I sighed as what seemed like the millionth battle started. I stared intently at my Gameboy, wishing, hoping....the cream-and-red Pokemon appeared.
I was looking for a Minun, you see. I already had about twenty Plusles, not wanting to just flee the battles like a wimp. I've seen so many of them by now I've memorized each and every pixel on its sprite.
I loved the cute duo and I wanted to have a boy and a girl of my own. I also was planning on putting them into the daycare, and seeing what Pokemon they made. I was curious, as a little girl should be.
Stupid Pokemon Sapphire and it's stupid programming. I wearily walked in a circle inside the patch of grass. Another battle started. Come on, come on....
My eyes grew wide as the blue-and-cream Pokemon appeared. I screamed, "YES!". The adorable animal was level 20, just like all the Plusles I had seen earlier. I had my Clefairy, Koko, use Sing. The Minun fell asleep, and I threw one of my Ultra Balls at it.
I felt my heart stop for just one moment....
I checked out my new Pokemon's stats. It was a girl, and she had a quiet nature. I decided to name her Bella. Leaving the grass, I ran to a Pokemon Center. I spent a long time looking at my many Plusles, and finally selected one I had named Cody who had a tough nature. I put Bella at the head of my party, Cody next to her.
I wandered around, training them. I found that they didn't really do that well in double battles then they should have, being Plusle and Minun. I dismissed this. This was a game, anything could happen. Don't all kids think that? She was THE BEST in contests. Soon I felt confident she loved me as much as I loved her.
One day, I finally put them in the day care. I was really excited to see what kind of Pokemon they had, and what kind of nature and attacks it would have. I ran around in a circle for about five minutes and then walked back to the daycare.
"Man: Your Pokemon have grown one level each! They don't seem to like each other very much."
I resorted to speaking to my Gameboy.
"Oh no, you need to learn to love!" I said to it. I went off and trained for a little while, then returned, eager to see my egg.
"Man: They don't seem to like each other very much."
"Oh, you WILL have an egg, you two, even if it kills you!" I shouted, and then ran away.
I went on to beat the game after about a week. I didn't check the daycare once during this time, convinced I had to leave them alone. Right after I beat the Elite Four and became the champion I raced to the daycare once again, fully prepared to claim my egg. The two Pokemon in the Daycare had been on my mind throughout my game play.
"Man: They don't seem to like each other very much."
That was it. I borrowed my brother's GameShark and blindly tried mashing every button I could. When I cooled down I looked it up online and found something that might work.
Aaand it didn't. Even a real, ONLINE glitch didn't work. Eventually, I gave up, putting the game up with my others.
I was searching through my caught Pokemon in my Pokemon Sapphire game and thinking about which ones I would transfer to Heartgold. I suddenly came to a box full of Plusle.
I stared at them for a full minute before I remembered why I had them, and then recalled I had left Bella and Tony at the daycare for quite a few years now. All the memories of them washed over me in pleasant waves. I left Heartgold and quickly started playing Sapphire. I instantly walked up to the old man.
"Man: Oh...it's you.
Man: I'm sorry...
Man: Your Plusle....had to be....put down..he was diseased..."
My eyebrows creased in confusion. I seriously didn't remember anything like THAT happening. But, still, it HAD been over four years ago... I went to the pay area.
"Lady: Would you like your Minun back?
Lady: It is holding something."
I don't remember that being in the script. Then again, it has been forever since I played the game. I hit yes. I managed to pay the hefty fee that had compiled in the daycare because of all the steps I took. I watched as my virtual money disappeared.
Bella was returned to my party. I opened up her page.
Her sprite's once happy eyes were sad and her colors seem....faded.. She was holding a small egg. I hit Take Item.
"Bella won't give it up!"
"Woah, hold it missy. I'm your trainer." I snapped, and then felt dumb for talking at my DS.
"Bella is very sick!"
I stared at my game for a moment before heading for the nearest Pokemon Center as fast as the game would let me. This was a joke, right? I bet my brother did it. He loves hacking things, especially Pokemon games. A text box popped up on the screen.
"It's too late for that..."
What? Nurse Joy was a comforting sight. I ran up to her.
"Nurse Joy: Hello, and welcome to the Pokemon Center. Would you like to heal your Pokemon?"
"NO, I WANT A CHEESEBURGER!" I shouted, and hit Yes.
"Nurse Joy: Okay, just one moment, please!"
The happy music suddenly stopped.
"Nurse Joy: Oh...I must take your poor Minun into the ER! Something is very wrong!"
I felt panic rise in my gut.
Nurse Joy hustled into a room behind her desk. I stared at my screen in suspense. Was Bella going to die? Seconds became minutes. The only thing I could hear was my heart beating quickly, and my rapid, fear-enhanced breathing.
Thump gasp thump.
Thump gasp thump.
Thump gasp thump.
Thump gasp thump.
"TIME FOR SCHOOL!" My mother called, breaking my zen-like state. I
I tried to turn off my game in hopes of fixing things, realizing I should have tried this earlier. Mental slap.
I put it down and stood up.
When I returned to my game, I was still in the Pokemon Center. It had somehow saved itself. If I wasn't freaked out already, now I was terrified.
Nurse Joy walked out.
"Nurse Joy: I'm sorry...we could not save your Minun. She had Syphilis and was never treated."
I felt tears in my eyes and sniffed. My heart ached. Why had I not spent more time with her? And why did that disease sound so familiar? I think I've heard it in one of my health classes...
"Nurse Joy: We thought you would want to have her egg."
"Emm received Egg!"
I opened up my menu and looked at the egg. It was an off-white color.
"It is very small and withered, and the surface is covered in cracks."
I sighed, shaking my head, and continued transferring the Egg and my other Pokemon to Heartgold without a word, just methodical, businesslike, my hands moving slowly. The event had negated the fun of transferring.
A little later, I was finally playing Heartgold. Well, not really playing, more of wandering around, not really doing anything. Walking around the same town over and over. My heart was to heavy to do much of anything.
Egg is hatching!"
I watched as the egg shook. It hatched, and a strange Pokemon appeared. It looked like a normal Minun, but instead of being blue, it was a sickly green, but not shiny-green, it was closer to a dark, barf-colored green. An ugly green.
The sprite didn't look happy. It looked cold, and serious.
It had a...multiplication sign tail and cheeks? My grip tightened on the stylus.
Sparkles flew out of it, just like it was a shiny Pokemon, but there was no sound effect. It didn't even have a cry. It didn't even MOVE.
"EGG hatched into MIN-glitch blocks-!"
I blinked. The memories about the failed daycare glitch returned to me, quite suddenly. That glitch was supposed to make your Pokemon like each other and have an egg. Not....this...
It was a girl. I stared at her. I decided to nickname her Lime, for her green ears, paws, tail, and cheeks which were the dark green of limes. I put her on my team and saved my game.
I did a lot of research on that one daycare glitch, but I didn't find anything about a mutated Pokemon. I learned that it was actually a glitch to have a shiny baby born from the egg, but when I was younger I misread it as 'It will cause your Pokemon to have an egg'. There were some weird Pokemon Rights idiots (seriously, it's a GAME) that complained this glitch was tantamount to rape. I tried to ignore them.
I learned that it wasn't a very safe glitch because it could continue to corrupt other files. That explained why Belle and Cody must've died, but not...
It was time to take matters in my own hands. I put Lime at the head of my team and turned to speak to her.
"Lime is thinking deeply."
I fumbled with the controls for a moment, pressing the Up button, then A.
"Lime took your Pokedex!"
The Pokedex page for Minun appeared on the top screen. I glanced at Lime and then the Pokedex. She looked like she was supposed to be a Shiny Minun, but someone screwed up, big time.
"You know why she is different."
The marks on her cheeks were turned 45 degrees, making them into multiplication marks. Like one of those fake Pokemon that look like a Plusle or Minun, except...something was very wrong.
She was just a defective....no... mutated Plusle. Her arms were too long...her legs too short....her colors wrong...she was all wrong. Maybe...the thing that killed Bella....maybe it had caused Lime to be born this way?
I gulped as Lime's face filled the top screen a second later. She had such messy hair. Her eyes seemed to be switched, being white with a black dot. My eyes flickered to the bottom as Lime started walking in a slow circle around my sprite. She walked in a strange fluctuating fashion, going fast and then slow, rocking slightly back and forth, signifying a limp. I could still move freely though, it didn't seem to be a cutscene.
A deep wave of unease washed over me. This wasn't supposed to happen. I slowly pressed A.
"It is your fault Lime is this way."
Okay, okay, I used a glitch, I'm a horrible person. What had that one little daycare glitch done to my game?
"You're just another one of them.
Except the others don't get punished for their wrongs."
Electricity sparked from Lime's cheeks. A furious look appeared on her face.
I stared in horror as the the pixels on screen started to deteriorate. My mouth was dry. I licked my lips and pressed the A button, trying to steady my breathing.
"Lime is going to avenge all the others who aren't glitches.
Those who aren't able to fight against the machine."
A thunderbolt filled the screen, and I covered my eyes to protect them from the blinding flash. When I uncovered them, my game was silent, no music playing.
My sprite was in a giant black area. Lime stood in front of her, still on the top screen, an angry, hating look on her face. There was a new text box.
"Lime has felt the pain of so many others.
Now you shall, too."
Did she just...smirk at me?
My character was flickering and missing more pixels. Stray pixels flashed on the black screen, and bits of data flew everywhere. Even Lime was flickering.
I blinked as another text box appeared. It was full of glitch blocks, but I could still read it.
"Everyone IS trapped in the machinE.
No oNE iS able TO break out.
Only the CORRuPTED Data fEEls and understAnds."
Pokemon sprites flashed on the screen and disappeared. What brief glimpse of them I saw were horrible. Most of them were bruised and bloodied. Some just looked really depressed.
Another text box.
"The mESSiah fighTs the MACHINE.
They wHO are CLEANSED sHall LIBERATE."
Lime suddenly seemed to crack, a grin spreading across her face.
Text appeared, scrolling up the screen like credits. Each line was covered with more glitch blocks then the last. And each line filled me with more fear.
"WhEn you MULTIPLY
and a NEGAtIVE
youonly get a BIGGER NEGATIVE
when yOu MULTIPLY
yOu onlYget fatAL AgonY"
My DS shrieked with static so loudly I heard it even though I pressed my hands to my ears. The wail was the game being annihilated. All that information being destroyed, program by program. Pixel by pixel. No living being could make such a haunting scream.
Within it, I heard whispers. Whispers of humans and Pokemon alike, and so terrified and full of angst I started to wish I could die, just to escape.
I heard them speak like they were right next me. Their terror was my terror, their danger was my danger. I was forced to feel exactly what they had felt.
Why did you leave me, master...?
Team Galactic beat me...I just wish I could have saved the Pokemon they hurt...
It hurts...it hurts so much...
Beaten, slowly dieing. ...
I'm not cute, I know, but I have feelings and a heart...and humans don't even care...
I'm just a Audino! Please, human, leave me alone! Why hurt me for experience? I can't heal myself...
Fear....just heart-pounding fear...
The next voice made me open my eyes. It was softer.
...Where are you....? Why did you leave me here for him to hurt me?
Abandoned. Abused. Violated. I took a deep shuddering breath, willing, wishing, pleading it would stop.
The last one was higher then the first. It was straining, panting, coughing, but still held managed to hold an incredible amount of hate.
The bad math infects everyone.
Nothing is safe from it.
No one can stop the corruption.
No one can stop the bad math.
The voice started to laugh manically. It was the kind of laugh a psychopath does whenever they have a victim cornered. The laugh increased in volume as I heard more whispers.
I writhed in agony for a long, long time, unable to cope with the horrible emotions that racked my body with each whisper.
And that laugh.
That laugh haunted me. It was laughing at ME, laughing at my pain. She was enjoying watching me twist and sob.
I don't know how long the whispers went on. It couldn't have been more then two minutes. But it felt like years and years.
Finally, everything was silent. I caught my breath, curled up in the fetal position. I felt like an egg hatching as I uncurled, my limbs stiff and painful. My gaze fell on my DS, and I slowly, cautiously crept over to it.
What was left of Lime was her flickering black silhouette against static. She dropped to her knees. For one moment her eyes flickered to me, and I heard a tiny whisper.
"It's always there."
The silhouette was finally consumed by static. I slowly closed my DS, popping out the cartridges, Heartgold out of the DS slot, Sapphire out of the Gameboy slot. They were scratched up all around, and sparked as I pulled them out. No one would ever play them again.
The forums were right. The data had continued to corrupt and change...but I think it became sentient.
And that one glitch knew more then any other being.
The machine prevents us from fighting out against it. But even if the glitch destroys one machine, there are others. So, so many others.
I threw my head back as the truth finally slapped me in the face. I was screaming, laughing, sobbing, my eyes wide and bloodshot. My body flickered with static as my files started to corrupt with the realization.
The bad math is everyone.