's 2017 Horror Write-off:

The Re-Imagining

Submitted by Hisham Hasan

Now, normally I don't share my dreams, due to their highly mundane/nonsensical nature, and just being plain boring, but one of my dreams was so bizarre, that I felt I simply had to share it.

Even then, it's mostly for the final revelation, the "punchline", that makes it all click.

It seems that there is a nucleus or a framework of an interesting story here; there is an underlying plot but in need of fleshing out and a proper story structure (and perhaps a different revelation in the end). Perhaps one day I'll work it into an original piece of fiction.

I really wish I could have "read" (dreamt) more of the story, but such is the nature of dreams

Now, like all dreams, some of the logic is flawed, the pacing is strange, and information often inferred rather than being outright stated (i.e. I would somehow "know" information), and the POV would switch from first-person to third-person, but I will try to lay it out as coherently as possible.

Now, apparently I was an engineer, and trying to design a set of modules for a very secretive project. The company behind it had apparently discovered a new way to generate vast amounts energy which was more feasible than fusion but generated just as much, if not more, and also had other possible applications hinted at, such as interdimensional or even time travel. They were building a new generator, but frustratingly for me and my team they refused to divulge the exact nature of the base/core technology, so we were essentially working blind; we had to design things based on their specifications and secondhand reports, like trying to design a car without knowing how a combustion engine works.

We were the secondary team and worked on the peripherals; the primary team worked on the core technology itself. And soon we heard rumors and reports about the bizarre incidents; researchers going mad, mysterious disappearances and phenomenae.

Apparently I had a relative who worked on the core tech, and he left behind a series of coded messages. Long story short, we finally got our hands on a file which revealed the nature of this new wondrous energy source, along with pictures and diagrams. All following quotations are from the text of the file.

The file was written SCP-style about a type of giant Eldritch snail. Apparently, "harvesting of deep-space species was unfeasible, so a version was engineered on Earth".

The snail, "through chemosynthesis", would generate enormous amounts of energy, and served as the core of the generator.

The snail was multiple vivid shades of red-violet and purple. It was a stylized snail, with molten, flowing flesh, like ropy lava, drawn like old-style Magic: The Gathering horrors or Kami spirits. No eyestalks, but the bulging eyes (like a popeye/telescope eye goldfish) sat frog-like on the head. The shell was a simple coil like an ammonite or ramshorn snail's shell, but rust-brown; a twisted edifice riddled with multiple spouts and vents for smog release, like the Nim from Mirrordin. There was a noxious, steaming aspect to it, that called to mind sulfur springs and deep-sea vents.

Apparently, the female would carve out a huge chamber in solid rock, then her flesh would would grow to line that chamber, but she would be inside; essentially she was enclosed in a hollow chamber/cyst of her own flesh, together with a pool of what looked like golden lava

You know in the first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie, there was this central chamber which housed the food machine? It basically looked like that, but minus the giant food objects embedded in the walls, and with a giant, fleshy snail attached to the floor and ceiling, sitting in the center.

This was called a "Brood Chamber", where the creature would lay its eggs and brood its larvae. Two females could temporarily coexist in one chamber, until one entered the "gestating cycle" and started brooding, whereupon the other would be excluded. The gestating female would also be referred to as a Brood Chamber. A Brood Chamber would have cracks leading to the surface to vent smog and chemical fumes, while the gestating female generated enormous amounts of radiation. Antimatter was implied to be involved, so I assume the radiation generated was "anti-radiation".

Now a creature that produces antimatter and "anti-radiation" could be harnessed to produce unimaginable amounts of energy. The idea was to induce a female to reside and brood within a specially-designed chamber situated in a heavily modified and shielded particle accelerator, and then to arrest the gestation cycle so she would stay as a Brood Chamber indefinitely.

Now the problem was the shield was imperfect; and the "anti-radiation" still seeped through, and had mind-bending and reality-warping effects, including matter overlay and time loops, which explained all the strange events on the site of the reactor

Even worse, it turns out a female escaped and ended up forming a Brood Chamber somewhere in the Earth's crust, resulting in a whole town, right in the middle of nowhere, getting caught up in weird shenanigans Silent Hill style. An "Emergence Event" (which involved a female boring her way to the surface to release her young) eventually occurred, and resulted in a massive calamity (although "52 young were retrieved to be used as new cores").

Now for the PUNCHLINE.

You know how perspective shifts in dreams? At the end, I was no longer in the story, but just an outsider reading a piece of interesting fiction somebody made up. An artist drew some amazing art, then wrote up an interesting background story to accompany it. I was looking at an artist's portfolio.

Now it turns out the artist was doing a Pokemon Redesign (where you take a Pokemon and redesign it in your style), so it turns out the Brood Chamber snail was based on a Pokemon. It should have been obvious to me from the moment I saw it.

Guess which Pokemon they chose they chose to redesign.


Shiny Magcargo