She was right, there wasn't any noise. My fur bristled instinctively, and I looked around. In fact, I couldn't see anything moving in the trees either. Normally when we went to visit Jasmine, there were Pidgeys and Caterpies and Weedles everywhere in the trees. There wasn't anything on the ground either, aside from us. I grew nervous and shrank back closer to Shiori. She must've noticed that something was wrong too, because her pace slowed down significantly. Where had the Pokemon gone? The entire way to Olivine, there was nothing. Not a single Pokemon, not a single trainer. As we approached the final stretch before the city, Shiori shrieked. Flames exploded from my back once again out of fright, and only when I forced them to die down did I notice why.
There were six more trees down the road before us, and on each tree, was a corpse of a Pokemon, hung there in exactly the same way as Espeon was. Their mouthes were all open, and for a moment I believed that their eyes were black, but upon closer inspection, I noticed something that made my blood run cold. Their eyes had been torn out and were oozing down their faces like...like jelly. I swung around to look back at Shiori to see that she had fallen to her knees, her eyes were huge and instantly began to fill with tears. "W-what kind of monster would do this?" She whispered and her entire body began to tremble furiously. "These poor innocent little creatures. They didn't deserve this...Espeon didn't deserve this." Gently I pushed her leg with my forehead, trying to get her to keep walking, but she couldn't budge. I kept trying, and only after I sent a little ember onto her thigh did she snap out of it with a high pitched yelp.
We crept along the path slowly, and by the time we got to the city, the sun had set. We dared not make a noise. Not even little Pichu, who had been set upon my back after our little encounter. The little mouse was almost vibrating from how horrified he had become, and aside from the strong shaking, hadn't moved a bit. I grew worried. "Pichu? Are you alright?" No reply. "Pichu...?" Still, nothing. I turned to look back at him, and found him staring into nothing, his eyes huge yet clouded over. I wiggled an ear at him, to try and get him to snap out of it. "Pichu? Hello?"
"Is he alright?" Flareon chimed in.
"No, he isn't. I think he may have suffered so much shock that he can't see. I really have no clue. Let Shiori hold him, and walk with me, please."
She wiggled out of our trainers warm embrace and landed softly on the ground. She plucked Pichu off my back by one of his huge ears, and held him up like a mother would hold her kit, allowing Shiori to take him.
"Poor thing's going to be traumatized for the rest of his life," I mumbled quietly, and brushed my side against Flareon's in an attempt of gaining some comfort.
"I still cannot believe this is happening. What sort of higher entity would allow innocent-"
"W-where's the light?" Shiori's tiny voice broke through, and we turned around to look at her. "T-The lighthouse. Where's the light from the lighthouse? Amphy's always got it started up by the time the sun goes down. C'mon you two, we have to hurry." She set off at a sudden sprint down the road and we hurried after her. Winding through the streets, we nearly collided into numerous people who cursed at us for being so clumsy, but that wasn't nearly important. Nearly drifting around a corner, we were nearly at the lighthouse when a horrible scream erupted from a short ways down the road. We arrived and found Jasmine on her knees, her hands together and against her chest, and her attention turned upwards to the outside of the lighthouse. A thick streak of red ran down the side of the building, and at the top of the streak, was Amphy. A single black spike protruded from her body, straight through the torso. I squinted my eyes to try and see better, and I noticed that there was a large splatter of blood near the top of the streak. Wincing slightly, I realized that not only had Amphy been killed, but the creature that did it topped it off by crushing her skull.
Jasmine was sobbing loudly nearby, letting out painful wails every so often and rocking back and forth on the ground. Shiori had her arms around her friend, trying to comfort her in silence. Flareon and I watched them quietly for a few long moments until Jasmine couldn't cry anymore, simply convulsed with her silent, tearless sobs. "Come, Jasmine. Let's go to the Center so you can lie down and we can talk. There's nothing we can do now." She helped her up off of the floor and led her down the road. We followed cautiously behind them a bit. "Poor Amphy, all she ever did was help the people here. This is getting really messed up, Quilava." Flareon whispered. I nodded my head and shuddered slightly. "I agree. But what I don't understand is why. What is supposed to be gained from killing Ampharos? This thing doesn't seem to have a true pattern to its targets. Like it's just doing it for the fun of it."
"But what Pokemon would start a massacre just for fun?"
"Gengar and his previous forms?"
"I don't think so. They just like to be creepy, lay curses, and suck out your life force. They don't crush skulls."
We found ourselves at the Pokemon Center rather quickly. Jasmine was muttering to herself over and over again her apologies to Ampharos, making all of us feel awful. Clearly she felt guilty, having not been with the electric pokemon. The two had always been inseparable, with Jasmine visiting up to four times a day if she didn't have any challengers at her gym. But it seemed that today, she had missed her visit, and was blaming herself for it now.
"There wasn't anything you could've done, Jasmine. Don't blame yourself." Shiori told her softly, "Now come."
They were making their way to the front doors when a terrible ripping noise echoed through the area. Looking up, all of us, a massive shadow appeared high in the sky, but it was far too dark to tell what it was. The air turned cold and heavy, pushing me down like a weight on my back. Flareon instinctively began to hiss at the creature, and I flared up like a miniature sun. The beast payed no attention to us, however, and began to charge up a ball of energy. Without a moments hesitation, Shiori scooped up the two of us, and nearly dragged away Jasmine in an effort to move us away from the attack, but it was too little too late. The second we began to run, the burst of energy rained down upon the Pokemon Center, causing the building to buckle and give way, then explode into shrapnel. The shock wave sent us and the surrounding people, pokemon, and buildings to go flying in all directions.