Eevee TF Series
"Kid! Are you alright?"
Ron's eyes opened suddenly, squinting at the bright light overhead, which was partially eclipsed by Don's large head. He was kneeling down next to him, gently patting his face and shoulders, trying to exact a response of some kind.
Ron shook his head slowly, groaning. "Oohhh, what happened?" He felt like he could not move on his own, and he saw darkened grease spots on the nose between his eyes. He recalled that strange yellow bandog glowering down at him as it sat on his chest, from which an intense pain still radiated. Don slipped a hand underneath his paralyzed back and helped him stand up. He faltered at first, but soon reclaimed his balance.
"I don't exactly know, really. That thing jumped at you, and," he paused. "I don't really know. There were lights a-flashing and the lights started blinking again, and you were screaming in pain. I, myself, got a rush of that thing's... power, or whatever it was, and was stuck on the floor for a while."
Ron looked behind him at the bed. Everything looked as he had left it that morning, or the previous morning; he was beginning to lose all track of time. Only the bright summer moon that was suspended outside his window told him that it was late. Another feeling of consciousness entered his mind as he noticed the lack of furry creatures and former girlfriends on the cool, tousled covers. "Wa- where'd they go?"
Don looked towards the empty cot. "As soon as I came too and saw you on the floor, not moving, the four of 'em jumped off of the bed and ran out the door and down the hall. That blue one- your friend- stopped a moment and tried to smell you or something. They looked like they were in a hurry or something."
A faint, fleeting memory of that scene blew through Ron's mind. Now that he thought about it, he recalled hearing a strange, smooth voice- though it felt like something from a dream. Though he could not see its owner, he had felt a cool, familiar presence around it. Like a siren's call, it wafted through the thickness of his trance, and he could only faintly remember how the canorous plea went:
"Ron, I fear something terrible is happening." the message trailed off dissolved into nothing. After that, all he could remember hearing was discordant, shrill cries fading from his ears.
He heaved a heavy sigh and turned to the door. On the ground, the pile of clothes was still overturned and spilled everywhere. A faint hint of fumes still hung in the air and clouded the lights in the ceiling. "What on Earth was that thing?" he asked as he walked over and sorted through the pile.
"I don't know, but I do not think it was of this Earth," Don replied solemnly. "Why was it hiding in these clothes? Hey- they look slightly familiar."
Ron picked out one large garment in particular- an bright, elegant white coat. It had a wide collar and long, flowing sleeves that were folded back to make cuffs. To Ron it felt bulky- it was not exactly a thin shirt, but it appeared to be made of a thicker, heavier material- cotton, Don suggested. He gently folded it and placed it down to the side, exchanging it for a pair of loose black pants that felt notably flimsy and smooth. As he picked them up he was delighted to feel a weight in the rear pocket, and he quickly dropped the garment and fumbled for the contents of the pocket. Sticking his hand in he pulled out a thin, leather pouch that had a zipper along the side. He opened it and found some small bills and loose change. In the back was a fold-out photo and card album- the first slot held a driver's licence. On it was the irritable face of a blonde-haired, pale-face woman with luminous green eyes. The label on the top read "RUCK, CATHY M."
"Whoa." Ron said in surprise, dropping the pants that he held in one hand. He handed the wallet to Don, whose eyes bulged upon the discovery.
"Whoa indeed." He handed the bundle back to Ron, who furtively pocketed it. "What are you doing? That's not yours!"
Ron smiled at the motherly scolding he received. "Well, it'd better if I took it off of her rather than someone irresponsible. Besides, I don't think she has any current use for it right now," he said sardonically.
Don made a soft gasp and whispered, "You mean that she-"
Ron nodded his head. "I'm afraid so."
At that moment Don's darkened face turned pale again and he looked as though he would vomit. Ron caught himself as he remembered that his and Don's relations with Cathy differed greatly. It was curious, Ron thought, how his friend could be a friend of such a bitter, caustic woman such as her.
In truth, they actually had a strong friendship at one point in time. It dated back years ago, and since then they had gone their separate ways. A difference of about fifteen-or-so years in age couldn't stop them. He was a bold, rugged, and quite affable person. Back then he was under the assumption that the world had gone to shambles and that he was one of the only sensible people he knew, and he kept assuring everyone of this. After he pulled out a loan to start his local cab business, back when Coledge was just beginning to fluorish, Cathy was his first passenger. A young, naiive girl at the time, she asked him for a ride about the town. Of course, he had Vulpix with him, and she immediately fell for his cute charm. She and Don chatted for what seemed like hours, and Cathy allowed Vulpix to sit on her lap and stick his head out of the window. She laughed uncontrollably at how the curls on his head flapped in the breeze, and how he listlessly stared at the stunned pedestrians as he passed them. Don insisted that she not pay him a cent for the wonderful time, but he reluctantly had to settle for a small fee. After that day Cathy always took a ride in Don's cab and they grew closer and closer together. Unfortunately, when she enrolled in a medical school she had to stop seeing her old friend for a while, and now she almost never saw him outside of the Black Cat.
A faint set of cries came from down the hall and in an instant Ron was on his feet. He helped Don up and out of his shock with an outstretched hand held in front of him.
"What? What is it?"
"Come on. They're this way- they couldn't have gotten far."
Ron led the way down the long, dim hall. From behind the doors of every couple of rooms he could overhear muffled, distorted voices of televisions and loud music. Up ahead the shrill voices peaked out above all other sounds as they quickly approached. Another turn and Ron found the colorful group on the ground outside a particular door, squealing and ramming the door. He was about to scold all of them, but Valencia's blue muzzle turned towards him and she began pleading to him in her strange, unintelligible drivel.
"Ron! It's Corbyn- I think he may need help."
Ron stared blankly his chattering friend, but somehow he had a feeling that he understood what she was trying to say. Some distant, echoing din came from the back of his head, telling him that there was, indeed, reason to worry. Another loud thud drew his attention to the base of the door, where Vulpix was ramming and Eevee was futilely knocking. Cathy was sitting aloof, staring at the looming door in fear, still cursing her new, miniature stature. "Hey, wait a minute-" he backed up and looked down the hall towards his room and the pile of clothes. "This is Corbyn's room isn't it?" He looked down at Valencia whose face darkened and nodded.
In her eyes, Ron could see, was a certain, gloomy nervousness. Her deep black pupils gouged a wide hole in his heart and he found himself short of breath. They reminded him of the purple night sky with the summer moon in the distance that casted a shimmering reflection in the placid lake beneath. He saw a tear start to develop and thought about how Valencia- as a human- would be crying; if she had seen someone else go through what she went through at the lake earlier. He decided that she would, under the circumstances, look just about the same. He kneeled down in front of her.
She felt a powerful, massive anchor fixed to her shoulders. She wanted to collapse on the floor and sob in helplessness. Before this moment Valencia had felt nothing but rapture for what had happened to her. Overwhelmed and faced with a detestable communication barrier, she began to hate her new body. Her head sank, a tear rolled down her cheek. She closed her eyes in retreat.
She felt a sudden warmth sweep over her. She opened her eyes and was met with the fervent smile of a gentlemen, whose honest, tender palm was slowly caressing her muzzle, massaging the crest on her forehead. The glowing man proceeded to rub her cheeks, and the backs of her ears. She softly closed her eyes and let her mind drift and her head swayed similarly as he massaged. Her body soothed as all of her present worries felt like they were lifted. She permitted a gingerly purr. It was not a purr she was accustomed to- in fact, she noted then that never before had she ever heard a Vaporeon's natural purr. It reminded her of big, wondrous words like 'tranquil' and 'pure'- of an ocean's tide that rolled in and rolled back out daily and without stop. She didn't want Ron to stop; for him to stop would be an eviction from her wonderful dream- she might wake up and find herself human again.
Ron allowed her chin to rest in his cupped hand. A light blue crystal appeared and rolled down her muzzle. Leaving a darkened trail behind it, it pooled on his broad thumb. "There," he cooed. With that, he gave her sleek back a slow stroke and stood up, facing the door. With his wet hand he rubbed his own chin and contemplated. He reached forward and tried the handle. It stiffly resisted turning, and sent a sharp pain up Ron's arm. He recoiled and almost stepped on Vulpix's tail, before Don stepped in and caught him.
"Gah! That's smart," he muttered. Don helped him back onto his feet, and he quickly took action. He approached the door and made several loud knocks. "Hey! Corbyn!" No answer. "Corby! You in there?" The adamant door felt lukewarm to the touch. Ron stepped to the side and examined the locking mechanism. A steady orange light flickered on it in front of a long narrow slit that was labeled "SLIDE CARD HERE."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out his room's key card and slid it through. The orange light disappeared and a derisive red light replaced it, before switching back to red. He tried it again, with the same result. He turned around and looked to Don for advice. He shook his head and shrugged with a nervous grimace.
Ron then saw his bestial former instructor shuddering behind Don's leg. She had a glimmer in her eye that suggested that she was looking at the lock with an intrigued curiosity. It seemed to draw her, though she was frozen with suspicion. Ron's eyebrows lifted as her ears perked. A spark sprang off the tip of one and disappeared in the cool air. All of the fur on her body stood on end and she stepped around Don's leg with an uplifted spirit of heroism. She began to growl as she approached the door, and her eyes flashed. She seemed to grow to twice her size as bright yellow energy sparkled and cracked all around her. Ron grabbed Eevee- who was still obliviously knocking and pleading to the door- and leapt toward the floor, away from the expanding glow.
Cathy shut her purple eyes tightly and pushed her eyebrows outwards. What the hell am I doing? she thought. She couldn't even begin to think about what she was doing- she felt herself reluctantly acting on impulse, as if by some will beyond her own. Her front lowered and she felt her fear melting into ardent resolve. Some part of her wished desperately to lunge out and break down the door that stood in front of her as her only obstacle. Her breathing quickened. She could feel the strange energy surrounding her, coursing through her spine and head. It sizzled and zapped, but it didn't seem to have any evil intent. Rather than sharp pain, she felt the energy fall over her body and seep into her skin. It soaked into her inner being and made her heart pulse rapidly. She felt completely invigorated and began to smile at her newfound exhilaration. The thought crossed her mind of jumping toward the lock and mauling it like an animal. However, before she could enact it, she heard a loud chaotic crack. She looked up out of her stupor just in time to see a long stream of the yellow electricity shooting towards the mechanism and engulfed it. Her determination melted down and she slowly backed away. The box glowed and all of a sudden it exploded with the yellow energy, its blowing off and flying away. The shrapnel would have struck Don had he not ducked when he did. A steady haze emitted from the box and filled the hall.
As soon as he heard the explosion, Ron looked up and saw the box smoking, with arcs of electricity flashing slowly and sporadically from within. Cathy was slowly backing away from the door with trepidation, tucking her head into her shoulders, folding her ears back, and letting her mouth hang open. There was silence in the room, except for a few random sparks from the smoldering lock. He coughed from the smoke, "Didn't I just leave this party?" He suddenly became aware of an unpleasant movement underneath his chest, and as soon as he got up, he realized that Eevee had been frantically squirming to get out from under his massive body. On the floor beneath him, the small fox was slightly flattened in the midsection and was squealing with hysteria.
"Oh! Sorry, 'Vee," Ron replied contritely. Eevee did not appear to take his apology very well, for as soon as he stood up and unflattened himself, he narrowed his gaze and gave Ron a peeved look and stormed off over to Vulpix. Lying down next to Ron, Valencia had also dived from the explosion, and she followed Eevee over to the door. She stared intently at the charred box and, pushing her lips out to make a small hole, shot a quick squirt of icy-cold water that sizzled when it touched the hot metal.
Ron stood up as she was doing this, and quickly walked over to the door. Wrapping his hand- which still stung from earlier- in his shirt, he gripped the handle as lightly as one could and tried it. It turned. "Yes!" he yelled, and he turned the handle all the way down, feeling the internal pops as the springs inside the destroyed lock became detached. He pushed on the door which swung open slowly as if carved from ancient stone.
Immediately upon opening the door Ron could tell that something was out of place. For one, a hot, torrid gush of pressurized air wooshed past him, almost knocking him down. The chamber looked much older than his room, and the lights were dimmed slightly. Papers and soda cans littered the carpet. He then noticed that bigger things were not quite right. The bed, which his dark-haired friend was supposed to be resting and recuperating in, was empty, and the covers looked as though they had been hastily tossed into a pile on the corner of his bed. The pillow was nowhere to be seen, and the sheets were violently ruffled.
"Oh, goodness," Ron mumbled as he looked down in front of him. A long series of worried thoughts crossed his mind of what crazy idea had been in Corbyn's mind when he decided to unclothe himself. Next to the ball of his foot sat a lonely, cerulean-blue t-shirt in a flattened oval. A foot away, Ron spotted his friend's trademark black sweatpants sprawled out on the carpet and a pair of charcoal-gray boxers curled up in a ball under the left leg.
Eevee slipped between Ron's legs and jumped onto the shirt, curling up and rolling around on it. Ron reached down and removed him from the article, though he stopped a moment when he felt the shirt's unnatural warmth. With Eevee squirming in his arm, dangling a few feet above the ground, he took no notice of him, but rather took up a further interest in the shirt that had witnessed whatever had transpired.
Valencia also took an interest in the garment, taking a quick sniff of the hanging sleeves. Her head recoiled at the odor- it smelled of heat, but also of gas. Is that... Hydrogen? she thought. No, if it was hydrogen the whole building would have exploded by now. What is that smell? It had a strong sulfurous, chemical odor to it, and she also got a hint of smoke and perspiration. She felt concerned, but at the same time, she was amazed with her incredible new sense of smell. Cathy and Vulpix walked up next to her and looked around the room.
"God! What is that smell?" Cathy barked as her whole face wrinkled with disgust.
Valencia looked over at the Jolteon with a sense of superior pride. "I don't know- it smells like hydrogen gas, but that's impossible. There's no way it could have gotten in here." She took another sniff.
Vulpix leaned forward casually and sniffed. He raised his eyes and looked keenly to Valencia. "Adrenaline." He looked around the group and took another shallow sniff. "This was recently worn, but was removed quickly in a fit of some sort." Eyes closed, his head inclined to sniff the warm, sultry air. He seemed to follow some invisible line that went over to the bed before reversing directions and spanning the carpet over to the bathroom door. He barked quietly and led the group of quadrapeds in a dash over to the area.
Valencia stopped at the door to reach up and place a paw on the frame. "Corbyn?" Placing an ear alongside the surface she could faintly make out a slow, breathy garble emanating from within. She pressed harder on the door and the garble turned into an unintelligible whisper.
"What is it?" Cathy murmured softly.
"I think he's talking to himself."
"Why that crazy-"
"Shh!" Valencia turned and gave the Jolteon a stern look that silenced her quickly. She returned her ear to the edge of the door and listened fixedly. Still she could hear the muffled speech. She slowed her breathing to try to decipher it more clearly, but she was suddenly startled by a loud, solid thump, followed promptly by a sharp yelp. She leapt a foot or two in surprise upon having her sensitive ears ringing from the unexpected explosion of sound. Another thump was heard inside the bathroom and then silence. Valencia carefully advanced upon the door again, this time keeping her ear a safe distance from the surface. A slow, steady groan came from the crack underneath.
She backed away from the door slowly and looked at the others. Their blank expressions provided no answers or ideas. With an annoyed sigh she tried knocking on the door. "Corbyn? Corbyn- are you in there? Are you okay?"
The groaning inside stopped and was replaced with whispers and short grunts. Then a clearer voice, albeit still muffled, came through the crack under the door and surprised the group. "Could it be? Valencia? Is it thee that doth call to me?"
Valencia turned around to the others and tilted her head, unimpressed. "Great."
"What?" Cathy interjected impatiently.
"He can understand me."