent-trails of Pokemon filled my nostrils. My senses were on high-alert, my body coiled tight and ready to react at the slightest hint of danger.

On we walked, and in time Seras moved ahead of us, while Pip fell farther and farther behind. The better to command their teams, I supposed. Soon, Alucard and I were alone, though he didn’t seem to care much. Indeed, he had a devilish smile on his pale lips and a distant look in his eyes. I decided he must be thinking about the battle to come.

Just as I was getting ready to say something, I felt a subtle shift in the air. I came to a halt in mid-stride, eyes widening as a charge filled the area. Alucard felt it as well, coming up abruptly as his head snapped back. I, too, looked up into the trees tops, just in time to see two massive, crackling beams of multi-colored energy coming at us, closely followed by two orbs of bright blue energy that spun erratically through the air.

I yelped and leapt back, dodging a Hyper Beam that would have taken my head off. However, my backward momentum took me right in the path of the Aura Sphere attacks; one hit me in the chest, the other in my stomach. I was sent tumbling back, smacking into a tree seconds later and grunting as the wind was knocked from me. Not a heartbeat later I watched as Alucard was engulfed by the second Hyper Beam, and I let out a faint groan as I staggered up. Seconds later the attack petered out, and I saw all that was left of the mighty Vampire: a smear of gore, splattered on the ground and surrounding trees. Great. That would take him a while to regenerate from, which meant I’d be on my own for a while.

Just great.

Then something struck me: four attacks. But there were only supposed to be two Pokemon, so where could the two extra attacks have come from? Growling, I lifted my arms in preparation of defense, though even as I moved I sensed it was too late. An eye blink later four forms dropped from the trees above me, the two smaller, darker ones landing on my shoulders and back. I snarled as they dug blunt claws into my flesh and snapped at my wings with short, blunt muzzles, bucked madly to throw them off as the other two forms landed a few feet away.

The Riolu that had fallen upon me growled and slavered, getting drool all over me as they bit and clawed at me. I gave a thin cry as one of tore a long hole in my back with a fang, then threw my wings open and called upon my Fire Profession. Seconds later, a massive wall of popping orange flames erupted from my body, knocking the Vampiric jackals from me and sending them sprawling.

Without giving them a chance to retaliate, I jumped into the air and pumped my wings, forcing the remnants of the quickly-fading fire to the ground and washing them over the little blue Pokemon. Both of them gave tinny howls, their Steel aspects suffering from the unnatural blaze I was assaulting them with.

However, I was so intent on fending off the Riolu that I temporarily forgot about the Lickitung, which was a rather stupid mistake. I sensed the impact before I felt it; then there was a crushing force crashing into me from behind. I gave a wheezing gasp as I was knocked from the air, hitting the ground with surprising force a moment later. I coughed, gasping as I struggled to stand. Before I could, another blow from the right had me rolling across the ground.

I came to a halt, dazed and dizzy, but somehow managed to stand after only two tries. I growled softly, spitting out a wad of blood and saliva as I eyed my opposition. The two Riolu were standing, their blue fur smoking slightly. Burning crimson eyes glared at me, and the two black protrusions on the backs of their heads were vibrating madly. Their long tails lashed the air, and they stomped the ground with their black hind paws as they barked and snarled viciously. The Lickitung were glaring at me as well, beady red eyes narrowed as they swayed their large, portly bodies. The salmon-pink skin of both looked somewhat pale, as if they’d been avoiding the sun for a time, and the cream markings on their chests and bellies were barely noticeable. Their long tongues were lolling obscenely from their mouths, and their thick tails were flicking back and forth madly, like they were having localized seizures.

Then they moved, without warning. One of the Lickitung lunged for me, thick globs of spit trailing from its tongue as it came at me. The other opened its jaws wider, inhaling as it prepared one attack or another. The Riolu charged at me with the other Lickitung, yapping crazily, an insane light in their eyes. I threw my arms up as the three Pokemon bore down on me, hastily calling on my Electricity Profession and erecting an Electric Matrix. I was just in time too; the Lickitung hit the barrier head-on, followed by the Riolu. All three got a doze of electricity strong enough to stun even an Electric Pokemon, and they collapsed to the ground with pained and enraged squeals.

There was no time to congratulate myself, though, because at that moment the second Lickitung snapped its head down and disgorged a steaming jet of crystal-blue ice. The Ice Beam slammed into my chest, expanding across it as it struck. I yipped in pain and clawed madly at the frigid stuff, trying to get rid of it. Being part Garchomp, as it was, I had an extreme hatred and intolerance of anything cold: in effect, I had inherited my host’s Ice weakness.
As I worked to free myself of the ice, the other Pokemon clambered to their paws and started shrieking angrily. They knew they couldn’t get at me when I was protected by my field of electricity. Well, at least not physically. I gave a grim smile as I watched them regroup, watched them eyed me, then the ice on my chest, then the Lickitung that had fired the offending attack.

This wasn’t good. I could see in their eyes that they held the madness Vampiric Pokemon suffered, but it seemed they were capable of primitive pack efforts, that they were capable of the barest rational thought that told them they could take me if they worked together. I hadn’t been expecting that at all, since I’d never heard of Vampiric Pokemon working together in the past, even though they were always in groups. Well, except for Phaina, of course.

I had no time to spare. With this unpleasant wrench tossed into the gears of what I had expected, I had to kick things up a notch while Alucard regenerated himself. Until he was whole again, I would have to fight with everything I had. Brushing off the final bits of the ice clinging to my chest, I threw my hand-paws into the air and tapped into the deepest core of my Fire Profession, calling upon the strongest defensive Specialty in my arsenal.

“Fire Profession, Specialty: Pitfire Restrict!” I hollered, and instantly purple flames flared to life around my arms. They were shot through with red and black streaks, and distant screams echoed from within them. The sight, coupled with my sudden words, startled the Vampiric Pokemon long enough for me to complete the Specialty. I brought my arms down, tracing a complex series of patterns through the air. When I finished the last ones, the fire raced from my arms and formed itself into a square shield, mingling with the Electric Matrix, making both barriers even more powerful.

Aah, Pitfire. Flames from the very core of the Underworld. I smirked as the four Pokemon glared at this new element, unsure of what to make of it. It wouldn’t harm them if they should decide to touch them, nope, not when used defensively. The great thing about this stuff was it kept any energy-based attacks from getting through to the user, when formed into a shield. It would absorb the energy, making itself all the more impenetrable with every failed attack. Of course, the stuff was just as useful when used offensively, which I really couldn’t do for this battle. Pitfire was capable of stealing souls from their victims, if the user was strong enough. I wouldn’t be able to Bind and cure these poor Pokemon if I trapped their souls in an eternal agony that made the Underworld itself look like paradise.

Now thorough protected, I began powering up yet another powerful Specialty of mine, and Electric one that had enough force the utterly destroy the entire island if I didn’t release it properly. It was risky to use, of course, but I had the control over it to ensure it just stunned my opponents long enough for Alucard to literally pull himself together. The only thing was it took a cartload of energy to power, and that meant it took time.

I drew my attention away from the raving and screaming of the Vampiric Pokemon as they tried firing attacks at me, only to have those attacks drawn into the Pitfire and made completely useless. I shut out the distractions, focusing entirely on the pulse of energy in my body. The warmth of the Pitfire surrounding me helped set me at ease, helped drain the tension from me as I relaxed. It was easier to use one’s Professions when one wasn’t drawn as taut as a sail on a windy day. The screams emanating from the fire were drowned out, just like the screams from my living, or un-living, foes. As I drew into that calm, centered place within myself, I lifted my arms and crossed them in front of me, releasing my breath in a slow, steady exhalation. Inhale, exhale, again, again. With each breath I felt more aligned, more in tune with my body. I would need that utter connection between spirit and body, or else my control over the Specialty I was preparing would be erratic at best, non-existent at worst.

Then came the task of precisely converting just the right amount of energy into electricity at just the right strength. I felt power begin to course through me as I worked, power that begged to be released so it could rip apart everything in its path, myself included. I quelled the feelings, though, focusing entirely on getting everything exact. There could be no mistakes, none at all, the consequences were too large…

Then I felt the stab tear through me. My eyes snapped open in surprise, then horror, as I realized the Lickitung and Riolu were starting to overwhelm the Pitfire I’d summoned. I watched in mounting distress as they released attack after attack, hitting the flaming shield with more energy than it could absorb all at once. Damnation! I was too far into my Specialty to cancel it and break it down back into energy, but it was still to unstable to release. There was no way the Pitfire would last long enough for me to finish, either. It was warping and distorting with each blast it was struck by. There was only one thing to do.

I threw my arms out, releasing the volatile electricity as just a Profession instead of letting it go as a prepared Specialty. It was dangerous, because letting it out like this could rip away a deadly amount of “attached” energy: this electricity hadn’t been fully cut away from the energy it had formed from yet, but there was nothing to do but let it out anyways.

The electricity tore itself free of me, shooting out of my hand-paws as streak of brilliant reddish-purple streamers. I winced as it was released, pain wracking me as the unbalanced mass left my body. As it jumped from my palms, it lanced out at anything nearby, and this included the Vampiric Pokemon that had just about finished bringing down the Pitfire Restrict.

Several heartbeats later the electricity had been loosed entirely, and I sagged a little as I panted. Before me, the Pokemon were jerking and twitching on their feet, momentarily paralyzed by the force of the attack they’d just received. I dropped the Electric Matrix as I watched them, since it was taking too much energy to keep in place and I would need it to power my offensive moves. For now and the next few minutes, I had the chance to regain my breath. It would take a bit of time for the Lickitung and Riolu to shake off their paralysis.

At that moment, though, I heard a fluttering sort of noise, which was soon followed by a distant kind of chirping. I scowled, glancing around, then spotted a shadow moving irregularly through the trees. As it passed through shafts of moonlight, it swayed and stretched, parted and regrouped. The closer it got, the louder and clearer the fluttering and chirping got. Finally, I realized the fluttering was the beating of hundreds of wings, and that the chirping was the squeaking of bats. A LOT of bats.
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Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 04-28-2008 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Monsters of the Machine [PG-17]

Order Two, con't

As I watched, the flock descended upon where Alucard had been standing when the Hyper Beam had turned him into a splatter of gory muck. Said muck was steaming, like it was evaporating or something, and the bats flapped about it madly as they let out their screeching squeaks. Then I noticed a sharp movement to my left and looked over, seeing a lone bat fluttering beside me. Its fiery crimson eyes burned with amusement as it stared at me.

~Having fun yet?~ the furry thing inquired as the rest of the flock began taking a rough human shape. I snorted loudly.

“Heaps. Now if you don’t mind, hurry up and finish healing. We have two extra opponents to fight, and these ones working together.”

~Really now? Never heard of that happening…~

“Exactly! So kinda hurry it up a little, would you? We don’t have all-” I was cut off as a sudden weight on my back sent me toppling forward, yelping in surprise. A loud howl in my ear told me it was one of the Riolu, recovered before its brethren and infuriated that it had been held at bay for so long. The howl ended abruptly when the Riolu chomped its jaws down around the back of my neck, driving its fangs into my flesh and tearing deep wounds open. I roared in pain and thrashed about, struggling to dislodge the thing as it jerked its head back and forth, ripping the injuries further and sending rivulets of blood down my back.

“For…Aruseusu’s…SAKE!” I bellowed, unable to shake the Riolu off as it started dragging its tongue roughly across the wounds it had inflicted. Letting out a snarl, I assumed my Host form. My neck thickened as a result, forcing the Riolu to loosen its grip or have its jaws broken as they were forced further and further apart. Once it had released my, I snapped my arm out and around towards my back, driving the point of my arm-fin into the Pokemon’s side and knocking it off me. It hit the ground with a little scream, which I ignored as I looked to see whether the other three Pokemon were recovering so quickly as well.

My fears were confirmed seconds later when I saw one of the Lickitung begin to spin about madly, and the second open its jaws to unnaturally wide proportions. The second Riolu was shaking itself, having been the last to throw off its paralysis. I let out a faint growl, getting ready to attack the spinning Lickitung when a blast between my shoulders sent me staggering towards the Pokemon, off-balance and struggling to stay upright.
Luck was not with me tonight though. As I was vainly trying to regain my balance, the Lickitung with its jaws hung open jumped forward, wrapping its long tongue around my throat and jerking my towards it. I gave a gurgled choking noise as my windpipe was crushed shut, while at the same time the second Lickitung spun at me and slammed into my side with such force that several of my ribs snapped. But the Rollout attack wasn’t done, and the pink Pokemon spun away speedily as it prepared to strike again. I gave a silent groan of pain, my lungs beginning to burn from lack of oxygen as the Lickitung that had me gave a throaty sort of growling purr.

Desperately, I lifted an arm and twisted it, pointing my arm-fin down at an angle and jerking it down and to the side. The sharp edge caught against the Pokemon’s tongue and sliced through it with relative ease, and I quickly tore away the bit that was strangling me as the Lickitung wailed. The cry of pain quickly turned to one of rage, though, and the thing stomped crazily as it shook its head, sending blood everywhere.

I gasped, gulping down huge lungful of air and coughing fitfully. I had never realized how much strength a Lickitung had in its tongue until now. As I caught my breath, I saw the other one spinning towards me again, but I gave it no time to hit me. Wincing, I threw my upper body to the side, dancing gracelessly out of the Lickitung’s range. I felt shattered ribs grinding together, felt shards of bone slice through flesh, and bit back a curse as I staggered to a stop, panting. Damn, but this was going to be tough!

I slowly lifted my arms, steeling myself for a painful, arduous battle, but before I or the Pokemon could do anything, I felt a sort of shudder in the air and turned. There, standing with his coat billowing around him, was Alucard, finally regenerated and wearing a huge grin on his lips. His sunglasses and hat were curiously missing, and his hair seemed…longer. Yes, it was a lot longer, coming about halfway down his back instead of just stopping at his neck. I shivered a little: I had heard the stories of subtle changes in the Vampire when he was preparing to fight.

“Take a break, I’ll handle things now,” he said, his voice tinged with excitement and barely-suppressed insanity. He then lifted his arms, fingers splayed and hooked like long white claws. His coat billowed out dramatically as a foreboding breeze kicked up, and the four Vampiric Pokemon faced the Vampire with uncertain expressions. Their madness and fury quickly overcame that, though, even as monstrous blobs of writhing darkness rose from the Alucard’s back and shoulders. These formed themselves into the heads and necks of dogs with dozens of insanely-placed eyes and gaping maws, massive fangs dripping fetid white foam as the necks stretched and contorted. As they rose higher into the air, Alucard jerked his arms down and out, and the seven or so heads snaked out with astounding speed, baying hideously.

The Riolu that had bit me was struck down first; I could tell which one it was by the blood staining its muzzle. One of the dog heads snapped its jaws shut around the little jackal’s chest, lifting it into the air as it shrieked and thrashed, trying to free itself to no avail. After several seconds of shaking, the head whipped to the side, releasing the Riolu and sending it crashing into a tree. At the same time, the other Riolu was set upon by two heads, gnawed as it flailed its arms about and fired random Aura Spheres. One of the Lickitung had is head grabbed up and was slammed a few times into the ground, while the remaining heads merrily tossed the second Lickitung around, flinging it into the air over and over.

I watched as the Vampiric Pokemon were steadily beaten down, taking the time to see to my broken ribs. Gritting my fangs, I focused on the pounding in my side, concentrated until I could sense the breaks and began mending them. Slowly, painfully, I diverted the energy in my body in order to realign the smashed bones, making sure to get every last shard into its proper place. After that, I flooded my ribs with raw energy, converting much of it into new bone mass.

Finally, my ribs were healed. They’d be tender for a while, but it was a heck of a lot better than having my bones crunching around. After taking a moment to rest, I shifted my attention back to the battle taking place. Not a second later I saw the Lickitung that was still getting tossed around shift, dropping its jaws open and sucking in a breath. It the released it in an ear-splitting scream that reverberated throughout the area, and I felt myself become dazed from the Screech. I blinked sluggishly, scowling in confusion as the dog heads recoiled, then seemed to dissolve away into thick clouds of grayish-black smoke. Then I had the thought that Alucard must have taken some of the attack as well; Vampires had hyper-sensitive senses like DeMons did, including hearing, so there was little doubt that he was a bit stunned as well. Hah, the thought made me feel a little triumphant, despite feeling a little stupid. Alucard thought himself so freaking invincible, but I faced him and saw a sort of irritated, uncomfortable look on his face. Yup, he was feeling the effects of the Screech as well.

In that moment, I saw both Riolu lunge at the Vampire, one using a Reversal, then other unleashing a Force Palm. The Reversal was delivered in the form of a vicious roundhouse kick, and I could hear the impact of the attack. A split second later, the Force Palm struck the dazed Vampire in the chest, the Riolu’s glowing crimson paw hitting hard enough to knock the Undead off his feet. I moved to help, clumsily tottering forward, but had my own problems to deal with. The Lickitung were coming at me, charging recklessly as they let out bellows of rage.

Somehow, I sidestepped the one with the severed tongue, though I placed myself right in the path of the other one. The Pokemon’s sloping shoulder slammed hard into my midriff, and I grunted heavily as I drunkenly stumbled back a few steps. I managed to keep my balance, thankfully, and countered the Slam with a Slash attack. My arm-fin whistled through the air, then made a satisfying thwack noise as it collided with the Licking Pokemon’s temple. I gave a lopsided smile as the thing groaned and slid to the ground, looking a bit stricken. The force of the blow made my fin tingle a little, but I pushed it away and shook my head, clearing it of the lingering affects of the Screech and focusing on my foe.

The Pokemon was watching me, eyes narrowed as it twitched madly. Then it swung its arms around rapidly before barreling towards me, letting out such a terrible cry that I was sure my ears must have bled from it. As it drew close enough, it suddenly grabbed its tongue in its hands and swung it around with tremendous power, aiming the Power Whip at my head. No doubt it would leave me knocked stupid if it hit, but I didn’t plan on letting that happen. Instead, I snapped one of my arms up and hooked my claw around the Pokemon’s tongue, then deftly flicked my wrist so the hot, sticky appendage was wrapped around it once. Once I’d done that I yanked my arm back as hard and far as I could, using the Lickitung’s momentum against it and pulling it off its feet. The thing let out a startled piping noise as it was suddenly drawn forward with such speed it was almost a blur, and I smiled a little as I lifted my free arm, then sharply brought it down at just the precise moment. The dull edge of my arm-fin smacked against the Lickitung’s side, though the power of the Brick Break was still great enough to send it crashing to the ground, out of commission. For now, anyways.

I turned from the two defeated-for-the-moment Lickitung to see that Alucard was holding one of the Riolu by its left hind leg, staring at it as he swayed it from side to side. The other was currently dodging bursts of dark purple flames from…a Houndoom? I scowled a little, wondering where it had come from. The fire hound was pitch black, every last bit of it. The shards of bone protruding from its back rose into jagged spikes instead of gentle curves, and the bone circles around its ankles and wrists were spiked as well. Its long thing tail was tipped by a sort of blade, rather than the usual sharp-pointed spade, and the two horns growing from its skull were pointing straight up, instead of curving over its back. As I looked closer, I could tell by the size that the strange Houndoom was male.

“Here Baskerville, have another,” Alucard said, almost bitterly, and tossed down the Riolu he’d been holding. The jackal landed awkwardly, then snarled at the Vampire who’d thrown it and held up its paws. Before it could do anything, though, the Houndoom whirled and let out a huge torrent of those odd purple flames. The blaze caught the little Riolu by surprise and engulfed it, and even from where I was standing I could feel the heat pouring from the vortex. And if it bothered me, being part Dragon in essence, I knew the Riolu would be in utter torment.

The flames died away a second later, to reveal a smoking and most-definitely unconscious Riolu lying on the ground, charred leaves and branched all around it. Much of its fur was singed black, and the scent of burnt fur and smoldering wood reached me a moment later. I coughed from the acridness of it, and even as I started forward the Houndoom turned to face the last Pokemon standing. The Riolu snarled and yowled, then jumped at the fire hound and threw its paws out. For a second nothing happened, then a whirling orb of purple sparked to life in front of the Pokemon’s outstretched paws. Within the span of five heartbeats, it expanded into a giant sphere of flames that were the same purple hue as the ones the Houndoom had just used. A breath later, a jagged beam of fire ripped from the main orb, slamming into the Houndoom and sending him flying back.

I blinked, stunned at the Riolu’s impressive Copycat move. But even more surprising was when the Houndoom halted his tumble in midair, then slowly righted himself and glared down at the Riolu as he growled deeply. Alucard cocked his head back, looking up at the hovering dog, then shoot me a look. He smirked a little, then absently snapped his fingers, never taking his smoldering, blood-red eyes from me as I assumed my Hybrid form.

“Baskerville, finish this already. Quit toying with the thing, I’ll let you out to play again later. Right now we have a mission to complete.” Above us, the Houndoom growled something in a language I didn’t understand, but which Alucard seemed to have no problem interpreting. Then he slowly lowered from the air, until his paws were on solid ground again. Then, in the space of a fraction of a second, the Houndoom was standing in front of the Riolu, who looked fatigued by this point. No doubt; that last move had certainly cost it a great amount of energy.

With a deft flick of his head, Baskerville smashed his left horn against the top of the Riolu’s head, directly between the ears. As the small jackal tottered back and forth from the blow, Baskerville lifted a paw, extended his claws to unnatural lengths, and slashed them across the Riolu’s belly. The attack knocked the smaller Pokemon to the ground, groaning faintly as it struggled to stand. Before it could really even make an effort, though, Baskerville released a small stream of those searing purple flames, which somehow wrapped around the prone jackal and blazed intensely for about a second. Then it died away, leaving the Riolu still conscious but too weak to get up.

I looked back and forth between the four Pokemon, wondering where to start first. Alucard muttered something and snapped his fingers away, which was followed by a growl and a whoosh of heat and flame. I whirled in time to see Baskerville disappear into a huge cloud of colorless flame.

“Baskerville, my hellhound,” the Vampire said lazily, as if I had begged to know who and what the strange Houndoom was. I simply shrugged in response and turned away from where the familiar had been standing, heading over to where the Lickitung were. I knelt by the first and quickly set to seeking its soul and Binding it, since it was the more energetic and active of the two. Then I moved on to the second, beginning the Binding process with it before going to the Riolu Baskerville had first knocked out. It gave a faint groan as I sought its spirit, but otherwise gave no indication of being aware. Finally, I dropped by the second Riolu, feeling tired as I found its spirits and wove a bit of my own around it.

I sighed heavily as I sat like that, feeling my heavily-drained energy pulled in four directions. It was somewhat unnerving, really, and I found myself looking forward to when the Bindings would be done. Not only would this uncomfortable feeling of being dragged in four directions at once go away, but then I’d be able to go back to the mansion, meet back up with Musa and Phaina, and get some sleep.

As I thought about how nice that idea sounded, I caught a flash of movement from the corner of my eye. Thinking it to be Alucard coming towards me, I looked up and was surprised to see a pale figure standing in the trees a few yards away. I blinked, shocked: how had he gotten past Seras’s and Pip’s Pokemon? Then I noticed the source of the movement I’d seen: another Houndoom, this one regular. I growled a little, starting to rise, but before I could actually stand the pale figure vanished suddenly. The Houndoom remained a moment longer, then turned and was lost in the darkness of the woods.

Who and what on Earth…?

***

Pokemon Going For: x2 Riolu and x2 Lickitung
# of Characters Needed: 100k-140k
Total # of Characters: 138,845k: Give or take a hundred or so

@___@ OH. MY. FREEKING. GOD! This chapter is SOOOOOOOOOO long ><…Gah, I'm sorry to whoever Grades it...

Song lyrics are: New Life, by Depeche Mode; Moving Forward, by Hoobastank; Moving Forward, by Hoobastank; and Bring It On, by Handsome Devil.
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Paired with Shen, the most epic Bleach fan around :3
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Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 10-02-2009 at 03:51 PM.
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