• We're currently experiencing a minor issue with our email system preventing emails for new registrations and verifications going out. We're currently working to fix this
  • Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
  • If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders

Best Laid Plans [PG-13]

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
I told you I'd get to this eventually. >_> Lol.

I’m a little confused. Somewhere between Adrian’s thought and the next paragraph something happened to make Archer grow impatient; I’m just not sure what. So it kind of reads random that he did suddenly get impatient. Maybe if Adrian had a lackluster reaction or something it would make sense but all he did was, well, breathe. Oh, shift too.

Archer expected Adrian to do something. Agree with him, show him that he understood just what he was trying to say. Adrian showed no such understanding.

I’m actually not sure if I talked to you about this or not (or if someone else told you about this), but since you’ve improved tenfold from when you first started, I think I can go into the more anal grammar nitpicks. ;P

How dirty (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist) Get as anal as you'd like. I'd prefer it.
Commas before coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, so, or, nor, yet) are only needed when you’re listing something (She had a towel, a bottle of lotion, and a plastic straw. Why these items, who knows?) or when you have a compound sentence (a sentence that has two or more complete sentences together). An easy way to figure out if you need a comma before a coordinating conjunction is reading the sections are their own sentence. Let’s use the above quote as an example.

“Adrian turned around.” This can stand as its own sentence.
“Moved toward the door.” This cannot stand as its own sentence. Therefore, you shouldn’t have the comma.

If you had something like “Adrian turned around, and he moved toward the door,” then you would need the comma (Read “He moved toward the door” and how it can stand alone as its own sentence).

Is it a big deal? Not really, but they can be distracting if you do it too often. Plus you may be putting unnecessary pauses in places where you might not want to pause.

Got'cha! I'll remember that.

Even. Semicolon should be a comma.

Will fix.

Nice set up for suspicion, especially with where this story is headed. =P

HIS FACE IS SMEARED WITH BLOOOOD. MUAHAHA.

I can’t help but wonder if “Ringo” was a smaller side joke to go along with the Springsteen joke. =P JOKES IN JOKES

Jokes in Jokes! Sounds like Can in a Can! I've always wanted my containment devices in containment devices...don't sue me bobandbill!

Go. I’m actually not too fond of the second person here since it seems kind of thrown out there with no purpose. Even stating “And then the kitchen” is saying pretty much the same thing.

I see. I'll edit that out. The second person, I mean.

Curiosity.

Curiousity kills the grammatically correct cat, apparently. Got'cha, I'll fix it.

If you thought the comma lesson was super nitpicky, wait for this one. Even though “could have cared less” is becoming synonymous nowadays, the correct phrase is “couldn’t have cared less.” “Couldn’t care less” is saying that “it is impossible to care less.” “Could care less” is saying that you care less than you previously did, so you could “care less” but you could still be caring. Inorite?

/end super-duper nitpick

HOLY NITPICK BATMAN. Got'cha! I appreicate the nitpicking, actually. Even the smallest error is still an error.

Period in red should be a comma, and “is” should be lowercase (reason why is because the dialogue is still continuing/still a running sentence even with the speech tag break. “This Pokémon,” he said, “is definitely a Pokémon.”)

I missed THAT? Oh shoot. Got'cha, I'll fix it.

I wrongfully lol’d at the name. Chris Avrich is your ff.net name, right?

AND SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS THE self-insertion LACK OF CREATIVITY WITH NAMES I HAVE! :3

With.

Oopsie.

Lulz.

Lulz indeed.

Unnecessary sentence break up. All break ups are painful. ;-;

*sniffle*

Bre … nah, kidding. =P It’s right, hurrah!

I have drilled something I found online into my head as an image. "If you need to breath, you take a breathe." It's stuck up as some sort of mental sticky note. D:

Anyway, pretty neat chapter. As always, liked your spin on the events that take place in HG/SS and how the interrogation scene was a lot … tenser. The police accusing Chris and Joey of doing it was a little overdramatic (police try to leak the answer out of the person instead of outright saying it right away) but I understand the time constraint and not making that scene longer than it needed to be. Chris was amusing as he usually it, though it’s nice to see how varied his emotions can be, especially in reaction to the crime scene and him being interrogated and connecting the pieces as to who did it. I also liked your zany characterization of Mr. Pokemon. His house was a fun setting. =P

I didn't call him one of the more eccentric researchers in the first chapter for nuttin', buddy. :3

Anyway, until next time!
Thanks for the review, as always, Breezy! I'll edit out the errors some time tomorrow, when I have a little more time.

- Ian
 

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
I can't figure out if you were being lulzy or not, but do you mean "If you need to breathe, you take a breath"? XD
I was being lulzy. =p
 

#1TransendTrainer

PANDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
best laid plans

And a new narrator takes over. Shove your *** out the way, Mister Avrich; seems I'm taking the star's spot in this story.

I am the reasoning behind the whole story. His story? Heh. This is mine. Okay, okay, we share it, I admit. But I'm still the most important one.

Don't believe me?

Check it out.


Chapter Six:​
Good morning world. Name's Dave. But you can call me ohgodpleasedon'tkillme. Really. I prefer it that way.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

Chris got no sleep that night.

It was a given, he figured. He laid his head upon his pillow for the first time at nine o'clock in the evening, closed his eyes and saw the world. He saw it in red, a macabre view of the Earth around him. He saw the man coming in close, jagged knife in hand. Even the horror movie tracks. All in his head, he learned when he opened his eyes next to glance at the clock and see not even one minute had passed.

He lay there like this until three o'clock in the morning. By this point he had given up on the idea of sleep, and had given his night over to his thoughts. He tried to divert them from death, and had relative success. But when he heard a crash downstairs, he immediately picked up Bosca and shook her awake, whispered his concerns to her and let the two of them rush down the stairs. He leaped down the final step and pointed toward the noise's cause, about to cry out a command, when he saw it was simply Joey.

“...Christ, Joey, scare a guy like that,” he murmured.

Joey's tired eyes looked apologetic. “Sorry! I just... wanted a glass of water. Dropped the dang thing. Lucky it didn't break...”

At that point, once Joey had gone back up, Chris snuck outside with Bosca.

The night scenery was absolutely stunning. The night sky was clear and aglow with the light of thousands of tiny, dancing stars. They illuminated the lake beside his home. He heard the sounds of buzzing bug Pokemon, scurrying their way through the nighttime before they were forced to go undercover in the light. He sighed, slid down against the wall of his house, and with Bosca, spent the rest of the night simply admiring the view.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
He understood the consequences of it all a bit too well for his tastes. Ignorance is bliss was a policy he had always believed in, and it had been drilled into him at his induction ceremony with little to no trouble.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good. I am a grunt, who may or may not rise in the ranks some day: but as a grunt, I am nothing. I have been of little importance and will continue to be of little importance until I make myself such. Ignorance is bliss is a grunt's policy and I accept it with open arms. ”

Of course, those words were spoken on a more private day. To the formal world of the Rocket Gang, they had recited some ******** about how they were proud to be a part of Team Rocket. He recited those words off memory, the day in which he had first spoken them in his head as fresh as if it had happened just the previous day. He smiled with satisfaction, stepping out of the shadow and into the light, staring at the horrified person in front of him.

“I'm sorry,” he said. He reached forward, stroking the child's head of burning red hair. “Little Miss. If I could avoid doing this, I would, but it's for the better. Please forgive me in the afterlife. Come down to Hell to visit me some time, okay?”

The man removed the pistol from its holster, placing it against her forehead and pulled the trigger. He heard the sound of the splatter of blood on the wall behind her. He reached down and wiped away the remnants of tears streaming down her cheeks with his gloved hands, then turned.

In the dark, he could barely see himself in the mirror, but he knew the broad R on his shirt was a little more red than normal. He sighed. He would have to change it.

“Ambassador Juniper, your daughter has left the building. Really sucks for you when you mess with Team Rocket.” He let loose another sigh, a bit more forceful than the last one. “Really.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

“Mom, I want to travel.”

Elizabeth Avrich looked at her son oddly. “Are you sure? With what you've been through, I don't...”

“Mom, I'll be fine. R-...really, you're just worried about letting me go. I see it all the time in the movies. I'll be careful, mom, plus I'll have Joey by my side.”

“...Chris, you're talking about Team Rocket here!”

“Red did it!” Chris said.

“You're not Red,” his mother argued. “It's a stretch to even call yourself close. I'm not saying you can't be! But right now, you're not even close.”

Chris turned around, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. “I'm going, mom. That's the end of it.”

“Can you at least think it over a little longer, honey?! It's dangerous out there!”

Chris continued on his walk to the door, Bosca trotting along beside him. He slipped through the door.

His mother ran up through the door and drew him into an embrace. “...Fine! Stubborn little kid. At least tell me if there's something I can do for you, okay? And call me every day just as soon as you can. I'll track you myself if you forget even once.”
Chris smiled and returned the hug. “I'm a bit too scared of the wrath of the infamous mom to forget. Thanks.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

“Of course I should not have to tell you that you did a wonderful job tonight, David. I'm more than pleased with your performance.”

“Thank you, Archer, sir!” David said. “It means-”

“It should mean nothing,” Archer deadpanned.

David's face went red. He had screwed up. “...Of course not, sir.”

Archer smiled his signature, devilish smile. “It means that you are up for a promotion, and quick. Mr. Milwood, it's a shame that I can't simply give it to you. But I can if you perform one more assassination for me.”

David nodded. “Anything, sir.”

“Giovanni's son, the brat, has recently made the mistake of coming into the sight of a public person. The boy's name, as Adrian says, is Christopher Avrich. He lives in New Bark Town. I'd rather not let them track Adrian in case the boss does come back. Find him and kill him.”

David nodded dutifully yet again. “Will do, sir.”

Archer let his smile turn into a grin. “Thank you much, David.”

“No problem, sir.”


~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

Short Chapter. I know. Sorry for it, but I felt this point as a suspenseful point to end it. :3
 
Last edited:

Rediamond

Middle of nowhere
Well, it was a fairly short chapter. Harry Potter reference was awesome. The switch in narraration was interesting. Beyond that, I guess I should the a more detailed review. First off, you're character development is amazing, even if you only have short chapters to fit it into, it's still really good. Your plotline is definately a new take on Johto. Overall, I think my initial assessment as different than any Johto fic was fairly accurate. On a side note, this may be my last review for a while due to personal life and lost motivation in writing. Overall, this has been a really interesting start to a very original take on Johto. Keep up the good work.
 

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
Well, it was a fairly short chapter. Harry Potter reference was awesome. The switch in narraration was interesting. Beyond that, I guess I should the a more detailed review. First off, you're character development is amazing, even if you only have short chapters to fit it into, it's still really good. Your plotline is definately a new take on Johto. Overall, I think my initial assessment as different than any Johto fic was fairly accurate. On a side note, this may be my last review for a while due to personal life and lost motivation in writing. Overall, this has been a really interesting start to a very original take on Johto. Keep up the good work.
Thank you! I'm really glad to hear you enjoy it so much, and think it's original - I certainly worry about it from time to time.

It's okay. I understand if you can't drop in a review for a while. Do what needs to be done first. =p

Thanks again!
- Ian

ON A SIDE NOTE: The chapters actually are labelled now! With some smart aleck titles! GASP.
 

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
best laid plans​

Goddammit, what the hell do you think you're doing? Taking my place? Sheesh.

Sorry 'bout that, folks. Anyways, if there was one lesson I ever learned about life is that irony's cold glare was your best friend sometimes. Think about that.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chapter Seven
: A Gastly Experience through the Ghastly Tower

“Hello, dear guest. My name is David Milwood; you've messed with Team Rocket too severely. It's time for you to die.”

With his gun loaded, he pressed it to the forehead of the boy and pulled the trigger. He heard the bang, loud and clear, and the last surprised gasp of Christopher Lawrence Avrich Jr., resident of New Bark: fourteen years old, son of Elizabeth Kaitlyn Avrich and Christopher Lawrence Avrich Sr. “Good-bye.” He saw the blood mixed with the boy's sweat, his brain matter splattered on the pale wall behind them. He reached forward, wiping his tears away with his thumb.

He smiled slyly. It all seemed too real to him now: he had just blown out the brains of an imaginary boy. Not even the gun had been loaded. But he practiced his hits before they occurred, to make himself more prepared.

Preparedness was what he needed. His job wasn't easy on the psyche; he was smart enough to admit that. He did it for the pay, and for... other reasons. But the pay his predominant reason. It was tremendous for a grunt in the DPS (Down-low Pay System; simply keeping your source of pay on the down-low. To most people it looked as if you were just doing some high-paying job; like a computer technician or some other thing), and he needed the money desperately. He set aside fifteen-percent of each kill's payout: but the rest was spent on food, money and weapons. He did have one Pokemon he needed to feed, and it was a muncher, taking about forty-percent of his money.

But he was satisfied, he supposed. It payed the bills and it gave him his thrills.

He let his smile fade and let loose a sigh. “Now, Noctowl, let's hurry and get back...”

He did have three other Pokemon that didn't need to be fed. He liked those the best: those who could get the job done and get the hell out of his life until they were needed again. He sat on the stool where the imaginary corpse sat, pushing it out of the way and allowing him to relax. Now he simply had to wait.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It took a few days, but after the clearance from the Homicide Detectives and of course, from his mother, Chris was able to reach Violet City alongside Joey. Very little actually occurred on the trip there, except for an encounter with a wild Spinarak: turned out Joey was a sufferer of arachnophobia.

“Alright!” Chris exclaimed, albeit with a bit of hesitance in his voice, “let's see how we do at this place.”

“You sure, Chris?” Joey asked. “We just got here... we really don't want to go inside. Maybe get some rest...”

Chris smiled slyly. “You can get some rest, maybe. I'm challenging this place. Me and Bosca will Ace it!”

Joey reached up, wiping the sweat off his brow. “I'll be at the Pokemon Center... I'll reserve a room for two, 'kay?”

“'kay,” Chris agreed.

So that was how Chris managed to get into the predicament of being lost inside Violet City's most famous landmark.

It was a tower that was said to be a hundred feet tall. A hyperbole, Chris thought, as he looked at it: it was thirty, forty at max. But oddly enough, if you looked at its old, brown structure close enough, it seemed to sway with the gentle wind that always blew through Violet.

Still, forty feet was a large bit of space to cover. He got no help, either. There were plenty of monks who resided in the tower and knew every square inch of the chewed up wooden place by heart. The rules of the “Sprout Tower Challenge” stated that he couldn't receive help. The only help he could get was “The hearts of him and his Pokemon”. Bla, bla. All that Bull Snot.

He only got out because he nearly died.

“C'mon, Bosca. Hop on, you gotta be ten times as tired as I am.”

“...Mmmmiiissshhhh...”

He lowered his shoulder, allowing Bosca to hop up. He sighed with discontent, but trucked on. He was met with a bit of a roadblock: a large spider web hanging in between two wooden beams that was the only open path he could find.

“...Here we go,” Chris whispered – and shot through the web, his body filling with a sudden burst of anxiety. He nearly toppled over onto the ground but managed to catch his balance at the last moment, his face paling and his skin turning cold as ice. This place had an ominous feeling. He swiped himself out of the remains of webbing, and kept walking forward. Maybe it was just the natural vibe of the place. Wooden, creaky, dark and having the entrance covered in spider web... these were all key horror movie signs of something going terribly wrong.

He drew in a deep breath, then exhaled. He was just being a worry-wart. A nervous-nelly. That type of person was something he had always hated, and he chastised himself mentally for being such a hypocrite. He continued to walk on.

Suddenly, after a few minutes of walking, his foot his a floorboard just as normal. But this one gave a particularly odd sound: Chris thought he heard it hiss. He was paralyzed for a moment, but shrugged it off and continued his walk.

Bosca was shivering. As if her innate Pokemon senses were telling her something. Chris looked at her through his peripheral vision, but didn't say anything. He laughed quietly. Or she could just be cold. It was oddly breezy in here – maybe there was a window closeby! Then he could look out and at least estimate how far up he had gotten, also in-turn giving him a good perspective of where to go next. He sighed with relief, searching around in what was now near pitch-black for some source of light in the distance. As he kept walking, he saw nothing.

He finally spoke. “Hey, gal, did'ja see anything? You alright?”

“Mish... mish, Shroo, shroomish.”

“...Really now?” he asked. He could definitely sense fear in her voice. Something was up. Bracing himself, he tilted back his head and screamed as loud as he could (putting one hand over Bosca's closer ear in order to prevent hearing damage to her), “HEY! Whoever is in here, get out of the shadows! I know you're here!”

The only response was a surprised cry from Bosca, and the sound of Rattata scurrying away. He sighed. “Sorry, gal.”

“...Mmmiiissshhhh...”

Suddenly, Chris felt something pass by him. He knew it was in no way an illusion or a phantom brush. Or perhaps it was the latter. Perhaps this place was haunted? He was in a dark room with no human company at what... nine, ten P.M.? It fit the template for a Haunted House story perfectly. Chris shivered with anxious anticipation.

And he shivered again just seconds after he calmed down when the wet, large tongue lapped his right cheek. He screamed in surprise, jumping aside and toppling to the ground – really, this time. He heard a surprised shriek from Bosca, looking over to find her. He only saw glowing eyes, huge ones, but with pupils about the size of a small bead.

Then it rushed forward. Chris felt it envelope him. He tried to scream but no sound would come out: with his last desperate strength, he slid his arm out, reaching for Bosca, but he only heard a thin thud sound and a rolling tumble as his hand hit fabric. His backpack. He cursed mentally, then his world went black.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Hello, handsome.”

Chris looked at the odd invader of his thoughts, his arms folded over his chest. “Who are you, and why are you in my head?”

This invader stood at the exact same height as him, but with long brown hair down to her shoulders. Her body was of the hour-glass figure, her garb being a plain black dress. Her eyes were small and beady, black pupils staring at him, piercing into the depths of his very soul.

“Because I'm hungry,” the girl said. Her hand moved up, revealing a struggling purple and white mass in her hand. She stuck the Rattata in her mouth and chomped down, chewing noisily. Chris flinched, hearing the crunch of its skull in her mouth. She let her tongue out of her mouth, painted a bright red and licking her lips. “You looked tasty.” Her lips were now stained as well, leaking onto some of her mouth. She tossed the dead rat aside, and Chris watched it seem to sink into the dark gray floor, creating a small wave of ripples.

The next moment, the girl had disappeared. In her place was a man, taller than him by a long shot, at least three feet: and Chris was five foot six. He stepped back, his eyes wide with horror.

“Time for you to die, Mr. Avrich – you've messed with Team Rocket for long enough!”

He let loose a howl of laughter, making Chris visibly shake. He stepped back, and the man stepped forward. Twice. Each step Chris made backward, the closer the man drew to him, and before long they were so close that their noses could have touched. Had they been of near equal height. The man was a lummox, his broad, calloused hand pulling out a gun from his pocket (Chris was surprised he hadn't noticed it before), and pressed it against Chris's forehead. He pulled the trigger.

Chris felt a sudden jolt of pain shoot through his head, tumbling backward onto the gray, shiny surface of Dreamland (so he called it), sending ripples outward. He opened his eyes and saw that a small flag had burst out of the gun barrel, reading in tiny blue capitals, “BANG!”

The man roared with feminine laughter. He faded back into the image of the girl. “You fear easy,” she mused. “This is going to be quite a meal...”

Chris stood up, focused on one thing and one thing only: gettting out of here alive. He shot forward, his hand curled into a firm fist, aiming for it to hit the girl square in the face. But before he even got there, an agonizing pain shot through his arm. He screamed, his face going a bright red, his body convulsing slightly as he hit the ground.

“This is my world you sit in,” the girl deadpanned, her eyes narrowing, “this is my world and thus my rules. My rules state that I can't be harmed.”

Chris looked up at her spitefully. “Who the hell ARE you?”

“I am everyone, and I am no one. I am the departed.”

“You're a ghost?”

“No, I'm a Ghos. Without the T. Also known as some countries,” she mused, peeling away part of her face as if it were another part of her routine, revealing a small section of blasting purple gas, “as Gastly.”

Suddenly, it made sense to him.

He picked himself up off the ground and ran toward her again. This was still his mind. He was going to push this ***** out of it if it killed him. Which he had the distinct feeling that it probably would.

He slipped his hand forward once again, this time coming within a few inches of her face before another jolt of pain shot up his arm. He ignored it the best he could, continuing to shove himself forward: and he broke through. The punch connected with a thick cracking sound, and Chris watched, awestruck as more pieces of the false face flecked off like pieces of glass from a mirror. More of the purple gaseous substance leaked out, now giving her a bit of a gas cloak.

The cost of this, though, was that his arm was now immobile. He had use of one arm. ****. This wasn't turning out well, but he was making progress: the only question was how much progress he could make until he couldn't use any of his body parts. What would happen then?

He supposed he would find out. He had nothing to lose. He was going to be eaten if he didn't try to fight, and was probably going to be eaten if he did anyway; a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. He would rather be damned if he did, than damned if he didn't.

He looked up from the ground with furious eyes. “Now you'd better get out of my goddamn mind before I make you!”

Gastly-Woman cackled madly. “Make me, then, boy! I am infinite! You can't beat me with your weak little mind!”

Christopher Avrich grinned from ear to ear, leaking anxiety out of every pore in his body. “Let's go then, *****.”

“Name calling, young man. Name calling.” The Gastly-Woman walked forward calmly, her psychic barrier pushing Chris back a bit. He had made a hole in it from his pushing earlier: he would have to use that, he figured. “I like you. You're a feisty one. I believe you'll be quite the tasty one too!”

Chris dashed toward her, forcing himself to ignore the barrier she had around her and using its hole to his advantage. He picked up his good hand, hoping his hardest to actually find it. It was invisible; there was no sure way. He thrust his palm against one-spot: pain. He screamed, jumping back as she walked closer.

“Play, play, little child, as it will be your last playdate... shall we enjoy it?”

Chris picked himself up out of the daze he was put in, and made another frantic grab for the spot. He felt his hand slip through: good. Now to execute his plan. With a forceful grunt, he tugged his arm diagonally. He hoped that through sheer will and force combined, he could get the spot moved, moving the location of the barrier.

But something even better happened. At the cost of another arm's usage, going numb and limp in by his side, he saw her entire torso break away. She was a floating mass of purple gas now with a human face. Her legs were not attached to her, but instead moving directly on their own. She didn't even seem to notice.

“Trying to break through the barrier is futile,” she deadpanned, her mouth still. Chris recognized this to be telepathy.

He brought his leg up, smashing it down through the broken hole. It connected to the leg-space, but passed on through. Shattering of glass could be heard, and now the legs were gone entirely. His leg went numb. With one final gesture, Christopher Avrich grabbed onto the sides of the tangible psychic barrier and gave the face a firm headbutt.

It shattered. The girl let loose a gasp that ended in a,“..astly!”, before the world around them began to crumble. Chris caught a piece of the sky hanging from its original place and held it fast, its sharp edge cutting into his now not-numbed hands. He felt blood trickle down his wrist, painting his skin red.

He let go only because a voice told him to. He didn't know why, but he trusted it.

Let go, son,” the voice said. “Wake! The Gastly has left you – you are a lucky one.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Christopher Avrich woke up to a world that was made of the word “pain” – he saw it in many different colors. Light pinks, pale blues, bright, blinding reds, and the sheets of white heat. Oh god, the white hot agony that pulsed throughout his body, making him gasp as something was pressed down in his hand.

“Who...are...you...”

“...This is for me to know and you never to know, son,” the voice said, and within moments Chris felt himself begin to fade out of consciousness again. He heard the slight chirping of a concerned Bosca... and then nothing.
 

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
best laid plans

It isn't a sin to accept a gift, is it? I didn't know the man, sure: but he had saved my life. In no way could he have wished harm. Even if he did give me the very thing that tried to kill me.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

Chapter Eight: The Day of Bad Luck

Christopher Avrich woke up in a world of oddity. He no longer felt pain, but instead an odd buzzing sensation in his muscles, making him want to twist and turn to get it out, but he couldn't move to do so. With what little feeling he did have, he felt soft fabric beneath him. Was he home? Warm in his own bed? No.

He knew this from the soft, steady beeps around him, the voices from a short distance and the ever-present realization that his *** was shining through the back of the hospital gown he wore. He grinned tiredly. He knew from the fatigue he felt he couldn't sit up – but he managed to muster up the force to speak. He didn't know if anyone else was in the room with him; his vision was still blurry, probably from a long time of rest. “Hello? Is.. an-anyone there?”

The sound of heavy footsteps across tiled floor. Boots, Chris thought – only those thick things made the click-clack sound he heard. Then a kind voice, filled with a masculine concern. “Hello, son. I'm glad to see you're awake. My name is Dr. Segall, and I'm the one who's gonna be treating you. Can I get your name?”

As his vision cleared, Chris saw a rugged face donned in a white coat, blue polo shirt and khaki pants. Looking downward, he saw thick boots. Damn he was good. “...Chris. Av-”

“Don't concern yourself with the surname at the moment. I'm sure it hurts to speak, doesn't it?”

Chris nodded slowly.

“Then Chris is enough.” Segall smiled kindly, his hand moving toward his coat pocket and pulling out a pen while the other moved toward the edge of his bed, pulling out a clipboard. He scribbled down a few things. “You're lucky, Chris. Very lucky. Gastly poisoning can topple Steelix sometimes. You know what that means?” The doctor let his smile increase, though Chris could tell it was faked some. “You've got a spirit tougher than a Steelix. That's truly impressive.”

“...Heh.”

Chris glanced toward his side and at his nightstand. Two Pokeballs were atop it, along with the clothing he had been wearing.

“You almost died, Chris,” Segall continued. “I don't mean to scare you, but-”

“...Bosca,” Chris said.

“Excuse me?” Segall asked.

“...Bosca. My Po-...Pokemon...”

“Ah, yes!” Segall exclaimed, obviously just remembering the subject. “Both your Shroomish and your other Pokemon are as fine as frog hair, my friend. They're inside their Pokeballs: do you want me to release them?”

Chris nodded slowly. The fact that he only knew of Bosca slipped his tired mind; he only wanted to see her, make sure she was alright.

The doctor nodded, moving toward the nightstand and picking up both Pokeballs. He released them: with a flash of light, two Pokemon materialized. Bosca cried out in happiness, jumping up onto the bed. “Mishhh!”

“...Goo-...good to see you too, gal,” Chris said, laughing weakly.

He looked to see the other Pokemon, his other one- it struck him. He let out a gasp of surprise, ignoring the pain it caused his throat. No way this could happen. He hadn't caught this Pokemon. Yet it was here with him.

The Gastly floated over to him, staring him in the face.

'Hello, handsome,' she said in that familiar feminine voice, piercing his mind.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

The force of nature that interested David Milwood the most was water. Water, he thought, was the driving force of the world; humans and Pokemon alike needed it to survive. There seemed to be infinite amounts of it, and, given time, it could tear down the mightiest of mountains. He thrust his hand down into the river and took it into his skin, cupping his palms together to hold large quantities of it: then he drank, repeating the process until his thirst was quenched. He sighed a sigh of content and sat up, stroking the head of the Pokemon beside him. “Alright, Munchlax. Let's go.”

With a simple, hearty yell, the green human-like thing beside David began to waddle forward. David joined him, a smile plastered across his visage.

He recalled the previous night.




David glanced out the window once again, perhaps at two, three o'clock in the morning. It was a pretty night, the stars shining brightly, the sounds of the dark going full-blast and thus creating a soothing, peaceful melody. It was not abnormal for David to be up this late. On days where his information was being gathered by his sources in the east, well... he was nocturnal, a night owl waiting for news on his tiny little mouse prey. Suddenly, his train of thought was snapped as the familiar chirping hit his ears. He nodded. “Thanks, Noctowl.”

He grabbed something from the pale brown bird's talons, unrolling the contents. A letter.

'HELLO, RECIPIENT
THE INFORMATION YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
IS AVAILABLE'

Beneath this scrawling, broken all-capitals letter was a small profile. A picture of a shaggy haired boy at its side read above it, “CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE AVRICH JR.”

He smiled. Here was his prey. The Rocket System had gone haywire recently, sort of downgrading its capabilities: only certain allies had actual pictures of anything. Rocket databases only had information. David needed to identify his prey through looks. Now he could get his last known location.

“Noctowl, show me on this map...”

He pointed to a map on the wall of the Johto region. Then he lifted up the letter, pointing to the picture. “Where you saw this boy.”

Noctowl was not a stupid bird. He was born of genetics, a Rocket Scientist's project, to have four important qualities: move as fast as a Braviary, as quietly as a Pidove, have the memory of a Donphan, and most important of all, be thorough. He simply jabbed his beak into the section of the map in light purple labeled “VIOLET CITY”.

“Violet City, eh? Thanks, Noctowl.”

He set the paper down onto his desk, pulling out a pen from the small container in its corner and marking down something on the letter.

“DO YOU LIKE ROCK?” a question asked. David scrawled down in messy handwriting, “YES. MY FAVORITE BAND IS AC/DC. ARCHER YOUNG IS A GUITAR GOD.”

This was a code in the Rocket System to make sure that the recipient of the letter was the person who was supposed to receive it. Rockets and Rockets ONLY knew it – if someone got lucky enough to guess the AC/DC part right AND think their guitarist is a God, they would still be ignorant enough to put “ANGUS” instead of “ARCHER”. He rolled the package up and stuck it back through Noctowl's talons. “Thanks. You can go now.”

Noctowl burst off. Smiling devilishly, he thrust his legs out of his window and slid out onto his roof. Thrill seeker he was, he knew that what he was going to do was dangerous. But he didn't care. If he died, he wouldn't have anything to worry about. If he lived, well, here's to living.

He slid off the roof and felt himself began to fall. He quickly unhooked the single Pokeball attached to his belt and pressed the release button downward. Beneath him, a flash of white light materialized into the form of a blue back with red wings. His Salamence roared wildly, and burst off into the distance just as David thudded against his back. He felt a pain shoot up his shoulder, but ignored it, adrenaline giving him a thin high. “ALRIGHT! LET'S GO, SALAMENCE! OFF TO VIOLET CITY!”


Of course, it was a way overly dramatic exit for what ended up happening. He was currently on his way out of Violet. Turned out the Avrich boy had gotten attacked by a Gastly and was now in the hospital. Figured. He wasn't going to attack incapacitated prey. It lacked the adrenaline high that he needed. It lacked the thrill of the capture.

To see the fear on the face of his victim was one of his most pleasant memories. He had quite the book of them. Girls, Boys, men and women, old ladies and old men, black, white, so many different groups of people that had eventually died by his hand.

He grinned devilishly. “I'll get you soon, Christopher Avrich.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

'Surprised?' Gastly asked. 'I don't know why that man gave me to you of all people. Of course I'm surprised too. But I suppose I can't say I'm not pleased.'

An image of the girl appeared in his mind's eye, winking. 'After all, I suppose I can learn something from you, if you managed to beat me.'

Chris could tell this was all a lie. She was trying to get on his good side, make him let his guard down so she could snatch him again and finish the job she had started. He smiled slyly.

“I'm going to release you the moment I get out of this hospital...”

'Now why would we do that?' Gastly asked. The mouth on the darker purple orb in the center of her light purple gaseous form turned into a frown.

“Why wouldn't I? You tried to kill me!” Chris cried, then shushed himself. It was late. Three o'clock in the morning to be exact. He wasn't supposed to be awake, and was having this conversation with Gastly behind close curtains, the button to call for the nurses clenched in his hand as a just-in-case.

'That was before I knew just what interesting company you were,' Gastly said. She moved close to him, her tongue going out and licking him, almost affectionately. '...Salty- I mean, I'd rather die now than try and kill you again! I've learned my lesson, trainer...'

Chris nearly gagged. “Really. Tell me the truth.”

Gastly looked at him, then bobbed up and down, apparently the closest thing to nodding she could manage. 'Fine. In the Sprout Tower, it's considered an insult to be captured... It's either stay with you or I may as well die.'

“And who's 'ta say I don't want you to just die?” Chris asked.

Gastly smiled, her two canines flashing devilishly. 'Gastly are renowned for psychic abilities. I know you don't.'

“...Damn it.”

So that was how Christopher Avrich ended up getting stuck in an alliance with the very thing that had tried to kill him.

“...Well this is just perfect,” he thought.

'Isn't it?'

~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

Chris was released with instructions to take it slow and careful three weeks later. He had to take some sort of stupid medication thrice a day as well. But it mattered not to him – he could get on with his journey this way.

The only thing about it was that for a while, it would be alone.

Joey had gone on without him. It was understandable. The kid had gotten all the way to Azalea Town, even winning against Falkner with Rats and some “other help” he hadn't elaborated on. He had just gotten off the Pokegear phone function with him, and Joey had promised to stay in Azalea and wait for him.

Chris would hurry the best he could manage. But he was definitely going to take a mad dash toward one thing: challenging the Violet City Gym. He stood in front of it now, Bosca by his side.

“Alright, gal – ya ready?” he asked. “These're Flyin' types we're gonna be facing. I doubt you're gonna like 'em. But I want'cha to try to your best against them, okay?”

“Mish!” Bosca cried happily.

“Good. Let's go.”

Chris pushed forward through the doors of the gym dutifully, but was met with the sight of something that confused the heck out of him. The place was entirely empty. It looked like an abandoned, empty warehouse. He stepped inside further, examining the place. The wooden flooring seemed to be wet, but in patches. He looked up to see if there were any glaringly obvious holes in the roof, only to slap his palm against his face.

The “wet spots” were not wet at all. They were shadows of the massive platform parts hanging above him. His only problem now was figuring out how to get up there. He stood there for a few moments, pondering this perilous predicament before suddenly screaming in surprise. A voice spoke up behind them.

HELLO. I AM PIDGEBOT MODEL III. CHALLENGER OR VISITOR?

“OH MY GOD WHAT THE- … oh. It's an assistancebot!” Chris realized. “Challenger. Name is Christopher Avrich.”

UNDERSTOOD. INFORMING LEADER AVERY.

Chris and Bosca were left waiting for quite a few minutes, before they were finally knocked flat on their backs, the section of floor they were on bursting out of the floor and becoming a platform instead. After about ten seconds of traveling upward, it stopped and tipped ever so slightly, knocking them onto the floor of one of the platforms above. Then it went down again, but only slightly.

They were left in an area that made Chris gape in awe. The sheer force of the room had simply blown him away. He saw that it was a square-shaped platform if you looked it from below: but it was broken up into many tiny squares, he knew now. Each one had a distance of at least four feet in between; many of them five or six. The platforms were large enough for one person to stand on, with the exclusion of two of them. Two of them were large enough so that a battle could be held. Chris grinned. Gym Trainers.

Pidgebot III flew up next to him. “THE OBJECTIVE OF THE VIOLET CITY GYM IS TO TEST A PERSON AND ONE POKEMON'S DEXTERITY AND JUMPING SKILL. THE POKEMON USED IS THE ONE THAT WILL BE BATTLING. YOU ARE NOW STANDING AT THE BACK OF THE GYM. YOU MUST CROSS TO ITS FRONT, WHERE LEADER FALKNER AVERY AWAITS. JUMP ACROSS THE PLATFORMS. SOME HAVE HOOKS ABOVE TO GRAB ONTO AND FINISH THE DISTANCE. OTHERS HAVE NONE. TO GET THROUGH, BOTH GYM TRAINERS MUST BE BEATEN AS WELL. SAFETY PADS ARE PLACED ON SOME OF THE LOWER RIDING PLATFORMS – YOU WILL NOT BE INJURED IN THIS CHALLENGE. TO GET UP IF YOU FALL, PRESS THE BUTTON IN THE CENTER OF THE PLATFORM YOU FALL ONTO, AND YOU WILL BE RAISED TO THE PLATFORM YOU JUMPED OFF OF. ARE THE RULES UNDERSTOOD? OPTIONS: YES/NO. IF NO, WILL BE REPEATED.

“No thanks, I-”

THE OBJECTIVE-

Chris cursed. “That's enough, Pidgebot!”

SHUTTING DOWN. CALL 'PIDGEBOT MODEL III' TO RETURN.

The mechanical Pidgey burst off toward the other end of the gym.

Chris wondered now just exactly what to do. The bot had said that the Pokemon used in the jumping part of the gym would have to be used in the battling portion as well. Bosca's legs were short. And the end result of a short-legged jumper were never quite good.

He sighed, kneeling down. “Sorry, gal. I'm gonna have to ask you to get back... seems we aren't gonna be able to do this together.”

He pulled her Pokeball out of his pocket, and returned her. He then clipped the other Pokeball from his belt, releasing the Pokemon inside.

'Oh my, my, my. Hello there, trainer...' Gastly purred.

“Ghos,” he said, referring to her by the nickname she had asked to receive. “We're fighting-”

'The Violet City Gym. Of course. I'll be waiting for you above the first trainerrrr.'

Chris sighed, watching Ghos dart off, hovering above the head of the first trainer. He seemed to be speaking: conversing casually with the ghost that just rolled up on him. Wonderful.

Chris managed the first few leaps with ease. The last one before the first trainer platform, however, gave him a bit of a problem. It was one of the mentioned ones with the hook to it. As Chris barreled through the air, he grabbed onto the hook, his momentum pushing the hook forward a bit too. He used this to pull himself as high in the air as possible, then he let go. Idiotic mistake. He made it: but he came sprawling down at the trainer's feet, hitting the ground with a thick thud.

He lost consciousness right then and there.



He came to not even two or three minutes later. It was a short-lived knock-out, but it was still a knock-out. He groaned, sitting up.

He came within a few inches of the nose of a blue-haired man, his bangs coming down to cover his eyes. He was dressed in a sky blue shirt with over-sized sleeves, and baggy royal blue pants. The man pulled himself backward, a smile crossing his lips.

“Sleepy head's awake. Nice. Well, I'm afraid I have some news for you.”

The smile faded. He pressed his hand, firm and calloused against Chris's hair, ruffling it slightly. “That ol' noggin of yours is probably damaged a little. Probably a concussion. And you've probably got a fracture in your arm. You landed on it hard.”

Chris felt the pain shoot up his shoulder: it didn't actually start hurting until he realized that it had happened. How odd.

“GOD DAMN IT!” he shouted. His world went gray and fuzzy for a moment, and for a few more following, before he focused in again. He looked at the man in front of him, noticing his concern.

“Aye, aye... you okay, buddy?” he asked. “I'm gonna go ahead and call for an ambulance... I'm -so- sorry that this happened. It never has before... you just had... one hell of a bout of bad luck there.”

“...I tend to have those, 'buddy',” Chris muttered.


But the man who had diagnosed him was quite right, and Chris had a concussion and had to get his arm set up in a sling.

And this was how he ended up getting to fight Falkner, who was the man who had diagnosed him with the blue obsession, without having to fight his gym trainers and with approval to use both Bosca and Ghos. All with a dizzy head and a broken arm.

Funny how luck worked sometimes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

Next chapter:

Handicapped Trainer versus the Winged Master of Violet! Flying works so much better without a broken wing.
 

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
best laid plans

Sometimes you think that you know someone, and then they go and surprise you with another twist in this big ol' board game called life. Sometimes, you don't think you know someone well, and they STILL surprise you with a twist.

Really, you never know what people are gonna do. You can study human behavior, become one of those behavioral analyst guys, and still there's always gonna be someone who's gonna throw you that god damned curve ball.

All this? Kind of includes yourself. Your own personality.

You never know what you'll do in the spur of the moment.


-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-​

Chapter 9: It's easier to fly with no broken wings

Chris was quite interested at his predicament; it was almost amusing, in fact. He stood in a track right outside Violet General Hospital used for Physical Therapy (which Chris was starting soon), in a hospital gown pinched closed in the back by a pin, one arm hung in a sling. Across from him, the blue-eyed, blue-haired and blue-clothed man called Falkner stood in a ready position, Pokeball held firmly in hand.

One of the gym trainers was holding Chris's. One in each hand, the identities of which had been identified to the gym trainer, but not to Falkner, as to not break any advantages normal trainers had.

“So, let me get this straight one last time,” Falkner said. “You-”

“...will not sue, just as long as you stop asking if I'll sue. One more time...” Chris sighed. The question had gotten rather annoying – he wondered if he SHOULD sue for mental distress upon being asked four million, six hundred ninety-five thousand, two hundred and thirty nine times if he was going to sue the gym.

“Good,” Falkner continued. “Because-”

*“The gym can't handle any money losses. Damn budget cuts. YES, I GET IT ALREADY!” Chris cried.

“...Right. Well, ref,” he said, glancing toward the second gym trainer. “Start us off whenever!”

The referee responded in his gruff voice, nodding, “Five... four...”

Chris was nervous. This was his first major battle of the gym circuit – he had gotten to fight a major member of possibly Team Rocket, yet not even he had made Chris this anxious. He shut his eyes tight, hearing the countdown begin.

“Three... two...”

Chris prepared himself mentally. Gym Battling wasn't a sport for the weak-minded. It was for those who were sure of themselves, who knew that they could become champions.

Too bad Chris didn't feel that way.

“One... GO!”

“Left!” Chris yelled.

Two Pokeballs were thrown, each opening and throwing out flashes of white light. Out of Chris's, Bosca materialized, taking the closest thing to a battle-ready stance Chris imagined possible for her. Out of Falkner's, a magnificent brown bird appeared, flapping its wings, the feathery plumage adorned on its head like a headband twisting slightly in the breeze it was creating. It had a tan belly, which was rather defined and muscley for a Pokemon, giving Chris the idea that this thing was trained with insane amounts of skill. The thought made him shudder with anticipation.

“Pidgeotto,” Falkner said. “My best Pokemon! For newbies like you anyway. I... actually don't recognize yours.”

“She's called a Shroomish! From Hoenn,” Chris said proudly: or, at least, the most proud tone of voice his nervous mind could muster. “Named Bosca!”

“I see... well, then! Let's start this off! Your move first, newbie!”

“Bosca!” Chris exclaimed. “Use... uhm... ****, I don't know many of her moves...”

Falkner slapped a palm against his face.

Ten minutes later, Pidgebot Model III was in the air beside Chris. Turned out that the annoying little robot served a purpose after all; it served as a makeshift Pokedex, displaying “STAT”, a reading of the body's muscle and energy, giving off estimates of their ability; “HP”; a calculation of damage to the body, combined with “DEF” and “SP.DEF” on the “STAT” screen, displayed as a numeral reading, and “MOVeS”, which was... well, a display of the moves a Pokemon knew. Bosca knew a small variety, mostly status-inducers like Stun Spore and Headbutt (which sometimes winded the opponent, giving a short window of opportunity; Chris counted that as a “status” condition). Chris only saw one problem: how was he going to hit the Pidgeotto? It was a flying type, which made it easy for it to get into the air, while Bosca, with her short legs, could barely get four inches off the dirt.

It was going to be a toughy, and Chris wasn't sure he could do it. But he WAS sure he wasn't going to pull back now.

Suddenly, he was broken out of his train of thought by Falkner's voice, impatience evident in it. “Well, are you gonna make a move or what?”

“Oh... uhm, Tackle, Bosca!”

Bosca ran forward with the mightiest spring Chris had ever seen. She felt her trainer's anxiousness, he thought, and thought it was best to try her hardest. He let out a howl of encouragement, watching as she leaped into the air and slammed herself toward Pidgeotto's body: missing completely, skidding to the ground with a surprised cry.

“Bosca! Crap, good try, gal!”

“Bad choice of Pokemon,” Falkner mused. “Pidgeotto, use Dirty Gust!”

Pidgeotto simply moved close to Bosca, flapping his wings furiously and creating a twister of wind, which picked up twigs and leaves on the ground, going so far as to pick up specks of dirt as well: then an entire chunk of the stuff, and before long, the force of the wind had degraded it into small pieces. It moved toward Bosca, who in-turn got to her feet and began to rush out of the way.

The “Dirty Gust” attack followed.

“Dirty Gust is my Pidgeotto's signature move! It's infused with some of his energy, and can be controlled by him at will! Until it hits something, it will not stop! And guess what? It hurts and can temporarily blind the opponent: it's a mix of the moves Gust and Mud Slap!” Falkner grinned from ear to ear. “You folk are purely secular! Worldly! The greatest gift God has given man is the sight of birds! I have made it my life's goal to show the world the GLORY OF WINGS!”

Bosca got hit. She cried out in pain, chunks of mud flying into her eyes, pelting her skin. The wind picked her up and slammed her into a tree, and she fell down, her entire body shaking ever-so-slightly with the combination of heavy breathing and hurt.

Chris scowled. He felt the mental pressure weigh down on him like an anvil on each individual shoulder. How the hell was he going to win this?


-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-​

Joey Collins couldn't help but smile. So this would be the fix to his problem: it had just nodded its approval not even two or three seconds ago, its gruff visage plastered with a smile.

One, it would kill time. He was waiting here in Azalea for Chris, and he had a feeling it would be a while before he got here. Two, well... with this newly built relationship, he hoped that he, Rats and Lucky could get the job done: the job being defeating him.

-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-​

“Bosca! C'mere!” Chris yelled, motioning for Bosca to come close to him.

She did, scrambling over. He saw the odd purple blood oozing from the scratches over her body. He did not touch her solely for this reason: he wanted to hug her close and not let go. With his one good arm, of course.

“Listen, gal,” he said. “I understand if you want to give up. This is tough for a Grass-type like yourself, and I know that ghost-type moves don't affect normal Pokemon... like Pidgeotto.”

Of course, he had only learned this recently when he did some research on Gastly and their natural abilities, as well as Typology. Hospital Libraries were one thing he was thankful for. “We can always come back when we have someone on our team who can handle-...”

Bosca shook her body in a furious “no”.

Chris smiled ever-so-slightly, and nodded to her. He whispered something down to her, before crying out, “Alright, then! TRY US, Falkner! Flyin' ain't anything – see how the ground fights against the sky, and be amazed! Bosca, Tackle Again!”

Bosca ran toward the Pidgeotto with the same gusto as before, but stopped right in front of him. She stuck her tongue out, taunting him, hopping from foot to foot in a mock dance. Pidgeotto was not pleased by this – far from it. He whipped his wings, creating another gust (thankfully without the mud this time), sending it toward Bosca, who realized it wasn't a homing one like the previous and ran to get out of the way.

“That's your glory, newbie?” Falkner scoffed. “Pidgeotto! Finish it off with an Aerial Ace!”

It was a flash. A simple flash of movement was all it took to strike Bosca down, a small gash across her stomach, bleeding slowly. That purple, oozing blood. Chris let his head fall. His plan... ruined just like that.

It was up to Ghos, and Ghos couldn't do a damn thing.

“Return Bosca!” Chris yelled, and the supporting trainer obeyed. “Send out the other! Ghos!”

Ghos was out in the next few seconds, floating up next to him. Chris sighed, stepping to the side slightly, a bit concerned about being close to that damned poisonous gas.

The referee cried out, “Battle: Gastly versus Pidgeotto! Start NOW!”

“Pidgeotto, use Dirty Gust!”

Pidgeotto formed another miniature twister, mud picking up and combining with twigs and leaves, tinting it brown. It rushed forward. Ghos moved out of the way, but Pidgeotto twisted it in turn to Ghos' movement. Ghos moved again, leaving behind a thin trail of purple, but Pidgeotto twisted it once again.

Ghos caught on quick, rushing right at Pidgeotto. Pidgeotto moved it to follow Ghos, and got caught right in his own attack as Ghos phased right through him and continued on. A howl of surprise escaped an open beak, mud flying into the bird's eyes, twigs and smaller chunks of dirt cutting and bruising through his feathers.

Falkner cursed loudly, then covered his mouth, as if embarrassed by his mistake. Chris was happy to see some damage done to the opponent, but he knew Falkner or Pidgeotto wouldn't be stupid enough to try those tactics. They hadn't risen to the titles of Gym Leader and his Pokemon respectively off of sheer, dumb luck.

He motioned for Ghos to come close, and with a begrudging look in her wide, white eyes she obeyed.

“I need you to tell me what you can do, Ghos. This is desperate.”

Ghos looked at him, her mouth open, canines brandished frighteningly. 'I can kill...'

“Besides that! I mean to win me this battle legally!” Chris chided.

'Fine, fine... nothing that will effect that bird over there... well, there is...'

There was something. Chris didn't care what it was. It could win this battle, and he could get Bosca's pain avenged. He smiled devilishly. “Use it, then!”

'Are you sure, because-'

“Yes, I'm sure!” Chris cried.

Ghos bobbed up and down mid-air, her form of a nod. She floated over in front of Pidgeotto, who had regained his wits by now. Ghos' wide eyes fell shut, and suddenly, Chris saw something that he wouldn't forget, not even years later.

His eyes widened.

Out of blue energy, a gigantic nail formed mid-air. Falkner looked at the same spot, but seemed unable to see it. Chris had a feeling that Ghos was allowing him to see this. The energy-nail pushed forward, running through the Pidgeotto's chest, and right through Ghos' forehead. The blood that ran from Pidgeotto's unharmed chest was the brightest shade of red Chris had ever seen: and the pained cry that came from Pidgeotto's beak was the most sincere he had ever heard.

Falkner seemed shocked. “W-...what is this?! What happened?! Pidgeotto, are you okay?”

Pidgeotto barely managed to stay afloat. Ghos bobbed slightly, a bloody, dark hole in her forehead, oozing red liquid alongside a steady flow of purple gas.

'It's called C-...curse,' Ghos projected, allowing Falkner to hear too, judging by the fact that he moved his eyes to her. 'Your bloody bird will faint soon. It's not going to kill, and it'll go away soon... but it's painful. Basically torture. Blame Cadet “HURRY UP AND USE IT!” over there.'

Falkner projected to Chris one of the most hateful looks he had ever seen. He reached in his pocket and pulled something out, narrowing his eyes at it, then tossed it to Chris. Chris saw it fall to the ground a couple feet in front of him, but payed more attention to Falkner returning his Pidgeotto and bolting off. He assumed toward a Pokemon Center, where Pidgeotto could suffer in peace.

The referee simply said, “Challenger Wins!”, before running off to join his leader. Only the one who held his two Pokeballs remained with him, walking to where whatever Falkner had thrown rested. He picked it up, walked over to Chris and handed him one of his Pokeballs. Chris tucked it under his arm. Then he took the other from him, returning Ghos. Finally, the Gym Trainer grabbed his hospital gown, almost purposefully tugging on it hard Chris realized, jiggling his arm around a little. He pinned something to it, then walked off.

Chris looked at it. It was a small, light blue badge, shaped like a pair of wings. Chris sighed. He had won the badge. But at what cost? His reputation? His conscience? His virtues?

In that moment, Christopher Avrich hated Ghos. Almost as much as he hated himself.
 

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
Author's Note: quick note. the chapter title here is a small section of lyrics, taken from the song "Learning to Fly" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

b e s t l a i d p l a n s​

I have some simple advice for you guys today. No matter what, you can always face any adversity with the right attitude.I kind of wish I would have followed that. I didn't know the kid that well, but... he was a friend. One of the few my quirky personality ever really made.I miss him.

I really do.


~ ~ ~​

Chapter 10: Learning to Fly; and I ain't got wings... coming down is the hardest thing

"Falkner, I said I'm sorry! I- I didn't know... Ghos..."

"I know. I forgive you."

Christopher Avrich heard the words come out in that harsh, unforgiving tone and he knew immediately they weren't true. He wanted to believe them, but he couldn't, not for the life of him. And Falkner wasn't helping, stomping away from him.

Chris followed. They moved all the way to the gym in silence, before Falkner turned around and stared him in the eyes. He put his hands on his shoulders, and Chris flinched as he came down hard on his injured arm. This goddamn thing would never heal at this rate.

"What's your name, newbie? I never got it."

"Chris.. Chris Avrich," he responded. He somewhat wanted to shrink back, run away and go back to New Bark, living out the rest of his life in shame.... but he wasn't going to now. Just because he wanted to didn't mean he could.

"C'mon inside, Chris."

The two walked inside, and stopped in the shadowy spots of the gym. Falkner looked at Chris dead in the eyes again and spoke slowly, carefully, with just enough anger lingering in his calm voice that Chris shuddered. "Chris Avrich, wat interests you about Pokemon Training?"

Silence quivered through the air, as Chris thought about that question. He thought and thought, thought some more and then thought even more. He had never thought so hard in his life. But after all that thought, his mind came up blank. "Because it seemed interesting. Because I thought it would be fun."

Falkner scoffed, shut his eyes and frowned. "Bland. Typical. I can feel it. It's deeper than that, and you know it."

Cris cocked an eyebrow. He thought it was a satisfactory answer. He didn't even know the point of this questioning, because he had just come to make sure Falkner knew he was sorry for the pain he had caused his Pidgeotto. What was the point of it? "Because... I, uh, like Bosca, I guess. And it seemed a good way to bond."

Falkner shook his head. "Then why not coordinate? Become a breeder? Just travel the land, or just stay at home?" Falkner opened his eyes and looked toward the platforms near the ceiling. "Anything can be done to bond with Pokemon. Fine. If that's your answer, I'm heading up. I don't care about your broken arm. If you want me to really believe your apology, and if you really want me to believe your reasoning, come up and find me at the end of the puzzle. no battles. Just you and Bosca traveling the gaps."

Chris looked up and felt his heart beat faster than he felt comfortable. Was it really a good idea? He had screwed with this whole idea before. But to try it again? With a broken arm, at that? He could hurt himself severely, be in a hospital for quite a few more weeks.... and this wasn't even thinking about Bosca.

He stepped back, looked at Falkner and let a shaky grin cross his lips. "Sure."


~ ~ ~​


Joey Collins looked out onto the lake in front of him, seeing the shadow of the man behind him and finding himself wondering how much longer he had left. He knew from the look on the man's face that he had come to kill him: even his nine year old mind could decipher such enigmatic eyes with the help of adrenaline.

"Hello, Joseph Collins." Cold metal was pressed against the back of his head. The force of the metallic shaft was soft- any steady pushes, and Joey would go off the bridge. So he did not intend to do it quite yet, Joey deduced."Hi. Who are you?" Joey asked slowly. He had once heard raw terror was paralyzing: he knew it now to be untrue. Perhaps it was for some individuals, but not for him. It motivated his mind to move, his muscles to think. He wanted to take action, but he knew it would kill him.

"My name? David," the man said.

"Hasselhoff?" Joey asked.

"Ha!" From the reflection in the water, Joey could barely see the smile cross his lips. His breath was rotten. "Jokester, huh? I like that in a kid."
"Bad breath like that can definitely give someone the motivation," Joey said. "How often you brush your teeth?"

He heard a small click, and a push of air. His body went rigid for a moment, preparing for the impact of the bullet- but it never came.

"I like games, Joseph. Do you?"

Joey replied in a hushed whisper, "Not the type of games you're talking about."

"Russian Roulette is pretty fun, in my opinon." A thin crackle, then another click and a pulse of air. No bullet in that chamber, Joey thought.

"How about you play it yourself, instead of on me?" Joey asked.

"But that would be nowhere near as fun," David replied.

"What do you want?"

"Christopher Avrich."

Joey's heart skipped a beat. "Why are you here with me, then?"

"Because Christopher Avrich is a klutz," David mused. "If I don't give him... a bit of motivation, he'll never stop injuring himself. And of course, injured prey doesn't give a man half the thrill."

Click, click, poof
.

"What did Chris do?"

"He decided to mess with the wrong person," David replied. "Adrian Russo, if you must be exact."

"Maybe, just maybe, Adrian can take that debt himself," Joey whispered.

Click, click- poof.

"Adrian Russo is weak, but his connections are wonderful. So, guess what, Joseph Taylor Collins? Christopher Lawrence Avrich..."

Click.

"...will soon be a dead man."


Click
, BLAM.

And with the loud sound of the gunshot, Joey Collins felt a large pulsation of panic and pain, before he felt no longer.

David Miller took a short glance at the corpse falling into the water. The back of his head was blown wide open, brain matter splattered across David's red shirt. He offered the corpse a quick salute, before leaping into the water and swimming up beside it. He would bring it up onto shore with some degree of difficulty, then remove something from his soaked pocket. He placed the badge on the back of the boy's neon green shirt, then removed his own. He was somewhat glad Azalea Town laws permitted men walking around shirtless. He tossed the bloodied thing into the water, pocketed his silenced pistol and before he could be seen, walked off, whistling casually and wearing a devilish smile on his face.

~ ~ ~
Christopher Avrich felt an odd sense of sadness move through his body, but ignored it. He could not afford to be distracted right now, with Bosca hanging limply from his pants leg, teeth clenched in order to hold her position; his own hand held up on the final rail, supporting himself and Bosca's weight the best he could. Final rail, he thought to himself- he swung his legs forward, hoping Bosca could hold on, trying to gain momentum, and the plan worked. With one last grunt, he let himself go loose and land roughly on the last platform, tumbling down to the ground and onto his arm. He cried out in pain, and the disorienting sensation nearly blacked him out. But a hand on his good shoulder shook him out of this trancelike state, and he looked up to see it- a firm face, blue strands of hair hiding his eyes. He stood up, and Chris followed suite. He recgonized him vaguely as Falkner.

"...I-...I made it," he muttered.

"You did. I'm impressed. So, Mister Avrich, I have a proposition for you."

"What would that be...?"

"You have th e brave spirit of a Pidgeot, and the heart of a golden-feathered Fearow. You genuinely care for Pokemon, it seems," Falkner said. A smile crossed his lips. "Any old trainer would use the move and while probably feeling guilty, just go along their way. You came to apologize and make sure that I knew you were genuine. I now know you are."

Chris allowed a weak smile tocross his lips, still dizzy from the pain of the fall. "Okay, but what does that have to do with a proposition?"

"I'd like to try and help you become stronger. There were many flaws in your fight- many of which I think I can help you perfect. What do you say, Chris?"

Chris thought about it for a moment, then let his grin grow wider. His neck moved- from side to side, disapproving. "...I gotta admit I'm kinda honored. Not every day a kid from a small town like me gets an offer like this, huh?" Chris laughed softly. "...But no thanks. Gettin' strong's my own goal- me, Bosca, and possibly even Ghos will do it together."

Falkner stared at him for a little while. Chris supposed he had not expected the denial. Finally, Falkner opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by a steady ringing. Chris let his good arm slip into his pocket to see a call from- Joey's number. Huh.

"Sorry, Falkner, can I take this?"

"...R-...right. Sure."

Chris nodded and said his thanks before turning around and pressing his Pokegear to his ear."Hello?"

It was a voice he didn't quite recognize. "Is this Christopher Lawrence Avrich?"

"...Uh, yes," Chris responded.

"Give me proof. Your mother's name and your home town."

"...Who is this?"

"Do it," the voice said. It was stern and forceful, slightly intimidating Chris.

"...Elizabeth, and New Bark Town."

A slight pause, and a soft laugh. It sent shivers down Chris's spine."Hello, Chris. Do you like games?"

"...Who is this?"

"I like games, Chris. I played one with your friend Joey," the voice said, sinister tones leaking from his voice. Chris's heart skipped a beat.

"Oh? And... h-how did it go?"

"He lost, I'm afraid to say. Russian Roulette is a rather... dangerous game, wouldn't you think?"

Chris knew, then. He knew all too well what was going on, and anger quickly flowed through his mind. "Who are you?! What have you done with Joey?!"

"Messing with Team Rocket doesn't tend to end well, Chris," the voice responded.

"I never-...the boy! Why... why I oughta..."

Adrenaline flowed through his veins like he had never felt it before. His anger could only rise to a certain point before it blew."The Azalea Town Police Department probably had a call recently, Christopher Avrich. It was a call reporting the body of a nine-year-old, his precious Rattata's Pokeball floating next to him. More than likely drowned. The boy..." A small pause, the sickening sound of the man's breath increasing in pace. "Well, the boy was shot in the back of the head. No DNA on the body, either. Pretty unsolvable case- but guess what, Chris?"

Chris clenched his fist around his Pokegear, and heard a question come from Falkner- but it was all a blur to him. He did not respond to the man.

"I can give you the culprit. It was me. Joseph Taylor Collins was murdered, not even an hour ago, by a sir David Miller, hired assassin of Team Rocket. You are to heal up, then come find me. If any mention of this goes out to the authorities, I will go after your mother, next. Understood, Chris?"

"...**** you," Chris whispered.

"Oh, but that will be hard for a dead man to do, won't it? I'll be waiting for you in Goldenrod City."

click
.

Christopher Avrich threw his Pokegear down to the ground, hearing a small crack, but drowning it out in his own sad, angry scream. Bosca ran over to his side to see what was wrong, but he ignored her- and Falkner's worried tone was a monotonous, mechanical and nonsensical jumble of sounds. All Christopher Avrich knew was that Joey Collins was dead. A mother would be without her son, and the world without a precious life- and most of all, the most unbearable of all, he knew that it was all his fault.
 
Last edited:

D. Scott

Well-Known Member
best laid plans​

It’s a sad, sad thing when the first funeral you ever attend is the funeral of one of your friends. It's worse, when you think it's all because of you. Joey Collins was a good kid. He was taken from us so many years too early.

But the hardest part is the grief. Because when the funeral is over, you still walk around with the weight on your shoulders, constantly pressing down on you, eating away at your mind until you finally just... let it go.

But I could not do that. I could not let it go. Not until I got to face the man who did it, and I got to take his life too. I wanted to kill him, I have to admit. I wanted to hurt him for hurting me like he did.


Chapter 11: Vs. David Part I: Unexpected Partnership

"As a family friend to the Collins's, it hurts me dearly to have to do this," the man said, his voice nearly hidden by the solemn music playing in the background. "But I have learned that three days ago, on Tuesday, May the twenty-third, the world suffered a great tragedy. Joseph Taylor Collins, just nine years old, was taken from us."

Chris wondered if anything would ever go right. The world was a screwed up place, and it was growing screwier around him, constantly pushing objects in his path. He blocked out the words of the minister, not wanting to hear them, not wanting to be here -- but he supposed if he did not want to be here, he would not have come.

He was sitting alone in a pew, far in the back, dressed in a sharp black tuxedo, his arm up in a sling, his eyes down on the ground and unmoving. If he looked up, he was afraid he was going to scream - that he was going to cry, that he was going to do something incredibly stupid or just get up and leave. The people around him were of similar mindset: and the sound of a sobbing mother absolutely murdered Chris when he heard it.

"...A joyous personality, mixed in with hints of ferocity and compassionate loving toward all the people around him. He was a wonderful person, shaping up to be an amazing, awe-inspiring man, but God decided it was his time. We can rest well knowing that Joey is resting in Heaven now, and know- that he wouldn't want us to be upset."

Chris let his eyes move up to the ceiling, staring through the blurry mess of his eyes and letting a smile cross his lips, weak and shaky. If what the man was saying was true, he hoped Joey would forgive him. Because he was upset, and he did not know when the upset mood would end- if it ever would.

~ ~ ~​

Two weeks later, Christopher Avrich sat down on a rock on the side of the road, taking a short rest. He was back in his old attire- light blue windbreaker, a black shirt underneath, and equally blue shorts, tennis shoes covering his feet.

"Bosca, how you holdin' up?" he asked.

"Mish," Bosca said flatly. He assumed she was pretty tired too- not a bad idea to have a little rest, then. While here, he began to think.

What was he going to do? He definitely could not report this to the police. It could mean his mother's life, which he was not going to let happen. He knew no one who could possibly be skilled enough to help him out with this- Falkner was good, but Pokemon could not stand up too well to a bullet. If this guy was a gun user and not a trainer, he really did not think he had a chance.

He was scared for his life, but his anger led him on in his march toward Goldenrod City- he was cutting past Violet, going west and then south, which was a sure-fire way to get there within a couple of days. When he got there, he did not know what he was going to do.

He might try and fight, but he was definitely going to have to utilize the power of Pokemon. He hated to put Bosca in danger like that, and even Ghos would probably be weak to a pressurized burst like that of a gun's- his two Pokemon could very well die, and he would probably join them.

He looked down at Bosca, who seemed to be feeling his anxiety, as she was nudging against his good hand. He smiled apologetically, rubbing her on her head.

"Sorry, gal," he said. "Just got a lot on my mind. Come on, let's go."

~ ~ ~​

Christopher Avrich had once heard that adrenaline was a force to be reckoned with. He walked along the side of the road, looking at the towering buildings in front of him and hoped this was true - because adrenaline was overtaking him, running him over and nearly pinning him to the ground solely out of its weight.

He had spent another week, roughly, because of his injured arm, to get to Goldenrod. But he was drawing in close, and it seemed to be getting harder and harder to make each step. But here he was, marching against himself- marching toward what destiny wanted for him. If it was to get him up to Heaven early, so be it.

~ ~ ~​

Five weeks later, Chris was living in paranoia. A regular stay at the Pokemon Center, and hotels if there was no room, he had taken to pretty much calling Goldenrod his temporary home. Though his fear kept him in a relatively quiet, inconspicuous one, he had even developed a routine- for the first three weeks, he had gotten up in the mornings, gone for a walk in National Park (sometimes with Bosca [and Ghos, even] following, sometimes without), gotten to the center, eaten breakfast, then spending the rest of the day on the computers of the center, only taking breaks to use the restroom, eat, or go to sleep for that night. What he did online varied: sometimes he browsed sites on Pokemon, sometimes he got on chatrooms, and on occasion he visited an online "teach yourself defense" site.

Three weeks in, though, his doctor from Violet called, and told Chris to go to the nearest hospital and find a Dr. Gobriel, who would remove his cast and start him up on a physical therapy regimen. So the PT occurred daily after the walk, and for a week after that, the continued net access dragged on - but when that week was up, Chris decided to spend some time down in the weight room of the Pokemon Center, to build up muscle.

For when he would need to fight, he thought grimly, on this particular day. He hated David Milwood, because not only did he murder a kid like Joey in cold blood - but honestly, Chris hated him for making him wait. Day after day, he went to sleep wondering if the next day would be his last: or, hell, if he would even wake up in the morning to know.

This particular day, Chris was on his way to the center from his PT session. He admittedly had a short break from this nerve-wracking, mind distorting fear during these sessions, simply because his coach was pretty cool, and she had the nicest set of... dumbbells, Chris had ever seen. But here it was, back in full-swing. He was pretty sure if this went on much longer, he was going to insane.

Luckily for his sanity, the waiting escapade ended as he took a short turn into an empty alleyway. Amazingly enough, with all the paranoid precautions he had taken, he had never even thought of going down quiet places alone as dangerous. He cursed himself for not doing so when he saw the man leap down from a fire escape on the wall of the apartment he was walking beside, dressed in a casual outfit- jeans, a bright red shirt surrounded by a white windbreaker, and a pair of tennis shoes. The look on his face was that of an average joe's- but the qualities were more... dastardly. A twisted grin was on his lips, his eyebrows raised, navy blue pupils focusing on Chris's face. One gloved hand was not visible, the sleeve of his windbreaker dangling.

"'sup, Chris?"

Chris's heart was beating at an uncomfortable pace, but he was used to that. But the terror that rooted him to where he was... that was the bad thing. He tried to open his mouth to speak, and succeeded- barely, his jaw moving just a bit, words coming out at a barely audible whisper.

"...'bout time."

The man pressed his one visible hand against his ear, leaning toward him, the expression in his eyes mocking Chris. "What? Can't hear ya, boy."

Chris gathered up the stones to speak up some. "...I said, 'bout time."

"Oh, I see. Got a little impatient, hrm?"

"Only wuh-wuh-one of us is g-g-g-guh-going tuh-to leave this c-city alive, Duh-david," Chris responded slowly, carefully, trying to prevent himself from stuttering his words - obviously failing, but at least making himself decently understandable from his efforts.

"Wuh-wuh-well, M-Muh-Mister stuh-stutter, huh-who w-would that b-b-b-buh-be?"

Chris smiled a weak, weary smile. He could not give off his typical, brave bravado - he had been worn down too much. But if there was one thing that Christopher Lawrence Avrich was, it was a fighter- and he planned on fighting until the very end.

"That... w-would be, muh-me."

And with that, David Milwood stuck his other arm out from beneath his windbreaker, revealing the revolver in his hand. A burst of laughter escaped him. "And who's the one with the gun, Chris?!"

"Go ahead..." Chris said. "Shoot me. I don't c-c-care if you blow m-my h-head off, I'm stuh-still g-g-going to kuh-kuh-kuh-...kick... your..."

Chris broke into a wild smile, adrenaline rushing through his veins, bursting him up as best it could for the fight or flight response - and Chris planned to fight.

"I'm gonna kick your ***!"

David then pulled the trigger, laughing wildly.

Click.

"The better question," a voice said from the shadows. "Is who's got the bullets, frocio?"

Chris was left confused, dazed and at the same time, grateful. Because he knew that this boy had just probably saved his life. He stepped forward, dressed in his signature jacket, though it was opened to reveal a green shirt beneath, and jeans. His red hair was in the way of his eyes, and a gloved hand reached up to swipe it away.

Adrian Russo was grinning from ear to ear. "I believe that would be me."

David was visibly shocked. "...Adrian! What the hell do you think you're doin'?! Why, I oughta..."

Adrian lifted up his other hand, just a couple of the revolver's bullets in his hand, golden metal glistening in the sunlight above. He let them fall to the ground, and the Pokemon beside him, the canine Chris recognized as Houndour, let loose a short burst of flame, not melting the metal - but Chris pretty much assumed those things were not touchable.

Adrian threw a quick glance to Chris, and the two met eye-to-eye for a moment.

"Don't assume I'm doing this to help you!" he exclaimed. "You're just lucky Archer ordered you dead without consulting me first!"

"...Is this rebellion?!" David screamed. "Just because... you little brat! So what if he didn't talk to you about it first?! This little bastard can rat both of us out now! Like Hell we're going to let him live just because you need to control everything!"

"I am the boss's son! My father built the Rocket Gang up from the ground! He can't just go behind my back like that!"

"You're still a kid, you listen to his orders!-"

"Me ne frego dei suoi ordini!" Adrian spat. "Figlio di puttana! From this day on, Team Rocket's going down by my own hand!"

Chris was still a bit lost on this, but he figured he may as well join in on the fun. "C'mon, stop yer arguin'! We gotta neutralize this bastard-"

"We? Ha!" Adrian laughed. "I can deal with him all on my own. Without his gun, he is not a problem! And he can't release his Pokemon... not in the city like this! He would be insane-"

David grinned, suddenly. "Brat, I'm renowned for being insane..."

Adrian stopped his laughing, and glanced to Chris, his eyes filled with horror.

"...Boy, I think it's best that we run. Cazzata!"

David Milwood pulled a Pokeball off his belt, and tossed it into the air. In a flash of light, Chris heard the rumbling start, turned around and dashed off.

He heard the sound of the building they had been next to being torn up by something huge. Chris was running in its shadow- suddenly, Adrian cut left, and Chris followed. He had no idea where they were heading, but as he glanced up and saw the huge blue, red-winged dragon floating in the skies above them, hearing the wicked laughter of the assassin behind him, he did not care, just as long as he got the hell out of dodge.

~ ~ ~​

So,
Adrian Russo and Chris join up, and David Milwood releases his Salamence in the middle of Goldenrod City! Next chapter's gonna be fun to write.

Adrian Russo Translations

frocio: homosexual; f aggot

Me ne frego dei suoi ordini!: "I don't give a damn about his orders!"

Figlio di puttana!: "Son of a bitch!"

Cazatta!: "Bloody nonsense!"

Source: http://italian.about.com/library/slang/bladultslangindex.htm - Now, hopefully this will be a bit more accurate than last time. I've also run the two one-word phrases through google for authenticity.

Hope you guys enjoyed the twist in the chapter almost as much as I enjoyed the hell out of writing it! Forgive me if there are any errors in anything other than the Italian. Running off no sleep here - in eleven minutes, I'll have been up for a straight twenty-four hours. Hooray, writing off lack of sleep!
 
Top