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Old June 24th, 2013 (9:32 AM).
Cutlerine Cutlerine is offline
Gone. May or may not return.
    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
    Age: 23
    Nature: Impish
    Posts: 1,030
    > Ask Elm what he meant before about getting the Eldritch Quilava off your back. He appears to have forgotten and it would be nice to have that information before he goes caput.

    “All right. We're not getting anywhere with this right now; let's try something else. Professor, you said you had an idea for getting the Quilava off my tail?”

    “Well,” he replies, “the Steelix hasn't come back after Jasmine now, has it?”

    “NO, IT HASN'T,” she confirms. “NOT SINCE I DIED.”

    “So, that was my plan,” he said. “If we can trick it into thinking you're dead, then maybe it'll stop chasing you.” He shrugs. “I don't really know how to do that. It was just a thought.”

    > Ignore Elms Hunger and Thirst hes dying anyway and our food supply is limited. Take a small snack and small drink, purify some water with the distillation thing I recall having and set up for the night.
    > No, we have no idea how long he is going to live, and he will be more useful when well fed. Besides, the coral is basically a parasitic organism in Elms body, parasites does not have any interest in killing their host; they want him to stay alive so they can continue to feed on him. Eat, drink and sleep, then prepare to set out in the morning.
    > Ignoring Elm's hunger and thirst is really really...yeah, I don't like that idea. He's still alive, and ignoring that is really cruel. So let him join and you three should eat and drink something. If Vesta's hungry, give her some wood.
    Then, before you guys get some shut eye, plan on who will stay up for a few hours to keep watch.

    You eat, drink and make as merry as you can under the circumstances, but you don't distil any water, because you forgot to pick the distillation device up before you jumped in the helicopter and fled Cianwood.

    Sigh. Oh, Othodox. What will we do with you?

    Elm will sleep all night, since he is tired from his work and the predation of the piece of Corsola; you'll sleep in the early hours of the morning, since you have been asleep all afternoon; and Jasmine will remain awake all night, because the only reason she would sleep is for comfort – and in this dream-haunted world, sleep brings no comfort at all.

    > Also does Jasmine not need food and water?

    She doesn't have much of an appetite these days. Nor would you if your stomach had crushed in a Steelix's gizzard and turned into a lump of manganese.

    > Before heading out use the pokedex


    No Pokémon found!

    Huh. That's actually more ominous than if it had said it had found a hundred and sixty-five. Where are they all? Have they gone into hiding? Have they all been killed by the Quilava and their corpses dragged away to be torn apart in some rank, bloody den?

    This question is not long dominant in your mind, however, because shortly afterwards the Pokédex goes bloop and turns itself off.

    It would appear you have run out of battery power.

    That's not a particularly auspicious start to your journey north, but there's nothing much to be done about it, so, as the sun climbs up into the sky, you set off for Ecruteak.

    As you pass the northernmost buildings of Olivine, you see signs of fire; there's nothing here now – perhaps the storm blew over here and extinguished the flames – but the walls are stained black with soot, and the earth has been baked into crude terracotta. There's even lumps of gritty glass in the sand.

    You don't think the Eldritch Quilava was very happy that you got away.

    “Is this... Christ, is this all from that Quilava?” asks Elm.

    You nod.


    It's big
    , points out Vesta helpfully. Very big, and very fiery. Like me when I burned the flappy things.

    “Golbat,” you say. “Those were Golbat, Vesta.”

    Ah, she says. Gol-bat. OK.

    You travel on, and the burned buildings give way to the giant molehills and pits of Route 39. You don't linger here; this is the first time you've seen this place really clearly, and you can now appreciate just how scarred and twisted the ground is. This is a place lost to nature; you are not welcome here, not any more. It is the kingdom of the Eldritch Steelix.

    Further on you go, past the ruined MooMoo Farm (and while we're on the subject, do you think you could go somewhere without burning it to the ground for once? You really are a most destructive little creature); you can see the vast dome of night over Ecruteak now – the shell of the Eldritch Gengar, waiting for God knows what.

    “OH DEAR,” says Jasmine, staring at it. “OH DEAR...

    “It's OK,” you say, squeezing her hand comfortingly and remembering too late that it's made of metal. “It's just the Gengar. We should be safe in there.”

    She swallows.

    “OK,” she says doubtfully. “IF YOU SAY SO...

    Elm's reaction is rather different.

    “Mother of God,” he breathes. “That's fascinating.”

    There's science for you. Show a normal man a monster and he'll run for the hills; show it to a biologist and he'll measure the length of its toenails.

    Come on, crackles Vesta. We should go. The nemesis is coming.

    Ah. That can only mean one thing.

    “The Eldritch Quilava?” you ask.

    Yes. It's in the forest, far to the north. Vesta pauses. It's running very fast, I think.

    “Right,” you say, breaking into a brisk march. “Come on! We're leaving.”

    Spurred on by the thought of an unpleasantly fiery death, you cover the remaining distance to Ecruteak in record time, and soon you're within the misty grey twilight of the city once again.

    Hello, Othodox.

    The sky tears open; the Gengar looks down upon you.

    You have returned, it tells you unnecessarily. And look... I remember you, Elm – and you too, Jasmine, though this world has been less kind to you than to the Professor. It sighs; dark winds race through the empty streets. The lesser Ghosts are watching, you can sense, but they don't reveal their presence. It would seem you are close to your goal, the Gengar continues. The dreams are getting longer.

    “Yeah,” you reply. “We're on our way to the Ruins of Alph.”

    Ah, says the Gengar. How singularly appropriate! In the Dreaming, of course, you would head for the Unown... Good luck to you all.

    Elm and Jasmine are awestruck, staring up at the gigantic eyes above; for a moment, you wonder how it is that you're more used to this world than they are, and then you remember that normal people survive here by finding a hole and hiding in it: you are a special case. By hook or by crook, you have fought and fled and burned your way across Johto, forever one step ahead of certain death.

    Not too bad a resumé, actually. 'Saving the world in the face of dire perils' is the sort of thing that impresses employers, you imagine.

    Actually, thinking about the consequences of this, you also anticipate that it's going to be fairly easy for you to get laid after this as well. Girls like a guy who fights forces so terrible that no human language has a word for them.

    You think.

    The infection spreads. Elm is Feeling the Itch.

    For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.