Book Two: Vengeance, Chapter Two-
"You-you're saying," Rei stuttered, "that these are ghosts out for revenge?"
"I'd put it more as 'unfinished business,'" Serenity clarified. "Something in their lives wasn't completed, so the that desire manifests itself into some corporal form. Take my most recent subject for example," she pointed out. Fiddling with some controls, a large mechanism by Rei unsealed a massive glass tube.
"What exactly am I looking at?" the girl questioned, peering long and hard into the seemingly blank vessel. The scientist urged her to wait a little longer as she tapped on the glass. Unnoticed before, a molten, slimy flooring began to stir. It peaked in the middle as a featureless, writhing blob, but, as the ooze shifted about, distinctions began to emerge. A couple of limbs pulled themselves apart from the mass as a pair of vacant eyes were uncovered and a jaw seemingly dropped without control, unrolling a dark and dripping tongue from within. Wide-eyed, Rei stared at it. Turning its body, not its eyes, it faced her, and, without warning, charged. Of course, its action was blocked by the thick wall of glass between the two but, nonetheless, caused her to jump back. The putrid thing remained there up against the barrier with gaping mouth, slowly sliding down, leaving a film in its tread. "It's... it's..." Serenity nodded her head. "... so cute!" Serenity about collapsed.
"What?!" She was at a lose for words. She watched, jealously, as Rei put her face up to the glass and baby-talked to it with adoring eyes. Clearing her throat, Serenity spoke up loudly, "And, continuing with my demonstration..." She trailed off while readying a panel.
"Yeah. Yeah, that's nice," responded Rei, only half paying attention as not to ignore her new friend. Putting her hands up with the fetid goop's, her banter continued. "Hello there, little guy. Hello. Hello!" Its face, still smeared upon the container wall, remained just as blank and unmoving. She let out a sigh of endearment. "Aw..." Fed up with her behavior, Serenity pushed a blinking button, which was accompanied by a blaring noise. Distracted by the sound, Rei turned around only to have another loud sound occur behind her. This one, however, was more a loud thud. Shrieking upon gazing at the unholy sight, she almost fainted upon seeing the chamber now occupied by two vertical presses. "What are you doing?" she screamed more than asked in a cracking voice.
"Relax," Serenity assured her visitor. "I only wanted to demonstrate for you the resilience of this class." The mashers began to separate and revealed the puddle of filth already reshaping its structure. Seeing the heap with its never-changing, deadpan visage filled Rei with relief. "Now of the spirit reoccurrence that we know of," Serenity continued her lecture, "those associated with the earth tend to have come from and still act as guardians or protectors, even though their location or object may have changed. The nature of this little guy's family, however, is more unnatural, much like its existence. They are pollution. Muck, grime, and toxic waste in seething cesspools created by man's foolishness are their homes. They lack any normal instinct of survival since nutrition is not a major concern; therefore, they take up their inherited nature. Being forged from the carelessness of man's apathy, they become just that: hate and destruction. It is their sole purpose in their existence to spread blight and ruination."
Rei shot over an unbelieving glance as she repeated, "Destruction?" Her face turned soft as she wondered upon the confined creature, running her hand gently along the outside of its cell. "How could something so sweet looking be evil?" Without even waiting for a response, she gibbered to the goo once more. "You're not evil, are you? No, you're not. No, you're not. Are you?"
"Their actions of spite are caused by the previous lives," proceeded Serenity in haste, attempting to forget what she just heard. "They could have been mistreated or neglected and seek comfort that way. Others could just have not like people or things and lived their lives that way, continually harming others. And, with as bad as they might seem, some are believed to be worse." One of Rei's brows raised in curiosity. "The damage they cause is normally minor and is more a nuisance. Destroying crops, clogging holes, a stagnant odor, none fatal wounds-"
"None fatal?" interrupted Rei. "Just how bad are these other ones suppose to be?"
Serenity remained silent for a short while before speaking, "The are masters of trickery, able to strike anytime and anywhere unnoticed. They can infiltrate one's mind or dreams and unleash horrid nightmares that can psychologically scar a man for life. And, unlike the former, they actually enjoy what they do, and they do it often." Rei was about to speak, but Serenity cut her off. "It gets worse. These demons only resort to such mischief once their tasks have been completed, and that is only sometimes. Otherwise, they will keep doing what it was that brought them back." Again, she answers Rei's question before it is asked. "Their spirits are bound by a personal vendetta. Only the most iniquitous of atrocities from the most heinous of people could bind these ill desires together. And once they are made whole again, the new being does not just seek to claim the life of whoever wronged its past, it seeks their soul." She threw up her hand. "Yes, it can do that. This being is so elusive and mysterious that many disregard it as a fairy tale, but it is very, very real." Rei remained quiet for a short while, wondering if she could speak.
"But," she started, "what is it?"
"Like the previous one that I mentioned, it is a collection of pollution," the scientist explained. "This one is able to exist as a gas, however, since the presences that comprise it are so strong that true corporeality is not needed. And, if you're wondering, this creature does have a name. Given to it in respect to its monstrous existence. It is Gengar."
"Th-th-the ghost?" Rei stammered out, her hand resting upon her former amulet.
"Oh, so you've heard of it," said Serenity with a pitch of marvel. She leaned over with a hand on each side of her face. With a rapacious look about herself, she questioned, "Have you ever seen one?" Hesitating, Rei slowly shook her head. "Oh. Dang. Well," she shrugged, "one of these days we will. It has been my dream to find one. It would be a great study."
"Yeah," distantly replied Rei peering down at the Pokeball, "one of these days. Wh-wh-... Exactly what would qualify as situation that would produce such a monstrosity?"
"I don't know," stated the researcher while fathoming. "Most any vicious, undeserved death, especially when caused by a human, like-"
"An overpowering massacre on a bloodstained battlefield you were thrown into against your will," sharply interjected Rei, still focused on the object at hand.
"Um," faltered Serenity, "yeah. I- I guess that could do it. But there's more to it then that. You must also account for the fact that to..." Rei tried to listen to her, but it was futile. Gradually, she drew her keepsake closer to her face. The tiny whispers grew more clear. As the thin, raspy voices spoke, all of her surroundings seemed to fade to black. She was swept into the chorus of disorganized raves that drowned her thoughts. Flashes flooded her mind that bore images of places and things that she had never seen before. The pictures and tongues became more rapid to the point where they were maddening, yet she could not turn away. Before it became too unbearable, all ceased with one image and one phrase. The picture was of a barren field stained with cinder and blood expanding indefinitely in all directions. The echoing words faded away with the vision.
"The truth shall be known..."
"... which is needed to finalize its form," Serenity concluded. Rei found herself standing back in the laboratory holding the battered Pokeball almost level to her eyes. Beats of sweat rolled down her skin, which had miraculously become paler, as she panted franticly. The scientist turned in bewilderment to the reason for the unruly noise but was puzzled more by her condition. Concerned, she questioned, "Is everything okay?" Rei was still too dazed to respond, but her waiting caused her possession to be spotted. "What was that?" She quickly whipped it behind her back, but it had already been realized. "You have one, don't you?" Her advance was stopped by Rei menacingly holding the device forward. "Now, now, sweetheart," Serenity calmly spoke, "I just want to have a look at it."
"For what?" questioned Rei. "So it can wind up like your other experiment? Don't make me use this." In honestly, she had no idea how to summon upon it. The first time was a fluke. "No, I'm sorry. I was overreacting," she falsely admitted. "You want a closer look? Here!" The ball hurtled forward and bounced off the researcher's face and landed back at Rei's hand. As she made her retreat, Serenity, cupping her bleeding nose, scrambled to a panel for a way to slow her down. While running by the tank, it began to open. With only a slight crack, the sifting mire freed itself and leapt at the fugitive. The two were felled behind a counter.
"Not so cute now," venomously put Serenity, "is it?" However, instead of muffled screams, only giggles sounded from their location. She leaned over the counter and found the Grimer sitting upon Rei's chest while licking her neck. "Well, this is hardly fair."
"Hee hee, quit it," Rei complained, "you tickle. ... Wait, what?" Knocked back to her senses, she flung a scoop of slime at Serenity's face, who, unfortunately, was not wearing her goggles at the time. The burning pain bought Rei enough time to escape the compound unhampered. As on added bonus, she found herself with a new ally.
Many hours had passed since Rei had left the city, and the road was nearly impossible to travel from lack of light. She still could not forget the things she saw when the spirits spoke to her even though she had not the slightest idea what they could be. She studied the relic long and hard before she retired for the night. As she went to put it away, something stopped her. Compelled, she laid it in front of her head as she laid to sleep. As Rei drifted into slumber, quiet murmurs began to raise up.
"The truth shall be known..."