Re: [WAR XI] Mordred's Lullaby
It would take him months before he would remember what had happened. He had been only about ten feet or so away, sprinting at full speed, so he had not been prepared when the massive, fiery inferno of an explosion flung him backwards like a rag doll, sending him much further than where he had originally been and straight into a solid oak privacy fence at least thirty feet away. His ears rung terribly, and he didn’t open his eyes for a good few minutes until the horrid screeching faded to silence. He looked around him and saw massive, roaring beasts of red with bright lights spinning on top of them, and humans running around, mouths open. He wondered what they were doing, running around so crazily like that with their mouths agape. He almost laughed. They looked so silly, like they were screaming without sound. Or maybe they were laughing, too? Some of them had water coming from their eyes, like tears. Something must be really funny for them to be laughing…
He blinked, vision drifting onto something that was sort of distant. It was a massive orange light, flickering and dancing. He blinked a few times, focusing his blurry sight, and then realized that it was fire. He decided that he should move away from the fire. But why was there fire?
Shaking his head, he rose to his paws, realizing that there was blood on his fur and that he was in pain. He stumbled back to his side, rolling down the slight hill of thin grass he was resting upon, the hill that led to the seven-foot fence he had slammed into only several minutes ago. He dragged his body to its paws again, trying desperately to stand and stay upright. After a few tries that resulted mostly in rolling further down the very shallow, long incline that led down to the fire, he managed to balance himself enough to turn his head without tottering over. He spied a battered box, blackened with ash, and approached it curiously. A thin rod of metal protruded from the rectangular prism’s top, bent at all different kinds of angles. The chocolate and beige creature, now almost black himself from his scorched hairs and the smoke, sniffed at it. Something told him to take it with him, so he did. He took what looked like its handle into his teeth and began dragging it up the hill.
It took him a day to realize that he could no longer hear his own voice, though he couldn’t remember what it sounded like anyway.
It took him three days and two hours to realize that the radio was missing batteries, and it was then that he began humming the tune to what sounded like a strange lullaby that he had no recollection of, and even though his mind knew how it went, he couldn’t hear his own sounds.
It took him five days, twenty three hours, and forty-nine minutes for him to remember his own name; Mordred. He clung to this calling tightly, afraid that he would forget it. He wasn’t sure why he had forgotten it in the first place, but at least now he could let others know what he went by, though he hadn’t met a single friendly Pokemon yet. It was then that he also realized that whenever humans moved their mouths they never said anything, and the world was always so quiet even with all of the movement. What a strange realm he was in.
It took him one week, thirteen hours, two minutes, and fourteen seconds of wandering through the city, clutching the radio and eating from garbage cans, before the small trickles of his identity dripping into his mind became a surging river rapidly engorged by suddenly resurfacing memories. It took him only two seconds to fall to the ground screaming, claws digging into his head as every moment he had experienced in his awfully sad existence thundered into his mind all at once.
It took him one week, thirteen hours, two minutes, and thirty six seconds to pass out from the pain.
It took him one week, two days, zero hours, and fifty-nine minutes to evolve and finish the journey home.
It took three weeks, six days, twenty-two hours, thirty seconds, and twenty-five milliseconds for the meadow to almost completely wither and die.
Worry had driven him to following his mother’s scent through the grime that night, fighting his terror every step of the way as he darted across roads and dodged cars, all with the radio clutched in his paws. He had been overjoyed to see his mother safe, and had watched from the scraggly bushes as she reached for the batteries, but had also seen the danger that had presented itself. He had stupidly tried to rush forward, stupidly tried to save her. She wouldn’t have wanted this for him.
The long, almost ferret-like creature sat in the crunchy grass, yellow and brown from lack of water, though it had only rained yesterday. He knew very well why the forest was wilting. Without noise to distract him, the Linoone had found that he was able to think things through a lot better, and it was easier and quicker to understand things. There was no other reason why that radio could be so important. There was something magical about it. Something that only those who had experienced could understand. While the lullaby put others to sleep, it kept the forest and meadow awake, and when the music faded, it died. There had to be something special about the damned thing, anyway—it only played one song, over and over, no matter what, despite the fact it had an antenna and a way to change the station, though the latter had never worked and never would. It had also, for some reason, kept humans out of the paradise, and had left it unscathed by their growing presence and widening cities. The beach was never even occupied by humans, for Arceus’ sake, and it was wide-open from the water. He knew that without the radio, his only home would perish one way or another.
And yet he couldn’t bring himself to go back to the city.
There was no way in hell he was going back to that damned place for some little batteries. The meadow could die, for all he cared. In fact, he was thinking of throwing the radio straight into the sea and let the Pokemon there have it. Mordred would like to see it work then.
The thing was, thought, that the sad reality would always be that he could never get rid of it, whether it was operational or not. It was the last thing he had of his mother other than the vision of her form momentarily silhouetted in the flames as they billowed forth around her, and then swallowed her whole, and the last thing that he wanted to do was get rid of it. Though on the outside he was confused and angry with the object, on the inside he still loved it, only because his mother had cared for it so.
But that was final. He wasn’t going to get batteries. The meadow could die for all he cared. Mordred wasn’t going anywhere near that city ever again.
He was nearing the city.
He quivered silently with fear, wide eyes staring down the very same shallow slope he had been thrown up only two months ago by the explosion that had taken everything away from him—including his hearing. His back was to the oak privacy fence, where he could see two new boards, lighter than the weathered old ones on the row, in the place of the ones he had slammed into and almost broken.
Mordred knew what he had sworn he wouldn’t do. He knew that he was going, right now, to do it anyway. But he couldn’t stand by and see any more Pokemon die from emaciation, and he couldn’t stand to see the trees that protected the meadow being ripped apart as the humans began to spread again anymore. He couldn’t see one more child lose their parents as he had lost his. Even his father had died, long before he hatched from his egg, when he made an attempt to fight off a human that had made its way into the meadow. It was too heartbreaking. He didn’t need to hear their sobs. He only needed to see the tears stream down their faces as their wide eyes watched their parents disappear into the depths of the trees after commanding them to stay.
He stared at the broken ruins of the gas station. The pumps had been destroyed beyond repair, and what was left of them was gone now, leaving only circle, metal covers over the holes that had been left. The convenience store that had been nestled several yards to the right of the pumps had also been blown apart, but it seemed like nobody had cared enough to clear anything but the expensive items from the wreckage. Hope flooded through him as he laid eyes open the wide-open, blackened walls. He stashed the radio in the familiar skeleton of a bush and then rushed forth, scurrying toward the forsaken husk of a building. He entered from a gap in the wall located at the back of the ruined structure, his thin, lithe body snaking through the hole. It wasn’t overpowering, but he still cringed at the acrid, dry scent that hung heavily in the air. It hadn’t rained here in weeks, and then lingering scent proved that. It was also extremely hot; the sun didn’t have any problem piercing the haze of pollution, but the heat that was sent in did have a problem getting back out of the atmosphere.
He cautiously sniffed around the store, upturning the chunks of concrete he could lift and throwing his weight into the ones he couldn’t to scoot them. The remainders of the concrete walls made the small area feel like an oven, reflecting heat onto his fur. An hour passed and by the end of it he was drenched in sweat. He had searched the store up and down more times than he could count, but no batteries were present. He gave a cry of frustration, chattering irritably even though he couldn’t hear either of these outbursts. Mordred plopped onto the ground, glaring about his surroundings until an idea happened upon him…
The cream-furred, brown-striped creature lunged to his paws, ripping around the store like a whirlwind once more. He ventured to one of the smaller rooms at the back of the store, the one beside the hole he had entered from and could not even begin to fathom the purpose of, and searched for something… anything… The sun had begun to set, and in a couple of hours, the moon would be upon him…
After flipping over every object he found to check what was on the back of them, he finally found one with what he was looking for—a battery cover. Ironically enough, this object was, in fact, a radio. He spat at it as he undid the screw, ripped off the cover, and stole the two items inside, and then proceeded to scurry back up to the hill to the slate-grey music box stashed behind the pitiful excuse for a bush that was its hiding place.
He held the batteries carefully in his mouth, hating the taste of the smoke that had imprinted its scent onto them, but knew it was for the better. His run was awkward with the handle of the man-made entity also clenched in his teeth, but he made steady progress. It had become harder to travel south unseen to the meadow because of the increased human activity that had been stalking near, but he managed to make it about an hour after the moon had risen, though even then the going had still been slow. A human seeing a Linoone carrying a radio would have assumed theft and would have tried to steal it, and he couldn’t have that.
He was glad to almost be home. But as he darted through the stumps and over the upturned dirt, which had fallen victim to the human’s machines a week or two ago he realized that something was wrong. Everything above the ground was too still, and yet he became aware of a steady vibration of the earth beneath him, increasing in intensity, as he neared what was supposed to be the last string of trees that protected the northernmost edge of their haven.
As he came over the slight rise in the earth, he found his eyes laid upon wreckage.
The lack of daylight hadn’t stopped the humans after all. Their machines had plowed down the massive beings that were the age-old pines and oaks easily in the twelve hours that Mordred had been gone. He felt rage build inside of him, feeling a snarl rumble from his chest. He picked up his pace, even though he was beyond tired, tongue flicking around the batteries in his mouth to make sure that they were still there. They had been propped between his teeth for so long that he could hardly feel them anymore.
He had to do something. He had lied. He cared about the meadow. He cared about the meadow plenty. He had grown up there! His mom had grown up there! It was all he had! Where would he go if he lost it? What would he do?! It was the only place he was even accepted and not taken advantage of because of his newfound disability! No! He couldn’t let them take it! As he came closer and closer, the thrumming of the land grew louder as their massive machines lumbered forth to rip the dying grass easily from the ground, massive racks of spinning metal tilling the land and leaving nothing but scarred dirt behind.
In the lead were large, heavyset, human-like Pokemon he recognized as Hariyama. Their massive, peach-colored hands were set upon thick, beige arms, their soulless eyes set under dark blue ridges that were their brows. Their thick, round legs shared this navy hue, but were mostly covered by sand-colored, almost cloth-like protrusions that fanned out over them.
Mordred was sickened by their cooperation. As Pokemon leaped forth to protect their home, they slapped them to the side without thought or care. He charged them, radio still in his mouth. He lunged onto a lower, protruding edge one of the bright yellow machines they walked in front of, and from there onto its shoulder, whacking it in the back of the head with the radio and digging his claws into its arm and back. Lips parting in what Mordred assumed was a furious roar, the fighting Pokemon ripped the Linoone brutally from his flesh, flinging him at least twenty feet back. The radio tumbled from his jaws, and the batteries flew after it.
Blood trickling from his mouth, he stumbled to his paws a moment later, blinking as he cleared his vision from the sweat pouring down his forehead. It stung his eyes and made it difficult to see, but he sprinted once more. Now that he was not burdened with extra weight, he could maneuver about much more easily. He narrowly dodged a Karate Chop, leaping above it as the hand of the clumsy beast slammed into the ground where he had been about to step. Landing on its arm, he jumped onto the Hariyama’s face, Fury Swipes scoring across its features before he was ripped from his attack once more. This time, he was thrown directly into the ground as hard as possible, but this time, Mordred also didn’t let go. He sunk his fangs into the hand that held him and didn’t let go, jerking as he was released, but his grip didn’t waver.
He found himself slammed into the earth over and over, feeling his ribs cracking at some point with sickening snaps. All of the sudden, he couldn’t breathe. An excruciating pain ripped through his form and he cried out. A couple of more times of being smashed against the untilled ground and he was on the verge of slipping into unconsciousness. The fighting type relented, though, and instead threw him forward once more.
As he hit the prickly grass hard and rolled, he found that he could no longer move. He opened his eyes and saw the radio just in front of him, and the batteries only inches away. He tried to stand, but realized that his back legs could not hold his weight. He glanced down at them to see that they were bent at a sickening angle, bone protruding from the flesh of both lower parts of the hind limbs. He wasn’t sure when that had happened, but apparently there was too much adrenaline flooding his system for him to feel the pain.
He used his front paws to drag himself forth, tearing the plastic shield from the gaps in the radio where the small metal packets of energy belonged. He shoved them into the slots, flipping it back over and turning the dial up as fast as he could. He poked his claw into the horizontal indents that were the speakers, but he couldn’t feel the vibration of sound coming from them. He switched the batteries around, and then tried again, but to no avail. The machines and the Hariyama were coming closer and closer. Why wasn’t it working?!
“Work, dammit!” he screamed without realizing it, his voice strange, as he could not moderate it without being able to hear it. “Work! Work! Work!” He slammed it into the ground over and over, into the pool of his own blood that was gathering at his stomach. “Work!” he commanded, feeling tears well at his eyes. “Work…! Please…!” he sobbed, head slowly lowering until his cheek pressed into the rough grass, inhaling its dying scent once more. He was so tired… so terribly tired.
He pushed it feebly into the yellow foliage again, claws scrabbling at its surface.
“Work…” he wheezed, coughing up crimson onto the grass. He could feel the enemy entities growing near. They were only about two yards away from him. Giving up, he ripped the batteries from the device and slammed it into the ground one last time as he saw the boxy shadow of a machine being cast over him. Just as he felt the bladed, rotating tillers slicing through his legs and pulling him back, he heard it.
“Hush, child, the darkness will rise from the deep…”
He felt the life sucked from him, and then he felt no more.
“…and carry you down to sleep…”
.previously known as White Wolf of the Snow.
[12:38:59 AM] GallantlyGlaceon: ...So how do we do this? XD
[12:39:20 AM] Sight of the Stars: it's nothing really big, just usually a note in your sig that's all like 'paired with soandso'
[12:39:44 AM] Sight of the Stars: just be like "SIGHT OF THE STARZ IS MAH BIZNITCH"
[12:39:57 AM] GallantlyGlaceon: XDDD
[12:39:59 AM] Sight of the Stars: and I'll be like "GALLANTLYGLACEON IS MAH HOE."