A/N: Sorry, no review responces this time because decided to log me out while I was working on them, and so I couldn't save them.
The Lost Eon: Part Four: The Dream
The pain was everywhere. All the parts of her body either ached or stung, or both in the worst places. All that Perdita could do, however, was whimper instinctively and lick her cuts. At least she was safely back inside her cage, and, even more rewardingly, at least she had won. After a month of winning most of her battles, she had fallen into a slump recently. It wasn't really her fault, though, as the opponents had been getting stronger, but she still feared that the humans were getting upset with her. Luckily, she had managed to win today, which meant that she would be rewarded by her human caretaker and not punished. That was definitely worth the pain to her, since it was the only time that she ever got anything really nice.
Unfortunately, it was usually a long time between her training and her reward. She didn't know what it was that he did during this period, but all she could do about it was wait. After all, it wasn't as if she could call for him or seek him out. He was off doing his work, and she was alone in her little cage. Perdita lowered her ears a little at this thought. It wasn't that she minded being in the enclosure, with its soft blanket, food and water, and the comfort of her own scent. What bothered her was that the only time she was really allowed to run around was when she was training, and that was too harsh and painful to get any enjoyment out of.
There was another reason that she hated being confined, but it was something that was simply a feeling with no ascertainable source. It wasn't the only feeling like that, either. There were plenty of times that she would suddenly not be interested in things that she usually was or unusually interested in things that she normally wasn't. There was the time that she felt sick about her own food, even though it was no different than usual. Also, that time where she was taken into the human work room, she had tried to play with the thing that made human symbols. She didn't know why things like that happened, but she had learned to just accept these occurrences.
In fact, it was often these strange thoughts and feelings that helped her win in her training. Whereas her first instinct when faced with a stronger opponent would be to either run or blindly attack, she knew it would be useless and so ignored such urges. Instead, she would watch its movements as much as possible, learning how to read them to determine what attacks it would use. Not that that always worked, but it seemed to do her more good than running around and attacking randomly out of fear. Another of her own methods that was strange to her was how she would try to distract the enemy with talk so that she could attack. Most were usually unwilling to even respond, though (and Perdita wondered if some could even understand her), but it did throw them off a little whenever she first tried it in a battle. These sorts of tactics, although weird, were usually effective. As such, despite not understanding them completely, she used them.
She tried to, at least. Sometimes she couldn't control her own emotions, getting upset for no real reason. When that happened, she couldn't help but lash out at anything that disturbed her. Such outbursts didn't usually end well for the young eevee, though, as what disturbed her was, more often than not, the hand of a human. She had gotten plenty of punishment for those episodes, though she had never been able to prevent it. Even now, she could almost feel that urge to be outside growing into a rage at being confined. It was still small, though, making it easy to manage and suppress, therefore preventing her from losing control and doing something bad. It was always hard to resist that part of her, but she did the best she could. After all, it wasn't even really her. It was just some voice in the back of her head that tried to force her into doing things that she didn't want to. She wouldn't let herself be taken over by such a thing.
Unusual temperament problems aside, Perdita was content at the moment. She often was, so long as her training had gone well. The part of her mind that she saw as dark often seemed to be unsettled by this contentment, only giving the eevee more of a reason to enjoy it. The feelings in her mind could protest all they wanted, but she wouldn't be denied her relaxation. It was one of the reasons that she loved getting petting as a reward. Not only was it the ultimate form of relaxation for her, but it also made the dark voice get quieter. She hopped that her caretaker would come soon so that she could get some. It was always so boring to have to wait for him.
The eevee yawned and rested her head on the blanket. Sleep didn't make the dark voice quieter, but it was something to do while she was waiting, at least. Closing her eyes, she let her body relax on the soft blanket. Although thoughts of a nice petting were what she tried to think about as she drifted off, her mind would occasionally wander to what the dark voice was telling her. She would then have to pull herself from those thoughts and go back to thinking about nice things. This back and forth didn't last too much longer, though, as the rough battle she had had soon made her fall fast asleep.
Re: Status Report of Subject Perdita
Dylan Yune, Director of Project Eon
Simon, please realize that I understand your concerns completely. I know better than anyone how much scrutiny the EX Project is getting from the boss. We have enough data to keep him happy without telling him about Perdita, though. Besides, do you really want to tell him that we conducted unauthorized experiments and forged employee records? I'm sure we'll have another success soon enough. I've heard that EX-005 has been progressing nicely, if not quite as quickly as Perdita.
As for those rumors, they're just that. You know as well as I do that the DX Project was shut down. I doubt the boss would get rid of everyone who worked there if he was going to continue it. As for this talk about strange artifacts, that's even more ridiculous. I swear, Simon, you're supposed to be a man of science. You shouldn't be letting the meaningless talk of a few grunts be getting to you like this. Project Eon is still Team Rocket's primary program for our type of research. Don't let anyone make you think that we need to jeopardize our careers to save the project.
Now then, getting down to the real business at hand, I'd like to talk about our little eevee. It's been a month since I allowed you to keep her for your own experiments. So far, the reports have looked good, but words can only tell me so much. That's why I'll be paying the two of you a visit today at 6:00 for a personal inspection of her process. I expect you to be ready.
Simon looked at his watch. 5:23. He had less than an hour to get Perdita ready for her inspection, and the email had only just been sent by the director. The professor sighed a little, re-reading the email one more time. It was almost as if Yune was trying to prevent him from succeeding. Why couldn't the director see her for what she really was; the greatest scientific achievement of either of their Rocket careers. Surely that would more than make up for their unauthorized activities. Simon couldn't understand why he insisted that she be hidden away like she was just some waste of resources. "Well, I'll just have to show him that she /is/ a success worth noting!" he decided to his empty office, pounding his desk a little with a fist to emphasize his point. Then, with a glance at the screen showing a peacefully sleeping Perdita, he started collecting all the relevant documents.
Perdita looked curiously around the room. She had just been happily playing happily in a field, but now she seemed to be back in her room. One thing was different, though; she was out of her cage! Eyes wide in excitement, she was about to explore the room when something stopped her. Her ears twitched a little as she heard an unusual sound. It sounded almost like human words, but they didn't sound as strange or as loud as her caretakers'. Following the voice, the eevee sound found herself at her own cage. Instead of it being empty like she expected, though, there was something moving inside of it.
When she looked closer, she was surprised to find that it was actually a female human. At a fourth of the eevee's height, it was obvious that this was no ordinary human. Other than her size, though, there wasn't really anything that odd about her. At about the age of 18 or 19, she had shoulder-length brown hair and dark brown eyes. She seemed particularly skinny, even for her size, and her pale skin was littered with a moderate amount of dirt and scars. Although her hair had been tied back into a ponytatail, some strands had come loose of the band and were hanging haphazardly next to her face. In contrast to her dirty and disheveled appearance, her clothes were stark white and devoid of any dirt or emblem, as if she had just gotten them moments ago. Although Perdita didn't recognize the girl, something about her seemed familiar. The eevee didn't remember meeting any such human before, though.
The little human's expression, rather than being one of fear at seeing the giant eevee, was a mix of relief and annoyance with a dash of hope. "It's about time you got here!" she called up to the pokémon, using a voice that was just as vaguely familiar as her appearance. "I've been shouting for help for awhile, you know!"
The eevee cocked her head to one side as she continued to stare at the human in curiosity. "What are you doing in my cage?" she asked simply, seemingly ignoring the girl's words.
"I was trapped in here by a very bad man," the human replied, "and I'd really appreciate it if you'd get me out."
Perdita shook her head in response. "I'm afraid I can't do that, little human. If you're in there, then only your caretaker can take you out. If I were to let you out, then we would both be doing something bad. Besides, it can't be that bad in there. I always liked being in there, except for the fact that I didn't have much room, but it's a lot bigger for you than it was for me." The pokémon smiled at the woman encouragingly.
The little human just stared for a moment, seemingly processing what she was just told. That stare soon turned to glare, followed by a frantic shaking of the cage's wire and her shouting, "Damn it, Perdita! Let me out!" The girl was definitely angry, but also showed some signs of being plain afraid. Unfortunately for the girl, it was only the anger that Perdita picked up on, and it was the anger that she recognized.
"Hey!" the eevee shouted, suddenly looking a lot more threatening. "That's the dark voice in my mind that tells me to do things that my caretaker doesn't like! That means that you're the one that tells me those things! You… You've made him shock me before!" Unable to contain her negative feelings, the pokemon rammed into the cage, causing the woman to be tossed back inside of it. Before she could ram the cage again, though, she heard another voice. This was the one of her caretaker!
Turning around, she saw the man standing in the doorway of the room. He was talking to her, telling her, "It's alright Perdita. It's okay. It's just a bad dream. You can wake up now." She didn't really pay attention to his words, though. Smiling widely, she forgot all about the bad little human and ran to him. He immediately picked her up and began to pet her, and she felt herself drifting away, never even noticing that her attack on the cage had broken the latch on its door.
When Perdita opened her eyes again, she found herself back inside her own cage without any tiny humans. The hand of her caretaker was reaching in and petting her as he, himself, smiled down on her. "There you go, Perdita. Everything's alright now. You're awake." His hand slowly moved down until it was under her, and it carefully lifted her up and out of the cage. "You've got a special visitor today," he continued casually as he carried her toward the exit in his arms. "He's come to check on your training personally. His name is Director Dylan Yune."
And somewhere deep inside Perdita, a small, dark, human voice said, "No…"