Ice Cream? No, YOU Scream.
“Hey man! Where are you and Firebutt going?” A cheerful voice breached the relative silence of the land, deep yet not quite to the point of earth rumbling. The figure shouting was late teens, with the beginning of a beard upon his face and horrendous clothing that suggested poor fashion sense. A lime green t-shirt with a vibrant purple Masterball – aka a powerful device that could literally catch anything
- on the front, with jeans that were far too baggy and often revealed the red plaid boxers the man wore underneath. Of course, his getup would not be complete without an overly large gold chain around his neck, the end of which was shaped like the currency of the world, or a tooth of similar ore in his goofy grin. Add on a backwards baseball cap hiding messy red hair, black fingerless gloves, a torn up brown backpack, and old sneakers that refused to remain tied, and he was quite the fitting image of a clothing disaster. A tornado did not strike his room, oh no, it had struck his closet and then hurled its contents on him
. Yet the man did not seem to notice, instead carrying on like his assault on every living being’s eyes was not occurring.
The one he had been shouting to was far more kind to mortal sight, bearing more leather on his appearance; the leather was black yet shined with its own light, with some spikes on the sleeves and pants. There was not much to describe about him because his clothing was so similar, even on the shoes and gloves. His hair rolled down to his shoulders, just as dark as what he wore, with a pair of sunglasses hiding the orbs that beheld the world from others. A woven sack was slung over his shoulder to carry his belongings, and his collar had a single red sphere on it, which normally held the white and brown monkey beside him. Said monkey had golden swirls of armor on its chest, knees, and elbows, with blue fingertips and toes that contrasted sharply with its flaming head. Both of them turned to gaze at the caller, although the Infernape seemed a bit angry about the name.
<Did he really just call me that name again? How many times must you tell him…I am not a Chimchar anymore! I have evolved beyond that embarrassing phase!>
He complained, although only the man in leather understood what his partner was actually saying. Telepathy was kind to the trainer, but not kind to the Pokémon who could never speak to another aside from the one they bonded with. <I should light his own posterior on fire, and see how he likes it.>
His trainer chuckled. “Easy, Zuko. You’ll get your chance.” He glanced at the eighties reject. “Ricky, hey. I thought you were chilling with your…homies…?” The word was still very much foreign to his tongue. He still had no idea why the man acted like he did; he presumed he was dropped on his head as a child.
“Nah, my peeps went to go get a burger. I knew you were in town, so I wanted to come and say hi!” Ricky mused, skipping to a stop. “So Matt, what brings you to ye olden Iccirus City? I thought you said it got too cold up here, despite having Firebutt as your partner.” He stated, although the glare that flew from the Infernape’s eyes also happened to fly straight over his head.
The newly named Matt shrugged. “Not much, really. Came to sell some supplies, and I made quite a bit of money. You wouldn’t believe how rich that man is in the center that buys ores. He paid a ridiculous amount of money for those pearls I found.” He neglected to say those pearls may or may not have been harvested from deceased Clamperls, although some were still very much alive as he cut the gems loose from them. They were common Pokémon in Hoenn so he saw no problem with harvesting them, and the meat also sold for a pretty penny.
Ricky was flabbergasted. “Wow! I guess you already put it in the bank, huh?” Noting the suspicious, although humored, look, he flailed his arms. “No no no, I wouldn’t steal it! I just figured it was there, because the sack you carried would be really full. …I just realized I missed a great opportunity to make an inappropriate joke…” The other two groaned, Zuko letting out a puff of smoke in addition to the noise. It never ceased to amaze them how poor the man’s tastes were.
“Anyway, Ricky, I heard rumors about a new mansion being built?”
“Oh yeah!” The fashion disaster seemed to dance around. “Well, it’s not really ‘being built’ per say. It’s been built for decades. Everyone sort of forgot the place existed so it fell into disrepair. Someone else bought it recently and they have been fixing it up. Pretty cool, actually.” He stated in response. “With a place that’s haunted, though, I don’t know why anyone would want to live there.”
Matt looked unimpressed. “Okay then. Well, which way is it?” Ricky pointed towards a branching path into the pine trees, which was otherwise unremarkable. “Well, I’ll be seeing you then.”
“What? You’re going to go there? Wait, man!” Leave it to Ricky to throw a fuss. “The sun is setting, it’s haunted, and it’s private property! You can’t go there!” Yet Matt only threw him a look, suggesting that if he didn’t like it he could stay there, before continuing on. Zuko followed suit, both of them being swallowed by the forest aside from the Infernape’s blazing skull. That too, however, quickly faded into nothing as the leaves grew too dense to allow its light to pass through. Jogging in place for a second due to indecision, Ricky suddenly shouted before following.
The trio came upon an incredibly old mansion, its paint brand new from restoration and a lovely baby blue coloration, with its many faceted windows framed by marble. The pillars that supported the balconies were of the same rare substance, and the door was made from birch wood to fit the theme. It was a monster of a building, easily possessing many rooms for multiple families, as well as a suspected indoor pool and battling facility. Having been made decades ago, the Iccirus Mansion had previously decayed; from its remains rose a new creature of myth and beauty that put to shame even the mighty Pokémon Mansion.
“Now see? Pretty, yeah? Let’s go.” Ricky trembled, but he noticed Matt do the exact opposite of what he had just suggested. Making a sound akin to a “squeak”, he quickly ran over to follow Matt, who was trying to open the door using a bobby pin. “Matt, man, stop! Not our place!” He stated frantically, but he was muzzled by a glare from the Infernape beside him. With an audible click from the lock, the door swung open on freshly oiled hinges to reveal an interior that was filled to the brim with oak flooring and furniture, along with peach walls and a crimson carpet. Occasionally there was a spot of gold or silver, which made Matt grin with glee.
“Come on, Zuko. We have work to do.” The duo entered the building, the flame on the Infernape’s head lighting the area up by a limited amount. Ricky chased after him, too frightened by the darkness of the night to be alone. While Matt was moderately annoyed by his friend, for the most part he ignored him, pulling out the sack and beginning to search around. He made sure to swipe a gold picture frame on the way in, tossing it carelessly into the bag.
“Matt, you’re stealing. You shouldn’t be stealing!” Ricky whined, earning a look from his friend.
“Don’t lecture me. These people are filthy rich. They won’t notice a few possessions that have gone missing.” He stated, pushing Ricky away. “I’m going this way. Don’t follow me.” The leather thief stopped for a moment, thinking. “…Yeah, I think it’s for the best you stay here. You’re accident prone.” With that final statement, he waited just long enough for Ricky to flounder for a Pokeball in his backpack before he disappeared into the darkness.
From the ball a light shined, coalescing into a flat shape that was tan in color, bordered by brown with two little fins jutting out on its sides. It had the most vacant expression one could find, with a beak placed squarely in between the beady eyes. A long yellow stripe was on the tail fin, with a dot connected to where the actual fin was located. The Stunfisk shook itself before flopping over to his trainer, his mouth turning up at the sides into a grin. With a command, the spots and fin began to light up, bathing the area in a radiant light.
Backing up a bit, Ricky turned around, looking over a portrait behind him. It was of a stately old man, but it was terribly faded from age. Even the best expert could only restore it to a black and white photo, a shadow of what it once was. His gaze was immediately drawn to the eyes, for that was the window to the soul, and he realized that it actually did
have some color on it. They were blue, with the pupils being a shade of purple – quite the odd coloration. He figured that perhaps the restoration had mucked up what little color had been left, and with a shrug, he began to turn away.
That is, until he saw it blink
Now Ricky wasn’t the sanest or smartest person out there. Some called him a whacko, others called him a moron, and even more people called him an eyesore. Yes, he had been that child who was dumb enough to stick his finger in an electric socket, or lick a pole during winter. Would he do it again for five dollars? Probably. But Ricky was not so stupid that he would think blinking portraits were normal. Indeed, his mind screamed at him that it was not
normal. When the portrait’s mouth turned into a smile, however, was when it truly crossed the line.
Smiles normally spread happiness, but this one only spread terror. With a cry, he snatched Derpy – the Stunfisk – by the tail and suddenly ran, the light dancing wildly as a result. He crashed through corridor after corridor, breaching the sanctity of every room as he grabbed at doors to escape. He finally stopped his rampage once he came into a large room that was very humid, but it did not come before the ground fell out beneath him and he hit something wet. The pool swallowed him and his Pokémon, and while he couldn’t swim, he had been lucky enough to fall into the shallow section. He was also thankful that no one else had been there to see his embarrassing flailing and screaming that he was drowning, which proved to be untrue as he merely stood up taller than the surface of the liquid.
Holding up the Stunfisk, who being part Ground Type was not happy being soaked and the electricity within him had also been shorted out, he quickly began to apologize. “I’m so sorry man! Didn’t mean to do that. I’m soaked, you’re soaked, and we’re all soaked. Yeah. Did I mention we are soaked? I don’t think I did…”
<Duh…You did…I think…>
Came the slow response.
“Oh, okay. And…is it…getting colder in here…?” Opening his mouth, he blew out a puff of air, which completely crystallized on contact. Knowing time was of the essence, he began to make his way to the edge of the pool, stopping as he noticed frost creeping over the tiles, and the humidity collecting on the ceiling to form sharp daggers of ice. He swiveled his gaze until he saw a floating figure, or rather, two. They were joined at the hip, ice jutting down toward the ground and casting a pale blue color onto the particles around it. Two figures made of snow sat on the cone, the tip of each head being topped with a delicate swirl that did little to appease its terrible look. It had two stumpy arms – if they could be called that – on the sides, and shared the eyes and smile from the portrait. Perhaps he had been luckier before, as the painting had blocked out its hungry gaze and drooling mouth.
One head, however, has a circular tube burrowing straight into its skull. Even more disturbing was the fact that particular half had its eyes shut in delight, a grin on its face of sheer joy. It was horrifying, really, because the straw was going straight into the Vanilluxe’s brain
. When it blew particles at a victim from the straw, it was literally
blowing icy chunks of brain matter
at them. It did that while smiling, grinning
as it tore
its own body apart
. It wasn’t natural as it stared with that goofy expression, oblivious to the world around it while it expelled unmentionables onto the poor sap who dared challenge it.
With that thought, realization hit Ricky.
was that poor sap.
Giving a yelp, he sent Derpy forward who gathered some mud into his beak from seemingly nowhere, launching the Mud Bomb at the floating monstrosity. The attack failed to make impact as a light green shield flashed over the Vanilluxe, the Protect cancelling out the technique. Inhaling, it pointed its straw at the Stunfisk, letting loose a freezing cold wind which cut into the poor Pokémon for effective damage. The Icy Wind also had the effect of freezing the water solid, trapping Ricky in its cold embrace. Despite the cold, he ordered Derpy to launch a Thunderbolt, having become dry enough to launch electricity. As the energy buzzed around and flew forth towards the enemy, the Vanilluxe took the attack.
Their happiness at hitting the terror was fleeting, as a purple shimmer around the vanilla sundae brightened before being shot towards the Stunfisk. Derpy gave a rattling shriek as the Mirror Coat tore apart its body, shredding fins and hopes as it was sent skittering onto the frozen pool. “Derpy…?” Ricky couldn’t reach his Pokémon, and the lack of response terrified him. There was nothing he could do, as his Pokeball was in his backpack which he could not reach due to being frozen from the stomach down. As Vanilluxe began to gather teal energy in its mouth – the head without the straw being the main leader apparently – he knew an Ice Beam from it would freeze him solid. No matter how much his brain screamed at him, his eyes could not look away at his impending doom.
A loud crash reverberated around the area as the sudden blazing form of Zuko broke through a wall, slamming a fist into the Vanilluxe’s face and sending it spiraling backwards. Sliding to a stop, Ricky saw Matt come through, sack full of precious loot. His arrival had been extremely convenient, but Ricky pushed it to the side of his mind as he would rather not question luck. Unfortunately, seeing the stolen items cooped up into such an unceremonious bag infuriated the Ice Type, the straw head opening its eyes and losing its frown. Giving a bellow, it unleashed a harsher torrent of air upon the pool-turned-arena, the area becoming drenched by snow and ice as the Blizzard covered everything.
Zuko was not impressed, and an order from Matt made him jump forward. He struck Vanilluxe quickly and repeatedly, never guarding himself as the Close Combat dealt massive damage to the Ice Type. It left the abomination stunned for a brief moment, but it gathered an orb of water in its mouth which took the shape of rings. The close range Water Pulse lashed into the monkey’s body with painful intensity, knocking it back onto the frozen surface of the pool where it stumbled awkwardly. Upon getting a command to use Flamethrower, Zuko looked around in notable confusion before, with all the grace of a trucker, smashed his skull into the ground, the fire leaping from his jaws to melt the ice.
Having been on the deep end, the Infernape sank quickly, paddling with some trouble to get back to the surface. He could do nothing as an Icy Wind encased him in ice, but it did not last long. Snapping out of his confusion, he gathered flames around himself, heating the ice around him back into liquid before he burst from the pool. Hearing Matt call out for him to finish the job, the leftover energy from his Flame Wheel began to wrap around his muzzle, forming into an increasingly large orb of red. In the meantime, Vanilluxe set up a yellow barrier around itself before charging toward its opponent.
It was a terrible decision. The ball of crimson energy suddenly shot like a bullet from Zuko’s mouth, smashing into his foe before exploding and causing the area to rain fire, defrosting portions of the arena. Screaming a terrible wail after being engulfed, the Vanniluxe's body dripped away into a sloppy mess. Its remains joined the water of the pool, disappearing as quickly as it had appeared.
As Matt went to move, however, the heat of the area had radiated upwards to where the icicles were hanging. Rattling, they suddenly broke loose and fell with a deafening speed. The crunch of bones sounded through the air as ice smashed through skin and vital organs, impaling the thief where he stood. The light faded from his eyes as he coughed up blood, going limp as his Infernape stared helplessly, immobilized from the effects of Blast Burn. So stunned, he did not see the water bubble slightly as it began to take shape into a similar form, still horrendously deformed from the attack it had survived only thanks to the Light Screen it had put up and the subsequent Acid Armor it had used.
Zuko could do nothing as the retaliatory Mirror Coat obliterated his body into dust.
Ricky tried to scream, tried to run, but the pool froze over again in a recurring theme. Matt remained an eerie statue, the spear of ice rammed straight through his chest and back to keep him standing, while Zuko had literally been reduced to nothing from the full force of his own attack rebounded onto him. Derpy was frozen beneath the water, having fallen through when the pool had defrosted temporarily. Ricky was in a similar predicament, having been unable to move in the limited time he had been granted before merely because of all that had happened.
As the mutant hovered over to him, its anger turned into sick glee on both heads, and it was then he heard it as he felt the cold chill of its breath spread pierce his soul.
<We chased the ghosts away…
This is our mansion…
And now this is your tomb!>