DISCLAIMER: pokemon and all of its trademarked products and characters are owned by Nintendo, Game Freak and their affiliates, not me. If they were owned by me, I’d be filthy rich, and certainly wouldn’t have to resort to doing all the house work for the occasional FullMetal Alchemist or Kenshin DVD. (I know I really should save my money, but dammit, anime is so addictive!)


Bleed Like Me.




Tourist guides to Vermillion City described the Diglett Tunnel as ‘a natural shortcut from the verdant green of Viridian Forest to the sunlit harbour town of Vermillion’. The guides also described precisely how it was formed, hundreds of years ago, by migrating Diglett. Also included in the page description was a list of all the pokemon that could be found there, and what to do if one encountered a hibernating Snorlax.

What the guides failed to mention was that the tunnel had been abandoned for years following the murder of Ash Ketchum.

They also failed to mention that the tunnels were and always would be a breeding ground for diseased Zubat, the same Zubat that had given birth to the disease that caused vampirism centuries before, and that the tunnel was considered –if not holy ground, at least sacred- by feeders, who have their own, bloody religion; one that makes the blood-soaked years of the witch burnings and the holy crusades look like a child’s birthday dinner, complete with elderly grandparents.

The tunnel itself was a lot different to the one described in the guides, having been renovated by generations of feeders, and now containing labyrinthine tunnels and caves, similar to Victory Road.

Indeed, the two are linked, and both lead to an underground hollow where the first diseased Zubat flew free.

The feeder rite was to be held here.

Humans weren’t aware of this, which was a very bad thing indeed, considering that a gathering of feeders a million strong was being held underneath their cities, and they were the ones that would be served as refreshments afterwards.


Twigs cracked under Misty’s sneakers as she walked along the shadowed path.

Although the forest was considerably smaller than what it had once been, it was thickly overgrown, and the many winding paths looked as though they hadn’t been maintained in years.

Trees above her blocked out the sun, and what little light that filtered down was heavily diluted by the crowded canopy.

Marill was wary.

She knew her trainer was afraid, could smell the fear pouring off her, and knew that it was a very dangerous thing that they did, walking alone through an area inhabited by thieves and vagabonds; an area where being mugged was not a possibility, but a matter of course.

Marill was not afraid.

She’d only been an egg that night in the tunnel, but even in her shell she’d heard the screams.

Screams like that only served to make her angry, rather than afraid.

Angry that she hadn’t been there to protect her trainer, angry that she was the one who had been targeted, her and the boy called Ash Ketchum, who she’d never met, but had heard of from the tall, squinty-eyed breeder’s pokemon.

Somewhere, in the quiet distance, branches broke.

Misty froze, and Marill leapt to her shoulder, crackling with cold energy.

If they thought to attack her trainer, they had another thing coming...

“Who’s there?” called out Misty, and winced at the nervous tremor in her voice.

I may as well just announce to the whole world I’m easy pickings...

Startled by her voice, a small Taillow flitted out from a thorny shrub, screeching as it headed for the safety of a large oak.

Misty sighed, and Marill glared at the small bird pokemon, which chirruped in fright.

Misty sighed again, and sat down on an upturned stump. Marill leapt off her shoulder and sniffed around.

“Gods, Marill. I was scared of a bird-pokemon! And it’s just a baby!” Misty rested her head in her hands.

“What’s happening to me, Marill? I used to be so much more braver than this! What happened to make me change?”

Marill sniffed a toadstool, sneezed, and turned back to her trainer, startled to hear the soft patter of tears on the leaf litter at her feet.

Marill couldn’t answer her, and laid her head on Misty’s knee.

Absently, Misty stroked her ears.

“Gods, I’m so pathetic. Look at me! I’ve been reduced to a blubbering mess!”

She looked skyward, tears streaming down her cheeks, eyes bright with anger.

“No more, Marill. No more! I’m not gonna be like this!”

She stood, Marill falling away in shock. Instead of fear, she could scent anger.

Lots of anger, anger that hardened her trainer’s soft resolution.

“No more,” said Misty quietly, and brushed her tears away. “No more.”


Vermillion city gleamed in the summer sunlight, but through the glittering façade, Ash could see the shadows that gathered in the alleyways, and could smell the stench of decay.

“No where is sacred, Pikachu. No where. Even here. I thought it was just Indigo...”

As he moved through the thronging crowd, Ash spoke quietly to the small pokemon on his shoulder.

“Remind me why I did not just head for Viridian Forest?”

Pikachu chattered softly into Ash’s ear, and Ash nodded.

It made sense.

The Lady wouldn’t risk her sacrifice by only enlisting a sole searcher. She would send others beside Ash, others to make sure he did as he was bid. Although Ash had been turned at her hands, and could not directly attack the Lady, he certainly could disobey her orders, if he was creative enough.

His orders had to be very precise.

She could ask him to capture someone, but unless she specifically requested him not to, he could also let them go as soon as they were caught.

And although she had told him to bring the girl to her, she hadn’t said anything about keeping her there...

Unfortunately, her little guards would make his life difficult if he tried to disobey, but as soon as they were gone, he would be somewhat freer to move.

“The tunnel is where I will find them. She will expect me to go the long way around, considering my... history with the place, and she will order them to sneak through and ambush me. But if I get there first...”

Pikachu grinned, and there was nothing pleasant about it.

The pokemon licked his chops.

He could almost taste the fools already...


“-as demolished today at a quarter past ten. The gym has long been in disrepair since it’s abandonment by the last remaining member of the Sensational Sisters, Misty Waterflower. Its removal will make way for the introduction of a new Trainer House, commissioned by League Master, Gary Oak. And now we’ll cross over to Sue for the weather.”

“Thanks, Pete. In Viridian city, 0.7mL of rain was recorded overnight, and-”

Brock switched the television off, casting the lounge into gloom.

“So the gym’s gone, then.” said May quietly. “If she wasn’t heading there, where was she going?”

Max shrugged, pushed his glasses back on his nose, and returned to the kitchen table and his waiting assignment for Pokemon Tech.

Currently, he was trying to compose a chart showing the growth of Zubat in the past decade.

“Vermillion. That’s where she was going.” said Brock as the pair headed into the kitchen.

May looked horrified.

“But... that’s where the tunnel is...”
“Yes. She has to slay her demons sometime, May. She’s not taking the tunnel, though. She’s going through the forest above it. I don’t think that girl’ll ever go underground again.”

Brock filled the electric kettle and flicked it on, detaching two coffee cups from an overhead rack. “You want a coffee, May?”

May nodded.

“Thanks.” She paused for a moment then spoke. “She’s never forgotten him, has she? It’s been a decade since he died. Why hasn’t she started living yet? I thought the holiday in Indigo might do her some good, but...” the girl sighed.

Brock shrugged.

“Sometimes, life is a lot harder than the alternative. If she goes on as normal, that’ll mean she’ll have to... well, not exactly forget, but put him out of her mind. She doesn’t want to do that.”

The kettle whistled, and Max turned down the offer of a hot drink, turning back to his textbooks.

“Why? I mean, I wish he was still alive too, gods know I wish for nothing more, but... he’s just a memory now.”

“Some memories aren’t meant to be forgotten.” murmured Brock as hot water was poured into waiting cups.

Max frowned.

He had only been half-listening to the conversation between his sister and the breeder, as his data was showing a disturbing trend.

According to his graphs, the population of Zubat had doubled every twenty years for the past few centuries, as was natural for a growing species. However, lately, in the past five years, the population had started to grow at an alarming rate, resulting in a population explosion where the number of Zubat had not just doubled, or tripled, but quadrupled, bringing the population up to forty million.

Max took his glasses off, cleaned them, put them back on, and squinted at the figures.

“That can’t be right...” he whispered, but no-one heard.


The Lady frowned.

Yet another of her pets had died last night.

The third in just one week. Usually, they died at the rate of one a month, their bodies failing through lack of fluid as she bled them dry; but this was unprecedented.

She knew that feeder blood was toxic, that when introduced into the human bloodstream it would do one of two things: kill the human quickly and painfully; or kill the human slowly, but agonisingly.

Occasionally, however... the human wouldn’t die.

They would turn, their blood corrupted by that of a feeders, dissolving their humanity, and in the process, their mortality.

Feeders were not truly immortal; rather, their immune systems were so powerful that any and all diseases –including both AIDS and cancer of any kind- where immediately destroyed before any harm could be done to the body.

Their ageing processes slowed considerably also, as dying cells where quickly replaced by younger, stronger cells.

In fact, a forty-year old feeder would resemble a twenty-year old within a decade of being turned.

Healing sped up, with most feeders able to recover from a broken bone in less than two days, rather than two months.

The downside was that although their immune system was certainly strong enough to destroy sicknesses, slow ageing –and in some cases, reverse it- and to speed up healing, their immune systems became warped, blindly attacking not just enemy cells, but the bodies own.

If the feeder did not keep the immune system attacking a steady supply of outsider cells, those taken from humans that were fed upon, their immune system would start to attack itself.

The feeder would die, being slowly and painfully destroyed from the inside out, much like what happened to humans when feeder blood overrode their bodies, attacking their internal organs, and eventually killing them.

What most feeders didn’t realise is that they were the home of the world’s most deadly virus; that they, themselves, were the virus, and they would continue to spread.

The Lady knew this.

She and every other leader of a court knew this, and knew that theirs was a race headed for eventual extinction through lack of food. Eventually, every living organism on earth would turn, those unable to being used as a food source.

Once all food was gone, the feeders themselves would be devoured by the pokemon they owned, the pokemon that had contracted the same virus with murderous results.

Pokemon would eat master; overcome with the insatiable desire for the taste of their trainer’s flesh.

And when all feeders were gone, the pokemon would turn on themselves in an obscene display of eat-or-be-eaten.

Eventually, the last one left –the pokemon who had survived by gorging itself on its fellows- would devour itself; taking cannibalism to new, abhorrent heights.

There would be nothing left.

No people, no pokemon; nothing.

A barren wasteland.

Armageddon at the hands of the feeders, the first of which was born as the result of being bitten by an infected Zubat and contracting a blood-borne disease known as Negative Immune-Response, or NIR.

In short, mankind was fucked.

The Lady smiled. She loved hearing good news.

For the rite to be completed, however, a sacrifice was needed, something to appeal to the gods of blood and murder with.

Although the birth of vampirism could be explained away with science, science could not explain the mythological aspect to the feeders; the fact that every feeder was tied to the feeder that had turned it, that feeders resented the touch of pure sunlight, that feeders could not enter a dwelling uninvited. Feeders could also not tread on sacred, consecrated ground –the only advantage that mankind held.

Holy relics did nothing, except in a rare number of cases, where the feeder had been Catholic before being turned.

Considering the number of devout Catholics in the Kanto was very small, this didn’t happen very often.

Feeders were mythological as well as scientific; they had their own gods, gods who were said to be responsible for the loosing of the disease upon the world.

Gods of self-destruction.

Unlike most religions, feeders did not believe in rebirth.

The Lady was looking forward to an eternity at the feet of her gods; as were all of the other leaders.

The sacrifice was meant to appeal to the gods and forward the end of the world, and for that proposed had the Diglett Tunnel been mined.

To prove herself faithful, she was considering sacrificing more; adding her own pets to the pile of bodies that would soon accumulate on the altar.

If they kept dying, and dying so fast, she wasn’t sure she would have any left by the date of the rite.

She frowned, hoping that the shadow would do as he was bid for once, although she suspected she had wound him too tight.

She sought to control him, did so without his knowing by gently winding his internal spring, knowing that it would unwind the way she wished.

It was only as she considered her empty cages, and as her servants found the bloody knife, that she realised that if a spring is wound too tight, it breaks.


The roof of the Diglett Tunnel seemed to be covered with an undulating, fluttering black carpet.

It was only as you peered closer that the carpet was revealed not to be some strange moss, but a mass of Zubat.

Millions of them.

So many, and all sleeping, moving gently with the wind that howled through the tunnel, which had rapidly changed to become a cavern.

All other pokémon had long since fled; even the Diglett for which the tunnel was named for.

The tunnels themselves had been mined by feeders in preparation for the rite, connecting every city to the honeycomb of passages below the earth.

Humanity didn’t know it, but beneath them was a ticking time bomb.

All it needed was for the right wire to be cut, and the Zubat would swarm, flooding the earth and infecting every human bitten.

Most would die, but some would not.

Eventually, the country of Kanto would be overrun, and then its neighbour Johto would be next.

After Johto, the Orange Islands, then the Sevii isles.

Eventually, the disease would spread to Hoenn.

The feeders that slunk through the shadows –hunters, belonging to a different court of that to which Ash was tied, but hired by his Lady- knew this, and rejoiced in the exquisite tension brought by the waiting for the orgy of blood and death known as the rite.


The changes in her trainer spooked Marill.

Ten minutes ago she had been crying, scared and pathetic.

And now the fury that seethed off her trainer scared away most of the pokemon that encountered them, all pokemon knowing when an attack would rapidly become kamikaze.

Bandits had attacked them twice, and in both cases the would-be thieves had been left as defrosting statues in the dense, humid heat of the forest.

Either Misty didn’t know or care, but she had killed both men.

Marill was going for the latter.

She knew her trainer had always harboured anger, and an inexhaustible fount of it, but she hadn’t known it would erupt forth so violently.

She could almost feel the white-hot heat of Misty’s rage.

And this wasn’t blind anger; it was calculating.

Misty knew what she was doing.

The problem was, Marill didn’t, and she strongly suspected that whatever her trainer planned, it wasn’t good.

She was right.

Misty had spent the time they walked dwelling on thoughts of the past, and on certain recent events, and how the two correlated.

Ash Ketchum had died after being fed on.

Feeders fed on human beings.

She had encountered one, one that had saved her life for some unknown reason.

The feeder she had met hadn’t given her his name.

He also reminded her of Ash, in that he had the same smile, and he also had a Pikachu.

If feeders were classic vampires, those that they fed on became vampires.

This feeder had also shown the same stupidly noble streak that Ash had once had, something she knew could never be extinguished.

The conclusion Misty had reached was this: Ash hadn’t died.

He’d been changed into one of them, a feeder.

The screams she had heard weren’t death-cries, but cries of change.

Ash was a feeder. He was one of them.

This thought, at first joyous, had led to other, painful thoughts.

If Ash was alive, why hadn’t he come to see her?

She had suffered through his death perhaps more than he had; he had died once, whereas a small part of her died every single night in her nightmares.

At first she had thought that his memory had been lost, but then she remembered the faintest flash of recognition on his face before she had left his quarters.

He knew who I am, and yet he did nothing.

All of the emotions that she had harboured over the years –the fear, the regret, the grief, the anger at herself for not being able to save him, and the secret and terrible anger at him for dying- had burst from the dams of her mind, flooding her soul with blistering wrath.

All she wanted to do know was to find him, and exorcise the demons of her past.

I’m going to make him pay for every tear I’ve shed, every sleepless night, every stifled sob. He will pay for them all.

The first place she was headed was Vermillion, in order to visit the site of his supposed demise.

There, she would destroy the memorial that had been left to his shocking murder, and from there, she’d move on to his quarters in Indigo.

Her deliverance had begun.


The shadows of the tunnel were cool compared to the warmth of the day’s sun.

Feeders, unlike the classical vampires of legend, did not burst into flame upon contact with sunlight, although pure, undistilled sunlight –something so very rare in an industrialised world, where even the natural light that reached the earth was polluted by fumes- did irritate them somewhat, blinding eyes best suited to darkness and burning skin sensitive to ultra-violet light, resulting in severe sunburn. Sunburn, while painful, inhibited feeders only slightly.

Fire, on the other hand, could severely damage a feeder, burns taking weeks, months, sometimes years to heal.

Ash was a smart feeder. He wore sunblock.

He could smell it as it evaporated, the greasy scent of imitation coconut and the various chemicals that protected him from the light that sizzled against his skin.

Pikachu wrinkled his nose, his sense of smell being more powerful than Ash’s. He knew that the coconut-scent wreathed the pair, and was not likely to fade for quite some time.

It made the both of them quite obvious, for any feeder worth his fangs could smell them a few kilometres away. Pikachu didn’t like being obvious. Since he turned, all those years ago, he felt that he was a pokemon best suited to secrecy and darkness.

Announcing his presence via the distinctive scent of Charmander-brand sunblock was not high on his priority list.

He told this to Ash, who shushed him.

Affronted, Pikachu tensed, sparks flying as he prepared to launch a Thundershock that would make Ash pay for his insolence before he was shushed again.

“We want them to know that we are here,” he whispered, Pikachu feeling the vibrations of his words in the air rather than actually hearing them. “They plan to trap us. We will spring there trap, and launch one of our own.”

Pikachu’s eyes narrowed, becoming dark slits in the dim-lit tunnel.

It had been a few days since he last fed. Even if Ash delighted in ignoring the urge to feed that all feeders knew too well, Pikachu relented to his primitive side.

After all, it had served him well thus far. Why stop now?

Apart from the oppressive stench of the sunblock, he could smell approaching feeders: their dirty clothing, crusted with old blood; their pokemon –two Raticates and a Muk- and the distinctive scent of each (Pikachu wrinkled his nose. That Muk smelt foul); the trainers themselves, a distasteful reek of stale sweat and grimy skin.

Ash grimaced.

“Gods, Pikachu, have they ever heard of showering after a feed?” asked Ash quietly.

Ash was fastidious in his cleanliness; dirt made it too easy for others to scent you, and was just plain uncomfortable.

Pikachu silently agreed. There were no poke-fleas on him.

More feeders behind them, Ash could feel them, even if he couldn’t see them or smell them.

He closed his eyes, letting other senses take hold.

The dim light of the tunnel at his back winked out, plunging the cavern into absolute darkness, lit not even by a stray spark from Pikachu.

The gentle rasp of fabric against skin told Ash they were closer, even as he stood still. The scrape of boot against stone told him that there were six of them, and the whisper of blunted steel in leather hilts told him they were armed.

A soft howl to his left told Pikachu there were more pokemon, one an Umbreon.

Yellow eyes glowed with internal light, faintly illuminating three other pokemon, among them a Seviper with poison-dripping fangs, and a Crobat with drooling maw.

They were out-numbered, six-to-one.

Ash smiled.

Good. More for us.


Misty ignored the tourists that swarmed around her as she walked through the crowds. Marill perched on her shoulder, looking down on all of the teeming humanity that spread before them.

Marill felt a certain sense of awe as before her, the crowded pathways of Vermillion moved in an undulating mass, reminiscent of a shoal of fish-pokémon.

So many humans... so many pokémon...

Even as the small blue pokémon marvelled at the crowd, she picked up the scent of something... other.

The same scent she had smelt on the feeder that had rescued them- no, not the same, somewhat different, as the person who bore it was female.

That feeder scent –the scent of hot, sweet blood and dying breath- clung to a woman in the crowd, a woman with shiny, mad eyes.

Marill hissed at her as she walked past, and the woman snarled back, teeth bare, exposing fangs twice as long as her canines should be, but hidden beneath full lips.

Marill jolted back in fear, even as the crowd, sensing a disturbance, parted around the three of them: Misty, Marill and the feeder.

Marill shivered, cold fear chilling through her, but she was sane enough to feel apprehensive of her trainer’s reaction.

Misty, on the other hand, felt nothing but anger.

Hot, roiling, painful anger; boiling through her like steam.

Her thoughts were crowded with murderous impulses, and a part of her –a part that had died the same night as Ash- wanted her to hammer her chest and scream.

Misty was only seconds away from obeying that impulse, this she knew. She could feel her control slipping, feel the impulses that rampaged through her gain the upper-hand...

Misty blinked.

She couldn’t understand why she felt like this; yes, she knew it was because of her anger at Ash, the anger she knew was well deserved, but why was it taking her over?

She tried to focus on the crowd; tried to ignore the incredibly powerful urge to find every feeder she could and slaughter them, butcher them, clutch their bleeding hearts in her hands and squeeze...

Then she saw the feeder.

She’d heard someone snarl at Marill, the sound hadn’t really connected, but now she knew who it was from.

She stopped walking, forcing the rapidly-thinning crowd to move around her, like a river flowing around a rock, and turned to face the woman-feeder.

The feeder blinked, startled.

She hadn’t thought any humans would recognise her, but this one obviously did.

The human in front of her watched her, watched with eyes like blue diamonds, eyes colder than artic wastes.

The feeder snarled again, more in fear than anger.

Around her the remnants of the crowd, sensing something wrong like some great, dumb animal, flowed faster, some already starting to flee, seeking to run as far as possible from the impending showdown.

The sun, high above the three, shone down on the frozen tableau, lighting up the spark of hatred in Misty’s eyes.

Misty stood, still watching the woman, nostrils flaring like a wild Ponyta, and mouth parting slightly, exposing perfect, pearly teeth.

“Marill,” she hissed, “Bite.”

Marill, confused -she’d never heard the command for that particular attack before- leapt forward anyway, teeth bared, and a sharp snarl echoing forth.

The feeder, shocked, tried to bat away the pokémon, but couldn’t as Marill gained a firm grip on the woman’s flesh, her sharp teeth sinking in.

The feeder howled.

Misty stepped forward.

The feeder tore Marill off, not noticing the chunk of flesh missing from her arm, or the blood that spattered the pavement.

“Now you die,” the she-feeder screeched, her voice no more human than the flesh that Marill spat onto the ground, blood filling her mouth.

She hadn’t understood why her trainer had urged her to attack in such a manner, but strangely, as the coppery taste filled her mouth, she no longer cared.

Having tasted blood, feeder blood, she wanted more.

Marill grinned with bloody teeth.

The woman-feeder launched herself at Misty, fingernails like claws aiming for her trainer’s eyes.

Misty swung her leg up, lashing out in a kick that landed in the soft flesh of the woman’s stomach, pushing her back, ignoring the blows that rained down on her.

Misty launched her own attack, pushing the woman back with the ferocity of her blows.

“You bitch!’ she hissed between kicks and punches “You’re just like him! Feeding on others! I hate you all! I’ll kill you all! I’ll kill you all!

This last statement accompanied a blow that snapped the woman’s head viciously back, a sharp crack echoing through the stillness like a gunshot.

The feeder collapsed, head bent back at such an angle as to make it clear she was dead.

Misty stopped, panting, resisting the urge to attack the body, turning it into a pile of flesh-coloured putty.

She blinked.

“What's happening to me?" she asked, marvelling at her hands.

They were covered with blood, blood coming from the woman’s face, after Misty had broken her nose, and split her mouth like an overripe plum.

Her blows hadn’t been professional; she hadn’t been trained to do the maximum amount of damage with the minimum of effort.

What she did have was a deep-seated fount of fury that gave her brute strength.

Misty flexed her fingers, and winced at the sharp pain that lanced through cracked knuckles.

Her fingernails were chipped and torn, her body sore from the few kicks and punches –a helluva lot more professional than the ones that Misty had rained down on her, but a lot weaker- the feeder had managed to land on her.

All the same, injuries and all, she felt... invigorated. Thrilled. Powerful.

She’d always been Ash’s sidekick; always followed him around.

She became lost after he died, having no purpose.

Now, she felt as though she had a purpose.

First she’d find him, then she’d kill him.

Then, she’d hunt down every single last one of those cursed feeders and send them to hell.

Misty smiled.

Of course, she’d need training; no doubt some of them would be better fighters than she was, and she’d need to do some research on them; find out what their weaknesses were so that she could exploit them.

And she’d need to get some weapons in order; fists and feet wouldn’t be as effective against all of them.

She looked down at Marill, who sniffed the body, blood clotting on her fur.

“Good job, Marill.”

Marill looked up, noting the faint, mad sheen in her trainer’s eyes, and seeing the same in her own, reflected gaze.

Feeder blood filled her mouth, swarmed her tastebuds, and she swallowed.

Already, she could feel it affecting her, could feel her cells dying and mutating, pokémon being so much more aware of changes to their bodies than humans were.

All the same, she smiled back at her trainer.

She could smell the changes made to Misty; no longer was she the fragile redhead she used to be, but something different.

If Misty had been iron before, now she was steel- tempered and forged in the grief and madness of her once-friends death and changed into something else.

“C’mon Marill. First, we’ll call into a pokémon centre. I want a shower. Then, we’ll head to that tunnel. There were a lot of those bastards there the night Ash was attacked, maybe we’ll find some more, or even him there.”

As she followed her trainer –who ignored the fearful glances those in the crowd sent her as she walked- Marill nodded.

Yes, her trainer had changed.

But... had she been forged into a weapon of retribution, or a weapon of self-destruction?

Marill shook her head, wanting to be rid of the thick, cloying scent of blood that clotted her nose.

The sooner she showered, the better.


The darkness of the cavernous tunnel helped rather than hindered Ash.

Although his eyes were closed, he fared a lot better than his opponents.

Where their eyes were open –useless in the cloying gloom- and straining to see faint glimmers of light, even though they had no need to, his eyes were closed, allowing his other senses to take over.

He could hear their movements before they made them, the tell-tale rustle of cloth against skin, or the scrape of metal against leather.

He could smell them too, anxious sweat coating the other –rather repulsive- scents of their bodies.

The fact that their eyes were open, and his were not, helped when Pikachu Flashed, flaring brighter than the sun during a solar flare.

Ash grinned, and lashed out, booted foot connecting with something soft. Hands grabbed his opponent, pulled him forwards towards Ash, who unleashed ten-years worth of pent up rage on the hapless feeder.

Three punches to the stomach, a knee to the groin, an elbow to the neck, stiff fingers jabbing the oesophagus, rings of cartilage crackling like paper when crushed-

-The feeder, in a painful world of his own, didn’t notice when Ash jerked him forward-

-and a head butt to the face, nose splintering, cartilage pushed up to the brain.

A body, still warm, still thrashing, but still a body.

The feeder tossed aside, and Ash sucked the blood from his knuckles.

Hmm. Not my blood, his. Did not think I hit him that hard...

Sharp metallic death rushing towards him from both the left and right sides, ducking underneath both, kicking out and up to the left, aiming out and down with hard fists to the right, Pikachu Thunder-Shocking to the east of him, and Umbreon howling and twitching on the ground. Crackling lightning, and a bright white flare.

The sizzle of cooking flesh, and a yelp of pain.

The two feeders around him grabbed, knives stolen and used against their owners, warm blood gushing over his hands, soaking his clothes.

Two groans, and two stuttering hearts.

He could hear their heartbeats stop and slow.

Four down, two to go.

The soft wing beats of a Crobat above him, the ripple of air against him, Pikachu leaping, propelling off him, launching crackling, burning death with a defiant scream, and the other feeder, rushing him, while another lay unconscious or dead –hit by and errant thunderbolt in the attack that tore the two Raticate apart- attacking, him flipping, twisting out of the way, knife missing and skittering against the stone wall behind him, sparks flying loose, their brief heat singing against the clothes on his arm, and lunging out with a blind punch that found it’s target, bruising the sternum, cracking ribs, another punch thrown, the feeder groaning as he lost his knife, letting loose another punch, Ash catching his hand and squeezing, fingers cracking and breaking.

Another howl of pain, this from Pikachu, bitten by the Seviper and lighting up with an attack so bright, Ash could see it through his closed eyes, the roar of lightning and the splatter of venom and blood as the Seviper was torn to pieces.

His feeder dying, Ash throwing him, crashing against the stone wall, the crunch of bone.

The last pokemon –a Cacnea- weakened by the lack of sunlight, easily dispatched by Pikachu, but not before peppering Ash with thorns that stung as they sunk into his hands and his scalp.

Ash flinched, hissing in pain, opening eyes.

Pikachu Flashed, lighting up the tunnel that was littered with bodies –bloody, beaten and charred- both feeder and pokemon.

Ahead of them, the tunnel continued on, Pikachu’s light blurring into shadows and eventually nothing.

Ash scraped thorns out of his hands, and brushed them from his hair.

Tiny pinpricks of blood dotted exposed flesh, but he’d been quick enough to shield his face with his hands.

It hurt, but it was a small pain, and Ash ignored it.

Pikachu sniffed the dead feeders, wrinkling his nose.

Ash blinked, eyes adjusting to the dim light emitted by Pikachu after being closed for over ten minutes.

His hearing, sharp as always, picked up no other noises in the cavern besides the distant scrape of rock, and his and Pikachu’s breathing.

Ash nodded in satisfaction, and produced a tube of coconut-scented sunblock, covering the nearest feeder in it, thick, oily lotion soaking into bloody clothes, and masking the scent of the bodies, reducing the chances that they would be tracked.

Pikachu, uninterested in the sunblock, sniffed bodies down for anything useful, finding nothing.

“Pikachu, we are leaving. We have to get to Viridian Forest.”

Pikachu nodded, leapt onto Ash’s shoulder, and let his Flash fade.

Ash walked out of the tunnel in the dark, sunblock bottle empty and discarded, ignoring the sharp pain in his stomach that he knew had nothing to do with the fight.


The bathroom was smaller than the one at Brock’s house, but still well-regarded by a bloodstained and bruised Misty when she came to the rooms she’d hired at the pokemon centre.

Marill, after being checked by Nurse Joy and given the clean bill of health, lay dozing on the bathroom mat as Misty scrubbed, sending reddish water spiralling down the drain.

Misty sighed, and let the hot water pour through her hair.

Her first shower in three days of travelling, it was well received.

Surprisingly, she hadn’t been questioned by any Jenny’s over the death of the feeder –it seemed to Misty that the police were reluctant to involve themselves in yet another murder- and she’d made her way to the pokemon centre unmolested.

She thought it was due to the fact that she was covered in blood, but Marill knew it was from the fact that Misty smelt angry.

Humans, while not able to realise this, used their senses a lot better than they thought, but at a subconscious level.

Many of them had smelt the anger and the blood that wreathed her trainer and simply kept out of her way, primitive instincts taking over moral obligation.

Marill yawned and stretched, getting to her feet. Pushing aside the curtain, she clambered into the shower, letting the hot water rush over her as well.

She felt cold inside, a coldness he knew stemmed from the changes occurring, changes due to ingested feeder blood.

Misty didn’t notice, but Marill did.

“Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel much better.” Misty closed her eyes and let the hot water pour over her face, washing away traces of the feeders blood, and cleaning shallow scratches.

She applied more soap and liberally distributed it over her body, paying special attention to those areas where skin had been broken.

Sure, the soap stung, but it was better than infection.

Marill blinked lather out of her eyes, and curled up in the bottom of the shower.

Misty, now clean, let the water pour over her for no other reason than it felt good.

Her anger was still there, she could feel it at the back of her mind, but for now she felt calm.

Not an ounce of guilt clouded her mind, and as she stepped out of the shower –followed by a somewhat resentful Marill, who was annoyed at the water being turned off- she felt nothing but a soft sleepiness.

She did not bother herself over the death of the feeder, nor the fact that she had died at her hands; her reasons for the woman-feeder’s death were, in her mind, fully justifiable.

She was feeder. Therefore, she deserved to die.

Misty towelled off, inspecting the bruises on her back in the fogged up mirror.

“I’ll have to invest in some potions, Marill. Some for you, and some of that Bruise-balm for me. And then we’ll have to get some supplies: some food, probably some weapons. Oh, and I’ll have to learn how to use them as well.”

Marill nodded, making her way to the bedroom.

Suddenly, she didn’t feel well, her empty stomach roiling with waves of nausea.

Misty noticed her pokemon was less then her normal self, and laid her on the bed, before changing into some clean clothes, her bloodied and torn travelling clothes discarded in the rubbish bin in the corner of the room.

“Don’t feel well, pet? Are you hungry?”

Marill whined softly, not particularly feeling like eating at the moment.

“If you’re sure. Guess you just need some sleep.” Misty scratched the aqua-pokemon behind the ears, as she tied her shoelaces. “Well, you can stay here and doze, if you want. I’m going to go ask Nurse Joy where the best shops for trainers are, and do some shopping. I’ll be back after that, and tomorrow morning we’ll head for that tunnel.” Misty’s eyes darkened, and her voice held a sinister note that was so unlike her normal self that even Marill looked up as she continued.

“I’ll make sure if he’s there, he won’t come out of that tunnel again.”


Ash made it to the outside of the tunnel before the hunger pangs struck.

Hunger pangs, while painful in a human, were devastating in a feeder.

Ash groaned, and leant against the tunnel for support, vision swimming as shudders rent his body.

Pikachu nudged Ash’s legs, trying to steer him away from the tunnel and the feeders that dwelt deep within it.

Ash, weakened by the crippling pain that shuddered through him as his immune system turned on itself, tried to comply, but only managed to stumble a hundred metres before falling.

As his head thumped against the rocky earth, Ash tried to focus on something, anything to stop the black dots that crowded his vision.

He coughed as another shudder jolted through him, and blood coated his lips.

Hunger clawed in his stomach, but Ash ignored it, ignored the pain, struggling to his feet again.

Pikachu berated Ash inwardly for neglecting himself.

His last feed had been almost a week ago, and it hadn’t been a substantial one.

The last feed before that one had been months before.

Ash managed to make it to the outskirts of Vermillion before collapsing again in a grassy field.

Disappearing into the long grass, Ash stifled another moan.

Pikachu, concerned, but able to do nothing, could only watch as Ash sunk into unconsciousness due to lack of blood, still shuddering from the spasms of pain that racked his body.


Misty made it back before sunset, and dropped her shopping in her room when she saw Marill.

The pokémon’s normally dark-blue fur was a washed out shade, and sweat soaked the bedcovers she lay on.

She was unconscious.

“Marill! Wake up!”

Marill couldn’t hear Misty, unconscious due to the feeder cells that rapidly corrupted her body structures, and changed her in ways the small pokemon could not comprehend.

Misty laid her hand against Marill, and jolted it back.

Her fur was slick with sweat, and she radiated heat.

Misty, blue eyes dark with concern, was about to run for the nurse, when Marill woke up.

“Marill! Oh, you’re okay-”

The small pokemon regarded her with beady, dark eyes.

Eyes that glittered with malice.

The blue pokemon stood and snarled, foam dripping from barred teeth and onto to bedcovers.

Even as Misty backed away in horror, unable to comprehend the change in her pokémon’s nature, a shudder rent through the small water-pokemon and she fell back onto the covers, momentary madness abolished.

In the hazy mess that was Marill’s mind, the pokemon knew she was turning, becoming something other than pokemon.

She whined again, and Misty pulled closer again, recognising the sanity that had returned to her pokémon’s eyes.

“What’s happening to you, Marill?” whispered Misty as she sat on the bed and pulled Marill onto her lap. Marill said nothing, panting and dark eyes rheumy.

Marill knew the change was almost complete.

To change a human into a feeder was complicated, and took a long, painful time.

To change a pokemon into a feeder was relatively simple, and took only a mouthful of feeder blood, although it was just as painful.

And, unlike a human, whose change was not permanent unless they fed, a pokemon, once turned, was feeder for the rest of their life.

Misty, who still couldn’t understand this strange illness that swept over her pokemon, cradled Marill closer to her.


The boy thrashed against his chains, oblivious to the fact it was useless. The Lady stood only centimetres away, watching him with amused interest.

Exhausted, his thrashing stopped, and he bowered his head, dark and blood-clotted hair shading his eyes.

His battered and bruised limbs shock as he collapsed back against the wall.

“Do not think to fight your way out of here; it would be useless, and only result in you being chained again.”

He ignored her, rolling his head to the side, ignoring the sudden lash of pain that tore through him, searching the gloom of the cage for something, someone...

Pikachu, slumped bloody and weak, chained to the wall opposite him, bright eyes clouded with blood and rheum.

She stepped closer to him, and his head snapped forward, and once again he strained against his chains, trying to get close enough to hurt, to maim, to kill...

Hot rage clouding his mind, he didn’t hear his pokemon stir.

He did hear the screech of rage, and the crackle of the lightning bolt that shivered along the bars of the cage.

The Lady laughed.


He whipped his head around to face Pikachu, who wasn’t Pikachu anymore.

Mouth foaming, dark eyes suddenly wild, the electric pokemon screamed, and more lightning exploded through the chains that bound him, to no effect.

Then, abruptly, the light in his eyes died, and Pikachu slid into unconsciousness.

The Lady turned back to him, eyes cold with malice.

A gloved hand ploughed into his face, crashing into him with surprising force, his nose breaking from the blow.

Ash gasped in pain as blood gushed from his battered nose, and splattered onto the ground at his feet.

Another slap, to his mouth, lips splitting like over-ripe plums.

Ash moaned through mashed lips, blood dripping down his chin.

The Lady smiled.

“Truly beautiful,” she breathed, tracing the line of his chin with a gloved finger. “Even battered and bleeding, you are perfect... no, because you are battered and bleeding you are perfect. An angel cast down into filth and degradation.”

She sighed happily, and Ash gasped to breathe as her hand circled his throat with a strength completely unnatural.

She squeezed, and Ash rasped for breath, breath that whistled through his broken nose and hissed out through clenched teeth.

He could do nothing but struggle for air as her grip tightened.

Abruptly, she let go, and the cool air that rushed down his tormented throat stung.

Her hands, covered in gloves of delicate, yellowing lace, tangled in his knotted and bloody hair, jerking his head back, slamming it into the wall with a strength that such a slender woman should not have had.

Ash cried out on the first blow, screamed on the twentieth, blood trickling down his neck from the crack at the back of his skull, and passed out on the fiftieth, lost in a world of agonies.

The Lady left her play-thing alone then, disappointed that he hadn’t lasted very long.

Ash woke later, when the cage was cooler, and the shadows were deeper, the pain in his cracked and bleeding skull nothing to the pain inside him, pain from ruptured organs and internal bruising, and other things forced upon and into him in the dark moments of terror in that tunnel.

He could still see her terrified face as he was attacked, bitten and torn in front of her, then dragged into the shadows, where the clawing shadows lapped at his wounds, eager to cause pain and to bring terror to young and vulnerable flesh.

He’d screamed; screamed for her, as he was snatched into shadows, and screamed for his pokemon attacked and flung against the tunnel walls with the sickening crack of bone against rock, and screamed for himself and for the horror unleashed upon him.

It hadn’t been a scream of pain.

It had been a scream of defeat.

He closed his eyes again, unable to think of a way out of the darkness he found himself in.

Beaten, raped, bitten, feed upon, and hurt in every and all ways possible, he’d passed out, only to awaken in this cage, Pikachu chained beside him.

He didn’t know where she was, his own pain forgotten as he prayed to gods he no longer believed in for her safety.

If she was alive, he needn’t ask for anything more.

He slumped against his chains, defeat in every line of his battered form.

Exhausted, he sighed, breath whistling through cracked teeth.

Even if his body was still alive, it was obvious that the spirit of Ash Ketchum was dead.


Misty sat leaning against the head-board of the bed, Marill in her arms.

The aqua-mouse pokemon panted, skin no longer damp but radiating dry heat.

The small pokemon shuddered, the changes overcoming her drawing to a close, almost complete.

Her eyes were no longer clouded, and were bright with something akin to terror.

Marill was afraid.

She felt hungry, a hunger for more than poke-chow. She could smell her trainer, smell the blood winding through human flesh, and tried to suppress the urge to whip round, attack, bite, maul and maim...

Misty stroked Marill’s hot fur, knowing that the small pokemon was changing somehow, but into what she didn’t know.

She did have an idea though.

She knew Marill must’ve swallowed some of the feeder’s blood, and she knew that it must be doing something to her... but what?

She had a faint idea, but it was one so dark and terrible she dare not voice it.

Instead, it echoed in her mind, sparking off other thoughts as sinister as it.

What if Marill was turning into a feeder? But can pokemon change like that? And, I’m sure I got feeder-blood in some of my cuts and grazes, so if Marill’s changing why aren’t I?

Misty thought back to his Pikachu, and the scent of blood that seemed to ghost after the small, electric pokemon.

That Pikachu was a feeder to. You could see the murder in its eyes, like the murder in his eyes... if Marill’s a feeder, will she need to feed?

She lifted the small pokemon, turned her to face her, and looked into dark, bright eyes.

“If you’re one of them, does that mean you’re going to attack me?”

Marill didn’t answer, unsure of what she could say.

How to explain to this human, one she was so very fond of, that she might lash out and attack her in her sleep, but not of her own violation?

“I’m your trainer, Marill. And I’m your friend.”

Marill nodded, knowing that this human was not to be fed on.

Other humans, humans that meant nothing to her, were another story...

Marill smiled, and her trainer hugged her to her, not noticing the sharp gleam of razor teeth in the darkness of her pokémon’s fur.


Ash woke to Pikachu sitting on his chest, berating him in soft, angry murmurs.

He blinked, trying to chase away the wisps of the nightmare that still clung to him, and ignoring the shooting pain down his back and the stars that flashed in front of his eyes, sat up.

Pikachu, thrown off balance by this sudden movement, leapt off him and landed gracefully in the long, rippling grass.

It was late afternoon; the sun setting and casting long, thick shadows.

Red light from the sinking sun turned the grass around him umber, and violet shadows cloyed in the depths of trees a few metres to his left.

He was completely obscured by the waving grass; even if he were standing, the grass would have come up to his waist.

He could sense the hot, dry presence of an Ekans rapidly returning to a burrow after stumbling upon Pikachu; the faint sizzle of electricity clung to its scales.

Apart from that, the rustle of Sandshrew burrowing underneath them, they were deserted.

Ash sighed, and lay back down.

His head was pounding, the few bruises he had managed to collect in the brawl with his would-be ambushers flashed with pain, and the hunger-pangs clawed in his belly.

To lie down for a while was not such a bad idea; it would give him time to heal, allow him to collect his thoughts, and provide him with the opportunity to catch up on the sleep he so often missed for fear of night-terrors.

Bone-tired as he was, even the demons of hell would fail to frighten him this night.

Ash closed his eyes again, and within minutes was asleep.

Pikachu clucked his tongue, and crawled onto his trainer’s chest.

Around them, there was nothing but the flurry of activity brought by dusk; nocturnal pokemon searching for something to eat, fight or mate with, possibly all three.

They were –as far as Pikachu could see- momentarily safe.

The pokemon was not fool enough to know they were without troubles. They were still within walking distance of the tunnel and its feeder contents, and any trainers who ventured into the grass in search of wild pokemon might stumble upon them.

But for now, tired as his trainer was, they could rest.

Pikachu too, needed time to re-energise and heal.

He would not sleep though.

To close ones eyes because one thought one was safe was nothing but idiotic.

Pikachu sniggered.

That was probably why Ash was asleep.


The morning dawned hot and bright.

Sunlight steamed on pavement wet by overnight dew, and baked down on cracked tarmac.

Even this early, the beaches were crowded with those who sought to escape the approaching heat-wave.

It was, in Misty’s opinion, perfect feeder-hunting weather.

She didn’t know f sunlight was as powerful as those legends made it out to be –she’d certainly seen a lot of feeders running about in Vermillion, even in the middle of the day- but she knew that feeders did not like to be out in the sun.

What had he said? “I do not like to be out in the sun overly much.” Well, even if it doesn’t turn you into a pile of smouldering ashes, I certainly will.

Marill eyed her warily; seemingly back to her normal self, her fur once again a deep velvet blue.

Misty didn’t notice the sharp gleam of new fangs in her pokémon’s grinning mouth, but those travellers she walked past did.

Perhaps that was why the paths were relatively free from obstacles, or perhaps it was for some other reason.

Still, Misty found herself out of the city in a relatively short time, and onto the grassy paths that led to the Diglett Tunnel, which loomed ahead, ominous even in the morning sunlight.

A shiver washed over Misty, and her skin prickled.

She shook herself, knowing that she was perfectly safe and unlikely to stumble on to anything more dangerous than a migrating Snorlax, or a rogue pokemon, or even a rookie trainer looking to challenge her.

It was a pity that she was wrong.


Pikachu’s ears pricked up.

Food, approaching from the north.

Ash May have had compunctions about attacking humans for food, but Pikachu had no such illusions of nobility.

Food was food, no matter in what form: human, feeder, pokemon.

He grinned, dark gold fur blending perfectly with the lush, waving grass around him, even as he slunk into its yellow depths.

Ash slept on, still for once, night-terrors momentarily missing.

As he drew closing to the source of the shoe-scraping on footpaths, and the click of nails on gravel, he stopped, drew himself onto two legs, and sniffed the air.

Human female, recently washed (the faint scent of apple-flavoured soap) and clean, a light sheen of sweat from the early mornings heat and the hike on which she was on, the scent of cotton (clothes) and rubber (sneakers), and a faint trace of that musky, female sweat he accredited to all females past pubescence.

He could also smell her pack: plastic coated cotton (the bag itself), food (dried and packeted) and water bottles, more clothes, toiletries (that soap-scent really was quite powerful), and something else... something metal.

Knives, guns, flash grenades.

This human was packing weaponry, something so unusual Pikachu stopped in his tracks.

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea...

Pikachu shook himself, ears flopping.

Food was food, weapons or no. If Ash wouldn’t feed, that wasn’t to say he couldn’t...

The pokemon beside the woman smelt appealing also: clean, strong muscle and the hot spice of blood, accompanied by that musk that all female pokemon had, same as the woman.

And then, another scent overriding his senses, one that drove through the other scents like a spear.

Blood. Feeder blood to be specific.

The pokemon was a feeder!

Pikachu hesitated. Feeder pokemon were often more dangerous than their counterparts, their heightened pokemon senses far outweighing those of a normal pokemon, let alone a human, and their attack-strength increased dramatically by the disease that boiled through their veins... add to this an insatiable lust for blood, and what you had was, basically, a small killing machine capable of launching incredible powerful attacks that could turn human or pokemon into flesh-coloured goop.

And Pikachu was in scent-distance.

If he could smell this she-pokemon, she certainly could smell him...

Inwardly, Pikachu swore, human and pokemon swearwords combined in new, profane combinations.

Pikachu froze, dark stripes on his fur helping him blend into the shadows.

Hopefully, she’d be unable to scent him. She smelt like a new feeder, one unsure of their abilities.

“What’s up, Marill? What have you found?”

That voice... no time to think about it now!

The other pokémon was drawing closer, sniffing the grass around him that swayed with her movements.

He closed his eyes, charging up, ready to launch a flash attack, hoping against hope that this woman wasn’t the one he thought it was.

If she is, and I launch anything stronger than a flash, Ash’ll kill me.


The blue-mouse pokemon glared at him, and Pikachu let the energy dissipate.

He couldn’t attack this pokemon. He’d known her as an egg, been there when she had been given to her trainer.

The Marill eyed him warily, trying to figure where she’d seen him before.

More rustling as the woman drew closer, wading through the grass.

Thankfully, Ash was still asleep, and probably hasn’t noticed he was missing.

“Marill, what is it? What have you-”

The woman cut herself off mid-sentence with a hiss of sharply inhaled breath.

“You’re his pokemon!”

Pikachu, startled by tis reaction, looked up and into blue eyes glazed with hate.

The scent of anger flooded the air, and Pikachu knew he had to flee.

“Marill! Quick-Attack!”

The Marill’s screech of rage as she raced after the rapidly-disappearing Pikachu told him this was a good idea.

The ground beneath Pikachu’s feet blurred as he launched himself into an Agility-attack, trying desperately to keep ahead of the streak of blue death behind him.

He dodged twigs, leapt over rocks, feet momentarily landing on a startled Ash –woken by the woman’s screech of rage- before he leapt behind a boulder.

Ash, startled, could do nothing but throw himself out of the way as ice-spears thudded into the ground where he had once been.

The woman was running, too, noted Pikachu behind his hiding place.

Any moment now she’d run into Ash, and then the trouble would really start...

Ash blinked as he stood, instincts keeping him alive where conscious though hadn’t.

“Marill! Water-gun!”

A stream of water pounded into the spot where he would have been had he not flipped and thrown himself out of the way.

“Pikachu? Flash!” he yelled, squeezing his eyes shut as the world in front suddenly burned with white light.

Somewhere, a woman screamed as she was blinded.

The Marill, confused by the bright light that hurt her eyes, was easy pickings for a Quick-attack from Pikachu, and hit the ground with a muffled thump.

“Marill! You bastard, what did you do to her?”

Ash blinked as he woman he had been searching for these past few days stormed out of the grass and stood facing him, hands on hips.

Pikachu screeched angrily from his vantage point on the boulder.

The Marill, unconscious, said nothing.

Ash, no longer asleep, spoke.

“I did nothing. Pikachu attacked her, and judging by the noise that woke me, you attacked first. Therefore, Pikachu’s retaliation is justified. Do not accuse me, woman, for you may find yourself in more trouble than that you had anticipated.”

Misty –for that was who she was, complete with ginger hair loose and curing around her face- glared at him, and the depth of hatred and anger in those eyes stunned him.

She had evidently gone through some change, something to turn her from the meek, frightened woman she had been in Indigo, when her fear had been undisguised in her gaze.

She drew in a breath and spat at his feet.

“You bastard,” she breathed, the rage in her eyes hardening into cold fury. “You let me think you were dead. You let me think you were dead!

Ash opened his mouth to speak, and lashed out and caught the blow that would’ve made his ears ring if it had landed.

He tightened his grip on her wrist, feeling the bones grind and creak.

Misty whimpered in pain.

“Before you make a terrible mistake, think to yourself: how could have any mortal have survived that attack in the tunnel? How could anyone have survived that? Ash Ketchum is dead. There is no doubt that that night, he died in that tunnel.”

Misty, trying to tug her hand out of his grip, and finding it frighteningly useless, spat at him again.

Ash grimaced, wiping saliva off his face with his free hand.

“Do that again, and you will quickly find yourself in so much pain, you will not be able to think, let alone spit at me.”

It was an empty threat, and so was the one that followed, but she wasn’t to know that.

She opened her mouth to speak, fear and defiance warring in her eyes, but he spoke first.

“I daresay you will find it hard to speak through mashed lips and broken teeth.”

He watched fear chase anger away from her face, although he could still sense her lurking fury. Forgotten for now, but still there.

“You’re him. I know you are. Who else smiles like that?” she said quietly.

Ash sighed. If she continued to accuse him, he would find his job very difficult. He had been ordered to bring her to the Lady. He could no more disobey that order than he could fly. However, once she was brought to the Lady, nothing had been said about whether she had to stay...

“Pikachu,” he said quietly, too quietly for her to hear, “get me some rope.”

Once she knew what he had planned, she struggled, but was quickly subdued, her rage no match for his brute strength.

“My apologies for your rough handling, but I do not think you will accompany me of your own will, and dragging you all the way to Indigo is not an option. Pikachu, you take the Marill.”

Misty glaring at him furiously, and wriggling like a Wurmple caught on a hook in her bonds, he flung her over one shoulder, her pack on the other, and Pikachu carried a bound Marill slung over his back.

The walk to Indigo would be long, and no doubt she would make it hell every step of the way, but at least she would come to no harm while in his possession.

When she was handed over to the Lady was a different story...




AUTHORS NOTES: yes, this part is slighter longer than the first one (1000 or so words), yet strangely enough, not much happened. Sorry about that, but I needed to set up the story. Part three will be action-packed, let me assure you (*cracks knuckles and grins evilly*). I’ve already got a few ideas planned, but don’t be disappointed if I don’t update for a while, as the holidays are almost over, and I really have to get started on my homework (damn stupid Economics assignment. Why can’t the stock market analyse itself?).

Anyhoo, back to the story: yes, Ash Ketchum *did* die. As you have no doubt noticed by now, this Ash doesn’t have much in common with the kid from the T.V series. Misty is not going nuts, the reasoning behind her sudden anger will be explained -if anybody needs an explanation- in the next part.

I think more gore will be added, along with other stuff (i.e violence, swearing, sexual themes etc, etc) as I go. It has an R-rating for a reason, guys.

Oh yeah, this won’t turn into an AAMRN. Probably. I might put it in there, but it’s not essential to the story, so I probably won’t. And besides, that’d be a bit hard, considering Ash sees Misty as a potential meal, and Misty wants to fillet him and serve him up on a plate. But hey, who knows? Anything is possible, as my friend is keen on reminding me.

To all those people who reviewed me (all three of you): thanks. It’s your support that keeps me going through such trials as writers block, endless distractions (stupid phone. It only rings when I’ve got a good idea, I swear) and sore, numb fingers.

To my friend: I’ve decided to finish this fic, then go back to M,W&TA later.

To everybody else: thanks for reading, reviews are always appreciated, comments and criticisms will be taken into account, and look out for my next update.


Clover 2005.


PS: my email is still mr_jelly_has_a_spoon@hotmail.com. No, I was not drunk, on drugs, or out of my head when I thought that one up. Really.