DISCLAIMER: This work is fiction. The work has no relationship with any person existing at any time anywhere whether real, imaginary,or copywrited. Everything in this work is mea culpa.
You should not read this work if you are under the age of legal consent wherever you reside. This work may or may not contain any and/or all of the following: death, cannibalism, dismemberment, violent acts, implied sex, explicit sex, violent sex, rape, blasphemy (depending on your religion), BDSM, torture, mimes (just thought I'd reiterate the torture part), necrophilia, and just about anything unwholesome that you could consider.
Pokegirls is owned by everyone with a love of the genre.
By Platinum Otter
Chapter 13 - Shopping Is Not A Spectator Sport
I gathered the girls and we watched the video together before I asked their opinions.
"Do we really need to go risking our lives for some video girl?" Harley asked.
"...that depends," I replied. "If she was working for Indigo she might have knowledge about locations of labs that were working on portal tech or know where we could find said info... I think, once we're ready, it might be worth the risk. I definitely want those armor rings first though, and we need more combat training. For something this dangerous we'll have to be able to act as a unit. New Manhattan is bound to be crawling with zombabes. With so many we might even see some of the rarer variants."
"Wait, there are zombabe variants!?" the Harlequin exclaimed.
"Yes," I replied, "although they are exceedingly rare. And before anyone asks, no, we are not going to try to catch any of them."
After that I found myself giving a short lecture on what I knew about zombabes to the girls to be sure everyone was on the same page. The language T2 we had probably only contained basic information on them and I knew the variant information was probably restricted or unknown in all leagues, assuming, of course, that they existed in this world.
After that I sat down to compose a reply. "To Rachel the video girl, this is Wilt. We need time to prepare, but we will be coming for you. I'll send you messages before we set out and when we get close. I hope you can hang on until then. In the meantime please pull together any files you can find on dimensional travel and portal tech in preparation for our arrival with emphasis on locations where the tech is being researched. Any information you can put together on magic libraries would also be useful in the event the hard tech doesn't pan out. I'd especially like to know about books or magic items which aid in learning magic in general and anyone doing research into magical dimensional travel. If we can find a way off world we're taking it. It will take us some time for preparations and travel but I hope to see you soon. Wilt out."
I debated trying to explain that my name wasn't really Wilt but in the end decided that would go over better as a face-to-face conversation rather than via mail and sent the message out as it was.
With that done I turned back to the Harlequin. I stared at her for a moment while thinking as she began to fidget. "How does the name Ellie sound to you?" I asked.
She opened her mouth, paused, and then said "I think I like it."
"Then Ellie you shall be from now on," I said with a smile.
This seemed to make her happy. As it was getting late we set up the guard rotation and the rest of us turned in. Alice cast a spell on our tent that prevented noise and smell from exiting the tent but not entering. That way we wouldn't distract the guards with taming but at the same time we could hear if they called an alarm.
Ellie needed to be properly inducted into the harem and the others had really only had quickies at best since our trip started. Between the danger of zombabes and being on a boat a hundred feet above the ground we hadn't been inclined to much else. Tonight we could let go though. Seren and Harley took first watch on the promise that two of the others would tap out in a couple of hours and they would get some special attention from me. We got a late start the next morning, but it was worth it.
For several days we carefully dug into the ruined building using the more intact pieces of building materials to shore up our excavations. We found a plaque denoting the store as a historic landmark, Henderson Jeweler's. Seren and Friday proved exceptionally useful here with their telekinesis as did Ellie. She agreed to become a Lady Luck and afterwards I started her T2 queue with the Telekinesis one.
Eventually we found ourselves breaking through a concrete wall into a sub basement. It was flooded with rain water but otherwise relatively intact. Seren scanned for any pokegirls who might be in there before we entered but said it looked safe. We found a number of corroded metal safes which were probably stainless steel before they sat for untold years in the water. The locks were beyond functional so we dragged them outside and cut them open with energy blades. Inside we found numerous small cases and bags containing an assortment of gemstones as well as gold, silver, and platinum rings, chains, and earrings with empty settings. It was just what Alice wanted.
With our loot in hand we prepared to leave. The last bit Alice needed were some specific materials she hadn't been able to find near the camp. For those we were going to need to hit a functioning magic shop which meant a trip into a formerly active large town or city. We might find such a store in a smaller town, but it would be hit or miss and I didn't want to risk our bacon for nothing. Our options were plentiful but all dangerous.
After consulting the map on my dex I turned us east. There was a town just the other side of the Wabash river named Sexpool that looked like it might fit our needs, big enough to have a magic store but not too big.
We spent another couple days in our new travel mode. The rain had come and gone while we were in Springfield and the cloud cover went with it, but I figured any zombabe would have to be staring at the sky, notice the moving speck, and connect it to food before we'd have to worry. I never took us down until it grew dark. Fortunately Alice could see perfectly well in the dark to guide us in.
Everyone would take a brief rest to stretch legs and move about and then we'd head back up to treetop level for the night. Whoever had the last guard shift would wake us at the first hint of the sky lightening. We'd take another jaunt to the ground to stretch and use the bathroom and then be high in the sky before false dawn had become sunrise.
What did we do for a bathroom in the air you ask? It's called the side of the boat. After the first time Harley nearly went overboard we developed a buddy system for those who couldn't latch onto the boat with silk tendrils or telekinesis.
Sexpool turned out to be a medium sized berg. On the upside I was able to download a map that showed a magic store on Bleeker Street. On the downside that entire side of town appeared to have been through a firestorm. With little hope that anything we needed had survived we didn't even land but turned south toward the next nearest large town, Cunnilingenberg.
After several more days of flying and impromptu showers, courtesy of Alice's spell-based reaction to our own growing body odors, we finally reached our destination. This time the town was not burned down but oddly there were hardly any zombabes anywhere. I figured there must be something somewhere that was drawing them together and we just hadn't seen it. Maybe it was inside a building.
There was something else that kept nagging at me and I kept trying to figure out what it was as we looked for a safe spot to land. Friday got there before me. "Hey, where are all the bodies?"
Sure enough as I looked around I saw blood splatters and the occasional scraps of meat but, except for what I decided was a length of intestine streaming from a tall fence like the world's most disgusting windsock, there were no full or even partial bodies around. The place was...not clean, but less cluttered than it should have been. Even zombabes leave things like empty ribcages. As far as I was aware none of them eat large bones. Even if some did, zombabes are not known for cleaning their plate, so to speak. With no zombabes roaming about we settled on the flat top of a building just down the street from the magic store shown on the map.
Not being sure what we might run into I decided we needed to have someone watch the boat both so noone took it and in case we needed a fast pickup. Seren volunteered. With her flight she could get away from anything land-based and with her telekinesis she could toss most trouble off the roof so I agreed. I set my dex to a wide area hotspot and told her to send me an alert with hers if she spotted trouble.
We made our way down to street level and began cautiously approaching our target. One of the display windows on the storefront had been smashed in and, rather than making more noise, Friday and Alice used telekinesis and levitation to get us all inside and past the glass. I felt better once we were off the street. I'd felt like the windows of the multistory buildings around us were eyes, filled with hostility, staring down at us.
Alice cast her locator spell several times and began gathering items around the shop. Once she had what she needed we went ahead and gathered everything else that looked useful or valuable and stored it to go through later. We could have stored it all to begin with and let Alice sort through it in a safe location for what she needed but we needed to know if we'd have to find another store or if they had everything she needed here.
As we were floating back out into the street my shoe chanced to brush a shard of glass still standing in the window like the jagged tooth of a jack-o-lantern. It shifted in the window frame, tilted forward, and shattered loudly on the sidewalk. Before any of us could say anything several piercing shrieks sounded from all around us, the sounds bouncing around in the canyon formed by the buildings until we couldn't tell which direction they came from.
"Back to the boat!" Scarlet yelled and we all hotfooted it down the street. We were three buildings down from the one we landed on when I brought our column to a screeching halt yelling "STOP! I just saw movement there!" I pointed to the alley between the buildings ahead of us. As we all peered into the darkness I thought I saw light reflecting off a pair of eyes.
Alice said, "There's some kind of large spider there. I can see her."
As I brought up my pokedex another piercing shriek came from the shadows as she stormed out of the alley and towards us. Light gleamed off the black chitin which covered her human torso and large spider-like abdomen. She had the kind of shiny abdomen with sparse hairs you see on some tarantulas, I idly noted, with some red markings that I couldn't make out from this angle. Two sets of arms reached toward us, one humanoid and the other ending in large blades, dripping with poison. I didn't even need to look at the dex to know I was staring my death right in the face.
In slow motion I heard Harley scream "WIDOW!!!" As she pulled guns and attempted to spike the black chitinous legs to the ground to pin her in place. She hit what she aimed for, but the bullets didn't pierce the chitin. As I tried to turn and run the other way Alice flew past me and right over the widow's head drawing her attention. She turned and swiped at Alice in passing but seemed to miss. She tried again and this time I saw that her legs were passing right through Alice. She had phased and gone to draw the widow's attention to buy us a chance to escape.
We all turned and sprinted back down the street only to skid to a stop as we saw ANOTHER widow rounding the corner two blocks down. She saw us and accelerated, eating up the distance in a flash of scissoring spider legs.
Friday was already ahead of things, grabbing me and Harley in her telekinesis and flying straight up the side of the building next to us. Scarlett, Jane, and Ellie were right behind us using silks, wings, and telekinesis. Ellie should have been faster than Scarlett but was a little unsteady since she hadn't had much time to practice telekinetic flight. Fear is a great motivator, though.
Since I had nothing to do with our ascent I looked back to track our enemy and found to my dismay that the widow had already reached the building and was quickly running up the side of it, digging her sharp feet into the stonework for purchase.
"Ellie!" I yelled. "Throw Entangling Darkness at her!"
She glanced down following my pointing hand and saw the widow climbing. Her eyes glowed black for a moment and the widow was suddenly engulfed in a black sphere several dozen meters across. The sphere vanished beyond my sight as we crested the roof.
Friday suddenly skidded to a halt with a shouted "No!"
I turned to look ahead to see our boat still sitting where we'd left it but with a bloated black body squatting above it. She stared at us and hissed as she stuffed the last bit of electric purple wing down her gullet and swallowed.