A Smell of Petroleum Pervades Throughout
Well, hey there, folks. This here is a crazy little experiment of mine, where I'm going to write a story in the style of an old text-based adventure game; I'll set things up, you readers 'input a command', to use the lingo, and the protagonist will react accordingly. I'll rate it 15, for violence, horror and darkness. Although let's hope it also ends up containing some humour as well.
Othodox's actions will be chosen, in the event of conflicting player commands, by me melting them together and picking out the most common themes to create a viable order. If you have further questions about how this works, feel free to ask away.
A Smell of Petroleum Pervades Throughout
You are a Pokémon Trainer named Othodox. This is not out of choice. It is because the word 'Orthodox' sounds cool but is eight characters long.
You aren't quite sure why you're in New Bark Town right now, given that you've been away on a Pokémon journey for the past few months. The details of how you got here are a little fuzzy, but you are in your bedroom in one of the few houses in this middle-of-nowhere town.
To the north is a desk with a computer, an antiquated cathode ray tube television with an attached Wii, and a broad window.
To the south is your bed and your potted tree.
To the east is a wall with your posters, which you rarely get to show off because of the laws of top-down perspective but which are totally awesome.
To the west are a few more posters and the wooden staircase leading down into the other room of your house.
Everything is suspiciously quiet, and your Poké Ball bandoleer is peculiarly light.
What will you do?
And with that, let's get the ball rolling, guys. Commands, anyone? Othodox ain't going to solve anything by himself. Or herself. It's ambiguous.
Sounds like fun. The obvious choice is to go east and totally check out those posters!
I think Othodox should go north and yell out the window.
Ordinarily, I would wait longer to allow more people to (potentially) respond, but since this is the very first command of the story, I feel I ought to move on relatively swiftly. Future updates will not occur so quickly.
Also, there's no need to maintain Othodox's gender ambiguity. I did it purely so that readers might decide on it for themselves.
> Go north and yell out the window.
You're beginning to feel slightly spooked by the silence, and decide that the best course of action would be to engage in some vigorous yelling. Since the potted tree is unlikely to respond, you decide to yell out of the window in the hope of attracting a response - and, pleased to have settled on a course of action, you stride confidently over to it and draw the curtains. You suck in a deep breath, and let out the mightiest yell you've ever heard - a yell that echoes out across the boundless forests to the north like the roar of a Tyranitar, like the howling winds that bear Suicune across the face of the earth, like...
Like the ominous wave of silence that washes back over the town as your voice dies in the still air.
You frown. Below you are the trees that mark the northern boundary of New Bark Town, and frankly not much else - your house does not appear to have a back garden. You wouldn't normally expect anything to be there, but somehow today there seems to be... even more nothing there than usual.
Quickly retrieve arms — wait, no, this isn't MS Paint adventures.
Othodox should examine the wall posters, or else they be lost to the all-encompassing top-down perspective.
Once Othodox is done examining those posters, he should go downstairs and determine where MOM, and subsequently his money, is.
Always have to check to see if there's anything good on the computer!
Then head down the stairs and see if anyone is around to talk to.
Check pants. Gotta know the gender.
> Check pants. Gotta know the gender.
> Othodox should examine the wall posters, or else they be lost to the all-encompassing top-down perspective.
The best way of dealing with a potential threat is, as you well know, giving yourself a thorough anatomical inspection, and you spit in the face of the ominous silence by stripping down and getting down to business. Only then do you remember that you knew you were a guy already, and this was a complete and utter waste of time. I mean, hell, it's not like you switch between male and female on a regular basis.
You shake your head at your own stupidity and go over to the east wall, where your posters loom before you in all their magnificence. Faded magnificence, now, given that you've been away a while and they've been in direct sunlight all this time, but they're still pretty glorious. There's one for each one of the Elite Four (two for Koga. Ninjas are cool and this is an unalterable fact) and one of Champion Lance as well; there's also one of Red Pastelle, the strange, reticent guy who wanders around desolate parts of the wilderness challenging people to insanely difficult battles with Pokémon upwards of level 80. You've heard it rumoured he only returns to civilisation to sign new merchandising deals.
> Once Othodox is done examining those posters, he should go downstairs and determine where MOM, and subsequently his money, is.
> Always have to check to see if there's anything good on the computer! Then head down the stairs and see if anyone is around to talk to.
Man, you think, those are some pretty sweet posters. You could spend all day staring at them, but there's still the matter of the ominous silence to deal with. After all, normally Mom would've called something inane up to you by now – and you don't even really know why you're back home in the first place. Maybe she could shed some light on the situation.
First, though, the PC. No modern kid's ready to face the world without a little digital courage, and who knows? There might be something good in there; when you started your Pokémon journey, it had a Potion in it for no readily explicable reason.
You boot it up and scroll through the options. Huh. Looks like you have mail. Written on exceptionally disturbing notepaper, but mail nonetheless.
Othodox received one Bloodstained Mail! Othodox put the Bloodstained Mail in the Mail Pocket.
You elect not to dwell too much on the bloodier qualities of the Mail.
As for items, it seems you have two Potions, a Lava Cookie and a Poké Ball. What on earth were you planning to do with that lot? You're an experienced Trainer. You progressed beyond such weak items long ago. Nevertheless, you take them. They might be puny, but you're not going to let them go to waste.
Othodox received some Potions! Othodox put the Potions in the Medicine Pocket.
Othodox received one Lava Cookie! Othodox put the Lava Cookie in the Medicine Pocket.
Othodox received one Poké Ball! Othodox put the Poké Ball in the Balls Pocket.
In putting them in your Bag, you also notice you have a few other items in there.
Bloodstained Mail x1
Lava Cookie x1
Poké Ball x2
Hyper Potion x2
Miracle Seed x1
Shiny Stone x1
Man, that Shiny Stone is shiny. It's difficult to look directly at it, but it seems so desirable. You stare appreciatively at it for a while, neither remembering nor caring where it came from, and then decide that you've done enough dithering. It's time to go downstairs and question Mom.
Oddly enough, the ground-floor room of your house is as deserted as the rest of New Bark appears to be. This is extremely strange, as there's literally nowhere else in the house for your mother to be, given that there are only two rooms, and you've never known her leave the building in all your years. Briefly, you ponder where it is she sleeps, but, as ever, you thrust the thought from your head. Now is not the time to examine the strange logic of the world you live in.
To the south is the exit to New Bark Town's main street.
There is a television here.
There is a refrigerator here.
There is a sink here.
There is table with four chairs here.
Try and recall what pokemon you had(?) and read bloodstained mail.
> Try and recall what pokemon you had(?) and read bloodstained mail.
Pokémon. Pokémon. Right, you're a Trainer, so you ought to have Pokémon... Well, you don't have any with you right now, that's for certain, but you're guessing that's because you've come home and didn't need them.
Wait. In that case, how did you make it from Cherrygrove to New Bark?
You stroke your chin pensively. This does not help.
In any case, you remember that you had a Level 71 Feraligatr named Chompy, a Level 64 Ursaring named Teddy, a Level 66 Arbok named Morbo, a Level 62 Skarmory named Bertram, a Level 68 Raichu named Voltz, and a Level 22 Paras named Bugsy that you were power-levelling because that Hypnosis-spamming son of a gun Morty and his Gengar need to be taught a goddamn Spore-based lesson.
None of these Pokémon appear to be anywhere nearby, so, shrugging, you turn to the Bloodstained Mail. Holding it by the corners with the very tips of your fingers so as to touch as little of the hideous gore encrusting as possible, you unfold it and read:
I love POKéMON!
It's from some girl named Lyra. Who is she, you wonder, and how did she get your email address? Even more importantly, why did she see fit to douse the message in blood before sending it? You lower the Bloodstained Mail, slightly worried about that and the increasing lack of life signs in New Bark Town, when something happens to drive all other thoughts from your head: you hear something hit the front door with a fleshy thump.
And then you hear it gibber.
It seems that there's a little more than nothing out there after all.
You're beginning to regret doing all that shouting.
Open the door. But take a chair for defence.
> Open the door. But take a chair for defence.
Of all the strange ideas that have flitted through your head this morning, this is surely the best. Who cares about the fleshiness of that thump? Or the horror of that gibbering? Or the fact that a moment ago you were about half a second from shrieking in terror? You are a Pokémon Trainer, and Pokémon Trainers care not for danger. You spit in fate's eye and go teach golems to throw rocks at dragons. The very fact that you own a Skarmory, even if he's not currently with you, makes you more than badass enough to deal with whatever lies on the other side of that door.
Still... As you heft the chair and creep over to the door – thump, goes the Unseen Thing – you do wonder whether or not this is the best course of action.
Thump thump thump.
Can the thing outside hear you? Is that why it's thumping more – to get your attention?
You reach the door, but realise you can't open the door and hold the chair at the same time, given that the chair is rather large, and also because the door opens inwards. What if the Unseen Thing on the other side lunges through as soon as you open it? You'll have to get the chair from the floor at your side, swing it up and bash the Thing, all within a very short space of time.
You're not sure you want to open the door after all. The Unseen Thing does not share your opinion, if the near-constant stream of meaty thumps is anything to go by.
Well... You are a Pokémon Trainer, you remind yourself. The kind of guy who owns a fifteen-foot long cobra with the power to paralyse with a glance. The kind of guy who voluntarily wanders alone through horrendously dangerous mountain caves without a thought for any kind of safety.
What's one Unseen Thing to you?
You nod to yourself. That's right, you're the goddamn boss and that Thing out there needs to know it.
“Chair, I choose you,” you mutter grimly to yourself, and wrench the door open.
You know the phrase 'eldritch abomination'? And how you've never had anything to apply it to before?
Yeah, now you have.
The gibbering, hunchbacked beast on the door looks like the hellish result of an experiment wherein someone crossed a crocodile and a man and tried to melt the offspring; its flesh hangs off its body in rolls and loops, dragging on the ground as it moves. It starts with an unspeakable jagged head and ends in a broad flat tail, and as you stare, you see two dim, jaundiced eyes peer myopically out from under its sagging brow, registering that the door is now open. Its taloned hands, held curled under its spongy chest as if in prayer, twitch and begin to creep forwards.
You're going to need a very good idea.
You're going to need it now.
Try inviting it inside and striking up a conversation.
Quite an interesting fic you got here. xD
Very interactive :3
If it attacks, as scary monsters are wont to do, sass it with a Buffy-esque one-liner and then kick it in the face.
> Try inviting it inside and striking up a conversation.
You're pretty sure you need human lips to converse, and this thing doesn't seem to have any – or, if it does, it keeps them in a little bag and takes them out to play with in its spare time. No, conversation seems to be pretty low down on its list of priorities – far below 'eating your face', for instance.
Oh god oh god it's trying to eat your face—
> Quite an interesting fic you got here.
You are left in a position of some considerable torment as the Narrator takes the time to thank one of the voices in your head for its kind words. Man, that guy just hasn't been on your side since he slung a monster at your front door.
> If it attacks, as scary monsters are wont to do, sass it with a Buffy-esque one-liner and then kick it in the face.
It's a little difficult to think of sassy one-liners when fangs stinking of creosote are descending towards your face, but you do your best, knowing that you are a Pokémon Trainer and you have a duty to be awesome.
“Looks like the boot is on the other face!” you yell, and attempt to follow this up with a scissor kick to the head. Unfortunately, the Formerly-Unseen-But-Now-All-Too-Visible Thing interprets this as an offering of lunch, and seizes your foot in its mouth, hauling you off your feet.
As reeking saliva soaks into your trouser leg, you and pants-wetting terror have a brief mental tussle.
Pants-wetting terror is the victor.
Thrashing wildly, you manage to free your foot (though not your shoe) and scramble back through the doorway, slamming the door behind you and jamming the chair under the handle. You climb to your feet, breathing heavily, and check your foot; it doesn't seem too badly injured – you can probably run on it, anyway. Only now do you remember that you're a Trainer, not a warrior. You may be badass, but you do tend to rely on your own monsters to defeat other monsters for you.
You shift your gaze back to the door, a sense of mounting panic growing within you.
Something terrible is happening, of that you have no doubt, and you have nothing to defend yourself with.
There's a snarling hiss from outside and a sudden impact shakes the door from its hinges. Bits of wood fly away from it like knives and the door sprouts a jagged claw that swiftly begins tearing at the panels. You're even less certain than before that conversing with the thing is a good idea, but you're damn sure now that it wants to come in, and since its Horrid Slashing appears to be super effective against Door, it looks like it's going to do so within the next five minutes.
Beep beep. Beep beep.
It looks like your Pokédex fell out of your pocket and opened up when the Formerly-Unseen-But-Now-All-Too-Visible Thing pulled you over by the foot. It's lit up and beeping, which means it's registered something, but right now there's no time to look at it; you scoop it up, stuff it back into your pocket and make it your personal mission to get as far away from the door and the monster outside as possible.
There is a television here.
There is a refrigerator here.
There is a sink here.
There is table with three chairs here.
There is a makeshift barricade here.
Go Safari Zone on this thing and throw rocks/food at it until it has a concussion large enough to allow you to catch it.
Try and sooth the beast with music
You still have five minutes anyway.
Go head to the fridge and have something to drink to calm your nerves.
> Try and soothe the beast with music.
You cannot soothe the beast with music; you have no music with which to soothe it!
> You still have five minutes anyway.
Go head to the fridge and have something to drink to calm your nerves.
Liquid Courage, that's what you need! Getting drunk gave you the bravery you needed for your Championship battle, even if it did get you disqualified when you vomited over Lance's Dragonite. It may help you in this situation, provided you can find some booze.
A quick search of the fridge reveals a Birthday Cake, a Hambone and four Lava Cookies.
You cannot even begin to guess at why.
Othodox found some Lava Cookies! Othodox put the Lava Cookies in the Medicine Pocket.
Othodox found one Hambone! Othodox put the Hambone in the Meat Products Pocket.
Othodox found one Birthday Cake! Othodox put the Birthday Cake in the Confectionery Pocket.
Still no booze. Nor even anything liquid, unless you feel like chipping ice off the shelves and melting it down.
The Formerly-Unseen-But-Now-All-Too-Visible Thing is almost through the door.
> Go Safari Zone on this thing and throw rocks/food at it until it has a concussion large enough to allow you to catch it.
If your Pokédex lit up when it appeared, it's probably a Pokémon, and that means you can do what you do best: catch the hell out of it. And you'd much rather that thing was trying to eat your enemies' faces rather than yours.
Given that your previous ideas included trying to engage the monster in intelligent conversation, this is almost certainly the best idea you've had all day.
You don't, however, have any wish to throw rocks at the monster, since doing so in the Safari Zone tends to make the Pokémon angry, and this thing is definitely angry enough at you already without making things worse. You'll have to make do with food; hopefully, it'll distract it long enough for you to get a Ball in.
Taking up a cautious stance across the room from the disintegrating front door, you check your supplies. You have five items that could reasonably be classed as 'food', and two Poké Balls.
Ah. That's... not a whole lot. And that beast definitely doesn't look like it has a high capture rate.
Speaking of which, the door's just fallen off the wall, and a webbed arm is in the process of sweeping the remnants of the chair aside with a blood-curdling snarl.
There is a Formerly-Unseen-But-Now-All-Too-Visible Thing here.
There is an empty refrigerator here.
There is a ruined barricade here.
Anyway, cartoon logic states that the only food that can properly blind someone is the cake, so throw that then attempt to catch it.
If the cake fails throw the Hambone, and after the pokeball is thrown and it is trying to escape hold it together in your hands to prevent the Formerly-Unseen-But-Now-All-Too-Visible Thing from breaking out.
Check pokedex to find out the weaknesses of the thing. They have those in there, right?
Prepare the television for battle.
> Check pokedex to find out the weaknesses of the thing. They have those in there, right?
Prepare the television for battle.
> Anyway, cartoon logic states that the only food that can properly blind someone is the cake, so throw that then attempt to catch it.
> If the cake fails throw the Hambone, and after the pokeball is thrown and it is trying to escape hold it together in your hands to prevent the Formerly-Unseen-But-Now-All-Too-Visible Thing from breaking out.
As the beast bursts through the wreckage of the chair, you duck down behind the kitchen counter and flip open the Pokédex, praying that you stay hidden long enough to find out some way of stopping it. You scroll from Chikorita all the way down to Dragonite, but to your consternation, you see nothing new: despite the beeping, the Pokédex doesn't appear to have updated at all. Christ, why did the Narrator have to draw attention to that? It isn't fair, he's made you waste time while the monster gets closer, and now it's probably going to eat you—
You have an idea.
Slowly, stealthily, you rise to your feet, peering up over the counter, trying to see where the beast is. It hasn't moved from the door; its head swings from side to side, perhaps trying to scent you, but the rest of its body is entirely, unnaturally still.
You shiver. This thing creeps the hell out of you.
You really, really hope this next part works.
Reaching quietly into your Bag, you draw out the Birthday Cake and heft it one-handed. It's a weighty affair in pink marchpane, cursive script spelling out an unknown name across its face and delicate curls of cream rounding out the edges. It seems almost a shame to throw it, but you need a diversion if you're going to get anywhere near to catching this thing.
You take a moment to think up your one-liner, then straighten up.
“Happy birthday,” you say coldly, and hurl the cake.
You're no stranger to throwing – all those Poké Balls do wonders for the aim – and it flies straight and true, smacking the fishy abomination right in the face. It roars, ear-splitting in the confined space, and for a moment you almost chicken out, close to ducking back into cover and whimpering like a baby—
But you're a Trainer, you're the guy who screws around with dragons just because, and you vault the counter, sprinting to the TV, and kick the side of it as hard as you can. Blinded by fury and sweet, sweet cake, the monster lunges, jagged jaws lancing through the air towards the noise of cracking plastic—
—and plunges its face through the TV screen.
There is a terrible unearthly shriek.
There is a terrible unearthly silence.
And there is a godawful smell of burnt fish.
When you finally emerge from the foetal position – which you totally assumed to protect yourself from potential flying debris, and not because you were scared out of your pathetic little mind – the monster is lying, cake-bespattered and smoking gently, next to the sparking wreckage of the TV.
Aw, yeah. You are, you realise, possibly the most awesome person in the history of the world.
In fact, you're halfway through composing an epic ballad in celebration of your worth when you notice the monster's claws have started twitching again, and decide you'd really probably better chuck a Ball at it now. It vanishes in a burst of light, and, deciding that you really don't want to risk this thing breaking out again, you hold the two halves of the Ball together while it shakes. Given that it's currently somewhat fried, the monster doesn't make much of an attempt to resist, and moments later you're holding in your hands what is surely the most kick-ass monster you've ever captured.
Gotcha! The wild Totodile was caught!
Give a nickname to the captured Totodile?
Wait just a damn minute.
Totodile, huh? There's only one explination: ZOOOMMBIIIEEEEES. That or Team Rocket. Probably zombies.
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