AGNPH Stories

Occult Magazine: Evolution's Gate by RingsOfSaturn


Story Notes:

<p><img src="" alt="" /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <span style="font-family:'Freestyle Script';font-size:large;"> What separates sanity from delusion? <br /> <br /> Must the unknown always be met with confusion? <br /> <br /> For only if you are unable to show result <br /> <br /> Can it truly be referred to as the occult <br /> <br /> </span> - Zerobi (Excerpt from notes found at Cerulean Cave) <br /> <br /> <br /> <span style="font-family:'Book Antiqua';font-size:large;"> Our species is beyond understanding! <br /> <br /> There is nothing we cannot conquer! <br /> <br /> The elements shall bow before us! <br /> <br /> Even among our own, we shall be the greatest! <br /></span></p>

Author's Chapter Notes:

Having been born in recluse, I find security in a cage. But can I truly live my life without the company of anyone else...?

Although one with the earth, I am a lonely, lonely soul.

Astrid's Story

I fled.
It was the only thing I could do.

Oh, I should've known better than to meddle with outsiders! But boy, they sure are weird, aren't they? I mean, I'm no stranger to killing, but they seemed to enjoy it so much! I don't want to die, I can't hang around with people like that!
Besides, those 'po-lice' looked awful strong, luckily I can hide out in this cave and hope they don't find me... And when I don't want to be found, I won't be found.

... Well, an exception should be made for that first outsider I met, Zerobi. But I was just curious as to how she got in! She seemed so nice at the beginning, and she brought lots of friends. Then one day, she wants to go explore the cave, and I told her not to, but I'll be damned if she cared. When she comes back, she's walking funny and was all covered in blood.

"Oh my!" I shouted in concern, "Are you OK!?"
"Better..." she whispered, "... Better than OK"
"What happened?" I asked, wondering if the blood on her was really hers.
"I..." she started, ignoring my question, "I think I found a way to get that evolution thing going."

"Evol... Oh!" I said out loud, "You mean, like me? T-That thing that ate me wasn't s-still lying around, r-right?"
"Huh?" Zerobi said as if she had just come out of a daze, "No, didn't see nothing like that... But... We've got a lot of work to do, and when we're done you'll have a lot more friends."

"Really? Yay!" I exclaimed. I like friends. More like 'liked' them, really. Anyway, after that, things went from somewhat strange to really weird. Zerobi would bring a bunch of black cloaks from the outside that were wet from the passage and had to be dried off. Then she instructed me to stand next to her on top of a rock in the party room. Not long after that, several new Pokémon would come to my cave, all wearing those cloaks.

These new friends really liked me. They would stare, gasp and almost faint from the moment they saw me to when they would have to leave. Oh! Yeah, Zerobi would point out one of them, and take them to a private room in the back where she would help them 'evolve'. She would spend hours in there, and then return alone, having evolved the others.

One night, I got curious and went after them when some time had passed. I had never seen an evolution before, well, except for mine, but I was half unconscious back then. Besides, apparently mine was unnatural or something. Never quite got that part.

Before I could even see the room in back, I could hear it - Screams. Cries. Silent at first, but ear piercing as I got closer.

"AHHHH!!! NOOO!!!"

A horrible stench was leaking throughout the cave, like blood mixed in with something thicker, and nothing like I had ever smelled before. I tried to hold my breath, but it was all around me!


But impervious to terror, I braved my senses and ran into the room where... Where... Uh...

... OK, if I'm to be completely honest I never saw what was going on in there, because I ran away. Oh, I was so scared! My heart was pounding like an angry Graveler, and my head was swimming in terror! I thought Zerobi was dying, but I still ran away! I stopped outside the end of the corridor, where I caught my breath and struggled not to run away deeper into the cave and vanish forever.

I knew something was wrong, and I decided to go back. But my legs just wouldn't move... Every time I stared into the corridor, I felt like I could somehow hear the faint cries from the room, and smell the stench all around me once more. I stood there frozen for... Oh, I have no idea how long, but a really long time when Zerobi finally appeared in the corridor.

"Z-Zerob-bi!" I stammered, "Y-You're alive!" Zerobi flinched quite a bit when she heard me.
"Uh... A-Astrid?" she stammered back, "You're here?"
"Oh, thank goodness you're OK!" I shouted and ran up to her, "There were a bunch of cries and blood and stuff in the room you were in..." As I got closer, I noticed that she was covered in blood, like that time she went to the deeper parts of cave.

"You... Where did all that blood come from?" I asked as I remembered something, "Wait, what happened to the Eevee and Flying-type that came with you?"
"I... I had them evolve, of course!" Zerobi said with a big smile, "I told you I found a way to do it, but it gets me covered in blood..."

We both stood in silence for a while, as I felt terror once again well up in my body.
"... Their blood?" I asked, breaking the silence. Zerobi sighed, and walked closer to me. My instincts told me to run, but my mind wanted me to stay with my friend.
"You seem quite confused, Astrid" she said calmly, "But nothing 'bad' was going on. Why don't you tell me what you saw and I'll tell you what really happened?" I hesitated at first, but then told her about the cries and the stench...

"Hmm, yes, I can understand why you're confused..." she responded after I had finished my story, and although she looked serious I could see the faintest of smiles on her face, "The evolution process is a bit messy and painful, but harmless."
"... Where are they?" I asked while fearing the worst, "Why aren't they with you?"
"Ah, they already left through a secret passage in the back" Zerobi said before noticeably getting a darker tone in her voice, "If you're that worried, we could go back and take a look..."

"No, that's OK" I said, only now realizing how narrowly I avoided getting killed, "When will they come back?"
"Probably not for a while" Zerobi said with a concerned look, "The ritual failed, and the Eevee couldn't evolve. They really have to reason to return..."

I honestly don't know what the big fuzz is about that whole evolution thing; I don't feel that different from when I hadn't evolved. Actually, scratching places was a bit easier before I had these pointy rocks sticking out of me. But both Zerobi and that cutie... Uh... Oh, Eve! Yes, Eve too thought it was a magnificent thing. I'm going to miss Eve, I think. She didn't do all that weird stuff Zerobi was up to, but just wanted to see me. I really liked her. I wonder, did she like me too...?

Oof! Out of all the friends that would come and like me every night, why would I focus on the one that I'm not sure about!? Stupid, stupid me... But... I really wonder if she made it out OK. Did she escape Halloween? Maybe I should've brought her with me... Damn, I bet she was killed right after I left her... How could I!? I'm such a coward!

No, it wasn't my fault... It was all Halloween's fault! They said it was a night of unimaginable terror, yet no one did anything about it! And then they acted all surprised when everything went to hell... Crazy, inane outsiders!

Apparently, Halloween is something that happens on the sixth day of autumn. I don't know what an autumn is, but Zerobi once told me that there were powerful Psychic-type Pokémon that could predict the future on the outside.
However, instead of doing something reasonable like fortifying our defenses, she wanted us to have a big party at my cave! Sure, we hadn't had a party for a while, but could she possibly have picked a worse night?

That morning, Zerobi and Eve came by. Eve hadn't visited a lot lately, so this made me happy.
"Gear up, Astrid! We're having a party, remember?" Zerobi giggled joyfully, "We haven't had one in such a long time, thought we'd give ourselves some celebration for doing such a good job!"
"Yay! A party!" I exclaimed, before getting a bit worried, "Will you be evolving anyone tonight, Zerobi?"
"... No, I think we'll save that for our normal routine" Zerobi said, still in an unusually cheerful mood.

"Hmm, but this place is really a drag, isn't it?" Eve suddenly said which made my heart sink, "Too bad we couldn't bring any decorations without getting it ruined in the water."
"Oh!" I said as I thought of something, "Why not use the secret passage in the back of the cave?"
"Secret... Passage...?" Eve repeated in confusion, and Zerobi started laughing.
"No, that would be a very bad idea!" she said.
"Oh..." I muttered to myself, sad that I hadn't been of any help.

"Listen, people are going to be dropping in any time now" Zerobi said triumphantly, "We need to tidy this place up a bit!"
"Uh... How?" Eve asked, "It's a cave, and we don't have any decorations..."
"Oh, I'm sure there's something we can to make this all cleaner" Zerobi chuckled, "I'll handle the back room while you two get working here!"
"Yeah! Wait, why bother?" I said without thinking, "I thought we weren't going to use the secret passage?"
"It never hurts to keep the place clean" Zerobi said, but in a sterner voice than before, "Uh... You know... Right before Halloween."

Zerobi then quickly left, and Eve and I were left alone.
"Now what...?" Eve mumbled, and I didn't know what to say. I was confused at first as to why Zerobi had been so eager to get away, but then it hit me - It must've been to make sure I would be alone to spend some quality time with Eve!
"Hehe..." I snickered to myself, overflowing with happy feelings.

"You too!?" Eve suddenly burst out, "What's happened, why have you two become so creepy!?"

Ouch. Those words felt like not an ounce under a ton of bricks smacked me in the face.
"C-Creepy...?" I repeated in shock, "... M-Me?"
"Well, not compared to Zerobi, at least..." Eve said with an annoyed huff, "I have no idea what's gotten into her."
"Uh..." I said, trying to come up with a comeback to change the subject from my apparent creepiness, "Lots of blood, I think."

"Eh?" Eve said, looking right at me.
"Oh!" I said as embarrassment filled me up to the brim, "It was a joke, but I guess you wouldn't know, since you weren't here when she was all covered in blood, which makes the joke a bit of a-a failure, now that I think about it, don't really know why..."
"Wait, stop for a moment" Eve abruptly interrupted me, "Blood? Covered in it? Zerobi...?"
"Yeah, you know, after the evolution..." I said, again trying to cover up for my stupid behavior, "The, uh... When she helped those Eevee evolve."

Eve stared at me blindly for a moment. I moved from side to side, but her eyes didn't follow, as if she was staring into space.
"This is..." she mumbled while shaking her head, "Naw, this has got to be a mistake, there's no way... But still..."
"Astrid!" she suddenly snapped while fixing her eyes into me, "You have to tell me!"
"T-Tell you what?" I asked, slightly taken aback.
"Everything!" she continued, "You know I haven't been around here that often, you have to tell me what Zerobi has been up to!"

And so I told her what I had told Zerobi earlier about the back room with the screams and the smell...
However, Eve's reaction to this was quite the opposite of Zerobi's serene tranquility.

"W-What!?" she shouted in surprise when I was done, "This can't be true! You've got to be kidding!"
"No, uh, I was kidding about the 'lots of blood' thing..." I said, seeing if she would finally get the joke, "The rest is real."
"Astrid, don't you understand what this means!?" Eve wailed in desperation before she moved closer and started whispering, "We have to get out of here!"

"EVE! ASTRID!" we heard Zerobi's voice echo from the back room, making Eve flinch, "I NEED SOME HELP, COULD YOU TWO COME BACK HERE?"
"Coming!" I shouted back, only to be tackled by Eve and pinned to the ground.
"Are you crazy!?" she hissed, "She's gonna kill us!"
"Ow! Why're you..." I said, startled that she was able to knock me over so easily, "No she won't, I've already evolved, and you don't have a Water-type with you..."
"Idiot!" she shouted harshly back at me, "Three Pokémon enter a room, one leaves covered in blood? There's no secret entrance! She's killing them!"
"Oh, come on" I snickered, "Why would she do that? That's just silly."

"No... It's true..." I heard someone say, but it wasn't me and it wasn't Eve. Eve jumped off me and looked around her in a haste, but saw nothing.
"In here..." we heard the voice again, but this time we noticed that it was coming from the ground, "Wait, I'll come out..." Suddenly, a strange apparition floated up from under the ground and hovered in front of us, causing both Eve and I to squeal in terror.

It was the Ghost-type Eeveelution that Zerobi presented me to some time ago. It looked weird, and I couldn't even tell if it was a boy or a girl! It could also move through walls like they weren't even there, and so it kept to itself a lot, rarely showing itself. It felt a bit scary, knowing that someone might be right there inside one of the wall, watching you at all times.

"That's... That's exactly what happened to me!" the ghost said, contorting its face in strange ways.
"Uh... Y-Yeah!" I said while feeling very uneasy, "T-There you have it, proof that Zerobi's helping Eevee evolve..."
"No, you fool!" the ghost blared deeply, "The other thing! That bitch cut me into pieces!"
"Um, excuse me, but..." Eve said slowly, "... What are you?"
"I was an Eevee, just like you!" the ghost wailed sadly, "Zerobi took us into that room and bathed herself in my blood!"
"Us? So there was ano-" Eve said, but stopped herself as she heard footsteps from the back room. As Zerobi was approaching, the ghastly Eeveelution suddenly sunk into the ground and disappeared. Both Eve and I wished we were able to do the same.

"Geez, you two make Slowpokes look eager for a raise" Zerobi said while giving us a nasty look, "Why didn't you come help? What're you doing here?"
"W-We thought we heard some guests arriving!" Eve responded quickly, "We were going to greet them!"
"Guests? This early?" Zerobi said with skepticism, "... Oh really? In that case, where are they?"

Before we could come up with a better excuse, we heard a splash from the secret entrance.
"BoOOoOOo-" a Lopunny spluttered with exhaustion, before entering a coughing fit. A Buizel surfaced right next to her.
"Told ya it wouldn't work" the Buizel said with a sneer, "Sorry 'bout my friend, she's a wee loopy." The Buizel stared at us in awkward silence.
"This is where the party's at, 'ight?" she said. I looked over at Eve and Zerobi in doubt, but then we all started laughing. The heavy air lifted from around us.

"Yes, yes it is!" Zerobi said brightly, "Welcome!"

It was the best party ever. I would have expected things to be a bit slow at first, but the moment the guests saw me they all crowded around me, wanting to talk. I had to stop them from touching, since they easily hurt themselves on the sharp rocks sticking out of me. Some Water-type Pokemon had managed to bring in sweet drinks and something called 'snacks', that...

... Sorry, I just realized that I only got to try 'snacks' once, and now I'll never get the chance to again. Ever. Oh man.

Anyway, later the atmosphere got a bit cooler, and we all sat around telling each other stories. We made a contest of who could tell the best story related to the occult, and most of them were geared towards Halloween. While I was intrigued at first, I couldn't believe how many horrible things happened on this night! Murders! The living dead! One story was about four friends actually celebrating Halloween in a house somewhere in the woods... No wonder bad things happened! Those ghosts were so creepy! Another one was in some place called 'Lavender Town', where the dead came to life! I noticed that Zerobi loved this particular story, having a broad smile on her face the whole time. Not wanting to be the only one scared in the group, I quickly made up a story about a scared Eevee being eaten alive, but... It didn't fly over that well. They mostly thought it was silly.

They didn't have time to dwell on it, however. We heard a few splashes from the secret entrance, and Zerobi got up to greet the new arrivals.
"POLICE!" a deep and loud voice echoed, which made us all freeze in our tracks, "NOBODY MOVE!"

I thought it was another prank like the Lopunny had pulled earlier, so I started laughing a little. Suddenly I noticed that unlike before, I was the only one not scared.

"What seems to be the problem, officer?" Zerobi said in a very matter-of-fact voice.
"You kids shouldn't be here" one of the new arrivals said. It was a tall Pokémon, with white skin and green hair on its head.
"This area is dangerous! All of you, return to your homes, now!" another one said. It was also tall, but it had green skin and a long neck with leaves protruding out of it. To my surprise, everyone groaned and got up as to leave.

"Wait, don't go!" I said loudly, "We were having so much fun!"
"S-Sir..." the third new arrival said, while pointing at me with its claws. It was short, had brown skin and lots of sharp rocks on its back. Kind of like me!
"Slash, are you ever going to..." the white one said angrily before seeing me, "Oh my..."
"Are you Zerobi!?" the green one yelled, looking directly at me.
"Huh? No!" I said, having been startled by the green one's loud voice, "I'm Astrid! That's her, over there!"
"Yes, that would be me" Zerobi said with disdain in her voice.
"Zerobi, you are to take us to what is known as 'The back room'" the white one said while looking down at her. The brown one was still staring at me.
"Certainly, right this way..." Zerobi said with a smile and then looked over at me, "Astrid, won't you join us?"
"Y-You want me to come, too...?" I asked, and started to worry.

Eve said something about Zerobi wanting to kill me, but she had been so nice up until now! She was my very first friend! But even that ghost thing hated her, was I missing something? I looked around trying to find Eve to get some advice on what to do, but I couldn't see her anywhere. Oh, what was I to do!?

"O-OK, I'll come too" I finally said. I didn't want to be left alone with these staring po-lice, anyway. Zerobi started walking towards the back room and I followed her, and to my surprise the po-lice followed her as well. I didn't want to back out, and I decided that my trust in Zerobi was stronger than my fear.

"Is that a Halloween costume, or..." the brown one said after staring at me for a while.
"Costume? Uh, no..." I replied. These po-lice seemed to wield big authority, so I tried to give them a compliment to get on their good side.
"Um, I really dig your backrocks!" I told the brown one, "Much bigger than mine!" He just looked at me funny.
"So, what about the kids?" the green one said to break the silence, "We're going to leave them behind?"
"They got here; they can get out of here" the white one said confidently, "What, you want to book them for being mischievous on Halloween?"
"This place is dangerous!" the green one said, "If they don't learn their lesson, they'll be bac before you know it!"
"Excuse me, but..." I corrected them, "It's only dangerous if you go into the deep cave. Ask Zerobi, she knows!"
"Be quiet, Astrid" Zerobi snapped at me with an angry tone.
"S-Sorry..." I said, wondering why I had even agreed to come. The po-lice were staring at me, Zerobi was mad at me, how could this possibly get any worse!?

We finally got to the end of the corridor, where the tiny room was. Both the smells and screams that were usually there were gone as we entered it. The room was like any other room in the cave, although I could've sworn that the walls were somewhat redder than the rest. In the room was nothing but a rock with a flattened top.

"What kind of place is this...?" the green one asked himself, while lightly touching the walls.
"You know what it said" the white one told the green one, "Push the wall behind the rock."

The green one never got to respond, as his head flew off his body and cracked open against one of the walls, splattering his brains everywhere. In the flash of an instant, Zerobi had leaped at him and decapitated him.

"Shit, stop her!" the white one yelled, before ducking to avoid another swipe from Zerobi. He then tried a psychic attack, but it failed as Zerobi quickly ripped his stomach open. At the same time, she was tackled from behind by the brown one, covering the two of them in the fountain of blood spraying from the green one's collapsing body. The brown one hit her repeatedly with its claws, but was caught off guard as she turned around and froze him with her breath. Before he could turn solid, she slashed his throat with her claw. The white one was still screaming, trying to keep his innards from falling out.

I couldn't move. I was terrified beyond anything I had ever been before. Mere words cannot describe the confusion and fear I was experiencing at that point.
"Zerobi, I don't think these Pokémon wanted to evolve..." I whimpered pathetically. Zerobi then did a backflip to the green one, stabbing through its throat and silencing it forever.

"Curses, how did they know about the secret passage...!?" Zerobi screamed to herself before looking at me, "We have to get rid of the bodies, give me a hand!" I was frozen as she picked up the body of the still twitching brown one, hauling it over to the rock and leaning it against the wall. To my surprise, the wall gave way, revealing a secret area that the brown one fell into.
"No!" I yelled as I ran towards him to stop his fall, but stopped dead when I got closer to the secret passage and looked down into it.

Down in the cave was a pile of dead Pokemon. Large Pokémon and small Pokémon of every type were thrown together in a mountain of gore, none of them being fully intact with most of them missing a limb or two. Limbs that were scattered around the rotting corpses.

The stench was so bad, I reeled wildly and fell on my back, right next to the smashed head of the green one. I screamed at the top of my lungs, as Zerobi picked up the head and threw it down the shaft.

"You always were a spineless coward, Astrid" Zerobi said darkly, "What, this scares you? Are you scared of me now?"
"Y-Y-You..." I stuttered like never before, trying to collect my thoughts, "Y-You killed them all!"
"YES!" she shouted in anger, "YES I DID! So what!? By doing this, I can live forever! I have found myself both eternity and divinity, all for the simple price of blood! It might seem unethical, but don't even try to say that you wouldn't do the same if you could! People die every day, if some of them are sent a bit earlier in order to shape a goddess, is it not justifiable?"

I could not believe what she was saying. I wanted to run, to get away from this monster that I had once called a friend.
"Damn it, I have to get away from here!" Zerobi shouted at me, "Come with me!"
"No!" I shouted back, "You know I can't swim! Besides, you're... You're... Evil!" Numbed with terror, I started crawling away as I heard her creeping up behind me.
"PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!" I yelled in desperation.
"Sorry, but I can't let you live now that you know the truth" Zerobi said with a chilling voice, "I'll make it quick, consider it a farewell gift!"

I heard a loud noise behind me, and quickly turned around. All I saw was a black haze, through which I saw Zerobi fly back.

"Zerobi, I can't..." the ghastly Eevee said, "No, I won't let you kill any more innocent Pokémon!"
"You..." Zerobi said while standing up and shuddering a bit, "You told them? After all I did for you..."
"You ****ing killed me, bitch!" the ghost bellowed, "Between the two of us, YOU are the freak!"
"Huh. I guess I'll have to finish the job, then" Zerobi muttered while walking towards us, "As you probably remember, we Dark-types have a few tricks for dealing with your kind."
"Run, you idiot!" a voice echoed in my head, "She's gonna kill us!"

And ran, I did.
It was the only thing I could do.

"Oh, such a shame that you no longer have any blood!" I heard Zerobi's voice chime behind me, "You were the best, baby!"

I should've known better than to deal with outsiders! Among them, it's like I don't understand anything! I've killed before, but not like this. Between Zerobi and the po-lice, does my life have any value at all? Would my death change anything? It doesn't matter, dying is a terrible thing and I don't want to be a part of it!

I have finished running, and now I shall remain hidden. I know this cave better than anyone, so they will never find me. But... Now what? What happens? Who else did Zerobi kill? Did Eve survive? That ghost, is it still here with me, hiding behind one of the walls? Maybe it's in the wall in that other room, or maybe... The ceiling! I want to go check, but what if they find me...?

I know I shouldn't worry about it, but I have no one to talk to about this anymore. I feel safer alone, but... It's really boring! Although it was scary and dangerous, I really enjoyed my time with those outsiders. Especially Eve...

... Maybe I'll check back on the entrance every now and then, in case she decides to come back... Oh, Eve, I'll be waiting forever!

- - - - - - - - - - -
Chapter End Notes:... And that's the end of that chapter.

"Oh! It was so suspenseful!" Astrid chimes, "I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!"

"Ugh, you're too naive, Astrid" Snivy says with a bleak face, "It was all written in past tense, right? That way we know the person retelling the story won't die."

Oh yeah? Well then, what about that character-I-purposely-never-give-a-name-and-it's-driving-me-crazy? You know, Halloweeon?

"Oh god, we're not going with that name, are we?" Snivy says while smacking his forehead, "OK, at least we know they won't die until they reach the end of their story."

... Hmm, I see your point. And, as chance would have it, the next chapter will mark the story's end. I won't be writing it from any particular character's point of view, so, you know, anyone might die.

"Y..." Eve stammers with tears in her eyes, "Y-You're going to kill us off...?"

Oh, come on, don't make me justify it like some crazy serial killer. If the story wills it, you will die. All of you, if necessary.

"You're not going to write my death in the next chapter, are you!?" Astrid shouts in panic.

Oh, no, no, no... Well, you won't be appearing in the next chapter.

"W-What!?" Astrid cries.

You got your closure... Kind of... Anyway, you might still die, though. Maybe I'll even make it off-screen to REALLY piss people off.

"Oh, @#% you &Â�Â� Æ�Æ�Æ�, in your Ï Â�-� "�δ"� with thirty '�Â�'"!" Astrid roars in rage.

Yow, geez! Never knew you had it in you! I'm going to have to censor all that, you know!

"This is getting out of hand" Zerobi mutters, "By the way, those stories they had in the contest in the cave? They sounded awfully familiar..."

Uh, yeah, sharp eyes. Hmm... If it's a character, it's called a 'cameo'. What's it called if it's a story?

"Plagarism?" Zerobi snickers.

Hey, shut up! You're going to get me into trouble, talking like that! This highly entertaining segment is over!

... Now let's get working on making that last chapter a real blast!

"Of course!" Eve says.

"I'm here if you want me to..." the ghost Eevee sighs.

"Finally time for the big climax, eh?" Snivy mumbles.

"I'm behind you all the way!" Umk chuckles.

"Time for history to be made!" Zerobi shouts.

"I'M NOT EVEN IN IT, DAMN IT!" Astrid cries
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