Hey everyone! Welcome to a preview for my NaNoWriMo fanfic that will be posted later on in November. It'll be called Gladiator.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon, Pokemon Crater, Fate/Extra, or Sword Art Online
Year 2, Day 10
As the sky took on an orange hue it became clear to all in the Linus region that dusk was nigh. Panic was sure to spread, as everyone in the region should know that the night was before the most dangerous time of day. When the sky blackened and the sun vanished, only a few shimmers of pale moonlight to guide the unfortunate residents through the wilderness if they were truly damned enough to be outside of a city or town at night. The more vicious Pokemon came out at night, typically, and it was easy for them to get the jump on you.
She thrived on it, though. The rush of danger and the power she could obtain with a bit of risk.
So she sat on a rocky cliff, with her legs swaying over the edge, able to get a clear view of the yellow-orange orb as it sunk beneath the horizon line. As much contempt as she held for the world around her she couldn't help but admit how life-like it was. Had she merely woken up here instead of her actual home she'd have believed somewhere kidnapped her and took her to some island region.
The girl sighed as she realized that her thought was not entirely false. There was no way she came to the hell that was Linus of her own free will, and even if she did then how did she find it? A region that doesn't exist isn't exactly easy to access.
"Lass…" the majestic yet sorrowful white Pokemon let out a coo as it hovered over the shoulder of her trainer. The girl gave her favourite Pokemon a glance and a small smile before she stood up and stretched. The froslass gave her trainer a curious look when the girl gazed down the cliff.
"It's about…two hundred feet, right?" The girl asked no one in particularly. She couldn't survive a drop like that, no human could. Froslass knew this as well as the girl did, yet the ice type was not at all surprised when her trainer took a step over the edge of the cliff and plummeted.
Air rushed against her ears and eyes, dulling her sense of sight and sound, but the girl was able to reach onto the belt around her waist and pluck a red and white ball from it. With a small grin the girl held the ball, looking down as the green and brown earth below came closer and closer. It wasn't until she was a mere thirty feet above the ground she clicked open the ball and, all of a sudden, slowed to a halt as she floated gently down to the grass feet first.
"Dol," Though the claydol that floated beside the girl had many eyes not one of them had a glint of amusement, the pokemon's tone similarly unimpressed by having to save its trainer. The girl couldn't help but giggle a bit, her froslass fading into view over her shoulder once again while she did so.
"Sorry Ruin, but thank you," With a purple gloved hand, the glove itself fingerless, the girl reached out an rubbed her claydol's head. Ruin relaxed but showed no sign of enjoying the rubbing otherwise, but the girl didn't care. She had Ruin since the fortieth day of year one and yet she could never get over just how real the claydol's smooth skin felt. It was like touching real clay only much stronger.
"Whoa…hey, you! The girl with a froslass and claydol!" Almost instantly the girl's grin and giddy mood disappeared and she turned to the source of the voice with a cool glance. It was a boy in shorts and a shirt, both of which were red and black and obviously some manner of outfit.
"What?" the girl asked bluntly, both her pokemon on standby at either side of her. The boy marched up to her across the grass and stopped at about ten feet from her.
"You've got to be Sigrun, that girl with nine badges that's been messing with Team Neon," the boy stated, squinting at the girl as if to try and see the truth hidden on her person. The girl stayed silent and merely stared back at the boy, hiding her dread of what was to come. "I've gotta challenge you to a battle!"
And there it was. The girl showed no reaction but, inside, a little piece of her heart crumbled away. The boy was far too young to be trapped in Linus, too young to understand the danger. Or the truth.
The girl's ice blue eyes glanced slightly to the left as a light blue screen popped up. On the small screen, in clear black lettering, she read "Adrian999 wants to battle,"
It was a redundant screen, never appearing until after a challenge was already made by the other "player". Even if one was ambushed in the wilderness there was no warning until the ambush already began. The real issue was that there was no option to decline. Ever. If a challenge was issued via player options or attacking another player then the only option available was to battle.
"All right Firebeam, let's rock!" Adrian practically roared, excitement clear on his face as he released a bipedal pokemon with a round body and yellow arms that could serve as cannons. Sigrun knew it was a Magmortar, a fairly rare fire type, as she had battled one before. She gave the pokemon a lookover as it grinned much like its trainer, then turned to her froslass.
"Glacia, I'll count on you then,"
"Really? You're using the ice type?" Adrian seemed shocked, his brown eyes wide as the froslass moved in front of Sigrun. "But Firebeam will crush it and, if…I thought when pokemon faint here they…you know…" So he did know the rules of Linus, as expected for a boy who survived Year 1 and came out with at least one fully evolved pokemon. Still…
"If you can't say it then you're weak," Sigrun replied bluntly. Adrian scowled and was about to retort but he was never given the chance, "Shadow Ball,"
"Fire Blast!" Predictable. Glacia put her hands together and quickly charged a sphere of ectoplasmic energy before launching it. The move was intercepted by a human shaped blast of flames, a Fire Blast that would have decimated Glacia had it hit, and the collision resulted in an explosion.
Adrian winced and looked away from the cloud of smoke and fire the attacks caused, his hesitation causing him to be too slow in his command, "Ack! Firebeam, use it aga-"
"Ice Beam," The match was over, just like that. A beam of pale blue energy shot through the smoke at the magmortar's foot, ice forming instantly upon impact. In shock Firebeam aimed a cannon at his foot and prepared to melt the ice off, but his arm was frozen as well. The ice crept across the fire type's body until it was completely encased.
Adrian was surprised, yes, but he grinned at Sigrun nonetheless.
"You obviously don't know that Firebeam's ability is-"
"Shadow Ball," Another sphere of dark purple matter was hurled at the icicle that was Firebeam, shattering his frozen body into pieces on impact. Adrian's grin shattered with it, horror soon sinking in as he watched the pieces of his pokemon tumble to the ground.
A screen popped up once again, this time in front of Adrian. "Pokemon "Firebeam" has lost."
"Wh…what? But Firebeam…"
"Is dead," Adrian looked up at Sigrun as she recalled both her pokemon into their balls, "That's what happens here when your Pokemon loses,"
"Get over it. Your Fire Blast would have killed Glacia. I returned the…" Now it was Sigrun's expression that changed to one of pure terror. Her pale eyes were wide with shock as both Adrian and the pieces of his pokemon began to crumble away into blue blocks and numbers, "No…"
"But Firebeam was my last pokemon…"
"You idiot!" Sigrun snapped, an act of self-defense at the horror before her. Her eyes were focused on the boy, his left arm already dissipated and the rest of his body following swiftly, "Why would you challenge me with only one pokemon on your team! Don't you know what happens!?"
"I-I just go home…r-right?" Sigrun held back a sob as she realized how right she was. Adrian was too young to understand Linus, too hopeful. He grasped that the pokemon died, but he must have thought they were just data because of how they crumble away when they die. So he thought humans were just dismissed or logged out.
With that realization Sigrun gazed down, pulling the rim of her black and pink baseball cap down over her face. Her cold eyes had watered over and she wouldn't let the boy see tears.
"…Yeah. It's game over," She mumbled. Adrian stared at her, but, in the end he relaxed. Sigrun stayed still until nothing remained of her opponent.
Somehow, a boy managed to survive a year without losing his innocence. A year in Linus: a virtual region where there was no holding back. The only way to stay alive was to grow strong with your pokemon. It was not a video game, it was not a reality tv show, and it was not some sort of virtual training ground. It was a world sized arena. If your pokemon lose, they die.
And if you run out of pokemon: you die.
So how did you enjoy this preview for Gladiators? The concept of this story if based on the old Pokemon Crater website, Pokemon Stadium and Coliseum, the game Fate/Extra, and a series known as Sword Art Online.
And I know, I know: "Another fic Fallen? You'll just bail on it again," and I can see why many would think that but, the thing is, if you're reading this on FF then I am likely at least ten chapters ahead, writing more every day/