1. We have moved to a new forum system. All your posts and data should have transferred over. Welcome, to the new Serebii Forums. Details here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. We're currently having an issue where e-mails sent to gmail accounts are not going through and are bouncing back. We're currently working to resolve this matter and apologise for any inconvenience
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders
    Dismiss Notice

M0ND4YZ

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DeliriousAbsol, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. DeliriousAbsol

    DeliriousAbsol Call me Del

    A/N - Hi there! Firstly, I'd like to point out that this is a very experimental one-shot, sparked by the prompt 'Mondays never go well'. It has taken a fair bit of influence from Reboot:The Guardian Code on Netflix (No, the name alone is not why I wanted to watch it (inside joke!) but it did help).

    Anyway, I'll let you read on. I've posted more notes at the end of the 'fic too ;)

    M0ND4YZ​

    Bryce never did like Mondays.

    The holidays had finally arrived, and with it came the promise of peace. Peace and quiet, or one would think. It didn’t help that Walker had set summer homework for those who had fallen drastically behind. The catch up exams would hit towards the end of the holidays, leaving little time to have fun and a bad taste in Bryce’s mouth.

    The weekend hadn’t been much fun. It had been all dinners and lectures, and not the kind where you sit behind a desk learning about maths and quantum physics. They were the kind where your parents sit and berate you for failing three of your final exams.

    He flopped back onto his bed and grabbed his Switch off his night stand. A much needed rest was at hand. He loaded it up, not even checking what game was plugged in. His heart sank when he realized his sister had been borrowing it again. All his PMD Millenia data had been deleted, replaced with a half-hearted attempt at her play-through, ending mid-way through the first tutorial dungeon. With a sigh, he resigned himself to starting up once again.

    But wait… was that a crack? He trailed his fingers over the screen. Yes, it was a crack. A hairline one, but nevertheless it was damage.

    Mondays…

    He pushed himself off his pillow and dropped the console onto the mattress, readying himself to scream for his younger sibling. But instead, something caught his eye.

    Sparks.

    Now the flippin’ console was sparking?! He picked it up with every intention of turning it back off, careful not to touch the damaged spot. But the screen was still working. Showing the familiar floating ball of light and its speech bubble beneath it.

    ‘What’s more important to you? Goofing off or working hard?’

    Now his game was lecturing him?! He jabbed at the power button, but it stuck, leaving the screen still on. Sparks erupted from the crack like fat from a pan and danced along his arm. He snatched it back with a grimace and tossed the console back onto the mattress. The impact only seemed to make it angrier. The screen sizzled and popped, then erupted like a Roman Candle. He clambered back towards the headboard, reaching for his mobile in a blind panic. Help. Help was what he needed. Maybe a fire hose. As his fingers touched his mobile, static shot up his arm and he recoiled, his eyes flying to the nightstand. Small sparks spat out from the charging port. Why did everything seem intent on setting him ablaze? He had to get out of there.

    He leapt from the bed and made for the door, but yet more sparks stopped him. The television this time. He backpedaled, deciding it was time to scream for his mother. But as he opened his mouth, the words died in his throat. The static from the television engulfed him, blowing him back into the center of the room. The TV switched itself on, broadcasting some news article. The speaker was stood in front of a university. His university.

    ‘It would seem goofing off is becoming a big problem among today’s youth…’

    Music filled the room as his phone began to ring, chilling him to the bone. It didn’t sound remotely normal. Drawn out, like a wailing cat. The entire room lit up with static, bouncing from every conductible surface only to finally end up striking him like sharp, hot arrows. He raised his hands to his face, desperate to stop them. His head began to spin, and he flopped back onto the carpet like a wounded soldier. The entire room began to spin, forcing him to shut his eyes. But everything was still spinning. He felt sick. Soft fibers surrounded his body as the carpet almost seemed to grow. No… something was pulling him down. Slowly but surely, the carpet engulfed him like quicksand.

    ...​

    Hot. His entire body felt hot.

    When Bryce opened his eyes, the first thing he confirmed was he was no longer in his room. Everything was black, and somewhere far to his left a light flickered. He pushed himself to his feet and looked around. Nope, definitely not his room.

    He stood in what he could only describe as a forest. Trees stretched their winding branches up into a tangled canopy. Many of them lacked leaves, instead sporting gnarled, black limbs that seemed to glisten in the poor light. Blocky, like a bad render. Some trees appeared to be a hybrid of the two, having half natural leaves and half the unnatural, almost unearthly blocky branches. Higher above them he could see the sky, or what could pass as a sky. Also black, but with patches of cloud that resembled a television’s snowstorm. Something swooped above him, blocking out one of the patches, and he ducked beneath the nearest tree. An eerie cry followed, the exact same sound he’d heard his phone make. It chilled him, forcing his fur on end. He watched the long shape snake away into the darkness.

    “Where on earth am I?” he rasped.

    He rubbed his throat, still sore from the electrical assault, and froze. Hair? He was pretty sure he’d shaved that morning. He looked down at himself and a strangled gasp left his throat. Orange fur coated his body in two neat tones. The lighter shade being more creamy. Tiny orange toes poked out from beneath him, too small for his chubby legs. They perfectly matched his tiny paws, each one sporting two fingers and a thumb.

    “What’s happened to me?” His voice came out as an embarrassing whine he was desperately glad his friends weren’t around to hear.

    “It came from over here.” The female voice froze him rigid.

    Shuffling drew his eyes to the long grass. Grass that flickered like the sparks in his room. Unsteady, unnatural. It parted into pixels before reforming again, allowing the speaker and her friends to pass through into the clearing.

    A linoone. He recognized the sleek, ferret-like pokemon immediately. The sight of it stood there amongst other pokemon shocked him more than the ‘bad render’ of a universe he’d found himself in. She said something else, not taking her eyes off him, but he didn’t catch it. Too stunned by the creatures surrounding her. A poliwhirl and a raichu, although there was something greatly wrong with the both of them. The pokemon at the front of the party drew his complete attention, however. It wasn’t one he was all that familiar with.

    A huge, yellow cat. Almost a re-imagining of zoroark or lucario. It held the linoone back with one paw as it trailed its eyes over Bryce’s new body.

    “Don’t worry.” The zeraora’s voice was male, and he lowered his paw to his side. “He appears to be clean.”
    Bryce’s entire body trembled and he wound his paws together, repeating the two questions he’d previously asked himself. At the top of his lungs.

    “Where am I?! What’s happened to me?!”

    The group of pokemon glanced up at the canopy, then, anxiously, the linoone turned to her partner.

    “Are you sure about that?” she asked.

    “Positive.” The yellow cat didn’t take his eyes off Bryce. “Do you see any anomalies on him?”

    “Do you understand me?” Bryce asked. “Where am I?”

    “Ultraspace,” said the zeraora. “Or what’s left of it.” He turned and beckoned Bryce with a huge paw. “Come on. You shouldn’t hang around in this forest. You’re a sitting ducklett for the Code.”

    Bryce scurried after him, glancing around with his new, huge eyes. The closer he drew to the trees, the more blocky they appeared. The shadows around the roots didn’t blend properly with the bark. Some patches of shadow were erratic, or were missing altogether. Grass tickled his face and he swatted it aside, shattering it into pixels. It reformed before swaying back into place.

    “What is this place?” he asked. “Why is it-”

    The linoone shushed him and he looked up into her narrowed eyes.

    “Keep your voice down,” she hissed.

    That eerie cry rang out once more and all eyes shot towards the sky. That long, black shadow glided overhead then plummeted down into the trees. A rumble, then a rustle of grass.

    “Get back!” the zeraora barked, throwing Bryce behind him.

    Grass exploded into pixels and the roaring face of a gyarados flew at them. Its long body followed, coiling behind it in an array of blue and green scales. It wasn’t the body Bryce was familiar with. Dragonair, or rayquaza… it kept on pouring through the trees like an endless stream of water.

    The poliwhirl leapt forward and raised its deformed arm. A crawdawnt cannon. A blast of ice shot from it, freezing the grass and striking the monstrosity in the chest. It roared, the distortion a lot clearer and a lot more mechanical at such close proximity, as it rolled back into the trees. Then it flailed, dragging two of the trees down with it, crushing its serpentine body into the ground. It roared again, sending a torrent of water into the air and down in an arc towards the group of pokemon. The poliwhirl fired a hydro cannon, meeting the attack in mid air and canceling it in an explosion of rain.

    The zeraora rushed them on ahead of him, then he lifted his paw and sent out a shockwave of electricity. It engulfed the gyarados monster and it howled in pain before collapsing into a heap.

    That was all Bryce saw of the battle, because the linoone shoved him ahead of her after the raichu. The forest raced passed him as he tried desperately to put enough distance between himself and the gyarados thing. The end of the forest was in sight. Light poured through the trees, casting erratic shadows across the peculiar grass. A streak of yellow shot past him as the zeraora leapt over their heads towards the light. He paused right before it then reached into his belt pouch. Had he always been wearing that? Bryce assumed as much, but he’d been too fixated on the pokemon and their peculiarities to examine what items they might have been carrying. Whatever the zeraora had hold of, it was out of Bryce’s sight. A black oblong appeared in the trunk of one of the trees and he rushed them inside before following them. The next thing Bryce knew, he was falling. Falling fast. His stomach left his body as he turned and twisted in the air, desperate to stay airborne. A loud wail left his throat, distorting into the darkness.

    “Yo, victini!” the linoon barked in his ear. “Calm down!”

    Calm down? How did they expect him to calm down? Air was rushing past him so quickly he couldn’t even get words out. He tried to fix her with a look that asked ‘are you kidding me?’ but the air suddenly changed direction, whipping him along some invisible train track. The blackness lit up and he found himself rushing along a hollow cylinder of light. Or glass? He could see outside it clearly. But what he saw made him gasp out loud. What looked like animated photographs shot by him. Woodlands and cities; pokemon talking; strange, deformed monstrosities; random text that went by too fast for him to read. And between it all? Black, blocky cubes merging with white ones. Pillars; screws embedded into a floor of light; floating platforms.

    The zeraora placed a heavy paw on his shoulder. “Never seen a slipstream before, huh?”

    Bryce looked up at him, still shaking. “What is all that out there?”

    “Data,” the zeraora said flatly. “And that black stuff? That’s the Code.”

    There was that name again. Spoken as if he should have any clue what it meant.

    “We’ll be at our base soon,” the zeraora went on. “The name’s Merle. What’s yours?”

    “B-Bryce,” he said.

    “Well, B-Bryce,” Merle mocked, “I don’t know where you’ve come from, but I don’t imagine you were in that forest by choice.”

    Bryce shook his head, long ears flopping around. “The last thing I remember, I was in my bedroom. Next… I woke up like this.” He spread his dumpy arms.

    Merle looked him up and down then snorted. “You make it sound like you’re not meant to be a victini.”

    “I’m not! I’m meant to be a human.”

    The linoone let out a loud, single ‘hah!’ then added, “Pull the other one!”

    “I’m pulling nothing!” Bryce span to face her, then fell onto his bottom as the slip stream took them around a bend. “I’m telling the truth! I was going to play…” He trailed off, looking over each of his companions.

    No… he couldn’t very well tell them they were characters in a video game. Not when they felt, and looked, very real.

    “You know what?” he said. “Maybe I’m dreaming.”

    The pokemon were silent for a moment, then Merle shifted and inclined his head on one side.

    “I wish this were a dream,” he said. “That way, our world wouldn’t be falling apart at the seams.”

    “I think you received a bump to the head.” The raichu spoke as if his tongue were too big for his mouth.
    Bryce took a good, long look at him. There definitely was something amiss. Rather than the familiar raichu body he was used to, his new companion seemed to have one more like a kecleon. He even had the horizontal stripe around his midriff, brown against his ginger fur.

    “I think you’re right.” The linoone sounded hesitant, keeping one eye on Bryce.

    “Here we are.” Merle turned and placed a paw on the wall of the slipstream. “Everyone off.”

    He leapt through it as if it were nothing. The linoone followed, glancing back at Bryce. He stood, trying to keep his balance in the rapidly moving cylinder. The raichu gestured for him to leap, and Bryce swallowed audibly before throwing himself out of the slipstream’s safe confines.

    It wasn’t anywhere near as long a fall. He hit solid ground with an ‘oomph’ and pushed himself up, rubbing between his long ears.

    Now he was outside a tall building, built to resemble a zeraora. But atop its head was a bright star, lit up like a beacon.

    “You have to be kidding me,” he muttered under his breath.

    Just like in the video games. A base for group excursions. Rescue teams, the explorer’s guild… what would this one turn out to be? Would he be choosing a name for them next?

    He looked over the group as they made for the stairs. Which one would turn out to be his hapless companion? Sullenly, he followed after them, his paws dragging along the grass. He glanced down and let out a ‘huhn’. The grass wasn’t pixelated anymore. In fact, it looked almost natural with a slight cartoony hue. No distortions as it drifted in the breeze, or as his tiny feet brushed over it.

    “Yo, Bryce!” Merle’s voice dragged his attention. He met his blue eyes, which widened with amusement. “You coming or not?”

    Bryce trotted over to the stairs, giving one last glance over his shoulder before he entered the building. No sign of the slip stream. No sign of any black, blocky Code. The door closed, and the hand drawn eyes of a zeraora frowned back at him. Someone cleared their throat and Bryce snapped his head around to meet Merle’s much more natural ones.

    “We don’t ordinarily take in strays,” he said. “Much too risky. But I can’t turn my nose up at a random victini lurking around a Dead Hole.”

    More words Bryce felt needed to be capitalized like proper nouns.

    Merle continued to stare at him, prompting an explanation. Bryce shrugged and let his arms fall to his sides.

    “I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t even know where I am.”

    “I gathered as much.” Merle turned and beckoned him to follow him. “Come with me. I can’t very well just leave you wandering around until I have some idea of what’s happened to you.”

    Bryce obliged, following the zeraora down the winding corridor until they reached a set of ladders. Merle took the one heading down to the next floor, while Bryce stood beside it and gulped. The zeraora looked up at him and cocked an eyebrow.

    “Problem?” he asked.

    “Yes,” said Bryce. “I’ve never been too good with heights.”

    “Heights?” Merle scoffed. “You have wings!”

    Bryce twitched his new tail-wings and glanced behind at them. So he did. It didn’t mean he wanted to use them, however.

    Merle let out a sigh and rubbed the bridge of his snout. “Just grab onto the ladder. I won’t let you fall.”
    Ordinarily Bryce would have muttered a ‘no way’ and gone to find stairs or an elevator, or forgotten about it altogether, but the creature staring up at him was a lot more threatening than your average cat or dog. One misstep and Bryce might find himself reduced to sparking cinders. He swallowed audibly and grabbed onto the nearest rung, then lowered his feet onto the ladder. Every part of his body began to tremble as he gingerly crawled down towards the ground. It seemed to take an eternity, and the look on Merle’s face when he reached him told him he thought the same.

    “There,” said Merle. “That wasn’t so bad now, was it?”

    Bryce said nothing, clutching his paws together and resigning himself to the fact that the floor he stood on may be his home for a very long time.

    “It’s just down here.” Merle turned towards the next corridor. “No more ladders.”

    “Oh good,” Bryce muttered as he followed after him.

    The zeraora stopped to open a door into a pokey little office. Despite its size, it was very neat. Merle flopped into a chair and nudged another towards Bryce. Clearly designed for a much larger pokemon. He had to climb into it, flailing his tiny legs until he was sitting comfortably against the backrest.

    “Now.” Merle’s voice was oddly threatening despite the calm behind it. “Maybe you can tell me why you were lurking in a Dead Hole?”

    “No,” said Bryce. “Because I don’t even know why myself.”

    Merle raised an eyebrow, prompting Bryce to explain himself.

    “One moment I was in my room,” Bryce went on, “the next I was lying exactly where you found me. This isn’t even my own body.”

    The zeraora looked over him then leant back in his seat, crossing one leg over the other.

    “You did say something about being a human,” he said. “And a pokemon who can fly being scared of heights is a little…” He waved a paw, searching for the right words.

    “Lame?” Bryce offered.

    “Not quite the word I was looking for, but sure, let’s use that.”

    Bryce huddled into himself and glanced away from the zeraora. “To be honest… I think I might have died.”

    “And why do you think that? Because you look very alive to me.”

    “Because… well… there was pain, and everything went black.”

    “Then you woke up here, in Ultraspace?” A half-smile tugged at Merle’s lips and he chuckled. “Sorry, kid. I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. But those events you’re half-describing… they’re worrying me. What exactly happened?”

    Bryce looked up with a start and flashed a canine. “What happened was everything electronic in my room turned on me! I couldn’t escape the sparks!”

    Merle’s face fell, and Bryce could tell by the look in his eye that it wasn’t what he’d wanted to hear at all.

    “That’s…” Bryce stuttered, “That’s significant, isn’t it?”

    The zeraora looked away from him and let out a sigh. “So it’s reached your world, too. But why spare you?”

    “What are you talking about?” Bryce asked. “You’re speaking in riddles!”

    “It’s The Code,” said Merle. “You clearly don’t understand, so let me try to explain. Your world is one of many, all separated by an area called Ultraspace. But Ultraspace isn’t empty, or at least it never used to be. Creatures inhabit it, drifting along the slip streams, minding their own business. Keeping things clean and tidy. But recently, a virus got loose. We’ve been calling it The Code. All those creatures got infected, granting them the ability to open up doors to other dimensions and unleash it.”

    “So this Dead Hole…”

    “Was an area of Ultraspace,” said Merle. “One that had previously been inhabited by these creatures, but has been taken over by The Code. It doesn’t just affect the creatures either, it affects worlds. It makes things behave in ways they’re not meant to.”

    “Like my electronics.”

    “Precisely.”

    “But why turn me into a victini?”

    “That’s what I want to know.” Merle trailed his eyes over him. “I’ve never seen one, if I’m honest. Victini all went extinct years ago. Sightings have been cited as nothing more than a mirage, quite like the elusive Mew pokemon claim to see.” He paused as he scratched his head. “But changing your body like that… it makes me worry you might not be clean after all. If you’re carrying this Code, you could be a threat to us all.”

    “But you said I was clean.”

    “When I thought you were a pure-bred victini, yes. But like every pokemon and ultra beast affected by The Code, your body has been morphed into something else.”

    The image of that gyarados monstrosity reared up in Bryce’s mind, sending a chill through his spine. He hugged himself instinctively and glanced behind him at the door. No… no, he couldn’t be infected. This happened all the time in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. A human gets dragged through, turned into a pokemon and given the noble task of saving the world. Surely that’s all that was going on here, right?
    “I’m afraid I might have to neutralize you,” said Merle.

    Bryce’s head snapped back round, fixing wide, terrified, blue eyes onto the zeraora. “Why do I get the feeling that’s gonna be a lot more painful than it sounds?”

    “Oh, it won’t be painful.” Merle pulled something out of his desk drawer. Something that turned Bryce’s stomach as another deep and terrifying fear rose up inside him. “It’s just a little something to hold back The Code until we can find a cure.”

    Merle uncapped the needle and squirted a little clear fluid into the air as he checked it. Bryce’s head began to spin again.

    Mondays… Mondays never went well.

    ...​

    Light dazzled Bryce’s eyes. He rubbed a heavy hand over them, trying to get it all to clear. Something hazy floated in the back of his mind. A bad dream he felt he really shouldn’t try and recall.

    Hairy.

    He removed his hand from his face and frowned at it. Tiny. Orange. Two fingers and a thumb. A groan resounded from his chest as everything came rushing back to him, and he let his small arm flop over his large eyes.

    “Sorry, kid.” It was the linoone’s voice. “You’re still with us.”

    He removed his arm and spotted her beside a metal table. Tiny instruments lay scattered on it, and beneath it in a basket were hundreds of hypodermic needles.

    “Why… why am I in here?” he choked.

    “You passed out after Merle gave you your shot,” she said. “Couldn’t very well leave you littering the floor of his office.”

    He wasn’t sure whether her last statement was a joke or not. She turned to face him and placed a paw on her hip.

    “Look, I don’t know why you’re here,” she said, “but given you could very well be infected, you’re going to need one of these shots every day until we find a cure. Just like the rest of our infected patients.”
    That thought didn’t settle well with him at all. He lifted his paws to his chest, fixing her with pleading eyes.
    “But what if I’m not infected?” he squeaked.

    She shrugged. “Until we know, we can’t take any chances. So I suggest you pull yourself together.”

    “Pull myself together?” he spat. “That’s no way to talk to someone about their phobia! Do you have any fears?”

    She shrugged again and turned back to her trolley. “The Code is my biggest fear right now. That’s why I’m fighting it.”

    “Touche.” He pushed himself up and rubbed his ears. “So I’m guessing Merle told you everything?”

    “Every little detail. Complete with how you squeaked like a hatchling as he pinned you down to give you your treatment.”

    “I could have you all turned in for malpractice back in my world.” He looked up at her, but she didn’t meet his gaze. “So how do I get back home?”

    “You don’t.” Those words were blunt. Too blunt for his liking.

    “What do you mean ‘you don’t’?” he scoffed.

    “Basically, The Code corrupts everything it touches,” she explained. “The environment. Inanimate objects. Life.” She turned her head to look at him over her shoulder. “You can assume your world now looks rather similar to the area we found you in.”

    Bryce’s blood turned cold and his jaw went slack. “So my home is…”

    “Slowly being eaten away.” She turned back to her trolley. “Unless we can stop it.”

    “So you’re gonna help me save my world?”

    “No.” She finished what she was doing and shoved the trolley back beneath the counter it came from, then turned to the sink to wash her paws. “We’re trying to stop The Code at its source. Only we can’t find the source. Once we do that, it’ll stop the spread. Then we can focus on a cure and repair all damaged lives that are still living.”

    “But what about the Dead Holes? Can you save those?”

    “The likelihood of that is very low,” she said. “Probably nil, if I’m honest.”

    “Why? Can’t you just eradicate this Code thing and clean them up?”

    “In a perfect world, yes.” She turned away from the sink, drying her paws on a pristine towel. “But The Code eats away at everything, twisting it into something it’s not until the final result is almost unrecognizable. You saw that monster we fought, right? Was it a gyarados originally? A rayquaza? A serperior? Maybe an arbok?”
    He looked down at his paws. Victini paws. Far different from his human hands.

    “I mean, look at yourself,” she went on, speaking his thoughts. “You’re wildly different from what you were originally, right? But fortunately for you, it’s not tried to merge you into several different things at once. Unlike Spira and Shox, who you’ve already met. They’re dealing with a two-in-one situation. But, like you, they’re not too far gone.”

    “And ‘too far’ would be like that gyarados thing?”

    “Exactly. Wild, uncontrollable, incapable of reason. Capable of only making one noise. A wail. For some reason, every single corruption does it. It’s how we know they’re coming.”

    Bryce wasn’t really listening to her anymore. His mind went back to his room. His phone. That wailing noise like a tortured cat. He looked up with a start, trembling.

    “I heard it,” he said. “Before it brought me here.”

    “Oh?” Her eyes widened.

    “It came from my phone,” he explained. “A horrible, cat-like wailing.”

    She looked away from him and deposited the towel over the handle of the trolley. “Then I think we can rest assured your world has definitely been corrupted.”

    His entire mouth went dry. He wound his paws together then looked back up at her. “Linoone… no… given everyone else here has a name, what do I call you?”

    She tutted and folded her arms. “Millet.”

    “All right, then Millet. If everyone in my world has been corrupted, what was I doing lying in Ultraspace?”

    “That’s what I want to know,” she said. “We don’t really know. But my theory is that either you, or something else, opened a wormhole and you fell through it.”

    “Pretty convenient that I was lying where you would find me, right?”

    “I’d say that’s more of a coincidence,” she said. Then added, “Or a burden.”

    He sighed and swiveled around on the bed, then dropped to the floor.

    “Where do you think you’re going?” she asked.

    “I need to stretch my legs,” he said, then added with a snark, “Don’t worry. I won’t go far and infect everybody.”

    He shuffled to the door, feeling her eyes on him. He paused with a paw over the handle and looked back at her.

    “By the way,” he said, “how long was I out?”

    “About two hours.”

    He nodded then turned back to the door. Two hours. Still Monday. He tugged the door open and slipped out into the hallway. As it clicked back shut behind him, his entire body began to tremble.
    Not a dream. You don’t fall asleep, then wake up in a dream. What was happening? Was all this real, or was he lying in a hospital bed in his own world in a coma? Surely all that electricity couldn’t be good for a man.
    He looked down at his fuzzy body. Still creamy. Still a victini. Well, if he was a pokemon, he’d be able to use its moves, right? He concentrated, willing heat into his paws. Sure enough, they began to radiate it, creating a haze that distorted everything beyond it as though he was looking through water.

    “Yo, Bryce.”

    Merle’s voice snapped his focus from his paws, and he felt the heat fizzle away into the air. The zeraora strutted over to him, giving the small ward a glance.

    “Millet discharged you then?” he asked.

    “Not exactly.” Bryce looked back down at his paws. “I needed to get away.”

    Merle leant against the wall and folded his arms. “She can be a little firm. So… where were you planning on going?”

    That was a good question. With a sigh, Bryce looked back up at him and let his paws fall to his sides.

    “Since going back to my own world is out of the question, I really don’t know,” he said. “And… it’s becoming more and more apparent this isn’t a dream.”

    “I’ll be honest with you,” said Merle. “Sometimes I really wish it was.”

    That actually didn’t help matters at all. In fact, it made them a lot worse. Bryce glanced over at the exit, feeling his body begin to tremble again.

    “So what do I do?” he asked. “Just accept that I’m a pokemon and deal with it? Live in this… whatever it is I’m living in?”

    Merle sighed and brushed his ears back. “I thought I’d explained all this.”

    “You didn’t tell me what all this is.” Bryce waved his paws at the corridor. “What this building is? Or what country… world… region I’m in?” He made a very strong effort not to say ‘game’.

    “This place is called Lagoon Island,” said Merle. “And this is the base for The Code Breakers of which I am leader.”

    Code Breakers? Bryce stifled a snicker and warred with his own lips curling into a smirk. It didn’t go unnoticed.

    “Problem?” Merle cocked an eyebrow.

    “No!” Bryce shook his head all too sharply. It served as a cruel reminder he still felt a little dizzy, and he steadied himself against the wall with a paw. “No, not at all. It makes sense actually, given you’re fighting this Code thing.”

    Merle rubbed between his ears, keeping one eye on Bryce. “If you can call what we do ‘fighting’. Sure, we can hit those things until they vanish or run away, but we end up with more infected pokemon than we do thwarted enemies. Our more successful method is to try and push it back with the antivirus we created. But it adapts and manages to devour the antivirus faster than we can create new ones. Finding its source has been our number one priority. Erase that, you erase The Code. But it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

    “Well, so much for the misleading name.”

    Merle narrowed his eyes then shrugged off his comment. “Come on. Let me show you to your room.”

    After all that had happened to him prior to waking up in Ultraspace, Bryce knew better than to argue with an electric type. He glanced back at the exit, then followed after the zeraora. Yet more ladders he had to tremble up. As he scrambled up it, a yellow paw reached down towards him. He did a double take then looked up at Merle, taking his offered paw. The larger pokemon hoisted him onto steady ground then motioned to a small corridor.

    “Nest chambers are this way,” he said. “All of them are occupied. I’m afraid you’ll need to share.”

    “Share with who?” Bryce asked warily.

    He poked his head into the offered room, noting two piles of scatter pillows. One of them was occupied by the raichu-kecleon hybrid. He gave Bryce a jolly wave then aimed a thumb at the other pile of pillows.

    “You’ll be taking that one,” he said.

    Bryce didn’t argue. He flopped onto the pile of pillows, finding them surprisingly comfortable.

    “I’ll leave you to rest.” Merle shuffled from the room.

    No sooner had the zeraora left earshot, Shox swiveled on his nest and fixed Bryce with curious eyes.

    “So,” he said, “you just showed up outta nowhere?”

    Bryce lifted his head to look at him, eying the hybrid up and down. His eyes lit up in his excited face, and he practically bounced on his pillows as he awaited Bryce’s answer.

    “Sure,” said the victini.

    “Rumor has it you’re meant to be a human.” The last word came out as ‘hugooman’ as he struggled around his over-sized tongue, but it didn’t appear to phase him. “What was that like?”

    Bryce pushed himself up fully and stared back at Shox. Nope, he wasn’t kidding. That eagerness was written all over his face, and he leant forward on his knees, still bouncing.

    “It… it was normal,” Bryce said. “Not like this.” He waved at his fuzzy body then flopped back onto his nest.

    “Oh.” Shox sounded disappointed. “Well… do humans have special attacks? Can they fly? Swim? Climb?”

    “Well, we can’t fly.”

    “What about special attacks?”

    “Some can fight,” said Bryce. “Think of us as normal-type hitmonchan, and you’re probably the closest you’re gonna get in pokemon terms.”

    “Heh! That’s pretty funny.”

    Bryce rolled over and gave a dry chuckle. “You should hear some of my pokemon puns.”

    “You know a lot about us.” It was becoming harder to understand the hybrid. “Is there some secret ensigoopedi?”

    “Pardon?” Bryce looked back at him.

    “Ensigoopedi?”

    Bryce shook his head slowly. “Sorry, I’m just not getting it.”
    Shox opened his mouth wide and his long tongue shot across the room. Bryce let out a squeak and ducked as it flew over his head, then retracted back into the hybrid’s mouth with a snap.

    “Encyclopedia?” Shox asked, as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

    “Ohh…” Bryce sat up, rubbing beneath his throat as he tried to calm his racing heart. “Erm… you could say that, yes.”

    “So we exist in your world?”

    “In a manner of speaking.” Bryce stretched and stood up. “Look, I kinda need some space-”

    “Speak nothin’ of it!” Shox raised his paws and stood up. “I can show you to the bar.”

    “Bar?” Bryce’s eyes almost flew out of his head. “I… I said I need space-”

    “You’ve obviously never had watmel beer. Calms the nerves.”

    “No, I think what I need is air.” Bryce shuffled from the room with the raichu in tow. “I’ll be back later. Don’t worry, I’m not going far.”

    He almost sprang down the ladder, all previous fear of heights leaving him in a bid to avoid the hybrid dragging him by the tail to the bar. No… that wasn’t what he wanted at all. What he needed was some way to sort out his racing thoughts. So much had happened, and it was growing more overwhelming by the second.
    Not to mention he really wanted to find out if he could use his fire attacks. That warm sensation still prickled in his paws.

    A pair of dedenne strolled down the corridor, one clutching a basket of berries. They let out a squeal as Bryce scurried past them, muttering an apology in the process. He almost flew out of the door, stumbling over the steps and falling face first towards the ground. His tail-wings kicked in and he hovered millimeters from the grass. Great. Now how was he meant to land? He stopped his flapping and struck the ground nose first. Well, it wasn’t perfect. He sat up with a groan, rubbing his sore snout, and looked around at the ground surrounding The Code Breaker’s headquarters. A grassy plain, with its own orchard. That was clearly where the dedenne had come from. Plump berries dotted the wide branches of the trees and the bushy bushes. Not a single flaw in sight. Nothing like the forest he’d woken up in. If he’d woken up here, he’d have no idea anything was even wrong.

    He pushed himself to his feet and took a few steps from the building, letting the heat build up in his paws again. He raised them up and pushed it away from him with a sharp flick of his paws. The air distorted, then filled with flames that flew away from him in a sheet. His eyes widened as he watched it head for the trees, his heart leaping into his throat. But it fizzled out long before it reached the orchard. He let out a sigh of relief and let his paws drop to his sides.

    Overheat. That was clearly overheat.

    His eyes wandered to the ground and his heart sank. The green grass had been burnt away, leaving a black patch longer than it was wide. Maybe trying out his fire abilities in such a green area wasn’t the best decision?

    A loud noise reached his ears, pushing his fur on end. Voices followed it, and it took a moment to process what was going on. A siren? He looked over his shoulder, then turned on the spot as Merle shot from the doorway, followed by Millet and the two hybrids. Their frantic voices and Merle’s authoritative commands were drowned out beneath the sound of the air-raid siren. Pokemon flowed out of the door, more than Bryce could have even guessed inhabited the small building. The dedenne twins he’d seen, and another hybrid that resembled a black meowth with a pair of pidgeot wings instead of arms. They were the notable ones that stood out amongst the rabble of pokemon since his attention instead went to the zeraora as he shouted his name.

    “What are you doing out here?” he snapped. “Get back inside, it’s too dangerous.”
    Bryce froze, his eyes going to the horizon. Something distorted in the air, crumbling away into a blocky blackness. The Code…

    That terrible screech followed it, an ear-splitting wail like a cat screaming for its life. Flapping wings followed, then the black blocks exploded into shrapnel as a flock of zubat broke through. He squinted up at them as Merle threw the first punch, his fist sparking with electricity. Several of the infected pokemon fell towards the ground where they burst into a blocky cloud that fizzled into a stream of binary code. But Bryce got a glimpse of their bodies. Their wrong bodies. Insectoid - caterpie, wurmple, weedle. Their wings were equally wrong. Zubat, but with an insect-like veining resembling a darkly hued stained glass.
    If they were bug types, then maybe he could actually help?

    He turned his eyes back to the sky. Back to the chaos. The zubat things kept flowing through the crack like water, their wings beating the air and anyone who got too close. Streams of silk spewed from their mouths, entangling the pokemon below. An unfortunate rattata found themselves encased in the silk until only their ears poked through. It pulsated, hardening like a chrysalis.

    Bryce tore his eyes from it and threw himself towards the zubat, heat radiating from his paws. Just like before, he launched it away from him. The blanket of heat shot towards the flock, narrowly skimming his allies. Merle fell back, throwing his arms out to the side to stop the other pokemon from being burned. The zubat monsters screeched that awful cry as the flames engulfed them, burning their insectoid wings to cinders. The creatures fell from the sky and peppered the earth below, where they exploded into code just like the previous one.

    The binary drifted up towards the sky as their bodies disintegrated. Marring the grass until it pixelated. Bryce felt his stomach flip as the world around him slowly began to resemble the area he’d woken up in.

    “Bryce, move it!” Merle’s voice snapped him back to reality.

    Humming reached Bryce’s ears and he lifted a paw to shield himself from a zubat’s frantic wings. It sunk its fangs into his arm and he tried desperately to shake it off but it refused to budge. What felt like a pair of pin pricks escalated into a searing pain along his arm and he screeched. Flames flickered from his claws, dancing over the zubat’s body and burning it to a crisp. With a final shake of his arm, it went soaring away from him and crashed into its allies, spreading the flames across their bodies until the flock was engulfed in a brief inferno. Their flaming bodies struck the floor, igniting the grass, creating yet more pixels and distorting the landscape.

    As he looked back up, more of the zubat flowed through the wormhole. There was no end to them. They just kept on coming, bent on destroying Lagoon Island. On infecting it. On turning everyone into one of them.

    A plague.

    “We need to close that fissure,” he said.

    “We can’t,” said Merle. “There’s too many of them. None of us can get close to it.” He glanced down at Bryce. “What’s wrong with your arm?”

    Bryce lifted his arm, still burning from the zubat’s touch. The entire limb was ablaze with fire, stray code rising from it reminiscent of their burning bodies. His jaw dropped and a strangled gasp left his throat. Had it infected him?

    There was no time to worry about that now. If they didn’t stop them, then everyone would end up infected.
    He clasped his blazing paw and looked back up at the swarm. The wormhole beyond it was surrounded by cracks. Each one leaked an ultra violet glow, and seeping through was a cloud of that binary. Yes, they needed to seal the wormhole. But how? Could he hit it?

    There wasn’t much time to think. He threw a flamethrower from his blazing paw as the flock swooped down towards him. Flames bounced off their bodies and he turned his attention back to the sky. He desperately needed to get closer, but how?

    The flames subsided and a gasp left someone’s throat. Millet stood a few feet away from him, her eyes on the zubat. They hadn’t hit the ground like the previous lot. Instead, their bodies had liquefied then turned solid again, merging together into a solid, black platform. He could still see their insectoid wings and screaming faces. Binary floated around them like a cloud, drifting in all directions. No, there was no time to process this. As things stood, it was nothing more than a convenient event. He clambered onto the block and sent another flamethrower at the flock. More blocks appeared in the air where they solidified, staying put, radiating binary. Why hadn’t this happened before? He bounded across each one, ignoring the shouts below, leaving them to fight the stragglers. Each bound took him closer and closer to the fissure. He could almost feel the heat radiating from it. Both hot and cold, dragging his fur on end. Somehow, it made him angry. His eyes narrowed and he felt heat traveling from his arm into every part of his body.

    More zubat exploded forth, but another flamethrower blew them right back from where they came. Their tiny bodies solidified in the fissures surrounding the wormhole, causing them to gape even wider as the binary cloud pushed the walls apart. The sky around the entire anomaly pixelated, the hues separating out into blocky squares as The Code spread out from it.

    Bryce’s eyes flashed, and he launched himself forward off the platform, propelled by his tail wings. Flames engulfed his body from his toes to his ears. With a roar, he struck the opening. It expanded around him like jelly as the world beyond tried desperately to force him back out. Then it split. The noise sounded no different to the screech that had come from the zubat. From the gyarados. From his phone.

    Then it stopped.

    The flames left his body, taking all his strength with it. He fell backwards, dropping like lead onto the hard ground below.

    ...​

    “Bryce? Bryce, can you hear me?”

    Pain. That’s all he knew. Pain and burning.

    “Bryce?”

    He blinked his sore eyes open, then squeezed them shut as light dazzled him. A few blinks and he could focus, although it still hurt. Two faces peered down at him, the yellow one a lot closer. Blue eyes bore into his and he let out a groan, flopping back onto the soft pillow.

    “I’m not home…” he muttered.

    “No.” Merle pulled back from him, a grin splitting his face. “Not yet, anyway.”

    “How am I alive?” Bryce asked. “Why does it hurt?”

    “I believe your body isn’t used to using fire type attacks,” Millet explained.

    “But I’m a victini. You’d think it would be ingrained in there somewhere, right?”

    “In an ordinary case, yes.” Millet folded her arms and leant a hip against his bed. “But you’re a little… bit of an oddball.”

    Merle looked at her over his shoulder. “Millet?”

    “Sorry, it’s the best term I could come up with.” The linoone raised a paw in a half-shrug. “What I’m trying to say is, yes, you are indeed infected with The Code. But for some reason, your body is rejecting it. It reacts by… burning it away. Just like you did with the zubat and that tear.”
    Bryce pushed himself up, causing his body to complain so much he had to lie back down. Merle rushed closer to him and adjusted his pillow.

    “So I’m not a victini just because I’m infected?” Bryce asked.

    “We’re still yet to understand the fine details,” Merle explained. “But I do believe you’re here for a reason.”
    Huh, so it was just like all those Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, then? Bryce rubbed a paw over his damp forehead and sighed. A human, dragged into another world, with the intent that they would be the one to save it. All those zubat, falling at his blazing paws, forming into platforms… was that really his doing? He sat back upright, ignoring the pain in his muscles. Merle tried in vain to settle him back down again.

    “What about Lagoon Island?” he gasped, swatting Merle away. “Did it get corrupted?”

    “Not quite,” said Millet.

    “What do you mean ‘not quite’?” Bryce spat.

    “There’s some corruption,” she said. “But it’s slowly fading away.”

    Bryce’s jaw went slack. All that pixelating, all those black platforms… gone?

    “Yeh, I know,” she said at his surprised expression. “It’s a mystery. I’ve never seen anything like it. Guess I judged you too soon, eh?”

    Bryce rubbed his arm and averted his eyes. “I dunno. I think I’d leap to some conclusions if someone randomly showed up in my world claiming to be something else.”

    “You were nothing short of awesome,” said Merle. “Now get some rest. I have big plans for you.”

    “Eh?” Bryce allowed the zeraora to push him back down.

    Merle grinned joyfully and took a step back, crossing his arms. “You’ll be joining the Code Breakers. I think, with you, victory will follow us for sure.”

    Of course. A victini. Bryce blinked at the zeraora as he placed a paw around Millet’s shoulders, much to her discomfort.

    “Could this get any more cheesy?” Bryce asked.

    “Yes,” said Merle. He clasped a paw into a fist and pumped it towards the ceiling. “The Code Breakers have found their Victory Star.”

    Bryce’s arm flopped over his eyes. “Oh, good grief.”

    “Now get some rest, little human.” Merle released Millet and turned from the room. “You’ll be going on your first mission into Ultraspace tomorrow.”

    “What?!” Bryce sat bolt upright again. “Are you kidding me?”

    “Not at all,” said Merle.

    “And you’ll be with me!” the voice came from another bed, and Bryce noticed for the first time that Shox was
    sitting upon it. “Exciting, huh, partner?”

    So there was his buddy, then. Bryce gave the raichu-kecleon hybrid a polite smile.

    “Guess you’ll be wanting that drink then, eh?” Shox asked.

    “I guess I’ll take you up on that offer.” Bryce lay back down.

    “No, you both need rest,” said Merle. “Get some sleep. I’ll be back for you first thing in the morning.”

    Morning…

    So it was still Monday.

    Of course.

    Bryce yawned and huddled into his pillow as Millet flicked out the lights. Somehow, Tuesdays had always seemed to work out a little better, but he couldn’t help but dread what lay in wait for him. That gyarados, the zubat. All of them had been corrupted. What if something even bigger and more terrifying attacked them? Could he really handle it? Could he actually expel The Code from Ultraspace for good, and save his own world as well as many others?

    “Hey Bryce?” Shox asked. “Can I just say something?”

    “Sure,” Bryce muttered.

    “I really feel we might succeed with you at our side,” said the hybrid. “Maybe… you can return us all to normal, as well? I kinda… miss my original body.”

    Bryce chuckled. “That makes two of us.”

    “Sure.” Shox paused for a moment, then said, “Goodnight, partner.”

    “Goodnight.”

    At least the pokemon in this world had some faith in him. Maybe he could do it? Use whatever power had been gifted to him and expel the evil Code from Ultraspace for good. It was impossible to say. But hopefully, before long, he’d even find his way back home.

    ...

    A/N - There you have it =D The start of an epic adventure, in a one-shot. If it gets enough of positive reaction, and people want to see it, I may consider writing it as a chaptered 'fic.

    And yes, it could, theoretically, be an extension onto my System universe ;)
     
  2. Marika_CZ

    Marika_CZ Well-Known Member

    You are so cruel lol. (I started reading this thinking as a one shot, it must be self contained story with satisfying closure at the end)

    I did enjoy it tho. So if the experemint was to see if people will be interested in chaptered fic about this, then mission accomplished :D Definitely want to see how things evolve from there.

    I can't say much about the plot. Since this is basically Ch1 of your hypothetical future fic, this is merely a start. I like it so far and I am hooked for more rn, but my final say will depend on how you choose to continue this story.

    Characters are nicely done and have a potential for interesting arcs. We have nice buddy who wants to be main character's bff and we have sassy smart girl who is less impressed with them. And a very leadery leader, who is brave, is the best fighter around, has a plan and takes no s*** from anyone. I want to know more about them and see them interact with each other (and how is this group going to tackle a multiverse worth of a threat).

    Oh btw. the name of your fic may be corrupted by The Code :eek:
    jk!

    tl;dr - enjoyed this, want MOAR. Chaptered fic plz.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  3. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    I really enjoyed this! I think you did a good job making Bryce feel overwhelmed and out-of-place without dwelling on it too much. The characters were all distinct and fun. And it was neat to see your take on the "human playing PMD is sucked into the PMD world" trope (which I suspect is becoming more popular thanks to Guiding Light.) The Code even feels more threatening than the virus from Glitched! Especially with how aggressively it spreads into other worlds via Ultra Space. I'd love to see how you'd portray the Ultra Beasts in this world. Needless to say, I'd love to see more of this concept! But for what it is, it did a good job telling a self-contained story, which is also important.

    ~Chibi~
     

Share This Page