- I -
Standing before the
“Well, looks like I’m off to a great start…” I muttered as I thought about what to do next. They were probably watching me right now, judging from that feeling you always get when you’re being stalked. “Hello? Anyone there?” I tried, knowing I wouldn’t get an answer. I knew what I was doing was pretty stupid, I didn’t know where to go. The windows might as well not have been there, seeing as they were so filthy they blocked any and all light anyway, meaning I couldn’t even see much either. Suddenly an idea came to mind, and I started looking for my Pokéballs. If I was going to be in here, it was a nice opportunity to get to know my own Pokémon.
“Right, here goes nothing.” I said to the air as I took out one of the balls and pressed the release button. It shot open and a beam of red energy burst out of it, heading towards the floor before starting to take shape. As the features became more clear I recognized it as a Charmeleon, the red fire breathing dinosaur look-alike. It was my starter. Blaze, if I wasn’t mistaken. His tail flame spread a comforting warmth in the chilly atmosphere and my visibility got a lot better as it brightened the room. “Hey Blaze, how are you bud?” I asked the creature.
At the mentioning of his name, the Charmeleon’s head perked up and he turned around. As his eyes met mine I saw a spark of recognition in them, and he quickly raised his paw, thumb sticking up. “Char!” From the thumb signal, I guessed that meant ‘good’ and smiled. It looked like things wouldn’t be as bad as I’d feared. Blaze seemed to recognize me, meaning the others would too. They wouldn’t have any problems accepting me, but I might have a few while getting used to their personalities.
“What do you say we go do some ghost hunting?” I asked again. The Charmeleon tilted his head, as if asking what I meant by it. “This place, building, it’s haunted. There should be some Ghost-types hanging around in here. I’m guessing Gastly mostly, with the odd Haunter or two.” I clarified, and Blaze nodded in understanding. And gave me another thumb’s up. No, things wouldn’t be bad at all.
I opened another door, and was surprised to find the lights on behind this one. Blaze and I carefully made our way in. We had already searched two floors, finding nothing but empty dark corners, spider webs, and layer upon layer of dust. So far no trace of any ghosts. This room was like most of the others. Dirty windows, high ceiling, and long but not too wide. But this one had more, like light, and a large table. It must’ve been the dining room. Been, because it was as dusty as the others, and if there had been food on those platters, it had either been eaten by vermin or rotted away. “Hey, anyone in here? Gastly? Haunter maybe?” I tried, but got no reply.
“Man, this isn’t going to work. If they don’t show themselves to us, and we have no way of making them visible, how the hell am I supposed to catch one?” I said in despair. Blaze looked glum for a second, then suddenly ran to the table in the centre, where he grabbed the edges of the tablecloth. I didn’t quite get it at first, but after he made a tugging motion I got the idea and ran to the other side. “On three?” Blaze nodded at my question, and I firmly gripped the cloth. “Three!” I yelled, and pulled as fast as I could. Blaze pulled on his end at the same time, and the cloth jumped up at the sudden tension, launching dust everywhere. The moment it flew up, I heard coughing noises from the ceiling, and when I looked up it was just in time to see three shapes appear, covered in dust. Two ball-shaped Gastly, and one Haunter.
“Blaze, get ready!” On my command, the Charmeleon took up position in front of me. The ghosts stopped coughing and glared in our direction, sending shivers down my back. They were serious. The Haunter yelled something, and the other two quickly dashed down in front of us. Then suddenly the door behind us slammed shut, and I heard it lock itself clearly. Trapped. Taking use of our short distraction, the Haunter fired a Nightshade attack at Blaze, who tried to dodge at the last moment, but got clipped in the leg. He cried out in shock as he grasped his knee, then looked up angrily before unleashing a Ember at the smirking ghost. Haunter simply faded out and reappeared at ground level, still wearing the smirk. I found myself growling at the display, and tried to calm myself before doing anything rash.
“He’s been in there for an hour already. How hard can it be? And how long can it take?” Rose complained after checking her watch. Haunter seemed offended at her implication that Ghost-types were an easy catch and pretty much demanded an apology. “Oh shut up, we’re going in after him. I’m tired of sitting here doing nothing.” With that, she stood up from the fence next to the door and went to push them open. Before she got that far, the doors unlocked and swerved open with a loud creak.
“… Eh, did that thing just open by itself?” Rose asked as she looked around for anyone inside. Haunter shrugged at the question. “Right, whatever, let’s go.” She said before walking into the hall. Haunter followed while shaking its head. As soon as both of them were inside the doors slammed shut and made a locking noise. Rose gulped at the sound and turned to Haunter. “I just imagined that… right? Tell me you didn’t hear that…”
“Haunter, haunt…” It replied in an obvious ‘I told you so’ manner. Suddenly, Haunter looked around and fixated on a spot several meters from the door. “Haunt, haunt haunter.” It said as it pointed towards the door. Rose looked at the creature in confusion, when suddenly a large shape appeared at the spot Haunter was now frowning at. The shape was circular and roughly the size of a human torso. Around it was a deep purple aura, and the ball itself adorned two eyes and a mouth. It was a Gastly, and it was laughing insanely.
“Oh, so you’re the one that’s been messing with the door! Don’t think that’ll keep me in, Haunter is a great lock picker too you know.” Rose said, her slight fear evaporated. Gastly just laughed again. It looked like it was having the time of its life, which was probably true since this building rarely got any visitors. Haunter didn’t seem to find it funny, but Rose didn’t care much and decided to keep going. Rick clearly wasn’t here.
‘Right, what to use against these things again? Nothing physical. That leaves Ember. Crap!’ I thought as my mind raced through the options. My hand clasped around another Pokéball, and I threw it forward to call out my Butterfree. It was three on one, after all. I felt like evening things out a bit. “Blaze, Ember at the Haunter! Caesar, Confusion on the Gastlies!” My Pokémon complied at once, starting the first real battle I ever had. Blaze’s Ember missed by a hair as Haunter dashed sideways while charging another Nightshade. Confusion hit one Gastly, making it cry out in pain, but the other had already disappeared. Trusting both my Pokémon would dodge if fired upon, I scanned the ‘battlefield’ for the missing Gastly, seeing it appear behind Caesar, my Butterfree. “Caesar, behind! Fly up!” Caesar shot upwards without question, making the Gastly’s tongue miss completely. Blaze jumped back to dodge the Nightshade, which then went on to hit the attacking Gastly that was now exposed. The ghost was definitely not amused and gave the Haunter a scolding that needed no translation. Both of them were now distracted.
“Same again, target those two!” Sweat started to trickle down my back as the fight heated up – literally. Blaze’s Ember didn’t miss its mark this time, and the Haunter got badly scorched as it attempted to block some damage by holding up its hands. The Gastly grunted in pain as a blue aura got a hold of it. Just as I thought I was winning, I realized I forgot the second Gastly, and scanned the room again. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I just assumed it ran. Haunter looked enraged, but also vanished after Blaze ceased his attack. Knowing the other Gastly would too if Caesar let up, I quickly took out an empty ball and tested my aim. I wasn’t exactly blessed when it came to throwing, but I actually hit the still Ghost.
The ball sucked up the Gastly in a flash of red, and fell to the floor. I knew this wasn’t like the game, but I found myself counting the times it rocked back and forth. Just as I thought it was in the bag, the ball split open and released its captive. Gastly threw some verbal abuse at us before disappearing. “… Ugh, just my luck.” I sighed as I walked up and picked up the very empty Pokéball. Suddenly the sound of laughter reached my ears as a third Gastly rose up through the floor. Once it noticed us, it stopped. Its eyes went from me, to the ball in my hand, to the scorch marks all over the room, and then back to me. “Gast?” Suddenly it was engulfed by flames after Blaze decided to torch it. I didn’t waste a second and tossed the Pokéball right at it. Again, it engulfed the creature, and again it dropped to the floor. But it hardly rocked at all, as if it didn’t even want to come back out. Soon, the blinking stopped. Gastly was caught.
“Wow…” I said as it started to sink in. I really hadn’t expected it to be that easy, not after the other one escaped. “Alright!” I cheered, grinning from ear to ear. Caesar and Blaze joined in with their own cries, but it wasn’t over just yet. The door flew open, and I quickly turned to it. In the doorway floated a Haunter, but I felt my anxiety leave at the person standing behind it. Rose had followed me in.
“There you are! I’ve been looking all over the place for you!” She said as she stomped into the room. The floor creaked with every step.
“But I did it. Look.” I said, still grinning, as I held up the now occupied ball while walking towards her. The floor creaked with every step.
“Yeah, but you still took…” She trailed off as the creaking got louder, and looked down. I stopped walking immediately, but it was too late. With a loud crack the floor gave way under us, and we plunged down a level, into a pitch dark room. Whatever it was I landed on really didn’t give in much, so the landing wasn’t exactly soft. Groaning as we picked ourselves up from the floor, I looked up and saw my Pokémon staring down at us. Blaze leapt down after making sure he wouldn’t land on either of us, and somewhat lighted the room. As Caesar floated down, I took in the surroundings. It was covered in thick layers of grey dust, and I noticed several objects that were covered with sheets. Probably chairs and cabinets. There was one door, on the other side of the room. “You okay?” Rose asked.
“I guess so…” That was good, we could all still walk. No broken bones or anything like that. I started towards the door, but you guessed it, it locked itself. ‘Not again…’ I almost cursed under my breath, it was starting to get a bit repetitive. And annoying. But this time, locking doors wasn’t all that happened. Suddenly the sheets flew off the furniture, throwing dust all over the place and launching us into an all-out coughing fit. It felt like a strong gust of wind picked up just then, even with no windows or anything else, and the sheets started to fly circles around us, picking up speed quickly. The noise soon got deafeningly loud. “What’s going on?!”
“I think they might be pissed I caught one of them!” I yelled out over the howling wind. Rose’s Haunter suddenly appeared in front of us, eyes aglow, and the wind died down. As it happened, loads of Gastly and a few Haunter started to appear all around us. “Crap… we’re in trouble.”
As if it was the starting sign, the ghosts started to attack. It was twenty of them, versus three of ours. How I loved the odds. Blaze dodged some attacks and countered with Ember. He hit one, but in return got hit three times from other directions. Caesar used his speed to dodge everything thrown at him, but he was so busy dodging he couldn’t get an attack in himself. Rose’s Haunter seemed to have disappeared, and I was getting pretty worried. But then I noticed it popping up all over the field, punching several of the ghosts in quick succession. Just as I thought we might be winning, a new Pokémon appeared. It stood as tall as a human, with a very dark purple colour and a menacing grin plastered on its face. Gengar. The demonic looking Pokémon made quick work of Blaze by using Shadow Ball and firing it right into the Charmeleon’s face.
“Relax, it’s not that bad, watch.” Rose said smiling as I gritted my teeth at the display of power while recalling my fallen starter. “Haunter, use Hypnosis!” Haunter’s eyes started to glow at hearing the command, and I could’ve sworn I saw strange waves coming from them, but it was very unclear. Several of the ghosts fell asleep, but there was still a fair share left. And the Gengar.
“Caesar, give them some Sleep Powder!” I ordered, trying to do my share. The Butterfree nodded and flew up to the ceiling, shaking blue powder from his wings and onto the battlefield. Gengar saw it coming and evaded everything, as did one of the Haunters and four Gastlies. The others fell asleep and dropped through the floor. Gengar’s grin had turned upside down, and it was growling lowly before it addressed its friends in a string of ‘gen’s and ‘gar’s that made no sense to me. Rose and I waited for what was to follow. The five ghosts nodded at their leader and encircled us. It was pretty easy to predict what would come next, and sure enough, they all started to charge Nightshade attacks a moment later. I wasted no time. “Oh I’ve had it! Caesar, Whirlwind! Blow them all out of the building!”
“What?! Are you crazy? Creating a twister inside?!” Rose asked incredulously. I just smirked at what this would cause. Seeing how I wouldn’t budge, Rose turned back to Haunter and quickly yelled an order as Caesar’s wings got up to speed. “Quick, Protect!”
The resulting chaos was pretty much exactly what I was expecting to happen. Every dust particle in this room, and the one we fell from above us, got airborne, transforming the place into a grey blur. Anything that wasn’t bolted down sort of got airborne, actually. Save us, with Haunter’s greenish aura blocking out just enough to stay standing. And ‘anything’ included Caesar’s Sleep Powder, which was still on the floor. When Haunter started to show signs of waning, I decided it was enough and yelled to Caesar to quit the attack. As the dust settled, I noticed some shapes on the floor, either knocked out or asleep. But I only counted five. The sixth was floating in the air not too far away, panting, but otherwise unharmed. Gengar wasn’t through yet.
“You’re joking…” I groaned as the Pokémon regained its mad grin. Rose’s Haunter wasn’t in a good shape either. Protect had done a number on it. Caesar was pretty much passed out from exhaustion too. Gengar laughed before charging a Shadow Ball between its paws, or hands, whatever, and seemed to be waiting for something. “Oh, right. You want your friend back, huh.” I said, defeated. So I took out the ball and placed it on the ground in front of me. I supposed we had a good run while it lasted, we took out twenty or so Ghost types with just three of us, that had to count for something, right? Gastly’s ball opened shortly after I put it down, and the ball shaped ghost took form between us. Gengar said something to it, probably telling it to move away from us, but Gastly stayed where it was. Then it turned to me, and I could see doubt in its eyes. Gengar’s eyes narrowed and out came another string of ‘gen’s and ‘gar’s, a bit more fiercely this time. Gastly turned back to the large ghost and paused for a moment before starting its own line of ‘gast’s and ‘gastly’s. By now Rose and I were stumped at the exchange, and I had no idea what was going on. Gengar looked shocked for a moment, but it soon turned to a sad look and what seemed to be a desperate plea. Gastly shook its head and promptly went back to the Pokéball on the floor and hit the button. I let out a surprised “Huh?” before I even realized it as the ghost got sucked back in. “But…”
“No ‘buts’ bud, he wants to go with you. Congrats.” Rose said as she smiled at me. She probably thought I’d done something good, but what confused me was that I had done absolutely nothing. Actually, Blaze had torched the poor thing before I tossed a ball at it, so why it would want to come with me was beyond me. Gengar seemed to have come to terms with Gastly’s decision and pointed us to the door, which unlocked itself. Of course, we didn’t waste any time going outside. There I was left to ponder the ghost’s motive…
- II -
Woo, a 3400 plus one! Yeah, uhm, this’ll probably be the biggest chapter for the time being. It sort of got out of hand once I started throwing in one thing after the other. I never meant it to be that much longer than the last two. … That said, I can’t deny the fact that I like it. :) The next update will likely take a little while longer than the last few. Or actually 'a lot longer' is more likely. Sorry in advance.
Strengthened by their victory in the Tower the two travellers set off along the
- III -
I do not in any way own Pokémon or any of its copyrights and rights of other merchandise related to it. All characters and places in this story are entirely fictional and taken from or based on various aspects of the Pokémon universe. Any form of copying and/or misuse of this story by others will be reported. Please respect the imagination and effort made by others. Stealing is bad, don’t do it.