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Meta Experiments 8
The Facility: Day Two: Convoluted
Subject 1 found out about hot tubs. They were roomy, they had a great temperature… Though they were not being fed from above, there was a shower head looking thing the appropriate size to do so. It just wasn’t active.
“Yeah, some pokemon like the rain, so they’ve got those strewn around these pool rooms.” Spades told her absol companion as she relaxed, seeing her new associate trying not to relax but struggling. “C’mon… Let some tension out of those muscles.” she prompted her.
Absol gave her a peculiar, but obviously skeptical look. Spades sighed. She knew this was not the finest situation to talk someone through, but she figured there would be at least some relief in not being in the lab itself.
There was a pause as Subject 1 let herself soak in the warm water, closing her eyes. Worries were lessened in it. But not the heartache, the memories, or the knowledge. They wouldn’t go away. S
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Meta Experiments 7
The Facility: Day Two: Honesty
A mightyena trotted her way through the corners of the facility, turning left at a sign hanging from the ceiling with many, many arrows that were labeled with different things, but the only arrow pointing left read ‘Pokemon Cafeteria’.
Unlike most mightyenas, The thick black streams of fur that ran down her back were uncommonly long, hanging down behind her almost to her paws, and the fur was thicker. Her big bushy tail flowed slowly from side to side as she entered, anticipating food but feeling reserved as usual. Many pokemon filled this room. Most didn’t look happy. Many looked like they felt something akin to a dull, pained acceptance.
She knew what that was, she had felt it herself for a while. She wasn’t being experimented on any longer, but hadn’t been released because the diet her body now required couldn’t be found in the wild in full, and the owners of the building had essentially unofficially adopted h
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Meta Experiments 6 (Inflation)
The Lab: Day One: Tamato
He waited an hour, twenty minutes after the absol had recovered somewhat. Her thoughts were in his visor, sorely tempting him to remove his helmet simply because of how tormented and depressing the thoughts were. Mostly along the lines of the pointlessness of life, but even harsher, the thoughts of hers that brought up the topic of how precious a living child was, and how her first pregnancy had been underage somewhat and resulted in many bodies that were for all intents and purposes dead.
Enough was enough.
“We are going to begin the last test today.” The man announced as calmly as he could, turning to his computers. “One more. One more and you can rest, Absol.”
A thought flashed by that ‘Absol’ wasn't her name, but he tucked that information away for later. Instead, he picked up the sole remaining item on the table. The Tamato berry.
He walked over and set it gently in front of the eerily still dark type. “...a
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Meta Experiments 5 (inflation)
The Lab: Day One: Pregnancy
“Well well well.” the man chuckled. “Well, well… Well.”
Absol looked up as the human looked at his computer. Her fur was still slightly damp from the washing, which had essentially entailed the man using his computer to force her to walk alongside him while they moved through the facility to rooms that were like shower rooms, but more like an artificial downpour room with a large circular ‘shower head’ built into it, and room around the edge of the square room to move around. There were some that were private, and others that were decidedly less so.
She knew it was one of the tests when the man stood her before one with a glass door and one with a sealable metal door. Considering the test about privacy, being a test, the dark type was willing to take several minutes to decide. The human’s patience was strong. She was wondering if he would put his helmet back on at some point.
She had eventually ch
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Meta Experiments 4 (inflation)
The Lab: Day One: Blueberry
“...I don’t know whether this will be as painful as the others were, to be honest. It’s experimental. Might not work at all, really.” he commented, turning the innocent looking tomato-sized berry in his armored hand. Walking away towards his prisoner, he knelt within the thirty foot mark and presented the berry to her. “Please help me get this over with, and we both can rest.” he promised.
Absol didn’t know what to do now. Make him force her again? She had to gauge whether it was worth it enraging this foe. His head and more importantly neck was exposed. If she timed it right and took him by surprise, maybe she could bite down on his neck and kill him… On the other hand, he was the key out of this room. She could see no visible exit, which was likely intentional. If she continued what she did now, it would take longer, and risk the man being angry. If she complied, it might be over with faster, and she w
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Meta Experiments 3 (inflation)
The Lab: Day One: Water
Absol didn’t know what to do now. She couldn’t fight, she couldn’t run away… She even had trouble bringing her anger to a boil, just because the man was so utterly confusing and none of her torments had resulted in permanent damage. Her choices boiled down to simply accepting the horror that was to be her life from now on… Or to uselessly attack everything in sight as she was used over and over.
Her train of thought was interrupted as the human tossed his teleportation-pump device all the way into the range she would be allowed in based on the damned computer’s command. Choosing not to move a muscle, she waited for the human to force her to walk.
He didn’t.
Thinking this was some sort of horrific joke, the absol decided that she was no longer interested in the shenanigans the man was attempting to pull and decided that it would be more worth her time to go the other direction, or just sleep here. She
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Meta Experiments 2 (inflation)
The Lab: Day One: Sand
Absol did not want to consume another pump that would make her burst. Frankly, she had no idea how she felt. Obviously, this was wrong, but the man’s answers to her questions had confused her. It made it hard to judge who he was. Regardless, he was preparing to torture her a second time, with sand no less.
She did what she felt she had to do. She charged him with a roar of defiance, pouncing to try and pry that mask off in the hopes of getting to the soft, pathetically weak human flesh within.
She slammed into him, but whatever that suit was, it not only prevented her from knocking him down or even shifting him much, it was also much too much for her blunted horn, tail, and claws to pierce, and her teeth did nothing to help. She tried to sink her teeth into the line that suggested the mask would come off of the helmet there, but it was too thin for her fangs. Finally, she slipped off of the sleek suit, landing harshly on her back. Barely feeli
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Meta Experiments (inflation)
The Lab: Day One: Air
She woke up, immediately feeling that something was wrong. The uncomfortable, solid floor did not match the soft dirt packed between stones in her mountain home. Her eyes shot open, seeing not the peak of her personal outcropping, but a solid white room with few objects within. Already her danger senses were going wild, making her bolt up and search for the incoming threat.
Needless to say, she quickly found it. Sealed into the room with her was a bipedal being in some sort of protective gear, and a single computer on some sort of stilts. Quickly backing away, she attempted to summon her signature razor wind to strike this being down, self defense overriding curiosity. Her attempts ended in failure, much to her confusion and horror. Her control over the winds had gone?
She hurriedly attempted to generate a shadow claw, and then a night slash, a psycho cut, and even regular attacks such as slash. In desperation she attempted to use swords dance, only to find
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The Facility: Day Two: Convoluted

Subject 1 found out about hot tubs. They were roomy, they had a great temperature… Though they were not being fed from above, there was a shower head looking thing the appropriate size to do so. It just wasn’t active.

“Yeah, some pokemon like the rain, so they’ve got those strewn around these pool rooms.” Spades told her absol companion as she relaxed, seeing her new associate trying not to relax but struggling. “C’mon… Let some tension out of those muscles.” she prompted her.

Absol gave her a peculiar, but obviously skeptical look. Spades sighed. She knew this was not the finest situation to talk someone through, but she figured there would be at least some relief in not being in the lab itself.

There was a pause as Subject 1 let herself soak in the warm water, closing her eyes. Worries were lessened in it. But not the heartache, the memories, or the knowledge. They wouldn’t go away. She found herself longing for her family, despite having struck out on her own. She imagined for a minute if her mother were available to stand next to her and defend her. Her father as well.

But she would never subject her parents to the interior of this monstrosity of a building. Even if they were the only people she would even speak to.

Spades was interestingly silent, Absol noticed absently. She wasn’t pressing every potential advantage, and she wasn’t acting out of turn. She was just being patient. She was staring. Absol wasn’t sure why she was doing that now. Like her, Spades was basically an adult by pokemon standards. But she was so strange. Subject 1 couldn’t help but want to trust her, but every fiber of her being told her that there was no such thing as a trustworthy person in a place like this.

So Spades found the absol studying her curiously, and realized she was staring at the soaked pokemon. To be truthful, Subject 1 didn’t look all too different when she was soaking wet. Her fur still kind of held its shape.

To the absol, however, Spades was much more defined when wet. Both had thick fur, but while hers held its shape unless she moved drastically, Spades’ fur flattened out and presented her body shape. For a quadruped, she would be quite attractive to another quadruped. Absol was surprised she didn't have a mate by now. Or perhaps she did. Absol didn't know. And clinging to her personal rule was all that stood as a barrier to that.

Absol could feel her words bubbling up in her throat, but she shoved it back down. The mightyena could have a voice recorder, or some other reason to want Subject 1 to speak, to trust the mightyena, and she wasn't going to play that game.

Spades saw the decision being made in her new companion’s eyes. It hurt, but only because she knew that what was done to her had to be bad enough to warrant that paranoia. For the humans had torn her from her home, kept her asleep for a long time, and when she woke up, she was not rewarded/compensated for the rich man’s paper she brought to and for this facility and didn't release her to the wild. Instead she was treated like a fucking reusable balloon, an object to be played with, when she was a living being.

Spades didn't blame her one bit.

It just made it harder for her to help herself the way she employed herself to help others.

They soaked for a few minutes before the absol pointed at the visible controls of the rain simulator and tilted her head slightly. She wanted to experience the hot tub like that? She must love the rain or something.

Spades smiled at the other girl, nodding, and the absol picked herself out of the water and scrutinized the controls. She moved the temperature to the one that the hot tub itself was set to and made it ready to go for two hours. Spades instinctively ducked a bit when the water hit her, but The absol walked right in, lying down on the top step do only her head and back was above the water, and being rained on by the nozzle above.

Subject one didn't say a word for two hours.

Spades eventually realized she’d fallen asleep in that position around the time that the water turned off from overhead. The absol woke swiftly, looking around as if frightened, and glanced at Spades.

And Absol realized that Spades could have done any number of things to her while she slept. It was the first day she’d met the mightyena, but her trust in her had skyrocketed faster than it had for anyone else she knew. But the nature of the facility itself kept her from trusting this oh-so-nice mightyena enough to talk to her.

Absol stepped out of the water and shook herself off, looking at herself to make sure nothing had happened while she slept again. Nobody had jumped her and turned her into a living balloon, nobody had done anything to her.

“Did you sleep well?” the kind tone caught Absol’s attention as she focused on the mightyena again. Predictably, she shook her head. Granted, she might have done if one of her expansions hadn’t been a pregnancy expansion. Spades was on the wrong end of the ‘need to know’ requirement on that front. But Subject 1 believed that the sight would never leave her.

“I understand.” Spades told her quietly. “If you’re willing to believe me, I understand. I may never go through anything with the severity that you experienced, but I have seen pokemon who have suffered just as much.”

Absol kept her eyes on the mightyena even as the other girl broke eye contact and looked away towards the bigger pool, and the pokemon in it. “You have friends here. Friends you just haven't met yet. I promise you that, too.” she said with a tone so utterly confident that it shook Absol’s skepticism that she used as a shield. It didn’t falter yet.

Spades opened her mouth to say more, but nothing came up. She had trouble deciding how exactly she was going to further comfort the absol. In the end, she had nothing that could actively convince the absol and she knew it. The pokemon around her would have to prove themselves to her.

After many minutes, she finally stood up. “There are some places I’d love to show you before you go back to your room. Are you willing?” Spades asked the absol, who met her eyes and nodded slowly. At least the response was quick.

Spades led Subject 1 over to an area cut into the wall of the pool area, extending the room. Within it were some grates and some controls. Spades gave the absol a knowing smile as she stepped onto one of them and pressed the button. Immediately, an air current worthy of a shiftry erupted from the grate and did its work on the water filling Spades’ fur with hot air. She relished in the feeling until it ended, leaving her fur all poofy but quite dry.

Stepping out, she shook herself to smooth her fur down just a bit. Meanwhile, Absol looked between her and the grate. It obviously wasn’t going to kill her, Spades had tried it first. But was it worth the poofiness to take the short route?

The alternative seemed to be a series of used towels that someone could slip any sort of corrosive material or poison into-

It seemed her paranoia was only growing with every nice thing that happened to her. Even she realized the… partial ludicrousness of that particular bout of paranoia. Nevertheless, it didn’t seem like the dryer was kinda contaminated.

Then she noticed somebody picking up all the towels in the row and take them away while someone else started reloading them from somewhere, confirming that there was at least an attempt to be sanitary.

Now that she had a genuine choice, she reminded herself that she wasn’t physically equipped to use towels anyways. Dryer grate it was.

Spades did her absolute best to keep her giggles down when the other girl emerged. The water hadn’t messed with her fur’s shape, but anything as floofy as an absol is prone to some bad fluff days. Subject 1 was no exception. Spades thought she looked absolutely adorable with fluffed up fur and a deadpan expression.

The absol shook herself and her fur fell back into place as if by magic. Spades found herself astonished at the ease of which she handled her fur. And she did it like she’d done it a thousand times, convincing the mightyena that perhaps she could do that before she was taken by the humans.

She would have said she was jealous, but she didn’t think her new friend was ready for jokes like that. So instead she smiled and kept silent, turning towards the doors, knowing the absol would follow her.

She emerged in a garden with plants full of berries ten minutes later.

“You probably don’t know this, but some guy found this varient of oran berry plants that can grow more fruits within four days. Insane, right? Well, they took some samples and they expanded on it. They’re trying to make berries grow back in seconds. These ones… Take a look.

Subject 1 obediently stepped forward and looked at a small, unripe berries surrounded by ripe berries. And she stared. And stared some more. She could see the berries growing. Visibly changing in size ever so slowly.

“Five minutes.” Spades smirked. “I guess humans are good for something. Not that these would do any good in the wild. All that growing takes water and matter from around it. Feel that breeze? It’s the plants consuming the air to make berries. The water is constantly fed from underneath, because one of these things would shrivel up all the surrounding plants in minutes without it. It’s very much something that has to be regulated.”

This was too much for the absol. What had the humans done? Some completely insane requirement for instantaneous gratification spawned these things that produced more fruit than they were worth and for what reason? There was plenty of food out there. This planet was so full of berry bushes and edible vegetables and non-sentient animals to eat. They don’t need a berry bush that can give you refills in five minutes!

She contained herself, and shook her head with disapproval. She knew Spades didn’t see all too much wrong with this, probably because of the environment it was in, and therefore a general lack of collateral damage, but Subject One wouldn’t play by those rules just to appease this other girl, even if she was honestly growing on the primary subject.

The absol couldn’t bring herself to come up with anything that might even remotely imply that Spades wished her harm, no matter how much she wanted to. Spades wasn’t some tamed pet. Or maybe she was, that still wasn’t altogether clear to her. Spades confused her. She was optimistic in this land of pain and suffering, but at the same time, she didn’t come across as naive or dead inside. It was like she genuinely thought there was a good side to this place.

Or at least thought the pokemon could manage it if they had each other.

Spades, recognizing the expression and the emotion behind it, stepped up to the absol. “...Would you like to go back to your room?

The mightyena could only watch as the absol nodded, and she gave her a smile as she started to walk. “Okay, follow me. I’ll take you back to the cafeteria, you probably remember the way from there.”

Subject 1 silently noted as she followed the other canine that she hadn’t wanted to know where she lived. Even that small detail made it hard to fear her. In fact, in any other place and any other time, Spades the mightyena would already be a good friend of hers. If only.

She took notice of the espeon/mew hybrid floating behind the counter of the kitchen waving at her, and nodded back carefully. Neutron she was slightly more suspicious of, but to be honest, it was only because she wasn’t totally sure of why Neutron had that position.

And when she found herself back in her room, she wouldn’t stop thinking about Spades for quite some time. Simply because it was so difficult. And she couldn’t sleep, because the next day she knew she would be bloated and popped by various things.

Sighing, she twisted in her bed again, looking up at the featureless ceiling. Nothing had changed since she was out of her room, she’d made sure of it. Why did everything seem so genuine? Whether it was the absolutely detestable nature of humanity or the kind words of the mightyena she’d met this morning, none of it seemed exaggerated or faked. Like this was a place of honesty, whether that honesty be harmful or not.

And one of her greatest fears now was that she would live her life in a constant state of confusion over that fact.
Meta Experiments 8
Hey, we're back. This took quite some time, in part because I was working on numerous secret projects. You know, the super secret kind. 
The Facility: Day Two: Honesty

A mightyena trotted her way through the corners of the facility, turning left at a sign hanging from the ceiling with many, many arrows that were labeled with different things, but the only arrow pointing left read ‘Pokemon Cafeteria’.

Unlike most mightyenas, The thick black streams of fur that ran down her back were uncommonly long, hanging down behind her almost to her paws, and the fur was thicker. Her big bushy tail flowed slowly from side to side as she entered, anticipating food but feeling reserved as usual. Many pokemon filled this room. Most didn’t look happy. Many looked like they felt something akin to a dull, pained acceptance.

She knew what that was, she had felt it herself for a while. She wasn’t being experimented on any longer, but hadn’t been released because the diet her body now required couldn’t be found in the wild in full, and the owners of the building had essentially unofficially adopted her.

It meant she couldn’t get a room of her own because she wasn’t ‘officially’ anybody's property, but that meant she could meet pokemon and humans each night. She tried to make the pokemon more cheerful about their situation (a hard pressing task in of itself) and if she was in a human room for the night, she kept her distance and didn’t bother them.

She objected the actions of the humans in the building, but had accepted that stopping them was beyond her. She could help the other pokemon psychologically, but didn’t have to accept what was going on.

Still, they served great food. Something supposedly unheard of for cafeterias in general. This one, like the others in the highly funded, practically self sustaining building, offered a wide variety and excellent food because humans and pokemon alike ate in them, and just like in this mightyena’s case, some of the pokemon had augmented dietary needs as a response to all the testing.

It was true that more testing might make her unstable and that was why she was no longer involved in them, but as long as she followed the rules her body had to abide by, she was perfectly safe. Furthermore, failing to abide by those rules does not endanger her unless she has been completely neglecting those rules for weeks.

Meaning she just had to have certain things in her diet period, which she couldn’t get in the wild in usual mightyena habitats.

Blinking her red eyes, accentuating her vertically slitted pupils, she walked further into the room.

“Hey, Spades!”

The mightyena, dubbed Spades, looked to her right to see a delphox sitting there. She didn’t want to sit next to the magic user, not this time. Humans had their moments, and what they’ve done and continue doing with that delphox are not one of them.

“Delphox.” she greeted shortly. “I have things to do today, sorry.” She walked by the table to get to the serving area when she felt a pull on her rear, dragging her back to sit next to the fire and psychic type.

“Can’t I ask how a friend is doing?” the female asked teasingly, putting her wand away. Spades grunted and looked her in the eye, her elongated pupils bringing about a shiver in the opposing delphox.

“You say that, but then you act rude, attempt to steer me away from my other friends, and generally act unpleasant.” Spades told the woman flatly. “And every time I point this out, you say:” she gestured to the fire type.

She rolled her eyes. “‘It’s not my fault, they reprogrammed me to enjoy the things I do.’” she quoted herself.

“And I believe that, and I respect that, but my job of being able to be a helping hand to everyone makes hanging out with you basically counterintuitive.” Spades pointed out. “Even you can’t deny that. And you’d sooner cast a magic spell on me to do something to my body if I talk to you for too long, just because you’re programmed to enjoy the helplessness others feel.”

She noticed a tiny shred of hurt in the eyes of the magic pokemon, so she quickly added: “Look, I’m very sorry that your first owner basically brainwashed you and I’m sorry that the scientists don’t give you appropriate therapy with their machines to fix it because they want someone to willingly enchant items to help them with the more painful, invasive experiments.” she said, closing her eyes. “But I can’t do anything about that. And I don’t want some part of me distended like yesterday morning.”

“Hey, I’d spent the last several hours before that making those two berries, and then I watched the footage. It was on my mind that day.” she called after Spades as she went to get her food. “Hey, don’t forget she’s probably going to be free today.”

At this, Spades changed her mind about her seating. She quickly stepped up to the counter to see a friendly espeon floating around and making food fly together with incredible precision and skill.

The espeon’s tail tips were more bulbous than most, and her resting floating position was like a sitting position, head up and forepaws hanging down on her chest. Her hind paws were bigger than her forepaws, and her fur was a lighter shade of pink.

What happened was, instead of trying to clone Mew, considering the last disaster, they wanted to see how close they could get to a mew by putting the genes in a psychic type. The espeon had already evolved, but took to the genes over time since that evolution. A better result than what happened to the newborn psychic type, strangely. That one, after surviving the sickness it got, developed the attributes of about fourteen other pokemon, implying that the mew genes it got perhaps had something to do with it’s ability to transform, not it’s physical form or psychic power.

“Hey, Neutron! Good morning.” Spades greeted the espeon. Both were roughly the same age and like herself, Neutron had taken to living in the facility after the testing was done with her. She didn’t talk about it, but Spades suspected that it was because they couldn’t afford to let more accessible mew genes into the wild, so it was unlike the augmented mightyena‘s situation in a way. More oppressive.

Nevertheless, Neutron held good spirits. “Good morning, Spades.” she said, curving in place and then sailing over to the other end of the counter to give another pokemon a full tray of food.

She twisted back over to hover before Spades. “It’s tuesday!” she reminded me happily, and I grinned, knowing she knew the meal I usually ordered on tuesdays for breakfast. Within a minute she had prepared me a fresh meal, the tray of which I gratefully took in my mouth and walked carefully over to the table where Delphox sat.

“Subject one?” Spades asked “Do they have a name?”

“She won’t speak, except for angry or pained growls.” Delphox informed the mightyena casually. “So we don’t know her name. She’ll communicate in other ways though. I guess it’s just something she decided to do. It’s your job to make people feel better, so you’ll probably have to go at it today.”

“I’d love to meet her. I’m sure she’s nice when you get to know her.” Spades smiled. “Anything else?”

“You know what they’re doing to her now that she’s awake?”

“Testing…” Spades grumbled. “When they stopped testing on me, on Neutron, on several others in this room, they let them be. With her, they’re testing…”

Delphox grinned a predatory grin. “Testing public fetishes.” she said. “Turns out if it’s on the internet, people assume it’s special effects. So the guy’s sending videos and written renditions of the stuff and putting it online. Said ‘multiple internet platforms’ or some nonsense. Getting better info from the internet, our source, but sometimes he complains about getting nothing from this ‘other souce’ of his.”

“I don’t like you or the grin on your muzzle.” Spades said.

“I get that a lot.” Delphox continued grinning.

Spades huffed and started eating her food up slowly. It was mostly human food with some supplements, and the pork was fantastic. Whenever she heard Delphox moving, the mightyena snapped her head up to make sure the magic wand wasn’t pointed at her for whatever reason. It was like sitting next to a bomb, how dangerous it was.

And she remembered yesterday when she’d lost track of the sorceress and had gotten hit by some spell the fox had prepared while spending so much time on those berries they subjected Subject 1 to. She had no idea what it felt like to be expanded forcefully by something more physical, but having her belly inflate to the point that it looked like she’d swallowed a human sized ditto whole, fearing it would burst, gave her something of an idea what the absol in question must have felt like. It was frightening, painful. And Delphox had used the spell at least three times in that room in that hour.

“Oi, absol alert.” Delphox spoke, gesturing lazily with her wand towards the newcomer. She stood at the entryway, her gaze even as she looked into the eyes of every pokemon watching her. Some looked away, others couldn’t take their eyes off. There was no doubting that she was pretty, Spades reflected. But when their eyes met, Spades got a different vibe from her. ”I don’t trust you. I don’t trust any of you.” the eyes said. This was a normal thought process for most pokemon brought into their new lives in the facility, but they usually expressed it in… Other ways.

Spades supposed the odd life choice not to talk (but to freely communicate anyhow else) left some room for learning how to tell people how you feel through intricate facial expressions. The mightyena got chills from the look she (more likely Delphox) was getting.

Spades stood away from the table, then stopped and looked back, picking her tray up and moving it to a different table because she reckoned Delphox might steal some of it. Then she padded over to the new girl.

“Good morning.” she greeted her respectfully. Subject 1 was reserved, guarded. Spades looked into that expression and the posture and everything, and read that the absol would no doubt want her to be straightforward, honest. Although she didn’t see any pride in those eyes. She clearly wanted to be anywhere but the facility, but she wasn’t carrying herself as someone high and mighty.

Subject 1 just gazed back at her with a critical eye, before turning and analyzing the room. She noted Neutron peeking at her as she kept one eye on the food and dishes flying around her in an organized manner. She took a long, hard look at Delphox, who waved. Looking from her left to her right now, she saw all the eyes on her, seeming to recognize right away that most of the pokemon here knew her.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat this.”  Spades told her, and the absol’s gaze whipped into her eyes. “Like all of us, you’re stuck here. But.” she held out a paw “That doesn’t mean it has to be all painful. Let’s start with finding people you trust.”

Subject 1 narrowed her eyes at the paw, and then at Spades. She made a nasty look at Delphox, which caused Spades to flinch. She had seen the two of them talking, and had apparently known at least a delphox was involved in her torment. Now Spades was associated with the cruel delphox.

Spades wanted to salvage this. The look in Subject 1’s eyes whispered of vulnerability hidden under the forcibly cold exterior. “My job is to try and bring people into better spirits… As much as is possible.” I continued. “I don’t like lying to people, and there’s some people I don’t like here, but my job includes people I have to talk to… and people I get to talk to. Which is why I would like to start…” she extended her paw again “By being your friend.”

There was a genuine pause where Spades worried that the absol would blow her off. Instead, the look she gave practically spelled out ‘I’ll give you a chance, but be careful, I’m paranoid’. The absol looked around for a bit, as if unsure of what to do.

“Well, do you want me to call you by Absol or Subject 1 for now?” Spades asked, and the immediate response was a single tap of the other girl’s claw on the floor. “The first? Okay. Well, I know you’ve been through a lot. And… I don’t mean to be insensitive, but it’s relevant, a lot of it has to do with your stomach, right?”

A nod.

Spades nodded. “Do you think you will be able to think about eating?”

Another nod.

Spades smiled, closing her eyes for a moment. “It’s settled then. Neutron, Absol needs food stat!

“On it!” came the cheerful reply.

Spades turned. “As I think I said, all of the pokemon in this room have been or are being experimented on by humans… We’re all in the same boat as you. Or have been. And I think you can find real friends here. And no matter what…” she smiled “I think we can make this bearable for you.”

There was a long pause, and whether Absol(?) trusted Spades or not, a genuine, small smile emerged on her face at the thought. She nodded and padded over to where Neutron was ready with her food right away.

Spades sat at her new spot at the empty table, which given the potential alone time, drove the other dark type to join her. Spades took note of how she walked with confidence, barely missing a beat and showing that she was not afraid… Even if she was.

Eyeing her food critically, she tried it after a few moments, and couldn’t stop her eyes from widening.

“I know!” Spades piped up cheerfully. “Wouldn’t you believe it, the humans have this incompatible but fitting blend of being scum sucking bottom feeder-food and having enough decency to supply us with good and tasty foodstuffs!”

Absol(?) just gave her a skeptical look for her optimism and continued eating, prompting Spades to start finishing her own meal. She made sure to eat it swiftly enough so that she had time to continue speaking with Subject 1. “Everyone’s schedule’s pretty different.” she told Absol. “The pokemon that deal with testing and stuff have that, but the rest of us either have jobs to do to keep this place running like Neutron up there, or if you’re like me, the jobs are basically self appointed.”

Then she smiled. “Someday, you’ll be free enough to do just the same, Absol, I know it.”

Absol(?) stopped eating for a bit. She didn’t believe Spades, and the mightyena could tell from a single look at her new friend’s face. The subject thought she was going to be tortured forever. That no matter what, they would find more uses for her.

Spades watched this for a minute before ordering the absol to continue eating her food because she’d need her energy. Then she thought. A grim thought lurked in her mind as she mentally reminded herself of one of humanity’s most powerful ‘bad’ trait: Nostalgia. Granted, it was a universal concept, but it seemed unusually strong in the weak but technologically advanced bipeds

And Subject 1 was… Well, Subject number one. It was possible that they wouldn’t let up on her because of that. And she realized that the absol had reached that conclusion herself at some point, so there was no use vocalizing it.

So Spades kept an eye on her to make sure that her fellow dark type did not do something like vanish into thin air. Spades was uncertain as to how exactly she had been altered, although she had heard plenty of various details from passing conversations from the humans. She could smell the difference between the absol before her and a normal absol. Aside from the vague differences, the scent was also muted. Built for survival. Not even predators could get her by tracking her down.

Their trays lay empty before them, and Spades looked Absol in the eye. “...Even if the humans keep coming back to you for experiments, you still have to take care of yourself. Okay? Don’t just lie down and take it… Make life livable for yourself whenever they’re not experimenting on you, okay?”

She gave Spades a long look.

“And try to make some more friends.” Spades added quietly.

She could tell the other girl was trying to say ”We’ll see.” from her seemingly blank expression. Without another word, the augmented mightyena turned and looked around the room to see who was staring at the absol. Lots of them were giving passing glances to her, and some more were outright staring at her. Staring like that, they were unlikely to be people Subject 1 would trust. Most of the others were dutifully ignoring her, going back to their meals and assuming she was just like everyone else.

The two extremes of society, and she couldn't see a single person who adequately performed the neutral path with her eyes alone. Her lips tightened. Her absol friend wasn’t likely to call into any of the cliques that formed society around here, even if most of these pokemon were experiments in progress or living here post-experiment. They dealt with grief and trauma similarly, but it seems nothing stands in the way of singling someone out for their differences.

“...Please at least try.” Spades added a little glumly. “Neutron’s great.”

Her new acquaintance gave her a sidelong glance as she stepped up to Spades’ side, a glance that well implied ”Why, because she gives us food?”

“Oh, you’re cynical…” Spades sighed. “She does the job she does because she cares. Because someone else might just serve you generic slop. She believes in making things as tolerable and even enjoyable as she can manage by the method she thinks is the most likely to access someone’s heart.”
A roll of the eyes. Spades imagined her thinking ”Through their stomachs.”

And that’s exactly what Absol did think. Regardless, the primary subject glanced at the floating espeon/mew hybrid with a calculating look. She busied herself doing her work, flitting about with food being prepared all around her using her powerful psychic abilities. But she glanced up and caught Absol’s eye, waving happily at her with a smile that was beyond genuine.

But Absol was set on not trusting a single one of them until they proved that it was worth it, and that she would not take anymore damage from the world around her. There were things she had no control over. She would at least have control over this.

Spades gave her a troubled look. “I’ll show you around the facility.” she decided. “The places we can go that the humans don’t use for their experiments… Courtyards, an exercise room, and some other places. They were meant for the humans, but… They let us use them. Probably because after… Uh… You, actually, money was thrown at this place as if fired from a gatling gun for… Everything.

Absol was visibly unhappy that she’d gone from the absol hit by a sleeping dart in the woods to the unwilling bringer of what she considered a pokemon torture facility. She’d taken note of Spades’ irregularities, and the odd looks most people wore in her eyes and on their faces, most of them pointed at her.

No, it didn’t look like she had many friends in the making.

Absol turned to appraise Spades as the augmented mightyena turned and scanned the crowd again as she had done. Judging who was looking at her in what ways, Absol realized. Much like Absol had just done. But despite making an admittedly marginal effort to keep an open mind as Spades had kind of requested, only Spades’ raw honesty gave Absol the smallest thread of trust in her.

She allowed Spades to take the lead to tour her around. They hadn’t gotten out of the door before Spades stiffened and whirled, grabbing the first grabbable part of Absol, her horn, and pulling her down. Subject 1 was about to just kill her until her danger senses went off too little too late. She was pulled down to the ground as the projectile of light whizzed over them. And after her flare of rage, Spades’ trustworthiness spiked.

Delphox shrugged guiltily. “Hey, it was entertaining. Just wanted to see if it would work here.”

“With nothing to heal her?” Spades stood tall, looking cross. “Consider the consequences!”

“I did. Worth it.

Absol was going to attack her, but Spades blocked her path, confusing her. “Delphox’s situation is… Unique.” she said quietly. “I’ll explain some other time. It’s hard to fault her for being sadistic.”

Absol decided to set a date for the fire type’s timely demise with or without the mightyena‘s explanation.

Neutron got a point in Absol’s eyes as she noted the danger and  started distracting Delphox, giving Spades a chance to lead Absol away.

Absol kept her head turned as she walked alongside the curious mightyena, Keeping the other girl’s face in her line of sight. Spades looked ahead. She didn’t constantly glance at her absol companion as if she were an object to be studied. She didn’t walk as if trying to conform to Subject 1’s pace. She didn’t press her to speak.

What she had done was selflessly protect Subject 1 from a bolt of magic that would have forced her to relive the inflation torment she had experienced yesterday. What she had also done was shown that she had some level of understanding of the absol’s thoughts and feelings. It was her job, even, to try and understand and help everyone.

The only reason that didn’t detract from everything else was that it was evidently self-appointed.

Spades felt the primary subject’s eyes on her, but forced herself not to meet them. There was no need to stress the girl out. Coaxing a relaxed and happy expression from someone took patience. And time. Especially in an environment such as this.

Unless of course the absol latched onto the only person she considered trustworthy in the building quickly just to hold on to some medium of safety and sanity. Spades considered that too.

“To our right is a gym. Humans use it mostly, but there are really heavy weights for fighting types and some other pokemon too.” Spades commented, breaking her train of thought and butting it open with her head while smiling. “I occasionally come in here myself. You’d probably do better, an absol’s muscles naturally growing tougher, but I’ve got my own personal record.”

“That isn’t much, girl.” Subject 1 heard, and she turned to the side to see a sawk rubbing a towel along his arm. “Everybody’s got a personal record, even if it’s zero because they’re too lazy.”

Spades sweatdropped. “Shh, I’m trying to sound impressive.” she chided the sawk jokingly. “This is my friend. She hasn’t given me her name yet, but she’s all right.”

“Well, it’s nice to meet you. Name’s Clash.” he gave Absol a polite gesture.

Absol looked at Clash carefully. He didn’t look like he was augmented in any way, but she put nothing past humans. Maybe they just kept him in this room. Well, that would be possible if Spades hadn’t been able to manhandle the door open with her natural dark-type-thick skull.

“Woman of a few words?”

“Apparently it has something to do with trust. But she’ll communicate in other ways. Apparently.” Spades walked further into the room to distract Subject 1. “Anyways, look how big this place is! Well, wide and long. Not tall. The biggest rooms in this place have entire obstacle courses that go all over the place with separate tracks for different kinds of pokemon. They were meant for training and exercise, but I personally find those a hell of a lot of fun.”

Absol noted that Spades had a habit of getting off track and then jumping right back on again. But it was relatively seamless and generally easy to absorb information from her. Spades just struck her as an extremely likable person, and she was becoming exponentially more impressed that someone like this actually existed in a human laboratory.

She followed the mightyena through the maze of metal, looking at all the equipment. The arrangement of the equipment were relatively simple. Human machines in the front on the right, bipedal pokemon machines on the front to the left, and the rest were layered from front to back in order of who was most likely to use the gym; The quadrupeds were behind the bipeds.

Spades had little to comment on, so she swiveled around after mentioning some basic functions, and started going back. But then, she hopped into the area with some weights that had bars with odd curved centers to fit on a quadruped’s back. She started replacing the weights on it with surprising precision for someone with her mouth alone to back her up. Once she’d put on enough, using many small ones rather than some big ones because she had to do each manually, and demonstrated her ability to go from almost lying down to standing for twenty repetitions with sixty extra pounds on her back.

She lifted the bar back onto it’s holding place and looked at her absol companion. “Want to give it a shot?”

Subject 1 couldn’t help it. Spades had been so polite and courteous that she felt obligated to comply. She moved in, and watched Spades reel up the bar holder to just under the height of her back, slightly taller than Spades’ back. Directing the primary subject into position, she stood before her and smiled. “You’re an absol, and considering the other things, like your augmentations, you should have a good capacity for weights, but you were asleep for a while, yeah? So your muscles might have atrophied… Marginally.”

She didn’t feel too weak, but she pushed up with her legs to stand properly now. She grunted involuntarily, finding the weights more than she anticipated, but tolerable. She stepped away from the rack and started to bend her knees, feeling the weights help her drag herself down. She crouched as low as she dared, and then fought to push back up. It wasn’t enormously difficult, but it would be effective weight training with this weight.

“Come on, let’s do a few cycles, get you back into exercising regularly.” Spades encouraged her as she worked. “Are you doing all right?”

A direct question. Absol looked her in the eyes and nodded quietly. Not enough trust. She believed Spades would consistently prod her and tempt her to speak. But something gave her the distinct impression that Spades was more asking to know whether she trusted her rather than trick her into speaking.

Spades nodded back. Not hiding her slight disappointment, but understanding and accepting Subject 1’s choice. Said subject was having trouble believing that someone could seem more and more trustworthy every minute so genuinely. Had the humans accidentally eradicated that need for personal gain everyone had from this mightyena, perhaps? She didn’t know.

Obediently, understanding the need to gather strength (perhaps it would allow her escape someday), Subject 1 did the reps that Spades encouraged her to do like a proper spotting partner. She was sweating and tired by the time Spades helped her back up and put the weight bar back on the rack.

And she went to the effort to bound off and grab a towel for her too, including helping to wipe her down quickly so that she could get back to the tour. Clash bid them farewell politely as they left.

“Next up, closest courtyard.” Spades noted as she pushed a mostly glass double door open by herself, stepping out into a rather nice place. Four stone benches were on the edge of the stone brick circle that made up most of the open space, and and in between each bench, there was a path to another door back inside, making four. In the open corners that the circle did not include was essentially a garden, flowers and tall plants weaving in the wind. A scyther, or it was supposed to be a scyther, but it was white and had serrated blades and red eyes, was trimming some of the plants carefully.

“Hello, Whirlwind!” Spades cheerfully waved a paw, causing Absol to suddenly think her friend was nuts. Especially when the scyther stopped and glanced at them out of the corner of her eye, with an intimidating look. It started stalking towards the two, eventually standing right before them with its red eyes gleaming in the light above. Absol decided that death wasn’t the answer, and prepared the attack.

A smile broke on the scyther’s face. “Hello, dears. Out for a walk?”

She sounded too nice for someone with blood red eyes and serrated blades.

“Absol, this is Whirlwind. She might be even nicer than me.” Spades said as if this was a perfectly normal thing. “Don’t let her appearance fool you.”

“Test tube larva, pretty much.” Whirlwind nodded. “So your new friend, hmm? Her name… Oh, I see.”

“Whirlwind, my friend here would like to keep her name secret for now.” Spades chided the scyther. “Why are you eyeing me like that?”

“I so love the future sight technique. I will do nothing to change what I just saw.” Whirlwind walked back and started trimming the plants again. “It’s lovely to see you, Spades. You too, Absol.”

“Perhaps a touch weird.” Spades commented in addition after she saw the questioning and somewhat fearful look on her companion’s face. “But she’s kind. She won’t let any secrets she sees get out ever.”

Absol didn’t trust that for a moment. Secrets always got out, didn’t they? Why would this be any different, because the odd scyther could see the future? Because she was nice?

Spades saw the look in her eye. “I mean it, Absol.” she insisted. “She keeps many secrets because of her future sight, unless she feels she needs to change the future by revealing them. The future, after all, is pretty darn fragile. She said she didn’t want that to change, so she confirmed that she wouldn’t reveal the secret.”

Subject 1 analyzed the expression the mightyena was wearing. At least she believed she was telling the truth. And if Whirlwind could see the future, whether they came or not didn’t really matter. Absol tilted her head somewhat, trying to figure out what was in her new companion’s head. Probably that, if she learned that Whirlwind could see the future, it was better for her to know now than later.

Spades sat down in the middle of the courtyard. “Absol…” She said, trailing off. “I thought you would be very anxious to see the beautiful blue sky once more.”

That had entirely skipped her mind because of all the prior nonsense. Her head snapped up as she registered the feeling of sunlight on her skin again. Because of the torment, the last day and a half had felt like a year. Being naturally warmed like this was something she realized she might have never felt again if the humans had been so callous as to just  run their immoral experiments on her twenty-four-seven.

This confused her. What about humans made them act moral and immoral at the same time?

Then she frowned. Moral wasn’t the right word. Not at all. There wasn’t a question to even consider. They were acting immoral, but feigning trying to make up for it, feigning guilt. It was a farce to try and keep her content as they do whatever they please with her.

It disgusted her to be a tool of mankind.

“Hey.” Spades at some point had slunk up behind her and bumped her deliberately. “You shouldn't be so negative when you’re in the sunlight. It’ll take away the few good things you have left.”

How on earth had the mightyena known that she was thinking the way she was? Her gaze whipped around to see the innocent smile on her face, glaring accusingly.

“Anyone can see a frown.” she defended herself without missing a beat. “I know what it looks like when people are angry or sad, or depressed. It’s my job. Or part of it.”

Absol let up the glare quickly. She believed her tour guide. She wasn’t sure how she felt about someone being able to read her so well, as much as it had bothered her when the human had told her his helmet displayed her thoughts. She was not against communications, but her thoughts were meant to be private. If she wanted it to stay that way, she would have to keep her expression more clear, free of emotion.

The tour didn’t last too long. According to Spades, there were different wings of the building with the same available activities, even if the things done by the humans in each were entirely different. She turned to Absol as she stopped in the middle of the courtyard. Whirlwind was nowhere to be seen this time. Still, the sun remained warm, with few clouds in the sky. It was a nice place to try and unwind, emphasis on ‘try’.

“I know in your case it wouldn’t be proper to ask what you’ll do after this.” Spades said softly as she faced Absol, who turned her full attention to the augmented mightyena. Spades blinked, accentuating her line-like pupils, and continued. “Before I let you go to do whatever you like, there are some pokemon I have to tell you to avoid at all costs.”

She had Absol’s attention, so she continued. “The first and most obviously is Delphox. She was put under extreme emotional stress and trauma by her first owner and, to put it bluntly, brainwashed. A sadist with magic. The humans bring her in to do whatever they need if it’s magical in nature, and she’ll do it as long as she gets to witness the pain she causes. She’s also become well known in the facility because she’ll do something to another pokemon if someone, anyone asks her to, because seeing them in pain or helpless is her reward. In other words, she’s dangerous. But she’s not the only one.”

Absol tightened her lips. Why wasn’t she surprised?

“There’s a dragonite. He’sa bully, and quite literally a really big one. They tried to make him mutate into a shiny while he was an adult. They succeeded, but something about one of their failed earlier tests made him really short tempered and unreasonable. He was already a nuisance to begin with. He won’t attack ruthlessly… But he won’t hesitate to smash someone once to hurt them really bad or just knock them out. He’s a couple of facility wings over. His name’s Crush.

Great. Now there were two similar ‘C’ names.

“Another one you have to worry about is Adeline.” Spades added. “She… Used to be a sylveon. The humans tried to add a bunch of different eeveelutions to her general phenotype… She didn’t acquire any of the traits properly, and now she looks like a mess… To put it kindly. She’s very quick to anger as well. But she’s gone for the kill before, even if she’s not very strong. After Adeline and Crush, they phased out splicing genes into adult pokemon, and went for… Different methods of adding features to pokemon.”

The grim tone she had throughout that sentence prompted Absol to gesture towards her with a raised brow.

“Me? No. They messed with my genes when I was still an embryo.” Spades laughed suddenly. “But they had to try and make me regrow my eyes by messing with my genes a little bit when I was like two years old, because what they did gave me some different physical features, but accidentally removed the genes that would cause my body to build eyes.”

Absol couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of a lively puppy with nothing but empty eye sockets. Looking at her very strange eyes, it didn’t look like it was a flawless success. She pointed at her own eyes and gestured around at things. Spades got the question immediately, which was starting to impress Absol.

Spades shook her head. “No, I can see just fine. It’s a little weird, my visible color spectrum is… Skewed, but it’s not enough to cause color blindness. Just makes me see some other colors besides normal stuff. I grew up with it except for the first two years, so it’s as natural to me as normal eyesight is to you.”

Absol suddenly frowned, thinking. Wasn’t she subject number one? Spades looked to be as old as she was, but she wasn’t out of commission for long enough for that to make sense, because she said they messed with her genes when she was an embryo. What did Spades leave out that would fit that puzzle piece into the puzzle? She scowled and gestured to Spades again, narrowing her eyes.

Spades looked confused, tilting her head at Absol for a while, but eventually put two and two together. “...Yes, that was before you were captured. Crush, Adeline, me, Whirlind, and some others, were… Well... Kind of a rough story actually. Whirlwind was given some sort of… Serum or something that made her grow to adulthood very quickly, but thankfully she stabilized. Otherwise she would have gone from old age by now. I wasn’t like that… I started off as some other guy’s experiment, like most of the older people here. You’d be surprised how many humans are running unauthorized tests on pokemon, trying to have the best of the best, or the prettiest, or whatever. He was old, mine, but once people started getting picked up for the job, collecting scientists and other people, he was hired, and I was a part of it all. Then he got a heart attack. Old, remember? Still, I was a pet project, and completed, pretty much. They judged I wasn’t stable enough to be experimented on further without serious risk.”

Absol nodded at her honesty, and drooped her eyelids. She probably hadn’t needed to go into that much detail, Absol realized, considering how she had basically pressed for irrelevant information. Why had she one that?

”It’s because I’m a paranoid and cynical kit, that’s why.” she thought to herself bitterly. She had felt the need to make absolutely sure of Spades’ honesty. Wasn't she grown up enough to come up with more subtle and less harsh ways to test people? Surely she was.

She couldn’t meet Spades eyes. The mightyena had done nothing but help her and be kind to her and she’d been paranoid and rude in response. She wasn’t supposed to be heartless.

Absol gave Spades a long look with drooped eyelids and rubbed a paw slowly on the ground. She didn’t know what to try and convey, but it sounded like the tour was over. She trusted Spades. Not enough to decide to speak to her, but enough that she would seek her out later. She finally nodded politely and turned to walk towards the door inside.

“Of course, there is one place I forgot to show you.” Spades suddenly called out, her tone extremely mischievous. Absol turned, her conflicting emotions clearing as she registered the words.

Ten minutes later, Absol was staring at a pool, with a hot tub alongside. There were a lot of pokemon in here, some swimming and racing, others just relaxing.

Spades had a smirk on her face. “I hope you like water.” she mused. “Seriously, this place houses a lot of humans, and, like, gives them places to live and work. There’s no way they’d get by without swimming pools. Pokemon just kind of took over this one, and the humans didn’t bother to clear us out, so they go use a different one. Convenient that it’s near the border between two wings of this place. I’m rambling.”

“C’mon, Absol.” she started to pad over to the hot tub, which had enough empty space for the both of them and more, as it was relatively large; A whole third of the size of the swimming pool. “I’m gonna show you what it feels like to be in a hot tub.”
The Lab: Day One: Tamato

He waited an hour, twenty minutes after the absol had recovered somewhat. Her thoughts were in his visor, sorely tempting him to remove his helmet simply because of how tormented and depressing the thoughts were. Mostly along the lines of the pointlessness of life, but even harsher, the thoughts of hers that brought up the topic of how precious a living child was, and how her first pregnancy had been underage somewhat and resulted in many bodies that were for all intents and purposes dead.

Enough was enough.

“We are going to begin the last test today.” The man announced as calmly as he could, turning to his computers. “One more. One more and you can rest, Absol.”

A thought flashed by that ‘Absol’ wasn't her name, but he tucked that information away for later. Instead, he picked up the sole remaining item on the table. The Tamato berry.

He walked over and set it gently in front of the eerily still dark type. “...are you going to get this over with, or must I force you?

...I will never willingly touch that.

He nodded and returned to the computer, swiftly forcing the absol to gulp down the spicy fruit. She choked and spat fire, but the deed had been done. Now, all he had to do was wait.

Within a minute, her skin and fur and blades turned a bright red and she started sweating.

In her point of view, it already felt like someone had turned on an oven within her entire body, making everything extremely uncomfortable. She staggered and groaned as she felt the yet small amount of liquid in her belly slosh around ruthlessly. It made her queasy already; She already felt like she was burning up inside, simulating a fever while her uneasy stomach moved and accommodated more liquid extremely slowly.

She felt like throwing up, and then got an idea. She started shifting from side to side, feeling queasier and queasier, clenching her eyes shut as she fought down the need to stop causing that feeling, if she could get it out of her body…

It didn't happen like that. The absol was confused and scared amidst the self-inflicted sickness as to why she hadn't thrown up yet. All of these thoughts had reached the human that watched her.

“I told you, it doesn't work that way.” He said calmly. “Your body is advanced and… Different. It deals with sickness in ways that wouldn't threaten to infect others. That means no vomiting, no coughing or sneezing in a way that can release the illness to the air… While this all helps you stay healthy in other ways, it’s what made you a prime candidate for this strain of tests.”

Her heart sank at these words as she stilled, still feeling the liquid in her belly churn. She breathed out, and some fire did escape like before, although that was the basic side effect of a Tamato berry. The fire wasn't hot enough to cause burn damage, only to hurt. A lot…

She whimpered and shut her mouth, trying to contain the spicy and literal heat filling her senses and feeling disturbing in her continually filling stomach. She fought past the pain and looked down, seeing her belly had bulged somewhat in that same squishy way it had done when she consumed the oran berry.

Beginning to feel very full and still sweating, the absol sat on her haunches and pressed her paws against her squishy tummy. The unwelcome full feeling got worse as her belly tried to expand under her paws, her flesh pushing out between her claws. It was difficult to even mentally articulate her thoughts about going through this once again through all of the panting and small, weak flames and general pain.

The pressure became noticeable as the juices began to somehow extend into areas other than her stomach, just like the oran effect. As she felt the juices start flowing through her body; her bloodstream, her organs, including her lungs and she suspected her heart, and through to the various orifices on her body.

Filled with searing hot red juice as her lungs were, she found her breathing was difficult, but somehow not impossible, likely due to the magic used in it. Every labored breath released painful spicy flames as she felt the thick liquid begin to slowly flow up her throat and through the muscles between her esophagus and her skin.

As the liquid tormented her throat, she became oblivious to how her lean legs had begun fattening under the ever increasing juice pressure, as her body got rounder.

The absol whimpered painfully as she felt the invading liquid start to fill her face, bloating her cheeks and starting to reduce the space her mouth had to open even as her tongue was assaulted by the spicy berry juices and excess juice leaked from her open mouth.

After she spat out juice and fire alike, she suddenly painfully collapsed, her whole body rippling like a water balloon. She looked around to see that in her distraction, her legs had filled with juice until she couldn't hold herself up from the weight of her body and her legs wouldn't bend properly, forcing her to splay out her useless legs as she landed heavily on the floor. Her body still was in the process of rounding out.

Eventually, her head was pushed forward again as her ballooning body started to overtake her legs and neck, her cheeks finally puffing up enough to seal her leaking mouth, so her labored breaths were even more difficult. Now appearing like a huge red berry, the dark type wished she would just pop already.

But that didn't happen just yet. Painful pressure points originated all over her body, eliciting a pained whimper from her. More juice began to fill er, unnaturally extending parts of her body out into soft spikes that completed her image as a giant Tamato berry.

But the juice kept coming, and as blocked and-slash-or burnt as all of her senses were, she knew she maybe had five seconds…

The highest points of pressure were the spikes that were forced to extend from her, so after four seconds, that was where her skin split open and juice sprayed everywhere violently and she started shrinking as her body ejected the fluid and her vision started to blur as everything went into a worse state than it had the other times she had popped, feeling numb and sleepy, although her tongue still burned. She got her hopes up; was this where she would die?

Now, the heal pulse activated, violently expelling the liquid still in her before sewing up her wounds, leaving her exhausted on the floor, drenched on the outside in juice but back to her normal color otherwise.

“That’s all of them today, absol.” the human said. “Let's get you cleaned up, after we introduce you to your new home.”

She panted, not dignifying it with a mental response, and she hadn’t ever directly spoken aloud other than basic growls. Instead she just forced herself to look him in the eye and make it as obvious as possible how aware she was about how unjust her situation was. But she knew that the man would not yield now.

She got up shakily, seeing the man shut down the laptop that had controlled her so many times. He opened up the sealed door once more, entering and waiting for her to follow. The absol felt a need to rebel, but her conscious self told her that this time, it was five times unintelligent to do so. She did need a wash, she didn’t want to invite more tests by staying in the testing chamber, She was promised a home, or at least a room, she was never going to escape by staying in the one room that seemed the most sealed, and out there there may be pokemon in similar situations to hers to… Conspire with.

If she didn’t have her personal reasons for the way she ran her life, that last option might actually have mattered.

She got up, ignoring that her paws were sticking to the floor for the moment and followed the man. He took her a long way from the original room, moving into a corridor with many labels on the doors with various titles, but the absol did not read them. Instead she read the label on the door at the end. Subject 1. The human looked her in the eyes, even crouching to her level. And he then removed his helmet.

The absol thought about pouncing on him, but something held her back. Perhaps it was because she thought he might be about to give her useful information.

“This will be your home.” he said. “It says ‘Subject 1’ on it… But if you have a name, and you tell me, I’ll replace that tag on the door in a heartbeat.

”Why? Why go to all that trouble?” she wondered.

“Inside there’s a few things I’ll show you how to use. I don’t know how often you deal with technology, but…” he trailed off “You get the picture.”

He gestured to the black pad she hadn’t noticed at her eye level at the door. “That thing is already set to your paw pad. Just press it, and the door will open automatically for you. There is one inside as well, in case you would like to walk out. You now have free reign of the facility… On one condition.”

She blinked, watching him carefully and waiting for him to explain.

“The laptop I use to control you for our tests if need be is shut down. But there is another program, based in a human operated computer in the building, double password protected and through several doors you cannot open.” he said. “All it does is make you stay inside the grounds. There are outdoor areas for recreation or other things, but everything has visible borders. Simply put, you are as free as we can make you without losing you for testing.”

She stared at him, absorbing his explanation. She really had no idea what to say to that.

“Please, open it.” the human prompted, patting the door. She looked at her right forepaw, noticing that some very juice lingered on it. Deciding not to attack the human this time, because convincing him was her only option to get out of the facility in the end, she wiped it off as best she could and placed it on the black pad.

It swiftly chimed and the door swung open with a slight squeak. Inside was… Well, the absol couldn’t describe it in a single word. It would do it a disservice to try. She could tell from fifteen meters away that the bed was built for comfort, and would probably sink extremely comfortably when she got in it. Aside from this, the room had various things that would fit a human bedroom with some augments to hopefully let it prove useful to her, and all of them seemed state of the art. Then more doors branched off into rooms.

“The door to our left is the bathroom. Waterproof touchscreen operated, which should make it easy for you. Not sensitive to heat or anything, so your claws should work fine. To the right is an extra room for whichever purpose you would like. It’s empty right now, but if you make some requests I’ll make sure you get what you need.”

Then he stepped up to the bathroom door. “Because most locking mechanisms are for humans, yours is touch activated as well, right next to the pad to open the door. The door won’t open as long as the pad you touch to lock it is glowing red.” he explained, using the regular handle to open the door and lead her inside.

“I know you know I lied about the lack of surveillance in the last overhead shower.” the human stated plainly, opening the door. “Would you believe me this time if I said there was no surveillance in your bathroom or home?”

Even reading the mental response, it still caused him to wince somewhat when he received the telltale deadpan look. There was a pause between himself and the absol drenched in viscous red liquid, before he gestured to the open door. “There is no surveillance.” he promised truthfully, knowing the absol was about as likely to believe him as he was likely to share his condition.

“...Anyways.” he continued “Everything a bathroom needs. You turn on the fan for the shower over there, by the shower itself. It’s deep enough for you to take a bath in, which I think you would appreciate.”

The pokemon looked at the tub, wondering if drowning was worth it.

He probably sensed this using intuition, but didn’t push it for some reason.

“...Otherwise, I think you’re best suited discovering what you have here for yourself.” he decided, stepping out of the bathroom and getting on her level again as best he could. “Just remember. Not a single person in this facility can make you leave this room other than me.” he told her. It was not in the ‘you belong to me’ kind of way… Rather the ‘I hope to provide you with some feeling of security’ way. “Testing days are every other day. That means unless there’s a test that I have to do, nobody is ever going to take you out of here.”

That sounded… Acceptable. She couldn’t believe the word arose to her mind. Despite being a prisoner, she was essentially the most well treated prisoner she could imagine. And it was odd. She knew for absolute certainty that she would prefer to be back out in the world. But her life was officially overly complicated now, and she knew not what to think about the current situation in of itself. Only the torture she would apparently receive every other day was something she was absolutely sure what she thought of. That she had to do everything in her power to keep it from continuing.

The human had given her the option this time, if she could manage to drown herself in the tub, but then she realized that he had gone to extreme measures to keep her alive before. Looking at the tub again, she noticed that unlike the other structures, this one had black lines circling the base of the tub.

The human put his helmet back on. “Those send a signal to the system if the reading it gets on your vitals is dangerously low, and removes the water as swiftly as it can. Your unique and helpful internal structure will do the rest.”

”I should have expected such a safety feature…” she thought to herself.

“I’m going to leave you alone now.” the man said, standing and walking out of the door. “You’re a smart girl. If you need me to get you something, my name is Robert  Maple. Make sure when you send the message that it’s clear that I deal with it. That’s… Basically to make it easier for everyone else. So they don’t have to track me down, which will waste your time, their time, etcetera. And stress us all out.”

She could only nod, thinking about seeing if food could be brought to her. Then she turned away as the human left. On second thought, she twisted herself around and looked out into her main room, seeing the man close her door behind her, officially leaving her alone. She padded up to the door, noting that he had gotten out on his own. That must have meant he had a way through that paw scanning pad.

She didn’t know whether it was comforting or terrifying that she did in fact trust him enough to believe that he and her were the only ones who could access the room.

Instead of dwelling on it, she noted again that she was still dripping berry juice on her new hardwood floor. It would wash off, and she was glad the carpet spanned seven eighths of the room but left a path between her front door and the bathroom. This was almost a nice gesture, she thought, until her expression promptly flattened into a deadpan expression as she realized it would be because she’d probably often come in here having exploded because of something messy.

So cheery… she couldn’t help but think to herself as she stepped into the bathroom, and closed and locked the door as instructed. Then she looked at the bathtub. Quickly plugging the drain for a bath, having only had the shower before, and looked at the water system. One was a simple nozzle to fill the tub, the other was a shower head.

She did like rain, so she set the temperature to be very high and turned on the shower head, memories floating to the surface of her lying in the pond in her territory when it rained.

The water warmed up quickly, just enough for her to turn on the fan with the tip of her claw and hop in, immediately sitting down and noting the size of the tub. The water went up to her chest while she sat, which meant the tub was deep. Hoping she could always avoid incidents in which her paws slipped upon entering the tub, she finally tried to relax under the water.

”I don’t know what I’m going to go through, but I can relax now… Because I have a day off. I can worry about the torment they’ll put me through tomorrow… For now, I just want to take a bath in my pond on a rainy day...”
Meta Experiments 6 (Inflation)
It has been a while since this has updated. Plenty of time to gather some data, but it appears it is not to be. Nevertheless, it never really was only an experiment, it's also a story. And while I want to gather information about the percentages of people that like different things about inflation, I also want to create a legitimate story. And this is the first arc in it. This is the end of Lab: Day One. Next up, The Facility: Day Two. 

The Tamato berry, much like sand, was totally experimental as I don't think I've seen it before ever. So there's that. 

But now that the introductory Arc's started, we can continue on. 


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Uranus-seventhsun Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2016
You can join :iconprojectcomment: and literature groups to get feedback.  It's hard to get attention, so you've got to put yourself out there.  Good luck.
AsylusGoji91 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2016  Hobbyist Filmographer
Welcome to DA! :D
yo-go123-k Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2016  Hobbyist
Welcome to the land of Deviantart.
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