moriarty: (Enishida / Ta-Daaaa~!)
♥ パール ([personal profile] moriarty) wrote2010-01-11 11:31 am

Fan Fiction: The Age of the Machine [Pokémon / R:15.]

Title: The Age of the Machine.
Fandom: Pokémon (Video Games).
Rating 15 for disturbing imagery.
Characters: Detective Looker, Nurse Joy, Bill, Lanette, a few O.C.'s.
Summary: All over Hoenn, from Littleroot Town to the Battle Frontier, Lanette’s PC Storage System has begun to fail. Looker suspects that the elusive Team Chamoise have finally managed to unleash a virus so powerful that it is corrupting physical Pokémon into raw data - but he is trapped inside Lilycove Pokémon Centre and unable to contact the outside world. Meanwhile, Lanette and Bill are forced to look into the past, at Incident #0000, and decide whether or not to close the Storage System for good.
Chapter: 1 of ????.

25TH NOVEMBER / 23:06

When he’d first become night watchman for the Battle Factory’s Storage System, Elk Mason had found it rather fun. The system had been designed with such perfection that nothing ever went wrong; nobody ever tried to break in (on an island full of tough trainers and even tougher security sanctions, nobody was insane enough to try); and, more importantly, nobody important ever visited after ten o’clock, which meant that he had the place pretty much to himself until six a.m. the next morning. Elk was a loner by nature, and at first this suited him just fine. He would stroll up and down the storage towers, sometimes leaning against the cool blue mental to listen to the computations going on inside as thousands of Pokémon were constantly checked, re-checked, classified, organised, randomised, and whatever-else-ised Noland had designed the system to do. The results showed up on a bank of computer monitors set at the far end of the basement room, too far away for him to read but close enough for him to see pictures of Pokémon he’d never seen before. Other times he would swing his long-barrelled torch around in the hunt for imaginary prey, practising the ‘Stop, thief!’ voice he’d gotten from the telly, his Growlithe trailing along behind him and occasionally growling when she thought he was getting too carried away. Growlithe, like every other Pokémon in the Battle Factory, was a rental. Security guards were not permitted to use their own Pokémon; it was something to do with insurance policy. It didn’t bother Elk, as he didn’t own any of his own Pokémon anyway and wasn’t interested in owning any, either. Making sure nobody else stole them was just fine.

Except that it wasn’t fine, because he was now six months into making sure nobody else stole them, and the novelty was beginning to wear off. Working nights meant that he had to sleep during the day, which meant that socialising with the other security staff was near-impossible. His loner personality insisted that this was fine, but his neurotic side - who watched cheap B-movies on the All Day Horror Channel and lapped up any ghost story going - was adamant that the more people you knew, the easier it would be for them to find you if and when you were abducted by space zombies. Unfortunately, the only other people who were awake when he was on his days off were other night-time watchmen who were also loners, and so nothing ever seemed to work out. The job itself had become tedious. It was easy, sitting alone in a bright basement room for eight hours with a book or a games console or a music player stuffed with audiobooks (all three disallowed by regulations, but Elk was sure they didn’t expect him to sit and do nothing all night) but he was starting to get a rather serious crick in his back, and he didn’t like the way Growlithe would sit and stare at him until he found something to throw for her. Repeatedly. For hours. His arm was starting to hurt, too.

On this particular evening, his boredom had reached its peak. He had a Terence Parachute novel loaded up on his rather shabby music player, and he wandered despondently between the glass tanks that lined the floor, staring inside at the myriad of Pokéballs without really seeing them and wishing that he could be anywhere but there. Maybe in a nice warm hot spring in Lavaridge, or watching the bike races on Route 110, or fishing in Dewford. None of which he really enjoyed, but it beat being stuck underground with an increasingly hostile Growlithe and no prospect of promotion on the horizon. ‘You should have gone to Ranger School like I told you to,’ was all his mother had said when he’d phoned her the day before. ‘Imagine me telling all of my friends, “oh yes, my son is a Pokémon Ranger!” Instead I have to lie and pretend I don’t know what you’re doing. I think half of them assume you’re in prison, or something.’ He sighed, and cranked up the volume on his player until the narrator’s voice filled his ears with soothing descriptions of waterfalls. Terence Parachute jumped off of a lot of waterfalls. Elk Mason sat and wondered what it would be like to jump from a waterfall.

So when Growlithe began to whine, he could not hear her. She was sat next to the main instrument panel at the front of the room (which was locked down at night by one of the senior technicians to prevent Elk from pushing any buttons he shouldn’t) and had noticed that a large red light right at the back of the panel next to a larger red button had begun to flash in groups of three. Flash flash flash stop. Flash flash flash stop. Flash flash flash. Stop. She put her paws on the panel and hoisted up her torso so that she could get a better view of it. The light was a glass pyramid, stuck up from the panel as Mount Pyre rose from Hoenn, and the large button next to it had EMERGENCY SYSTEM RESET printed on it in large white letters. Growlithe didn’t know this, because Growlithes couldn’t read, but she knew that the colour red was bad and vaguely that this panel was important to the people who fed her. She glanced around at her human, who was sat little way away from her drumming his fingers on the floor, and barked. And then barked again. When he didn’t move after the second time, she ran over to him and drove her nose hard against his arm.

Elk started up in alarm and shuttled back across the polished floor away from her on his bottom. His music player caught on his wrist and the earphones yanked painfully from his ears; Terence Parachute’s voice drifted serenely out of them, now describing the sunset over Ever Grande City in preparation for the typical love scene. She sat down on her back legs and huffed in a manner that suggested he was overreacting, then whined loudly and skittered bak towards the instrument panel, tossing her head over her shoulder in the suggestion that he should follow. He did so, slowly, keeping his eyes on her teeth, but when they reached the panel she whined again in confusion and tapped it with her paw.

The red light had stopped flashing. Instead, the bank of monitor screens above the panel had begun to flicker, each one out of sync with the others. At first it was as though someone was changing channels quickly, trying to find a show that wasn’t a repeat or plain junk, but after thirty seconds the images of Pokémon turned black-and-white and the data that accompanied their pictures began to change from letters to numbers, and from numbers to freakish symbols Elk couldn’t associate with any language he had seen. He reached for his walkie-talkie and tried to call out to the Head of Security, but all he got in return was static. If he had listened extremely carefully, he would have been able to discern voices just below the loud crackling. Voices and noises. Instead, his attention was diverted by the harsh halogen lights above him failing, one by one. First at the back of the room, where the doors to the various server banks were located. Then towards the centre, with the two main storage towers and the glass tanks full of Pokéballs ready for scanning. Then directly over where Elk Mason stood next to Growlithe in front of a wall of now-dead screens.

The entire room went black.

Except for the pyramid, which had begun to pulse a bright, electric blue.