Case File: Raging Waves
By: Curtis Wildcat
Here's a quick break fom the main storyline. Back when the first "case file" for W-I? was posted, I'd claimed that there was going to be four such files: one for each of the trio, plus one for Deep Sea Dolphin; and I'd determined at the time that such files would be right in the story proper.
But recently after having gotten back into the Pokémon swing of things, Dolphin's introduction to Cerulean City suddenly became a lot more interesting to me. I have a lot swinging through my head about what could've happened, and I feel that I can't wait to have this material posted. Therefore, her 'origin' story (one of the aforementioned Case Files) is going to be considered a standalone fanfic that can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of W-I?, if need be. Hope you like what comes of it. Please review if you have any comments or questions, and keep any flames restricted to the barbeque grill.
Two minor notes: I'm not done with W-I? by any means; I'm just having a temporary bout of writer's block, is all. The chapters have been getting harder and harder to write recently, in part because of my overall lack of knowledge of Japan's people and culture-something which I'll need to remedy if I want to move the plot ahead.
And lastly, Slayers and Pokémon are the property of their respective owners and copyright holders.
A scream. Not the long drawn-out kind, but choppy. Broken. Rising and lowering in pitch, going back and forth across the scale and mixing with a repertoire of noises that would sound like they came from a human infant.
But they didn't come from any mortal spawn. No, they came from me. I, Deep Sea Dolphin, referred to with such titles as "Lord of the Deep", "The Ocean's Predator", and "Ancestor of All Lawyers" (this last one being a title I personally endorsed). I, one of Lord Ruby Eye's finest, reduced to a hovering, gibbering, shivering mess.
For the longest time, I was tormented by images that impressed themselves on my mind. The sights I saw would've gotten legions of representatives from all walks of life to beg for mercy, let alone the impact they could have on the mazoku mind (I won't spend all day describing them to you, although the vision of the dumpy people with oddly-shaped antennae worshipping a baby-faced sun should give you an idea of what I experienced).
At last, relief came. A shockwave of power, the sort of golden light and fury that could only be the Mother of All. Across the continents and through the oceans it came and went, harming none but easily recognizable to those who knew of such things. It was this power that penetrated my lair, washed over me, and whispered to me in a metaphorical way. The images faded, leaving only scars, and the next thing I felt was the marble floor of my lair.
Tired. Oh, so very tired.
I don't know how long it was since my mind was free and clear of its burdens. All I knew or cared about when it happened was that I didn't have a trace of power left in me-neither in my astral self nor in my physical self. And so I slept, and I dreamed for the first time in my existence. My dreams were... ...no, you do not need to hear them. It is not that they are all unsuitable for young ears (some of them are; I am a mazoku, after all), but that it would take too long to discuss them with you in detail.
What transpired after I fell victim to exhaustion but before I woke up I found out secondhand. Misty, this city's gym leader, was alerted in the middle of the night when I splashed down in the main part of the building. The gym's Pokémon were gathered around, raising a bit of a ruckus, although they quickly cleared away from the pool when Misty came in to investigate. I don't know what her reaction was, whether it was anger at a potential intruder or fear for another person's health; she never told me. Regardless of what it was, she'd dragged me out of the pool, dried me off and (after finding no trace of injury on my person) placed me in a guest room.
It took a bit of time for me to wake up; at first I was surprised that I was even awake at all, in light of how dead tired I still felt. My first impulse was to try and fall back asleep again, and I almost did...
GRAAAAAHHHHH, how can anyone sleep with that constant muttering in the background? Someone stop that yammering!
Whoever it was that was talking to each other didn't listen, so I reluctantly decided to pull myself together and give whoever it was a piece of my mind. A simple display of power should quiet them down-
Wait. Wait. Wait. I looked around, finally registering where I was. This isn't my abode or anyplace else that I know. This isn't my beautiful home! I took another look around, seeing the red-haired girl sitting in a chair just a few feet away. She was saying something, but I didn't hear her. This isn't my loyal minion! I took one last look, registering the little black box and the metal stick attached to it. This isn't any artifact that I know of!
The strange black box answered my thoughts aloud. "Same as it ever was... same as it ever was..."
I stared at the box cautiously in case it tried to engage me in conversation, almost daring it to backtalk to me. Such an oddity, I figured, only had to come about once in a lifetime. I didn't realize at the time how wrong I was, though.
"Excuse me? Miss, I asked if you are alright."
I sat up straighter and turned to regard the girl, my face so acidic that she impulsively took a step back. Asking ME if I'm alright? This little human has no idea who she's dealing with! I opened my mouth, intent on telling her as much-
No sound. None.
I tried again. Same amount of success as before-namely, zero. I was starting to feel a bit nervous now. I next attempted telepathy-the trick wasn't common with my kind, even amongst my four fellow servants of Lord Ruby Eye, but it could still be done. Girl, you will tell me what-
Halfway through the sentence, I realized that my mind hadn't established a connection. My nervousness was starting to become plain to see, if the confused look on the girl's face was any proof. My telepathy wasn't working, and no noise escaped my lips. I don't think too many people realize how important verbal communication is; facial expressions and body language can only take a person so far. How could this happen to me? Me, Deep Sea Dolphin of all people! How am I supposed to impose my will if I can't make myself understood?
There was a rather unfamiliar sensation. I looked down at my hands, noting that they were a bit sweaty. This feels almost too real. What I'm registering is foreign to me... although Xellos would probably recognize them, keeping in mind the extent of his masquerade. I silently cursed the ever-smiling priest and his chain-smoking boss in passing, but turned my thoughts towards my current situation before long.
I glared back up at the girl, silently demanding that she provide me with the reason for my predicament. She didn't have the look of a sorcerer, even a third-rate one-although granted it was rather dark outside, judging from my peripherial vision, so perhaps she had just awakened. Any power from her direction, however, didn't come from her but rather from the little egg-shaped bundle that she was carrying-the bundle that was staring at me sleepily. I had never seen such a creature in my entire existence.
The girl had realized by now why I wasn't answering her. "I'm sorry, Miss," she apologized contritely. "I should've realized that you wouldn't answer me if you were mute. Hold on a second." She turned and quickly rifled through a dresser, pulling out some paper and a writing utensil of some kind.
I stared at them for a second as they were offered to me, then hesitantly took them into my hands. Some part of me twitched at the touch of the items. This body is starting to feel much too human for my preferences... I set that thought aside for the moment, tested the writing utensil against the paper, then wrote a simple message in jet black cursive. -"Who are you?"-
"My name's Misty," she introduced herself after getting a glimpse of the words. "I'm the gym leader of this city. And you are?"
A gym leader? Is that anything like the captain of an army regiment? She didn't have the look of a soldier, either-a swimmer, certainly; that much was obvious to my senses-but not a soldier. Adding that to my list of questions, I decided to tell her who I was and see what sort of reaction I got. -"I am Deep Sea Dolphin,"- I wrote, -"and I am a mazoku."-
Any hopes that she would realize her error (namely, that she had picked the wrong person to summon) were dashed by the confusion that returned to her face. Now, I was certain that there were people in the world who had never heard of me, even if they were rare; wars were not easily forgotten. However, her look didn't say "that name reeks of power; I'd better watch my step"; it was telling me "what nonsense are you speaking of"? And, as impossible as it sounded, she had never heard of a mazoku before.
Even as I wrote down a short explanation for her, a feeling of dread settled into me. No speech. Unfamiliar surroundings. A singing black box. A body that was inexplicably human. The weird egg creature. The lack of knowledge on the girl's-Misty's-part...
And the complete lack of recognition that someone as beautiful as I-and yes, I've always been a bit vain-could be so dangerous, playful and cruel.
The final straw came when I tired of Misty's nonplussed look and decided to take in the sights of something else. I pushed off the bed that I was sitting on and walked to the window, analyzing my surroundings-
I barely noticed when I stumbled backwards, almost causing the girl and the egg creature to fall over. I caught myself on the dresser before I could do the same, my eyes wide. I suspect I would have audibly stuttered if my voice hadn't failed me. The stars... none of the patterns are familiar! Buildings aplenty, and even in the dark some gleamed with an unnatural light... indeed, even outside the buildings, there was illumination scattered about that reminded me of the basic Lighting spell. So bright! Creatures that looked an awful lot like moths (but at the same time so different that they could be considered a separate species even to untrained eyes) flitted through the sky towards some unknown destination. Others, much less identifiable, went about their nightly business. Such life!
I slowly turned to the black box that was still merrily singing away, regarding it with horror. The full extent of what Zelas and her priest have done-by Lord Ruby Eye, what has happened to me?
Where was I? Why was I lost? Forget this not being my lair-this wasn't even my planet!
This has to be a dream. This has to be.
Misty, who could only guess why I was shocked, looked out the window to see if anything was amiss before blinking concernedly at me and inquiring into my well-being. As if the oddities I was experiencing weren't enough, the feeling that I got from seeing this didn't cause me any discomfort. Well, it actually did, but not the kind that a mazoku would experience. This isn't right. This simply is not right!
The little egg creature chirped in Misty's arms, then decided it wanted to make my acquaintance. Jumping free of her and ignoring the exclamation of "Togepi!" ...The egg's name, unquestioningly... it waddled up to me and commenced with the squeaking, waving its little triangular arms every now and again. I was half-tempted to see if it would crack like an egg as I stared down at it sourly.
Misty took the matter out of my hands, picking the egg up and holding it a bit more securely. "Togepi..." A shake of the head. "I don't know whether to find you amusing or worrisome sometimes... so, they don't have Pokémon where you're from?"
THAT doesn't sound right either. I reclaimed the paper and pen, having dropped them a minute ago, and wrote a reply. -"What those Pokaymon things are can wait a moment. I all but told you that I was from another world. Shouldn't you be a bit more in awe?"-
"It was surprising, sure," Misty admitted. "But it's right up there with time travel, reality warping, and the Legendary Birds. The concept isn't hard to grasp, even if I don't get the whys and wherefores."
As she spoke I gave the girl another appraisal, an eyebrow raising. Okay, so maybe there's power there after all... but it's the kind that comes with experience as opposed to literal phsyical or magical might. She has seen things that most people go entire lifetimes without witnessing. -"I can give you that, I guess. Now, explain to me what these 'Pokaymon' animals are supposed to be, please."-
Gesturing at the bed-as much of a hint for me to sit back down and listen as any-she proceeded to give me a rundown, warning me that it was by no means a complete analysis. What she told me was that there were a couple hundred different species of various types, shapes and sizes. Some fully-grown Pokémon could cause firestorms and blizzards, or conquer the mightiest mountains with pure strength, or swim entire oceans without stopping to rest. People studied them, or otherwise co-existed with them peacefully, or even pitted them against each other for entertainment and fun; a lot of the industry here revolved around that last part. There was limited supervision in the form of a League, who made sure that none of the "trainers" cheated and that everything they needed was affordable.
She saved the description of a "gym leader" for last, and as I initially guessed they weren't soldiers by any means (with the exception of a person somewhere south of Cerulean). In summary, they "tested" people via Pokémon battles to determine whether they had what it took to compete in the League tournaments, and awarded badges to those who proved worthy. They weren't paid for it, much to my befuddlement, and instead had to find other means of supporting themselves while carrying out their duties.
When Misty yawned after finishing her explanation, I was reminded of how tired I still felt. Waving her off-and ignoring the momentary scowl she had at being dismissed like that-I decided to go back to sleep. Any further pondering could wait until my mind was fully refreshed.
Something clicked as my 'rescuer' left, and the little ball of light over my head disappeared. Shame that it didn't work on that noisy black box...
I've heard it said that humans often don't remember anything that they dream about, to the point where some claim that they never dreamed at all. I can't claim to understand the concept, but I do know that my sleep was uneventful. It was my awakening from sleep that made things interesting.
By the time I woke up, the sun was well over the horizon; the sunlight coming in through the window told me that much. I started to reach over and pull the curtains closed.
Body feels heavier... can't move.
There was something sitting on my chest and stomach. Something blue...with a mermaid's tail and the head of a tiny dog. It took all of my self-control to keep from blasting it away, but I didn't let my surprise show on my face for long.
I did another quick reevaluation of my situation. Here I was in unfamiliar territory with a body that was more human than mazoku, pinned down by a creature with unknown abilities. It's times like this that I miss all the scheming that came with the War of the Monsters' Fall. I mouthed some words at the animal, momentarily forgetting that my voice had betrayed me. 'Where's your master?'
The creature spoke in what sounded like a mangling of the word "vapor". I was in the habit of conversing with the sea life around my lair; the mermaid-dog must have been a close relative of the fish, because I could understand everything it said perfectly. I was momentarily taken back when its reply was intended as an answer to my question, which it heard as if I'd spoken it aloud. 'What master? I don't have any master. I have caretakers.'
The more I knew, I decided, the better off I would be. I resumed speaking silently with the creature...this "Pokémon". 'Caretaker, then. Where is she? The red-haired girl?'
'Battling a challenger,' the Pokémon simply said.
I decided that I had to see this battle for myself, if anything to cure my curiosity before I went the way of the proverbial cat. Putting a bit more effort into moving than I did before, I tried to push the mermaid-dog off of me but got nipped for my trouble. Don't like being touched, huh? Guess I'll just have to cheat. Experimentally, I attempted to shift onto the astral plane in preparation for a teleport.
The Pokémon landed with a thud on the bed as my presence vanished, reappearing a few feet away from the bed. Well, at least I can still do that. I smirked victoriously at it as I stood upright, enjoying that surprised look it had, then turned and walked out of the room. Finally I was away from that noisy black box!
I took my time trying to find where the battle was being carried out, choosing to explore. I was reminded again that this world wasn't my own, noting the construction style and some more of the suspended lights. The aquariums were nice to see, even though only a scant few of the life that I saw swimming in there was familiar to me. A few of the Pokémon swam up to the glass to study me interestedly, and I dignified their examination with a smile and a wave. It's nice to be acknowledged by your own element.
Abandoning the aquariums, I turned a corner and entered the arena where the battle was in progress. Finding a place to sit somewhere above and to Misty's left, I propped my legs up on the seats in front of me and wondered idly if popcorn existed in this world.
I've seen plenty of fights, so it was clear to me who the superior battler was. The challenger, whose face was such that you could stick him in a crowd and he'd just vanish, left in defeat with his large-toothed rat in tow-although he perked up momentarily when Misty encouraged him to try again another time. Not seeing me, the runty gym leader raised a little metal sphere at her starfish Pokémon, turned it into red light and sucked it up, then picked up Togepi off of a nearby chair and left the arena-
Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait wait wait. Did I just see that? Did I just see that? She doesn't have any magic powers-where'd that red light come from? Did that sphere do that? What manner of...
New things upon new things... this demands investigation. Maybe I should be questioning that child more thoroughly.
A white seal-like creature popped its head out of the pool, gazing at me like those Pokémon in the aquarium had before. It was joined by a little blue seahorse, a large purple spiked clam thing with a large tongue, and no less than a half-dozen others who seemed intent on assessing me.
Well. They obviously knew something good when they saw it. May as well show off a little. I stooped down, raised my arm over my head, and slowly brought it down towards the tiled floor. As the limb moved, my robes-well suited for stone and marble surroundings, but not for the architecture I saw around me-shifted into a long-sleeved blouse/dress and heeled shoes of varying shades of blue. This should do until I'm able to glean a better idea of the fashions around here.
The Pokémon chattered, sounding impressed. You haven't seen anything yet, folks. I stepped back, winding up for what was to be a display of power the likes of which this world had never seen. It didn't turn out according to plan, though.
You may be familiar with the fairy tale of Rapunzel, who had hair long enough for her lover to climb up a tower with (I don't know if that's devotion or idiocy). Aside from the problems with upkeep and weight-neither of which I've ever had difficulty with for obvious reasons-there's one real issue that keeps getting missed: length. I take great pride in my hair, and I keep it bound into twin ponytails to keep it from literally sweeping the floor whenever I walk.
My tresses, as I realized, must've come unbound during my long torment; how I missed this after I first woke up is beyond me. In sequence, my stepping backwards caused my new footwear to push down my hair; my head was yanked backwards, my feet flew out from underneath me, and I managed to flail and slip my way into the pool. Not exactly a performance that would win any awards, that's for sure. The whole batch of Pokémon started chuckling at this mishap.
For a moment, I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me; the expression didn't occur to me at the time, but looking back I can safely call it that now. Reorienting myself in the water, I felt a slight tingle at my shoulders; I placed my hands down on them firmly to get the sensation to stop, but it was replaced with the worst feeling of them all. Words can't accurately describe it even now, nor was it within my realm of experience... the best I can come up with is a sense of light-headedness. Water drifted into my throat, and I felt the sudden impulse to keep more from entering-both of my hands shielded my mouth...
...And suddenly I could breathe easily again. I could breathe. ...I can breathe? ...This isn't a trick, is it? Because if someone thinks that I suddenly require a need for oxygen...
I resurfaced long enough to expel the water that I'd accidentally inhaled, then dived back down. Again, there was that tingling sensation, but this time I tilted my head and tried to get the best angle of my shoulders as I could.
Gills. There was no mistaking them. A human body with gills... I was essentially a fishwoman without the fish. What's next? A fat orange dragon flying down to tell me the meaning of life? I altered the neckline of my blouse just enough so that they wouldn't get in the gills' way and swam back up to the surface, pulling myself out. The Pokémon, who had been watching me with various degrees of confusion (understandably), stayed out of my way.
A pair of red and white shoes occupied my vision, and I looked up to regard my "savior". She seemed both concerned and annoyed at the same time. The mermaid-dog was sitting somewhere behind her, looking on, but I didn't mind the creature at that moment. I offered her a smile, trying to let her know that it was all good.
It must not have come across the way I wanted it to. "Dolphin, what are you doing?" Misty asked harshly. "I just pulled you out of the pool, and now here you are back in it again! Are you deliberately trying to make yourself sick?"
Sick? No, I wasn't ill. A bit airy in the head, maybe, but not sick. Still smiling, I turned to sit on the edge of the pool and stared up at the ceiling.
There was a few moments of annoyed silence before her voice, a bit calmer, came through to me once more. "At least you changed into something else first. Come with me, please," she requested. "If you're going to be staying here, then we have work to do. We'll talk things over after you've had a bite to eat."
I had no intentions of "staying here". And I most definitely wasn't hungry. I knew that. Everyone else probably knew that.
My stomach certainly didn't. For a while afterward, the few people that were walking past the gym at that moment would claim that an earthquake had struck. Their claims would be denied as others made it known that those sorts of occurances happened every day...
End of Part One