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Nightmare Fuel / Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail

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Between the protagonist's own love for the spooky stuff, and one part of the crossover (the Infinity Train bit) already being host to examples of both external and psychological terror, Blossoming Trail manages to deliver its own share of frights; be it Chloe's dark fantasy tales or the dangers she and others face while making their way through the train itself.

Basically, we're talking Silent Hill but on a train, and with the occasional penguin.

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In General

  • The sheer scope of Adult Fear that is in this story, with the B-plot heavily focused on Chloe's parents and Goh worrying about Chloe's whereabouts, and several characters bringing up the worst-case scenarios in response. Even once they do catch up with the reader and learn about the train, this only serves to make them more worried about her chances of survival. It's hard to sleep at night when you learn a train with a murderous cult on it kidnapped your daughter and won't let her go until she's learned some random lesson about herself. Even worse is that many of them blame themselves for this predicament: it's one thing of Chloe being taken by the train but even more when you're one of the sole causes for it.
    • Later chapters reveal that Trip and even Tokio were also taken. While Trip had some protection on him, Tokio didn't. Even worse, they're the only ones who managed to escape the Train. We have three Trainers stuck in what is essentially Silent Hill in Part 2.
  • Chloe has a love for demons. Most of her stories involve a demon having their way with a child and she's not afraid to have them suffer horrible fates. Her father is correct to wonder where Chloe's been getting her ideas from.
  • The Apex is considered The Dreaded throughout most of the Train; many denizens have been hurt by them (Lexi) or learn that someone they loved could've been killed (Nico) and they traumatized various denizens (Calligraphy Car) and passengers who didn't follow their ways (Trip, Tokio). This proves that Humans Are the Real Monsters, worse than anything One-One or the Train can create because they don't seem to recognize nor accept that their ideals are in the wrong. Even worse, knowing why they think this way, is that Grace doesn't seem to accept that she's totally responsible for everything that she's doing, continuing as it were because she's too proud to accept the possibility that she's wrong.
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  • The summary of this being influenced by Silent Hill wasn't kidding. There's always this dread of something creeping up at you, lingering in the back of your head as you dread what is going to come next. Arc 2, which is the Silent Hill influenced arc already has a lot of terrors that make you question who is going to leave with their sanity intact.

    Short Stories 

Short Stories

  • The fic's version of Chloe is depicted as an avid horror lover and a Nightmare Fetishist who writes her own stories. Naturally, said stories can be a bit disturbing:
    • Chapter 5's tale has the protagonist — after killing his best friend — forever cursed to chase after the wish-granting creature. Mind you that this story is a blatant parallel regarding Chloe's feelings on her (former) best friend Goh, with later chapters only emphasizing how much she wants him to suffer and disappear from her life altogether.
    • Chloe's story in Chapter 6 has children being raised by sentient trees, which ends with a man (George Gore) about to be sacrificed to one of them. What doesn't help is that the children are essentially the main cast of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS so trying to see Playmaker, Soulburner, and Revolver raised by malevolent trees wanting to see someone murdered doesn't paint a pretty picture at all.
    • Chapter 9's story has a boy unknowingly becoming friends with a demon (specifically stated to be Vine), and details how he slowly wastes away as the being takes advantage of him, ending with his family finding the child's dead body floating in the sea after drowning. Worse is that the boy's uncle knew all about what happened but was threatened by Zagan to not interfere.
    • In Chapter 10, Parker reads the story about how the Moon God transformed into a wolf and began to eat the innards of a man who killed his own wife and was willing to offer up his newborn child. There's a reason why Professor Cerise asked his son to stop before it got to the gory part.
    • Chapter 12 reveals a few tidbits of the story she submitted for that writing contest: it involves a mother/dollmaker who couldn't handle her children growing up which really doesn't leave much to the imagination as to what she did to them...
  • Parker has his own story in Chapter 13, reimagining The Little Match Girl so that she bonds with a demon that burns down the home of her abusive father and older sisters. At one point she feeds one of her sisters burning coals, and has Marchosias claw the eyes out of the other one as an act of mercy.

    Arc 1: Nothing and Nowhere 

Arc 1: Nothing and Nowhere

  • Chapter 6 shows how cruel Grace and Simon could be. Lexi was granted permission to join them on their journey across the Train... only for them to promptly tear him apart, ripping out his pages, electrocuting him, and then burying him alive. They never even left the car — something Simon gleefully notes the Dramatic Irony of.
  • Chapter 8 starts with a graphic Flashback of Trip being assaulted and beaten half to death by Grace and Simon, which includes taking a sledgehammer to the eye and forcibly tattooed with the Apex's symbol on his wrist. It goes to show that even being from a land filled with supernatural creatures won't save you.
  • Chapter 11 ramps up the horror and takes it to near disturbing levels that really makes you wonder about Chloe's sanity.
    • When Chloe sees Goh's attempts for apology on her phone, she wishes deep down that she could just be like the episode of The Haunting Hour "Wrong Number" in which the victim gets back at her bully by deleting them out of existence.
    • While rowing across the lake, there is a flashback to a school talent show where, after her classmates step up their bullying of her and get her younger brother Parker involved, Chloe finally snaps and savagely beats one of them with a paint can backstage while emotionally tearing them down as well, before turning her attention to everyone else and threatening to outright murder them if they ever try to mess with her or her brother again. All while looking like she's covered in blood (and considering how long she was hitting Sara with that can, some of the red stuff probably is blood...).
    Chloe: (while covered in red paint) If any of you freaks hurt my brother, call me a "Monster Lover" or dump paint on me again, I am going to do even worse than what I did to Sara. I am going to find you, bind you, and then I am going to KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU! AND I PROMISE YOU WHEN I SAY THAT I SWEAR THAT I’M GONNA KILL YOU ALL KINDS OF DEAD!!!
  • Chapter 12 reveals that Tokio went into the Calligraphy Car just like Trip did...but instead of cute swans and goslings making calligraphy art, they stripped him down and forcibly drew a tattoo onto his shoulder because they became paranoid about passengers thanks to the Apex's cruelty. This begs the question how many other cars have become xenophobic thanks to them. Moreover, considering how big that tattoo is, given that the narration said Tokio tried to ignore the numerous pots of ink, he must've been in trapped in there for hours and probably suffered pain long after the denizens were done with him.
    • He also encountered the Apex with one member attacking him with a guitar. After that, he attacked them with woodwind instruments, raced out to another car that was a river of ink with caskets floating on the surface and he had to hide in one to escape the Apex before he was found by rabbit-masked strangers who did something to him...
    • The final part of the chapter has Spencer Hale deliver a box to the Cerise Lab, with Chryssa wondering what could be inside the box that could be so troublesome? Everyone who watched Spell of the Unown will immediately realize what's inside there.
  • The sheer amount of glee Sara, Yeardley, and the rest of Chloe's classmates take bragging to Parker about all the ways they tormented his sister, culminating in her Breaking Speech where she declares that nobody would ever love a girl with such weird tastes and that she should just stay gone for good.
    • There's also the fact that they think absolutely nothing of the fact that they're saying all of this in front of Ash, somebody they supposedly admire. Just what kind of person do they think HE is, that they see absolutely nothing wrong with any of this?
    • We also see Parker pushed to the brink, ready to start bashing faces in with his sister's silver bat. The only thing that stops him from smashing Yeardley's head is Ash and Gengar's intervention. It's made clear that Parker can - and very likely will - do something horrible in his fury in the future...and Ash might not be able to stop him this time.

    Arc 2: Run Baby Run 

Pre-Cyan Desert Car

  • In general, the Silent Hill influences have already begun to spread and it's not pretty.
  • The Prelude has Hop stuck in a fog-covered woods and meets up with Alex Shepherd...but even then something is up with him. When Hop questions why Alex doesn't leave the Car, Alex is about to answer...but then shifts gears and states he likes the calm, quiet atmosphere and the fog while Hop thinks the fog wants to devour him whole.
    • As they make their way to the Grand Guignol Apartments, Hop briefly sees his brother at the sign of the city...before Alex drags him off to keep walking. If he stayed a bit longer, he would've seen that the sign read Welcome to Silent Hill. Oh boy.
    • Leon has no idea that his little brother is on the Train. Unlike Chloe, who found herself in a beautiful land filled with talking corgis and a King who became her first friend in who knows how long, Hop is in Silent Hill which is the last place a child should be in.
    • The apartment is run by Henry and Walter...aka Henry Townsend and Walter Sullivan. And they're married. Considering the horrors Walter committed in Silent Hill 4, Hop is in a very vulnerable situation without anyone to help him. Hop is being sheltered by a Serial Killer who had murdered children before and they are happy to make sure Hop never leaves...oh wait, want to leave.
    • Wooloo sensed something wrong with the Train and thinks that it wants Hop to enter it. Later Wooloo sense that there's something off about Alex Shephard and is unnerved how Walter and Henry watch Hop so closely.
  • While Chloe, Lexi, and Atticus have a lot of fun in The Hidden Temple Car, they aren't exempted from horrors either. Olmec also does not like what the Apex has done and subtly implies that should Grace and Simon die, he will take their souls and force them to become Temple Guards. Even Lexi, the most vindictive member of the Trio who wants Grace and Simon to pay for what they did to him, doesn't want that.
    Lexi: Scare them? Yes. Murder them? No.
    • The discovery that souls that die on the train remain on the train in a different form frame Simon's eventual death by Ghom in a very dark light. He's going to be transformed into exactly what he hates...a denizen. And just how many denizens have we seen that were once former passengers?
    • The end of the chapter has Hop giving an update email to his brother...but his brother senses something wrong with the entire thing and hastily calls Ash to ask what's going on. Even if he doesn't understand the full situation, Hop comes off as if he's been drugged and is being trapped and exploited by three grown strangers.
    • Leon's fury when he calls Ash again is terrifying as well...his eyes feel as if they could burn the Pallet Town trainer alive if he doesn't find out where his brother is now.
    • And then, there's this Wham Line that sets the stage that anyone from the Pokémon world is in trouble.
      Henry: He's [Hop] just so adorable...
      Walter: So was the previous passenger that came from his world. What was his name again...Alan?
      Henry: No, Alain.
      Walter: Ah, right...I wonder whatever became of him?
      Henry: (staring at how Alex is wearing a medal that looks like a Poké ball) So do I...
  • The ending to Chapter 15 has someone being seduced by two other people (presumably Henry and Walter) and the worst part is that one has to wonder if that's what happened to Alain. Or better yet, if this isn't the first victim of theirs...
    • Goh breaking down awakens the Unown tiles delivered by Spencer Hale...but it's not enough for the power to be unleashed. Which leads you to wonder, What will be Goh's breaking point if learning that Ash is together with Trip isn't enough?
  • Chapter 16 was simply called "The end of the beginning" in the chapter summary. It shows.
    • Alex gifts Hop a harpoon-pack that has the sign of the Apex on it. Sure enough, we get confirmation that an Apex member died on the train in the Fog Car...even hearing his last words as he begs for Grace, Simon, or his mother to save him. Hop also starts acting more and more like a child, showing that Henry and Walter did something to the poor boy, especially if he's going to be "Delight" in a twisted ritual.
    • It turns out Paul is on the train, and he caused the aforementioned drowning incident. Now he is being held captive by Walter, tortured and gaslighted into becoming the 'Despair' the maniac needs for whatever ritual he has planned. And this ritual includes Chloe (Lady Destiny) as well...
    • In a small moment, Paul questions if they're going to kill "Destiny". Walter's response is to laugh at him before stating that Destiny is not to be sullied. And considering that Destiny is supposed to be a girl and the other representatives are men...
    • The buildup to learning that Paul is in the Prisoner starts off with Alex's bedtime story having the main character being named Paul alsoExplanation  and the reader assuming that it's just a placeholder name, and not based off of someone from Pokémon. Then the Wham Line of the chapter is uttered and that's when it hits that things are going to get dark. Fast.
  • In a smaller dose of Realism-Induced Horror, Goh contemplates telling Delia about Ash and Trip's relationship, unaware that she already knows... and hoping that she'd disapprove. The fact that she won't react as poorly as he's anticipating doesn't change the fact that he wants to see Ash suffer out of pure jealousy.
  • When Chloe reads her tea leaves, she gets a cross. She, Lexi, and Atticus toss ideas about what it means, with Chloe questioning if it means someone's about to be sacrificed or how they are all going to be involved in something dark...not knowing that Henry and Walter are waiting for Chloe to arrive to enact a ritual.

The Cyan Desert Car

  • Chapter 17's ending notes read this: "Now is the time to panic". Indeed it is.
    • Good news: Goh's not the one who activated the Unown. Bad news? It's Parker. And considering how angry Parker was when he nearly bashed Yeardley's head in with a bat, along with how he really hates Goh for abandoning his sister, a boy with that much anger and power on him can only spell trouble for everyone else. Because we should note that Parker has just as much imagination as his sister when it comes to nightmarish things and he's much more vindictive than she when it comes to inflicting pain so that means he will become like Anthony Fremont and he can do whatever he likes with no one able to stop him for fear of getting his wrath. May Arceus have mercy on everyone in Vermillion City.
    • And to show just how bad it gets, the torture UnChloe and Parker put on those bullies, while they deserved to be punished, is absolutely brutal. And he doesn't stop at the bullies either, targeting Ash, Trip, and Serena regardless of what they've done to help, deciding to use a bit of Mind Control to make them friends. Serena is the most terrified of them all as she's gained a huge fear of this after the Malamar incident.
    • While Parker sees Chloe as a pretty princess of nightmares and monsters, Yeardley and Sara see her in her outfit she wore at the talent show: a witch outfit with angel wings and covered in blood. In fact, everyone who looks at UnChloe sees her differently: either fogged up, a photograph, transparent, burning with hellfire or even a statue which symbolizes how no one saw the true her.
    • Earlier, Professor Cerise is terrifying as he rips Sara and Yeardley apart for all the torment he put his daughter through and how apathetic they were in considering how he was going to feel about it.
    • The last chapter answers the question that's been on people's minds for a while: "Where's Alain?" And now they regret learning about it since it's revealed he's been stuck in Silent Hill crucified in a tiny room in a hospital and designated as the "Dreams" component in the ritual. This means that the weird scene at the end of Chapter 15 is Alain's perspective of whatever Henry and Walter did to make him so docile.
      • In the same chapter, it's implied that Alain is a monster generator that's creating creatures to roam Silent Hill. Then he speaks this line which long-time Silent Hill fans know what that means.
    Alain: Monsters...They look like...monsters to you?
    • Amelia gets a dose of Adult Fear when she sees a picture of Hazel from "The Debutante Ball Car" with 337 on her hand...and realizes that Hazel was one of her experiments in creating Alrick aka a denizen and that Grace and Simon will kill her if they realize the truth.
  • Chapter 18 shows what Parker did to Ash, Trip, Serena, and Pikachu. He's turned them into Stepford Smilers who do nothing but say 'Chloe is wonderful and we're such good friends' in a very uncanny manner. We later learn the Ash is somewhat aware of everything that's happening, and is reliving his experience with the king of Pokelantis in the worst way possible. Oh, and Pikachu eating mustard.
    • Parker getting angry at how Chryssa and Renji apologize for basically not helping Chloe out more (and in the case of Renji, running away from his sister cause he hates horror and being a bystander) before he shouts to them "PROVE IT!" like he's Dialga. And even after they do, Parker and UnChloe still aren't satisfied...
    • Professor Cerise has a nightmare of the real Chloe returning to the lab...after the rest of her family have been run out of town or worse for what Parker did, which may have straight up involved killing someone. A monstrous Delia then storms in, seeking to kill Chloe for her involvement in what happened to her son, and Chloe cries out futilely for her father...
    • How much control does Parker have? He can make Ash, Trip and Serena unable to blurt out critical information, which is represented as "_____".
    • Renji sees UnChloe covered in ice, Chryssa sees her made of cracked porcelain. But Yamper? Yamper sees UnChloe as someone covered in black fire.
  • The Red Lotus Trio and Amelia being introduced to Walter and Henry who are chipper to work on the plan to trap the Apex in Silent Hill by essentially trapping them into the car and only letting them go when all of them decide to let go of their silly philosophy. And while it seems like a good plan to everyone, from their actions regarding Paul, Hop, and Alain, they are clearly up to something else.
    • Upon mentioning that one Apex child didn't go home, Amelia clarifies that the home is the Mall Car, right? The duo eventually tell her no, they meant his real home. Amelia is horrified to learn that a child was killed in The Fog Car.
    • Chloe questions what they truly are. They decide to show it by ripping their hearts out and transforming into something grotesque that horrifies even the 'monster loving' Chloe. Even Amelia is freaking out.
    • Dawn of the Second Day shows Walter already breaking his prisoner, tied him in a straitjacket and watches as the poor guy can only mutter "I am Despair". Walter even decides to pacify him with something that will be quite soothing...before pulling out a bell. Now when exactly did a bell have to connect with Paul again?
      • To make this even more terrifying, the type of torture Walter is inflicting on Paul is eerily similar to what Walter himself had to go through in his childhood.
      • As one reader questions, if Walter and Henry's true selves are so monstrous that Chloe herself is terrified of it, what does Alex Shepherd look like?
  • Ash and Trip's plan to bring Chloe into play doesn't go as planned; her attempts to contact Parker get blocked by UnChloe, who taunts the girl she replaced with another of her Breaking Speeches and threatens to skin Ash alive if she even "senses" any suspicious thoughts in Ash's mind. Amelia herself is left disgusted by this monster, grimly pointing out how much permanent damage she can potentially do.
    • Another sign that Parker isn't pulling all the strings? As they're reviewing all the fun rooms they've made, UnChloe casually mentions The Room of Fiery Demise. Parker doesn't recall making that, but doesn't think twice about it, assuming he just forgot about it.
    • UnChloe's geas doesn't just extend to when Ash and his friends are in the lab. Their bodies move on their own to confirm that they'll come to her and Parker, all while they're still aware of what they're doing.
  • Miss April's attempt to teach an online class gets derailed by UnChloe hijacking it in order to gain access to the rest of Class 5-E. Everyone is Forced to Watch the horrors she inflicts; nobody is safe from her vengeance, and she takes particular pleasure in rubbing into Miss April's face the idea that this is all her fault. After it's all said and done, Miss April is left screaming in her bathroom, shattering the mirror as she pounds her fists against it, knowing that she is utterly helpless and all of this was her fault. In the very next chapter, she's cutting her wrists in the bathtub, and would've died if not for Mr. Bradbury.
  • Grace completely dismisses the Red Lotus Trio as no real threat, declaring that anyone who opposes the Apex is going to die. Except for Chloe — her, she plans to convert, by wheeling Atticus and Lexi and convincing her that they betrayed them. She's so arrogant, so certain of her skills as a Manipulative Bitch that she truly believes she can pull that sort of scheme off, wrapping Chloe around her little finger the same way she's twisted and tricked so many other children.
    • Simon, meanwhile, would much rather crush Chloe beneath his heel and rip off her hair. Atticus would still get wheeled in his plan, but Lexi? He wants to shred Lexi into confetti.
  • Walter and Henry's picnic with Alain, Hop, and Paul is incredibly off-putting and uncanny, and Walter casually lets slip that they have every intention of just killing the Apex, with or without repentance.
    • Speaking of Alain, we get a lovely flashback detailing the process that made him even want to just give in and become this Empty Shell in the first place. It gets to the point that Henry doesn't even decide to call Alain by his name in contrast to Hop who still goes by his own name.
  • Parker's punishments of the class are shown, and they are cruel. A boy who nearly died in a hurricane is trapped in gale force winds, and someone who suffered from color-blindness is forced to play a sadistic game in the dark mocking his condition. And UnChloe intended to do much worse to everyone else, trying to convince Parker to extend his vengeance to the entire town if Chloe's email and Professor Cerise revealing Miss April was Driven to Suicide didn't intervene.
  • Once Parker realizes what kind of harm he's caused, UnChloe tries to push him into killing everyone. His wish for her to get a taste of her own medicine causes her to burn alive — but instead of screaming as she's consumed, she merely stands there glaring out at everyone.
  • Goh's ultimate punishment is living out two nightmares - one where what he wants plays out to its natural conclusion, and another where he sees what could've happened had things been different. It seems fairer than the rest, but UnChloe is still smirking when she makes it happen, and Gengar realizes that there's a lot of horrible things she can do while still following those instructions...
  • We learn more about what happened to Sean, the Apex kid who drowned. It turns out that Electivire knocked him aside in self-defense, and he had to watch the poor kid cry out for help since Paul had no Water-type on hand. Worse, Electivire and the other mons are aware of what happened to Paul but are unable to escape their Poké balls, lamenting that as tough and cold as Paul was, he didn't deserve this at all.
    • Alain's Pokémon have it worse; all they know is that Henry was given each of their Poké balls one by one and have no idea that the trainer they know is gone.
  • Goh's punishment dives into Surreal Horror in the vein of WandaVision, Sion Sono films (Suicide Club and Strange Circus), and WrestleMania 36's Firefly Funhouse Match as he meets his own counterpart UnGoh/Zeno, who attempts to teach him empathy through a series of very brutal performances:
    • First, he gets to witness Chloe being Driven to Suicide, with his dream counterpart being completely unmoved by the news of her death. His protests that he'd NEVER act so dismissive towards her death leads into an argument where he proves otherwise:
      Zeno: You have everything she wants! You get to travel, you don't have to go to school, the Professor spoils you with money for everything and your parents let you stay at home. Chloe struggles just to ask him to get a simple ice cream cone! What should you complain about, you big, spoiled baby?
      Goh: She could have had everything I had! If she really wanted to get out of school and see the world, she just needed to ask for one of the starter Pokémon the Professor had and bam! She'd just have to actually like being around people and Pokémon! That is all on her! Everything is on her! If she did anything different, she wouldn't be on the ground in a puddle or on a train right now!
      [he freezes as Zeno and the rest of his audience starts applauding, escalating to a standing ovation]
      Zeno: Glad you admit how much you don't care if she'd die!
    • A six-year-old vision of Tokio melts away before Goh's eyes while talking about how he doesn't want to play with him anymore and Goh, just like Tony Stark in Avengers: Infinity War, tries wiping the goo off his jacket before quickly realizing that it's what remains of Tokio.
      Tokio: Goodbye, Goh...
    • Ash painstakingly calls out Goh on how lopsided their 'friendship' is, before getting stabbed through the heart by Silver Night courtesy of Parker. Goh's face gets splattered with Ash's blood while he tries clawing it off, begging to be freed from the nightmare all while Ash melodramatically states how he's dying.
    • Raboot gets his chance to call out his trainer next for all the times Goh was an insensitive jerk, physically attacking him in the process... until Goh deflects one of his kicks and hucks the rabbit into a pillar, murdering his partner.
    • After being shown an alternate reality where he decided to ask Chloe why she'd been so distant lately, Goh is given a chance to take a crack at it himself. And fails. Repeatedly. When he screws up one scenario so badly that she flees, he resorts to Gengar dragging her back while she screams and flails, and then tries convincing Zeno that this is better.
    • Halfway into the nightmare, Zeno shapeshifts into Specter which, considering how Specter is the trope image for the VRAINS Nightmare Fuel page is not a good indicator for Goh getting out with his sanity intact.
    • Goh watches and feels himself rot after his imaginary self gives up and dies upon catching Mew and having no-one around him anymore.
    • Upon seeing himself at the cemetery, Goh is thinking "I'm not going to look" repeatedly as Zeno uses a video-game controller to spin him around to find that he's looking at the grave of his grandmother.
    • After one too many nightmare scenarios, Goh disregards any and all support and encouragement from his loved ones and runs into an open grave, breaking his bones on the way down so he couldn't escape being buried alive. Even if he wanted to.
    • What happens after all is said and done? Well, Goh takes a page out of Selina Kyle's book and starts trashing his bedroom, peeling the wallpaper with his nails and breaking down at how his obsession has essentially ruined him. Even Zeno admitted that this has Gone Horribly Right; Goh learned his lesson but now he doesn't even want to try making amends.
    • Goh's parents and grandmother get to hear their son have a complete psychotic break and get hospitalized in what is all but stated to be a suicide ward. Raboot is so terrified that he's racing off to find Ash and is desperately trying to comfort Goh when he sees the Freak Out.
    • Goh now developed a habit of scratching and clawing his own face every time he feels his tears on it, most likely traumatized from how he was splattered by Ash's blood. It's specifically described as him peeling "yellow wallpaper".
  • Chloe has a vivid mental image of Ash, the trainer she genuinely wants to be friends with, having a violent panic attack the second he sees her. And that's not the only fear coursing through her head - her father losing his job, her family being lynched, Miss April committing suicide again, the entire world turning on her...
  • Paul asks Hop to help deliver his Pokémon to Ash or someone who knows Ash. Unfortunately, this causes something to crack in Hop's mind as he starts mumbling "Ash" over and over again as if possessed. What's even worse is that he's somehow connecting Ash with Bede and is slowly becoming Delirium...
    • Wooloo is scared of Hop in his normal 'Delight' form, but when Delirium shows up, the sheep is hiding under the bed in terror.
  • Lexi asks Chloe to consider what would've happened if she had stayed in Vermillion and had been the one to activate the Unown instead of Parker. She promptly imagines Ash being reduced to her brainwashed pet, Goh being publicly humiliated in a Mew costume for 1001 days and nights, her classmates watering rose fields with their own blood...Even Chloe wants to get that picture out of her head right away.
  • Zeno decides to give Parker a taste of his own medicine so he understands the seriousness of what he put Goh through. Highlights include:
    • Parker seeing everyone curse him out at Goh's funeral, including Raboot threatening to kill him even if it'll result in the Pokemon being put down. And Zeno isn't making this up...the real Raboot vows to shove embers down Parker's throat if he ever sees him again.
    • When the boy claims that Goh could've handled the nightmares if he could, Zeno channels Freaky Fred and traps him inside an even worse version of Chloe's story, with the characters he liked turned into twisted monstrosities that even he finds terrifying.
    • The last scene is a hypothetical of what would've happened to Goh if Ash hadn't been able to stop the Unown before he woke up. Raboot is turned into the White Rabbit and Goh starts outright ripping his face apart, even after Parker "takes it back" and reforms his face, with the implication that he would do this forever.

Post-Cyan Desert Car

  • Ash reveals that he's been having "UnChloe" dreams every few nights, including one where he's turned into a puppet and Goh is stitched into a Mew costume for a Nickit Hunt...and one night he doesn't remember, but his mother does, where Parker was doing something horrible to the rest of his friends that almost made him seize up.
  • We finally see the brainwashing trick that Walter is using to revert Hop to a six-year-old mindset. It's the same trick Peter Lewis aka Mr. Scratch used, and it is deeply unsettling.
  • Remember CarnEvil? Did you think the Final Boss Tokkentaker was a little lame? No? TOO BAD, because he gets replaced by the monstrous Organ Man, a demonic creature that wears the old ringmaster's hands like a bow tie and uses Magic Music to force Amelia and Lexi to attack Chloe.
  • Chapter 24 has Chloe finally communicating with Hop and it becomes very clear that something is wrong with him. When she learns how Hop is gushing over his older brother Alex and how he's completely forgotten about his past life and home in Postwick, she tries to list off numerous people who miss him. But as she goes on, her phone suddenly has a Jump Scare of a red smiley face with white blood trickling down its eyes before it turns back to Hop who still looks blissful and cheery as ever.
    • To emphasize how unnerving this is, Walter immediately takes the phone away from Hop and requests Chloe to not bring up a person's name again. However, while the reader knows that it's Ash that makes Hop lose it, Walter and Chloe assume that it's Kabu. Even Ash assumes that it's Kabu for how he's that tough to beat. Alex is fully aware of this, but is afraid of how Hop will react when he learns the truth...all while unaware that Hop is cracking more and more.
    • The Apex's arrival to Silent Hill has them trapped in a room surrounded with large smiley faces and hyperactive music that will drive them off the walls. Worse is that they are still in the dark about what happened to Sean.
  • Chapter 25 has a brand new flavor of Realism-Induced Horror as Goh's parents get spooked by the suggestion that an online stalker is hunting their son and knows where he lives...
  • Chloe gets unsettled after she encounters a denizen that had caused the Curry Prince to darken his mood, and he flies off quoting Ardyn at her. "Someone of no consequence", indeed...
  • Just before The Quarto leaves Le Chat Chalet Car, Chloe uses her hood to enhance the fireplace to give The Cat a warning: to not interfere with what's going on in the Fog Car since she can't do anything to stop it. The Cat, who was once smug and proud, is cowering in terror from a ten-year-old girl.
  • The final scene of Arc 2 has Grace, Simon, Tuba and Hazel meeting Paul/Despair and it has all the vibes of the first Pokémon movie with the Mewtwo-controlled Nurse Joy as all he does is flatly command them to follow him.
    Despair: (to Simon) I shall give you Despair if you keep pestering me.
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    Arc 3: In The Darkness 

The Fog Car

  • Here it is; after an entire arc of chaos and madness and sadness, Chloe is in Silent Hill.
    • Chloe used her cloak to see into Hop and is horrified to learn many truths: Alain and Paul are the other denizen components, Hop is losing his sanity and Hop is confusing Ash for Bede. This won't end well.
    • When Chloe asks him questions about the situation, particularly of the Apex, Hop just shouts "ENOUGH QUESTIONS!" and the mist somehow turns into warped smiley faces for a second. The narration even calls him "increasingly delirious boy" and it's only a matter of time before Delight becomes Delirium...
    • Chloe's reactions to seeing Alain and Paul. Alain looks like he's lost in some dream, completely detached from reality. Paul, however, looks like a kicked puppy and how Walter has to force Paul to look up makes it very clear how broken the boy is.

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