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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Overthrown

#1
Hello, I'm rather new to these forums, but not to writing. I hope you enjoy.

Rated PG-13 for violence in later chapters.

Disclaimer: I own nothing concerning Pokemon, or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon.
That honor resides with Nintendo.

I would appreciate reviews, constructive criticism, and advice to improve the quality of this fic.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Overthrown

Warning: PG-13

Chapter 0.5: System Failure: Re-Initialization

"A king, realizing his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. If only sons could see the paradox, they would understand the dilemma."
Marlene Dietrich



“We’re losing him! Circulate coagulation serum. The damage is deeper than we thought!”

“No! No! Don’t take me! What are you doing!”

“His life isn’t important. He is no one, not anymore. Just the artifact. Besides, he won’t live once the life support is taken offline. “

“Very true, but, it’s not our place to decide that. We’ll do what we can.”


They could never go back. The fragile balance of power that had held up for a millennia had been burned to cinders with the fiery torches of revolution. It had been the final straw on the camel’s back that snapped it clean in two. Now, everything was gone.

From their mounted position on the laboratory wall, lit computer screens made from recycled plastic components flickered as the news feed struggled to break through the martial moratorium on communication from the beleaguered capital. The aftermath of the coup shown even though the undoubtedly heavily-edited footage: a line of Hailfire tanks moved along Terra Avenue to the Magnet Train depot, Mainland Defense Force soldiers patrolled the tops of the government skyscrapers, firefights between the revolutionary army and the dwindling loyalists raged on the top floors of the Silph industrial area, air assault ships hovered above the chaotic city, and a massive plume of tar-black smoke billowed from the burning capitol complex fueled by the rage of the mob-rule that had taken control of the outer grounds.

The camera feed faded and was replaced by a man and woman sitting behind a desk, their appearances and features looking calm, but their eyes emanating fear. The well-dressed man in a suit clicked on a small screen to his left and the screen behind them suddenly restored the live feed from the capital.

“And we’re back. As before, we are not sure of any details, but sources tell us that the fighting has ceased in the outer sectors of the city and the capitol appears to have been thoroughly subjugated of terrorist activities. No word yet on the whereabouts of the Senators and President Radic, but reports are saying--” The screen suddenly blinked and was replaced with a dark picture, the sound cutting off as well.

A young man of about twenty-five sighed as he clicked the newscast out of his own personal existence. Regardless of what the reporters said, the situation had not calmed down at all since the first shots were fired in that morning. At least, for him it had not. He ran a hand through his unkempt black hair in a weak attempt to release some of the nervousness that had been building up inside of him all this time.

He turned his attention back to the computer flatscreen in front of him. Images of electrical blueprints and circuitry danced before the man’s exhausted eyes as he motioned with his hand over one of the blueprints. The sensor read the movement and opened the model. The man rotated his hand slightly, and the model followed suit. The Displacement Coils inside the machine were as they should be, that wasn’t the issue. He tapped on the glowing, blue, outlines of what appeared to be a metal ring. The man’s brown eyes narrowed as he traced a wire from the back of the ring.

“There. That’s the issue!” He motioned with his hand towards a switch on the opposite side of the room as he looked up from his seat out the wide observation window --made entirely from reinforced, recycled plastics. There was an audible click as the comm system between the upper and lower chambers of the testing room came live.

“ Henry! The third wire, that’s what’s causing the fault! Reroute it directly to the source and it should solve the problem! Quickly!” the man eagerly shouted as he keyed in the simulation on the model after said wire was rerouted. The diagram of the machine became animated as simulated electricity ran into it.

Simulation Successful: I.G Is Operational. Parameters Exceeded: Do Not Attempt A Short Charge Experiment.

“Doug, for the last time: I am not an electrician; I am hurrying as fast as I can. I know you want your inane plot to work, but it will take some time,” Another scientist, this one considerably older and with considerably less hair than Doug replied from the lower floor as he leaned behind a real-life representation of the model.

The balding man wiped his sweating hands on his dirtied lab coat as he switched the connections within one of the panels on the backside of the ring. The silver-colored machine itself was an impressive display of the final strongholds of industrial capability the Realm could still offer.

Suddenly, what amounted to an earthquake ripped through the facility. Both scientists gripped whatever was nearest to them --a recycled metal desk and the outer plating of the machine respectively. The reinforced concrete walls around them sprouted thin spiderwebs of cracks as dust rained down in small clouds from the ceiling. The flatlights plastered on the ceiling flickered as the power system was temporarily compromised.

As soon as the floor stabilized, Henry calmly finished making the final adjustment to the connection. The monitors behind Doug began flashing bright red in warning of impending doom.

“Doug, you and I both know the reactor won’t remain stable for long. The containment is going to fail in a few minutes,” Henry reported as he tapped a screen in the wall and the auxiliary lights in the chamber shut down. “We have just enough time to get out of here. Please, Doug, listen to me!” he suddenly shouted as another small quake rattled the floor ominously.

Doug simply shook his head as he got up from his seat and walked across the observation deck. The young scientist waved his hand at the scanner and a door smoothly slid open leading down to a elevator which connected the two chambers. With another dismissive wave, the metal doors slid shut and the freight elevator slid downwards the ten feet to the lower room.



“W- where ... Where am I? What is this place?”



Another seismic blast resonated through the massive science facility’s foundations, threatening to sever their fragile connections. The elevator ceased moving as the tremor continued --a standard safety procedure. A monitor in the corner of the small chamber flickered to life with a snap of Doug’s fingers.

A shot of the burning capitol again, this time it was a section of footage from several hours ago. Gunships screamed over the smoking top of the capital, their electric engines whining as their pilots maneuvered them through sniper fire. Doug attentively watched the scene --the mission that had caused this mess in the first place. The airships circled the besieged capitol complex, their outer guns flashing as bursts of heated plasma rained down upon the revolting military units.

Two of the ships landed on the burning rooftop of the senate hall. Gunfire enveloped the scene as a mob of figures dashed across the open space between the roof access hatch and the awaiting doors of the gunships. An eruption of static overtook the camera and when the picture was restored, the gunships were swiftly departing the burning capitol, smoke trailing from their wounds on their sides.

It almost succeeded. We were so close. And now ... Now we’re paying the price, Doug thought as the elevator began to descend once more now that the rumbling had stopped. The doors opened and Doug calmly walked out into the chamber --foregoing usual procedures dictating he be sanitized beforehand.

“What was it you always said about politics?” Doug asked as he briskly walked over the piles of wiring and forsaken computer monitors that littered the lab floor, his worn shoes scuffing themselves on the rough metal grates.

“That getting mixed up in them is a death wish,” Henry said without a second’s pause as he pushed his glasses up onto the bridge of his nose once more. “Now, about leaving this deathtrap,” he began before Doug placed a hand on his shoulder, silencing him.

“Henry. You may have heard what Eliza and the others said, but you can’t leave. We were assigned to watch over him, and I’m not going to evacuate until he is safely out of their reach,” the black-haired researcher declared as both of their gazes shifted to a steel gurney set up in the exact center of the room. Upon the object lay a seemingly-lifeless boy, the graces of late-teenage youth still present in his features and short-cut brown hair. In the teen’s stark clothes several blackened scorch marks burned through the fabric and left ugly welts and scars on the visible skin.

Next to the table, a series of apparati were stacked on top of each other like a miniature building. Wires and tubes from their fronts connected to various places on the teen’s body, such as a breathing mask and other monitoring devices. If it were not for them, Doug was certain that there would be little more than a corpse on the counter.

“Henry. He was one of two people they brought back. He didn’t deserve any of this. And you’re content to just ... Just leave him here?” Doug shouted. The other scientist looked over at the teen, a thick shadow of guilt weighed down his aged face. Suddenly he pulled away and curled his hands into fists.

“Listen to me, Doug: I have a life up there. I have a wife. A family, Doug. Friends. I have something worth going back to. Something you seemingly don’t have or care enough about to go return to. I already lost my grandson, Doug. I’m not going to let the rest of my family feel that pain again from losing me,” the senior scientist viciously spat as he brushed away Doug’s hand off his shoulder. “If you excuse me, I will take my leave now. Good-bye, Douglas, you stubborn son of a bitch,” he huffed as he stormed towards the elevator. Doug took a deep breath. He knew it would come to this. The guilt card with the teen had been Plan A, but now there was no other option.

“They won’t take prisoners, Henry.” The older man froze mid-step, his hand millimeters from pressing the button to call down the lift. Slowly, as another quake shook the floor and caused another hail of ceiling panels, Henry turned around.

“What -- What are you talking about?” he asked, his voice stuttering for a split second. Doug continued to stare at the man.

“They overthrew an entire government for one thing, Henry. They sabotaged the reactor for it. Do you honestly think that they won’t hesitate to shoot you the moment you get in their sights? Be reasonable. There’s no way out of this for us.” He slammed his palm on the gurney, inches away from the teen’s face to emphasise his point. He dug around his coat pocket, and after a second more of searching, he pulled out a small, folded piece of paper. On it, were the images of an older looking woman and a younger woman sitting side-by-side. He gently showed it to the older man.

“See? I have family out there too, so don’t think I don’t care, Henry. Because I do. It’s probability, Henry. We’re probably trapped.” The ceiling shuddered as a large chunk of rock suddenly fell in between the two scientists, missing them by inches as the wind generated by it stung their eyes.

“There is a way out for him, though. That’s why I need your help,” Doug implored as an alarm klaxon rung from somewhere on the burning world above. Henry closed his eyes and pressed his hands into the front of his face before huffing loudly.

“No! I refuse to lay down my life for a child who’s already dead! I have too much to live for, Doug! I’m not willing to give up the rest of my years for you or him!” Henry turned away once again, his torn and singed labcoat making a sharp swishing noise as he quickly waved his hand in front of the sensor to activate the elevator. The older man faced him one final time as the elevator doors sealed shut with a resounding clang of metal locks.

Doug felt like someone had punched him in the gut with an iron glove, he couldn’t breathe, and his vision seemed to go in and out of focus. After the year he had spent working with the veteran scientist, Doug was certain the two shared a sort of friendship, and it was that bond that Doug had gambled on. Now, as the doors shut, Doug knew that not even the illusion of brotherhood could keep a man from thoughts of self-preservation.

“I guess it’s just you and me now, huh?” he asked the lifeless body, his own voice becoming weak suddenly and nearly catching in his throat. A deep rumble shook the facility again. In the corners of the chamber, chunks of ceiling displaced themselves and smashed on the ground. Doug shook himself out of the semi-trace Henry’s swift departure left him in as the announcement system buzzed to life once again.

“Warning: fusion reactor core containment fractured. All Rogue Industries personnel are ordered to- to-to-to-t-t-t-t-t-- Warning: core containment fracu-fr-fr-f-r-f-f-- Power grid demands now exceeding supp-p- ... ly,” the digital male computerized voice stuttered as the mainframe was bombarded with radiation and heat from the fires that raged around the facility.

The flatlights and life support monitors flickered for a split second before returning online. Doug’s breathing ceased for the entire second the machines were dark. His eyes noticed that the heartbeat rate for the teen was increasing ever so slightly. He was waking up. No, he can’t see this.

Quick as a flash, Doug grabbed a small syringe labeled “Thiopental” off the surgical table. The medical tool abandoned by the team of doctors who attempted to save his life. Doug fumbled around with the needle for a moment before adjusting it according to the specifications on the data screen so the injector measured the correct dosage.

The scientist aimed the needle at an exposed vein in the teen’s left arm and plunged the syringe into it. He clicked on the release valve and allowed the numbing agent to work its magic. The results were swift, as the heartbeat indicator on the screen instantly cut down to half and kept dropping until he was firmly unconscious once more.


“Who ... wait! What are you doing? Don’t leave me here!”


“Forgive me, but you can’t know. You can never know,” he whispered as another cataclysmic blast hit the facility, disintegrating the holdings for the high-voltage electrical cables that hung near the top of the chamber.

He didn’t even have time to scream as several of the cables dislodged from their positions and swung down towards him, lethal sparks trailing from their ports. The thick metal wires slammed into the scientist, knocking him clear across the room.

Doug felt like he had collided with the grill of a magne-train. His breath was cleared from his lungs and replaced with the sensation similar to drowning. His spine nearly fracturing as the dense concrete surface rushes to meet it. His entire world went dark for several seconds though his other senses remained fully functional: the bitter smell of singed clothing assaulted his nose, while the groaning of metal support beams played an orchestra of pain against his ear drums.

However, despite every other sensation he observed, there was something that was very much lacking from coming into contact with the business ends of high-voltage cables: the utter agony that was associated with being electrified to death. Slowly gaining the courage to open his eyes, he saw that his numbness to the electricity was no mystery, for the dangling cables were completely lifeless.

“This is number seven, I believe?” Henry’s tired voice buzzed over the intercom. The old man himself visible in the observation deck, his hands tapping the holographic keyboards as he commanded the technology to his will.

Doug leaned back against the wall, his black hair gathering a coating of chalky powder from the shifting foundations. Taking a labored breath to refill his lungs, the man chuckled.

“Six, the time with the turbines hardly counts as I saved you from falling immediately afterwards... I knew you wouldn’t leave,” Doug mumbled as he shoved himself off the wall and stood to his feet. Shaking his head, he returned to the operation station in the center of the chamber.

“There was a fire blocking the hallway leading to the elevators, that’s why I couldn’t leave. I still think your plan is horrible, but, it seems I have no choice but to go along with it. What do you need?” Henry explained matter-of-factly as he tapped more sections of the glowing keys.

“I need this room and his life support taken off the main supply and patched into the emergency grid. The core is going to melt through the turbines in a few minutes, so we can’t rely on it forever,” Doug said, doing a quick calculation in his head as he switched the apparatuses around the teen back online. As soon as the monitors beeped with the faint pulse of the boy, Doug let out a sigh as he backed away from the table.

“Doug, I still have every intention of getting out of here alive. So, get yourself up here and start the procedure. Or else I’ll regret shutting down the power to those cords.” As Henry said this, the elevator doors slid open on a signal from the balding man above. Taking a final up close look at the teen, Doug reached into his coat and pulled out a small object wrapped in a layer of cloth from his inside pocket.

Pulling away a portion of the cloth, he saw the thin gleam of blue shine forth from the item. Nodding to himself in satisfaction, Doug rewrapped the cloth and gingerly placed it in the teen’s open hand. The scientist gently curled the unconscious fingers around the cloth as he whispered a silent prayer for success.

Turning around, Doug jogged across the chamber and entered the elevator once again. The flatscreen was silent this time around as the lift cranked upwards without issue. Just as the steel doors slid away to allow his egress, the melting core deemed it fit to throw another tantrum to signify its rapid death spiral. One of the most prestigious buildings in the entire Realm, taken down by a few jarheads with guns and a successful coup d'etat ... his thoughts reflected bitterly as Doug attempted to retain his balance on the walls aside the elevator.

Henry held a stance of stone as he weathered the rocking like a well-accustomed sailor to a mega-storm in the Puel Sea, off the coast of the remnants of Alima. The veteran researcher continued tapping the halo-keyboards, shifting both chambers to the private-yet-smaller energy grid even as unstable plasma energy from the fusion core disintegrated several of the many turbines Rogue Industries had installed in this facility.

“We have roughly seven minutes, Doug, until the plasma eats through the secondary containment and kills us. We stand a strong chance of not going to make it out of the blast radius,” Henry reported, pushing his crooked glasses up on his face once more. “Now, let’s get started.”

Doug nodded as he wiped a thin layer of sweat off his forehead as he approached the consols. He pressed his hands together and bent his fingers until they popped slightly. He didn’t need to loosen them up, but the feeling helped him deal with the immense stress building in the air. The monitors flashed incessantly as they impatiently awaited to execute the commands.


”Let me out of here! Let me go! Let me go! Please!”

Chats and graphics danced across the flatscreens, the status of the machine below wavered on the edge of stability as the rocking facility subsided for a brief reprieve. The statistics presented by the graph did not work out in their favor, and the odds decreased with every passing moment. Doug knew Henry could see the odds just as well as he could. The machine had never worked perfectly, even in its prime operating capacity it suffered faults --the most serious of these disintegrating the test subjects even before they were able to step through the gate. The only glimmer of hope was the fact that the past models were even worse with their survival ratio.

No. It won’t happen this time. It’ll be a clean get-away this time. Doug stated in his mind as his fingers began to move in the air over the holographic keyboard. The computer reacted to his actions by pulling up a login screen displaying the Rogue Industries company seal: a lone iron gear from the archaic days of the first Industrial Revolution crossed with two artifacts associated with that era-- a majestic, forged-steel longsword and a humble, rusted hammer.

“Henry, you were here when they shut it down last year. What was the source code they used? I can’t get past the firewall without it,” Doug inquired without even looking up from his monitor. Henry grumbled in discontent as he turned from his own monitor and consulted a small device he produced from the front pocket of his pants. The grizzled man stroked his short cut beard in thought, his other hand accessing the memory files in his miniature computer.

“Here, I found it. Take a look and see for yourself, as company policy prevents me from speaking that code aloud under threat of death,” Henry replied, turning the rectangular device so Doug could read off the seven-character code on the screen. “Got it! We’re off the main grid. Emergency power won’t last long, but it’ll be enough to get us through,” Henry reported, a small twinge of excitement slipping into his voice. Just then, the machines around the room flickered for an instant as their energy instantaneously switched to the private turbine located within the maintenance tunnels behind the walls.

Doug grinned as he continued to stare ahead at the glowing screen, his fingers moving as if possessed. “Thanks ... Now, just to add that in ... Accessing mainframe ... Reorienting server ... And we’re in!” Designs and charts popped up on the screen as Doug swiftly sliced through the cyber barricades put in place by his superiors.

“Oh, no...” Henry suddenly muttered as he enlarged a video feed on his own screen. “Doug, the military is evacuating. They know the reactor is going to detonate...” his voice trailed off as despair seemed to take over the scientist. Before Doug could even attempt to try and console his co-worker, his screen flashed in tandem with the blaring intercom system.

“W-W-Warning: R-R-Radiation levels exceeding safe exposure amounts. All Rogue Industries p-p-personnel are ordered to take shelter in the Omega, Beta, or Sigma anti-radiation chambers located on Decks: E, E-Two, F, F-Two, G, G-Three, H, H-BZZZZZzzzzTTT!” the computerized male droned before cutting off in a harsh static cry. Both scientists cringed as they instinctively covered their ears with their hands. The sharp electronic pitch issuing from the unseen speakers continued to blast for well over thirty seconds, during which time, Doug was almost certain he’d never be able to hear out his left ear again.

“The military has taken control. All employees of the Rogue Industries Celestial Range Research Facility are vacate the premises and turn themselves in at any MDF checkpoint immediately,” the ever-friendly voice had turned dull and emotionless, indicating someone had managed to tamper with its normal programming. If Doug had any doubts about Henry’s statement, they were put to rest with the announcement system’s garbled suggestion.


“It hurts! It hurts! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Please!”



The ground gave a slight jolt beneath their worn shoes. Doug shot a knowing look over at the older man, who nodded in reply. Silently, the two Rogue Industries employees typed in the alpha commands. The circular, steel gate of wires and conductors sparked in the chamber below as energy flowed into its long-unused components. Readings popped up on the screens and were quickly adjusted to fit their parameters as they drew closer to initialization.

“It’s the last thing. Henry, disengage the failsafe retrieval protocol,” Doug breathed as the final prompt opened on the screen, asking for a eight-digit passcode. He tapped his fingers impatiently against the cold, steel desk.

“I know I’m going to regret this, but very well,” Henry sighed as he tapped his fingers across the shimmering number keypad. The system let out a soft ding and proceeded to adjust the parameters of the experiment as the electric currents in the chamber below cackled with voltage.

Doug pressed a few more buttons in ordered sequence as the inner sides of the gate began to spark with arcs of energy along the terminals. Vibrations began to ripple across the faux-stone as the machine began to pulsate with raw energy. Doug gripped the sides of the desk tightly as he watched the initialization of the most unpredictable, dangerous, and all around most lethal machine in the Celestic Range facility.

“Doug. You know the statistics as well as I do. Scores of people have been taken by the gate, by one model or another. What makes this any different? What is with this ... kid that you feel so compelled to put your own life on the line for him, even though he’s as good as dead?” Henry inquired as he fiddled with the power levels. The teen below remained completely oblivious to the lightning that was starting to rain about him.

Doug looked out over the chamber through the glass. He didn’t know why he was doing this. He just knew that there was something that was altered this time. An acute variation in the scheme. A slight discrepancy in the story. A mutation in the sequence. A difference in the variables this time. A discontinuity removed.

It was an unobservable observation --rather paradoxical it seemed in hindsight-- but one that made all the difference in the world. Doug just knew that he had to do it. He had to save this teen at all costs. There was no scientific reasoning behind it, rather, most things in science would scream at him to disregard the notions.

“Henry, I honestly have no idea,” Doug mumbled as a flash of brilliant white light commanded their attention in the chamber below. The gate, the result of the greatest minds of theoretical physics, dimensional science, and engineering coming together across the shattered Realm to forge what amounted to an exit door to their prison. Steel and other impossibly strong metal compounds were combined into a large standing ring in the chamber floor, just waiting for another sacrificial victim.

The ground shuddered again as the liquefying Fate-class tri-fusion reactors competed with the Gate for the most ground disturbance. Metal beams and mounted monitors crashed and shattered on the floor as both power sources threatened to shake the room to pieces.

The equipment around the two scientists flashed the traditional deep red that most-often alluded to a high chance of ultimate danger. The announcement system blared another fevered command to abandon the complex before it was incinerated in a nuclear fireball, but both scientists paid it no need. The finest machinery in the entire world shuddered as a webs of energy congregated and spread to cover the open center of the Gate.

“Stabilize the heat exhaust! We can’t let it overheat! Not now!” Doug ordered as he dashed to the monitor residing on the opposite side of the observation deck. Heat rippled in tormented waves as the machines down below were pushed to their upper limits of operation. Sweat beaded profusely on Doug’s brow as he switched open the vent system. Its effect wasn’t noticeable to the naked eye, but made all the difference in the world to keep the instruments from undergoing spontaneous combustion.


“Let me leave ... I want to leave ...”


“Raising energy of the Coils to one-hundred and five percent of current levels. Dimensional radiation should reach ignition point in about twenty seconds. Doug? Are you absolutely certain? This is an event horizon; there’s no going back. Not for him, not for us, not for anyone,” Henry asked, his stern voice quivering with worry as his hand hovered over the action keys.

Doug was about to open his mouth as the announcement system gave a loud, static popping noise as the pre-recorded intelligence started to speak once again.

“Attent-Attention-Atteentiionn -BZT! The experiment initialization you are currently requesting has a ninety-seven percent chance of being against Rogue Industries: Celestial Range Facility Mandates on Acceptable Experiment Protocols While Undergoing Crises of a Catastrophic Nature, otherwise known as the R.I:C.R.F: M.A.E.P.W.U.C.C.N clauses. Security teams will be notified unless shutdown procedures are enacted immediately in accordance with the R.I:C.R.F: M.A.E.P.W.U.C.C.N clauses. This has been your final warning, [insert employe names here],” the orderly voice boomed, oblivious to the background apocalypse that raged just a few floors above and beneath them. Doug silently nodded his head. He had no idea what or even where he was sentencing the boy, but it hardly mattered. Even the burning depths of hell would seem a reprieve when compared to the atrocities being committed against them only a few hundred feet above their heads.

“Oh, just shut it already!” Henry snapped at the system as he then grew serious, his features becoming pale as blood was flushed from them. The old man swallowed hard as he closed his eyes and tapped his finger against the glowing circle that triggered the activation.

The thicket of wiring above and around them hummed with raw voltage as they threatened to suck the backup generator dry. The Displacement Coils inside the the Gate pulsed with a rhythmic energy, causing the cracks in the foundation to widen and split. Chunks of falling stone pelted both levels of the chamber, the scientists holding their arms above their skulls in a meager means of defense against the collapsing masonry.

“Security forces are currently occupied. Please step away from the machine voluntarily and assume the surrender position until Rogue Industries officers arrive to detain you for your disobedience,” the computer voice chirped over the PA even as a section of the observation deck floor crumbled; leaving only a crater of twisted metal supports and pieces of concrete.

“Doug, are you certain? There’s still time to reverse the charge...” Henry trailed off as Doug tapped the projected screen in a sequenced order that only raised the energy charge rate.

The black-haired man keyed in the final code set, the final piece the the algorithmic puzzle that had perplexed the minds of passing eras. “If I wanted to back down, I would have left long ago. Deep down, you feel the same way. I know it.”

Henry swore sharply at the younger scientist before giving Doug an exasperated sigh. He put up his hands in mock surrender. “You know? Being right doesn’t mean a thing if you’re dead, Doug.”

With that somewhat philosophical remark, the threshold was reached. The air in the lower chamber pulsed as if it was waves on a stormy sea. The event horizon was crossed and both men knew there was no way back as the monitors cheerfully chirped that the Displacement Coils were ready to radiate the dimensional radiation necessary to power the Gate.



“No ... Please, no ... No more tests ... No more surgeries ... Just let me die ... Please...”


Both scientists’ gazes were glued to the thick observation window as a radiant blue light erupted from within the tunnel-like machine. Beams of pure energy bathed the lower room as another section of the ceiling landed on the medical machines connected to the boy. Doug let out a cry as he nearly jumped forward into the glass.

Without those machines running, the teen probably had less than a minute left in his lifespan before death claimed him with his scythe. The floor beneath his feet suddenly subsided three feet, throwing the desks around him off balance and their contents clattering to the floor. Doug’s legs were torn out from beneath him as his face kissed the crumbling stone floor.

He felt the skin on his nose and right cheek scrape against the rough ground and tear. He tried to brush off the harsh stinging associated with the rough abrasion. Alarm klaxons blared throughout the entire facility as the automated voice calmly explained the protocol for a proper in a nuclear fusion supernova. Above them, bolted metal passages screeched as they slammed into the stone walls on their way to the ground. Gas and electricity supply pipes split in two from the tremendous pressure of half a ton of rock and wiring crashing down on them.

Suddenly, the lights died. The entire world was sealed underneath a coffin of eternal darkness punctuated only by the ethereal, pale white glow of the Coils beneath the thin metal sheeting that covered the gate. Doug hardly dared to breathe as a cloud of dust from the fragmenting ceiling entered the final stage of collapse. Flashes of bright red swiftly illuminated the room, bathing the wreckage in the color of fresh blood.

Doug felt hands grasp the lapel of tattered lab coat and ungraciously hauled the near-witless researcher to his feet. He shot a quick glance over at Henry. From in between the quick flashes of red light, he saw the man now sported a small gash on the bridge of his forehead and a bloody sleeve of his coat from his attempts to stay the bleeding. His glasses sat awkwardly on his nose, their lenses cracked beyond all hope of repair.

Neither man had time to speak as a wall of eternally while light engulfed them from the chamber below. The Coils had reached singularity with the Seal at last. As the dimensional wavelengths equalized, the less-than-miniature earthquakes intensified inversely to the length of the span of the disparity.

Doug just stood there; his entire mind enraptured with the stark white apocalypse streaming through the reinforced glass as it purged the heinous evils from the realm of their desperation-fueled actions. Phosphenes appeared before his eyes as the pure light seared into his brain. Henry screamed something that was lost in the screeches of the dying facility. Doug didn’t even feel it as the other man slammed into him, his thin frame somehow managing to knock Doug off his feet and sent them both crashing to the floor.


“Finally ... An exit ... The outside ... I’m fre-- ”


There was little he could do to soften the impact between his torso and the crumbling ground except pray that his lab coat was thicker than he gave it credit for. His front collided with the concrete and sent a harsh burning sensation through the uncovered patches of skin on his hands and arms. He vehement curses to the obsolete gods of the Senex Tempora were muffled as the air was flooded with the ear-shattering blasts of energy disassociating from the Coils to the Gate.

Energy pulses ripped through the thick window, the glass becoming like burnt paper against the raw, uncontained power that beat against it with furious rage. Not even splinters remained as every fragment of glass was vaporized before it could even reach the floor. Both scientists felt the star-like heat of the violent reaction occurring mere feet above their backs. Their lab coats were drenched with sweat that evaporated instantly and their skin on the verge of boiling.

Their vision was completely white, their eyes unable to process even the smallest wavelength of the searing light flooding the room. Doug felt Henry push down on his side, trying to get both of them closer to the ground. He could only imagine the agony the older man felt being just a few inches closer to the incinerating radiation of the energy, if Henry hadn’t irradiated to the point of certain death already.

Doug was vaguely aware of the ground heaving underneath him, only noticing the wounds fatal of the foundation opening in the concrete skin when it was far too late to run. Metal crunched, rock splintered, wiring snapped, and electronics died as the entire floor achieved the structural integrity of a stick of melting butter.

What happened in the next ten seconds would become a complete blur to both scientists forevermore. All Doug knew was that when he woke up exactly ten and a half seconds later, he was laying haphazardly across a shattered flatscreen monitor in the subsidiary control room for the water, gas, and power lines that sat directly underneath the observation deck like a weary adventurer under a tree.

The evacuation and cessation alarms never stopped even as they were melted by heat found usually in the deep geothermal vents of the Mare Fervens trench near the ancient caldera in the western islands. Dust and sparks choked the air like smoke, forcing Doug to cover his mouth with his dirtied sleeve as he struggled to free himself of the tendril-like electrical cords. His feet and legs were constantly attacked by the debris of fallen concrete chunks and broken metal that penetrated his clothing and scratched at his skin.

When he finally managed to break through the cloud of raining dust and heat, he could hardly believe his eyes. Henry had, despite his age, managed to already free himself from the wreckage without too many visible lacerations and cross the auxiliary computer-lined room.

“Screen shows radon gas contamination in the access passage. There’s masks and RNS’s in this storage closet, though, so we should be able to make it through to the transfer sector easily,” Henry noted as he commanded a severely cracked flatscreen to power down with a wave of his hand.

Doug stumbled over the last of the piles of wreckage listlessly, unable to force himself to be concerned with his own safety. He slowly glanced at the hole in the ceiling that they’d fallen through. Somewhere through that, was the stellar fireball that was the Infinity Gate --it had been the best of the dimensional transversing technology they had available that revolutionized the use of the Dimensional Coils as a conduit for the energy flow -- now, millions of government credits and even more precious resources were burning through the floor and containment unit.

Doug couldn’t break free of the overwhelming wave of guilt that threatened to crush him. He tried to tell himself there was no way they could have prepared for this. That machine needed days to charge up, not a few minutes, and they didn’t have that time. There was no possible way they could have known about the coup, the infiltration, and the brutal operation.

He let out a hard laugh as he pressed his hand against the steel-plated walls of the lab. There was no justification for this. No amount of his persuasive argumentation would stay the consequences of his actions. It had been him who put in the order. It was him who deactivated the safety procedure. And it had been him who refused to give up until his inane plot was set in motion. Heat pulsed like a vile organ above them, beating down on him as he stared up at the ruins of the increasingly decaying experiment chamber.

“I killed him, Henry. He’s gone. H-he didn’t even have any say in it! I just killed him! And he watched me do it!” Doug’s voice grew from a hushed whisper and then broke into a yell. Red-hot fragments of metal dripped down from the hole in the ceiling, sizzling on the cooler concrete and electronics on the floor. Henry apparently ignored the younger man’s outburst as he slipped the clear, plastic mask over his nose and mouth and opened the microfilter shortly before snapping a watch-like machine on his right wrist. He then grabbed another mask and walked over to the grieving scientist.

“Doug ... Weren’t you the one to tell me that ‘he was better off dead’ rather than returning to the surface? So what if he’s dead, then? We have no visible proof that he is dead as neither of us saw the results. So, even if he is gone or the Gate, by some miracle, actually worked, then either way, he is in a better place. Now, unless we want to die ourselves, you’d better get your sorry rear over here and take a mask,” Henry stated, giving Doug’s shoulder a strong shake. The wizened man held a mask and watch-like machine out, indicating for Doug to take them.

“He watched me murder him. He saw me sedate him and then pull the damn switch. Oh, God, what have I done?” Doug’s voice dropped again to barely above a whisper as a huge glob of molten metal dripped down from the ceiling. A small fragment flung into the air and zipped through his coat, burning a clean hole through it, and passed onto the floor. Henry sighed and firmly grasped Doug’s shoulder with an unoccupied hand once again.

“Doug. Listen to me right now. You did the right thing. Just imagine what the soldiers would have done to him. If anything, you gave him the most humane way out possible. Now, we have to go right now! Take a mask and RNS and let’s move it!” Henry reassured as he clapped Doug hard on his shoulder blade. Doug took one final look at the hell seeping through the ceiling above and swiped both apparati from Henry’s outstretched hand.

Doug looked at the plastic piece of technology, anything to keep the guilt away. The mask was nothing impressive. Covering just the nose and mouth, their eyes would be suspect to anything the dying facility outside the bulkhead could throw at them. At least the filter is up to code, Doug noted as he strapped the mask over the lower part of his face and switched on the filter. The next device, however, was on the bleeding edge of safety equipment.

The Radiation Nullification Shield was exactly what it said it was. A weak field of stable electrons that projected over the area of a human body like a jumpsuit, held in place by the minor gravitational pull the human possessed. Alpha, beta, and gamma radiation was immediately absorbed and neutralized by the massive amount of free valence electrons within the field. Doug strapped the RNS to his wrist and tapped the glowing screen. Instantly, a flash of translucent, electric-blue enveloped him and spread entirely around his body --completely covering his shoes and the mess of black hair on his head.

Once he had both safety features activated, he gave Henry an affirmative nod that he was ready. The other man nodded himself as he keyed in the access code on the holographic pad on the side of the heavy, metal door. The bulkhead shuddered as the minimal power still present in the system sluggishly deactivated the electric locks and anti-surge field. As the door groaned along the tracks in the floor towards the wall, both men rushed out of the small command room, the smell of burning electronics swiftly filling the air.

The hallway was carved out of the mountain stone and lined with steel pipes, wiring, and monitors. Glancing down the darkened corridor, Doug hoped that there wasn’t anyone laying in ambush within the pitch black areas of the dimmed passage. Although invisible and virtually undetectable to them, their RNS’s flickered blue around their bodies as the overwhelming presence of radioactive radon came into contact.

Unhindered by the debilitating gas, the two jogged down the hall, passing scores of abandoned metal supply crates and various forlorn gadgets strewn along the path. The ground shook violently again, sending both men into the smooth rock walls. As soon as the core had subsided enough, Henry shook himself off and took the lead. Doug tried to keep his mind in check and focused as they shoved aside wayward boxes and kicked away wreckage. The guilt from earlier hadn’t been completely removed by Henry’s encouragement, it only festered inside him and began to snap at his insides like a ravenous beast.

The corridor ended abruptly at a locked door. The access panel flashing red in alarm that signaled immediate and present danger was just on the other side of the six inches of metal. Unfortunately for them, their only means of escape was also in that direction. Not daring to even breathe, Doug aligned the floating numbers, and watched as the barrier slid into the wall, trailing sparks as it ran along the tracks.

The room ahead was a perfect picture of the pits of hell. The gates leading to the many elevators were smashed open, the transports themselves spouting small tongues of demonically burning fire, sparks leaped through the air from ruined computer modules and severed electrical cables, and radiation alarms blared and flashed green on the ceiling. Though neither men paid much attention to any of those details as they looked at the floor.

Bodies, both of men and women. At least a dozen were slumped against the wall, ugly black burn marks from the soldiers’ plasma weaponry scarring each of them. The overwhelming smell of smoldering flesh struck Doug even through the filters. He felt his head start to spin as he nearly vomited inside his mask.

This wasn’t a sudden onslaught, Doug realized clutching his dazed head, They were executed while we were hiding in the chamber. He saw another body laying on the opposite of the room. Based on the complete set of armor and visored helmet that adorned it, Doug could tell it was one of the soldiers that had been sent to slaughter them all. A pool of blood sluggishly widened underneath the helmet, the front of which was smashed inward, cracks appearing in the strong plastic visor. A bloodied pipe wrench was cast aside on the floor nearby.

At least they put up a fight, he grimly thought as he shut his eyes to the sight and smell.

“Doug! Come quick! Hurry!” Henry shouted. Opening his eyes, Doug pushed through the horrifying smell and saw the greying head of his friend crouched near the line of bodies. He waved his wrinkled hand and yelled for him to come quickly.

As Doug approached, he saw exactly what Henry was bent over. It was the body of a man that Doug estimated to be even older than Henry by the looks of his completely greyed hair. The only problem was that this body was still moving and talking.

“Oh, God ... Thank God someone found me at last...” the man whispered before a violent cough ripped through his weakened form. Doug knelt down on the man’s left side opposite Henry. Despite the flickering light, Doug suddenly realized that he knew this man. Through the blood spattered clothes and bruised skin, he remembered his enthusiastic director of the Dimensional Studies Department, Matthew Gideon. The man who had given him his job the very day he graduated from the University of Phenac, and who had assigned him to his post as Assistant Researcher under his colleague Henry Hall.

“Mr. Gideon, sir. Are you alright? What happened?” Doug knew the first question was an obvious ‘no’, but he had to ask.

“N-no, Douglas. I am not quite at one-hundred percent as you can possibly see. I would be better off if you could remove that weight from my chest, though,” Matthew wheezed as Henry obediently reached down, hefted the “weight” off the downed scientist, and carefully laid the male body on the floor away from the director.

“Much better ...” Matthew groaned as he leaned up against the wall to examine the damage to himself. Doug’s head was getting woozy again from the thick odor of burnt skin, but it immediately cleared up once he laid eyes on the injured man’s torso. A wide circle of charred skin was located about the spot where his stomach was supposed to be.

“Damn. That’s going to need more than a first aid kit to sew up,” Matthew cynically observed as yet another cough shuddered through him, breaking open some of the hardened, burnt flesh in his wound, allowing fresh blood to flow once again. “Those soldiers weren’t taking any chances with any of us.”

“Save your energy, Matt, please. Let’s try to move. The wound isn’t that bad,” Henry urged as he tried to get his arm behind Matthew’s back. The old man was met with a swift slap to his arm by the even older director. Doug watched with slight bemusement at seeing someone put his stuffy co-worker in his place.

“Leave me be. My eyes still work just fine, thank you. I can see that I’m not going to get out of this one.” Henry was about to interject when Matthew held up his hand. “No. You both will listen to me now. I have one question that I demand an answer to first and foremost: Did you get rid of it?” Henry’s gaze shot over to Doug for a moment as he cleared his throat.

“Sir, Doug did it. But, please, let us help you u-” Henry admitted. Matthew slowly turned his fatigued head over to Doug.

“Shut up, Henry. Doug. You used the Gate, didn’t you? Good, good. Now that’s cleared up, I want both of you to know something,” Matthew whispered, raising his arm to catch his cough. Specks of blood peppered his sleeve once he pulled it away. Both Doug and Henry leaned slightly closer.

“The exits are all patrolled, Eliza and the others already took the last tram out, and the hanger has been sealed off. You both will have to go through the administrative areas and get to the delivery bay at Gate A. Those are locked down, so you’ll need my access card to get in,” he explained all in one breath as he brandished a sleek, plastic card from the tattered pocket of his coat.

Henry reached forward to take the card, but the older man suddenly jerked it away, the sudden action causing him to grimace in pain.

“Not yet. I need something in return. Doug, would you be so kind as to grab that pistol and bring it here?” Matthew requested calmly, as he clutched the outside of his gaping wound. Doug immediately knew what the director was planning on doing, but nevertheless, slowly got to his feet and shuffled the three yards across the floor to the fallen Mainland Defense Soldier. The plasma pistol was still firmly in the dead man’s grasp. Doug took a deep, reassuring breath of filtered air as he crouched down and pried the stiff, gloved, fingers off the weapon.

“Gideon! What do you think you’re doing? We can still get you out of here!” Henry shouted as Doug solemnly returned with the gun. “Doug, don’t give it to him!” Henry’s panicked protests were immediately silenced as he was met with bitter stares from both men.

“Henry, you told me the same thing back there about the boy. It’s your turn to let go,” Doug angrily snapped as he gave the handle of the pistol to the dying man, who in return handed over his card.

“It’s my time, Henry. Not much will be able to change that. Just get out of here. Go back to your family and tell Charline I said hello, would you? The other facilities should have gotten the distress signal by now, so hopefully someone will be around to rescue you two once you get out,” Matthew sighed as he grasped the weapon and eyed it curiously. The ceiling above them groaned under the pressure as cracks laced through it.

There was little more Henry could do to sway either of them of their convictions. Doug pulled Henry to his feet by his arm and motioned towards the door that lead to the access stairs across the room.

“Goodbye, Mr. Gideon. Thank you for giving us a chance to escape,” Doug tersely said as he pulled Henry away from his old friend. The aged man pushed against Doug’s grip, but calmed as Matthew spoke for the last time.

“Henry, thank you for everything. It’s been a one hell of a run between the two of us. Now, you’ll have to finish without me,” Matthew wheezed as he switched the safety feature off on the weapon.

The walk to the stairs was completely silent as Doug ushered Henry inside the stairwell. Doug looked back once more at the fallen man before sliding the thin, metal door shut. They waited one moment before a bright light flashed through the small, ash-coated window of the door and the muffled sound of a single discharge echoed through the crumbling facility.

As if sharing its lament over the loss of its employee, the massive building groaned as the concrete ceiling caved in on the transport chamber, giving Matthew at the very least an impromptu burial underneath several tons of the facility he had loved.

Doug looked back at Henry; the older man was leaning over the metal bar of the stairs whispering a prayer into his gas mask for his friend. Whether the omnipotent being in the sunless sky above would hear his prayer was up to debate, but Doug respectively waited until he was finished to suggest they move upwards.

The next few moments passed relatively quickly. Without words, both men sprinted up the creaking, welded steel, staircase. With every floor that they passed, the danger only increased.

“Warning: Electromagnetic containment fields discharging. Seventy-two and one half percent change remaining. Seventy-two and one third charge remaining. BZT!” the voice chimed before cutting out again. The announcement only spurred the men even more. Despite Henry’s age and brief exposure to the radiation, he was keeping pace with Doug’s sprinting up the countless flights of stairs. Adrenaline and the threat of instant death kept fatigue away as both men flew through the twenty underground stories to the surface floors.

They dashed past more execution sites with eyes closed, not letting anything else distract them from their task. The hallways of the office were completely deserted except for the occasional battered body of a burnt scientist or bludgeoned soldier killed during the invasion.

Matthew’s card had proved useful as they swiftly barreled through the double glass doors of the administration area, narrowly avoiding the automated plasma bolts of the turrets placed in the lobbies. The bolts sizzled in the blast-resistant glass as both men caught their breath for one moment before moving once again.

Together they vaulted over desks and office computers, Henry losing little ground to Doug even with his age. Hallways and offices blurred together as the two kept following the directional signs. Rogue Industries prided itself on efficiency, a virtue Doug was glad it had as the paths were straightforward even as the facility entered its death throes.

Quicker than they imagined, they were pressing the access panel to open the miraculously unguarded Gate A. Red alarms continued to flash and flood the air with a loud klaxon as the metal door screeched away into the walls. The delivery bay was completely empty except for the smoldering remains of three magnet trams and the looted bins of cargo they possessed. Henry and Doug climbed over the large metal containers as they drew ever-closer to the wide exit of the Gate.

Nodding to each other from atop a crate, both men suddenly leaped. Doug managed to tuck in his shoulder and roll over it upon impact with the ground while Henry jarred his legs painfully when he hit the pavement. Once he completed his maneuver, Doug ran back to assist his companion who was struggling to get to his feet.

Henry winced in pain as Doug put his hand around his back and made the limping man lean on his shoulder. The older man attempted to counter by saying he didn’t need help, but Doug refused to let go as they slowly but surely inched away from the Celestic Range Facility.

The ground suddenly quaked violently as the muffled voice blared that the containment field had only ten percent charge left and was draining fast. The unchecked reaction in the nuclear fusion core would blast through the facility in no time at all once the electromagnetic field failed. Panic began to set in as both battered scientists immediately picked up the pace of their limp, despite the immense pain it brought Henry.

Cragged, majestic mountains surrounded them and offered the promise of a safehaven if only they could reach it in time, their lofty peaks pointing towards the orange tinted skies of the darkening horizon away from the heinous crimes against the heavens occurring below. Both men heard the humming of the electric motors long before they ever saw the gunships they belonged to as the graceful, steel birds flew around the base of the mountains in a tight formation.

Hoping against hope that their tiny forms wouldn’t be picked up by the military radars within the craft as they stumbled haphazardly across the gritty pavement that lead out of the delivery bay. Though, their concerns hardly mattered, for at that moment, the world seemingly leap six feet into the air and a roar akin to a host of demons breaking free of the chains of hell exploded through the mountains.

Doug and Henry were violently thrown ten feet forwards, the blast and quake slamming into their backs like a Magna-Tram and kicking their feet out from under them, leaving the men little protection from the insane whims of the explosive force. Doug flew in a graceless arc through the air, his limbs loose and flailing as he tried to stop the world from spinning.

His wish was granted soon enough when the rough pavement rubbed the skin on his legs and arms raw with the impact. The angered giant of sound shook the earth as it marched from the epicenter of the reactor deep underground. Doug barely had time to focus on his own immense pain as he heard a soft thud beside him as Henry was thrown into the base of a lofty pine tree.

It was then that the fallout hit. A hellish mixture of debris and radiation rained down upon them from the tumultuous clouds. Sections of concrete walls slammed into the ground like drops of water, flash-burned masses of half-melted metal flew further from the erupting facility and stuck to the sides of nearby mountains, and the giant blades of the turbines impaled the rock as if it was a knife through bread.

Their RNS’s began beeping erratically as the volatile atoms broke free of their unstable forms within the core and sped through the countless layers of lead and rock up to the surface. The watch-like machine flashed red as the field was pelted with an assault of thousands of radioactive particles, yet the shield did its job and maintained the barrier between the lethal dosages of radiation and the two battered and broken humans depending on them. Heated metal shattered once it connected with the cooler rock, sending razor-esque shrapnel slashing through the air.

Doug weakly lifted his head as the roar gradually died down, the beast responsible content with its show of force and ready to slumber in its den once more. Considering he had not been flash fried by the intense heat of the uncontrolled reaction, he could only assume that the containment had held it long enough to mitigate the apex of the blast so that it would be cancelled out by the sheer volume of concrete, steel, mountain rock, and lead.

He gave a low sigh, again, Rogue Industries had seemingly prepared for nearly every possible scenario and a way to either counter or alleviate the effects of said scenario. Doug raised his head up, weakly pushing with his arms. The downpour of lethal hail seemed to have subsided except the gentle snow of papers somehow not scorched in the fireball. He turned to the side, gazing a few feet away where his companion was groaning.

Henry had, in a show of sheer will, pushed himself up and was now leaning against the base of the spindly evergreen. The old man was breathing heavily and clutching his right knee while ignoring the plethora of angry, red abrasions along his arms, legs, and under his tattered labcoat. Other than those issues, however, he seemed to be alive and that was what mattered now.

Doug gingerly flipped himself over so he was lying on his back. He felt a shooting pain travel through his chest. There was something a mess in his ribs, he knew that fact well enough based off the immense agony associated with moving. Doug was so preoccupied with his injuries that he did not notice the increasing volume of a static hum and rotating blades from the sky.

The metal birds had not been scared off by the beast’s roar, and had quickly reformed and were diving in fast towards the ruined facility. The flock sliced through the dust cloud that settled in the mountainous valley, their bright searchlights scanning systematically over the rocky plateau until they came into focus over the two scientists on the outskirts of the military occupation zone.

They might as well have been loaves of bread to the hungry flock of metal raptors as one of the gunships swiftly descended into the radiation cloud from the dusk-colored sky. Thoughts of immediate self-preservation ran through his head and became a painkiller of sorts as the fatigued young researcher leaped to his feet. The metal vehicle settled on a patch of ground not punctured with fragments of offices and laboratories and only kicked up the dust further as its engines died down with a whine.
The gangway doors flew open with a mighty swing that blasted the dust away. Like parasitic fleas, soldiers in the very same uniforms both men had encountered inside leap from the interior of the diseased bird. Their tinted visors glinted in the dying light of the day as the five men swung their weapons about the clearing leading from the wrecked delivery bay.

Doug could only watch in silence as the men swiftly surrounded both him and Henry. Not even the threat of death could get him in a state to outrun the speed of plasma bolts. Doug gave a low groan as one of the armored men walked up to him.

“Your identification beacon says you are Doctor Douglas Strickland. Is that you?” he inquired, his voice sounded like it was being forced through a radio. It wasn’t a question that could be avoided, not with two other men holding him within their aim the entire time. Doug shot a quick glance towards Henry, who was receiving the same treatment from two other MDF soldiers.

“Y-Yes. I am,” he squeaked, his fear-laced voice barely escaping his bone-dry throat. The soldier simply gave a quick nod to his two squadmates and turned away. Before Doug had a chance to react, he felt the heavy butt of the plasma rifle smash into his back and again into his skull. Stars exploded in front of his vision as the combined forces of exhaustion and the blows made his body fall like a rag doll.

Only one thought persisted in his mind as his body failed and the soldiers jeered: You made it out. I know you did. Good luck. Doug’s body then went limp and his head fell against the rocky ground.


“This one ... This one ... This one ... ... ... Just might work ..."


In a world far away from the chaos. Separated from the radiation, the violence, and the torture by a great web of dimensional energy. Within this world, a sudden blast of blue lightning enveloped a dying wheat field outside of a small village.

The ground shuddered as blue-colored electricity flashed through the dried stalks of swaying wheat. For an instant, dimensional singularity was reached and a harsh sonic boom echoed throughout the lands. A thud was heard as something soft impacted with the dried and cracked earth.

A pained groan in the darkness was heard as the soft thing weakly raised its head. He attempted to push up on his right arm slightly, but as soon as he contracted the muscles in said arm to move it, a sharp pain sparked from his chest to every single nerve ending in his body. Spots danced before his already blurry eyes as pure pain lanced across his entire being.

Unconsciousness threatened to overwhelm him. His vision tilted and twisted as memories and thoughts evacuated his traumatized mind. His childhood, his family, his friends, his home, all vanished in an instant, replaced by a desperate yearning to remember.

Flashes of light, someone calling out to him, fire, a ruined city, a destroyed world, a key to the barrier, and a phrase whispered from somewhere far away and long ago as his vision died and head slumped to the ground:

“He is no one, not anymore.”

End Chapter 0.5v2


Knightfall signing off...
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Transcending the Abyss ~~ PMD: Overthrown
An Abyss, a Kingdom, a Prophecy, a Revolution, and Insanity.

[Image: Overthrown_zps05f0a15f.png]
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#2
Have to say, the premise of the prologue is very interesting. Some kind of chaos going on and two scientists getting through that. Since this is a Mystery Dungeon fic and I haven't read the Serebii version yet, am interested the importance of this setting.

One thing I want to mention is you seem to jam pack many adjectives to describe one thing, for instance:

Quote:“Warning: fusion reactor core containment fractured. All Rogue Industries personnel are ordered to- to-to-to-t-t-t-t-t-- Warning: core containment fracu-fr-fr-f-r-f-f-- Power grid demands now exceeding supp-p- ... ly,” the digital male computerized voice stuttered as the mainframe was bombarded with radiation and heat from the fires that raged around the facility.
The bolded part you have quite a few adjectives to describe a voice. "Digital voice" should be fine (I don't think it's important the voice is male unless it's very important to the plot).

Quote:The thick metal wires slammed into the scientist, knocking him clear across the room.
I feel "metal wires" or just "wires" should be fine since I'm already aware what kind of material wires are.

Quote:Pulling away a portion of the cloth, he saw the thin gleam of blue shine forth from the item.
Also too much adjectives to describe something. Maybe "he saw the blue shine" or "he saw the thin shine"

Quote:The computer reacted to his actions by pulling up a login screen displaying the Rogue Industries company seal: a lone iron gear from the archaic days of the first Industrial Revolution crossed with two artifacts associated with that era-- a majestic, forged-steel longsword and a humble, rusted hammer.
Jam packing too many adjectives for a couple items. I think "iron gear", "longsword", and "rusted hammer" would be read much faster.

There are a few more of those instances, but I think you got the idea lol. It's okay to have some adjectives but not too much for one item/idea/etc. Some other parts/concerns I want to point out:

Quote:Doug pressed a few more buttons in ordered sequence as the inner sides of the gate [bbegan to spark[/b] with arcs of energy along the terminals. Vibrations began to ripple across the faux-stone as the machine began to pulsate with raw energy. Doug gripped the sides of the desk tightly as he watched the initialization of the most unpredictable, dangerous, and all around most lethal machine in the Celestic Range facility.
You seem to keep repeating "began to (action)", which makes the actions passive voice. To have an active voice, you can ditch "began to" and have the action straight out, so "rippled", "sparked", and "pulsated" instead.

Quote:From in between the quick flashes of red light, he saw the man now sported a small gash on the bridge of his forehead and a bloody sleeve of his coat from his attempts to stay the bleeding.
You mean "stop"?

Quote:What happened in the next ten seconds would become a complete blur to both scientists forevermore. All Doug knew was that when he woke up exactly ten and a half seconds later, he was laying haphazardly across a shattered flatscreen monitor in the subsidiary control room for the water, gas, and power lines that sat directly underneath the observation deck like a weary adventurer under a tree.
The mention of ten seconds seems repetitive to me. Actually, I don't think you need to be exact on the seconds. You can just say "few seconds" and "shortly after" respectively.

To be honest, this prologue(?) dragged on a bit and part of it has to do with too many adjectives and passive voice within the narrate. I'm aware a lot is going on and I think you managed that decently, but there are times I wonder when this part will be finished. I don't want to say to cut out a lot of the action as it'll make the prologue rushed, though. I guess what I'm saying is trimming off some unnecessary wording will make a difference.

Quote:
~~~~~~~~~
“W- where ... Where am I? What is this place?”
~~~~~~~~~

Those dividers I'm kinda confused if they're like thoughts for the dead teen left behind or a throwback to how the beginning of MD text is like. Besides that, not a fan for those kind of dividers as in published novels you don't see too many *~pretty dividers~* like that. As I was reading the dividers seem oddly placed as the prologue is read as one long beginning of a movie. I think it would be better if those particular texts were shown at the end. You can disagree with me on this, though.

Overall there are some areas I feel could be worked on. I still enjoy this though and look forward to next part.
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“Now my friends, I think this calls for a toast. We’re embarking on something truly great here. Be prepared for what’s coming.”

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[Nothing, Everything and Heart of the Sea (coming soon): My stories]
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#3
Thank you for reviewing!

Now, I'd to say this right off the bat: I love description in my writing. In all of my projects, you'll find that. World-building, scene development, everything, I enjoy writing it all.

I do understand that, at times, my writing does drag on ... a lot. You'll find in later chapters, that it's not as present as it is here. That's because this is a rewrite of my previous prologue, which was pretty messy. I wanted this to be a statement of how far I had progressed as a writer since my initial prologue (hence the title "Re-Initialization"), thus explaining the lengthy and sometimes needless description. It's a poor excuse, yes, I know, but it's my only defense.

I will definitely keep this in mind when I start on my rewrite of the first chapter (which is the only other chapter so far receiving a rewrite). The current version of the first chapter is a lot more ... bare-bones, in structure. So, it may be to your liking as far as needless adjectives go.

And, about the ~~ breaks........ Wow... Now I feel like a complete idiot. All this time, over a year, I couldn't find the button to insert a horizontal line break... I just found it. .... Boy do I feel stupid.

I do disagree on the placement of the quotes, though. It's in my style to put them inside writing, however, I do admit that this is the first time I've used so many in one chapter.

I will get on with working on the adjectives in my future writing as well as fixing all those ~'s.

Thank you very much for reviewing, Bay. Every bit of advice helps my writing.

Knightfall signing off...
[Image: OverthrownTtA_zps433773ef.png]

Transcending the Abyss ~~ PMD: Overthrown
An Abyss, a Kingdom, a Prophecy, a Revolution, and Insanity.

[Image: Overthrown_zps05f0a15f.png]
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#4
Oh I see the world building and scene development there. Can tell you put a lot of effort into the rewrite. Later on you'll learn that sometimes concise writing can be more effective. The funny thing is I tend to get comments on needing to flesh the description (scenery and emotional) more, so I'm still learning to do that, lol. Somehow I'm better at pinpointing parts where the description is a bit much in someone else's work.

Good luck on rewriting Chapter One! As I said, it's alright to have adjectives here and there but something like "tiny blue fluffy dog with the shiny pink bow" is a bit of a mouthful, lol, and can be easily edited to "tiny dog with the bow".
[Image: skyandbalincopy.png]
“Now my friends, I think this calls for a toast. We’re embarking on something truly great here. Be prepared for what’s coming.”

[Avatar found image at LJ] [The Black Cat's Stains: My gallery] [The Ruin Maniac: My ASB-Neo Trainer Profile]
[Nothing, Everything and Heart of the Sea (coming soon): My stories]
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#5
Great work, I must say I'm impressed! I've never played mystery dungeon so I'm a little confused on how this ties into pokemon, but I'm only halfway through what you have posted so I might answer my own question with a little reading. How did you get so good at description? Are there some writing exercises you did to improve that, or did it come naturally to you? In my writing I seem to rely on too much dialogue so if you have a couple tips on how to improve description that would be greatly appreciated!

I'll have to come back later and read through the rest of it. In the meantime I'm posting this to show support for your work.
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#6
Thanks, Bay! And yes, I still have a lot to learn with writing, such as using concise writing. So, I will definitely keep that in mind when rewriting Chapter One.

And thank you, Slayer! To be honest, this chapter contains only a little of the MD world at the very end. But, the rest of the story should paint a clear picture of the world from my twisted perspective.

Honestly, this is story is my first ever writing project. The description has always been there, even in the older version of the prologue. I got practice as I wrote more chapters, but it mostly came naturally to me.

As for tips, well, with dialogue, I try to think of what characters are doing while they are talking. I mean, they could be gesturing with their hands, breathing heavily, shaking with fear with a quiver in their voice, ect. By adding small actions like that to the end of dialogue might help you out there.
And if you have a lot of dialogue, well, I would simply take a few sentences to describe the environment from one of the character's perspectives. I do that with the very beginning of this chapter after the first small scene. There's a few sentences that give a small glimpse of the world before going to Doug. Hope this helps!

Knightfall signing off...
[Image: OverthrownTtA_zps433773ef.png]

Transcending the Abyss ~~ PMD: Overthrown
An Abyss, a Kingdom, a Prophecy, a Revolution, and Insanity.

[Image: Overthrown_zps05f0a15f.png]
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#7
Chapter One: The Story Retold


[Time: 19:34 Hours] [Date: REDACTED] [Location: REDACTED] [Begin Transmission]
“Operation: Sky’s Edge failed. Artifact lost. Captured two members of the science team at Gate A. Interrogation and disposal will commence at forward command post at 2000 hours. Await further orders.”[End Transmission] [Source: REDACTED]




There was no wind. There was no wind, yet the tall, golden fronds of grass swayed like waves on a fabled sea. The shimmering plants tossed their grainy heads around in the nonexistent breeze, almost glowing in their unspoiled splendor. Sunlight, floating down from the great orb in the heavens, caressed the massive field like a giant hand stirring the surface of a still pond. It was the picture of perfect calm.

Below the upper layer of swaying gold was the ground. It almost wreaked of the smells of earth and fertile topsoil. Unseen creatures beneath the dry surface relished the cool and pleasant dirt. However, there was one oddity within this realm of calm and tranquility that did not fit in. An anomaly in every sense of the word.

Visions swirled about his head. A vicious hurricane beating upon his skull from the inside. He felt himself, his skin, his arms, his hands, and his legs pressed against the cool, dry earth. Sensations of heat, light, and stillness washed over him, reawakening his senseless nerves and consciousness. Signals shot from his mind, through his synapses, and all around his body.

Through his closed eyelids he could see something bright. The glowing orb appeared to illuminate the entire world. He was curious. He wanted to know. Above everything else, he needed to see and find out what was causing the nearly painful feeling beneath him. It took several tries, but soon after this mental resolution, his eyelids flickered open and he nearly had a heart attack from the explosion of light and color that flooded his senses.

Shimmering gold, a vast, vivid blue, a rich, dark brown, a flash of fiery red were all that he could discern as his eyes painfully dilated in the harsh bright light. He instinctively lifted his arm to shield himself from the painfully strong glare, but was stopped when the limb twinged as if he had a pinched nerve. He hastily straightened his left arm and let out a cry of slight agony as he tried to work out the knot in his muscles.

His back arched in pain as he dug his feet into the ground, hoping that the pain would soon subside. During this, only a small part of his mind registered that not all was normal about him. As the shooting throb in his arm slowly dulled, he became more conscious that something had changed. Something that was not supposed to change. Once again moving his feet, he tried to press them into the ground as he grasped at the dry earth in order to pull himself into a sitting position.

His head spun madly as his brain had to adjust to the sudden change in alignment and blood flow. Both hands sprang to the sides of his skull as he cradled it while he rocked slowly back and forth on the ground. He wanted nothing more than the world to stop its breakneck rotation, but was only rewarded with a strong wave of nausea passing over him. His body lurched forward, and he was only barely able to hold himself up on his shaking arms as his stomach tried to clear itself of all previous contents.

The bitter taste remained on his tongue as he once again tried to gather where he was as the earth slowly stopped swaying. He forced his lungs to take a deep breath in an attempt to concentrate. He continued to hold his head steady as the gyrations that revolved around his head faded into the aether. When he finally gained the fortitude to open his eyes once more, he blinked rapidly to counteract the bright ball in the sky that was shooting light down at him.

He couldn’t remember ever seeing such a sight before. Nowhere in his foggy mind was the memory of a blue sky with this glowing circle that emitted heat in it. Deciding that the mystery of this strange object in the atmosphere was too much for him to deal with at the moment, he turned his attention to a mystery that was much closer proximity and perhaps of much more importance. Like how his arm was a deep crimson instead of whatever color it had been before.

Curiosity got the better of his distorted senses, much like the unfortunate cat, as his gaze slowly traveled up his red scaled arm to rest on a hand fused with four claws that gleamed as polished bone in the daylight. He blinked again while he forced his legs to stand up next to the golden, swaying plants, Somewhere within his hazy mind, he knew this was wrong. That something was horribly wrong with him. That he shouldn’t be this way, yet he couldn’t prove it.

Something about the seemingly new transformation seemed slightly off. The small part of his mind went into overdrive as his stare moved down his arm once again to his now-standing form. His chest, from the skin it possibly used to own, had changed to a coating of tawny beige scales that fused into a crimson coloring when it reached his legs and thighs. A quick feel of his head revealed it to have a large horn-like protrusion extending from the back of his skull.

His feet had been pushed into some reptilian shape and had gained three thick claws made of the same substance as the ones on his hands. He was about to reach down and examine the changes when he felt something brush the ground as he moved. It was hard to describe, as he swore it was his own body, yet nothing in his memory served him as to what could cause such a thing. He twisted around, trying simultaneously to find some sort of mirror and to see what was causing the strange sensation behind him.

Based upon the other seemingly shocking discoveries he had made in the last few seconds, seeing that he now had a tail fashioned from the same crimson and beige scales as the rest of his body. He was sure that the limb had not been a part of him before his recollection ceased, but he could not be certain. Though, the most alarming of the string of self-discoveries was that the very tip of the appendage was covered in a cheery orange flame that seemed to jump as he held the tail in his claws.

“Not possible. This isn’t possible...” he mumbled as his mind tried to make sense of the scene. It was a futile attempt, for while he had tried to remain calm and collected, thoughts raged in his head at the irrationality of it all. His jaw unconsciously clenched as his arms shook with anger. He didn’t know anything. He remembered nothing. And he couldn’t stand it.

“No. No! This. This isn’t possible! This isn’t me!” he shouted, even though his mind failed to produce any viable evidence that the statement had any sort of credence. He refused to accept that he was so helpless, that he was in the middle of some field in a body he had no idea whether it was his or not, or that there was nothing he could do about it. He had to do something. His eyes hastily scanned across the featureless dirt patch in search of a target. The form of his tail was the only thing that came up.

Hissing and choosing to ignore the steam exiting the nostrils on his snout, he grabbed the fleshy limb and held it in front of him. He bypassed the strange and instinctual feelings that screamed for him to stop as he lifted his stumpy foot and stomped down on the flaming tip in an attempt to extinguish one of the unknown mysteries that plagued him.

Within an instant, he was slammed with sensations of pure pain. Every nerve on his body activated and sent their most powerful signals to his brain, nearly overloading it with anguish. His body acted without his consent as his foot immediately jerked back from his tail, kneeing himself in the gut with the same action. He was already breathless from the initial pain, but the secondary input almost sent him to the ground again.

Both his eyes squeezed shut in reaction to the wave of agony that shot through him. Though he could not see, in his mind’s eye the world spun violently and threatened to make his stomach heave. Breathless, he finally collapsed to his knees and fell forward on his arms, barely managing to hold his head above the ground. He spat and coughed as air slowly decided it was worthy of entering his mouth and lungs.

Cautiously opening one eye, he saw that what he previously saw was no side-effect of a dream or nightmare. His body was still a strange reptilian form and his tail, his evil, treacherous tail, still lay behind him, the tip burning merrily once again, apparently forgetting that its owner tried to strangle it.

“No... No-!.” His vocal cords cut out suddenly as they adjusted to being used after a slight atrophy. He clutched his claws to his throat, unintentionally piercing the scales coating his neck. It wasn’t the disbelief of his change in appearance that shocked him, but it was the fact that he could not remember. Memories, wayward thoughts, personal information went out the proverbial window the more he tried to recollect them. Snorting in frustration with the ineptitude of his mind currently, he let his legs fall underneath him as his hind hit the dry earth with a cloud of dust, and he ignored the shooting pain coming from his now-bent tail. Thoughts raced around in his head as if trying to put out the multiple fires that had suddenly blasted through it.

What happened to me? Why am I here? Why can’t I remember? I need to focus... He thought as he tried to align his observations and muscle his way through the pain. He had scarcely woken up, yet he was fairly certain he was in a place he had never seen before even in his clouded memory. Closing his eyes from the bright light of the odd orb in the sky, he tried to sort through the utter chaos that was brewing inside his head. He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled as he dealt with the rocketing tangents of thought one by one.

The first one his psyche threw at him was the question of his name. Not necessarily important in the grand scheme of things he reasoned quickly, but worth looking into for the future. He immediately began scraping at the distant, dark mountains that rose as a barricade to his past, in hopes that his measly scratches at pebbles would trigger an avalanche. He dug and dug and dug for several minutes that stretched on for an eternity before something finally surfaced in the form of an adult voice.

He couldn’t make out the memory, except that it was definitely male. It sounded disappointed in something, but what it was eluded him. The very words the faraway voice spoke seemed disjointed and unintelligible. He would have passed them off as a pointless ramble if he hadn’t caught the final utterance of a name at the cessation of the monologue.

“... Leo.”

Leo. Leo. Leo. Leo, He mouthed with his changed jaws, testing out every aspect of the name with them.

Not a bad name, but it’s nothing too exciting either, he mused while he lay on the ground. However dull the name might have been, it was all he had, so he went along with the three-lettered identification for himself.

My name is Leo. My name is Leo. The more he said it, the more possessive he became over it until he could call it his own. He let his mouth stretch into a slight grin as he congratulated himself on solving the first mystery that his mind threw at him. Yet, he was not done.

The secondary question that projected itself far above the others was of what he used to be. Certainty was not with him while he mulled over the newest question that came to him. He wasn’t sure what to make of it. On one side of his mind, it was shouting that something was very wrong with this scenario, but on the other, it was taking a hard neutral stance in failing to see why exactly he was worrying. There was nothing in his memories to prove that he was ever anything other than what he currently was --this oddly red-colored reptilian being.

He slowly rocked to his feet, working out several of the remaining aches and pains in his stiff legs as he did so. He knew he needed to be conservative on this attempt of staying upright on his feet. While the neutral side of his mind claimed nothing was really wrong because it had no proof of anything otherwise, the other half screamed that there was proof.

Since when does amnesia lead to forgetting major parts of your own body or how it functions? That isn’t natural! He nearly cringed at the loudness of the thought, but still paused to consider the claim it was making. There was a certain trueness that hung about the thought, lingering questions that challenged his tranquil demeanor.

He knew next to nothing about amnesia or whatever dissociative fugue state he was currently experiencing, but he wanted to give his assertive mind some amount of trust with its stance. It stood to reason that he would remember the critical fact that he had a tail and an inseparable fire atop it, or that his skin was a near-blood color, or that he was some sort of lizard creature. He couldn’t even remember what his species was called. That drove the final nail in the neutral side’s fragile case.

Leo, still training his mind to accept the name as his own, huffed with an air of finality and nodded. He decided to believe in the radical shouts coming from his pressured mind. He knew that he currently wasn’t normal. He had been something else before his memory had cut out, but what that something else happened to be, he didn’t know.

“Come on Leo, think. Think. You have to think,” he told himself, exercising his rusty vocal cords at the same time. He wracked his mind as he thought back to the strange voice he had uncovered in his mental excavation earlier. Analyzing it as best he could, he determined that it indeed was some sort of adult male, but who it was still eluded his grasp.

“Who is that? Who could be saying my name? How do I know them? How do they know me?” All valid questions, but nothing was forthcoming from the thick fog that obscured the path to his past memories.

“Who is he? My father? A relative? A friend?” None of the answers he suggested triggered anything in his mind and he gave up the endeavor with a dejected sigh. As if sensing that his attention was currently unoccupied, his stomach let out a furious growl that startled him, making him jump slightly.

Leo now realized that he was starving. His aching belly yearned for something to eat, and he couldn’t remember the last time he had ever eaten. Any thoughts of finding out clues to his past were pushed away as his body and mind immediately shifted all focus to finding some sort of food to fill his stomach.

Taking another sweeping look across the clearing he was in, he saw nothing but a continuous wall of shimmering gold. He took a step forward on the brown dirt and listened to the crunch of dry dirt clods shattering beneath his feet. He vaguely wondered why he could not hear the rustling of the plants even though they were plainly swaying in some sort of unfelt wind. It was as if they obeyed some other laws of nature besides the regular ones Leo was accustomed to.

Being cautious, Leo walked further in the clearing and found that several clear-cut paths branched out from the “room” he was in. He scratched the back of his head lightly, making sure not to cut his skin with his new claws. Leo wasn't sure which path he was going to take, but something on the ground forestalled his decision.

It was subtle, barely a glimmer of dull blue in the dust, but it caught his attention. Leo bent down to examine the artifact, the sore tendons and muscles in his thighs and legs contracting as he did so. His claws grasped the top of the blue object, trying to dislodge it from its partial burial in the dirt.

Leo grunted as he tugged at the handle until it broke free with a shower of earth and sent him tumbling backwards. He let out a pained yelp as he crushed his tail during the landing. In a feat of agility he never knew he possessed, he somehow flipped over and was on his feet in what felt like an instant in time. Almost instinctively, he was rubbing his smarting tail tenderly, going over the red-scaled surface while inspecting it carefully for bruises or dents. Fortunately, there didn’t seem to be any immediate injury, though that didn’t dull the sensation of pain that still emanated from every one of his nerves.

He looked down at the spoils of his archeological efforts in his claw. The artifact was not what he was expecting to find in the middle of a wheat field. His gaze poured over the stunning icy-blue form of what appeared to be some sort of key. Leo had little knowledge in the art of cutting crystal, but he knew it must have taken some immense skill to slice this magnificent work from a single block of colored stone.

He held it in his outstretched claws, dangling it from the thin golden chain that looped through it. The back was a single six-toothed gear perched atop of the carved stem that split into two separate parts, each with its own keyward at the point. Each facet of the key seemed to be marked with some sort of intricate lines along its surface, only adding more to the mystique of it all.

As much as the object was a delight to his eyes, it did nothing to help Leo alleviate either of his problems of identity or starvation. However, that hardly meant he would leave it here to be found by someone other than himself. He didn’t quite know what “others” might be out there waiting for him, but he slipped the golden chain about his neck and grasped the cold key for courage. Taking a deep breath and trying to ignore the deep rumbling coming from his aching stomach, Leo stepped forward onto the rightmost path of the clearing.

Immediately, his sight was obscured by the waving walls of wheat. He did what he could to brush the stalks out of the way, but it didn’t seem to do any good as his path was narrowed down to a corridor barely wide enough for him to pass. Leo held his tail to his chest, partly in fear of starting an inferno in the dry field, and partly because he was still trying to accept it as a part of himself.

His body still seemed to be acclimating to moving about and functioning while conscious, meaning his legs stumbled and nearly collapsed on more than one occasion in the middle of the thin dirt trail. His lungs burned and stomach ached as Leo struggled to march through the field. The scorching heat of the great ball of light in the sky beat down on his shoulders.

The key bounced lazily on his scaled-chest as he tromped over the fertile earth. Leo sighed as he tried to ignore the hunger growing in his stomach and continued to look for anything to break the monotonous gold and brown of the strange field. But, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Only the muffled stomp of his newly clawed feet on the dirt, his frustrated breath that went with the rhythm of his footsteps, the pained grumble of his stomach, and the slight clinking of his key.

As the path continued to wind along, the more he sought to keep himself from falling into a boredom-induced madness. He tried to focus on organizing and digging more into his jumbled thoughts. During the endless minutes of his walk, Leo could not help but be pleased with how much of his previous knowledge he did manage to recover.

Most elements that comprised the Periodic Table, the equations for finding out the velocity of a projectile and the length of its trajectory, the metabolic processes of a eukaryotic cell during an energy consumption cycle, the ability to find the solution for algebraic problems, and an surprisingly in-depth knowledge of the legal proceedings of a republican government structure. Leo cracked a smile with his dry lips. He was happy. As happy as he could be while still in his bleak situation, but genuinely happy for the first time he could remember. His mind hadn’t abandoned him completely. It might have stowed away his personal information out of his reach, but it didn’t leave him without some tools for survival.

His stride was noticeably longer as he held himself slightly higher. His confidence rode the badly needed boost in his own abilities, and he continued to hold his smug grin as he pressed on into the field. Determination flashed in his eyes as he scanned through the sea of stalks for anything that looked even remotely like an exit. Smells of the earth and wheat stained his pointed snout and permeated his senses, making him aware of even the subtlest changes in his organic prison.

His mind chose to wander back to the question of what he was, as he passed by a lone, roughly-shaped stone on the ground. He instinctively kicked it with his foot and it rolled ahead on the path, ready for him to come along and repeat the process. The oiled cogs of his brain whirred like clock-work as it viewed and reviewed the facts it had access to. He went back to the voice he remembered, the knowledge he dredged up from the depths of his memory, and the instinctual knowledge that he used to be something other than this fire-lizard thing.

He closed his eyes and kept his tail above the wild grasses as he concentrated once again on settling this persistent matter for good. There wasn’t much to go over, admittedly. The same facts kept shoving themselves to the forefront in his mind’s eye, but that was it. There weren’t any apparent revelations or truths revealed, and the swagger in his step suffered a setback. Closing his eyes tighter was not helping the results any, so he reopened them and took another breath of stagnant, heat-polluted air.

He looked up and had to shield his eyes with his claws from the rays of light coming from the bright ball in the sky. The sphere did not seem to have moved in the slightest, even though he was certain he had been walking for more than an hour. Leo shook his head, he knew he had to keep going, despite whatever strange laws of nature and physics governed this realm of eternal wheat.

What am I? What was I? The question swirled around in his head in a whirlpool of neurons firing across their synaptic gaps. Leo stopped and sat on the ground beneath a bank of tall stalks of wheat. His body was exhausted, hungry, and very eager to take a small rest in the thin shade of the plants in the midday heat.

Human. Leo shot up like a rocket. He had no idea whether the sudden word was a memory loudly breaking free of the shackles of his dissociative fugue, or a whisper into his ear from an unseen being. His body no longer felt the pangs and hurt of his experiences. He was primed by the swift realization.

“Human... Human. I’m... Human? Is that what I am?” Leo slowly asked himself, processing the classification in his head. He wasn’t sure, much like everything else he had gone through today. It seemed just as plausible as anything, though something unnerved him at how quickly the answer came through. He never even got a chance to sit down before the word soared into his consciousness, or range of hearing, he still wasn’t sure which had detected it.

“There has to be more to it than that. There has to be...” Leo muttered, but, as he had come to expect, there was no follow-up answer for him to pounce on. While this frustrated him to no end, causing him to grind his sharp teeth against each other and blow errant steam from his nose, Leo pushed back the desire to simply torch the field and burn himself a way out of the odd area.

A fierce grumble broke the relative silence as Leo clutched his ravenous stomach snarling for something to eat. Like before, he had to force all thoughts of the impossible situation he was in to the back of his mind while he renewed his search for food. Despite seeming like a lush field, there was no sign that anyone had ever harvested the grain or been in the field aside from the perfectly cut maze he was wandering inside.

He began to develop a grim pattern in his travels through the timeless field. Walk along the path, dig into his mind and try to discover more secrets, rest against the stalks when his feet could no longer carry him, hunger for food, continue his search. Walk, think, rest, hunger, search, walk. However, no matter how many times he repeated the process, nothing seemed to change. He still felt just as tired and hungry at the end of each rest, never getting any worse. The persistent heat from the odd glowing orb in the sky never waned or worsened, just remained an annoying inconvenience on his shoulders, The field just simply never changed.

There was no wind, but the stalks, he observed, swayed as if there was something they felt but he could not. His memories may have been skewed, but Leo was certain there were supposed to be life other than wheat in a field. There was no care-free twitter of birds, no hum of insects, or even the rustling of an animal. There was nothing. Nothing except him, the plants, and the sky. And as he marched onwards, the looming cloud of despair that hung over him only grew larger and larger.

“I’ve got to get out. I’ve got to get out of here...” he told himself, but his resolve was slipping. He didn’t know what he did to deserve this fate. This eternal cycle of hunger and exhaustion. Was this a punishment? A way for him to pay for his unknown transgressions? Leo didn’t know. He did not know. Nothing in his mind gave him an answer. After all he had found out, all he had organized and logically deduced, he was still trapped in this forsaken field. Nothing had changed.



His legs still moved forward, but it was an unconscious movement, a habit programmed into him by the ceaseless paths. He had no idea how far he had come since he first woke up, but it hardly mattered. He might as well have continued to sleep where he was and never woken up. He would have never had to endure the sensation of his stomach trying to digest itself, or the pitiful attempts of foraging had brought upon him.

Hunger had soon reached the point of torture. Leo wasn’t sure when it was, but he ended up pulling down some of the flexible stalks and picking off the nearly-ripe kernels and stuffing them into his mouth like a glutton. Despite his tongue’s warning about the bitter taste of the wheat, Leo forced himself to swallow the raw grains.

Almost immediately, he was faced with the urge to throw it back up. It took an effort that made his lungs burn, but Leo managed to muscle through the reflex and get some sort of sustenance into his body. His stomach was slightly quelled after that, but it refused to be pleased about the poor variety it had to choose from, and continued to berate Leo for it. He had just about given up on finding anything by that point.

Leo didn’t remember if he was a strong person, but couldn’t help the tears beginning to well up in his eyes. He just wanted to leave. He was tired with following the maze. Leo huffed in defeat as he laid against the stalks, their rough exterior irritating, but no match for the scales on his back. Holding his limp tail in his hands, he idly waved his claws through the small flame spouting from it. A warm sensation spread from his hands up through his arms and comforted the distressed being.

It was then that he saw it. A difference, a clear distinction, an anomaly in the golden walls of his prison. A flash of bright red in between the swaying reeds. Intrigued, Leo crawled forwards on his hands and knees to the opposite side of the path. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Even more so than the key he had pried from the dirt. An apple, red as his own skin, and looking ripe, lay on the ground just on the other side of the “wall”.

It can’t be more than six feet wide, I could easily make it through there without igniting anything, his thoughts assured him as he clumsily got to his feet. The fruit was definitely there, not some cruel hallucination brought about by the kernels. He knew that nothing would stop him from getting it.

He was trembling with excitement as he pushed his right arm through the stalks with the intention of pushing them aside to make a path. However, that notion was crushed and thrown away as his arm suddenly felt the air around it ripple and press on it. Without any warning, his arm was forced out of the grass with the force of a cannon and his fist slammed into his ribs. Leo stumbled backwards and held his chest. The hit hadn’t been too painful, just enough to knock the wind out of his lungs, but if anything his mind was the most jostled of all.

“What? ... What the hell was that?” Leo tried to process just what had happened while he attempted to control his gasping lungs. He thought that transforming was the strangest part of his trek in this world, but this --an impassable wall of flimsy plants-- was on course to take the cake. Plants, as much as he recalled, were not supposed to be comprised of a magnetic field that repelled flesh.

However, the laws of nature in this world seemed to disagree and the reeds seemed to laugh hollowly at him in their silent wind. Gritting his teeth, he stood up once again, brushed the dust off his body, and stuck his arm into the grass for the second time. Now, he was slightly more prepared for the sudden activation of the strange magnetic field around his flesh. His arm wobbled as pulses rained down on it, trying to force it back.

Leo refused to allow himself to be beaten by a wall of plants. If he failed here, he was certain he’d never find a way out of here. This was his chance. He dug his feet into the dirt, feeling the earth scratch beneath his white claws as he plunged his left arm into the wheat. That proved to be a less than fortunate decision, as the odd energy field surrounding him seemed to double in strength and easily sent him barreling backwards onto the path.

The reptile’s head spun as if it was caught on a haywire gear on a machine. Leo slowly untwisted his crumpled form on the ground, taking great care to remove his tail to open air before it suffered. Leo groaned as he slowly pushed his legs out and used his sore arms to get off the dungeon floor. His mind and will were bruised, but far from defeat, though, he wasn’t sure how much more his weakened and enfeebled body could take before it simply collapsed.

Gathering what little courage he had left and sucking in a deep breath of putridly-hot air, Leo slammed his entire self into the wall, his feet scattering dirt and dust as he pushed against the repulsive field. Scathing curses and swears were unleashed from his mouth as he slowly drove a wedge in between the stalks of grain.

The tranquil field seemed unwilling to let him go, and pushed against him with all its unnatural might. Leo screamed as he pushed back against the force field and sending the majority of his body into the grass. His mind wasted little effort in observing his surroundings, but he swore that the six feet of grain had lengthened to six miles once he was inside of it.

Like the current of a rushing river, the energy beat against Leo’s face and chest initially. He swung his arms out to grasp a claw-full of stalk in order to pull himself completely inside. He felt his tail be engulfed by the wheat and immediately subjected to the same pulling force as the rest of him was. His tail brushed up against the stalks, and, while he dared not look behind him to be certain, he smelled the smoke and heard the slight crackle of something burning.

The acrid emissions not only urged him to dig his heels in harder to escape a fiery death, but it also triggered a memory locked away in his head.

He was on his back. Covered in sweat, cold, and weak. Smoke poured in from the world, attempting to smother him with its gray mass. His barely-functioning lungs failed, and he felt no more as the heat of the flames licked his sides.

The flash of memory only lasted for a split second, but it felt real enough to throw his legs off balance and sent him crashing to the ground. He hit with the force of a bullet, and was instantly pinned underneath the weight of the pressure pressing down on his body. His arms and legs were immobile, stuck against the dry ground and unable to move an inch.

His head was pressed awkwardly against the smashed remains of a pointed stem that dug into his cheek, and the cold crystal key was imprinting itself on the scales of his chest as the pressure increased on his body. His breaths grew more and more labored as he struggled to find the strength to lift his chest and open his mouth against the titanic force beating down on him.

His mind was more than panicked as it simultaneously picked up growing traces of smoke from behind him and the threat of imminent death via either implosion or asphyxiation. His last reserves of energy were long gone by that point, and not even the emergency chemical signals his mind sent out could change that fact.

His eyes were forced to close and he was certain that it would be the last time he would ever see the world. Leo took one final, rasping breath as he prayed to whatever forces governed this world for salvation. And apparently, one of the forces heard his inane gibberish and acted upon it for at the moment, the field snapped.

The mass of hot, stale air about it seethed with terror as distinct cracks shot through its fabricated reality. Fissures ran through the sky as the clouds fell through like sand in an hourglass, spelling out the time of destruction. The wheat shrieked as a fierce wind shot through the forlorn glade, drenching the heated world in a bath of chilled air. Leo pushed his arms up the second the pressure faded. The ground heaved in the dungeon’s agony as Leo attempted to navigate the swaying, burning stalks to escape.

Fire sprang forth from unseen angles as if hurled down from the sky by vengeful giants. The field seemed to hiss in pain as the kernels of wheat popped like miniature explosions. Leo was pelted with bits and pieces of flaming shrapnel from the shells as he dashed through the wheat. His tail only spread the fire more as he rushed past the dried grass, the flames jumping and catching onto it like a flea on a stray animal.

Fissures opened in the once-calm soil. The world was trying to swallow him whole for his wrongdoings against the demonic force of nature. Leo ran faster than he thought possible on his shortened legs. Flames licked at his sides as if deciding which part of him to consume first. His claws became blurs in his sight as he swung and chopped aside the impeding, writhing grass that stood in his way. His lungs constricted and tried to expel the invading smoke, but failed to do so in the polluted air.

The crunch of snapping grass beneath his feet was nothing compared to the splintering of reality happening just inches beyond his fleeing form. Leo sprinted over the wavering stalks and jumped a small dirt ridge. His steps nearly stumbled upon landing, but he remained true as he ran for his life from the collapsing field. Ovals of bright, shining blue appeared out of the corner of his eyes --gates leading to some unknown, terrible place-- for an instant before vanishing with a section of the world, leaving oddly shaped craters in their wake.

Leo tried to keep a clear head as he breathed in mouthfuls of floating embers and ashes with every feeble attempt at alleviating his burning lungs. His vision was swaying from side to side more than his own body was, and he struggled to keep his balance amid the explosions and faults that rattled the earth under him.

Flecks of dirt and burning material battered him from all sides, stinging his eyes and the fire on his tail, both causing him acute amounts of discomfort to combine with his starving belly, sore body, and fatigued mind. Just as he wondered when he was going to reach the exit, his body suddenly felt like it was combusted in a furnace from hell as his vision became nothing but bright, blinding blue.

He was knocked to the ground and at once the world fell silent. Leo dared not move, in fear of causing another apocalypse. He only breathed slow, ashless breaths as he hugged the ground until the electricity numbing his body tapered off. Leo felt as if every nerve in his body was shaking in place, making his skin crawl uncomfortably. His mind was spinning far too fast for him to possibly make sense of what had just happened over the last twenty seconds.

There was an earthquake ... In the air ... How? Much like before, asking questions only left him with more questions than before. Fortunately, the lightning seemed to find tasing his body to be distasteful and dissipated into the ground, leaving him with full control once again. Claws scraped against the dirt as he pushed against the force of gravity. Leo’s body was feeling the full effect of his battle against the barrier: his limbs felt as if they were going to pop off at any moment, his muscles were sore beyond belief, and he was certain that his head would never be clear again from the dizzy spell that held him firmly.

His eyes fluttered open, blinking rapidly to dispel the dust and bright light breaching them. Sitting in with his legs clumsily crossed across his lap, Leo lacked the energy to do anything but look up at the vastly changing scene before him. The field, the once lush and golden prairie was withering like leaves of a sere tree. He was mesmerized by the transformation, at how the stalks and earth itself seemed to growl in pain as they crumbled into dust. Wind whipped through the area, creating a massive cyclone of plant ashes and soot above the perimeter of the demonic meadow.

It was both beautiful and terrible. The young fire reptile was certain that the awesome image would be imprinted in his mind forever. The swirling mass of thick, ash-blackened clouds roiled in their skyward march, throwing lightning, and other astronomical phenomena down at the doomed plain. The fire raged as suddenly everything vanished. For a split instant, there was nothing, only white. Until the light in the sky returned and forced him to blink.

When his sight was restored, Leo was slightly more than shocked to find that the world had changed while he was blinded. In an instant, the giant seething pillar of ashen cloud was replaced by a deep orange light traced with light blue and pink clouds. The smoke-ridden wheat field had inverted upon itself and returned to the golden, shimmering ocean it had been before its sudden conflagration. Everything was normal, yet, everything had changed.

Leo was barely able to keep himself upright as he propped his shaking arm against the hard ground. While his attention was sought by the treasure of light in the sky, he found his sights set on the crimson skin of the apple laying on the earth, nestled in the roots of some long-dead tree. He wanted to lick his lips and lunge forward at the fruit, but his body had other opinions.

The tingling sensation started in his legs, turning them into stone as his body seized up on him. His arms were unable to support the deadweight of his torso and slid forward, scraping up topsoil as they did so. He was unable to move, exhaustion rising up from its position from disgruntled soldier to become a cruel dictator over his actions.

Leo’s body was paralyzed --a last ditch effort to keep him from exerting himself to death. His form went limp, arms and legs numb to the world even as his mind screamed for him to inch forward and seize his prize in the rich, red fruit. He was so close to it, he swore he could smell it with his unmoving nose. Anger coursed through his veins, unable to act upon his desires. Leo wanted nothing more than to let the twisted field alight again and slash away every last stalk until it was trampled into the dirt. As the dust settled on his unblinking eyes, Leo was distracted from his fuming rage by a noise he had not heard in his memory. Voices. Distorted by the distance.

The far corner of his vision caught their sources and his eyes widened in surprise. He may have still been unsure of what he was and where he came from before his amnesia, but he was certain he had never seen anything like the two beings slowly approaching him across the dirt clearing.

Floating dust pooled about the feet of an yellow and white furred fox while next to it walked some sort of mutated blue and black dog. His pulse quickened as they seemed to take notice of him, though he was unable to act on his screaming instincts to run away. His rapid breath began to hitch against his unmoving chest, bringing his fatigued body closer to complete shutdown. Against the will of his mind, his vision darkened as his eyelids slid down and closed shut.

Leo knew this was the end of him as he floated in the empty void of his visionless consciousness. Those two creatures would eat him alive or something horrible like that and leave him for dead. He wished he still had the ability to curl his fists at the thought that he was going to die after he had fought his way through the hardships of the field.

“... Did you see that?”

“... shot right through the wall!”

Their voices did not seem right. They sounded almost normal, not belonging to hell-creatures of this strange dimension.

“... active the badge! We’ve got to get back!”

No. It’s not possible. It can’t be possible. It can’t be.



A single light burned against his bruised face. The man, the scarred, broken, demoralized man rested in his torment against the cold metal of the interrogation table. Blood trickled from his possibly broken nose onto the recycled steel platform and pooled under his mouth where it was agitated by his slow, heavy breaths as he drifted along the vague edge between nightmarish consciousness and blissful unconsciousness.

A loud metallic click echoed throughout the room, followed by a slight whir of magnets as the chamber door slid open. His barely open eyes flinched at the sounds of the familiar clunking of military boots marched with the same strength their owner's fist used to smash his nose.

The soldier's lightweight metal armor clanged against the table as the man only squeezed his eyes shut tighter as he hoped the world would disappear as an infant would mistakenly believe.

"Douglas Strickland. Poor, poor Douglas. Is he too tired to answer any more of my questions?" Doug gritted his bruised jaw as he endured the woman's mocking insult.

He wasn't sure how long he had been out, but he remembered Henry shaking him awake in a holding cell in the impromptu military barracks near the wastelands outside of the Pewter industrial complex. His head throbbed like a metal foundry as he was then dragged away by a helmeted soldier to this dim interrogation room. A metal-coated glove suddenly embraced his throat, its chilled surface snatching the breath away from his exhausted lungs mid-breath.

“Answer me, Dr. Strickland. You’re done with this interrogation when I say you are. Now, traitor,” She placed considerable pressure on her grip. Doug futilely clawed at her impervious hand like a dog chained to a post as he gurgled and wheezed for air. In his struggle, he saw a wicked smile spread across her strict face. A single strand of her brunette hair --a genetic rarity among the population-- fell from the tight bun she had on the top of her head. The only imperfection he saw on her cruel face.

“Where are Senators Readly and Few? They were airlifted to Celestial Range during the capitol siege. We saw it on our scanners, so don’t deny it. I’m going to give you three seconds of air before I go back to crushing your throat. Use them wisely.” Hardly a muscle in her face moved aside from her taut jaw as she loosened her iron hold around his windpipe enough for him to suck in a breath. His lungs were burning like the facility he recently escaped, but he knew he had to answer the woman otherwise he’d never survive.

“They ... Evacuated ... Location ... Secret from me...” he reported in between pained gasps. That much was technically true. While he had the clearance to be given the info, he had simply been too occupied with his assignment with the boy to act on it. He was thankfully, unintentionally ignorant. Unfortunately for his continued use of oxygen, the officer did not seem to like his answer very much as he felt her steel-plated fingers dig into the fleshy portions of his neck.

“Wrong answer, Douglas. Let’s see how you handle a bit of force behind my tactics.” With that, she leaned over the table, pulled up on his neck, and swung her free fist deep into his now-straightened chest. Doug’s world split into fragments as light and darkness alternatively battled for his vision. Guttural noises escaped from his mouth as his body convulsed against her hand. He felt as if his insides were on fire, his ribs and lungs being consumed by the inferno.

She let go for an instant, enough for him to inhale a fraction of a breath before she closed off his throat once again. Her jaw was beginning to loosen into an even more sinister smile as several strands of her hair broke free of her bun to dangle limply on her flawless, emotionless face. Doug could only brace with whatever was left of his will as she drew her fist back again.

His eyes closed in preparation of the end. The researcher was content. He had succeeded in the basics of his mission and had escaped death’s claws against the stacked odds. To die here would be immensely damning to his moral, but it beat sudden total conflagration or withering away under raining clouds of radiation. This would be a different way to go. It would be under the premise of a war not seen since the First Days.

Except the devastating punch never collided with his torso.

“What? Sir? Are you sure? ... Of course, sir. Not an issue.” Doug managed a quick glance at her face as she switched off the communicator built into her suit. That instant she let go of his neck completely, letting his weak body drop to the table like a stone. His chest shuddered as he sucked in as much precious oxygen as he could as he tried to move his shaking hands against their restraints.

Silence fell over the room like a smothering wave as if the woman was waiting for a sign to continue. Faintly through the walls, the sounds of yelling and distinct plasma discharges entered his ears. His heart dropped in his wheezing chest as he knew exactly what was happening. His fears were only confirmed as he heard the sound of a button unclasping and metal sliding on metal.

Far away, the whir of mechanical doors graced his ears, but found it increasingly useless to keep paying attention. A small click echoed through the chamber as she drew her weapon on him. It was like the others he had seen on the bodies of the soldiers in the facility: grey, lightweight, functional, and lethal. About as purposeful as a weapon could get.

She raised the gun to be level with his head, both of her powerful arms gripping it tightly. He stared straight down the barrel, its personal abyss telling him to be unafraid and jump into its depths. Her fingers rested for a moment on the handle before jumping around the trigger. Doug drew a deep breath, savoring the air as it passed through his crushed nostrils and filled his bruised lungs. He drew his chained hands close to his bowed head in a final prayer. He heard a door open. He heard a trigger click. Then, the discharge.

He heard a body slump, metal striking against metal, and a secondary discharge. The smell of burning flesh hit his nose like the woman’s fist. He opened his eyes and raised his disheveled head. Standing in the doorway was his savior, still holding the smoking gun in his wrinkled hands. A slight grin etched its way across his exhausted face as he pushed his glasses back up onto the bridge of his nose.

“This is number eight, Doug. Come on, let’s get out of here.”

Yes. We’ll leave this place behind. Just like he left...


End Chapter One v2


Author’s Notes: Well then. That didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would.

So this is it. The long-advertised rewrite of Chapter One, now to my satisfaction. I managed to keep most of the events in the original the same, and changed a few things to reflect a newer plot and my writing skills, which have grown considerably since the first iteration of the chapter.

I chose to reflect a lot more on Leo’s development as a character and his thought processes as he first wakes up. I also took some liberties with how a dungeon reacts when someone doesn’t play by its rules, but I think it turned out well.
And, finally, I vastly extended and retconned Doug’s scene. Now, that is to reflect a vastly changed plot, and to give a character that I really like an ending he deserves more than he previously had.

I do hope you all enjoy it.

Knightfall signing off...
[Image: OverthrownTtA_zps433773ef.png]

Transcending the Abyss ~~ PMD: Overthrown
An Abyss, a Kingdom, a Prophecy, a Revolution, and Insanity.

[Image: Overthrown_zps05f0a15f.png]
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#8
Note: This chapter is not rewritten, nor will it be rewritten anytime soon.

Chapter Two: A Slight Discrepancy

“…For their greed, they were stripped of their wealth.
For their misuse of knowledge, they were sentenced to live lives of ignorance.
For their most heinous of crimes they committed under the light of the sun, they were condemned to a world of darkness.
Never to see the true light of the sun again.
For the war they fought, for the blood they shed, for the lives they destroyed, for the land they soiled, for the balance they usurped, for the peace they shattered, for the world they tore apart, they were banished.
Banished by the gods from this world, forever imprisoned behind a Seal created by the gods.
Exiled, for eternity.”

Excerpt from the manuscript, Legend of the Great War.
Courtesy the Trinity Isle Research and Archives facility. (T.I.R.A)


Leo had realized that this was a playback of his forgotten life, a dream of sorts; mostly because he never remembered waking up from when he passed out.
A flash-back; somehow dredged up from the bottomless abyss that held his past life.

He stood-- well, it was more like observing from above, like a phantom. He watched from a short distance as a group of figures ran down a narrow metal catwalk inside some sort of darkened concrete building.
He could see himself, as a human. He couldn't remember his face, but he knew it was him. The other adults were unrecognizable though.

He was running-- clarification-- his human self was running. From what his other self was running from, he’s not entirely sure.

He heard the sounds of their shoes click on the metal catwalk as his human self followed the adult figures in front of him. Leo saw that his human self wanted to catch his breath, but he knew he couldn't; he has to keep up with the others.

As to reaffirm his other self’s unknown reason for not stopping, Leo heard an explosion. The blast was muffled by the concrete walls of this building, but it didn’t stop the acrid smell of smoke and burning furniture from reaching Leo’s phantom nose.

His human self ran even faster, propelled by fear.
Suddenly one of the figures in the front of the group opened a metal door, light poured in from the outside. Leo felt himself blink as the bright light made the dark hallway visible.

From his outsider viewpoint Leo was amazed at what some of the figures looked like.
A couple of the adults, comprised of both men and women were dressed in formal black business suits that where soaked in sweat and had more wrinkles and tears than a tailor could ever hope to fix.
Aside from these “official” people, the few others were clothed in some sort of strange armor and helmets. Each of these armored people was gripping some sort of black handheld machine, their faces set with an unreadable look that betrayed no emotions or fear.

He looked at his human self with an air of detachment; he couldn’t believe that he originally was one of them; it seemed so sort of unreal.
His human self also looked at of place with the adults; wearing only a simple T-shirt and jeans.

As if opening the door triggered some sort of signal the men in the armor sprung into action. Clutching the black devices with both hands they rushed out of the door, followed quickly by his dream self and the others.
Leo couldn’t move as his other self ran out into the bright light of whatever was outside.

Suddenly there was a sharp cracking of thunder, lots of it, coming from directly outside the open door in short rapid bursts. He heard yelling, the roar of the thunder blasts grew louder and more rapid.
Than everything was enveloped in the bright light; the light had all but blinded him, but his hearing remained intact.

He doubled over as the sounds amplified themselves louder; he covered his ears with his claws in a vain attempt to block out the ear shattering noise.
Just as he thought his head was going to burst from the noise, he awoke with a start.

Gasping for air, he looked around at the room he was in. He was laying on a pitiful excuse for a bed-a small circle of damp straw- in the middle of a stone walled chamber. There was only a single heavy wooden door and it didn’t have a handle. The only source of light aside from his torch of a tail was a small glowing crystal fixture on the ceiling.

Leo’s pulse quickened, where am I?
He quickly got to his feet, and than almost instantly was broadsided with a dizzy spell. His body stumbled and he found himself holding onto the cool stone wall for support.

The gnawing pain of hunger he felt from before had decided to rear its ugly head once more.
His stomach decided it was the right time to remind him of its existence and the fact that it hadn’t been filled in recent memory.
He was about to slide down the wall to the floor in defeat when his eyes caught a flash of metal.

He slowly turned his head to face the source of the glint as not to provoke another dizzy spell. It was a small metal plate; however it wasn’t this that had Leo’s attention.
It was the two small red apples that rested on the platter.

He willed the little energy his body had left into the form of a clumsy dive. The rough slide across the stone floor didn’t seem to hurt as much thanks to his new scaly skin.

His sharp teeth made short work the soft apple flesh; he tore through both of the fruits with lightning speed. He tried to savor the juicy flavor. As he finished the fruit, he attempted to jog his memory as to when he had last enjoyed them.
He couldn’t, and he again cursed his amnesia.

Licking his lips, Leo finally felt almost happy, despite his shortfall recollecting his memory. He tossed the two apple cores back onto the plate.
He wasn’t completely full, he was still in some sort of prison, and he was suddenly feeling very drowsy.
His breathing slowed, his eye lids suddenly became heavy, and soon he found himself laying on a slightly damp pile of straw on the floor.

Why am I sleepy? I just woke up, didn’t I? Leo tried to reason, but his mind also was getting sluggish, I should be trying to find- he let loose an involuntary yawn-a way out...of…here….

And with that last thought, he drifted off to a sleep. Thankfully this time there were no dreams he was forced to watch.


Leo woke to the screeching of the door to his cell opening.
As he groggily sat up, two things happened at once.

The first being that what looked like two metal spheres with magnets attached to their sides floated into the room.
The second being that the metal sphere things talked.

“BZZZT! Looks like he’s awake. Finally. BZZZT!”

Leo could only stare as one of the spheres zoomed close to his face. This caused Leo to franticly claw his way backwards, only to have a wall crash into the back of his head.

Leo winched in pain and tenderly rubbed the back of his scalp- still noting the fact that he now had a horn.
However this made the two magnetic abominations burst into fits of what Leo could only assume was laughter. All he could hear was the sound of harsh static and metallic screeches coming from the two guards.

Wanting to preserve some of his dignity, Leo quickly got to his feet and angrily swiped his claw at one of the spheres. He was rewarded with a hit, even if it only made the sphere bob slightly in the air.

That said sphere returned the favor with a small burst of electricity from his magnet appendages aimed at Leo.
The voltage wasn’t enough to permanently harm him; the Magnemite wasn’t stupid and he needed this job.

Leo felt like his body was on fire, yet he stood up and faced the twin guards with a look of pure repressed anger.

“BZZZT! Don’t look at us like that! BZZZT!” the first sphere shouted, his higher tones sounding like an out of tune microphone.

“BZZZT! Yeah, you kind of deserved it for making us work overtime. If it wasn’t for you, we’d probably be back at the Hub recharging by now. BZZZT!” the second sphere continued the first’s rant.

Leo didn’t respond, he only focused more of his anger into his glare, maybe if I concentrate hard enough they’ll both explode. Who knows what I can do in this body?

They didn’t explode, much to his dismay. They did however shackle both of his wrists together with some sort of magnet chain, and tried to lead him out of the room to somewhere else in the underground building.

The word “tried” meaning they attempted to walk him out of his cell, but after being thrown in prison, drugged, bruised, laughed at, and shocked, Leo wasn’t in the mood for compliance.

“ZT! Stop resisting! Our chief wants to talk with you. ZZT!” one of the guards groaned.

Leo simply dragged his feet on the packed dirt floor, a procedure which worked well now that he had claws. Not impressed with his little show of defiance, the guards continued prodding him with small electric zaps while muttering about his species stubbornness.

At last they had arrived at their destination, a small room cut from the stone. Inside as only a wooden table and a small chair made of the same substance.

The guards entered with Leo and instructed him to sit down. He carefully made sure his tail wasn’t in the way before completing the action while the guards waited.

A short time later another creature much like the guards floated through the doorway.
It was a much bigger identical form of the guards and had an air of authority as it started talking to the guards.
The guards reported on the recent events to the, what Leo would assume was their chief officer.
They were being very secretive about it, talking in hushed tones; it wasn’t like Leo could glean any information from their conversation even if he wanted to. They were talking in a series of beeps and tones, a language that most sentient beings not acquainted with radio signals wouldn’t understand.

As soon as they were finished giving their version of the report, the officer turned to look at Leo.
Leo gave a weak wave to the one eyed creature, careful to let him see the small blackened areas on his scales from when they had zapped him.

The ovular magnetic creature suddenly shouted at the guards in a language that sounded like the unholy combination of metallic screeches, high pitched static, Morse code, and other unpleasant mechanical noises that threatened to make Leo’s ears bleed.

This sudden outburst made the both of the guards zoom out of the room in sheer terror. The larger creature than aimed one of his magnet hands at the metal door and pulled it shut with a magnetic pulse.

While Leo stared in mixed awe of the creature, it floated over to the opposite side of the table and started to talk.

“Let me be the first to apologize for their behavior, I had absolutely no idea of their actions. BZZZT! They were acting completely out of the orders I gave them. BZZZT! I specifically told them to escort you to this chamber, and not to damage you in the process!” He buzzed angrily as his apology came to an end.

“It’s alright; I’ll be fine in no time.” Leo responded with forced cheerfulness, but he couldn’t hide his look of utter confusion and hatred of the guards from the creature.

“Ah. You’re wondering why you’re here, aren’t you? BZZZT!” he asked knowingly, as Leo nodded, affirming his answer.

“You were brought here two days ago suffering from severe malnutrition and sleep deprivation as a side affect of your time in Tranquility Fields. That’s why we had to coat your meal with sleep seed extract, by the way. BZZT!”

Wait, two days? How long was I out? Where exactly was I? Surprisingly, the only part of what he said that made any sense to Leo was why he was drugged.

“BZZZZT! I know you’re wondering why you’re here, being interrogated by me to be more specific, aren’t you? BZZZT!” Leo had no idea that the officer was able to read minds. He gave him a silent look that said, “No, I want to know why the sky is blue”.

Apparently not seeing Leo’s glare, the officer continued,
“BZZZT! I haven’t seen you around here before so I’ll introduce myself. My name is Auxiliary Gear Magnezone; you may call me Officer Gear; I’m in charge of Loyalty Square’s prison. BZZZT! I’ve been in charge of this prison for te-”

“Why am I in prison in the first place?” Leo suddenly interrupted; irritated with the lack of real answers and abuse he was receiving in this place.

The creature, Officer Gear, was silent for a moment; the only sound in the chamber came from the faint sounds of the surface world above and the quiet whirring noise that accompanied the Magnezone’s constantly turning magnets.

“BZT! You want to know why you are here? You are here because the rescue team that found you passed out in front of the Fields was required to bring you here by law. BzzzzT! No one is allowed near the Fields without permission. No one. You’re guilty of trespassing. BzZt! That’s why you’re here! Don’t act like you don’t know; everyone without a death wish knows to stay away from the Fields! bZZttT!” Gear shouted, the mechanism that controlled his voice failing to remove the static tones in his speech.

Leo wasn’t expecting that, he’d been through a lot the past couple days, but he wasn’t expecting to be yelled at; much less charged with a crime.

He stood up, nearly knocking the chair over in the process. He leaned over the table and got close to Gear’s single red eye.

“Listen, I woke up in the middle of that field with no idea of who I was, or how I got there, much less that I was committing a crime. I was concerned with finding a way out of that place, and eventually I did. I don’t really care for your rules about trespassing. I just want to leave, now.” he said the last word with such iciness it surprised him.
It wasn’t the only thing to surprise him; Leo swore he saw actual steam exiting his nostrils as he ended his rant

It felt good to let that built up rage out, he hadn’t had much of a chance to let it out earlier. He knew that he’d have to face some sort of punishment for talking back to the officer, but it felt great to finally get it off his chest and stand up for himself.

After what seemed an eternity, or maybe it was just a couple of seconds, Gear spoke.

“BZZZT! You got guts, Charmeleon, and a temper to match. Tell you what, you deserve to know what’s going on, and I’ll tell you. BZZZT! As long as you tell me what I need to know, alright? Seem fair? ZT!”

Leo wasn’t to keen to take his offer, but took a mental note on what exactly he had turned into, a Charmeleon is it? Strange name for whatever I am .
He slowly nodded, hoping that he could answer the officer’s questions. Otherwise, he could be here for a while.

“ZZZT! Good. Now, you claim you have no idea who you are or how you got inside the dungeon known as Tranquility Fields. Could you please explain what happened? BZT!”

Leo shifted in the chair, “I don’t know exactly what happened myself, I’m not sure how I could possibly explain it to you. I have no ide-” Leo began to say, before Gear interrupted.

“ZZT! Just tell me to the best of your ability, alright? ZT!” Gear told Leo, getting slightly irritated with him.

So began Leo’s most uncomfortable experience in this new world yet.
He went over every detail in his escapade from when he first woke up to when he last blacked out, even including his loss of memory and how he escaped through the barrier leaving nothing out of the narrative.
Except for his memories of being a human that is; he decided it was best to leave that little detail out of his story until he knew a lot more about what was going on.

When he finally finished his tale, Gear said nothing for a few minutes; his mind processing and going over every aspect of what was just told to him.

“BZZZT! You’ve got to be the strangest Pokemon I’ve ever had to interrogate, and I’ve run this prison for ten years. You’ve just made my job slightly easier, if anything. They’ll never believe this down at the Federation. BZZZT!” Gear laughed loudly.

Not knowing what Gear meant by the comment, Leo decided to speak.

“Remember your part of the deal; now please tell me what I want to know. Officer.” he asked, quickly adding the last word to the end.

Gear glared at him, his single red eye glowing with slight irritation. At long last he said, “So I did. And now I know why what you want to ask, and the answer, simply, is the Fields are dangerous.”

Not stopping even for Leo’s confusion, he continued,
“The dungeon you came out of is off limits to everyone. BZZZT!
Even after the Restoration of Time, the dungeon never recovered from the effects of the Crisis. It turned into a black hole of sorts, anyone who went in was never heard from again. ZzzT!”
Gear stopped his explanation suddenly, and grew quiet for a moment. To Leo it was if he was reminded of those he had known who didn’t return from those fields.
He also gave a thought to the terms Gear had mentioned, Federation? Crisis? Restoration of Time? Obviously they are important, but I have no idea what they are. He made a quick note to eventually find out what these events were.

Gear’s words also brought up an eerie thought; back in the Fields, what if I couldn’t break through the barrier?
Leo shuddered at the grim possibilities of what might have happened.

As Leo was processing his own thoughts, Gear found his voice again.

“The Federation called off the rescue efforts and erased Tranquility Fields from its maps. They gave us orders to guard the entrances and to punish those who got too close. That’s why you’re here, because technically you crossed the boundary, and the law states you must face the consequences.”

Leo tensed, he wasn’t sure what made up the punishment in this world, but he didn’t want to find out anytime soon.

“Fortunately for you, the odd circumstances of your escape will be enough to simply write this off as an unusual incident. Mostly because- to the extent of your knowledge- you never went into the Fields, you only came out of them. BZZZT!” Gear explained, much to Leo’s relief.

His claws slowly released from the wooden seat of the chair, as he processed the officer’s about-face in punishing him.
I’m getting out of this place, finally, out…

The Magnezone continued speaking,
“Sorry about imprisoning you and all that.
But procedure must be followed; otherwise there’d be no order, so to ensure order we had to at least question you on your little “adventure’ in Tranquility Fields. BZZZT!
Please understand why we had to do what we did.” and with that statement Gear used a radio tone to signal one of the Magnemite guards to enter the room.

The guard was not one of the guards from earlier, much to Leo’s satisfaction. If he ever got his hands on either one of them again, they would be the ones on the ground in pain, not him.

Returning to this guard, he was carrying a metal crate with his twin magnets. He gently set the crate down on the wooden interrogation table and with Gear’s nod of dismissal; he floated out of the room.

Gear hovered slightly higher off the ground and reached inside the crate. He pulled out a folded wad of paper pinched in his magnet-like appendage.
He placed the folded paper on the table and gave it a push.

It slid across the rough wooden surface, stopping right in front of Leo.

Leo carefully unfolded it, and laid the flattened document on the table. It had no words or letters at all, only some sort of code printed on the entirety of it; various couplings of dots and dashes made up the print on the paper.
Either way, Leo had no way of reading it, much less any idea of language what it was.

Fortunately, Gear chose at that time to provide an answer.
“BZZZT! That is your ticket out of this place, please don’t lose it.”

Leo stared up at the oversized floating magnet with a look of suspicion. He didn’t believe that he’d be given permission to leave this easily.

Gear couldn’t read minds, but he could read Leo’s look of disbelief as clearly as a book.

“You can leave, if that is what your question is. We no further need for your presence here; you have been cleared of the charges against you. ZTT!” he explained as he motioned toward the door of the chamber, opening it with a magnetic pulse.

“So were do I go now?” Leo asked uncertainly, he didn’t want to get lost in this maze of a prison by accident.

Gear pondered his question over for a moment.
How hard can it be to tell me the way out your own prison? Leo thought as Gear’s lack of answering stretched on.

When Gear finally spoke up, Leo was about to fall asleep, his head pressed against the table.

“BZZZT! Well, I’m not sure exactly what you should do next. Until you recover from your amnesia, you can’t exactly go off on your own, can you? BZZZT! I guess I can talk to the Guild and see if you can stay there for a few days…” he trailed off suddenly; an idea just hit him.

Leo sighed and put his head down again, this wasn’t what he meant by his question, he just wanted directions out of here, but he took mental notes of the places he mentioned.

It was only a few seconds this time before Gear started speaking again,

“BZZZT! In fact, I might not need to trouble the Guild with you after all. Please wait a moment.”
As he finished Gear suddenly emitted a series of beeps and tones. Almost instantly another guard zoomed through the open door and into the room. He hovered over to Gear and handed him a blank piece of paper.

Gear silently dismissed the guard and laid the paper on the table in front of him. Without warning his right magnet started spinning, generating sparks of electricity as it spun faster.

Than Gear aimed the electricity, in a single, thin beam of energy, at the paper and quickly moved the beam across the paper much like a pen or pencil.
Leo vainly tried to associate a face or a name with these items from his past, but as said, it was a vain attempt, his amnesia was still too powerful.

Pens and pencils. Just another useless shred of memory. He sighed inwardly as he gave up trying to remember.
Leo decided to pay attention to Gear and his activity once more.
He watched in curiosity as Gear finished his work; burning the last few lines into the paper. Gear than stopped the energy beam and picked up the smoking paper. From what Leo could see, an entire letter had been composed from the burnt lines in the paper.

Gear than used his magnets to gently fold the paper into a simple square, he than slid it across the table like the release paper before.

“Just give those to the guard at the front sentry post on the surface floor, alright? BZZZT! That should take care of your problems, for now at least.” Gear said as Leo placed both folded papers in his claw, and stood up.

Leo was about to walk out of the room into the hallway Gear suddenly shouted for his attention.
He turned back around to face the officer, what now? He thought as Gear reached inside the metal crate again.

“Figured you didn’t want to leave this behind” he said as he pulled out a familiar small crystal key on a golden string, “It seems pretty valuable.”

Any thoughts of irritation for Gear vanished as Leo meekly made his way over to the floating Pokemon. Gear gently turned over the artifact to Leo, who than slowly slid the golden thread over his neck.

He sighed as relief flooded him, if he had lost it he didn’t know what he would do. It was the last thing he had of his past life; he needed to keep it safe.

“Thank you, sir.” Leo whispered, still in shock of the officer’s kindness in returning the key.
Something told Leo that Gear could have fetched a good deal of money if he were to have kept and sold it someplace.

“BZZZT! You’re welcome, Charmeleon. Unfortunately not all of us in this business share my principles when it comes to matters like these.” Gear told a still stunned Leo cheerfully.

“It’s Leo,” Leo quietly told Gear.

“Ahh, Leo is it? Alright, well good to know your name in case we ever meet again. BZZZT!” Gear said as he floated past Leo and into the hallway.

“Just go along the other path, and you’ll eventually reach the surface. Remember to give those papers to the guard, or else.” Gear called from down the hallway, and than he was gone. Off to deal with other matters deeper inside the prison.

Leo snapped out of the semi-stupor he was in and walked out of the chamber. He made sure that he went along the hallway opposite from where he had last seen Gear.

The hallway smelt strongly of wet hay and damp earth, something that, as a creature with a live fire burning on his tail, he didn’t find too comfortable.
His clawed feet made a slight clicking noise when they touched the stone floor, as he quickly walked through the winding hallways, always heading upwards.
He was careful not to accidently turn down one of the many side hallways that lead back down into the unpleasantness of the prison.
After he walked for about five minutes he noticed the walls of the hallway change from stone to packed dirt, and the dim light slowly get brighter.

Soon he reached a three-way intersection, two of the paths lead elsewhere in the prison, while the third path he had all ready traveled. In wall in front of him was a pair of rectangular metal doors which lead to the lobby and outside.
Normally this wouldn’t have been so much of a problem if they had some type of knob, but they didn’t. The doors where completely smooth and appeared impossible to open.

Leo tried knocking loudly on the smooth metal, but no one seemed on the other side to answer him, or maybe they were just ignoring him.
Not about to give into defeat to a seemingly impassible barrier, he employed the same tactic that he successfully used in an earlier battle against a certain wall of wheat.


He awoke shortly afterwards to the sounds of static buzzing, and looked above him to see a Magnemite above him. He winced as he slowly got to his feet, he felt sore all over, and had a splitting head ache.
He made a painful mental note never to tackle a solid metal anything, especially at a full sprint.

The guard apparently didn’t want to get involved in Leo’s dilemma and simply used his magnetic pull to easily open the door.
Shielding his adjusting eyes from the light from beyond the door, he thanked the Magnemite who nodded in reply and flew off elsewhere in the prison.

Leo cautiously walked through the doorway into the lobby; the term lobby could only be applied if taken very loosely. The room was much brighter than the rest of the prison, considering that it had a few windows covered in sticks in the clay walls.
Other than the brightness there was little to it, there was only a small wooden booth with a Magnemite that floated behind it located by the open entrance way, and many wooden bulletin boards were mounted on the walls, each covered in posters that showed a colorful drawing of a certain Pokemon.

Leo now noticed why the guard hadn’t heard his knocking on the door earlier; he was busy talking with two creatures on the other side of his booth.
It took Leo a few seconds, but he realized that he recognized the two creatures. They were the blue and black dog and yellow and white fox from outside the Field.

No, he didn’t have the time to deal with them; his full focus was on the opening in the wall that led out of this place. He couldn’t risk his freedom with talking to the guard, for all he knew they would charge him with another crime.
He’d have to be quiet, and slowly sneak around the two Pokemon while the guard was distracted.

He flattened himself against the wall, and slowly began edging himself along it. It was incredibly slow going, but he was making progress, slowly but surely.
About halfway to the opening, Leo took a tentative glance at the guard.

The Magnemite was still conversing with the dog and fox Pokemon.
Good, he’s still talking with them, Leo thought as he continued to slide his way across the wall.
He was almost to the opening, he could turn the corner and be outside, that’s how close he was to freedom, but the booth was directly beside his target destination. He couldn’t go past without getting spotted unless he was extremely lucky.

Seeing no other alternative Leo grabbed his key and took a deep breath.
He ran directly behind the two Pokemon and into the opening as quick as his reptilian feet would allow.
He was almost in the clear, he couldn’t believe his apparent luck that the guard didn’t see him; he applauded himself for finally turning his streak of bad luck around.
It is at these times reality reminds us, often painfully, that some people or Pokemon aren’t made to succeed at certain things, like escaping unnoticed from a prison for instance.

Leo was halfway down the stone steps of the prison when suddenly he felt something metallic wrap painfully tight around both his ankles.
Leo soon found this pain was rather insignificant when compared with the pain of losing his balance and falling down half a flight of stone steps, face first.

He laid there for a moment, in quiet agony at the bottom of the steps, his entire body fighting to assess and mend the many bruises he had sustained in his misadventure.

Unfortunately for him, his rest was interrupted by the familiar whirring sound of a Magnemite. He could have sworn that it hid an almost inaudible laugh under its buzzing, as it attached one of its magnets to the metal cords around his ankles.

Leo soon found out that the only thing more painful than falling down half a flight of stone steps, was being quickly dragged up an entire flight of stone steps after doing the former.
With each step Leo was dragged up, he had to hold back an even greater amount of tears. At the top step, Leo uttered a small whimper. The guard didn’t even look at his captive as he continued to drag him back inside the prison foyer.
Leo watched the feet of the two creatures quickly shuffle out of the way, as he was dragged into the middle of the room, both his body and pride greatly bruised.

Once at the guard’s destination, the Magnemite shot a magnetic pulse at the tight metal cords that secured his feet. They instantly loosened and unwound, freeing his now slightly numb feet.
The guard quickly took the cord and stashed it behind his desk again. He than returned to the hurt Charmeleon and told Leo to stand, while the other two Pokemon silently stood and watched.

Leo painfully complied as the upset guard muttered words that Leo was sure were unfit for regular conversation.
As soon as he was finally standing, the guard started to spin both of its magnets, generating many sparks as he aimed the magnets squarely at Leo’s torso. Leo braced for the inevitable pain, his eyes squeezed tight, and his body as tense at he could make it without feeling pain.

After a few seconds he dared to open his eyes. The guard was no longer charging for a stunning shot, but instead looking at the crumpled papers clenched tightly in the claws on his right hand.
He had forgotten about them, they had been in his hand the entire time.
Silently swearing to himself, he cursed the fact that he had forgotten about the release papers that he was given and his own stupidity. He could have just handed over the paper and have been on his way, but no. Of course that didn’t happen.

The guard apparently saw what Leo was thinking and snatched the papers from his claw, and quickly scanned them both.
He took the first of the papers with the strange code on it and put it in the booth, and than gave the second paper to the blue and black dog.

The dog Pokemon slowly accepted the paper, not knowing what could possibly be on it.
He lowered the paper slightly so that his fox partner could get a good look at it as well.

While they read the content of the paper, Leo and the guard simply had engaged in a silent staring contest. The guard wishing he could zap Leo upside the head for his stupidity, and Leo busy closing one eye and imaging he was squishing the guard’s metal ball body between his claws.

As soon as the blue and black dog Pokemon was finished reading the letter he simply crumbled it into a ball and returned it to the guard, who zapped it into ash with his magnets.

“BZZZT! Well, than. Now you both know what’s going on, I’m most regrettably required by royal law and Gear’s mandatory “moral obligations” to ask if you have any questions or concerns about your new “addition” to your team. ZTTT!”
The guard sighed, apathetically addressing the other two Pokemon. Wait, new addition?

It was the dog who answered the guard, “Is this legal? Can Officer Gear do this? He never asked us, or told us anything!” he yelled at the guard.

The guard angrily zoomed over to the dog, “Listen, Riolu, and listen well; I don’t care. I honestly don’t. ZZT! Now, shut up. ZT! In fact Gear can do this. Royal decree number five-hundred and seven, section two, sub-section three. ZZT!”

The Riolu crossed his arms, “But it isn’t fair! We didn’t ask for a new teammate when we rescued him, why can’t he just go to the Guild or something?”

The guard rounded on him, “BZZZT! Do I need to repeat the decree to you? In the case of a national emergency, and this is one, the Chief Officer has the authority to assign rescue and exploration teams temporary members as to not burden the Guild’s functions during said national emergency. What part of that isn’t clear? BZZZT! Now leave! I don’t want to have to charge you with resisting an officer’s order. Go! ZT!”

The Riolu wasn’t done arguing yet, and was about to talk when the Jolteon stopped him.

“Just stop, Jay. We can’t do anything about it now, and arguing won’t help. Let’s just go.” She told the upset Riolu, apparently named Jay.
He reluctantly complied and muttered something about the guard under his breath.

The guard looked pleased for once, “BZZZT! Thank you, Jolteon! At least someone here has proved that they can listen to reason, unlike some others. BZT!” he said, directing his last enunciated word at both Leo and Jay.

Leo silently observed as the three Pokemon argued over his fate, a conversation not comfortable to listen to in the slightest.

Jay and the Jolteon both turned to exit the prison, the guard quickly told Leo to follow them.

“BZT! You’re with them now. Have fun with your new teammates! BZZT!” The guard laughed, a horrid static buzzing sound, and shoved Leo out of the lobby, onto the top steps where he left him.
Confused with the events that made up the past few minutes, Leo continued down the steps, thankfully without tripping.

He stopped at the bottom of the stairs, taking in his surroundings. He saw the other stone and clay buildings of the town, as well as a multitude of creatures simply milling about, going on with their daily lives.

Leo twisted around in a circle, taking in the wonderful strangeness of it all, the colorful buildings, as the equally colorful creatures that walked, crawled, floated, and flew around him. Many of them were totally unlike any animal he had ever seen before; wow.

Before he was done marveling the scenery, Jay and the Jolteon found him.

“Well, I guess I’m with you guys for now. Right?” Leo said uncomfortably, as tried to get on their good side. He didn’t want to be hated by them, just because Gear took matters into his own hands.

“Yeah, you’re with us, Charmeleon. Just stay with us.” Jay told him as he and the Jolteon started to make their way down the dirt street.

“It’s Leo. My name’s Leo.” Leo called to them as he followed the two.

As they moved past the various shops and buildings of the square, Leo tried to contain his curiosity as he took in the colorful wares of the vendors.

He saw berries and fruits of nearly every shape and size, from a small red one the size of a marble, to apples about the size of one of the Magnemite guards.
Along with the many fruits, he saw various metal goods, bags of small red colored seeds, and blue glass orbs stocked on the shelves and counters of the shops.

As he was looking, he realized that Jay and the Jolteon were both far ahead of him.
Leo ran forward to catch up with the Jolteon. Since she seemed the nicer of the two, Leo started to chat with her.

“Hey, it’s been a pretty hectic day so far, hasn’t it?” Leo asked, trying to make small talk with her. He sighed inwardly since at least he didn’t ask her about the weather.

“Yeah, it’s been pretty confusing so far. We really weren’t expecting Officer Gear to assign you to our team like that.” she said, as they turned off of the main street and onto a smaller dirt path.

“So that’s why he’s in such a bad mood, because of me?” Leo asked, jerking a claw toward Jay, who was walking a few strides ahead of them, and didn’t notice their conversation.

“I don’t think it’s you personally, he just doesn’t like it when he doesn’t get a warning of some sort when Gear or someone pulls these sorts of things. Like I said earlier, Gear never told us anything, except to be at the station this morning.” she explained, but Leo still had unanswered questions.

“So what’s your name? I got Jay’s, but not yours.” Leo inquired, wanting as much information as he could get.

The Jolteon looked somewhat surprised at this, “My name’s Kelly, and yours is Leo, right?”

“That’s right.”

“So what’s your story? I know you must have something to tell, since most Pokemon don’t just burst out of a dungeon wall, and then pass out. And now with your episode at the prison entrance, I really want to hear it.” Kelly asked Leo after a minute or so of relative quiet.

Leo had been somewhat expecting her question, the fact that they might to hear his story. It was a reasonable request, after all he was getting to stay with them, even if it was forcibly ordered, it was still the least he could do.

He glanced down at the key, which hung limply around his neck, his only link to whatever happened before he woke up in the middle of the Fields.
All of the things that had happened to him, from waking up until now, they were all so strange and new to him. He had all ready told Gear his slightly altered story, and now he was going to get the chance to tell it again.

He looked over to Kelly, “It’s a long, complicated story.” he said with a small chuckle, after all when he looked back on it, it was a little funny at times.

“Well, you’ll get the chance to tell us once we get to our base. And than afterwards, you’ll get the grand tour of the place. Sound good?” Kelly explained as Leo noticed that they weren’t in the town anymore.
They were on the edge of a small wooded valley, and the sun was starting to set.
The scent of the woods and the fact that wasn’t in the prison anymore calmed him.
It perhaps the calmest Leo had felt yet in this place, and to him passing out and being drugged to sleep didn’t count as being calm.

“Yeah, that sounds good” he said as they continued down the path, leaving Leo to his thoughts.

This is going to be interesting. He thought as he made a note to find out exactly what a “rescue team” was, and what was going to happen to him tomorrow.

They were questions Leo could only hope would be answered.


End Chapter Two


Author's Notes: It's been a while since I've been here. But, I've figured I should start updating here once again.

Knightfall signing off...
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Transcending the Abyss ~~ PMD: Overthrown
An Abyss, a Kingdom, a Prophecy, a Revolution, and Insanity.

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