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AOYC (Multicross SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Bailey Matutine, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Bailey Matutine

    Bailey Matutine (Verified Pooka)

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    I frowned in annoyance at the window on my screen. I wasn’t sure why the password I was using suddenly stopped working, and I really wasn’t sure why my old AOL account from twenty years ago was still the recovery account. On the fifth try I remembered my childhood password, right before I got locked out of that as well. Funnily enough, the inbox was nearly empty. I expected it to be absolutely full of spam, but other than the recovery email I had just sent, the last email I had gotten was from nearly five years ago.

    It was a bunch of PNGs with page numbers for names, sent by an address I vaguely recognized as one of many on a Ranma mailing list, with the only explanation being the subject of “check this out” and a body of “which version did you get btw?” Unsure what they were referring to, I downloaded them, and found it to be a Pokémon CYOA. I glanced over the options. I didn’t think I’d ever seen this particular one before, but that didn’t really surprise me. I hadn’t been very big into the CYOA scene five years ago. Still wasn’t really.

    I turned off the TV and got in bed. An hour later, exhausted yet restless, I slunk back out to the living room and woke up my computer. I’d already told my friends I was going to sleep. Three times. Letting them know I was awake would be embarrassing, and that counted out a few options for filling the hours. Nothing I was following had updated, which counted out a few more. Looking for something to keep me occupied, I pulled up the CYOA again to give it a more thorough look.

    The first thing I noticed was that the options for who I was going to be were either a ten year old trainer, an adult trainer, a league official, or a pokemon. Chuckling, I opened a notepad and gave myself “No, Anon, You Are The Starter” before I opened the next file, one that explained how to pick the starter. I found myself torn between Riolu and Ralts, since I didn’t want to blow the points on the more expensive Mew or Ditto. After some indecision, I marked down both with a slash and a question mark. Depending on which region I picked they could come out to the same point total, so once I decided which to be, I’d go with the region that made my choice cheaper.

    It was when I opened the third page that I had to laugh. Right there, in the middle of the page, was an option to be a hybrid with the pokemon of your choice, with the only limit being you had to pay more to make everyone a hybrid or to be a legendary. It probably wasn’t meant to be taken with the background I had, but the wording didn’t actually forbid it, and from the way it WAS worded… I made a note that I was a Ralts/Riolu hybrid and kept picking options, taking one that let me bypass the four move limit and another that let me mega evolve without an item. Unlocking the ability for pokemon to learn Technical Machine and egg moves through training and exposure was astonishingly cheap at only 50 points, so I took that too, then spent another 50 to turn Sketch into a TM in my possession.

    When I saw two more options, I had to take them together. Multiverse Adventures for 200 points gave me theoretical access to any franchise if I found my way there (a guaranteed travel method was another 600), and Wilderness Explorer, among other things, gave me any one powerful artifact I could theoretically stumble across, with a price difference for how powerful and useful the artifact was. I could even take it as a drawback if the artifact was considered a curse, and by doubling the cost of the perk I could gain complete control of it. Taken together, I was able to pick a Jusenkyo curse that wasn’t really a curse at all, and get double the points back out of the drawback to pay for the ability to access other worlds, with those other benefits of Wilderness Explorer bundled up for free out of the deal.

    On the drawbacks page, I went immediately for Threw Away The Map since I didn’t think starting in a random region was really that big of a problem, certainly a deal for the 400 points I got, and a few others that seemed like good ideas. I then went back and spent my points back down including a perk that gives me access to any one chat program that can communicate with the real world and says no cheating by picking Trillian. Pretty dated, but I took Discord, since almost everyone I want to talk to is on there now. Then I adjusted a couple things, made a few notes, and joined my spouse in bed, finally falling quickly asleep. That night, I dreamed. I’m still dreaming, or else it was never a dream at all. If you’re reading this, it’s because I’m sending txt files to the love of my life, chronicling my adventures, and my love is being kind enough to post them for me on my account so others know where I’ve gone.


    [Chronicler’s Note: This section was actually the fifth file I received. Many of these were sent to me out of order. I have organized them chronologically and joined them into longer entries where appropriate. I have also censored passages where I deemed prudent for privacy reasons, and where the narrative seemed lacking in proper context I have requested the missing information from the author before adding it.]

    AOYCAOYCAOYCAOYC

    I awoke to the sound of rain on tin. There are those who think all rain sounds alike, but to say this is to claim that all drums make the same din. Tin above me. Leaves further away. A puddle somewhere? Definitely a car nearby. I have excellent senses, when I recall to use them, and so it did not strike me as immediately odd that I could pick all this out. Especially in light of my panic at not being in my soft bed at home but rather camping alone somewhere. It was not until I opened my eyes and saw the car on the other side of the field that I knew my hearing had been ramped up. I lifted my hands to rub at my eyes and paused. These were not my hands. These were not hands at all. I flexed the paws before me and rubbed at the metal bump on their backs. Still here. Still impossibly here. I looked about, searching for a clue of any sort.

    It was a matter of moments to locate my backpack. It had been billed as a photography bag due to the various compartments, specially designed to hold a variety of lenses. I used it as a travel bag because it made it easy to separate a change of clothes from my toiletries from whatever I wanted to entertain myself with on the trip, snacks included. It was larger than usual, or perhaps I was smaller. I opened it up, looking for my water, and stared at the way it was packed. The lower compartment held my clothes, as normal, but rather than a single change of clothes rolled up in my pajama pants, it looked like a stack of folded up shirts. Removing them, I found another stack behind them, and another, and another…

    Ten minutes later I was sitting in the strange lean-to I’d awoken in staring at the complete contents of both my wardrobes arrayed around me. This shouldn’t be possible, but with the strange events already to have occurred this morning, what was one more impossible thing? Investigating the other compartments of my backpack and returning everything to their places took another hour. There were a few items I didn’t recognize and some I did, but only from fiction. I left out a change of clothes, and took a moment to thoughtfully examine my body. My upper body was kind of similar to how it had been before, but my lower body was completely different. A thought had me switching sex, although it wasn’t very noticeable, with all the fur and billowy fabric in the way. The biggest change, of course, was the additional appendages, and my legs.

    I put on one of my button down shirts with a bow tie, fumbling at it with my newly unfamiliar fingers before successfully tying it with the aid of my newfound telekinetic abilities, and put on one of my skirts, before looking at my socks and the billowing fabric that was part of my body, before deciding that maybe I’d keep those put aside until I evolved. Examining the lean-to, I found a button that shrank it down into a cube so I could put it in my backpack and set across the field to investigate, deploying a collapsible umbrella first. From a distance, it appeared to be black, but as I got closer it resolved as baby blue. The front grille was chrome and square, and it had two bench seats. It looked a bit like someone had been living out of it, maybe with kids, given the toy shoved into the ashtray and the carving into the surface under the rear window. I could see tracks heading into the woods. If I wanted answers, that’d be the direction to head. Shuddering, I resolved to acquire rain boots suitable for my new form as soon as possible.

    With a series of squelching noises and a peculiar sensation of rushing and sucking between my toes as I walked, I followed the footprints, hoping to find whoever had left the car. Looking back, it appeared black again. This place was beginning to give me the creeps. After trudging for an hour I came to a stream and stopped to wash my muddy feet off. The tracks were going to be more difficult to follow from here, and the more comfort while doing that, the better. The rain was stopping as well, so I set my bag down with my umbrella over it for any last few drops off the trees. I had just gotten my feet clean when the creature burst out from the underbrush. Startled, I let out a sharp cry, which incidentally filled the air with waves of little hearts, due to my new abilities I didn’t quite have a hang on yet. The creature dissolved into dust and flames, reaching towards me and one of the claws barely scratching me before it vanished.

    I blinked. I looked around, and saw two men, one of whom I thought I vaguely recognized from TV. That… might give some hint as to where I was? “So how’s Rory doing?” I asked at the same time they asked “Angel?” There was an awkward pause, in which they looked as confused as I felt. I started again, slowly. “I think there may be a mutual case of mistaken identity.

    “So, what are you, exactly,” asked the man with shorter hair.

    Aha, a question I was prepared for. I expected some confusion when I mixed my wardrobes. “I’m an enby. My pronouns are they/them.” They exchanged a glance.

    “Okay then. What do you want, exactly?”

    “Right now? I’d love to get my hands on a percolator and a hand frother to make myself a nice coffee, but I’ll settle for drying off and getting inside where it’s warm. I’d also really like to not have to walk through the mud again but I think that’s inevitable.”

    They exchanged another look. “So if we give you a ride to a friend’s house for a coffee in front of the fireplace, you mind answering some questions about how you destroyed that demon?”

    I quickly agreed to the deal, and we began a long trek back the way I had come. The car was black again. It also seemed to be theirs, as they were able to unlock it and open the door. I got in, and we headed into town.

    AOYCAOYCAOYCAOYC



    I blame inverted_helix for everything.