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Pokémon Dark-Clothed Small Human

Oneshot

Shiny Phantump

Through Dream, I Travel
Location
Hallownest
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon
  2. absol-mega
  3. silvally-psychic
  4. custom/ninetales-phantump
  5. cosmog
Dark-Clothed Small Human:

I am trapped. Alone.

My siblings are gone. They were put into ice. We did not do what they wanted us to, so now they want to freeze us. I am the last one they need to freeze. Once the machine is ready, I will be frozen… indefinitely.

Indefinitely is an odd word. I have never heard it before, but the machine they put into my head knows what it means.

For an unlimited or unspecified period of time.

It means maybe forever.

I am not sure how scared I should be of Indefinitely. I do not want to be frozen forever, but if it is only maybe forever, then maybe it will be okay. I try to take comfort in that, but I am still scared. I do not want to be frozen at all.

Part of me wants to hit the invisible wall with my helmet some more, but I have tried it enough to know that it never breaks. It only ever hurts my head, so I don’t try it anymore. I curl up in the back of the place they keep me, and I wait.

There is nothing else to do. Nothing else I can do. My strong-hearted eldest sibling tried to fight the humans once, but it only made things worse. It made them add the invisible wall.

When they want to do something to us, there is never something else we can do.

I hear footsteps. I expect it to be the end, but it turns out just to be a small human. The small humans are getting close enough to being adults they take them down here sometimes to show them things. The small humans had the strangest look in their eyes when the no-faces first showed them us…

Today, though, something is different. This small human is alone, and he is in dark clothes instead of white ones. He draws a green card from his clothing. The green card is the one that the long-haired cold mother uses. Why does he have it, I wonder…

The dark-clothed small human shows the card to the machine beside the place they keep me. The door gives a pleased trill. The machines that look at cards are always pleased by long-haired cold mother’s card. It is their favorite card.

Since the door liked his card, he is allowed to slide the metal frame that holds the invisible wall out of the way. He looks at me with the funny look in his eyes.

“Hello,” he says, walking up to me. “I’m going to help you. Do you understand me?”

I understood him. I have understood humans ever since they put the machine into my head. I cannot do any talking, and the big helmet wouldn’t even let me nod my head. Instead, I get up and just stand in front of him. I look at his eyes, and he looks at mine.

“Friendly?”

I do not know if I can promise that.

I do not know if I can trust the dark-clothed small human yet. I do not know what the dark-clothed small human wants, or what he will do to me. All I know is that if I stay here, they will freeze me. I decide to cooperate with the dark-clothed small human for now, even if I do not trust him.

I coo to signal my decision to be friendly. He smiles at me. “Yeah, we’re cool. C’mon, let’s get out of here. Our way out is just up the lift.”

He leaves the room, then looks back at me from the doorway. I feel nervous. I have not been past the doorway in years.

What are you doing here, kid?

It was the muffled voice of a no-face. The dark-clothed small human does not look happy with the no-face. That makes sense. No-faces always do unpleasant things.

“You’re going to let me pass.”

No! I don’t know what you think you’re doing down here, but I absolu-

My curiosity exceeds my nervousness, so I poke out from behind the corner. The no-face gives up on their sentence with a little choking noise.

You’re... insane!

“Like I said, you’re going to let me pass now.”

The no-face grumbled, but moved aside. I am surprised that the no-faces listen to the dark-clothed small human. Normally they only listen to the bug-mask hurting man or the long-haired cold mother. “You don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll die before you get anywhere.

The no-face’s voice is quivering. I like how the no-face is scared of the dark-clothed small human. I wonder what it is about him that scares them?

He laughs at the no-face. “I’ll be fine. They were calm before Faba messed with them. Father let us see them back… before, when… y’know.”

He pauses. I can almost feel thoughts moving around in his head. “I’ll figure out how to get them back. Fix whatever damage Faba did to them.”

What damage? What is he talking about? I want to know what they’re talking about!

The no-face makes a coughing noise. “Well, good luck, kid. Maybe if you’re lucky we won’t have to clean up your body. And if not… Well, try not to make a mess as you go down.

The dark-clothed small human laughs, but it doesn’t sound like a happy laugh. “Yeah, sure.”

He gestures for me to follow and heads towards a room I’ve never been in. In the room, there is a triangle platform. He guides me onto it and presses a button on a machine that chirps in response.

Suddenly, rails spring up around the triangle’s edge, trapping us! I screech in protest and prepare to smash them, but I feel the dark-clothed small human put his hand on my side. It is not a forceful touch. It is a gentle touch. “We’re going to be okay,” he tells me. He has calming words and calming touch. We are going to be okay.

I do not attack the rails. The triangle and its rails move up through a hole in the ceiling and up into a room above.

It takes me a moment to process what has happened. There was a secret second ceiling above the ceiling, and we are now walking on the ceiling like it is the floor.

The dark-clothed small human doesn’t even seem surprised by the ceiling being the new floor, or by the second ceiling. He just keeps going, so I start to follow him. I hope he knows his way around on top of the ceiling, because it’s a very big room.

He takes me to a place where water fills a big gap in the floor that used to be the ceiling. Was there always that much water above me, hidden by the ceiling that is now the floor? It is strange to think that all this has always existed, this world above my head, even when I didn’t know about it.

He leads me towards a little vessel floating in the water. The machine in my head supplies the word boat to label it. It also tells me that boats are used to go places. He shows the card in a terminal beside the boat, and it trills happily in return. He gets onto the boat, then looks at me.

It is a dead end. I do not want to get stuck there, so I do not want to get on. I whimper, but he keeps looking at me. He wants me to get on.

I could stop. He hasn’t forced me to do anything else yet, and he hasn’t tried to force me to do this, either. He took me away from the place they were keeping me and brought me up on top of the ceiling where I am not trapped. I could stop and stay here.

I cannot help but be curious, though. When I decided to be friendly towards him, I had never imagined that he could show me all this. If he can take me more places, I want to come. I want to see all the things he can show me.

This time, I trust him for real when I get onto the boat. Not just because I am scared.

He starts doing things to the boat, and it grumbles at him. He looks to me. “Be back in one second,” he tells me, before hopping back off the boat. He reaches something on the wall and pulls it. The building is not happy about the thing being pulled, so it lights up red flashing lights and screeches at him.

The building yells about “lockdown protocols.” It normally only yells about those when my brave-hearted eldest sibling is breaking things. I think this means that we, too, have broken something, in our own way.

He laughs a very happy laugh and runs back to the boat. When he gets to the controls, he makes the boat grumble louder as it begins to move through the water.

An angry-looking running human sees us moving through the water on the boat. This makes her look even angrier, and they run up to the boat nearest them and show that boat’s terminal her card. She shows the terminal her card over and over again.

The building does not let her have the boat. I suppose it is too distracted by shining the red lights and yelling about lockdown protocols to give out any boats.

The dark-clothed small human shows the angry human one of his fingers as our boat speeds away.



As the boat moves through the water, I stare up at the ceiling. It was dark, covered in twinkly little lights, and so high up that I couldn’t imagine how far away it must be. The machine informs me that this ceiling has a special name. It is the sky.

The sky has its own name because it is a special ceiling. It is a ceiling that goes on through space forever, with no other ceilings above it.

It is strange to think that all that information has been in the machine in my head all along, but I was never able to reach it. It is like I am exploring myself as much as I am exploring the world.

Once we are far away from the place we came from, I decide I feel okay to look at it again. The shining metal that used to make up my whole world now looks as small as the room they kept me in. From this distance, it looks like a place someone could feel trapped in.

I wonder if that’s why the dark-clothed small human wanted to steal a boat with me. Maybe he didn't like living there. Maybe he was trapped there.



The world is fascinating and I still like it but it is also very big. Right now it feels too big. I have found a spot called a bathtub in the place we are staying in. It is small, and the room is a familiar white. I think I will stay here for a while until I feel ready to handle more of the world.

My friend comes into the room. He is not wearing the dark clothes from before, but this is okay because there is a word for him that works no matter what he is wearing. The machine does not know the word, but the word for him is Gladion. I can think of him as that when he is not wearing the dark clothes, and also when he is.

He runs his hand along my back. It is another form of nice touch, and I trill. I am glad I have him with me. He makes the world more manageable.

“You like it in there?” He laughs and smiles at me. “You want a bath, or are you just there to relax?”

I am here because the world feels smaller here. However, bath is an interesting word. I have not gotten to be in water for years, not since they put the helmet on. The helmet is heavy, so I can’t swim. The bathtub, though, is small enough that I can touch the bottom. I grab the water nozzle, but it doesn’t react.

My friend turns something beside the nozzle, and it starts making water. I put my talon under the stream. The running water is warm. It feels nice in the way that good touch feels nice. It is comforting.

I try to roll over onto my back, but the tub is too small for me to lie comfortably in that way with the helmet and my plume. I just get back on my chest instead.

The bathtub fills up very quickly. I suppose it doesn’t need much water to be full, because there is already a lot of me almost filling it. It isn’t long before the warm water covers everything but my head.

I flick the water with my talon. It splashes. I am satisfied. I trill. He laughs.

In this moment, everything is good in the world.



After the water has escaped the bathtub, I stand up and shake the drippiness in my feathers and fur away. Some of the drips fly far enough to hit my friend, he recoils away. Oops. I whimper in apology.

“I should’ve expected that,” he murmurs.

He brings me a towel and begins to dry my wetness with it. It feels very tickly. The sensation makes me shiver, then I sneeze. He dries me with a lighter touch after that. It’s strange, I think, to have him understand me like that. The no-faces either couldn’t tell what I wanted, or they couldn’t care. He can do both.

Eventually, he decides the towel has drank too much of the water in my fur to keep going, so he drapes it over a bar up above the edge of the tub, and he gets a second one to keep drying me with.

Eventually, he is satisfied with how almost-not-wet I am now, and he guides me out of the white room. He goes to the bag that he was wearing when we took the boat, and digs something fluffy out from under all the wads of rolled-up colourful papers.

I like fluffy things. I reach for the fluffy things, but he gently pushes my talon away.

“These aren’t for you,” he says, laughing. “These are for me.”

He retreats back into the white room and the door swings shut behind him! I try to fiddle with the knob that opens it, but it doesn’t move at all.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be out in a second,” he says, seemingly much less concerned about being stuck in the room than I am. Soon, the knob moves without me touching it, and the door opens again.

My friend has changed clothes again! The fluffy things were clothes, and now that he has put them on, he has become fluffy himself.

He walks to the other side of the room and hits a switch, which takes all the light out of the room! It is darker than even the place they used to keep me now. I do not like this darkness. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I whimper.

I hear my friend’s voice. “Relax, I just turned off the lights.”

He does not sound uncomfortable or nervous. He is very good at being calm. It makes me feel safe, because even when I am confused, he knows what is happening. If he is okay, I will probably be okay, too.

I hear his footsteps as he comes closer, then there is a clicking noise and a smaller, yellow light comes on from a lamp on a table. From there, he climbs up into something that the machine in my head tells me is called a bed even though it doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever used as a bed before.

He burrows into the fabric covering it, then he looks at me. I put one talon up on the bed. He smiles. “Yeah, I guess I won’t make you sleep on the floor.”

It takes me a moment to figure out how to get up onto the bed, but I manage to climb up. He slides a pillow under the pointy parts of my mask, then sits up and reaches over me to turn off the lamp.

Soon, everything is dark and silent, aside from my friend's gentle breathing. I tuck him against my stomach.

I can feel him breathing now, too.

When he was awake, he seemed so different. He was brave and strong and he made me feel safer. As he falls asleep, he seems so soft and vulnerable. I feel like I am protecting him and not the other way around.

I want him to feel safe and happy. The same way he made me feel.

Like friends.

Edit: Fixed Typo: Invisible Way -> Invisible Wall
 
Last edited:

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
What a short but delightfully sweet and lovely tale.

I really love the way the narration makes me feel like I am about something that isn't fully like an ordinary pokemon. Yet also something who is the same as any being, who wants friendship, love and understanding.

There's a degree of simplcitiy here thats refreshing, a purity about this tale. I love the way Silvally describes the world around him as well.I feel so sad for him yet happy, because he found a friend.

I have to admit, I did expect this to be a little longer, but I think it works just fine as is! Although I do wish that we could see more of them. It was so sweet!

The door gives a pleased trill
I loved how he describes things like the door being 'pleased' and trilling. Adorable!

slide the metal frame that holds the invisible way out of the way.
Invisible wall?

dark-clothed small human
Rooollll credits ;P

The building yells about “lockdown protocols.”
oh my gosh this is hilarious. The building is yelling.

The dark-clothed small human shows the angry human one of his fingers as our boat speeds away.
This is also hilarious. Made me smile. So innocent!

Eventually, he decides the towel has drank too much of the water in my fur to keep going,
I really enjoyed these oddball little descriptors like the towel 'drinking water'. Really encapsulates an atmosphere!

Anyways thats my thoughts for now! Really liked it, wish it was longer so I could spend more time in this tale!
 

Cresselia92

Gym Leader
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Partners
  1. ho-oh
  2. custom/sneasel-nyula
  3. custom/rayquaza-cress
Hey there! I've been meaning to check out this story when you talked about it, and now I've got the right push to get to it! coughs points coughs

As such, I'm going with both speedy reactions and general overview of this oneshot.

Let's go!

Dark-Clothed Small Human:

I am trapped. Alone.

My siblings are gone. They were put into ice. We did not do what they wanted us to, so now they want to freeze us. I am the last one they need to freeze. Once the machine is ready, I will be frozen… indefinitely.

Indefinitely is an odd word. I have never heard it before, but the machine they put into my head knows what it means.

[...]

It means maybe forever.

I really dig the way this introduction pulls you right into the perspective of the chimera, as well as illustrate what happened to them in a few words. It helps that this story is narrated in first person.

I am not sure how scared I should be of Indefinitely. I do not want to be frozen forever, but if it is only maybe forever, then maybe it will be okay. I try to take comfort in that, but I am still scared. I do not want to be frozen at all.

So inexperienced, and yet Null already knows the concept of eternity. Come to think of it, it is a quite scary concept.

There is nothing else to do. Nothing else I can do. My strong-hearted eldest sibling tried to fight the humans once, but it only made things worse. It made them add the invisible wall.

When they want to do something to us, there is never something else we can do.

Something I've noticed in future passages that I really appreciated is that Null isn't depicted as an aggressive creature. That is something that I've seen very often in other takes, and it's refreshing to see a more subdued version of Null.

It makes the heart pain more to see what they're going through, but it works.

I hear footsteps. I expect it to be the end, but it turns out just to be a small human. The small humans are getting close enough to being adults they take them down here sometimes to show them things. The small humans had the strangest look in their eyes when the no-faces first showed them us…

Love the term "no-faces". I wonder whether this is a joke at the fact that the Aether crewmates look identical, or if Null never bothered to memorize their faces. Perhaps both.

The dark-clothed small human shows the card to the machine beside the place they keep me. The door gives a pleased trill. The machines that look at cards are always pleased by long-haired cold mother’s card. It is their favorite card.

Oh, gosh! I love the way Null describes things. It's such an endearing take!

“Friendly?”

I do not know if I can promise that.

I do not know if I can trust the dark-clothed small human yet. I do not know what the dark-clothed small human wants, or what he will do to me. All I know is that if I stay here, they will freeze me. I decide to cooperate with the dark-clothed small human for now, even if I do not trust him.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. At least Null chose wisely.

“You’re going to let me pass.”

No! I don’t know what you think you’re doing down here, but I absolu-

My curiosity exceeds my nervousness, so I poke out from behind the corner. The no-face gives up on their sentence with a little choking noise.

You’re... insane!

“Like I said, you’re going to let me pass now.”

The no-face grumbled, but moved aside. I am surprised that the no-faces listen to the dark-clothed small human. Normally they only listen to the bug-mask hurting man or the long-haired cold mother. “You don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll die before you get anywhere.

The no-face’s voice is quivering. I like how the no-face is scared of the dark-clothed small human. I wonder what it is about him that scares them?

Something tells me they're scared of you, Null. I bet Null would find that notion very puzzling or ironic.

He laughs at the no-face. “I’ll be fine. They were calm before Faba messed with them. Father let us see them back… before, when… y’know.”

He pauses. I can almost feel thoughts moving around in his head. “I’ll figure out how to get them back. Fix whatever damage Faba did to them.”

What damage? What is he talking about? I want to know what they’re talking about!

Same here! What did old Faba do? I wanna know!

The no-face makes a coughing noise. “Well, good luck, kid. Maybe if you’re lucky we won’t have to clean up your body. And if not… Well, try not to make a mess as you go down.

The dark-clothed small human laughs, but it doesn’t sound like a happy laugh. “Yeah, sure.”

Gotta love scientists or whatever just letting a "murder beast" walk around the place. I would have expected that no-face to call the security, maybe. :unsure:

Suddenly, rails spring up around the triangle’s edge, trapping us! I screech in protest and prepare to smash them, but I feel the dark-clothed small human put his hand on my side. It is not a forceful touch. It is a gentle touch. “We’re going to be okay,” he tells me. He has calming words and calming touch. We are going to be okay.

I do not attack the rails. The triangle and its rails move up through a hole in the ceiling and up into a room above.

It takes me a moment to process what has happened. There was a secret second ceiling above the ceiling, and we are now walking on the ceiling like it is the floor.

Interesting. It seems that the machine doesn't know what an elevator is. Though, maybe the scientists never wanted Null to know, since they were supposed to stay locked inside the facility. It's an interesting thought.

He leads me towards a little vessel floating in the water. The machine in my head supplies the word boat to label it. It also tells me that boats are used to go places. He shows the card in a terminal beside the boat, and it trills happily in return. He gets onto the boat, then looks at me.

It is a dead end. I do not want to get stuck there, so I do not want to get on. I whimper, but he keeps looking at me. He wants me to get on.

Remember, boats take people to places. Trust the boat!

He starts doing things to the boat, and it grumbles at him. He looks to me. “Be back in one second,” he tells me, before hopping back off the boat. He reaches something on the wall and pulls it. The building is not happy about the thing being pulled, so it lights up red flashing lights and screeches at him.

The building yells about “lockdown protocols.” It normally only yells about those when my brave-hearted eldest sibling is breaking things. I think this means that we, too, have broken something, in our own way.

Indeed. You're about to break out and break free, so you aren't wrong.

He laughs a very happy laugh and runs back to the boat. When he gets to the controls, he makes the boat grumble louder as it begins to move through the water.

An angry-looking running human sees us moving through the water on the boat. This makes her look even angrier, and they run up to the boat nearest them and show that boat’s terminal her card. She shows the terminal her card over and over again.

I bet that woman is grumbling as well, now...

I wonder if that’s why the dark-clothed small human wanted to steal a boat with me. Maybe he didn't like living there. Maybe he was trapped there.

Ooh! You have no idea!

The world is fascinating and I still like it but it is also very big. Right now it feels too big. I have found a spot called a bathtub in the place we are staying in. It is small, and the room is a familiar white. I think I will stay here for a while until I feel ready to handle more of the world.

My friend comes into the room. He is not wearing the dark clothes from before, but this is okay because there is a word for him that works no matter what he is wearing. The machine does not know the word, but the word for him is Gladion. I can think of him as that when he is not wearing the dark clothes, and also when he is.

Foolproof logic.

He runs his hand along my back. It is another form of nice touch, and I trill. I am glad I have him with me. He makes the world more manageable.

“You like it in there?” He laughs and smiles at me. “You want a bath, or are you just there to relax?”

I am here because the world feels smaller here. However, bath is an interesting word. I have not gotten to be in water for years, not since they put the helmet on. The helmet is heavy, so I can’t swim. The bathtub, though, is small enough that I can touch the bottom. I grab the water nozzle, but it doesn’t react.

My friend turns something beside the nozzle, and it starts making water. I put my talon under the stream. The running water is warm. It feels nice in the way that good touch feels nice. It is comforting.

I try to roll over onto my back, but the tub is too small for me to lie comfortably in that way with the helmet and my plume. I just get back on my chest instead.

The bathtub fills up very quickly. I suppose it doesn’t need much water to be full, because there is already a lot of me almost filling it. It isn’t long before the warm water covers everything but my head.

I flick the water with my talon. It splashes. I am satisfied. I trill. He laughs.

In this moment, everything is good in the world.

This is such a cute moment! I love it! :veelove:

After the water has escaped the bathtub, I stand up and shake the drippiness in my feathers and fur away. Some of the drips fly far enough to hit my friend, he recoils away. Oops. I whimper in apology.

“I should’ve expected that,” he murmurs.

LOL!

Eventually, he decides the towel has drank too much of the water in my fur to keep going, so he drapes it over a bar up above the edge of the tub, and he gets a second one to keep drying me with.

That towel was very thirsty, I can say.

“These aren’t for you,” he says, laughing. “These are for me.”

He retreats back into the white room and the door swings shut behind him! I try to fiddle with the knob that opens it, but it doesn’t move at all.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be out in a second,” he says, seemingly much less concerned about being stuck in the room than I am. Soon, the knob moves without me touching it, and the door opens again.

My friend has changed clothes again! The fluffy things were clothes, and now that he has put them on, he has become fluffy himself.

He entered another room, and when he got out he had other clothes! It's like magic~!

I hear his footsteps as he comes closer, then there is a clicking noise and a smaller, yellow light comes on from a lamp on a table. From there, he climbs up into something that the machine in my head tells me is called a bed even though it doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever used as a bed before.

I guess very few things look bed-like enough to be called beds.

He burrows into the fabric covering it, then he looks at me. I put one talon up on the bed. He smiles. “Yeah, I guess I won’t make you sleep on the floor.”

It takes me a moment to figure out how to get up onto the bed, but I manage to climb up. He slides a pillow under the pointy parts of my mask, then sits up and reaches over me to turn off the lamp.

Soon, everything is dark and silent, aside from my friend's gentle breathing. I tuck him against my stomach.

I can feel him breathing now, too.

When he was awake, he seemed so different. He was brave and strong and he made me feel safer. As he falls asleep, he seems so soft and vulnerable. I feel like I am protecting him and not the other way around.

I want him to feel safe and happy. The same way he made me feel.

Like friends.

;_; Beautiful! And a friendship was born!

----

Alright, time for some general thoughts!

Gotta say that this was a lovely tale with a lovely view of Null's world and their thoughts. It was also really nice to see them explore new things, and the bathtub scene was both adorable and funny.

Now, I know this was done for the competition and time was really tight, but I can't help but wonder how Null's world was before their siblings got immobilized and frozen. Like, what did Faba do to them? How did it come to this point? How was their relationship with Gladion's father? All of these are elements that I'd like to know about, as they are some very fascinating events that are barely referenced. I wish we could see them!

Anyway, all in all, this was a fairly short but lovely story featuring Null and Gladion. Really swell job, I loved it!
 

Ambyssin

Gotta go back. Back to the past.
Location
Etherium
Pronouns
he/him
Partners
  1. silvally-dragon
  2. necrozma-ultra
  3. milotic
  4. dreepy
Blitzy New Year!
Disclaimer: This is mostly stream-of-consciousness thoughts. Take it as you will.

-I like the machine in the head (RKS System?) explanation for Null’s (presumably) increased cognitive abilities, while at the same time being sheltered and inexperienced enough that they do things like believe the card reader “likes” certain cards and trills in happiness when presented with one. It’s quite childlike in a good way.
-Also Null thinking the ceiling becomes the floor b/c they don’t know how multiple levels in a building work amused me. It’s like a child learning about object permanence for the first time.
-Aww, thinking the night sky is a big ceiling is very cute.
-I feel like animals taking comfort in small spaces like Null with the bathtub is a real thing that they do when they’re nervous or something, but am not entirely sure. Regardless, the image of Null being loaf in a bathtub is great.
-Again, I like some of the childish incorrect word choices, like the towel drinking the water. It’s that personification of objects that I know I did as a child. Also, water escaping the bathtub.
-I feel like that motel bed would flounder under Null’s weight, but the imagery of him curled around Gladion is cute enough for me to wave it off.

As redundant as it sounds, this is a cute and fluffy piece. You give Null a unique voice that mixes machine with childlike innocence, which I suppose embodies its chimeric origins nicely. Of course I’m incredibly biased when it comes to Silvally, so chances are I was going to like this anyway. Still, I’m left wanting more and wishing there was more, which clearly means you did things right here. :veelove:
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
  4. kirlia
  5. custom/windskull-bidoof
Hi Phant. I just happened to see this while scrolling the recent list and realized I never read it. Now seems as good of time as any. And I'm glad I did, because it was an absolutely adorable story that made me feel good.

I love the way you describe things through Null's perspective. There are things they understand well, but there are other things that they describe in an unusual way that exemplifies the fact that they are not human and that they think differently. The part that stood out to me in particular was the way Null described the card readers as "liking" a card.

And there are other things that make Null feel… well, sheltered isn't the right word, but inexperienced doesn't quite work right either, and I'm struggling to find the correct word. But the part I'm thinking of that brings this to mind is when Null calls the sky a ceiling. It says a lot about the life Null has lived. There's this deep sadness that comes from knowing how little Null has seen and experienced, despite being several years old.

The ending, once they've escaped and they're just getting a chance to relax, is adorable. Even though the reader knows things are going to work out in the end (as most prequel stories tend to), it still gives a sense of peace and hope.

Overall, I loved the vibe of this story, and it was a short and sweet listen on my commute to work. This was an enjoyable experience, and I'm glad I checked it out.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Partners
  1. reshiram
Here for Review Blitz! I know I already reviewed this for the contest, but I don't care, I lovved it and I have more to say.

This definitely feeds into your Alola specialty, which is fine by me because Gen. 7 is my second favorite gen, and you double it up by including characters that I have been very interested in myself. Not gonna lie, I was ALSO planning a Gladion and Null/Silvally fic, but I had to scramble and rewrite my notes when I saw this in the contest because you do the premise so goddamn well.

Anyd you Type Null is a GIFT. I love his distinctly nonhuman but still intelligent but also naïve perspective on things, how he phrases even simple interactions as something strange and foreign. It's the kind of xenofiction that delights Me Specifically a fair bit. Also? They're so adorable. They love fuzzy things. I can't.

And you of course do a good job with Gladion too. His standoffish yet ultimately caring personality really shines through here, and sI liked being able to recognize this was huis intial ESCAPE FROM AETHER!!!!.

And of course the main attraction, the peice de resistance, is their FWIENDSHIP. It's so ciute. The fact that Gladion from the start will protect Null no matter what, Null being grateful for Gladion talking him across Alola, THE CUDDLES AT THE END> Hmmmg, my heartt It's all delightful and as I said in the contest I widsh there was more.

Though now I'm curious. DOES this tie into your main Alola fiic? I do hope to see!

Anyway great oneshot, happy to revisit it, please give Null more cuddles.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
  5. custom/incineroar-starr
Before I've even begun reading, I just want to say how much I enjoy the title of this fic. There's an interesting jilted effect you get from it being "dark-clothed small human" as opposed to "small, dark-clothed human." It automatically conveys a vibe of childish, unpracticed speech, which is just perfect.

I am not sure how scared I should be of Indefinitely. I do not want to be frozen forever, but if it is only maybe forever, then maybe it will be okay. I try to take comfort in that, but I am still scared. I do not want to be frozen at all.
Such a great opening. Null is scared but clinging to what it can understand, and the small glimmer of hope that things might be okay. The machine gives it knowledge of words, but maybe forever is just such a scary and difficult concept.

Today, though, something is different. This small human is alone, and he is in dark clothes instead of white ones.
I really like the decision to focus on the dark clothing for Gladion, such that it becomes his identifier and the title. It's not just that dark clothing distinguishes him from the other humans, but from his previous appearance as well! For him, discarding his white clothing is discarding his old life.

The dark-clothed small human shows the card to the machine beside the place they keep me. The door gives a pleased trill. The machines that look at cards are always pleased by long-haired cold mother’s card. It is their favorite card.
Null's narration is a constant delight. It knows words, definitions, but still has to make those childish leaps in logic to process its environment. Of course Lusamine's card is their favorite--they always accept it.

The no-face’s voice is quivering. I like how the no-face is scared of the dark-clothed small human. I wonder what it is about him that scares them?
It's you! You're what they're scared of!

“We’re going to be okay,” he tells me. He has calming words and calming touch. We are going to be okay.
Faced with such unfamiliarity and uncertainty, Null using Gladion's judgements as a grounding method is such a good.

I cannot help but be curious, though. When I decided to be friendly towards him, I had never imagined that he could show me all this. If he can take me more places, I want to come. I want to see all the things he can show me.
I was actually surprised that curiosity ended up being the tipping factor between Null just being satisfied at having gotten out of the basement, and deciding to leave with Gladion across the sea. I was expecting them to be chased or something, and Null having to make a snap decision out of gut instinct.

This makes her look even angrier, and they run up to the boat nearest them and show that boat’s terminal her card.
I think there was some pronoun confusion here? Not sure who "they" is referring to here.

The dark-clothed small human shows the angry human one of his fingers as our boat speeds away.
lmao

When he was awake, he seemed so different. He was brave and strong and he made me feel safer. As he falls asleep, he seems so soft and vulnerable. I feel like I am protecting him and not the other way around.
aaaaaa my heart

This was a joy from start to finish. Null's fear, uncertainty, naivety, hesitation, and ultimately, curiosity and trust all come through wonderfully. There were lots of other small details I enjoyed, such as Null relating to Gladion feeling trapped as well when they left the island, and Null finding the outside world to be too big, needing to feel a bit confined, to process things at its own pace. Thanks for writing this, it was a delight~
 

Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
Partners
  1. dratini
  2. custom/dratini-pen
  3. custom/dratini-pen2
This was a sweet slice of xeno-POV fic and made for a charming, engaging read. Null's voice comes off as young, naive, and in their own way, brave. One of my favorite aspects of the narration was how alive and unpredictable the world around Null felt. They don't clearly delineate between what's animate and inanimate because they don't know! There are lots of things in their life that move on their own and seem to have feelings. The doors like certain cards, the building is sensitive to being pulled. The personification of these objects had a particular resonance considering how much of Null's sense of self and the world is tied to the machine in their head. I liked the sense of disconnect between how Null sounds inside their head and how they are perceived--namely, the frightened guard. Gladion clearly sees Null more accurately. The scene between them with the bath and later getting into bed was really cute. I find it funny how from any human POV ever Gladion comes off as brooding, sullen, and basically any word that's an antonym to calm, but for Null he's able to be a soothing figure. One thing I would have liked to get a bit more closure on is Null's family. In the initial whirlwind of new things, it makes sense that Null doesn't think about them, but at some point it seems like it would sink in that their family is left behind and frozen. Ultimately, this is fluffy fic, so I see why you chose not to dwell as much on that side of things! Thanks for a cute read.

The small humans are getting close enough to being adults they take them down here sometimes to show them things.
Missing a "that" in here, I think.

The door gives a pleased trill. The machines that look at cards are always pleased by long-haired cold mother’s card. It is their favorite card.
Love the personification of the door here.

The small humans had the strangest look in their eyes when the no-faces first showed them us…
Does Null really have much to compare the look in their eyes with that they'd be able to identify a strange look?

I wonder what it is about him that scares them?
Lmao, yes indeed, it is a mystery what is scaring them right now

He reaches something on the wall and pulls it. The building is not happy about the thing being pulled, so it lights up red flashing lights and screeches at him.
Again, the personification of the building is great.

It is strange to think that all that information has been in the machine in my head all along, but I was never able to reach it. It is like I am exploring myself as much as I am exploring the world.
A really nice observation.

He is very good at being calm.
"Things no one else has ever said about Gladion, for 500"

I want him to feel safe and happy. The same way he made me feel.

Like friends.
I wonder about "friend" being the word Null lands on, when their main positive relationships appear to have been familial ones.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
  5. custom/meowth-laura
  6. custom/delphox-jesse
Howdy, Lyn! Excited to be reviewing something of yours for Blitz. I've enjoyed your prose for a long time, but I don't recall reviewing anything of yours for a while, if ever, despite enjoying your snippetposting tremendously. Very hype to read a fic about these two, in particular, even though I've still not played Gen VII. And it's xenofiction, no less! Here goes.

The start is strong for this fic. The definition of indefinitely, as processed by a young mind, really presses the horror of the situation by providing detailed specificity, and the implication of innocence and youth. This is a child-creature that might as well be being killed for all they know and has no agency to speak of. It's awful, and instantly investing. The prose register is excellent for the purpose, very fitting, without being so simple that it's not enjoyable. Nice one.

I am ridiculously pleased by Null's interpretation of the security system as being machines capable of having a favourite card to look at. It's adorable and weirdly heartbreaking. Please protect Null, they are precious.

I didn't know what a no-face was. If I'd played the games, I'd have known instantly you meant an Aether Foundation Employee, and I guessed as much, but there could be a line of description there all the same I think. Pretty sure the idea here is that the scientist dude is scared of Null, not Gladion, but I find myself very emotional that Gladion's confidence and help are giving hope to Null.

Incidentally, the use of the machine in Null's head to provide additional information while keeping them broadly ignorant is a great way to prevent them being either too knowledgeable or too confused. Nicely done.

There's so much about the escape sequence I enjoy. A second, secret ceiling. Null trusting Gladion for real. Lockdown protocols and the building being angry. No boats are being provided. One of Gladion's fingers. It's continually delightful.

Null feeling empathy towards Gladion also being trapped in Paradise is a remarkable perspicacious thought, or perhaps just a very good guess with limited life experience to draw on. Either way, it made me tear up slightly. I feel so many things for this weird bird dog. There's sometihng about the smplicity of Null's narration combined with the continual re-examining of things that makes it a delight to read and highly affecting, at least to me.

And oh, how sweet and kind Null is, at the end, with their human friend.

This was lovely.

Thank you.
 

SparklingEspeon

Up To No Good
Staff
Location
*teleports behind you*
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
  3. zoroark
Hello! I’m here for the BLEC review awards, covering a fic I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise. And it’s a good thing I did, because this was a pleasure to read from beginning to end.

Reading this was a big pro in my book, since Gladion’s initial escape from Aether Paradise is something I always wanted to see brought to life and I was livid that Generations never got around to animating it before it stopped running. I’ll take this as a healthy substitute, thank you!

I think the biggest pro right off the bat for me is characterization. The characterization really carries everything here, from the way Null tells the story to Gladion being… Gladion. In particular I really liked that we got to see Gladion being more than the edgelord he presents himself as. Not a pov I’ve seen before, and tbh I’d probably do terrible things to see more of these two just being silly together.

But I think the characterization that we see the most of here is Null’s. Everything that we see is filtered through their pov, including what they do and don’t know. That chip in their head tells them enough so that they aren’t oblivious, but it can’t update Null’s perspective, so we get this kind of doglike POV of them being fed information and then filtering it in their own unique way, which is really cute. In particular I really liked how they just matter-of-factly state that they’re getting overwhelmed so they’ve decided to sit in the bathtub until they feel better, and how they refer to the sky as a ‘great ceiling’ and think the towel Gladion dries them off with is ‘drinking’.

I guess my biggest crit is that I want moar pls. There’s only about 3K words of this in total, which is cute but it’s over too fast and there’s not much to chew on. Thought it would have been cool to maybe see some snapshots of them battling the Player, or evolving into Silvally, or watching Gladion take the reins of Aether Paradise for some cyclity, etc. Heck, you could even make some kind of series out of this if you wanted to! For now, though, a oneshot it remains 😔

Overall, really cute! Some lines in particular I really liked and wanted to highlight:

I do not want to be frozen forever, but if it is only maybe forever, then maybe it will be okay. I try to take comfort in that, but I am still scared. I do not want to be frozen at all.
:(

The building is not happy about the thing being pulled, so it lights up red flashing lights and screeches at him.
The building does not let her have the boat. I suppose it is too distracted by shining the red lights and yelling about lockdown protocols to give out any boats.
really like this pov referring to the building as something alive

The dark-clothed small human shows the angry human one of his fingers as our boat speeds away.
this is such a gladion thing to do lol

Once we are far away from the place we came from, I decide I feel okay to look at it again. The shining metal that used to make up my whole world now looks as small as the room they kept me in. From this distance, it looks like a place someone could feel trapped in.

I wonder if that’s why the dark-clothed small human wanted to steal a boat with me. Maybe he didn't like living there. Maybe he was trapped there.
This is one of my favorite segments--I liked the change of them realizing that what was their whole world five minutes ago now looks like a prison. I do wonder if adding 'too' onto the last bit could give it some more punch.

My friend has changed clothes again! The fluffy things were clothes, and now that he has put them on, he has become fluffy himself.
yes good

I want him to feel safe and happy. The same way he made me feel.

Like friends.
:veelove:

~SparklingEspeon
 

Sinderella

Angy Tumbleweed
Staff
Location
In Guzma's Closet
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
  3. froslass
  4. chandelure
AYYEE PHAN! I think this is the first thing I've ever read from you (aside from RPs of course) but I was really excited to read some sort of rendition of your Gladion and SHEEEEESSSSHHH I wasn't disappointed!!! This was such a delightful short little story and I fucking adored it. Truly, I wish it was longer, I am that in love.

I adore the POV of Type:Null (Is this Hazel?? I have to assume it's Hazel, but please correct me if I'm wrong). I just absolutely adore the way they view everything--the machine trills because it likes the card, the building is flashing because it's angry, the sky is a really high ceiling, and little Gladion is "dark clothed small human" until they understand that there is a different way to refer to him and AHHHHHH. The childlike way Hazel(?) views everything is what helps make this little story, on top of the fact that now this poor Pokemon has a friend. I'm sobbing my eyes out bro.

I also really like how Gladion's character also manages to shine through even inside Hazel's POV. He's good at being calm, but he evidently has a way of persuading the no-faces of letting him out (lol). He also just seems to go out of his absolute way to make sure that Hazel(?) is comfy and gods my heart. I love it all.

Thank you for writing this cute little story and PLEASE! GIBE! ME! MOAR! OF! THEM!
 
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