Why are you here? The operation of W.H.A.T is strictly confidential, and some of the things we have trapped in here pose major threats to life, limb, and reality itself. Get out. Now. Before it's too late. Okay...why aren't you leaving? Seriously! Why aren't you leaving? Get. Out. I'm not saying this again. Nothing in here is your business, and nothing good could come of your continued loitering.
"Xi...they wanted a tour. They're coming to see our latest containment." Sayendrix slithers up to him, her voice dripping with softness and sarcasm simultaneously, using as much alliteration as you could muster.
"I told you not to call me Xi. If you must nickname me, call me 'Amp', it sounds 'cool', as you would say. And why are you letting people visit our abominations? When someone gets their face ripped out of this dimension, I'm blaming you."
"It's not healthy for DW to stay inside all day, she needs to learn to interact. We're trying to integrate her into society, remember?"
"You're trying to integrate her into society. I will have no part in this. Personally, I think we should have disposed of that thing as soon as we figured out what it was."
"Not it. Her."
"You're a very sympathetic woman, Sayendrix. It's going to get you kil1ed one day. You know that, right?"
"Whatever. Since the welcoming committee obviously isn't in a good mood today, I'll give our visitor a tour of W.H.A.T and they can meet our newest resident."
"Sorry about Xi, he's always like that. Thinks he's prophecized to destroy the world and all. Crazy! Anyway, the name's Sayendrix, but you can just call me Say. Welcome to W.H.A.T! Stands for Weird, Horrible Abomination Trappers. Xi named it. I really don't like that, I feel like calling any living thing an abomination is wrong. I mean, even if they come from other dimensions, they're still alive and have feelings. They deserve respect. Anyway, we're an elite group of people dedicated to finding strange, powerful beings that pose major threats to Neopia, figuring out what they are and how they function, and returning them to where they came from. Either returning, or otherwise...neutralizing them. But Xi and I don't do it alone. Here's an introduction to our staff!"
Xiampe: The squad leader and founder of W.H.A.T. He's also got a super cool ability, he can give other people magical powers and stuff. A bit overly cynical, he needs to lighten up. But I think he's got an excuse. Got a tragic backstory and stuff. You know, prophecized to destroy the world and all that, almost got sacrificed to an Incarnation of chaos and destruction, whatever. But tragic or not, I don't think his backstory gives him an excuse to start an organization dedicated entirely to capturing and "neutralizing" innocent creatures.
Researchy: One of my squad members. Really into lots of things, mostly Pokemon, she introduced me to Pokemon Go. When she pointed W.H.A.T's ad out to me and Huricksu, we jumped at the chance. Like, we could be a power trio like in a video game! She convinced Xiampe to give her fire powers. Cliche, I know, but we wanted to be a fire/ice/lightning trio like legendary Pokemon or something.
Huricksu: My other squad member. Most mature one of the group, she tries to keep people under control and stuff. TBH, she seems less worried about the abominations than about her grades, she's majoring in biology at University of Shenkuu and figured that wrangling weird creatures would look good on her resume. I wanted lightning, Researchy wanted fire, so she convinced Xiampe to give her control over cold and ice and stuff.
Sayendrix: Meeee! Anyway, I've got lightning powers from Xiampe and I'm a member of W.H.A.T because I just thought it was cool. Once I realized that it wasn't for a movie, I was horrified at the idea of...neutralizing innocent creatures. Ack, I hate that word, complete with the ellipsis. I've been trying to convince Xi that there are alternatives and ways to treat these creatures with respect and compassion so they return to their dimension better than we found them, or maybe, could eventually live in ours.
Okay, before I take you to see DW, I need to give you some background on W.H.A.T and what, exactly, we do and why. I can't go into much detail since a lot of stuff is classified, but I can give you the basics. Here we go!
Okay, so at some point, we discovered that there are two main dimensions, and also Augmentation, but we don't really deal with it much. Weird cyberspace stuff and all just isn't really Xi's style. Anyway, the dimensions are Veritas, where we live, which is ruled by Pher and Xi, the Incarnations of Order and Chaos, keeping everything in balance. But it turns out that Xi wasn't the original Incarnation of Chaos. There was another one before her, called the Degenerate. Unlike Pher and Xi, she had a desire for power, so she tried to fight the Void to gain its power. And won, giving her power over creation and destruction. Since she would have been destroyed by Bi had she stuck around in Veritas, she created a new dimension where she could do whatever the heck she wanted, a world of chaos where Neopet, human, or unknown entity, you have to be a jerk to survive. We just became aware of this dimension, which we're calling Distortion after the location in Pokemon Platinum. In case you weren't aware, we here at W.H.A.T are kinda nerds. Unfortunately, we didn't become aware of it through physics experiments or whatever. Rather, it kinda came to us. And that's where DW comes in. I'll show you some of the files describing her before you meet her. Don't worry, it's not gonna be boring scientific paper stuff, I wrote them so it should be pretty entertaining, I hope.
This sounds super cliche, but it was a dark and stormy night. It was getting dark at about 6:00 PM like it always did in winter, and it was raining because that's pretty common where we live. Despite the rain, however, I still needed Deoxys, so I was about to head to Shadowlawn Park for an EX Raid.
"Yo, Xi! Can I take the W.H.A.T truck? I'm heading to a raid."
"You're using the containment vehicle to go to a raid? Are you crazy? We have to keep W.H.A.T's operation completely confidential, we can't have knowledge of these abominations getting out!"
"Uh...Xi? Number 1, these people aren't really in tune with reality to begin with, seeing as they're using gas and data to play Pokemon as adults. Number 2, even if they were, there's enough weird stuff on the Internet that they're probably gonna assume it's some sort of creepypasta or something. And Number 3, what abominations?"
"Fine. Go do your raid. It seems that going somewhere called Shadowlawn in ominous weather conditions seems like an inherently bad idea, but if you get eaten, you're probably the member of the squad I'll miss least."
"Always good to know I'm essential personnel."
I won't bore you with details about the raid, but it went pretty well. That is, until a rift opened in the sky, which had turned an inherently ominous red. A small creature fell out of it and let out a terrifying, distorted screech, releasing shockwaves which knocked down trees and playground equipment, resulting in unfortunate outcomes for any raiders who hadn't already left and myself, who had thought ahead and set up some wards in case anything weird happened. The creature was completely black and vaguely resembled a Thanshu, except with eight unnaturally long legs, no visible torso, and its ear flaps contained massive, toothy mouths almost as unsettling as its primary mouth, which stretched all the way across its head in an unbroken smile even as the creature continued to screech. The dimensional rift closed, leaving me alone with the creature. It was clearly extremely powerful and was giving off waves of animum I couldn't quite identify, but wasn't particularly large. With its eight legs fully extended, it stood about as high as my waist. I may not have known what the creature was, but it was clear what its screeching was intended to communicate.
It was crying for its mother.
I approached the creature, which was curled into something resembling a fetal position, with all of its legs covering its head. Its screeching had somewhat lowered in volume. While still painful to listen to, it wasn't generating shockwaves anymore and the creature seemed reasonably safe to approach. As I slithered towards it, the creature turned a glowing red eye to look at me with some combination of fear and curiosity, like I'd seen babies do when I went past them at the mall.
"Hi! My name is Sayendrix. Who are you?"
The creature unfolded some of its legs from around its head to turn its full attention to me. It let out a curious trill and continued staring at me. It didn't show any signs of fear or aggression I recognized, so I decided to treat it like a stray cat and just hang out next to it until it decided if it wanted to interact with me. I pulled out my phone and pulled up Girl in a Hissi Fit, my favorite webcomic, resuming from where I'd left off the previous night. The creature appeared to be interested in it and materialized behind me to try to read it over my shoulder. It let out another trill and pressed the home button of my phone, opening a folder filled with games. After doing this, it spoke, sounding like a demon in a heavy metal track, filled with distortion and ridiculously low. Maybe also bass-boosted. I couldn't tell.
"Mommy dropped me off for a playdate. Play with me?"
Initially alarmed, I realized that if the creature could talk and displayed intelligence as it appeared to, I might be able to get information from it about where it came from and what it was, and hopefully get it back to wherever it came from unharmed. I contemplated calling Xi, but decided against it, figuring that he'd decide to neutralize it after the damage it did at the raid. Probably with fire. It couldn't stay here where people could see it, though, so I decided I'd sneak it into W.H.A.T HQ through the back door and see what I could learn from it about how to take it back home.
"I'll play with you. Can we go back to my house first, though?"
The creature let me pick it up and lift it into the back seat of the W.H.A.T truck. It was far heavier than its size would suggest. I threw out my shoulder lifting it. Its texture was unusual too, it felt somewhat gelatinous. On the ride back to W.H.A.T HQ, I didn't want to risk it getting scared and starting to screech again, so I gave it my phone and pulled up some cartoons for it to watch, which it seemed to enjoy. I pulled into the back lot of HQ and snuck it into my room, where it immediately began exploring my plushie collection, letting out some rather cute high-pitched noises when looking at ones it liked. Figuring it was reasonably harmless and acclimated to its new environment, I decided to try talking to it again.
"Hi! What's your name?" The creature made a series of sibilant noises ending in a blood-curdling scream. I couldn't address it as such, so started thinking up nicknames for it. My thinking was interrupted when, in response to the loud noise, Researchy, Huricksu, and Xi all came into the room to see what was the matter. Xi was the first to question me.
"WHAT IS THAT AND WHY IS IT IN YOUR ROOM? We need to contain it, we don't know what this creature is capable of!" In retrospect, I probably should have expected this, but I fell back on maternal instinct.
"Not so loud! You'll scare her!"
"Xi, I know you aren't gonna like this, but this is DW. Some sort of spacetime rift opened at the raid and she came out. Please don't do anything! She's friendly and sapient, and could give us some really useful insights on what she is and where she came from."
"Yeah, I know about the spacetime rift. Saw it on the evening news. 5 people died, Sayendrix. Whether this...thing intended to cause that damage or not, it's too dangerous for you to be treating like a child. It needs to be destroyed."
"I'm treating it like a child because it is one, Xi, and it needs a mother."
"I've told you repeatedly not to call me Xi. And why are you anthropomorphizing it? It's a destructive entity from another dimension capable of causing disastrous events. For all you know, it could be the start of a cross-dimensional invasion! This creature could be a harbinger of the End of All! And why are you calling it DW?"
"Again with the End of All! Not everything's the end of the world, Xi. And it's short for Distortion World, it kinda reminds me of Giratina with the legs and it coming out of a spacetime rift and all. And even if it is the sign of worse things to come, doesn't it make more sense to study it and maybe find ways to prevent the end or coexist with these creatures if there are more of them than to destroy it?"
I turned to DW, who was hiding behind me, clearly nervous from our fight. I needed to calm her down before she started screeching again, and fast. I suppose I didn't know that she was a girl, but "it" felt wrong to refer to a sapient being.
"Hey, honey, it's okay. Here's my phone. Why don't you watch some cartoons or play a game or something? I'll play with you as soon as I can."
"Do you even understand how serious this situation is? We're dealing with a completely unknown entity here and you're here naming it after a Pokemon and treating it like a virtual pet! This isn't a game, Say. I know you joined W.H.A.T because you couldn't resist being a protagonist, but you're not role playing anymore. We're dealing with something that could destroy the world as we know it. We've got to prevent that, and letting it watch cartoons on your phone isn't going to do that. I agree with you about not destroying it right away, but we need to study it scientifically. Figure out what it is and how it works. We can do some behavioral experiments and ana1yze its animum emissions then dissect it."
"I figured you'd cut her up. Well, I'm not going to let you. She may be from another dimension, but DW is a sentient being! A child, even! Even if it means the end of the world or my own death, I'm going to give her the mother she needs. And if I need to leave W.H.A.T to do that, so be it. It's her or me, Xi. And I'm totally okay with you doing research, but you need to treat her humanely and respectfully. What's it gonna be?"
"Fine. You're clearly so delusional that it's not worth attempting to reason with you. But that thing isn't your child or pet or friend even if you treat it like one. It's a research subject."
"She's a research subject."
So, that was longer than I thought it was, but basically, Xi finally let me keep DW here as long as he and the others could do some experiments on her to figure out more about what she is and where she came from. We've already gotten a lot of important information about Distortion from her, mostly that it, and the Degenerate, are real. Unfortunately, we can't send her back to her home dimension since Degen apparently banished her for some reason, so I've tried to explain to her that she'll probably never see her mom again. It's never easy to say that to a child, but she's become quite the cute little girl. Her current phase is all bows and princesses and being pretty. Once you get past the whole chaos entity thing, she's really cute. Here's what we know about her so far:
- Name: Clearly has one, but nobody knows how to write or pronounce it, nickname is DW, abbreviation of Distortion World.
- Age: Unknown, depends on how time passes in Distortion. Appears to have roughly the personality of a young girl, age 5-7.
- Gender: Unknown, but stated identification as female when asked.
- Species: We don't really know, but it's nothing we've ever seen in Veritas before. We're calling her a "chaos entity" for now.
- Abilities: Subject possesses powerful animum of unknown origin, implying it possesses a soul, and displays a variety of powers including changing its size, converting into complete darkness, thus becoming intangible, and teleportation through small timespace rifts with a range of up to 5 kilometers.
While Huricksu researches DW's animum and other abilities to learn more about her home dimension, I've been working on teaching her about this one. Since she's been banished from Distortion and doesn't appear to be able to come back, she's stuck here, so I've been homeschooling her in hopes that she will eventually be able to control her abilities and integrate into society. We just got to the point where Xi will let me bring visitors to interact with her, so here she is! You're not allowed to play with her yet, but she can tell you about herself.
Hi! Mommy's letting you come and see me? Yay! I've been so lonely lately...it's really scary in here with everybody saying I might destroy the world and doing experiments on me. They keep poking me with needles and telling me to do weird things. It's weird and scary. But aren't I pretty? Mommy always says I'm beautiful, like a pretty princess, and that one day I'll be able to do great things and everyone will love me. I really want a pet, but the mean people won't let me have one, so Mommy gives me plushies instead. My favorite plushie is of something called a Pokemon. It's called Giratina and it's really cool. It's got long black arms coming out of its body like me! I love Pokemon, they're so cute and cool and can do cool stuff. Go, Pikachu! Use Iron Tail! Oh...you don't have another Pokemon. Here, you can look at how pretty I am!