"Don't you guys ever get bored of doing nothing but playing games?"

Ree didn't even bother looking away from the TV screen. "No. Why would we? Isn't that right Scottie?" She reached across and pinched him on the cheek until he screamed and slapped her hand away.

"You're just doing that to get in the lead. You're not going to emerge victorious that way!"

Ree rolled her eyes. "And that's where you're so wrong, Scottie. I'm gonna kick your ass and make you beg for forgiveness."

Maya didn't know what Scott leaned over and whispered in Ree's ear, but given the way her sister turned crimson, she didn't need to guess what he had said.

Ree set her jaw stubbornly. "You're on. Prepare to become my bitch."

Maya sighed. There would be no getting them away from Mario Kart anytime soon. "Is there anything that would make you guys leave the game for a while. Apart from that!" she squeaked, seeing the gleam in Ree's eye.

"Maybe if they became real," Ree whispered.

"I'd totally be in Assassin's Creed," Scott said. "Or something like Skyrim."

"You'd end up dead within the first minute," Ree snorted. She swore as her car spun out of control and off the racetrack. "I'd take over from Zelda and teach her how to actually kick some ass and not just get herself into these stupid situations all the time. Or Princess Peach and actually show Bowser what happens when you keep kidnapping the same woman!"

Scott laughed. "You'd end up in something like Dead Space. And you'd scream and run away from anything that looked remotely scary."

"I so would not!"

Maya sighed again. She only had another week until she went off traveling again. Maybe the only way to spend some time with her sister during the day would be to hide all the cords to her games consoles. As long as Ree never found out she was behind it she wouldn't have to worry about the death threats that would surely follow.

-.-.-

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Ree Majors' Wonderful Journey of Living a Nightmare

-.-.-

This was definitely not what Ree had been planning when she had started all of this. She sat up with a groan and wiped blood from her mouth. Whatever the fuck that thing was that had just knocked her on her ass was going to pay for it! She found Sophia II on the floor where she had dropped her and gave a practice swing at the air. Oh yes. Mr-Shadowy-Knocks-Pregnant-Girls-On-Their-Ass was going to be very sorry.

As soon as she figured out where she was.

So maybe signing up to a Halloween based trip that she'd discovered via a flier being slid underneath her door wasn't the smartest of choices. But something had happened that made it so Ree just had to sign herself up to it. It was almost like she'd had no control of her actions when she put her and Harry's name to the paper.

The nightmares. They had to be related. Whatever sick creep that had made all the nightmares had to have fucked with her mind and made it so that she signed up to ...whatever she was currently experiencing. The only decision Ree had to make would be whether or not they would be introduced to Sophia II before or after she went after Mr-Shadowy.

But that could wait until she figured out just where the hell they were. She was in a room that seemed to have been fashionable back when her grandparents were her age. The couches looked like they'd be eaten by sewaddle. There was an old-timey radio in the corner of the room and an honest-to-kyurem gramophone on a battered wooden desk. It was someone's apartment, Ree's brain told her. A constant drip, drip, drip echoed from the kitchen. She found nothing in there that seemed to be of any use, though she found food that had to have been as old as her. It didn't do anything to help the unease swirling in her stomach, making her want to lose what little there was in there.

All her pokemon were still on her. That was a good thing. Even so, she didn't let them out just yet. Fuck knew what could have been waiting for her round the corner. If it was bad, Sophia II could handle it. If not, she'd run the fuck in the other direction. She didn't want another Mitzi happening.

Bile rose in her throat. She swallowed hard and fought against it. She wasn't going to be the victim who got stabbed to death with her face in a toilet. She'd make sure the apartment was clear, make certain there were no killers hiding behind the curtains or underneath the bed and only then would she run to the washroom and puke.

She pushed open a battered wooden door with the tip of Sophia II. It creaked as loudly as a foghorn in the silence. She winced and drew back instinctively, readying Sophia II for battle.

Nothing moved in the room. Ree moved forward slowly and found it to be a bedroom as ancient as the rest of the apartment.

The only difference was that asleep on the bed was a familiar sight of red hair and a wooly sweater.

"Harry!" Ree hissed. She bounced on the side of the bed and shook her by the shoulders. "Harry! Wake up!"

Harry groaned as her eyelids fluttered. "R-Ree?" she mumbled, still half asleep. "What's going on?" She moved slowly, like she was expecting to bump her head on the top bunk in their room. She blinked, seemingly taking in everything for the first time. "Where are we?"

"Wish I knew," Ree muttered. She stood up and swung Sophia II in irritation. "I can't figure it out just yet. If anything I'd think we've been sent back in time, but fuck that shit."

Harry's eyes widened. "Y-You don't think—?"

"No," Ree said firmly. "Hell to the no. If that had happened, I think we'd have been dropped somewhere in the middle of nowhere, or at least with someone that could help us and tell us what the hell was happening. There's no—" there's no one here, she was going to say. That would just lead to something jumping out of the walls and killing them both. She swallowed and shook her head. "I haven't seen anyone inside this apartment, but I don't know if we're alone or not."

That sounded better. Eerie and rather uncomfortable, but still better than anything that would bring doom their way. She didn't feel like tempting fate until she knew what was going on.

"I-I," Harry mumbled. She searched herself quickly and smiled a fraction at what she found. "I still have my pokemon with me. All three of them are still here and my clothes are right, so nothing's happened, right?"

Ree hadn't even totally thought about that. "If it did, you'd have woken up to me surrounded by dead bodies," she growled. Then Harry's words caught up with her. "Wait, all three of your pokemon? I thought Hattie was still being treated?"

"I..." Harry bit her lip and checked her pokeballs again. "Yes, all three of them." She looked up sharply. "Ree, what's going on here?"

"I don't know," she admitted. "Don't let your pokemon out yet though. Jackster will probably have a heart attack around here and Shady might accidentally set this whole place on fire. Plus we don't know how strong this apartment's floors are or how far up we are. I don't want to suddenly discover we're on the fiftieth floor when we're falling."

"Haven't you checked outside the window?"

Ree went to smack herself in the head and stopped at the last moment, remembering Sophia II in her hand. Instead she swore and stomped other to the sewaddle-eaten curtains. Why hadn't she thought of that? What was wrong with her? She wasn't about to let some nasty run in and murder her, but she should have been thinking about the obvious shit like that.

"Get a grip, Ree," she hissed under her breath. She tucked Sophia II in her armpit as she grabbed a curtain in each hand and pulled them apart.

They were in a city.

One that Ree didn't recognize.

Everything in the street seemed as old-timey as the apartment she was in. There weren't even bars—there were saloons. Complete with the purrloin-flap wooden doors. She saw trash lining the streets and the sidewalks covered in cracks and used up alcohol bottles. All of the street lamps flickered randomly. It made Ree shudder and want to get the hell out of there. The only thing she could see with any sort of normal lighting was either a jukebox or a vending machine at the end of the street. It was lit up with something like a clown, but it was purple and with bright pink cheeks. She knew it was a pokemon, but she had no idea just what one it was.

Harry appeared by her side. Ree tried her best to hide the fact that she'd nearly jumped out of her skin. "Where?" Harry whispered.

"I don't know," Ree said. It was fast becoming the only thing she was saying. "Wherever we are though, it looks like we've missed a party and the whole town's hungover."

Harry stepped on her tiptoes to see over Ree's shoulder. Ree rolled her eyes and pulled her closer to the window. Harry squeaked, her cheeks turned bright pink but otherwise she kept her eyes firmly on the street.

"There!" Harry gasped. "I see someone!"

Ree followed where she was pointing. She saw a shadow in the street, stumbling and swaying slightly. From such a distance, she would have said that whoever it was had just drank too much. But something was off about it. Ree didn't know what exactly, but it sent shivers down her spine.

"We need to get out of here," Ree said. "Out of this apartment, find out just where we are and then get the fuck out of wherever we are."

Harry nodded. "O-Okay," she said.

Ree led them out of the bedroom and back into the apartment. Nothing seemed to be moving. She let out a breath and continued on. They really needed better weapons. The town looked like it would be brimming with people armed with knives and possibly even guns. As much as she knew that Harry wouldn't want to use a weapon—probably not even hold one—Ree knew that she would have to arm them both.

The apartment door opened into a flooded hallway. The floor above leaked water into large puddles. The carpet squished beneath their feet and something seemed to be growing up the walls. It smelt like mushrooms—and not even the good kind. Ree took a deep breath and tried to ignore the fact that her heart wanted to jump out of her body and flee into the horizon.

She checked there was nothing waiting to slice her on the floor above before she stuck her head over the banister and looked down. They were only two floors up.

The stairs squeaked as they walked down them. Of course they would, Ree thought. They didn't say anything; Ree didn't trust her voice if she did try to say something. She wanted nothing more than to have her pokemon out with her, Whippy coiled around her protectively, Harper searching for threats from the sky and Lala just murdering the fuck out of whatever decided to sneak up on them. But it was too quiet. The pokeballs opening would sound like explosions. Everything would get drawn to them.

The front door opened, creaking on its hinges. Nothing leapt out of the street at them. Ree moved slowly out of the door, Harry's hands trembling as they gripped into her sleeves. She could hear water rushing nearby, like a big pipe had broken. Someone kicked a can in a street a block or two away. The sound echoed for what felt like forever and set Ree's nerves on edge.

"I don't like this," Harry mumbled. "This doesn't seem like one of the Halloween events a local government would sponsor."

"This doesn't seem like anything that should exist," Ree said. She looked down the street. Bags of chips were opened and spilled out into the puddles. Crates of beer looked like they had been slashed open and the bottles stolen from inside. Ree was sure that there were syringes buried underneath piles of paper. Used or clean, she didn't want to go anywhere near any of them.

"I'm going to let out Whippy," Ree whispered. She looked back at Harry. Her eyes were still as wide as saucers. "Anything comes out of the shadows, let me know, alright?"

"O-Okay."

Ree nodded and retrieved Whippy's pokeball. The sound would be ungodly around here and if there was anything nearby it would come running. Hopefully not for their blood.

Ree's ears rang as she released Whippy. The light was nearly as offensive to her senses as the sound. Whippy hissed and bared his fangs as he was released. Ree's nerves practically went into overdrive—he never came out aggressive, not even in most battles. Whippy coiled himself around her, fangs still bared at the distance as he flicked his tongue against her face.

"Ser," he hissed into her ear. "Servine."

"I don't like it either," Ree said. "But we need to figure out where we are, alright? Be a good boy and keep a lookout for anything."

"Ree?"

Her stomach dropped. Harry's voice sounded far too frightened for anything good to be happening. Ree spun around and found Harry nervously staring to the end of the street. Ree didn't ask any questions. She just spun back and found herself staring at a guy standing underneath one of the many flickering street lamps.

They stared at each other in silence for a minute. Whippy tensed around her. He didn't trust the man and neither did she.

Finally Ree got tired of the silence. "Hey asshole!" she shouted. "Either tell us what the hell's going on here or get the hell out of my sight!"

The man lurched forwards a step. It didn't seem like his legs knew how to walk. It was more falling forwards than actually stepping. He moved forwards just enough for Ree to catch sight of him.

He had scales. Honest-to-fuck green scales across his neck and his face. His eyes looked like they were red, but that couldn't have been possible. His suit was ripped in places and a hole through his shirt showed that even his stomach was covered in scales.

"Hey—!" Ree shouted, but her voice came out as nothing more than a squeak.

"Vine," Whippy growled.

Then the man dropped to the floor and slithered towards them.

Ree's scream was louder than Harry's. She didn't take the time to process how stupid it was that a man in a suit was slithering across the floor like a serperior at her. He moved so fast that one moment he was on the opposite side of the street and the next he was nearly in their faces. He had fangs. He had a forked tongue. He was by all rights the mutant lovechild of a snivy and a human.

Whippy hissed and leapt from Ree's shoulders. She shouted after him, Sophia II raised. Harry was still screaming, her grip tightening in the back of Ree's sweater. Whippy jumped the snake-man and sunk his fangs into the man's throat. The man hissed a sound almost exactly like Whippy. He tucked his legs together like a tail and snapped out at Whippy, catching him in the side. Whippy cried out and fell into a puddle. Ree started, moving towards serpent-man with every intention of pounding his head in.

Instead Whippy leapt from the ground, his tail leaf shining. There was a crack and suddenly serpent-man dropped to the floor, wriggling like his spine had been broken. He hissed at Whippy, bared his own fangs and looked like he was about to spit something at him. Whippy sunk his fangs into the man's throat and this time came away with a chunk of flesh.

Whippy had just killed a serpent-man. Ree knew she should have been horrified at it. Her mind was still in too much shock over the fact that a serpent-man existed to process the thought that Whippy had just killed one.

Then Harry screamed again and Ree saw another slithering towards them. She raised Sophia II and brought it down against his head. Something cracked and it wasn't her bat. The serpent-man dropped and screaming, Ree hit his head again and again until the ground beneath him was running red with blood.

She stopped when Sophia clanged against the sidewalk. There was no skull left to crush. Ree looked at her work, took three steps away and vomited everything she had in her stomach.

What the holy fuck is going on? Ree looked down and saw that she was covered in blood and bits of bone. It made her want to vomit again. Shouldn't Allen have appeared by now to scold her?

"Ser? Servine?"

She looked down and saw Whippy nudging at her. She smiled at him. "I'm alright. Don't worry."

Harry was another matter entirely. She seemed to have curled into a ball near the remains of Ree's victim. "Harry?" Ree tried. It didn't get much of a reaction. "Harry? Come on, we can't break down just yet."

"I-I... oh my god Ree, what was he? He just came out of nowhere and he looks like he's part snivy and there shouldn't be anyone that has skin covered in as many scales as that!"

"I'm not sure Harry. But it looks like whatever lives down here is going to be perfectly happy to try and kill us. We're going to have to defend ourselves." She took a breath. It was going to sound like a stupid idea, but... "You're going to have to let out Jackster."

Harry sniffed and wiped her nose with her sleeve. "J-Jackster? But with everything happening down here?"

"I know," Ree said. "But he's your strongest pokemon and you don't have a weapon of your own. If you're in danger, he won't be skittish about helping you. Now come on." She reached down and grabbed her arm. "We need to get out of here. I don't know what's happening, but I'm willing to guess that whatever lives down here might hunt by the smell of blood."

Harry looked at her in horror. "Ree, your clothes!"

"Don't worry, it's not mine," Ree said. It didn't sound anywhere near as reassuring as she hoped it would.

Harry pulled at the hem of her sweater. "Um, I don't know, Ree. I mean, what if..."

"What if more of them start slithering after us?!" Ree noticed how loud her voice was getting and flinched. "Look Harry, I know that exposing our pokemon to this might not be in the bests of their interests, but the fact is unless we have something out that can defend us, we might end up being turned into something like one of these." She gestured at the remains of Whippy's kill. it was considerably less gruesome than her own. "Harry, please."

She couldn't say the rest. I can't fight all this on my own. Ree wasn't sure if Harry would be able to cope if she admitted that. So she maintained a brave face, freaking out on the inside all the while.

"Ser!" Whippy put in. His fangs glistened red with blood. Ree did her best not to think about what had caused it.

"O-Okay," Harry said and released Jackster. His eyes seemed to bug out as he took in everything around him and for one moment Ree was afraid that he was going to run off into the distance and they'd never see him again.

"Bli," he neighed instead, flattening his ears and pressing his face against Harry's. She stroked his nose and whispered reassurances to him.

The stupid jukebox at the end of the street was still glowing. Ree scowled at it. She couldn't make out what it was saying from such a distance, but surely if it had a source of constant power, it had to be something important, right?

She voiced such thoughts to Harry. "I think so," she mumbled in agreement.

"Ser," Whippy hissed, holding aloft a syringe filled with glowing red liquid. "Servine."

"Shit, Whippy!" Ree yelped, snatched the thing out of his hands and threw it as far away as she could. "That wasn't a toy. That was dangerous, you hear me?"

"Vine," he mumbled, drooping his head.

Ree pressed a hand to her face and sighed. "Just... don't do it again, alright?" She couldn't be dealing with mutant serpent-men. Ones that happened to be carrying syringes full of glowing mystery liquids didn't exactly make things better. She had to find out what they were full of before she let Lala loose anywhere. Knowing that demon she'd end up stabbing something with them. Ree didn't want them to turn out to be something that made pokemon evolve instantly or something equally as fun.

"Th-That's a mr mime," Harry said as they approached the jukebox. It shone bright orange. Ree was sure it only made the shadows around it seem bigger and likely to eat her. She wanted to dismiss it as nothing more than her imagination, but quickly thought better of it. If anything happened, she would let Sophia II do the talking and then her brain could try to make sense of everything afterward.

"W-Why would they choose something like that? It's so creepy."

Jackster whined in agreement. Ree turned her head to see him pressed to Harry, moving achingly slowly. Harry was having to play lookout for both of them. Harper would be an amazing lookout, but Ree wasn't sure if the skies were full of monsters too. It was stupid to think of bird-people fluttering about in the shadows between buildings, but yesterday she had thought men covered in scales were just the stuff of medical science.

"Welcome, to the circus of value!"

The jukebox came out with the creepiest fucking laugh Ree had ever heard. She wanted to smash it in the face for that alone. Whippy coiled around her protectively and hissed at it, whilst Jackster had begun to panic at the sudden sound.

Whatever it was, it was apparently something between a vending machine and an information kiosk. Typically all the information screens were unavailable. Ree sighed and picked up a pamphlet that wasn't too soaked by rain.

"Shit, listen to this Harry. It says here that those syringes are filled with some sort of stuff from ditto. apparently it rewrites a pokemon's biology within seconds and lets them do stuff they shouldn't do." She held out the pamphlet and showed her a picture of a samurott breathing fire. "If they were anything else, I'd say they were pretty awesome."

Harry took the pamphlet off her, hands shaking. "I-It says that humans could use them too. What do you think would happen if they did?"

As if in answer, Ree saw movement in the shadows.

She didn't even think about it this time. She released all of her pokemon and hoped it would be enough to keep the monsters at bay. "Don't be freaked out by anything in here," Ree said, her voice only trembling a little. "Whatever's happening, it looks like they're happy to kill us, so don't be afraid to treat them in kind."

She could have sworn Lala cackled and rubbed her hands together in glee.

"Stay away from anything that looks like this," Ree said, taking the pamphlet back and showing them the syringes. "They're bad, okay?"

It was at that moment that Ree noticed how quiet everything had become. She was sure that the sounds of her breathing shouldn't have been so loud.

Then something whistled through the air and landed in the house behind them with a thunk. Ree saw it and nearly had a heart attack.

"Who the fuck just tried to shoot me with a crossbow?!"

It was all her pokemon needed. Lala leapt into the air and grabbed hold of Harper's legs as they took flight. Another whistling sound pierced the air. Harper trilled and spun around in the air. Ree screamed, frightened, but then she righted herself and Ree saw that Harper was just dodging. Lala's cackles echoed above them all as fine, yellow stun spore fell like rain.

Out of the corner of her eyes, Ree saw something move.

Then there was no breath in her lungs and she was ass-first in a puddle.

And Harry's screams were hauntingly similar to Mitzi's.

Ree swore and leapt to her feet. Whippy hissed, vines out and wrapped around something human's throat. It might have been a woman once, but her skin seemed to have become as gray as rock. Her hair had fallen out in random clumps. She shrieked and batted as Unika floated around her, latching onto the back of her neck and sparking wildly.

But the woman had friends. Two of them advanced on Harry. She was sprawled out on the floor, slowly crawling away. Jackster was stood above her, a fury on his face that Ree had never seen before.

"Bli!" he roared. And then he begun to glow.

About time, Ree wanted to say. At least something was coming from all of this craziness. Instead she raised Sophia II and helped Whippy and Unika dispose of their attacker. She spun Sophia II in her hands and waited for something else to attack.

The screams of Harry's attackers weren't even human. Ree saw a now evolved Jackster sink his teeth into the neck of one of them. He sparked wildly, snarling as he did so. His hooves seemed to catch fire as he kicked the other in the chest. Ree wouldn't have believed anyone could have caught fire so easily if she hadn't seen it with her own eyes.

And then she saw that the flaming monster fell right onto a patch of stun spore.

Ree had all of a moment to shout, "Oh fuck!" before all the stun spore caught fire and exploded.

She flinched when the sound reverberated against her ears. A moment passed where she felt an unreal amount of heat wash over the world.

And then, she was amazed to find that she was still breathing.

She opened her eyes slowly and found Whippy coiled around her chest, Unika bobbing up and down in front of her. Harper dropped down in front of her, depositing a slightly singed Lala onto the sidewalk. Harry had her arms around her new zebstrika.

And there was a shining green dome protecting them from the raging fires consuming the block.

Ree turned to find the source of their savior. When she did, she gasped as if punched in the stomach.

Vince's eyes glowed as green as the dome above them. Casually leaning an arm on his gigalith, Scott winked at her.

"The hero always arrives just in time."

Ree did the only thing that made sense. She fainted.

-.-.-

"... give her space, okay?"

"I'm sure she'll be fine!"

"Servine ser!"

"Ow! Damn, why did her servine just bite me?"

"I-I don't know! Maybe because you scared her into fainting?"

"... that wasn't how it was supposed to happen. I was meant to surprise her in a good way."

"Lith, gigalith."

Ree groaned and threw an arm over her face. "You all speak too loudly," she growled. "Let me sleep."

Instead she was grabbed by several different pairs of hands and arms at once. Different voices shouted at her in pokemon and human tongues and she felt like everyone was trying to grab her and make sure she was real.

A pair of arms wrapped around her neck. Ree breathed in deeply. She recognized the touch instantly. She hadn't realized how long it had been—how much she had missed it. She closed her eyes and pretended that everything was normal for just a moment.

Then Whippy hissed a, "Servine!" and slapped Scott away with his tail.

"Ow!" Scott yelped, shaking his hand. "Your servine doesn't like me, Ree."

"Be thankful it's just him showing his hatred. It could be Lala."

Scott gave her a confused look. "Who's La—"

The whimsicott answered by jumping into his face and screaming a tirade of obscenities. Ree noticed even Vince blush at Lala's threats. Scott, for what little he understood, stared at the little ball of doom and fluff as if it had come from the bowels of hell itself. Sometimes, Ree figured that might have been the case.

"A-Are you okay?" Harry mumbled, her cheeks pink as she went to touch Ree's shoulders. "We were so worried."

"I'm fine," Ree whispered. She wrapped a hand around her stomach. "You don't think fainting is bad for... it, do you?"

Harry took a moment to understand. "It? Oh, no! I don't think so. I'm sure a lot of women faint when they find out they're pregnant."

And then the two worst words that Ree had ever heard came from Scott's mouth.

"Who's pregnant?"

Ree sat on the floor, mouth open and lost for words. Harry turned as red as her hair. What could Ree say? This wasn't how she planned it to happen. Hell, she didn't even have a plan for when Scott would find out! She was hoping she could just have the kid and then suddenly bump into him and everything would be magical.

Ree took a deep breath. She really didn't want to be having this conversation, but this weird place was fucking with everything reality was supposed to contain. Maybe she wouldn't get another chance to tell him.

And then Harry squeaked, "I-I am."

Ree didn't know who looked more surprised, Scott or her. Harry was bright red and looking at the floor. Ree could have kissed her. She waited for Scott to berate her for being so young, to say everything that she had imagined him saying and the shame that would come with it.

Instead, he was practically giddy. "That's so awesome! I mean, you're so young but that has to mean it will be so cute! Have you thought of any names? Are you having a boy or a girl? Can I touch your stomach?" He started at the last question and looked at Ree, his face as red as Harry's. "I mean... totally in a normal, feel-the-baby kind of way. Nothing more than that."

"It's fine," Ree said. Her brain was still trying to play catch up. She looked around and saw that their surroundings had changed. It was like she was in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Everything around her seemed to have been blackened and burnt to charcoal. Buildings were crumbling and falling down. Lala seemed pleased at the destruction she had wrought.

One thing was off, though. "Why is that building still perfectly fine?"

Harry and Scott both looked at her, frozen with Scott's hands on her stomach. Ree could have laughed at the expression on both their faces. Instead she pointed behind them. "Look. Everything's burnt down but that place."

They turned and saw what she meant. In the middle of burnt-out buildings was a three-story townhouse. All the lights in the top floor were on. Lights flicked on and off in the other floors, but it wasn't random. it was almost as if someone were living there.

"Zeb," Jackster grunted, his ears flat as he trod at the ground nervously.

"W-What should we do?" Harry asked.

Sophia II felt right in Ree's hands. "We're going to investigate," she said.

-.-.-

"So how did you even get here then?"

Ree felt her ears burn a little. "There was a form for a Halloween event that was slipped under our door," she said. "I put mine and Harry's names on it."

"Huh," Scott said. "Same thing happened with me. So how come you're traveling this time, Ree? You've never stuck it out for this long before."

"Vine," Whippy said from around her neck. Ree nodded and stroked his head. Her other pokemon were tucked away in their pokeballs, resting. It seemed that the mutants had survived the fires. Keeping her pokemon out was safer, but it drained their strength. So each of them kept out one pokemon, just in case something happened.

"Let's not get into that right now," Ree said. "Look, we're nearly there."

The house was at the end of the street. Ree could see that it had two tall stone statues on either side of the door. They were like purrloin, sort of, but with strange tails. Ree had seen them before but she didn't totally know what they were.

"A-Are you sure we should be doing this?" Harry whispered.

"I don't see any other way out of this place right now," Scott said. From by his side, Yorick barked in agreement. "Alright," he said, placing his hand against the front door. "Ready?"

"Just open the damn door," Ree growled. Scott nodded and did so. The inside of the house was modern. It was strange to see, given the state of everything else. The halls were white and bare—like a show home, Ree thought.

The first room they found was full of toys for purrloin kittens. The walls were covered in tiny paw prints. The floor was littered with different toys, but there were no kittens in sight.

"Weird," Ree deduced.

The second room they found made Harry turn so red that Ree thought she might actually begin to boil.

"Th-That," Harry stammered, "wasn't wh-what I was expecting."

"To be perfectly fair, who usually has a room full of gay porn anyway?" Scott asked.

"Clearly whoever owns this house," Ree muttered. Whippy uncoiled himself from her and walked alongside, saying nothing. Their pokemon were eerily silent. It was almost like they knew whatever they were going to find was powerful.

The third room was covered in posters of deerling and sawsbuck. There was even a life-size replica of each. Ree was certain they had worn away from where someone had to have been stroking them.

The fourth room was where the crazy truly began (and that was saying something). It was the only room on the second floor and was as big as an entire floor of Ree's house. The room was a mess. The desk was overturned, a chair was broken on the floor and a bed had all the stuffing ripped out of the mattress and thrown across the floor.

And all across the walls was writing.

Ree didn't pay attention to all of it, though it seemed like insane ramblings. 'Abomasnow' and 'heroshipping' and 'Playthings'.

Harry looked even more nervous now she had recalled Jackster. he couldn't quite manage the climb up the stairs with the rest of them, given his new size. "Th-This doesn't look good," she said.

"I sure hope whoever we find here makes more sense than these scribbles do," Scott said. He pointed at one. "I have no idea who or what Vai is, but the amount of love hearts around the name isn't exactly a good thing."

Whippy was silent as they walked up the stairs again. The top floor of the house was just a long, dark corridor, at the end of which was a door that bright light shone out of. Every instinct Ree had told her to get away and pretend that she hadn't seen anything. But something told her that it was the only way they were going to get out of there.

So she took a breath, walked up to the door and shoved it open.

Inside was not what she was expecting. There was a wall of television monitors, each displaying a different feed. She saw the Champion's Tragedy, a boy bursting into sneezes at the sight of an electabuzz, a documentary on sawsbuck, multiple screens filled with kittens and most terrifying of all, she saw her, Scott and Harry all staring stupidly at everything.

There was a single chair in front of the monitors. It spun around slowly. "Welcome," the figure in it said. "It looks like you've found my little domain."

It was another of the creatures. This one was a woman who had bright orange ears and an equally orange tail like those she'd seen on the statues outside. She tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear and smiled, crossing her legs neatly. "So, what brings you here?"

Ree took a step towards her and brandished Sophia II. "I want the hell out of here, that's what!"

The woman looked at the baseball bat and rolled her eyes. With a wave of her hand it became a bunch of wilted, drooping flowers.

"Silly Ree," the figure said, "you can't threaten me. I control everything you do."

"Whippy!" Ree growled defiantly. Instead her servine stared at the creature with wide eyes until finally he walked over to her and coiled around her chair lovingly. Even Yorick wandered over and pressed his head into the woman's hand.

"See?" said the woman. "Your pokemon know their god when they see her."

Ree couldn't help herself. "For a god, you sure do have a strange obsession with man-love."

"What can I say?" The figure shrugged. "I like pretty things. Now, it seems that since you've discovered me, you probably think I'm going to be all nice and give you a chance to go back to your normal lives. Well, you're wrong. I'm not a nice god. If I wanted to do that, I'd just wipe your memories and put you right back where I wanted you like last time."

"Then why don't you?" Scott asked.

"Because silly, you're my playthings. Now, maybe if you play nice and do exactly what I ask, without me having to make you do it, I might put everything back to normal. What do you say?"

"Wh-What do you want us to do?" Harry asked.

-.-.-

"Our god is evil," Ree growled.

Harry nudged her in the side. "Shush! She'll hear you!"

"I don't care!" Ree hissed. She groaned and dropped her face on the keyboard. "How am I meant to keep up with all the crazy shit she wants me to write? It's unreal!"

"A-At least she doesn't make you write the smut," Harry said.

"I'd prefer that," Ree said defiantly.

Scott walked past at that moment, dressed only in a feather boa and a mini skirt. "I'll trade everything I own for either of you to take over from me."

Ree just raised an eyebrow at him. "But your legs are so much better suited for that than mine."

Scott just glowered at her, hovering outside the large red doors. Ree couldn't blame him for not wanting to go inside. She'd seen the way their god acted inside.

The door opened and out stumbled a half naked man with golden eyes. "It's going to be a long day," he said, his black hair sweaty and plastered against his face. "She's making Allen serve her grapes whilst Vai fans her."

"You know," Ree said as the man ran out of the room, "I know he killed a lot of people and started a lot of shit, but maybe the punishment is a bit too harsh."

Scott didn't say anything. Instead a voice shouted out from inside the other room, "Where is my latest skitten?"

He sighed. "I guess I have to go entertain our god."

"Do your best," Ree said with a strained smile. "We don't want her getting bored of us. You saw what she did with the other one."

"I-Isn't he still in hospital?" Harry asked, eyes wide.

Ree shrugged. "I think so. Golden-eyes still isn't happy about it. She says it ups the angst and tension though. I think she's just a little bit on the wrong side of crazy."

"And why do you think that?"

Ree gulped and looked up. Sure enough she was there, stood over her computer.

"Well," Ree said slowly.

"I don't think anything you say is going to get you out of this, is it?"

Ree settled for biting the inside of her cheek. "No."

"Good!" their god declared. "Now be a good creation and do my work for me. I can't write whilst I'm using and abusing these men. Well, I can, but it's less fun that way."

And just like that, she was gone.

Ree stared at the space she had left. "Is it bad that I'm kind of jealous?"

Harry didn't say anything.

"Oh, and I've decided on your punishment."

Ree looked up sharply as she appeared again. She swallowed heavily. "What is it?"

She smiled darkly. "Scottie, I think you should know that Harry isn't pregnant. Ree is."

That was the day that Ree swore she would learn how to kill a god.

-.-.-

Next Chapter: Don't look at me like that, Jackster evolved, didn't he? Next time we're back to our regularly scheduled programming.

(Disclaimer: Most of you were likely bracing yourselves for this, but in all honesty, dear skittens, I am 100% innocent in this. I didn't write this chapter. The ever-hilarious, super-british, ultra-perverted Crukix did, he of the evil gardevoir and grimdark fame. If you want your dose of skitty writing, go check out his new chapter... And for the record, YES, this was an april fool's prank. Every skitty story gets one, apparently.)