Like "Pokemon Ark" and "Project Alpha", this is a joint project between myself and some other authors from Forumnation. The only parts I wrote myself are the ones where Katie is the narrator; with the others, I tidied up the spelling, punctuation, grammar and continuity, but that's about it. I tried to preserve the original author's style whenever possible.
The cast of characters and the authors who wrote their parts is as follows:
Katie: Chiquitita (me)
Rally: Yami Doragon
Steve: Sir Glenn
Matt: Galaxy Guy
I claim no part in actually writing the parts narrated by the other characters, but I did come up with the idea so, technically, it's my story. The other authors just helped me to write it.
OK, that's enough of author notes and disclaimers. Let's just get to the story.
Few people took the possibility of an alien invasion seriously until the glowing orb appeared over Goldenrod City, by which time it was already too late. I myself didn't think too much of it when I first saw it from my family's apartment; as far as I was concerned, it was probably just some unknown natural phenomenon. It seemed to hover over the city centre as if suspended on wires so fine that I couldn't see them, but it didn't occur to me then that it might be dangerous, even though there was a live news broadcast about it on TV.
"Scientists have been unable to explain this phenomenon, but the authorities in Goldenrod have warned against panic," said the newsreader.
But my Pokemon - Bellossom, Ponyta, Raichu and Ledian - seemed unusually restless that night and kept breaking out of their Poke Balls no matter how many times I put them back. In the end, I had to relent and allow Bellossom, Raichu and Ledian to climb into my bed. I was secretly glad of their company, though I wished Raichu would get his tail out of my face. Ponyta was too large so she stayed on the floor, curling her hooves under her body and sleeping with one eye open.
The next day, I was woken by Maxine (my nine-year-old sister) charging into my room and belting me with her pillow. "Katie! Get up now!" she yelled. "Something funny's going on!"
"What's funny?" I mumbled drowsily as my Pokemon woke with a start. It didn't occur to me at that moment that anything was amiss. True, it did seem a little quiet outside, but, then again, it was Sunday. But, as I listened more closely, I began to realise that this was no ordinary quiet Sunday. This was a deathly hush . . .
"Mum and Dad are gone - missing!" Maxine informed me. "And there's nothing on TV!"
"There never is on a Sunday," I said, wondering what exactly she was getting at.
"No, I really mean it. All the TV stations are off the air." To prove her point, Maxine grabbed the remote which operated the TV in my room and started channel surfing. Again and again, no matter how many buttons she pressed, the same words popped up: Signal Not Available. I tried my radio and got nothing but static on every station I tuned it to; it was then that I realised something serious must be going on. But what?
Since the house was still intact, the electricity was on and I could see no sign of ruins outside my window, it obviously wasn't a nuclear holocaust. But that only served to deepen the mystery. What could have happened to cause this total media blackout? And where were our parents? I found it hard to believe they had just vanished, but a quick peek into their room told me they had. The bedclothes were scattered over the floor, but there was no trace of Mum or Dad.
At length, Maxine came and stood beside me. "Katie, I'm scared."
I put my arm around her and hugged her reassuringly. "I know," I said. "I'm scared too. I've checked all over the apartment and the front door key's in the blue vase where it always is. If Mum and Dad had gone for an early-morning walk, they'd have taken it with them. Anyway," I went on, "it looks like we're on our own now. Let's get some breakfast and go see if we can find out what's going on in town."
Little did I realise as I fed the Pokemon and got the packet of cornflakes out of the cupboard and poured the contents into bowls for myself and Maxine that this was the last time we would have a day that was even remotely normal. Our lives and those of our friends would soon be changed forever because of that glowing orb that had appeared in the sky. At barely seventeen years old, I was living in a changed world.
I jumped up with a rush of adrenaline, tossing sheets and covers askew in my mad leap out of bed. I smacked the off button on my alarm as I practically ran for the bathroom.
"What in the world are you doing?" asked a sarcastic voice in my head.
"What's it look like? I'm getting ready for class!"
I stopped with the toothbrush halfway to my mouth. "What'd you say?"
"You forgot to turn the alarm off, silly human!"
I automatically threw the closest object at hand, a bar of soap, at the sarcastic Espeon. She dodged the soap automatically and continued making comments as if nothing had happened. "Jewel," I said, "one of these days, I'm going to put you in that Poke Ball, wrap it in duct tape and give it away to the first trainer I see. Someone has to have better idea of how to put up with you." She merely grinned mischievously and wandered out of the room and downstairs, probably to annoy my other Pokemon.
"Oh, well . . . Since I'm already up, I might as well have some breakfast. Waffles, maybe?" I thought as I wandered down to the kitchen.
Shadow and Firestorm had already helped themselves to the contents of the refrigerator. I petted my faithful Umbreon and Ninetales as I tried to find something to eat. After a few minutes of digging around in the freezer, I managed to find some frozen waffles. I was putting them in the toaster oven when I heard a Pidgeot's cry outside the window. I slid the pane up and leaned out of the window to see my Pidgeot wheeling in lazy circles over the house. He landed in a rush of dirt and dust a few moments later. I had gone out to meet him and covered my face to protect myself from the debris. "Watch it, Merlin! You trying to choke me to death?" I joked.
But one look into Merlin's eyes told me something was seriously wrong. He gestured towards the house and I took the hint. The other Pokemon had sensed that something was amiss and filed in behind us as we moved into the living room. Kita, my Persian, was already there. I fingered Miyoko's Pokeball at my belt. I'd have to explain everything to my Lapras later; Miyoko was young, but still not small enough to be comfortable in the already crowded living room.
My Pokemon and I stared in silence at the myriad of inaccessible TV stations before I finally voiced what most of us were thinking. "So what does this mean?"
Jewel seemed to be lost in thought for a minute before she answered. "Merlin says that all the adults are gone."
"No, you can't take . . . You'll never take . . . NOOOOOOOO!" I could feel myself being dragged further and further down.
"Hey! Wake up, Vicky! Wake up!" he shouted right in my ear. Older brothers, you love to hate them.
"I'm awake," I mumbled. "I just like lying . . ." I ended up falling asleep once again. I felt myself being taken down the stairs and began shouting and kicking, before he decided to put me down.
"You saw the lights in the sky last night, right?" he asked.
Like everybody else in Goldenrod, I had seen them, but I thought they were lights for a new show. "Well, they aren't," my brother told me. "They're aliens. And our parents have gone missing."
At first, I thought he was kidding, but I could see how serious he was by the expression on his face. "Right," I said as I turned to walk out of the door. "Let's go check the Poke Mart . . ."
I turned round to see he had gone. My blood felt like ice as I realised that he had disappeared like my parents.
"This isn't good," I thought while looking around.
Tiger, my Pikachu, was growling and his fur stood on end; something had spooked him and the others last night.
"Bad," Shin whispered as he walked back up to me, his dark purple tails twitching. "Bad! Bad! Bad!" Shin continued on that one thought.
"I know it's bad Shin . . ." I began.
"Bad! All the adults are gone!" Shin screeched in my head, making me cry out in pain as I fell to my knees. Everything swirled before Shin broke off the mental contact, his dark cobalt blue eyes locked onto my own. I stood up, only to have Tiger launch himself into my arms, sniffing my face and arms to assure himself that I was fine.
"I'm all right, Tiger," I told the Pikachu. He rubbed his head under my chin, before climbing up onto my shoulder. "Shin," I added, "how many times have I told you . . .?"
"Shush! Quiet!" Shin cut in.
"Then why . . .?"
"Bad! Bad things are happening!" Shin said stubbornly. I groaned in disgust, smacking my head repeatedly. Not even Sabrina could handle this Espeon's stubbornness, but at least my Charizard and Lapras were strong enough to take care of anything that might try to attack us. And Titan, even though she didn't listen to me that much, would be able to knock just about anything out. Nothing is stupid enough to mess with a full grown Tyranitar. That left Aura, a Chikorita I had saved, but she wasn't that strong and she was still very shy and uneasy around strangers.
"Rally," Shin said softly, gaining my attention.
A wince spread across my features as Shin kept the contact. Sabrina had probably given the Espeon to me because of my abilities. She said I was strong and I just needed someone to help with the power, but that still didn't explain why it hurt so. "What?" I asked.
"Follow me," Shin replied as he started to walk off.
I was enjoying a shampoo commercial when the screen suddenly went black. At first, I thought it was a power outage, but then Kelly Lopez, the anchor for the news channel, appeared on the screen.
"We apologize for the inconvenience," she began. "The city of Goldenrod has been put under an alert. All citizens are advised to board up entrances to their homes and take any security measures possible. The lights above the city have been confirmed as being of extraterrestrial origin. Please stay calm, stay indoors and keep a radio nearby at all times. Thank you for watching KRTV, with the latest news on Goldenrod City: Alien Attack." Letters flashed on the screen to show the heading of what the news station apparently deemed a catchy title.
Sad that they were thinking of such trivial things at a time like this, I thought. If this were a movie, those imbeciles would be lucky to get two stars. "A poorly scripted movie at that," I said to my Skiploom, Difoo.
"No! Go away!"
I stood on top of Goldenrod City's tallest building. All around me, many creatures hovered, glowing faintly. It was a beautiful sight, but it was so cold and I was scared. No matter how beautiful it all seemed, I had a feeling of danger. They were watching me, their blood red eyes piercing, and then they laughed, an eerie almost maniacal laugh. In a matter of seconds they all flew upward, creating a big shiny light that hovered just above the city. All of the adults from Goldenrod were being sucked inside the blinding light.
Shocked, I watched as my own parents were lifted up and sucked inside. Out of the light, one of the creatures hovered towards me. My body froze; I couldn't move. I watched as the creature finally stood in front of me and took my arm. "No! Go away!" I heard myself scream.
It didn't answer. It only looked down at me with those red eyes. I was being hypnotized . . .
My eyes snapped open and I took a strong gasp for air. I raised my hand to my forehead and realized I was sweating and cold. I rolled to the left side of my bed and sat on the edge. I had been having pieces of that nightmare for the last two months. It started with the glowing creatures and kept advancing. I knew it wasn't just a normal nightmare from the first time I had it. Daddy was always sure it was just a nightmare, but what if he was wrong? Just thinking about it made my body tense.
I glanced at my clock. The glowing red digits flashed 3:07 AM and shiver ran down my spine; it reminded me of those eyes. But I was probably wrong. Nothing could ever go wrong today. It was Mommy and Daddy's anniversary. But, when I dreamt about the blinding light above Goldenrod, it happened . . .
I quickly jumped off the bed and ran to their room. Maybe it was all a coincidence. I was going to open the door and wake up my parents like any other kid would after having a terrible nightmare. I'd cry in Mommy's arms and she and Daddy would let me sleep between them, caressing and comforting me. I crossed my fingers as I opened the door.
The last thing I remembered was Daddy's Alakazam, Al, and Mommy's Espeon, Ruby, dashing towards me before I was enveloped by a comforting darkness. Mommy and Daddy were missing.
As Maxine and I walked around the deserted streets of Goldenrod, we noticed that we were the only people about. And that worried me; there was no way an entire city would be having a Sunday lie-in. Besides - I checked my watch - it was already one o'clock in the afternoon. We had been walking round for hours and we still hadn't seen anyone. Even the Pokemon Gym was deserted and there was usually at least one trainer out to win a Plain Badge. Its door was unlocked, but there was no sign of anyone inside; the stadium stood empty, completely devoid of trainers.
"Let's try the Pokemon Centre," I told Maxine. "Maybe someone there will know what's going on."
She nodded and we headed in the direction of the building, both of us anxious to know what was happening but, at that point in time, not suspecting that aliens might be responsible. I checked the Poke Balls in my pocket - Ponyta, Raichu, Bellossom and Ledian - partly to reassure myself that my Pokemon were all right and partly to give myself something else to think about.
When we arrived at the Pokemon Centre, there was no sign of Nurse Joy.
I couldn't return to my house last night so I stayed in the Poke Mart since no-one was there.
I woke the next morning and squinted as the sunlight poured right into my eyes. I got up off the seats, walked out of the door and looked around. Instead of the usual noise of the crowds, there was silence.
"Oh well," I thought to myself. "I might as well try the Pokemon Center."
I drifted up to the Pokemon Center and slid open the doors to see two girls sitting on seats. "H - hi," I said nervously. I could see the smaller of the two grab hold of her companion's arm tighter. "No, it's fine. I'll go." I'd begun walking out when one of them called out to me.
"Wait! Come back!" I turned around before she continued. "I'm Katie," she said. "And this is my younger sister, Maxine. You are?"
"My name's Vicky," I said as I began walking over to take a seat.
I had followed Shin for what seemed like an eternity. "Shin!" I whined. I never whine unless I have a good reason to - and walking around for nearly eight hours without rest is one thing worth whining about. "Where are we going?"
"We're already there," Shin replied as he sat down, his two tails curled around his paws. He turned his head and looked at me with half-lidded eyes. "It's safe; there are others here."
Tiger had long since returned to his Poke Ball so it was me and a stubborn Espeon. With a heavy sigh, I followed Shin into the Pokemon Center and was amazed to see only three other kids. For the first few seconds everybody had the Stantler-caught-in-headlights look.
The oldest girl calmed down first. "Hi! I'm Katie and this is Maxine," she said, motioning to the girl clinging to her arm.
"I'm Vicky," the third girl said, holding out her hand. When all she received was a raised eyebrow, she laughed nervously and scratched the back of her head.
"The name's Rally." I said flatly, pointing to the Espeon by my feet. "And that purple fuzz ball is Kaioshin, but you can call him Shin. Do any of you know what's going on here?"
To my horror, the television set went black. I tried not to blink, so I would not miss a sign that the station was back on the air and Difoo mimicked me. He sat still for so long that, when a draft blew in from the air conditioning, he was blown right off the couch. It was this precise moment that I realized the television would not be coming back on shortly. Mouth agape, I jumped off the couch and on top of the television, screaming and banging. A couple of violent kicks and the screen should be back in no time . . .
"Skiploom?" Difoo looked at me and laughed. It sounded more like a statement than a question; Difoo had strange issues like that.
I was aching all over. How long had it been since I'd gotten up? And Why was I neglecting everything but the television? I couldn't even remember . . . Difoo was was sitting in my popcorn bowl. "You ate the last of my popcorn!" I exclaimed.
Diffo blinked and continued to struggled against the Popcorn Bowl of Death. This, unfortunately, appeared to be a losing battle as, no matter what Difoo rubbed against, it made no difference. And, in case you're wondering, all my efforts to revive the television were useless. With a resigned sniff, I sat down to think.
Difoo plunked down on the floor in distress, letting out a sigh. I had the strangest idea that he looked like he was floating in a boat upon the ocean. I chuckled at this thought, but Difoo ignored me. After sitting like this for a while, he suddenly let out a small exclamation and began to poke the popcorn bowl. He tried, really he did - the fact was, he could not reach. "I don't think that's going to work," I told him, cracking a smile. Once again, Difoo's retard portion was acting up. He interpreted this as encouragement and began to reach for the popcorn bowl, straining until he finally realized his arm wasn't long enough. He let out a cry and then it appeared something clicked in his brain: if he moved to face the bowl, he'd have a better chance of getting it off.
If I'd had any common sense and hadn't been gasping for air amidst laughing, I would have told the poor creature that you cannot face your own bottom. Difoo spun around, but the popcorn bowl moved just beyond his reach. "Difoo, there is only one way to defeat the Popcorn Bowl of Death," I said. "Do you remember?" Then I noticed that the door to my apartment was open . . .
I sprang to catch Difoo who saw me in midair, arms outstretched and an evil look upon my face. Difoo shrieked and tried to leap away, but I barely caught his little green leg. "Gotcha!" I laughed as I kindly relieved him of the popcorn bowl. "Difoo, listen," I said. "Orli, that wonderful Pokemon of mine, has gone off and deemed it a good idea to terrorize some poor neighbor of ours. Keep in mind it is very, very late and you know what the landlord said about it happening again . . ."
I ran to the cupboard and grabbed bandages, band aids, cotton and all the items which could possibly be needed. This plan included lime-flavored power bars, Difoo's own invention. Using them was risky, but Difoo and I really had to get this done with as little pain as possible. Because, when it all came down, Orli (my Wooper) wasn't a spiffy character . . .
Orli and Difoo walked behind me in silence. It had been easier than usual; to my surprise, the Wooper had only given chase for about five minutes before starting to dance, sure she had finally won. But Difoo and I had caught Orli before she wreaked havoc on someone's garden. Dancing, though disturbing, was at the least a less dangerous side effect to her insanity. Orli, Difoo and Lizzie - that's us, probably the strangest, most demented Pokemon and trainer team that ever was.
The roads were empty tonight. And then, I heard the sharp whistling sound of wind between the tree branches, a sound which was normally drowned by the night life of Goldenrod. And the entire city was darker than I was comfortable with. I shuddered and pulled on my fleece with a nervous chattering of teeth. Why was I so afraid? I didn't know what I was meant to be afraid of, but there was something I knew I was supposed to fear, out here in the darkness. But what? I didn't want to know.
Rain clouds appeared in the distance and I feared them dropping their witch's brew upon me, but I feared even more the silence. Rows of classy urban stores fronted the street. I walked down the sidewalks and gazed at the beautiful items, my footsteps conspicously loud. The street lights had all been dimmed. The silence rang in my ears like an echo. Though I tried to hear and see, my senses were no longer an asset but a hindrance to understanding. In this silence, how would the Pokemon Center be open? Would they even be open?
A lump rose in my throat. It was as if I, Lizzie Ann Patterson, was the last person alive in Goldenrod. What could have caused this mayhem of nothing? The fear rose again in my heart. I lifted my eyes to the sky, praying for a sign. It was one of those times when none of the options were good, but two were far worse than the other. Something about Goldenrod being so abandoned scared me.
In the distance, the shining light from the Pokemon Center swept across the road. Though horribly dim, it blasted into my eyes. I quickly covered them so I could see; I had been in darkness so long that the light was blinding. I broke into a run as I approached the Center and, only when I brought out my hand to open the door did it hit me that the walk through Goldenrod had scared me so painfully. It wasn't the city in itself but the eerie feeling I couldn't place, that I had never felt before. The Pokemon Center still had its aura, that aura of familiarity and safety it always had. I pulled back the door handle, but it was locked.
Everything in me was numb as I sank to the ground. I brought Difoo and Orli closer to me for warmth which neither of them possessed. My eyelids were heavy, but I insisted on staying awake, paranoid of all possibilities of what could happen if I slept. Goldenrod had never seemed a more frightening place. A chill moved down my spine as thunder rolled across the city and I began to grow desperate. I jumped to my feet and faced the door. Curling my hands into fists, I banged on the glass. "Let me in! Let me in!" I yelled.
I could have kept banging, but tears began to fall from my eyes and I withdrew my hands from the glass, instead using them to wipe my eyes. Orli let out a sad little cry of sympathy and, with sheer depression, I began to bawl. Everything had become so hopeless. Difoo and Orli moved up against me, not for warmth but for comfort. They looked at me with sad eyes and I hugged them. A sharp noise broke me from the trance-like sorrow which had held me fast. Momentarily throwing my emotions aside, I jumped up.
"Er, hello?" someone called from behind the door.
"Please, help me!" I pleaded. A tear fell down my cheek, leaving a salty trail that shone in the sudden light from within.
"Come in," the girl said, smiling sweetly. I nodded to my Pokemon, then walked inside.