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:

Survival is the most basic instinct. Some might not make it through the day, while others aim to live forever.

The story will end
But life goes on

Story's End

As Snivy exited the detention cell, he immediately wished he hadn't as the pungent stench of Umk once more filled his nostrils. He knew that as a Grass-type he would find the Muk especially repulsive, but was skeptic as to what there could possibly be to like about an animate pile of purple sludge.

"Crazy. Bonkers. Loony…" Snivy said to Umk while waving his arms around, "… Deluded. Confused. Addled. Do you want me to go on?"
"No, that'll do" Umk chuckled, "But you sure spent a lot of time in there for a nutcase."
"What? Her story was pretty good" Snivy responded, "If she gets over all of this she could turn it into a novel or something."
"So, what's your plan?" Umk said before pausing for a cough, "Do we keep her, or…?"
"First of all, never cough. You're poison. It stinks" Snivy said with a disgusted look, "Second of all, we let her go. She's harmless, and maybe she'll come around after a good night's sleep."
"Geez, that's so nice of you, Smugleaf!" Umk said happily.
"I know I will…" Snivy yawned to himself before turning around to leave.
"Oh, wait!" Umk said while reaching out to stop Snivy, who swiftly dodged his touch, "I forgot! You have to see this!"

Umk pointed over to a very short desk, where some papers and pictures were scattered. Unlike most of the room, this area was very clean since Snivy had restricted Umk from ever going there.
"… You didn't put those there, did you?" Snivy said, looking worried.
"No worries, no worries!" Umk chuckled, "But look at the picture on top! Cool, huh?"

Snivy approached his desk and looked at the picture that was on top of it. The picture was of a Pokémon lying in a hospital bed, but it was like no Pokémon he had ever seen before. It looked like an Eeveelution, but its skin was pitch black and kind of hazy. It had no legs, and its face was contorted in a way that made it look a bit like a Gastly. The caption said "Unknown victim".

"… Cute" Snivy said jokingly after a while, "Who was listening and who came up with this? The guys down at D.A?"
"Oh, no, this is part of the investigation" Umk said with a smile, "Weird, huh?"
"Don't screw around with me!" Snivy said while turning around and giving him an angry glare, "You'll regret it! Now, who made this photo!?"
"Whoa, what are you talking about!?" Umk shouted as he started panicking, "It's a picture of one of the victims from that cult thing, it's dead now and that picture is directly from the Pokecenter downtown, no one's trying to play you, boss!"

Snivy dropped his glare, and stared at the picture once more. His look became more and more concerned as time passed.
"It… It fits the description" he said with a deep sigh after a while, "It fits it perfectly."
"Fits what?" Umk asked, letting his panic be replaced with confusion.
"Come with me, Umk" Snivy said as he opened the door into the detention area, "Things just got very interesting."

Eve flinched as the door suddenly flew open, and two figures entered. The first she could identify as the lizard that had questioned her earlier, but the other one…
"Eve, I'd like you to meet officer Umk. He's nice, but do resist any urge to hug him" Snivy said before she could dwell any longer and then held something in front of her face, "I'd like you to take a look at this picture and tell me what you see."

"That's… That's that Ghost-type Eevee I told you about!" Eve said almost immediately, "Is it OK?"
"It's d…" Snivy started, but trailed off and interrupted himself, "… Unimportant. Anyway, funny thing, this picture was taken an hour ago, yet you described this completely new species of Pokémon after being locked in here all night. How is that?"
"I-I told you!" Eve said with surprise, "It was with Zerobi, and Astrid said it evolved through a Gastly!"

For the first time in his life, Snivy was at a loss for words. Surely this inane story about ritualistic sacrifices and impossible evolutions could not be true, yet right in front of him was proof that a Ghost-type Eeveelution had recently been discovered, just like she had said. Did that mean everything else was true, too? Had he been too jaded to see the truth that was right in front of him all this time? Or is he now being tricked by an elaborate prank or fantasies of some deluded teenager?

"… Eve, do you remember that article you talked about earlier?" Snivy finally said while looking away.
"Uh… Eeveelutions - Still Evolving?" Eve said with a confused look on her face.
"Yes, that's the one" Snivy responded before looking straight at her, "Do you still have it?"
"Yes, at home… Unless anything's changed…" Eve answered and became concerned, "… What do you want it for?"
"Nothing special" Snivy said quickly, "I just want to test your memory, if that's OK."
"… If I get to go home, fine" Eve said with a sigh.
"OK then" Snivy said as he went to the exit, "Show us where your house is, don't try any funny business, yadda yadda. Umk, get dressed."
"Aw, but it's raining!" Umk whined before approaching Eve, who quickly scuffled away.
"Everyone needs a breath of fresh air every now and then" Snivy said with a wry smile, "Which is why YOU should LEAVE so everyone here can have one."
"N-No, I'll walk on my own…" Eve said, having scuffled halfway across the room to avoid Umk.
"Fine…" Umk said, having gotten into a foul mood all of a sudden "You watch over her, Smugleaf."
"OK. Funny business, yadda yadda, let's go!" Snivy shouted loudly before the three of them left the room to go to Eve's home.

Even though the moon had finally shown itself, the rain hadn't let up one bit. Not willing to delay, Eve led them on Route 5 towards her home in Cerulean City. Apart from the three of them, they didn't see a single soul outside. Those that weren't averted because of the storm were behind locked doors or in burrows after the news of the massacre at Evolution's Gate spread. Centuries of stomped ground paved the road, and large rocks were scattered randomly on the side. They loomed ominously over them in the dark of the night.

Snivy and Eve walked naked as usual, but Umk was wearing a bag over him to shield him from the downpour.
"Um… Mr. Umk?" Eve said after a few minutes, "Why are you wearing that?"
"Hehe, 'Mr. Umk'" Umk repeated, having seldom gotten to taste authority despite being a police officer, "The water seeps into me and changes my consistency. It makes me queasy."
"… That is by far the most disgusting thing I have ever heard" Snivy said out loud, wobbling a little and stepping in a puddle.
"What?" Umk said, "Just because I'm not weak against it doesn't mean I don't hate water… Or showering… Or bathing…"
"No, shut up!" Snivy said angrily, "No one wants to know! Hasn't this girl been through enough without you disclosing your ability to make people faint with aroma alone!?"

They all got quiet, although Umk mumbled something to himself about how he once defeated a rampaging Rhydon that way. Eve looked at the two of them, and could tell that they weren't exactly fond of each other. She was also worried about how nervous the lizard seemed to have become. Once again, her curiosity got the better of her.

"Um… Mr. Smugleaf?" Eve said, and Snivy immediately dropped his head very low. Umk started laughing out loud.
"What…" Snivy said with a dark voice, "… Did you call me…?"
"A-Ah!" Eve stammered, taken aback by his unexpected reaction, "I-It's your name, isn't it? I heard Umk call you that earlier…"
"How on earth could anyone be named 'Smugleaf'!?" Snivy yelled with a fiery rage burning in his voice, "Go on, what's the bloody question!?"
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Eve apologized before asking her question, "… You don't believe me, do you?"
"How can I?" Snivy sighed, "Or rather, that's what I would've said 15 minutes ago. Truth be told, so far your story is the least unreasonable one to explain all this."
"You see, the ones we questioned during the party don't seem to know anything, and we cannot find any previous members of Evolution's Gate" Umk sighed as well, trying to imitate his partner, "Except those that were there once or twice and saw some kind of strange-"
"Rock-type Eevee, right?" Eve interrupted him, "Yeah, that's Astrid, alright. Zerobi must've really killed everyone else…"
"And then there's that Ghost Eeveelution that died" Umk continued as Snivy smacked his head, "No one knows what was going in there… Although from what I hear, your story seems a bit too farfetched."
"You know, so is Farfetche'd, that doesn't mean people haven't fetched it" Eve said, remembering a retort from happy days with a friend, both long gone.
"Huh, yeah" Snivy said, remembering as well.

A crash of thunder sounded somewhere in the distance.

"Huh. You think there's a battle somewhere?" Umk said, looking up in the sky.
"Might just be normal lightning…" Snivy said.
"You know…" Umk said in a spooky voice, "Might be a ghost. Tonight's Halloween, after all."
"Halloween? Like I give a crap…" Snivy replied as he remembered yet another thing, "Eve, what about that Waterstone you had?"
"… I left it" Eve said with a sad tone.
"… What? At the station?" Snivy said with a quick snicker, "After all that trouble you went through to become a Vaporeon? Why?"
"I… I'm not sure" she sighed as her look fell to the ground, "I think I realized that evolution isn't everything. Not something you want to leap into as quickly as possible. What if wanting to be a Vaporeon is just a phase, and I really want to become something else later?"
"I'm with you there" Snivy smiled, "Not a fan of evolution, myself."
"I mean, I'm fine with being an Eevee right now, why rush into things?" Eve continued before gasping, "Wait, you… You haven't evolved either!"
"Sure haven't" Snivy said with another content snicker, "My evolved forms are all big and bulky, and eventually lose their arms and legs. That doesn't fit me very well."

A strike of lightning illuminated the sky for a second, before quickly dying off.

"… Maybe I should become a Grass-type, like my mother" Eve said with a shudder, "But I'm worried about… The fire…"
"You know, if you got a little faster you could dodge fire attacks and wouldn't have to worry about that" Snivy explained in a straightforward way, "What you really should be worried about is Poison-types, and being forced to work with them."
"B-Boss!" Umk exclaimed in unexpected joy, "… You honestly think I could defeat you in battle!?"
"Of course not, I'd jam you in six different bottles and send half of them to Isshu" Snivy said confidently, "No, beating them up is fine, I said being forced to work with them. Hygiene is not exactly their strong point."

Another lightning bolt struck as Umk once again mumbled to himself about the Rhydon he defeated.

"Is your house right in the city or in the outskirts?" Umk asked Eve.
"Outskirts" Eve said sadly, "… I-I'm sorry I couldn't be of any more help with all this…"
"… Listen, kiddo, don't sweat it." Snivy said in a growly yet concerned voice, "If what you've said is true, you've been through more tonight than the two of us combined. You did well, you've earned some sleep."
"Yeah, right…" Eve said with sarcasm, "The ghost Eevee is dead, and I probably won't be able to see Astrid ever again. I've got too much on my mind to fall asleep ever again."

"Aren't you forgetting someone?" a voice shouted.
"Who's there?" Snivy said, swiftly spinning around the scan the area.
"N-No…" Eve stuttered fearfully, "I-It can't be…!"

"Up here!" the voice sounded again, from the top of one of the rocks. There stood a lean figure in black, with sharp claws gleaming dangerously in the moon's light. The sky exploded in brightness as lightning struck behind it, casting a long shadow from the viscous creature.

"Z-ZEROBI!" Eve shouted in panic, quickly looking at the two police officers, "Y-You said she was dead!"
"This is where I'd normally say 'I got better'…" Zerobi shouted gleefully, "But honestly, I feel like crap, and now I'm going to kill you all." She leaped from the rock, landing a few feet in front of them. Eve stumbled backwards in terror, but the two officers remained still.

"Are you Zerobi?" Snivy asked coldly.
"Yes" Zerobi responded, "Who the hell are you?"
"… Zerobi's supposed to be dead, right?" Snivy said while looking at Umk, completely ignoring her.
"Yep" Umk responded, "Resisted arrest, had to be put down."
"Oh yeah, that damn Kojondo!" Zerobi said angrily, "Tell me where he is, and I might let you live!"
"Hmpf" Snivy huffed, still ignoring her, "And now she's suddenly alive. We're going to have to file SO much paperwork for this."
"You won't be filing anything, because I'm going to cut you into pieces and drink your blood right now!" Zerobi screamed with rage, putting her claws together rapidly and making a screeching noise.

"You know what? She's got a point" Snivy said while staring at her with ire, "I HATE paperwork. Let's just finish this now, and say we found her covered in bruises and knocked out."
"No! Don't!" Eve wailed from behind them, "She's too strong! Zerobi, everyone already knows you're special, don't do this!"
"Heh, I thought as much…" Zerobi said with a smile, "If that hadn't been the case, I might not have had to do this…"
"W-What do you mean…?" Eve asked in desperation, feeling both confused and scared.
"I was originally just going to kill you for knowing about my secret" Zerobi started, "But I assume that these two know a bit more than they're supposed to, so they'll have to die as well. See, it's good if people think I'm dead, especially now that I've found immortality. I can avoid all the prosecution, go somewhere low key, capture someone every now and then to enjoy a little blood and refine my life…"
"Immortality is an illusion" Snivy suddenly said, "Everyone will die, eventually."
"Oh, yes, for you normal creatures, that would be true" Zerobi laughed darkly, "But not for me. I have found the means for eternity. Through the blood of others, I shall become divine! And within me, their life will carry on, allowing them to live forever as well! Don't you see? I'm a saint!"

"OK, I've heard enough" Snivy said after a while, "Eve, this is the one, right?"
"Y-Yes…" Eve whispered lightly while cowering on the ground.
"Zerobi!" Snivy shouted while pointing at her, "You are hereby arrested for all that stuff you did!"
"Oh?" Zerobi taunted, "That's rich! And who's going to capture me, you?"
"If you resist arrest…" Snivy said before trailing off, "… Why am I even bothering with the legal stuff? Just leave this one to me, Umk."
"You won't stop me!" Zerobi laughed with malice, "You know what happened to the last policemen that tried to stop me? I don't think they did either, seeing how I killed them all in a flash!"
"Wait over there, Eve" Snivy said with contempt as he took a step forward, "I'll take care of this."
"Yeah, wait over there, Eve" Zerobi mimicked him with ridicule, "Once I've killed him, I can use his essence to make you a Grass Eeveelution just like your mom! And then BURN YOU UP!"

Snivy extended his arms, shooting out two vine projectiles at Zerobi. However, her reflexes were as sharp as her claws, and she easily dodged them.
"Haha!" Zerobi exclaimed with both joy and defiance, "You're a Grass Pokémon!? This'll be quick!" She then inhaled with all her might, and blew a very cold wind at Snivy. Snivy saw this coming and made a small leap to his side, avoiding the attack with a wide berth. Both Eve and Zerobi were shocked at the speed he moved at. Zerobi then felt something crawl up her right leg, but as she tried to shake it off she noticed that she couldn't move her legs! She quickly looked down and saw that her arms and legs were being constricted by two snake-like vines!

"Correction…" Snivy said with a triumphant tone, "I'm a Snake Pokémon, and a high level one at that. You thought I was going to attack you with some wimpy leech seeds?"
"Snake or Grass, die as whatever you want!" Zerobi shouted before putting all her power into tearing through her restrictions, but to no avail.
"Problem, outlaw?" Snivy said with a smug smile on his face while crossing his arms in confidence.
"Grr… You binds can't hold me!" Zerobi growled before inhaling and turning her freezing breath on herself. The cold ice hurt a bit, but the snake-like vines instantly froze and shattered as she threw her arms up into the air.

At the same time, Snivy threw his arms out to his sides, causing several leaves to fly from his body into the air around him. The leaves started spinning quickly, and then flew towards Zerobi at a high speed. She leaped to the side and dodged the brunt of the attack, swiping with her claws to slice some of the leaves in half and stopping their approach. A few leaves hit her left leg, causing a small scratch.

"Oh yeah, she's fast, I forgot…" Snivy said while slapping himself on the forehead before once again scattering leaves, several more of them this time, "Try to dodge this one!"

As the large amount of leaves started spinning, Zerobi inhaled as much air as she could. As they flew at her, she exhaled and froze all of them in midair, causing them to drop down on the ground and shatter.

"Fool! The likes of you will never even touch me!" Zerobi laughed manically, "Stick to fighting Water-types!"
"Hmpf!" Snivy huffed, "Let's see you keep it up. I've got a lot of razor leaves to spare." He then threw out his arms again and more leaves appeared.
"Maybe so, but I don't have time for this!" Zerobi shouted, as she ran towards Snivy while inhaling deeply. As the razor leaves approached, she froze them all and jumped through them to reach Snivy. He saw her getting close and made a small leap to the side. She followed him with a small leap of her own, and managed to land a slash across his nose. Crimson blood shone between them, as Snivy shot out two vines directly at her. They crawled around her body as she began freezing them, giving Snivy the time to leap a few feet away from her.

"Mr. Smugleaf!" Eve shouted, and Umk got a concerned look on his face. Snivy was breathing heavily, and started wiping some of the blood off his face. She was a lot more dangerous than he had expected. A little closer, and she might've actually killed him.
"Ooooh, you feel soooo good!" Zerobi taunted while licking some blood of her claw, "You too shall soon become a part of my body! We'll get to know each other quite intimately!" Smugleaf stared at her in silent disgust for a while, before suddenly bending over.

Leaves scattered around his body, but instead of remaining airborne they slowly fell to the ground. Snivy then fell on his stomach, slithered four feet in front of him and scattered more leaves. Umk saw this, and grabbed a hold of a very confused Eve.
"Brace yourself, missy!" he said, and before she could react he threw her far away in the opposite direction. She landed hard on the cold ground, getting up and looking around her in surprise.

Meanwhile, Snivy was still spreading the leaves around the area.
"What the hell are you doing?" Zerobi asked, "This is boring, let's keep fighting!" Zerobi lounged at Snivy, but he was already a few steps away, spreading more leaves. She tried to predict where he was going to move next, but saw no pattern and ended up attacking thin air.
"Stay still, will you!?" she yelled in frustration. The earlier cut had given her a taste of blood, and she was getting reckless. But as she said that, Snivy suddenly stopped moving and looked up at her. There were now hundreds of leaves on the ground around them.

"OK, finally, what the hell was that?" Zerobi said with a cocky voice, "What is this, some kind of ultimate attack?"
"No, nothing as cool… As that…" Snivy mumbled, somewhat exhausted, "But it'll kill you… Or knock you out... Not that the end results will be different… After what you did to my face."
"Oh, scary!" she coaxed, "Smugleaf is getting all serious!"
"My name… is not 'Smugleaf'…" he muttered angrily as he hunched over before howling madly, "It's SNIVY!"

Suddenly, the leaves around them started moving. A little at first, but then they started moving around like in a big tornado. Zerobi's instincts told her to dodge, but there were too many leaves in all directions to let her escape in time, so she tried defending herself. As the storm picked up the leaves started cutting through her skin weakly, only giving her a few scratches.
"Pathetic, this was y-" she laughed, but was abruptly cut off by a leaf almost cutting into her left eye. She kept defending, protecting her face and waiting for the storm to die down.

The storm didn't die down. Minutes passed, and those unremarkable scratches were turning into bleeding cuts after being constantly assaulted. Zerobi was starting to worry that it was never going to end, and she tried to get a glimpse of where Snivy had gone. She peeked through her claws, and saw that the Muk had flattened himself against the ground to avoid the attack. But not far away the smug snake stood upright, right in the middle of it all. Like a tornado, the eye of the storm was clam, and he was unaffected by the vicious attack.

"You can't fool me!" Zerobi shouted as she pounced at him, but as soon as she dropped her guard she noticed just how ferocious the storm had become. Even thought he was just about five feet away, her body was cut up so badly that she resumed her protective stance. She knew she wouldn't last forever. Repeating her earlier strategy, she exhaled on the leaves around her, causing them to freeze. There were a lot of leaves though, and she noticed that she was hardly making a dent in their numbers.

Now the leaves were cutting quite deep into her, much deeper than before. Desperate for an escape, she launched a massive icicle from her mouth at Snivy. The icicle was almost sliced into nothingness by the leaves before it reached him, but managed to land a critical hit as it hit his left eye. When the cyclone started to weaken, she used all her strength to tackle him out of the eye of the storm, and almost immediately all the leaves fell to the ground where they lay in peaceful harmony.

Snivy scrambled to get up off his back, but Zerobi ran up to him and stepped on his exposed stomach. He coughed in pain.
"I think you'll stay like that, so you don't slither away again" she sneered in a victorious way.
"B-Bitch!" Snivy coughed, "Ins-Insufferable hick!"
"Your blood really wasn't half bad…" Zerobi said in a seductive tone while licking her lips, "You normally slither, right? You don't mind if I cut off a leg or two, do you?"

Zerobi readied her claws and bent over as Snivy's eyes widened in fear. Suddenly, something big and purple hit her face. She flew backwards from the impact, crashing on the ground.

"D-Dumbass, if that had hit me…" Snivy said grumpily while standing up.
"Sorry, Smuglaf!" Umk replied as he quickly pulled himself across the ground, "Just making sure the civilian wouldn't get harmed!"
"That's nice. How about you subdue this whore before I get vivisected?" Snivy said weakly. The leaf storm had really exhausted him.
"On it!" Umk said as he picked up the pace a little.

"Grah, what is this!?" Zerobi spluttered as she cleared the purple stuff from her face. The sticky sludge was irritating her eyes and making her face itch. When she had gotten most of it out of her eyes, she saw something big over her. She heard someone say something as she was completely covered in a thick, slimy substance.

"Surrender now, criminal scum!" Umk shouted as the thin creature wriggled underneath him, "It's only going to get worse from here!"

Zerobi felt the itching spread all over her body, and to her horror she noticed that her face was starting to burn. The heavy sludge had completely covered her, and she couldn't move or breathe. Thinking fast, she exhaled the air she had left in her lungs in order to freeze her assailant.

"Your resistance only makes me harder!" Umk said loudly as he felt a cold feeling in his lower regions, "Water may soften me, but ice has the opposite effect!"

The acidic substance was leaking into the previous wounds left by Snivy, and was hurting her badly. She gasped for air, wishing she hadn't used that last attack. As she tried to come up with a way out, her mind was rapidly getting hazier. She couldn't move. She couldn't breathe. All she could do was try to focus all her dark energy, hopefully affecting Umk enough to make him get off her.

An explosion sounded as a black pulse threw Umk two feet into the sky and splashed him against the ground next to Zerobi. She inhaled deeply, occasionally stopping to cough up sludge that had invaded her facial orifices. The burning feeling slowly left her, and she quickly thrust a claw deep into the Pokémon lying next to her. Umk screamed loudly as Zerobi's arm became covered with his blood.

"Asshole…" she spit as she saw something moving in the corner of her eye. She rolled out of the way and stood up, seeing the snake-like vine crawl faster to keep up with her. She bent over and stabbed it, instantly ceasing its movement.
"Y-You…" Snivy growled, struggling to remain vertical a few feet away. Suddenly, he collapsed.
"Don't think I've forgotten about you…" Zerobi whispered as she approached him, "First the legs, then the arms… Oh, I can't wait to kill you… To feel you inside of me, rushing around my body endlessly, unwittingly fueling my existence, looking for an escape, pleading for a death that will not come-"

"STOP IT!" Eve suddenly shouted, interrupting Zerobi, "DON'T DO THIS!"
"Eve…" Zerobi said slowly as Eve ran up to her.
"Don't you remember?" Eve said weakly trying to hold back her tears, "Don't you remember all the fun we had in school? In the cave with Astrid? What about all those Occult Magazines, and Leppa Cakes, and… And… What happened to you!?"

Zerobi stood silent for a while, looking down at the Pokemon before her. Behind her the wailing of Umk could still be heard, and Snivy was staring at the scene more terrified than ever before.

"Yes…" Zerobi said after a while, "I'll… I'll make it painless. You've earned that. I'll enjoy your blood first, should revive me enough to REALLY enjoy that snake bastard."

"B-But… Zerobi…" Eve whispered as she was overcome by fear, "Aren't we… Friends…?"

"Friends…?" Zerobi repeated while raising her claw, "Like I give a shit… Now, drench me with your innocence!"

The claw found its target, striking hard and striking loud. Blood spread over the area with a little splash. Snivy had seen many gruesome things in his past, but could not help himself from looking away. Umk had become unconscious due to the loss of blood. Eve herself stared in disbelief as her former companion loomed over her one second, and then struck her claw into the ground right next to her.

"W-What is going on…?" Zerobi said while clutching her forehead, "Urgh… Feels like…" A very nasty feeling was spreading from her right arm; numbing it and making her feel uncomfortable. She looked down at it, and noticed that it had a pink hue. She looked over at the immobile Umk.
"Y-You bastard!" she shouted, "This isn't blood! This is something else!"
"Heh…" Snivy mumbled while cracking a smile before laughing out loud, "Hahahaha!"
"What's so funny, squirt!?" Zerobi yelled in anger as she found it harder to move her right shoulder.
"Of course…" Snivy said, "Of course not even his blood is normal…"
"What!?" Zerobi said, before realizing what this meant, "Shit, this blood is poisonous, isn't it!?"

Zerobi fell to the ground, finding it a struggle to stand up. Snivy kept laughing, while Eve was still frozen in shock.
"Eve! Come here!" Zerobi said, "I need you… I need your blood!" She tried to swipe at Eve with her left claw, but she moved out of the way.
"No, Eve, come HERE!" she yelled, trying to crawl after her, "Aren't we friends? Aren't we pals? You know you can trust me!" Eve remained silent, but kept moving away from her.
"Kid, don't let her fool you" Snivy said smugly while rising to his feet, "It's over for her. She's a goner."

"B-But that's just impossible!" Zerobi burst out, "Inconceivable! I'm an immortal goddess, how can I be defeated by some lowlifes like you!?"
"No" Snivy said bluntly as he approached them while staggering a bit, "You're just a little girl, playing some silly game. We're professionals, trained and adapt for this kind of thing. You're screwed."
"No! Eve, I…" Zerobi said, starting to become dizzy, "This is… Just a little blood!"
"You've killed a lot of people. Now, it's your turn" Snivy said as he got closer, but suddenly he was pushed back by Eve.

"Eve, you…!" Zerobi whimpered hopefully.
"Eve, what're you…" Snivy said, shocked.
"… No" Eve finally said while shaking her head, "… You're bleeding. You might get some on her by mistake."

Zerobi's heart sunk.
"No! NO! I WILL NOT DIE LIKE THIS!" she shouted, trying to get up but noticing that she couldn't move even a single muscle.
"The murderer is scared of dying…" Snivy sighed, "… This would be ironic, if not for the fact that it happens every. Single. Time."
"No, you don't get it!" Zerobi said in panic, "I'm not like you! I have the potential to be immortal! I can make this world a better place!"
"If you want to make the world a better place, you can start by dying" Snivy said coldly, "Don't waste your breath, it's not like we know how to save you, anyway…"
"One more day…" Zerobi cried as her voice was failing her, "Just… Let me live… One more day…"
"BLARGH!" a noise sounded from Umk, signaling that the Muk had returned to consciousness.
"Hey, good of you to come around…" Snivy said weakly, "How're you doing?"
"Grr, it hurts like hell!" the wounded Poison-Type growled, "Where is she, I'll…"

Umk saw Zerobi lying on the ground. The wounds and scars covering her body were leaking blood, which was being washed away by the heavy rain. She was no longer moving.
"Wait, is she…" he said, his body reforming to seal up the wound.
"Dead?" Snivy replied cheerfully, "More or less, yeah." Eve looked down at her, and decided to move her head a bit closer to see if she was still breathing. She wasn't.
"Y-Yes, she's…" Eve stuttered, "D-Dead…"
"Whoa, you've got balls, moving in like that…" Snivy said, feeling woozy, "Could've sworn she was going to come to life one last time…"

They all stood in silence, as the rain picked up yet another notch.

It was over.

"… I know it's a hassle…" Snivy said after a long time of silence, "… But we kind of need to go back to the station, now."
"How about a visit to the Pokecentre first?" Umk said, still in blinding pain.
"You should accompany… Us…" Snivy said hazily while looking at Eve, before wobbling and crashing down on the ground.
"Mr. Smugleaf!" Eve cried and ran up to his body. As she checked him, she instantly noticed the many differences between a living, breathing creature and the one she had checked earlier. Zerobi was definitively dead. Somehow, this thought filled her heart with relief instead of sorrow. Then she remembered all the good times she had with Zerobi and Astrid, and her spirits sunk once more.
"Stop daydreaming, is he OK!?" Umk said in a startled voice.
"Yes, yes, I think he just collapsed from exhaustion…" she responded.
"Aah, what a relief!" the Umk sighed deeply, "He always said how much he hated having to keep fighting after the leaf storm… I guess he wasn't kidding!"
"We need to get him to a Pokecenter, quick!" she said, "And you too!"
"Definitely! Uh… Eve, was it?" Umk carefully said, "Could you carry him? I don't think he'd be very glad to find out I touched him."
"O-OK!" Eve said as she bent over to pick up Snivy, before turning to Umk with a big smile, "I had my doubts at first, but you're really a nice person!"
"Hehe… First you call me 'Mr. Umk', and now this?" Umk chuckled before clutching his wound, "Ow! You're being too nice…" Eve managed to get Snivy on her back, as Umk looked over at the corpse of Zerobi.

"Listen, could you run ahead of me to the Pokecenter?" Umk asked Eve, "I have something I have to do here."
"W-What?" Eve stammered fearfully, "Y-You're not going to…"
"You've been through a lot tonight, we all have" Umk said while closing his eyes, "But I need to get dispose of the body, and this is something you really don't need to see." Eve looked at him skeptically for a moment, but then nodded her head.
"I-I understand…" she said, and then continued her trip up Route 5, convinced that the nightmare was at long last over.

As she left, Umk approached the Zerobi's body.
"You came back to life once. Better be safe than sorry. May you rest in peace, wayward soul" he said before expelling a highly corrosive poison from his body and covering her in it. The acid tore through her skin, reducing her muscles to a reddish sauce and liquefying her insides. Within a minute, her body had melted into a small puddle, washing her away in the rain and expunging her from existence forever.

"... And then, SHE SUDDENLY CAME BACK TO LIFE!" Umk shouted while laughing uncontrollably.
"What!?" the Croagunk said, "But you said you melted her! You're drunk off your ass, man!"
"Hehe…" Snivy snickered while rubbing the bandage across his nose, "Alcohol poisoning is his natural state!"
"Haha, yeah!" the Blaziken laughed heartily, "Hey, bartender, fill 'em up!"
"C-Coming…" the Spinda said, while carefully wavering back and forth with a plate filled with new glasses.
"Let me help you with those, honey" the Haunter said as she grabbed the plate and brought it over to the table, as the Spinda fell flat on her face.
"So, what do you guys think of that Ghost-type Eeveelution?" the Haunter said in a chilling voice, "I wish I could've asked it what it was like to go from standing up to constantly floating."
"Don't think any more will be popping up, any time soon…" the Scizor says, while shaking his head when offered a drink, "Unless we get another Zerobi, some time soon…"
"I wish I could say we won't, but we're going to get occultist everywhere after that picture hits the media…" Snivy says depressingly, taking a swig from the cup in front of him.
"Hopefully they won't be immortal, this time…" Scizor sighed as Umk started laughing again.
"Not a prob, 'cause Mr. Umk's in town!" Umk shouts belligerently before laughing again.
"Stop feeding him drinks!" the Croagunk sneers, "We're police! He's making us look like hooligans!"
"Aw come on, it's hilarious!" the Blaziken laughs while stomping his feet in the ground, "He's acting like a super hero or something! Our drunken savior!"

Everyone laughed as this, having a good time. Suddenly, the doors to Spinda's Café flew open with a bang, and their laughter stifled.

"Oh, sorry, thought the doors were really heavy…" an apologetic voice came from the entrance. Then, a small figure looked around the area before running up to each of the tables with Pokémon at them. Finally, it came to the table they were sitting at.

"Hey, little missy!" Umk laughed awkwardly, "You're OK!?"
"Umk! You're O…" Eve said before stopping herself, "I mean, uh, are you OK?"
"Ahahaha! Never better!" Umk kept laughing.
"Oh cr- Is that…!?" the Blaziken stuttered.
"Hello, Eve" Snivy said with a bored tone.
"Ah! Mr. Snivy!" Eve said, and her face lit up. She was about to say something, but then noticed that all sorts of Pokémon were at the table staring at her.
"Hey, you finally got my name right!" Snivy said happily.
"Yes! I asked around for a Mr. Smugleaf, and the people at the station-"

She was interrupted as everyone started laughing again, louder than before. Everyone except for Snivy and Eve, that is.
"AHAHAHA!" the Blaziken howled with tears in his eyes, "You thought his real name was 'Smugleaf'!? You asked for a 'Mr. Smugleaf!?' AHAHAHAHA!"
"It fits him so perfectly!" the Croagunk chuckled.
"Still remember when you got that name, not long ago!" the Scizor said with a nod and a smile.
"OK, enough! Enough!" Snivy shouted before lowering his voice and looking straight at Eve, "These are drinking hours, and you're a minor, kiddo. Get out or I'll have to arrest you, after all."
"Ah! I-I just came here to give you something…" Eve said as she started to blush, "You know… For helping me and everything…"
"All in a day's work, guys!" Snivy said and leaned back as the Blaziken started clapping wildly, "What were you thinking about?"

In the flash of a moment, Eve ran up to Snivy and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. Everyone instantly became silent, and just stared at her. Time stood still for several seconds before the floodgates burst. The laughter was so great, the Pokémon at the surrounding tables started snickering and people walking by Spinda's Café felt cheerful for some reason.

"YOU! MINOR!" Snivy roared with a beat red face, "OOOUUUT!" Eve wanted to comply with his request, but hadn't expected such a strong reaction and just stood there frozen. The Blaziken and Umk had both been reduced to a hysteric mess of laughter.
"You left out that part of the story, Smuggy!" the Croagunk chuckled deeply, "I've heard enough, book 'im, guys!"
"Careful, honey - This one's a hound dog!" the Haunter giggled while patting Eve on the back.
"Who called me 'Smuggy'!?" Snivy bellowed angrily as he looked around the table, "No one calls me 'Smuggy'! 'Smugleaf' I accept under protest, now you've opened up a can of trouble!"

"W-Why are you all drinking so much?" Eve asked, still taken aback by this belligerent display, "Aren't you police?"
"It's BECAUSE we are police that we drink, tonight!" Scizor said in a very manly way, "That deluded hick killed eleven of us, yesterday!"
"Mmm…" the Haunter sighed, "There comes a time when you must stop crying and…"
"START DRINKING!" Umk interrupted, before falling back into a heap of himself.
"… Realize that tomorrow will come like nothing even happened yesterday." the Haunter continued.
"Tell that to my face!" Snivy said while pointing to the bandage on his nose.
"Those wounds will heal" the Haunter replied before looking at Eve again, "And so will yours, honey. Even those on the inside."
"What is this, an afterschool special!?" the Blaziken said while trying to stand up, "Tell her to leave, or I'll arrest her myself!"
"Stay back, you blundering oaf" Snivy said as he got up, "Trip while on those tall legs and you'll crash to your death. I'll escort her out."

As they left the café, they heard yet another roar of laughter over something. Snivy looked back with disappointment in his eyes.
"I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean…" Eve said quietly, realizing that previous blush had been permanently plastered on her face.
"Yeah, I know, they're a rowdy bunch" Snivy said with sigh, "Give them a break. The Blaziken in there just lost his two best friends at the hands of Zerobi. I've never seen anyone drinking so heavily in my life."
"Oh…" Eve said, feeling sad.
"That Haunter lost her son only a month ago" Snivy said, choking up a bit, "We can't even find the body... This has to be our darkest moment ever… And t-there's not a damn thing w-we can do about it, except laugh and drink!"
"Mr. Snivy, are you…" Eve said, while looking closer at his face, "… Crying?"
"What? Hell no!" Snivy snapped back, while wiping his face, "This bandage itches, damn it!"

Another wave of laughter came from inside. Both of them became silent, for some reason remembering the crash of lightning that sounded when they both saw Zerobi on top of that rock. They both looked at the sky.

"Are you thinking about…" Eve asked.
"Yeah" Snivy responded, "Won't ever forget it."
"Now what happens?" Eve said quietly as a strong wind whisked by them.
"You…" Snivy said with a smile, "… Will go back to school, and unless you step out of line we won't be seeing each other again."
"Oh…" Eve whispered sadly, "So that's how it has to be…"
"You've still got your father, right?" Snivy said with a concerned voice, "And other friends?"
"Yes, I'll be fine…" Eve said while lowering her head, "Besides, there's still someone I have to reunite with…"

Now they both looked down at the ground. A few days ago they didn't even know each other, but now it felt like they shared something invaluable. Between a policeman and a schoolgirl, they both knew a separation would be certain. They didn't know whether they wanted to quickly run in separate directions, or stand next to each other in an attempt to delay the inevitable.

"Hey…" Snivy said in a low key after the long stretch of silence, "You know, I was watching that classic 'Explorers of Darkness' when I got called into work that day."
Eve perked up.
"I remember something about you being a fan…" Snivy said, feeling a bit uncomfortable, "Great movie. Really great. I've been itching to see the sequel 'Explorers of Sky' that premieres in three days from now."
Eve looked right at him.
"There's a theatre down in Saffron which is cool. Really cool" Snivy said, before deciding to get straight to the point, "… So, you going to be there or what?"
"Ah!" Eve said in surprise, blinking a few times. Then her face warmed up with a big smile.


Occult Magazine: Evolution's Gate
On the sixth day of autumn 2010, the cult known as Evolution's Gate was disbanded after police discovered the bodies of 47 of its members in the Cerulean Cave. The bodies had been modified in many gruesome ways, presumably leading to their deaths. During the disbandment, several of the remaining members resisted and had to be put down.

Our species is beyond understanding!
There is nothing we cannot conquer!
The elements shall bow before us!
Even among our own, we shall be the greatest!

- Unknown (Scribble found in Cerulean City, presumably from a cultist)

The Cerulean Cave is a home to many rumors and legends (See Occult Mag 6 'Mewtwo Too', 13 'Roaming Pokémon' and 17 'Man Of A Thousand Pokémon' for further reading on this!), although one must question where the line between fantasy and reality is drawn, and where fact and the occult meet. Even with such an event occurred in recent times, information is limited because the people related to the incident have all died.

What separates sanity from delusion?
Must the unknown always be met with confusion?
For only if you are unable to show result
Can it truly be referred to as the occult

- Zerobi (Excerpt from notes found at Cerulean Cave)

Zerobi was the ringleader of Evolution's Gate. She was a Weavile without any relatives, who was quite popular at the school she went to. A Pokémon of flesh and blood, she formed Evolution's gate under the ruse that it would let Eevee evolve into whichever elemental type they wanted to (See Occult Mag 5 'Eeveelutions - Still Evolving!' for further reading!). It is believed that she captured people's belief with the help of the fabled Halloweeon (See Occult Mag 25 'Ghostly Apparitions!' for further reading!). But instead, she was luring innocent Pokémon into the Cerulean cave where she would dismember them and hide their bodies in a secret room.

Zerobi presumably met with an untimely end in a conflict with the police. She was taken in to the morgue for an autopsy, but records show that the next day, Zerobi's body had disappeared. It was never found. A suicide note left by a police officer related to the incident claims that Zerobi was in fact alive, and had managed to escape.

Is Zerobi still out there? The police department refuses to answer our questions regarding the situation, claiming it as too much of a tragedy to revisit. But if we cannot revisit it, how are we ever able to learn from it? All that remains is what is left to our imagination and random speculation, as we cannot help but wonder what truly went on in the group known as Evolution's Gate.

Chapter End Notes:

YA-HA-HA! That's it! It's the very opposite of beginning - It's over! Life goes on, but for this story there's no tomorrow!

"Uh… Yeah. Now for the big debate…" Zerobi snickers, "Who was the main character?"

"Oh, come on, it's so obviously me" Snivy says smugly, "Competent, suave, funny…"

"… Spiteful, lazy, short…" Zerobi continues.

Who's the main character? Everyone is! What, I'm supposed to make the audience relate to a single character by pumping it full of millions of conflicting traits? I LOVE ALL MY CHARACTERS EQUALLY, DAMN IT!

"Whoa, calm down" Snivy says, looking reviled, "What the hell are you drinking?"

Well… I get drunk like twice a year, so I had to do some field research for that last scene in Spinda's… Place.

"… How is it?" Astrid asks, looking excited.

… Damn, you look foxy, ghost Eevee…

"Huh?" the ghastly, yet progressively attractive babe asks, "Me?"

C'mere, sit on my lap.

"Ew, no!" she shouts in what has to be compliance, "This is wrong!"

C'mon. I'll give you a name.

"… A name? Me?" the hot broad says, "After all this time?"

Sure. I'm drunk, and I don't *urrp* know what I might do!

"I mean, it is the last chapter, and I would love to have a name…" the sexy lady… kind of… tells me or something.

Stand up, ghost *ulp* Eevee! Henceforth *wobble*, you shall be known as M… M…

… M-Miss Bigglesworth…

"Oh crap, he fainted!"


"Someone wake him up, I don't even know who's talking anymore!"

"Umk, can you do something about this? The alcohol's poison, after all"

"I'll try, Smugleaf… Or Eve… Or whoever… Anyway, let's see…!"



… Why the heck does my face smell like ripe cheese?

"QUICK!" the ghost Eevee shouts at me with a panicked stare, "Say you undo it!"

… I undo… It?

"Hahaha! Perfect!" the ghost Eevee giggles while joyfully hovering around the room, "I have no name, I have no name…"

That's right! Now let's get drunk and have a big celebration!

"We already did that" Snivy says with a facepalm.

We did? OK, then… What do we do now?

"End the story?" Astrid says, lowering the spirits of everyone in the room.

"No! Come on!" Eve says, "Let's keep going all night!"

No, I'm afraid Astrid is right. Everything fun has to end sooner or later, and this is the story's end.
I guess… You all can weigh in on what you thought of it, or maybe you have something else to say. Here, if you have something to say I'll let you have the keyboard.

I am a colossal bonehead who takes pleasure in defiling the body of other men and shall do so forevermore.

… Snivy, stay the hell away from my keyboard! What do you mean "permanent marker", such a thing doesn't exist on computers! What the- It's not going away!? Oh, you little shit! Come back here!

All right, fine, I'll mark up who's talking first to avoid further confusion. Take it away, everyone!

Hello, everyone! I've got a secret that I've been keeping from everyone all this time… I'm the very same Eve as the one from the cancelled series "Just A Visitor"! Not only that, I've actually been featured in several different stories lately. Honestly, all the attention is getting to be a bit creepy. But I really shouldn't say too much, I guess my only regret is that I never got to show off my fighting abilities! When I evolve, I'll surpass all of these other people!
Oh, and there was hardly any romantic sub-plot with Snivy, which is a shame! I love those!

(On that subject, I've got more work lined up for you. Creepy as it may be. Actually, with what I've got planned it might be upgraded to 'distressing')

An amusing thought, indeed. And thus, in order to flourish your entertainment, here is a telegraphed sequence deciphering my romantic sup-plot with Eve.
"Hello, father of Eve!" I say.
"BURN!" father of Eve says.
"OH NO! I ARE BURN!" I say.
Funny, no? I saw a comic dealing with a similar subject on the Internet, and changed it around a little.
At any rate, I feel inclined to explain that I am far more verbose in writing than when I am translating myself into simple English for ease of understanding. Not to mention that transcribing my speeches would be a massive pain in the behind. Now, if you will be so humble as to pardon me, I shall take my leave to review the script once more, to assure myself that my dialogue remains unaltered.

(Snivy… You're killing me. You know English is not my first language. Why you gotta do this!?)

Oh, geez, I don't know what to write… Such an opportunity to really reach out to you people, but I really don't have anything to say. Uh, hi? Hello? Is anyone reading this? Oh! I guess you want to know what I thought of the story… Well, my role was the hardest! Since I've lived all my life in a cave, I had to constantly remember to not know about things on the outside. Scratch hardest - My role was bloody impossible! Luckily, my father was a well taught man, so I had heard about stuff like forests and such from him.

(I feel your pain, man. Oh well, at least you didn't curse up a storm like the last time, and I respect that. Keep your anger bottled up, and release it… Somewhere else)

Let me start by addressing what you're all thinking about - The massacre. I never even had an inclination towards retelling that part of the story. For only if you are unable to show result, can it truly be referred to as the occult, yadda yadda… The fact that you have no idea what really went on is what makes it so scary. How did I really die? How many did I manage to kill? Did I kill humans, too? Was Eve there? Lopunny who? Hahaha! Let me tell you one thing - Shit be whack, yo!
Apart from that, it's been a fun trip. I guess I died, but I got to kill a lot of people, so it kind of balances it out. And like every good movie villain, I'll only be dead until the sequel! See you all then!

(Did I hear someone say 'sequel'? It's going to be… IN SPACE! And it's going to be… EVEN BETTER! And it might actually... EXPLAIN WHO YOU REALLY ARE! Yeah, see you the next contest! Or maybe the next-next contest! OK, maybe not at all)

All right, that's it. Oh wait, there's one person I've yet to address. The reader - You.

… Sorry, but I really don't know who you are… Like, at all. If you have something to tell me, leave a review or something, maybe we can strike up a conversation, get a drink sometime, listen to some music, collaborate a story, earn millions, move in together, spend millions, create solo careers, try to write music even though we can't, enter alcoholics anonymous and never talk to each other again.

… But probably not. See you next time!

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