Pokémon Go, one of the top contenders of the hottest apps in its time, had slowly begun to claw its way out of the monotony pit, courtesy of the game-changing update – Pokémon Raids. For those who don’t know how it works, here goes. Every once in a while, a Raid Pokémon with a high CP (combat power), takes over the gym and we, trainers, have to team up and defeat the boss for a chance to catch it! Pretty exciting, isn’t it?
So, here I was, walking down the street to rush to the closest gym to fight off and capture a legendary Pokémon. It was late evening, and yet, I had managed to get ten friends to battle along with me. I was pretty excited because I was finally going to catch a Mewtwo!
I drove my bike as fast as I could, to the location that happened to be a memorial statue at the edge of a little forest. I stopped and checked my watch, waiting for my friends to arrive. The place around was a little lonely, with almost no one on the street, save for a passerby or two. It gave me the creeps, but I kept staring at the Mewtwo on my screen to brush it off. I kept tapping the screen impatiently, shaking my head in annoyance. I could not believe that I had skipped my dinner for this!
It had taken me some time to realize what I had actually done. In my frustration, I had wasted my Raid Pass of the day by accepting a losing battle. I groaned and sighed. If wasted it, might as well give the battle a try. And well, there was a surprise waiting for me.
As the countdown for the battle began, the screen showed not one, but nine players standing along with me. I stared at the screen for a moment, trying to comprehend what I was seeing. I looked up and around me. Aside from a couple of people walking on the road, simply dangling their empty hands, there was no one around. That had got me scared. It should have been enough to convince me to start my bike and get the hell out of dodge. But, as I said, the game made me even crazier, so I stayed to finish the battle.
That was a big mistake.
The faint noise of dry leaves crunching had made my hands jerk with a start, as the battle had begun. I began to fight Mewtwo with my chosen Pokémon, as my peripheral vision had noticed many other pokemon fighting the Raid Boss at the same time.
The noise turned to noises, as a shiver went down my spine. The nervousness was building in my chest, as my fingers kept tapping involuntarily. My mind was screaming ghosts, making me fear that they would suddenly appear and I would end up like those unfortunate sods in the first five minutes of Supernatural.
After a hard battle, we finally defeated it. But the sweet smell of victory was very short-lived, as reality began to dawn on me…
The crunching became louder, as hazy figures began to appear in my peripheral vision. I started inching slowly towards my bike and missed catching Mewtwo. As disappointed as I was, something else worried me too, when a heavy hand clasped my shoulder and interrupted my train of thought. I dreaded turning around, but I did it anyway to see something worse than what I had imagined.
“Hey sweety, what are you doing alone out here?” a man asked, but his menacing smile and bloodshot eyes did not match his sickly-sweet voice. The stench of nicotine and alcohol was overwhelming. That coming from one man was difficult enough to bear, but coming from four men around you…
I know that there have been girls out there who have kicked ass in such situations, but when you are actually in it, it is harder than it seems. I stood, paralyzed with fear, as three more guys stepped out from behind the trees and made themselves more visible. They leaned against the trees, running their eyes all over my tiny frame, with hunger in their eyes and licking their lips. I did not have to guess, nor did I really wanted to know what was going on in my mind. Somehow, I snapped out of my shock and took a step behind, but his grip on my shoulders was tightening.
“I wonder what your parents would think if you go home a little later…” he said, as his tongue outlined his teeth. The other men leaning against the trees approached me slowly in a circular manner. Some of them began to rub their chests, giving me more of those looks, like they could see right through my clothes. It made me almost vomit in my mouth.
“I-I need to go…” I said, as tears formed in my eyes. I turned to go and dashed into the chest of the man behind me. He pushed my shoulder, making me lose my balance.
“What is the hurry, dear?” he said, in a voice that crawled under my skin, “Let us get acquainted with each other…”
“S-sorry,” I was getting angry, clenching my fists so hard, that the cold metal of my cell phone began to dig in my palm, “I am not interested!”
“Don’t worry,” the first guy came close and pushed me to the ground, “we can help you to get very, very, interested!”
“Leave me alone!” I said, trying to get up, but one of the men began to caress my side with his foot. I tried to twist, but he kicked my side, making me wince.
In spite of the pain, I began to crawl backwards, my eyes searching for a small way to escape, but they were quicker. Whatever space was there between them had closed around me, and the first guy, who I assumed to be the gang leader, caught hold of my jacket.
“Do not worry, sweetheart, we will make the pain much more enjoyable for you!” he whispered, as his voice brought bile up to my throat.
His fingers traced my forehead, to my cheeks, my neck, down to my collarbone and reached my chest. He caught my jacket, and more than that held tight and…
…it ripped off, followed by a scream…
…only that, he was not the force behind it. And the scream did not come from me.
Dust blew all over my face and my coughed, as I tried to clear my hazy vision. Even though that, I could see figures jumping off the trees and on the ground. They rushed towards me, lifting the men off the ground and slamming them back down, kicking even more dust on me. Blood-curdling screams filled my ears, as I felt feet kicking me in places. Blood splattered all over me, as I dragged myself on the ground, trying to get out of the commotion around me. The sound of ripping and scraping made me groan. Shadows danced on my face, as I could see punches being thrown and kicks being given. The noises stopped suddenly and I rubbed my eyes. The dust settled, revealing a very disturbing scene.
The four men were pinned to the ground, each with a woman sitting on top of them. Their eyes were bleeding and their limbs were turned in angles that would give you nightmares. They were barely breathing, as the women had finished their work on them. I sighed as they stood over the still bodies and turned to face me.
“What took you guys so long?” I rolled my eyes.
“Well, we were too engrossed watching you act so well!” Sarah laughed. I loved her more than the other girls at that very moment because though she was the one who had torn off my sweater, she did the most damage to her victim, which was enjoyable to watch.
“Yeah, well I would have been attacked, for real!” I retorted.
“Oh, boohoo, we all know who would have been the victim here,” she winked, “the tiny /poisonous needles in your shockproof shirt tell a different story, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, well I am sad that my shirt was assaulted, but, you know,” I smiled, and looked at the now lifeless bodies down, “and, I am hungry, and I skipped dinner because of you guys!”
“Hey, we helped you defeat Mewtwo!” she said, nodding to the other girls, “And we have these guys to celebrate for dinner! All you need is a huge pile of wood to cook the roast…”
All the girls picked up the bodies and began walking in the woods, with Sarah and me carrying the gang leader.
“These places are always the best to hunt,” she said, “lonely and high chances of offenders hanging out. Shadier the characters, tastier the prize!”
I had to agree with my friends, as we headed for dinner and planned our next ‘raid’.
Every once in a while, a Pokémon with a high CP (combat power), takes over the gym and we, trainers, have to team up and battle the Pokémon and defeat it. Bigger the Pokémon, more the trainers needed to bring it down. If we are successful, then we get a chance to catch it…
…And, like always, our teamwork paid off. After all, gotta catch ‘em all, right?