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Chronicles of Unova (PG-15)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by ChaosBlizzard, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.



    Chapter List:

    Part 1: Main Game
    Prologue (Updated Version)
    Chapter 1: C'est la vie (Updated Version)
    Chapter 2: First Steps, Long Strides (Updated Version)
    Chapter 3: Dreams of Bianca (Updated Version) (Part 1)
    Chapter 3: Dreams of Bianca (Updated Version) (Part 2)
    Chapter 4: The Striaton City Gym Battle (Updated Version)
    Chapter 5: Preschool Daze (Bianca Catches a Pokémon) (Updated Version)
    Chapter 6: The Dragon's Skull (Updated Version) (Part 1)
    Chapter 6: The Dragon's Skull (Updated Version) (Part 2)
    Chapter 7: Adventures in Castelia City
    Chapter 8: Buried Alive...
    Chapter 9: I've Just Seen a Face (Part 1)
    Chapter 9: I've Just Seen a Face (Part 2)
    Chapter 10: The Legend of Gustavo Riviera (Part 1)
    Chapter 10: The Legend of Gustavo Riviera (Part 2)
    Chapter 10: The Legend of Gustavo Riviera (Part 3)
    Chapter 11: Romulus and Remus
    Chapter 12: The Cooling (Part 1)
    Chapter 12: The Cooling (Part 2)
    Chapter 13: Pooh's Paula's Grande Adventure! (Part 1)
    Chapter 13: Pooh's Paula's Grande Adventure! (Part 2)
    Chapter 14: Into the Lion's Den
    Chapter 15: The Test (Part 1)
    Chapter 15: The Test (Part 2)
    Chapter 16: Knocking on Heaven's Door (Part 1)
    Chapter 16: Knocking on Heaven's Door (Part 2)
    Chapter 17: The Mistralton City Gym Battle (Part 1)
    Chapter 17: The Mistralton City Gym Battle (Part 2)
    Chapter 18: Pranksters
    Chapter 19: Separation (Part 1)
    Chapter 19: Separation (Part 2)
    Chapter 19: Separation (Part 3)
    Chapter 20: The Ice Mask (Brycen's Tale) (Part 1)
    Chapter 20: The Ice Mask (Brycen's Tale) (Part 2)
    Chapter 21: Setting the Stage (Part 1)
    Chapter 21: Setting the Stage (Part 2)
    Chapter 22: Dragonspiral Tower (Part 1)
    Chapter 22: Dragonspiral Tower (Part 2)
    Chapter 23: Bianca's Bianco Natale
    Chapter 24: The Bel of the Ball (Part 1)
    Chapter 24: The Bel of the Ball (Part 2)
    Chapter 25: The Opelucid City Gym Battle (Part 1)
    Chapter 25: The Opelucid City Gym Battle (Part 2)
    Chapter 26: Anthea & Concordia – Betrayal
    Chapter 27: Anthea & Concordia – The Boy Who Would Be King (Part 1)
    Chapter 27: Anthea & Concordia – The Boy Who Would Be King (Part 2)
    Chapter 27: Anthea & Concordia – The Boy Who Would Be King (Part 3)
    Chapter 28: Trained on the Road of Ultimate (Part 1)
    Chapter 28: Trained on the Road of Ultimate (Part 2)
    Chapter 29: The Pokémon League Championships – Quarter Finals (Kali's Trial)
    Chapter 30: The Pokémon League Championships – Semifinals (Salt in the Wounds)
    Chapter 31: The Pokémon League Championships – The Final Battle (Fulfilling the Prophecy)

    Part 2: Post-Game
    Chapter 32: But Wait, There's More!
    Chapter 33: Snowflake
    Chapter 34: Cheshire
    Chapter 35: War Pig
    Chapter 36: Wolfsbane
    Chapter 37: Blitzkrieg
    Chapter 38: Jetstream
    Chapter 39: Getting the Band Back Together
    Chapter 40: TBD
    Chapter 41: TBD
    etc...


    Author's Notes:
    Hi, everyone. I’m ChaosBlizzard, and this is my first attempt at any kind of fan fiction.

    I am a computer science major, going to one of the most rigorous schools for that field in the world. I’ve always loved math and computers; I think one of the main reasons I’ve always liked them so much is because I tend to naturally think like a computer does: procedurally, deterministically, formulaically. Like most other students with a science-based major, I don’t think a whole lot of most liberal arts majors. However, if only for fun, I’ve always enjoyed writing for personal purposes. Compared to higher math and the perfectionistic requirements of programming, creative writing has proven to be a nice, simple escape for my mind in times of stress. This story is the largest scale, most ambitious single writing project I’ve ever attempted, either for school or for fun.

    When I was a little kid, back in the days of the second and third generations of Pokémon, I had a friend named Tanner who was also way into the franchise. We were both homeschooled, so a lot of our games revolved around our imaginations. There was one game in particular we liked to play where we would pretend to be top-quality Pokémon trainers and have battles against each other in our minds. We would tell a joint story to each other, making up a battle as we went. The battles were always spectacular compared to those in the games or even the show because our only limits were what we could stretch our Pokémons’ moves to do. I still find myself playing this game in my own mind even now in Black and White; even if I’m just battling some random wild Pokémon and I’m 50 levels higher than it, I still try to visualize how the logistics of the battle would actually play out. As an extension of this, I try to write the battle scenes for this story in the same fashion; I like to think the battle scenes are the strongest point of this story.

    Chronicles of Unova is a retelling of Pokémon Black and White (more specifically Black as compared to White however). Read this story as if it’s Spring 2010 again and you know nothing about the games’ plot. This story is my own interpretation of the events of the games; I embellish and have many subplots and details thrown in which were not part of the original games, but by and large it follows the original story. My attempt with this story is not to perfectly recreate Pokémon Black and White, or to stay perfectly within character for the various characters involved; if you wanted to read that, you should just go play the games. This story is a retelling, a fleshing out if you will, of the original story, with my own twists thrown on it to make the story seem much fuller. The story follows the male player character (named David after my own player character from my own copy of Black) and Bianca and Cheren as they venture through Unova; however, while I obviously work within the bounds and the definitions the games’ story already set, do not read this expecting a carbon copy. Bianca, Cheren, and in fact nearly every character we will meet has my own twists and spices added to them. Pokémon Black and White are, after all, games designed for young children and made for handheld hardware; while the fifth generation represented a major step forward in storytelling for the franchise, they still leave much up to the imagination.

    The rating of PG-15 is, to a certain extent, a safety net for myself, as I am writing this as an adult, for adults. However, it is definitely warranted by quite a few chapters. Let me describe it this way for brevity’s sake: if you’re mature enough to play a modern M-rated FPS online with a mic, you’re mature enough for anything in this story. Mostly it is just there for intermittent swearing (of various levels of profanity) and some scenes of decidedly non-cartoon violence. Nothing really…

    I’ll leave you all to the Prologue with that. This story is hopefully entertaining to you all, but I am writing it in large part just for my own personal entertainment and relaxation. I’m no professional writer, nor am I trying to be, but that’s what fan fiction communities are for, aren’t they? Hopefully you all appreciate my take on the games.

    Thanks for reading,
    -ChaosBlizzard ;282;

    Chronicles of Unova

    Prologue
    Updated Version

    “Heatran, use Magma Storm!”

    The roar of the crowd could be heard from miles away. Shouts and cheers rang throughout the city as the battle fiercely raged on. The hypnotizing aroma of popcorn and other confections drifted lazily through the air from vendors scattered in the stands. Small children cheered out of their minds for the trainers, while their parents beside them subtly suppressed smiles of their own. The gigantic stadium held more than 50,000 people, drawn from all across the region to witness the Unova Region Pokémon League Championship battle. After several days of harsh fighting and elimination, victory was within the grasp of two talented trainers. Down on the field, at the epicenter of this cacophony of noise, tension and excitement stood two lone trainers, and two fearsome beasts. This was the pinnacle of the match; the next few attacks would decide it all.

    “Lugia, quick, get out of the way!” shouted one of the trainers desperately. There was fear in his eyes, his voice quivered, and he knew he was losing. He hadn’t made it to the final battle of the League Championships by faltering at the end of his matches though; alongside his fear was determination and the will to survive and win. He knew he had to think fast; if Magma Storm hit, it would be all over.

    The Heatran lowered its head, took in a deep breath, then unleashed a torrent of fire and slag at the enormous beast opposite it with everything it had. Molten lava dripped from its mouth as the wave of heat launched forth. It braced itself against the ground and had to dig in with every one of the four hooked claws that lined each foot to keep itself from being pushed back. The enemy’s Lugia took action and started to dodge, quickly ascending into the sky; it was a desperate, losing gambit however. Higher and higher it soared, trying to simply put as much distance between itself and the vortex of flames as it could. Half a mile into the air it went, then three-quarters, then a mile, but the fire dogged it all the way. Finally, the Lugia managed to breach the clouds; it stopped for a moment, thinking perhaps that it was safe. It held position, beating its massive wings and calmly looking around at the sea of white below it for any sign of the streams. It heard nothing, saw nothing, and felt nothing; surely the Heatran couldn’t still control and aim its attack with so much distance between them, and certainly not if the cloud cover obscured its visi-

    GAAAAW!!

    The three swirling streams of fire burst through the clouds directly underneath the Lugia’s position. Before it could react, they sailed up past the beast’s head and ensnared it in a veritable cage of lava. The Lugia screamed deafeningly in surprise as the three streams linked and began dragging it back down to earth; it could barely even fight to try and break free against the maelstrom.

    As it fell, the lava charred and burned its majestic, legendary down and wings. The Lugia continued to shriek in shock and pain as it hurdled towards the ground; it was being dragged right towards a patch of Stealth Rock that had been set up earlier in the match. As it drew within just feet of the jagged spikes, the Heatran reared its head and quickly chomped its fangs together, terminated the stream. The Lugia smashed into the patch of Stealth Rock, being impaled and taking considerable damage. The real concern however was the continuing Magma Storm; the Diving Pokémon was still immobilized and confined to the small area within the storm, all the while taking a slow creep of residual damage from the heat of its prison.

    The roar of the crowd in response to these actions was deafening. It was as if a solid wall of sound flowed from the stadium and struck every point in and around it. Seeing its opponent trapped, the Heatran sneered and bent forward on its front knees to strike again. The Heatran’s trainer had his opponent on the ropes; victory was nearly assured now and the people in the stands knew it. A new challenger to the Elite Four was about to be named, and he had a very good shot of making it all the way.

    Oh no, what do I do?!” the rival trainer thought desperately; his flailing, grossly non-specific command of “get out of the way” had, not surprisingly, failed to keep his Lugia safe from the trapping attack. Scanning his mind for a solution, he ran through all the attacking moves it knew. “Let’s see… Extrasensory? No, not effective against a Steel-type. Roost? It can’t reach the ground to do that. Calm Mind? I don’t see how that would work… Aeroblast? What good would that… wait, no, that’s it!” he thought. “Lugia, use Aeroblast!”

    The Lugia hesitated for a moment, trying to guess what its trainer had in mind. In a sudden moment of clarity however, the Diving Pokémon understood its trainer’s cunning plan and let loose the blast. It shot out a vortex of air from its gaping mouth, doing little damage to the Heatran but blasting a hole in the Magma Storm through which it could escape. The Lugia bolted out from its prison and flew up high, spreading its wings and roaring with defiance; the very sun itself was partially eclipsed by its imposing figure. The crowd screamed again at the brilliance and ingenuity the trainer had shown. It was a stunning comeback and proved the fight was not lost yet. The suave, daring and most handsome trainer of the Lugia grinned and prepared to–

    “Wait, what?! You can’t do that, you cheater!”

    * * *

    “…yeah huh I can.” the boy said calmly after a pause, awakening from his vivid tirade.

    “No you can’t, dude, that’s bull crap! You can’t just ‘break’ Magma Storm with a stupid Aeroblast! You just don’t want to admit I out-strategied you again!” shouted his friend.

    The first boy lowered his stance. He smiled condescendingly and stared at his friend from over the rims of his glasses. “Out-strategied my ass. If we’re going to play pretend and imagine our League Championship battle, why can’t I imagine it spectacularly and make great plays?” he quipped back.

    “God, Cheren, that’s your answer to everything, isn’t it? ‘Aeroblast it away, Lugia!’” the second boy said in a mocking, flustered tone. “I cover the field in Smokescreen; you clear it with Aeroblast. I poison you with Toxic; you Aeroblast it out of your system. I bury you under a damn Rock Slide; you Aeroblast the rocks away. You just never want to admit you’ve lost, and you can’t come up with any other strategies!” he continued. Cheren laughed at his friend’s vigor and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

    “David, why can’t you just accept that Aeroblast is sweet and you can’t beat my Lugia? I’m just a more superior trainer than you, and you need to just accept that.” Cheren replied; from the corner of the room, someone else spoke up.

    “Guys, come on! Don’t get into another one of your little pissing matches; I was really into that one!” shouted a young girl beside them, seated on the bed. “You both were so vivid, I was gripping the edge of my seat!” she continued

    “Blame David, Bianca, because apparently some people haven’t learned to respect Aeroblast’s authority.” Cheren sneered, folding his arms and turning his back on David. He smiled wryly though and gazed condescendingly at the boy from the side of his vision.

    “Man, forget this, Cheren, you don’t want to play fair. You want to know how it ends, Bianca? Lugia’s Aeroblast fails, it stays trapped in the Magma Storm, Heatran and I go out for smoothies while it takes residual damage, and then we come back later and sit on it to KO it. Cheren loses, I win, the end.” David spat in disgust.

    The three friends were seated around Cheren’s small bedroom, loudly and excitedly discussing the battle. This was a game they played fairly often; imagining a great battle between one of them and some mythic foe, and playing it out in their minds. Sometimes it was each other, sometimes it was a legendary, sometimes it was just a random trainer they had come across on their journeys, but the battles were always spectacular and epic, certain to please and entertain them for hours at a time. Their names were David, Cheren and Bianca, and they lived in the small-town city of Nuvema Town, situated in the southeast of the Unova region. They were each thirteen years of age, and they had been best friends all their life.

    Cheren was an odd boy; he was calm and calculating on the outside, but a regular, rambunctious, somewhat immature kid on the inside. He was medium height with a wiry form and jet black hair. He liked to act like he was cool and in charge, but as the previous exchanged had illustrated, he had his stubborn and immature streaks. He was perhaps not terribly well adjusted; at thirteen years old, he lived the phrase “act your age.”

    Bianca was a sweet, innocent young girl; she had a somewhat plump figure, short blonde hair, big blue eyes and a giant toothy smile. When she lit up and smiled, which was a fairly frequent occurrence, her friends would often joke that she looked like a Pachirisu, which just made her laugh even more. She was very beautiful for her age and she was actually already starting to fill out in many respects; her friends were oblivious to these facts however and thought of her no differently than they thought of themselves. In their naivety and youthful understanding of the world, Bianca to them was just “one of the guys.” She thought of herself no differently than she did of them either, but she was perhaps more aware of the differences than they were, given that she was the outsider in that regard.

    David was the last member of the group and its de facto leader. Despite how the previous exchange might have made him seem, most of the time he was by far the most mature; he was very adult-like for his age, his mind and his spirit far exceeding his body in years. He was stoic and tall with dark brown hair sitting upon his head in a loose mop. He struck an imposing figure, built like an Ursaring or a Beartic. At that age, he towered over his friends, which often helped make his statements and requests that much more persuasive. Despite this, Cheren knew just how to push his buttons, and knew just when to act defiant to screw with his older friend; for instance, calling out Aeroblast when things weren’t going his way.

    “Aww, that’s no fun, David. I wanted a REAL ending!” Bianca pouted. “That battle was so spectacular and vivid; I want to see it in real life. Do you think that’ll ever happen?” she continued.

    “Do I think I’ll ever be battling Cheren’s Lugia, a legendary Pokémon from Johto, with a Heatran, another legendary Pokémon from Sinnoh, in the Unova Region Pokémon League Championships in front of 50,000 people?” David asked sarcastically, settling back down against the side of the bed. “No, probably not.” he continued with a laugh. “But will we be real trainers some day and have real Pokémon battles? Yeah, totally. Those battles will probably be even more spectacular than these pretend ones even, because goddamn Cheren… won’t be able to cheat or use Aeroblast.” he appended, looking over at Cheren from across the room as he singled him out. Cheren grinned again and turned up his nose, folding his arms and closing his eyes smugly.

    “Aeroblast is so legit, I’ll go out to Johto someday and catch a Lugia, just so I can use that move.” Cheren quipped back, now just trying to provoke his friend; David sighed

    “Okay, that tears it.” David groaned. He stood up quickly, grabbed the pillow that was behind his back, and proceeded to beat Cheren with it unmercifully in one fluid motion.

    “Ack! Bianca! Help me!” Cheren squealed.

    “Getting a girl to save you from a pillow?” Bianca cooed mockingly. “Ooooh Cheren, I’m positively swooning!”

    The three of them all laughed. That night, as sleep washed over them, they each dreamt of their future adventures as real Pokémon Trainers. It would be an epic journey, and it would bring them at times closer, and at other times farther, than they had ever dreamed possible. It would be one filled with grand battles, budding and eventually maturing love, and fulfillment of a dark and ancient prophecy that would see the reawakening of the two most destructive forces the region, if not the world, had ever seen. It was still five years off though and they were yet just children; sleep came to them, and so did they dream…
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  2. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hontoni

    Hm... This seems pretty promising! I'm excited to see what you do with the story.

    Not much to say yet, didn't see any mistakes, and the characters seem pretty realistic. I await the next chapter patiently. (Ewww... That sounded so formal, but I can't think of any other way to say it.)
     
  3. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    This is the original version of Chapter 1. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


    Author's Notes:

    Hi, everyone. Just a couple of notes before I leave you with Chapter 1. First of all, I am very worried I overdid the bits with Bianca cuddling up to David. I really tried to reign that in as much as I could. I wanted to set up events to come in this chapter, foreshadowing the romantic tension between the two of them that will be discussed as the story unfolds, but I'm worried I made Bianca out to be too much of a ****, or that I made David go a little too rape-face on her in the end. Just rest assured, David and Bianca don't do anything you'd need to turn the lights off for in this chapter, but I still worry I just went a little too overboard with it.

    Second, I want to say up-front that I lifted tiny bits of dialog from the game in 4 places in this chapter. One of Professor Juniper's lines is something she actually does say in the game, and of course the 3 Pokedex entries are real, taken from BW. I don't know if this counts as "plagiarism," per se, but I want to just be open about that right from the get-go. Those lines are easily removable, and don't really effect the overall chapter.

    And third, just in case you don't get my 60 year old references, this is where the name comes from. A couple of Paula's mannerisms are based on the HSR character Saddy Dumpington too, but that won't last long.

    Anyway, here is chapter 1. Hope you enjoy.

    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 1: C'est la vie

    “David! Bianca and Cheren are walking up the drive!”

    “Alright, Mom, I’ll be down in just a minute!” shouted back David. He was gathering all his essentials for the start of his Pokémon journey. It had been 5 years since their pretend battle at the League Championships, and he and his friends were now adults. Having turned 18 and finished school, they were now eligible to become real Pokémon Trainers. This was a dream all children shared, and was a right of passage they would all take together. As he made one last pass around his room, he heard the door bell ring and the family Houndoom barked in unison with it.

    “It’s okay, Shadow, it’s just Bianca and Cheren. We’re going on our adventure today!” he reassured the dog.

    “Doom. Doom, Houndoom...” the Pokémon whimpered.

    “Aww, don’t worry. I’ll come back and visit all the time once I get a Flying Pokémon, little buddy. Don’t worry, pal.” he said as he stroked the short black hair on its head. The Houndoom slowly went and laid down on David’s bed, and with a nod good-bye, David went downstairs to greet his friends.

    Eeeeeeeeh! David David David David David EEEEEEH! We’re going to be real Pokémon trainers! This is so exciting!” squealed Bianca as David walked down the stairs to see them. “We’re going to have real Pokémon and go on adventures and have lots of battles and see lots of places and and and-”

    “Bianca! Please, you’re going to give me a goddamn migraine...” said Cheren sharply.

    “Oh lighten up, Princess, let her have her moment.” said David back with a smirk; “I’m excited too, just… not as… ‘vocal,’ about it as she is.”

    “David, did you get everything you’re going to need?” asked David’s mother soothingly. “How about you two, need any last minute supplies?”

    “Yep, I’ve got everything, mom.” replied David, with two mimicked responses coming a moment later.

    “Well then, I guess we’ll all head over to Professor Juniper’s lab. Let me just get my keys...” she responded.

    “You two put any thought into what Pokémon you’re going to pick?” asked Cheren.

    “Yeah, I’m thinking a Snivy.” said David.

    “OSHAWOOOOOOOOOTT!!!” screamed Bianca, still too excited to think.

    “Well, that works out great. I wanted a Tepig.” said Cheren calmly.

    “Alright, let’s go, kids.” said David’s mother as she reentered the room.

    The four of them strode briskly out of the room, and as he turned around to put out the lights, David took one last look at his childhood home and said under his breath “C’est la vie, said the old folks... goes to show you never can tell.”

    * * *

    It was a moderately long drive to Professor Juniper’s lab. David’s mother drove, with Cheren sitting in the front seat (“One two three shotgun called it, I called it... dibs... dibs...”) and Bianca and David next to each other in the back. Cheren looked out the window stoically, trying to act cool and deep in thought. Bianca was bouncing up and down in her seat like a child on a sugar rush, her hands clasped in front of her and grinning a big, toothy grin. She was totally oblivious to her surroundings, only interested in the prospects in front of her. David sat next to her, smiling to himself at how excited she was. He was happy too, sure, but there was so much joy in her; a carefree spirit that he envied and appreciated.

    “Eeeehehehe, here’s 6th Street! We’re almost there!” said Bianca.

    “Yes, Bianca, dear, we know. You’ve let us know every time we change streets for the past 15 minutes.” said David’s mother with a chuckle.

    “I know! Can you believe it?!?” said Bianca excitedly.

    “Bianca, your enthusiasm is contagious... and nauseating. Please stop.” said Cheren drily.

    “Oi, Princess, need to change your tampon before we get there?” said David scoldingly.

    Cheren ignored him and Bianca seemed to have not heard either of them. “Now we’re on Swellow Street! Only 2 more minutes and we’re there! Oh David, I’m so excited!” Bianca said.

    * * *

    As she said this, she turned away from the window to face him and grasped both his hands in hers. She brought them up to collarbone level and said in a noticeably softer voice “We’re going to make great trainers, David, I know it! Don’t you think so too?”

    Her voice had taken a significant drop in volume, and she almost cooed out the words. David could tell there was something different in how she had said that, and it was... uncomfortable. He had never seen this side of Bianca before. In an instant she had gone from child-like and bubbling to... what? Flirtatious, almost? His expression went blank and he could feel his face grow warm.

    “David? Do you think we’ll be great trainers too?” she said again.

    Her face was so close to his, their eyes locked, her legs pushing up against his. He felt strange and awkward, but he felt this about Bianca? Fat little dorky Bianca he’d known all his life?

    “Y-yeah...? Sure...” he croaked out, and in an instant, it was all back to normal. She released his hands, moved back away, and was back to the bubbly, excited kid that had existed a moment before, bouncing up and down in her seat and making the springs squeak. She chortled a little giggle and said “I hope we will. I can’t wait for- EEEEEH! There’s Lillipup Lane! We’re here!”

    David stared at her for a moment in disbelief, then slouched back in his seat and exhaled a sigh. She seemed to think nothing of what just happened, as if it was totally normal. What was that he had just experienced? What just happened? Did he get that strange feeling from Bianca? I mean sure, she’s technically a girl, but Bianca?!? He’d known her all his life, and nothing like that had ever happened. He had to put it out of his mind. “Bianca’s just another one of the guys, nothing more. I’m about to become a Pokémon trainer, that’s what’s important.” he thought to himself. He forced the experience out of his mind and focused on the task at hand.

    * * *

    The four of them piled out of the car, and looked up at the humble Juniper Research Laboratory. It was just a small addition to the house Professor Juniper lived in, but some incredible work in the origins of Pokémon had been done there. Cheren stood with his hands in his pockets, but with a suppressed grin slowly spreading across his face; Bianca was bouncing up and down on her heels, hands clasped in front of her and positively beaming with anticipation as she giggled to herself; David stood and focused with razor sharp attention at the building, but fought the urge to stand closer to Bianca. They walked up the driveway towards the door, and Bianca grabbed the knocker and knocked. The door was simple and rustic, but with a grand carving of Arceus etched above it as a tribute to her work in the origins of Pokémon. It opened a moment later to reveal the sleek, attractive young professor, Dr. Aurea Juniper.

    “Ahh, my favorite group of young people, David, Cheren and Bianca, right on time. And Susan, how nice of you to have joined us! Would you care to come in and see our young adventures off?” piped the professor.

    “Oh no no, Aurea, thank you, but I can’t. Shadow is back home all by himself and I need to go let him out. Besides, they’re adults now; they should do this by themselves.” David’s mother responded.

    “Ahh, you’re quite right. Very well, shall we go inside, kids?” said Professor Juniper, folding her arms and grinning.

    “Yes ma’am!” squeaked Bianca, bursting now with anticipation.

    “Very well, follow me into my humble abode.” said the professor with a smile.

    Cheren, Bianca and Professor Juniper shuffled in, and David turned to take one last look at his mother. She folded her arms, smiled and gave him a nod, then began walking back to the car. That was all they needed from each other. David turned to face the professor as she held open the door, and he walked in proudly to receive his Pokémon.

    * * *

    “Mind your step, kids, I’ve been pulling some late nights lately and haven’t had a chance to clean up.” said the professor, stepping over discarded Styrofoam coffee cups and loose paper leafs. She lead them past whirring machines and large computer arrays into her office, where on the desk sat three red and white Pokéballs. Inside were the Pokémon they would start their journey with, and would utilize to catch many more Pokémon in the months and years to come. They were the partners they would develop bonds with, go on adventures with, and train to mastery for the Pokémon League challenge. This was what they had come for, and they could hardly wait.

    “Here you are, young people, your starter Pokémon! One for each of you!” said the professor.

    At the sight of the real, genuine Pokéballs, Bianca simply lost herself and leapt in the air with a yelp of joy. “I wanna go first, I wanna go first! Please please please please, Professor Juniper?!?” she screamed.

    “Hahaha, oh my, Bianca, you really are excited. Alright, dear, you can go first. But before you take your Pokémon, I must explain one thing to you all.” replied Professor Juniper.

    “Normally, as beginning trainers in the Unova region, you would have a Snivy, a Tepig and an Oshawott available to you for your beginning Pokémon. Seeing as there are three of you, that would be perfect, and you could each choose one for yourselves. But I’ve known the three of you all your lives, and practically helped raise you. I’ve been friends with your families for many years, and I like to think I know each of you pretty closely.” said the professor.

    “Did you know David still wets the bed- OOFH!” Cheren said with a glance towards his friend, but David silenced him with a quick jab in the arm.

    “Children, hush, this is not a time to take things lightly. Today is a day to remember always, so it’s best to behave with some formality. Nerves are one thing…” she said, glancing at Bianca, “…but please show at least a bit of restraint.”

    “Now then... since I’ve known you all for so long, and since you are some of my favorite pupils, I’ve decided to give you a slightly different opportunity than most beginning trainers have. You all are familiar with the work of Professor Oak in Kanto, correct?” asked Professor Juniper.

    “Professor Oak? Of course, everyone knows him. He’s the most famous Pokémon researcher of the last hundred years, and his radio show is broadcast all over the world from Goldenrod City.” said Cheren smugly.

    “Very good, Cheren, you’ve been studying. Well, he has a young aide named Red who he tasked many years ago with completing the Pokédex. He has become somewhat of a Pokémon catching phenom in recent years, and even became the Indigo League Champion a while back. He is truly a remarkable trainer, so I asked Professor Oak a few weeks ago if he could enlist Red in a little Pokémon catching expedition for me.” said the professor slyly. “Instead of the usual Unova region starters, I have three hand picked Pokémon for you all to take, specifically chosen for you as individuals. Professor Oak’s aide caught and bred them for me, and delivered them especially for you.” said the professor with a grin.

    This is incredible!!! Not only do we get to become trainers, we get special surprise Pokémon?!? This is AMAZING!!!” squealed Bianca, bending over and waving her arms together with glee. Cheren and David exchanged a look and high-fived audibly behind her, clearly just as pleased with the news. “Bianca, as requested, you can go first. Yours is the one on the left.” said Professor Juniper.

    * * *

    Bianca slowly walked forward with reverence and anticipation, and cupped the Pokéball in her hands. It shone in the light and she could see herself reflected in its surface. She extended a slender finger and gently pushed the button on the front to open it and release the Pokémon inside. A bolt of light shot out and materialized on the table in front of her. She leaned forward, put her face right next to it, and in a flash, an adorable young Pachirisu appeared and exclaimed its name. “Pachi! Pachirisu!”

    Bianca hesitated for a moment, then grabbed it with both arms and squealed “IT’S A PACHIRISU!!!” The young Pokémon started emitting sparks and crackles and covered the pair in them like a giant sparkler. Bianca held the Pokémon tight against her face and spun on her heels in a circle with it as it loosed its sparks, spinning like a figure skater with a pair of sparklers in each hand. Bianca held the young Pokémon up as it squirmed with joy, and nearly fell flat on her back out of dizziness and glee. While Pachirisu and its new owner continued playing and giggling and squirming over each other in the corner, Professor Juniper chuckled and motioned to Cheren to go next.

    Calmly and coolly, he walked forward and picked up the Pokéball on the right. He tossed it lazily on the floor and out popped a spry young Eevee with a polished brown coat. The Eevee turned to face its new trainer and said with a tilt of the head, “Ee?”

    Cheren walked up to it calmly, picked it up off the ground, and looked it in the eye. The Eevee had a large smile on its face, and looked at Cheren with warmth and expectation, again repeating the previous “Ee?” Cheren had a completely blank look on his face, but slowly, the twinge of a smile crept up along the edges of his mouth. It slowly grew and grew and spread along his face into a full blown smile, then a grin, then a laugh. He and Eevee chuckled together, and he stepped back with Eevee tucked under his arm and thanked the professor. Bianca and Pachirisu had settled down for the moment, but were still happily embraced with the occasional spark flying off Pachirisu’s cheeks. Bianca and Pachirisu, and Cheren and Eevee all looked at David expectantly, and silently his friends motioned for him to open his Pokéball.

    “Well, it won’t be a Snivy, that’s for sure... what could it be?” thought David to himself.

    As he walked forward and picked up the ball, thoughts of Pokémon he thought he might like ran through his mind. Could it be a Growlithe? Or an Aron? Maybe if he was really lucky he’d get a Gible. He opened the ball, and out drifted a small ball of light. The wisp drifted out of the ball gracefully, and floated just in front of his face for a brief moment, as if sizing him up. It then flew around him and drifted lazily around the room for a moment before finally settling on the desk to land. The little ball of light pulsated for a moment, and then in a flash of light materialized itself as a petite, graceful little Ralts.

    David heard a soft, feminine voice inside his head speak. “Hello! My name is Paula. I am a Ralts! What is your name, human?”

    David looked at Professor Juniper in shock, but she nodded and said under her breath “I heard it too.”

    Again, he heard the voice in his head speak. “I am a Ralts! I am a Psychic type Pokémon. Unlike other Pokémon, I can communicate with you telepathically. That is one of the abilities of my species! Isn’t that great? What is your name?” it said cheerily.

    “M-my name is David, Paula. It’s n-nice to meet you.” David stammered.

    The voice rang through his head for a third time “Your name is David! That is a lovely name! I am your faithful companion, Paula the Ralts! Isn’t that great?

    * * *

    “Well, I hate to break up the love fest, and I’m sure you all want to play with your Pokémon some more, but I’ve got one last thing to give you all.” said Professor Juniper.

    “Bianca, you now have your partner, Pachirisu; you two are the spitting imagine of each other, I must say.” the professor commented.

    Bianca gave a big, toothy smile, and Pachirisu mimicked it perfectly, inducing another big hug from Bianca and more giggling.

    “Cheren, I have entrusted you with an Eevee. You seem like two different people at times, on the one hand calm and calculating, and on the other a rambunctious prankster; the evolutionary path you and Eevee decide on will be most interesting to see.” said Professor Juniper.

    “Well, there’s Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Umbreon, Leafeon and Glaceon. You can bet the farm it’ll be one of those, ma’am.” replied Cheren with a laugh.

    “Haha, yes indeed. And David, for you, I have chosen this delightfully well mannered little Ralts. The elegance and grace of a Gardevoir will be something I think you can appreciate.” the professor noted.

    “But Professor, Ralts evolve into Kirlia, and Kirlia can evolve into either Gardevoir or Gallade. Couldn’t Ralts evolve into either one?” David asked.

    “Normally you would be correct, David, but only male Kirlia can evolve into Gallade. As the name would suggest, Paula here is a female Ralts. She will one day evolve into a Gardevoir, end of story.” replied the professor with a flick of her wrist.

    “I will be a Gardevoir some day, master! I will be tall and elegant and have a flowing dress, and you can teach me how to be one!” Paula said in David’s head.

    “A Gardevoir, huh? …that’s okay by me.” David said with a grin.

    “These Pokémon have been hand chosen for each of you, and I’m sure you will go farther with them than you ever could with a generic starter.” Professor Juniper said. “As such, I am entrusting you with another special responsibility. You will also be official Pokédex bearers for the Unova region.”

    Cheren and David both dropped their jaw, and Bianca again squealed with joy. All children went on adventures with Pokémon when they came of age, but only a select few became Pokédex holders.

    “Professor Oak’s aide is nearing completion on the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh Pokédexes, but has made little progress on the Pokémon of Unova. That is where you three come in. You will assist Red in cataloguing all the Pokémon in the Unova region, and hopefully we will be one step closer to having field data on every Pokémon in existence!” exclaimed Professor Juniper.

    The three of them all high-fived and cheered for this news, and the Pokémon all lifted a paw in celebration as well. Professor Juniper reached into a cabinet next to the desk, pulled out three shiny red Pokédexes, and handed one to each of them.

    Bianca’s Pokédex sparked to life and crackled out “PACHIRISU: THE ELE-SQUIRREL POKEMON! A pair may be seen rubbing their cheek pouches together in an effort to share stored electricity.”

    Cheren activated his and it exclaimed “EEVEE: THE EVOLUTION POKEMON! Because its genetic makeup is irregular, it quickly changes its form due to a variety of causes.”

    Finally, David turned his on, pointed it at Paula, and “RALTS: THE FEELING POKEMON! If its horns capture the warm feelings of people or Pokémon, its body warms up slightly.” crackled over the speakers.

    “Well, that’s that then.” said Professor Juniper calmly. “It’s getting a little late, so you all are welcome to join me for dinner, play with your Pokémon some more, spend the night here, and head out on your journeys first thing in the morning.”

    * * *

    A few hours later, after a good supper and a while of playing with their Pokémon, Professor Juniper retired to her own quarters and set up the three new adventurers in her guest room. With the Pokémon put safely away in their Pokéballs, the three of them rolled out their sleeping bags to accustom themselves to them for the journey ahead.

    “We’ll be spending a lot of time in these from here on out, huh?” commented Bianca.

    “Well, we’ll be able to stay in real beds at any Pokémon Centers we come to, but when we’re out in the wilderness, yeah, these will be our beds.” replied David. “No more cushy mattresses or pillows on a regular basis.”

    “But we’ll have our Pokémon with us, and we’ll have roaring campfires and the bright night sky, so it won’t be so bad.” quipped Bianca with a tired smile.

    “David’s weird little Ralts aside, one nice thing about Pokémon is that they don’t talk when people are trying to sleep.” said Cheren, already curled up in his bag and facing away from them.

    David turned to snit back at him, but Bianca reached out and put her hand on his shoulder to stop him. It sent a shiver down his spine, as it reminded him of what had happened earlier that day. Damn it, he had almost forced it out of his mind... “What was she doing differently now that had never happened before?” he wondered.

    He shrugged it off and turned back around to keep fixing his own bag, when he looked down and saw Bianca’s bare feet. He froze, and could feel the blood drain from his face. Slowly, terrified, he brought his head up and the full realization of what he was seeing sunk in, bit by bit. He could feel the vertebrae in his neck creak his head was moving so slowly. His eyes traced up her body, up her slender bare legs, up her exposed torso, and finally rested just below the collarbone as the full horror of what he was seeing sunk in. Bianca had slipped out of her vest and skirt, and was standing in just her underwear and a bra fixing her bag. She was totally oblivious to the errand, wandering eyes staring at her, focused simply on straightening out her sleeping bag.

    David stood there staring for a moment, letting reality slowly soak back into his mind. “Wait a minute, I already knew this... Cheren, Bianca and I have had sleepovers lots of times before. Bianca sleeps in her underwear, I already knew that! I’ve seen her like that plenty of times before! What is making this time so different, God damnit?!?

    As these memories came back to him and he realized this was technically nothing new, she bent over to straighten out the end of her bag and he realized he had been staring at her cleavage the entire time. He shook his head quickly and stared off into space somewhere else in the room.

    “Forget you, Cheren. You’re turning into a big grumpy old lady lately. You’ve never been this lame at our slumber parties before. Sleep if you want, but I’m too excited for sleep. I can’t stop thinking about my little Pachirisu and all the adventures we’re going to have, right David?” she said.

    David muttered something to dismiss the question, and tried to slip into his bag as quickly as he could. He lay there very tensely and tried his damndest to stare straight forward at the ceiling, but it was to no avail. Bianca had also slipped into her bag, and was curled over on her side looking right at him. He heard her say something, but he couldn’t make out the words. He shut his eyes and tried to ignore it, but she said it again. He played the sound back in his head, trying desperately to figure out what it was she had said, but it was too late.

    “Oh, never mind. It’s nothing. I suppose I am a little tired... now that’cha mention it...” she said as she yawned. She let out one last little giggle, and laid down in her bag.

    “Okay... okay... it’s fine... I’m safe for now.” David thought to himself. “Okay... okay... just go to sleep... stop thinking about it, and go... to... sle-”

    And then he felt it. His heart stopped and he tensed up instantly. Bianca had snuggled up next to him, and was resting her head on his chest. His heart started beating out of control, a lone drop of sweat ran down his brow, and his restraint failed him. He broke his stern gaze at the ceiling and took a peek down at her. She was lying there, peacefully dozing off, her golden blonde hair resting on his bag, her arms folded over his stomach, the tops of her breasts and cleavage out in full view in her bag. She was completely oblivious to the plight of her new pillow, peacefully drifting off to sleep as she sub-consciously wrapped herself around him.

    “Oh my god.” David thought to himself. “Bianca... is a girl... and she’s gorgeous.” He couldn’t ignore the fact any longer; he had been trying to put it out of his head all day, but it was no use anymore. After 18 years of knowing her, after all the time they and Cheren had spent together, after all that time thinking of her as just “one of the guys,” he was falling for Bianca. Unable and unwilling to fight it anymore, David slowly wrapped his arm around her, and she snuggled in closer. She and Cheren were out like a light, and he was laying there trying to grapple with all these new thoughts in his head; he was now officially a Pokémon trainer, he was a Pokédex holder on top of that, his starter was this strange little Ralts that talked to him in his mind, and Bianca was suddenly the most beautiful vixen in all of the world, and she was snuggled up next to him with her mile-long cleavage hanging out. Tired and defeated, David tried to comprehend it all, and realized he could never do it all at once. He simply shrugged and curled himself around Bianca tighter, hoping she wouldn’t notice. No use fighting it or trying to ruin a good thing, he let himself enjoy her presence and bent his head forward into her golden blonde hair. “Hmm... she smells nice... what a weird thought...” he mused.

    Drifting off to sleep himself, his mind again returned to the adage he had thought earlier in the day: “C’est la vie, said the old folks... goes to show you never can tell.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  4. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    This is the original version of Chapter 2. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


    Author's Notes:

    Hi, everyone. Just wanted to say that I really like how this chapter turned out, and I think it is strong all the way throughout. There's nothing about it I think turned out poorly or less than expected. I especially like the description of Ghetsis; I kind of break character for the sake of a joke, but it is a joke I really wanted to make. It was pretty much my interpretation of Ghetsis the first time I saw him; "Okay, so... this dude's wearing what is essentially a castle, surrounded by minions wearing swords, and he's yelling at people in the park about 'Pokemon Liberation?' ...is this guy homeless or something?"

    Anyway, hope you enjoy. Here's Chapter 2.

    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 2: First Steps, Long Strides

    “Gardevoir, use Psychic!”

    The forest was calm. All was quiet. Not a single Pokémon was out; they were all tucked away in their homes, hiding. The sun shone into the clearing, illuminating the impromptu battlefield. The only sounds were the rustle of the wind through the leaves, the sound of a distant creek, and the behemoth opposite David plodding the ground. The wild Bouffalant was staring him down, seething with rage and defiance. It had suffered Will-o-Wisp burns, been thrown about the clearing repeatedly, and hadn’t landed a single blow. It was breathing heavily, and knew it was down for the count. It took in a large breath of air and snorted menacingly, kicking up the dirt under its hooves, ready to risk it all on one final attack. Opposite it stood the dainty figure of a Gardevoir, the very pinnacle of health and grace, its arms at its sides, its long gown flowing gently in the wind. Gardevoir had been toying with its opponent the entire battle, and wasn’t ready to give up on its fun just yet. She smiled and winked at the mighty bull, putting a graceful hand to her cheek and the other below her elbow. The Bouffalant fell for the Taunt, reared off the ground and roared, then tucked its head in and prepared to charge. It took off like a bolt of lightning towards the slim silhouette of the Gardevoir, putting the pain from its burns out of its mind and throwing everything it had into this Head Charge. The Gardevoir stood perfectly still and focused its mind. The charging bull came closer and closer, with a bloodlust in its eyes. It tucked in its head, came up to full speed, and launched itself at the enemy. Gardevoir didn’t flinch. At the last moment, it gracefully sidestepped and spun around it, floating gently into the air for a moment before slowly gliding back down. The Bouffalant kept going and crashed into a tree. It roared with pain as its whole body shook. It turned back around to face the Gardevoir, wobbly and disoriented from the crash, and saw her standing behind him gently drifting back down to the ground. As she landed, she brought her hands up to her bosom and gracefully straightened out her gown. Satisfied it was unruffled, she brought her sharp gaze upon her opponent, and said defiantly “Garde.”

    “Let’s finish this, Gardevoir.” said David. “Use Psychic!”

    She closed her eyes, lowered her head, and the ground began to shake. The Bouffalant looked around in terror and confusion for the source of the quake, and slowly felt its feet leave the ground. It flailed and screamed, trying desperately to reconnect with the planet. The Gardevoir brought her hands together to form a triangle in front of her mouth, and began to finish her attack. “Gaaaaaar… deeeeee…” it said. The Bouffalant was doing everything it could to escape the impending pain, but it was to no avail. Gardevoir opened her eyes quickly and shouted “VOIR!” The forest shook; the Bouffalant flew across the clearing, striking another tree and falling to the ground in a slump. Gardevoir composed herself, lowered her arms, and gracefully walked back to her trainer.

    “Excellent work, Paula. Just what I’ve come to expect from you.” David said.

    “Thank you, master. That was more fun for me than I think you understand however.” she said with a chuckle.

    David recalled her to her Pokéball, and heard a rustle behind him. “I-I-Is it g-g-g-gone?” Bianca asked.

    “Absolutely. That poor sod won’t be terrorizing this forest ever again.” David replied, coolly.

    “Oh, David… you’re my hero.” Bianca said, putting her hand to her forehead.

    “T’was nothing, milady.” David said with a smirk, turning now to face her.

    She looked down and smiled, then ran into his arms and embraced him. She looked up at her protector, trembling, and moved in to give him one… big… long… kis-

    The ground shook again. The forest began to dissolve. The trees rippled then winked out of existence. The sky turned grey and fragmented, then fell from the Heavens to the ground in shards. Bianca turned to dust and blew away in the wind from David’s arms. Then, slowly, David himself faded away from this world, and in an instant, everything vanished.

    The sun shone in through the window. It hit David squarely in the eyes, gently waking him and returning him to the land of the living. Slowly, reality began ebbing back into existence, and David remembered where he was. As the room began to materialize, thoughts of his would-be kiss faded from his memory, and the dream became a haze. David lay there, a grim frown on his face. “So… effin’… close…” he said under his breath.

    He heard a soft, muffled laugh come from across the room, and looked up to see Professor Juniper leaning against the doorway, covering her mouth and chuckling. Had she heard what he just said? Then it dawned on him… Bianca was still curled around his torso; they had spent the night together. As this realization dawned on him, a look of terror and worry spread across his face. He looked at Professor Juniper, then to Bianca, then back to Professor Juniper and shook his head “no” very quickly. Professor Juniper again stifled a laugh and waved her hand dismissively. She held up her outstretched hand and mouthed “5 minutes” before walking out of the doorway. David watched as she left, then exhaled a sigh and put his head back down. He looked down at the sleeping angel wrapped around him and sighed again, longing to know what to think of her. He slowly disentangled her from around his waist, and proceeded to get up.

    * * *

    Five minutes later, Professor Juniper came back into the room to wake Cheren and Bianca. “Kids, breakfast.” she said.

    Bianca’s eyes slowly opened and she sat up and stretched. She yawned and asked “Morning already?”

    “Yes, dear, it’s going on 9 o’clock. There’s breakfast in the kitchen when you’re ready.” replied Professor Juniper.

    “Cheren, wake up.” said David, but his friend didn’t stir.

    “Hey, Cheren, come on, get up.” he said again, but his friend simply let out a stifled snore and rolled over on his back.

    Bianca began to say something to try and wake him herself, but David was already on it. He walked over to his dozing friend and pinched his nose between his fingers. Cheren tried to breathe in, struggled, and then jolted awake. Gasping, he said angrily “What’s going on?! Who’s there?!”

    Bianca giggled softly and David replied “Wakey-wakey, Princess.” Cheren slumped over and moaned. As David began to stand up, Cheren lashed out at his friend’s knee cap, causing a muffled grunt from David and more laughter from Bianca as he fell over.

    * * *

    As the four of them sat around Professor Juniper’s breakfast table, the professor began to speak. “The closest city from here is Accumula Town. Follow Route 1 straight north and you’ll reach it in about an hour. I assume you all are planning on partaking in the Pokémon League Gym challenge, correct?” They all answered that they were, and she continued “Then your first destination should be Striaton City. The first Gym you can challenge is there.”

    “Can you tell us anything about the Gym Leader, Professor?” asked Cheren.

    Leaders, Cheren. Striaton City’s Gym is operated by three brothers, Cilan, Cress and Chili. Cilan specializes in Grass type Pokémon, Cress in Water types, and Chili in Fire types.” she responded.

    “How do they decide who will battle?” asked David.

    “Typically it is determined by your starter. If you chose an Oshawott, you would battle Cilan, whose Grass types would have a type advantage over you; choosing a Tepig would mean you battled Cress, whose Water types would have the advantage; finally, Chili battles those who began with a Snivy, his Fire types having the type advantage there as well. However, since you didn’t start with the typical Unova region starters, I have called ahead and arranged the battles for you. Bianca, you and Pachirisu will be battling Cilan; he won’t have a type advantage over you, but Pachirisu’s Electric type attacks will be ineffective against his Grass types. Cheren, you and Eevee will be battling Cress and his Water types. Finally, David, you will be battling Chili and his Fire type Pokémon.”

    “A Fire type opponent, huh?” David thought to himself. “Interesting...”

    “Once you reach Accumula Town, head West to Route 2, and follow the path north to Striaton City. I have an associate there who can show you around town if you like; her name is Fennel, and she is a Pokémon researcher too.” said Professor Juniper, sipping at her coffee.

    “We’ll leave right away, Professor. Thank you for your hospitality.” Cheren said. Bianca and David mimicked the sentiment, and excused themselves from the table. “Good luck, kids. Remember to come back and show me your Pokédexes any time.” said the professor. They bade her farewell, gathered their things, and left to begin their Pokémon adventure.

    * * *

    The lab was on the northern side of Nuvema Town. It was just a short walk to the start of Route 1. As they neared it, Bianca suggested “Hey! We should all take our first steps onto the route together! We can start our journeys all at the same time.”

    Cheren looked at her, perplexed, the thought seeming infantile and senseless to him. Did it matter who set foot on the route first? But he agreed as they reached the exit to the city.

    “Route 1. Now leaving Nuvema Town. Accumula Town, 5 miles north” Bianca read off the sign. “This is it! Beyond this sign is the start of our adventure!” They all lined up side-by-side next to the sign, and David and Bianca counted off.

    “1…” said Bianca.

    “2…” David continued.

    “3!” said Cheren quickly. He took one large step ahead of his friends and stepped onto the route first. David and Bianca stumbled to catch up to him, and he turned around laughing.

    “Che-reeeeen! We were supposed to go together!” said Bianca, angrily.

    “Hahaha! Bianca, who cares? In 20 years, are you really going to remember which of us stepped onto Route 1 first?” said Cheren laughing.

    Bianca stamped her feet and crossed her arms pouting, and Cheren began walking away. David felt sorry for Bianca, but at the same time he knew he had to agree with Cheren; it didn’t matter who took the first step, but he was sorry Bianca didn’t get her way. The three of them began walking north up the route, and slowly, Nuvema Town faded into the tree line and out of sight.

    * * *

    The group was making good time, and they were about half way to the next town. They were passing by a river, and Bianca suggested they stop for a moment and rest. Cheren was impatient, but agreed. The three of them went down to the waterfront to refill their canteens and rest for a moment, but when they got closer to the water, they could see they were not alone.

    “Wow, what is that?” asked Bianca. “Is it a Pokémon?”

    “Shhh, yes. It’s a Patrat. Let’s not spook it.” replied Cheren.

    “Aww, it’s so cuuuuuute! I’m going to go say ‘hi.’” said Bianca, getting up and jogging down to the bank of the stream.

    “Bianca, wait, hold on!” said Cheren, but it was too late.

    “Hellooooooooooo, little Patrat! My name is Bianca. What are you doing today?” she asked, rushing down the hill towards it. The Patrat turned in surprise and saw her running at it. It bared its teeth and growled at her, thinking she was trying to attack it, but she couldn’t stop in time. She had picked up too much momentum and couldn’t stop. She slid down the hill towards it, and seeing this, it jumped at her to attack. Bianca screamed and ducked, the Patrat sailing past her face and landing behind her. She slid to a halt at the shore of the river and saw the little rodent turn around to make another pass.

    “Eeeeeeeeeh! Pachirisu, help me!” she shouted, releasing her Pokémon to battle. Pachirisu leapt from the ball to defend its trainer, landing gracefully and striking a fighting pose. The Patrat was baring its fangs and sizing up its new adversary. Pachirisu waited patiently for a command from its trainer, itching to start its first battle.

    “Pachirisu! Um… use… um…” she stammered, but the Patrat was too quick for her. It leapt from the ground, claws drawn, teeth gleaming, and threw itself at Pachirisu.

    “Eeek! Quick, Pachirisu, get out of the way!” Bianca shouted. Pachirisu leapt into the air from where it had been standing and jumped onto a low-hanging tree branch. The Patrat landed squarely where Pachirisu had been a moment earlier and spun around to find its opponent.

    Cheren shouted down from the embankment where they had been watching “Bianca! Have it use Spark!”

    “Okay!” Bianca shouted back. “Pachirisu, quick, use Spark!” Pachirisu began charging energy, its cheeks crackling with electricity and sparks. The Patrat looked up and found its foe, leaping up for another attack. Pachirisu leapt from the branch, its whole body covered in sparks and collided head first with the Patrat. An explosion of sparks and dust surrounded the two Pokémon, and Bianca had to shield her eyes. When the dust settled, the wild Patrat lay on the ground defeated, and Pachirisu stood triumphantly on the ground, breathing heavily but otherwise unscathed.

    Bianca stood dumbstruck for a moment. Slowly the realization of what had happened dawned on her. “Y-y-y-YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Pachirisu, that was incredible! You did it!” she shouted, running up to her Pokémon and embracing it. Pachirisu let out an excited and celebratory “Pachi Pachi!” and squirmed in her arms. Cheren and David came running down from the road towards the stream to congratulate her.

    “Holy crap, Bianca, you actually did it! You just won your first Pokémon battle!” shouted Cheren with a mixture of surprise and congratulations.

    “That was sweet, Bianca, you did amazing.” echoed David.

    “Don’t give me the credit; Pachirisu did all the work, didn’t you, sweetie?” said Bianca, still cuddling her Pokémon. “And besides, you were the one who suggested Spark, Cheren. I guess I probably should try and figure out some of Pachirisu’s moves, shouldn’t I?” she continued.

    “Hey man, you won, didn’t you? Let’s not overanalyze this, you won and that’s all that matters.” said David. “That Patrat was crazy, I wonder what pissed it off so badly.”

    “I’m just glad little Pachirisu is alright.” said Bianca, returning her Pokémon to its Pokéball. “I could sure use that rest now though!” she continued.

    * * *

    Cheren sat by the riverbed, finishing his lunch and staring off into space. Bianca was out in the water splashing around with Pachirisu and washing her feet. David sat next to Cheren, watching Bianca and daydreaming about his dream the past night. She was so beautiful and innocent, how had he never noticed that about her before, he wondered? Cheren stood up and stretched, announcing they should get back on the road. Bianca came wading back to the shore and gathered her things. David stayed seated, looking out at the clear blue water. As his friends began to walk back up the hill, Bianca asked over her shoulder “David, are you coming?”

    “Actually, no, you guys go on ahead. Seeing that battle of yours made me want to train Paula a little bit.” replied David. “I’ll meet you guys in Accumula Town, you go on without me.”

    “Okay, will do.” replied Cheren. “It’s 12:30 now; we’ll meet you in the main square at 2, deal?”

    “Sounds good, Cheren.” David responded. “Don’t be too big of an *** to my girl while I’m gone.” he muttered under his breath. He watched his friends walk up the hill back to the main road, and saw them go out of sight. He took out Paula’s Pokéball and released her from it. The little Ralts popped out and stood on a branch on the ground.

    “Hello, master! What are we doing here?” she asked.

    “Cheren and Bianca have gone up ahead. I think we should do a little training before we get to Accumula Town. What do you say?” he replied.

    “I will grow up big and strong thanks to you! How shall we train first?” she asked happily.

    “I guess we should find a wild Pokémon to battle and practice some of your attacks.” David responded.

    “Very well! We should check the tall grass to the north, there’s bound to be something we can battle there, master!” she said cheerily.

    * * *

    The tiny Lillipup walked along the road. The sun was shining, birds were chirping, and the weather was pleasant as could be. The Lillipup didn’t have a care in the world, and was just happy to be out getting some exercise. As it walked along, a Beautifly flew past and startled him. The little dog barked at the Bug Pokémon and leapt in the air after it. The Beautifly turned around to look at it and spread its wings in the sun, shining down a multi-colored shadow on the little puppy Pokémon like light shining through a stain-glass window. It flew off, and the Lillipup went back to its walk. A little farther down the road, it heard a rustle, and saw the grass move. “Something else to bark at?” it thought to itself. The Lillipup ran into the brush, yapping and growling at whatever might be in there. Suddenly it grew quiet, and a moment later the small dog came flying out of the bush, yelping in terror and flew across the road. David and Paula emerged from their cover, and Paula shimmered in a brilliant blue light as she leveled up.

    “Great work, Paula! That’s the 20th one so far.” David said.

    “Thank you, master! I can already feel myself growing stronger.” she responded.

    “Your Confusion attack is getting really powerful. Did you see that little bugger fly? You knocked it right on its ***! Chili’s not going to stand a chance against us!” David said proudly.

    “Soon, I will evolve into a Kirlia, and I will be much stronger then, master! It’s all thanks to you!” she said, equally proud of her trainer.

    “I think that’s enough training for now. We should head on to Accumula Town.” David said, looking down the road. “I think I can see the buildings from here actually.”

    “You can?” Paula asked. “May I try something then, master?” she continued.

    “What are you going to try?” David asked quizzically.

    “Hehe… you’ll see!” she said with a giggle. “Please just pick me up and hold me as high up as you can, master.” she said.

    David picked up the little Ralts under the arms and placed her on top of his head. He turned to look at the city, and could feel her start to shake.

    “Con… cen… trate…” she said. “Con… cen… trate…”

    There was a blinding flash, he felt the ground leave his feet, and he felt weightless. His hair blew, he drifted through space as if surrounded by water, and felt as though gravity had been turned off. It lasted only an instant, but it was all so vivid, he took it all in immediately. Suddenly, the sensation left him and he felt the ground beneath his feet again. He opened his eyes and saw the entrance to Accumula Town before him. In an instant, he and Paula had traveled a good quarter mile.

    “Ho-oh-ly CRAP! What the hell was that, Paula?!?” he asked in shock.

    “I used Teleport, master! I got the thought to try it earlier when we were training, but I didn’t know if it would work or not. I just saw where I wanted to go, focused on it in my mind, and poof, here we are!” she responded. “Are you proud of me, master?” she asked with expectation and joy.

    “Dude, that was AWESOME! Hell yeah I’m proud, that was great!” David replied excitedly. “If we can really dial that in, it could eliminate the need for a Flying Pokémon! That is definitely something we should keep practicing; excellent work!”

    “I’m so glad you approve, master! I am getting stronger and stronger with you!” she replied. David put her back in her Pokéball, and began walking through the city.

    * * *

    David looked down at his Xtransceiver to get the time; 1:55. He had to meet Cheren and Bianca in the main square in 5 minutes. He turned the corner and saw a small park on the other side of the street. There was a crowd growing in the middle of the park, and what looked like a man giving a speech of some kind. He could see Cheren and Bianca standing at the edge of the crowd, trying to squeeze in to listen. David jogged over to them to find out what was going on.

    “Bianca! Cheren! Hey! What’s going on here? What’s this crowd for?” he asked them as he ran up.

    “There’s this guy from some cult or something giving a speech. He’s been here for the last half an hour or so.” replied Cheren. “He’s been saying some really whacked out stuff.” he continued.

    “He says that if we keep Pokémon as pets or for battles that we’re hurting them and we should let them go! I only just got my darling little Pachirisu and I couldn’t stand to let her go!” said Bianca raising her arms.

    “What? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. This dude’s just been shouting this crap at people in the park all day? Is he homeless or something?” David asked.

    “See for yourself.” said Cheren.

    The three of them pushed their way to the front of the crowd, intent on seeing the man who was saying all these outlandish things. When they got to the front, they saw an elderly man surrounded by eight armed guards. Three stood on either side of him, standing at attention with one hand gripping the hilt of a sheathed sword; the two on the edges also stood at attention, proudly gripping a flag with an odd insignia on it. The symbol the flags bore was that of a shield, the left half white and the right half black. On it was a backwards “Z,” with a “P” inscribed over it. The letters were electric blue with a black trim, and looked as if they had been slashed onto the flags with some kind of mystical sword. The guards all bore the same insignia on their uniforms; a grey cloak that obscured their faces and which covered their whole bodies. The man in the center speaking supported himself with a large, ornate cane, almost resembling a scepter fit for a king. He wore a giant, ornate tunic with a lavish neck piece of gold, shaped like the tower of a castle. His tunic was purple and gold, royal colors, and had a design resembling two large, menacing eyes, staring coldly out into the crowd. He had flowing gray hair that went past his shoulders, but the color and a gently receding hairline betrayed his age. His left eye was stern and cold, a demonic red in color, but he wore an eye patch over his right, adding to the mystique. He continued his speech…

    “And so, ladies and gentlemen… what is our responsibility towards these magnificent beasts? They control the very elements of nature, help build for us our homes and communities, brighten our lives and even fight to defend our honor! These creatures are the vastly superior life forms, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Our responsibility, I assert, is liberation! If you have agreed with the logic and evidence I have set forth this day, you must reach the same conclusion I have which is that Pokémon and people should be separated and the Pokémon should be freed from our tyranny! I ask only that you consider my words, and if the spirit of Arceus moves you to do so, release your Pokémon and join us, such as these brave men and women surrounding me have done too.” he said.

    “We… are TEAM PLASMA! The Pokémon liberation movement begins with us, but it ends, dear citizens of Accumula Town, with you. I thank you for your time today, and I hope to have a chance to speak to you all again soon.” he concluded.

    As he finished his speech, the guards snapped their arms to their sides and bowed. With mechanical, robotic precision and movements, they gathered the flags, the podium, and all they had brought with them, and in one, unified movement, left the stage and exited the city.

    “Wow…” said David.

    “I know. It was like that for a solid half an hour too. I thought I knew what crazy was, but man… that dude set the bar pretty high.” replied Cheren.

    “Did he now?” said a voice from behind them. “That man is ‘crazy,’ do you think?”

    The group turned to see a young man standing behind them. As the rest of the crowd dispersed, he stood rooted in place, standing like a statue as he spoke to them. He had long, flowing green hair, tied behind him in a pony tail. He wore a white tunic, khaki trousers, a black baseball cap and green tennis shoes. His eyes were closed, his head was hung, his arms were folded, and there was a smile of content and smugness on his lips. He spoke again “I for one think he made perfect sense.”

    Cheren snapped back “Yeah, I think he’s crazy. How can you not? Why would we ever release our Pokémon like that? That makes no sense; Pokémon aren’t ‘slaves’ like he made them out to be, Pokémon are the partners and friends of trainers. We work with them to make them stronger, and they, in turn, teach us as well. It is a symbiotic relationship, not one of master and slave like that loon made it out to be. I feel no greater urge to arbitrarily ‘release my Pokémon’ than I do to take off my clothes and run through this park screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs. His ‘evidence’ and ‘logic’ was anecdotal at best, case closed.”

    “Anecdotal, you say?” replied the mystery man. “Is that so? Tell me… were you raised by humans?”

    “Was I raise- WHAT? Yes, of course I was!” Cheren replied, flabbergasted.

    “Well, then you really can’t say it is ‘anecdotal evidence,’ can you?” said the mysterious stranger calmly. “Unless you were actually raised by Pokémon as I was, nurtured and surrounded by them every waking hour of every single day, you really don’t have as much exposure with them as I do.” He continued.

    “But I’m sorry, I seem to have lost my manners. My name is N. I am a beginning Pokémon trainer, much like you three appear to be. My goal in life as a trainer is not to challenge the self-righteous ‘Pokémon League’ or to become stronger; I wish to hone my abilities to understand Pokémon, and I seek to create a better world for my Pokémon brethren.” N continued. “You three seem to be something quite special though, actually. May I enquire into your names?”

    “My name is Cheren, and this is David and Bianca. Your aspirations are noble, Mr. N, but if you align yourself with that Team Plasma crowd, you’ll be sacrificing the ends for the means.” Cheren responded, trying simply to make the strange man go away.

    “Hmm… is that so, Cheren?” N said with a laugh. “Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree I’m afraid. You… on the other hand…” he said, sizing up David.

    “Me?” David asked.

    “Yes… there is something remarkable about you, I must say… most remarkable indeed… tell me, would you like to have a Pokémon battle?” N asked, a smile spreading across his face.

    “What, here? Now? Well I… I mean I guess…” David stammered.

    “David’s not afraid of you! He’ll take you down, you creep!” shouted Bianca, energized by the frantic energy of the situation.

    “I, um… wait, what? I will?” David said, surprised at Bianca’s boldness.

    “Excellent, then it is decided.” said N. He took out a Pokéball from his belt, took a step back and threw it forward to the ground. A Purrloin came out of the ball and growled, ready to start the battle.

    “I can’t look like a coward in front of Bianca and Cheren… especially not Bianca. I guess I have to do this.” David thought to himself. He took out Paula’s Pokéball and threw it into the air. “Go! Ralts!” he shouted.

    The little Ralts flew out of the ball and appeared opposite the Purrloin, ready to fight. A large smile spread across N’s face, and he looked pleased. “Purrloin, use Fake Out!” he shouted.

    The Purrloin made a quick jab towards the Ralts. Paula jumped back, tripped, and then stumbled back and fell over, startled by the Purrloin’s quick motion. As she stood herself back up, the Purrloin took up a fighting pose and prepared to attack.

    “Paula, use Confusion!”

    The little Ralts steadied itself, focused, and let loose the blast. But the enemy Purrloin appeared unphazed! It grinned a devilish grin, and lunged forward at the Ralts, claws drawn, ready to swipe.

    “Paula, quick, get out of the way! Use Teleport!” David shouted, but it was to no avail.

    “Purrloin, use Pursuit.” N said calmly.

    The Ralts quickly Teleported away, but the Purrloin grabbed a hold of it just before it made its escape. Paula rematerialized across the clearing, Purrloin still doggedly hanging onto it. The Purrloin raised a paw, its claws glowing with black, malevolent energy, and it took one powerful swipe at the little Ralts. She flew across the clearing, fell to the ground, and slumped over, too tired and defeated to go on. The Purrloin gracefully fell to its feet, licked its paws, and purred. N recalled it to its Pokéball, saying quietly under his breath “Excellent, Purrloin. Thank you for putting yourself in danger for my sake. I appreciate your contribution.”

    David ran towards his Ralts, worried what his friends would think and terrified she was hurt. As he knelt down next to her, she looked up at him and he heard her say “It’s alright, master, I’m fine. I’m sorry I couldn’t win.”

    David thanked her for the effort and recalled her to the Pokéball. N had strode over and was extending a hand to him. “A word to the wise: Psychic type moves like that will have no effect on Dark types like my Purrloin. Your Pokémon put in a tremendous effort however; you should be proud.” he said as he helped David up.

    “Despite your loss here today, I sense great things in you, David. You and I will meet again in the future. Our paths will cross many times. I hope someday you will consider what I have said and you will help me create that new world for Pokémon. Until that day, I will bid you adieu.” N said. With that, he put his hands in his pockets, and slowly walked away.

    * * *

    Later that night at the Pokémon Center, after all the Pokémon had been healed and they were all resting, David, Cheren and Bianca sat in the Center’s lobby and discussed the events that had transpired that day.

    “I just don’t understand it. ‘Pokémon Liberation…’ what a load of Bouffalant crap.” said Cheren.

    “Do you really think that strange man meant what he said? About being raised by Pokémon?” asked Bianca innocently.

    “Who knows… probably not. I think he’s just crazy, but whatever.” replied Cheren, staring off into space.

    “I just wish I had been able to win my first Trainer battle. We beat a bunch of wild Patrat and Lillipup on the way here, but my first battle against another human trainer will always be a loss now…” said David, putting his palm to his cheek.

    “Oh… David, don’t be down on yourself about that.” said Bianca soothingly. “It was just a bad type matchup, but you’ll get the next one. Your little Ralts is really strong, I can tell!”

    David looked at her and saw the conviction in her eyes. She wore a big smile and her eyes gleamed in the light from the fireplace. She was right; Paula wasn’t upset, N wasn’t a jerk about it, and it was technically a bad type matchup. He shouldn’t feel too down about it, and try as he might, he couldn’t even bring himself to be with that beautiful, innocent face smiling at him. “Thanks, Bianca. I guess you’re right.” he said.

    “Well kids, I think I’m going to turn in.” said Cheren as he stood.

    “Turn into what? A bigger dweeb?” asked Bianca as she giggled. Cheren drooped his shoulders and glared at her. His expression practically dripped with sarcasm and pity.

    “Hey, Bianca, I uh… I think I’ve got something in my eye. Can you take a look?” he said, stretching his eyelid open with his middle finger. Bianca gasped and brought a hand to her mouth. She extended her arm and flicked him in the nose with her ring finger. Cheren stood back up and walked off to his room. Bianca turned back around to David and suppressed a laugh.

    “I guess I should go too. Good night, David.” she said as she stood.

    “Night, Bianca. See you in the morning.” David said. As she walked down the hall, he watched her until she rounded the corner and was out of sight. His first day as a Pokémon trainer had been quite eventful; this was bound to be one hell of a journey.

    * * *

    David rose to go to bed himself a while later. As he walked down the hall, he passed by Bianca’s room and noticed the door was slightly ajar. He took a quick peek inside and saw her sound asleep in her bed. She was resting like an angel, the light from the hall playing across her golden blonde hair, the blankets covering her body, silhouetting it against the light. She looked so peaceful and calm, it made him happy. As he continued down the hall, he heard a voice in his head.

    “You like her, don’t you, master?”

    “Paula, is that you?” he thought back.

    “Yes.” she responded. “My Psychic power is growing stronger by leaps and bounds. I can hear your thoughts even from inside my Pokéball now, master.”

    “That’s cool, I guess… try not to eavesdrop too much though, please.” David replied, a weariness in his voice.

    “You like that girl, don’t you though?” Paula asked again. “She is your friend and you are attracted to her, no?”

    “What, Bianca? We’ve always been best friends, but no, I’m not sexually attracted to her if that’s what you mean.” he lied.

    “Master… I am talking to you in your mind. You can’t keep secrets like that from me, hehehe!” she said with a giggle.

    David hesitated for a moment, pondering what to say. “Well… you know… she’s alright…” he finally admitted.

    “Hehehe… I like you, master. You will be a good trainer, and you will make that girl happy some day.” Paula said, ribbing her trainer good naturedly.

    “How will I make her ‘happy,’ Paula? What does that mean?” David asked, but no answer came. “Paula? You still there?” he asked, but she didn’t speak.

    “Selective muteness, eh? …that’s convenient for you…” David said. He had made it into his room now and was lying down in bed. As he turned out the light, he thought about what she had said. Given their history together, it pained him to admit it, but yes, he was falling for Bianca, hard. As he closed his eyes and let himself drift off, he thought to himself an emphatic “Yes. Yes, I do.”

    As consciousness left him and he drifted off to sleep, Paula whispered a quiet “I knew it.” The little Ralts was quite content with herself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  5. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    This is the original version of Chapter 3. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version, Part 1
    Updated Version, Part 2


    Author's Notes:

    Hi, everyone. Here's Chapter 3, "Dreams of Bianca." This chapter features some more interaction between David and Bianca, and covers, among other things, the events in the Dreamyard, hence the title. This chapter ended up being quite long, just over 19 pages, but the next chapter will probably be a good deal shorter, as it will only cover the Striaton Gym battle.

    I really like how this chapter turned out. I think the battle between David and Bianca is strong, I think everything at the restaurant turned out funny, and I especially like the build-up in the Dreamyard. I think that scene turned out great. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy.

    Adept readers will notice I have a new signature, with a sprite recolor I did promoting the story. You'll notice David is standing next to a Gardevoir, the future evolved form of Paula, and Bianca is standing next to her Pachirisu, but Cheren is standing next to an Umbreon. Spoiler alert: Cheren is going to evolve his Eevee into an Umbreon. Sorry if I just ruined the entire story for you. It probably won't happen for a while though. I like that little interaction between Bianca and David about what he'll evolve it into. That's something I've always thought about Eevee; if I've got all these possibilities of what I can evolve into, shouldn't you let me pick for myself? I mean, who's the poor little Eevee who is like "I want to evolve into a Jolteon! I've wanted that my whole life!" and his butthole trainer is like "LAWL NOPE! GLACEON FOR YOOOOOU!!!" Seems like something the Eevee itself should decide on.

    Without further adieu, I give you Chapter 3 of Chronicles of Unova, "Dreams of Bianca!" We don't seem to be getting many readers, or at least ones who comment, but that's alright; this is just for fun, not for attention.

    Google Translate, don't fail me now!

    P.S. Oh yeah, and Pachirisu gets BoltBeam, because that's how Pachirisu rolls. *cue sunglasses*

    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 3: Dreams of Bianca

    “Eevee, Tackle!”

    Cheren’s voice carried down the hall and into David’s room. It gently stirred him from his sleep. Reminded of where he was, he turned to the dresser next to him and looked at the clock: 7:30am. “What the hell? Is Cheren having a battle this early in the morning?” David pondered. Slowly, he rose from his bed to inspect the commotion.

    Walking into the lobby, he could see his friend outside through the window, a look of determination and grit on his face. Bianca was in the lobby too, sitting in one of the plush lounge chairs with her feet up and watching the battle unfold. David walked up silently and stood behind her, curious now himself too.

    Following its trainer’s command, Eevee threw itself full force at its adversary, smashing into it with tremendous strength. The foe’s Blitzle tried to dodge it, but it had suffered so many Sand-Attacks that it was almost completely blinded. The Pokémon took the hit full force and was knocked to the ground, struggling to find the will to stand back up. Sand in its eyes, bruised and battered from the numerous Tackles it had taken, flailing just to regain its footing and find its target, the opponent’s Blitzle finally gave up the ghost and lay still, losing the urge to continue the fight. Eevee puffed out its chest proudly and stood up straighter. A smile of satisfaction spread across Cheren’s face, and he called out to his Pokémon, “Great work, Eevee! Stopped ‘em cold!”

    The opposing trainer walked over to his Blitzle, knelt beside it, and laid a hand on its face. Wiping the sand from its eyes, he said to his Pokémon, “Good job, Blitzle. You gave it your best.” He returned the Pokémon to its Pokéball and shook Cheren’s hand. The trainers exchanged a few kind words, and walked back into the lobby to heal their tired warriors.

    “He’s been at it all morning, you know…” Bianca said calmly. “He and Eevee woke up early this morning and went out for some training. They make a really great pair, I think.”

    David looked down at her, surprised she had even heard him walk up. He commented “I wonder what he’ll evolve it into.”

    “I would think that’s something he’d leave up to it.” said Bianca. “If I had all those options open to me as to what I could spend the rest of my life living as, I wouldn’t want the decision being made for me. I’d want to pick for myself.” she mused.

    “True, but I’ve heard Pokémon start to resemble their trainers after a while. I think whatever it evolves into will be a reflection of Cheren personally, even if only subconsciously.” David replied.

    Bianca shrugged as her friend walked in. The trainer he had been battling continued over to the counter to have his Pokémon healed, but seeing that his friends were awake, Cheren walked over to see them.

    “Hey guys, did you see that battle just now? Eevee totally kicked ***!” Cheren said excitedly.

    “Yup, we sure did! You two are getting really strong. You’ll beat Cress no problem; you too, David.” said Bianca.

    “Thanks. I hope you’re right.” replied Cheren. “Eevee and I haven’t eaten anything yet this morning. You guys want to grab some breakfast?”

    “I could eat.” David replied.

    Bianca shook her head and commented “Pachirisu and I already had a bite to eat, but I’ll come sit with you boys if you like.”

    There it was again: that subtle difference in how she was behaving. “You boys,” insinuating she wasn’t one herself. Not that she was, but she had never gone out of her way to act so feminine before. Was it something about starting the Pokémon journey that was making her this way? Or something different about him? David couldn’t keep forcing the thought out of his mind when it came up so often. The one thing that was changing however was his reception of it. The more and more he allowed himself to think of Bianca as a girl, the more and more he appreciated and welcomed it.

    “Sure. You can show us where it is.” replied Cheren.

    “Right over here…” she said, rising from her seat.

    * * *

    A while later, after breakfast had been eaten and showers had been taken, the group of adventurers left the Pokémon Center and headed out for Route 2. Upon exiting the city, they had to pass through a large gatehouse. As they ambled through, the attendant flagged them over to come talk.

    “Hey, are you kids Cheren, Bianca and David?” the attendant asked.

    “Yes, we are.” David replied.

    “Professor Juniper stopped by here earlier. She said you know her, and she left these here for you. Let her know they got to you OK, will’ya?” the man said.

    He pulled out a large box, and inside were three sleek new pairs of Running Shoes, two boys’ and one girl’s. The gang was glad to have received their new present, and thanked the man for holding them. They slipped them on and left the gatehouse.

    Stepping onto Route 2, Cheren made them a proposition. “These shoes are designed for running, right? There’s not a whole lot on Route 2; what do you say we have a race? First one to Striaton gets to challenge the gym first, deal?”

    “I’ll take that bet.” replied David.

    “Oh Cheren, no, come on. You know I’m no good at running, and even with these new shoes, I can’t really run in this skirt and heavy vest.” Bianca said dejectedly.

    “Too bad! 2 out of 3, Bianca! Last one there’s a rotten Exeggute!” shouted Cheren as he took off running.

    “Ack! No, Cheren, come baaaaaaaack!” Bianca shouted as she took off after him.

    David grinned to himself and took off too, not trying to catch up to Cheren, but simply trying to keep pace with Bianca. He knew he couldn’t beat Cheren in a foot race, Cheren had always been faster. But he knew this would distract Cheren and he could have some alone time with Bianca; maybe a little unassuming 1-on-1 time with his old friend would help him sort out his feelings for her.

    Cheren quickly ran out of view, and Bianca struggled to keep up the pace. David caught up to her, and began running backwards next to her. “Hey. How’s it going, porky?” he ribbed.

    “Oh shut up, David. Screw this, I’m walking…” Bianca said, winded.

    David slowed his pace and continued jogging backwards just in front of his friend. She hung her arms and began walking slowly, trying to catch her breath. She noticed David wasn’t passing her up to catch up to Cheren and asked what the matter was.

    “Eh, I don’t really care about Cheren’s stupid race. I just wanted him to bugger off for a while.” David said with a smirk.

    Bianca regained her breath and straightened out her vest and skirt. David stopped and let her catch up, then the pair kept walking together at a normal pace.

    “Mission accomplished.” David thought to himself proudly.

    * * *

    The pair had been walking silently for around 10 minutes. David had just been enjoying her company and presence, but he feared that if he didn’t say something soon it would seem awkward. He decided to ignore the elephant in the room and instead opted to ask her about Pokémon.

    “So have you thought about how you’re going to beat Cilan yet? Pachirisu’s Electric attacks won’t be very effective against whatever Grass types he throws at you. Did you ever even figure out what other attacks it knows besides Spark?” he asked.

    “I’ve actually been a little worried about that.” Bianca replied. “My little Pachirisu and I have only been in that one battle. Cheren and his Eevee did all that training this morning, and you and your Ralts trained a bunch on the way to Accumula Town; I should probably train some more before I try and battle him too.”

    “Hmm… is that so?” David said, pondering something.

    “Yes …? Why do you say it like that?” Bianca asked.

    David stopped walking and put a hand to his hip. Bianca stopped a moment later and turned around to look at her friend. “David, what are you doing?”

    “Bianca, I challenge you to a Pokémon battle! Right here, right now! You say you want to do some training, so let’s have at it!” David said with a grin. It was said that you could learn the most about a trainer from being in a battle with them and having to adapt to their movements; if he wanted to gauge his feelings for Bianca, this was the way to do it.

    “Wha-? Right now? But I-” Bianca stammered.

    David took Paula’s Pokéball off his hip and threw it out in between the two of them. The little Ralts popped out and struck a fighting pose, already aware of what was going on.

    “Ack! Geeze, alright. Pachirisu, go!” Bianca shouted, throwing the ball out to meet the challenge.

    “I know we need to practice a bit before our Gym battle too, Paula, but what do you say we go a little easy on her? Let her gain a little confidence.” David thought, trying to broadcast the sentiment to his Ralts.

    “As you wish, master. I will restrain myself, but I’ll leave the strategy up to you.” Paula replied.

    “Your move, Bianca. Hit me with your best shot!” David shouted at his friend.

    “If you say so! Pachirisu, use Spark!” Bianca replied back.

    Pachirisu began charging energy in its cheeks and readied the attack. Paula stood still, waiting for either a command or to take the blow. As Pachirisu continued to charge, David issued his command. “Paula, use Double Team!” The Ralts levitated off the ground a few inches, and illusory copies of her tiny body flooded the clearing and encircled Pachirisu. It caught the ele-squirrel Pokémon off guard, and it flinched, trying to determine which one to attack.

    “Target practice… if you will.” David said to Bianca with a wave of his hand and a twist of his wrist.

    Taken aback at all the new targets, Bianca struggled to think of a command to issue. “Pachirisu, um… let’s see… how about you try Quick Attack!” she shouted.

    Pachirisu looked back at its trainer with a keen look in its eye, obviously having heard the move it was hoping to hear. The little squirrel began running very quickly in a circle, building up a small dust cloud in the dirt. It widened the radius of its path little by little with each pass, until it was almost as big as the ring of fake Ralts surrounding it. It reached its top speed and leapt in the air, crashing through each illusory Ralts one by one at a lightning speed. After exhausting every copy in the blink of an eye, Pachirisu found its mark and slammed into the real one. Caught off guard, Paula flew through the air and landed in a heap, dazed but not out. Pachirisu skidded to a halt and looked back at its trainer, a sharp grin on its face. Bianca shouted out to her Pokémon “That was incredible, Pachirisu! You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you, sweetie?”

    David had to admit, that was an impressive move. Any short comings Bianca had from inexperience were made up for by her Pachirisu’s natural skill. It was a very adept little Pokémon and knew how to handle itself. Play time was over now though; he wanted to at least land one solid hit before he gave the victory to Bianca.

    “Good hit, Bianca, but consider it your last!” he shouted. “Paula, use Confusion!”

    The Ralts focused its mind and launched forth the blast of psychic energy. It caught Pachirisu head on and knocked it backwards into a tree. The little squirrel sloughed off the blow, and jumped right back into the action. “It’s tenacious too, I’ll give it that.” David thought to himself.

    “Is it time to lose now, master?” Paula asked him.

    “I think so, but let’s try and make it convincing. Dodge her next attack with Teleport, and then let the hit after that glance you, and fake going down.” David thought.

    “As you wish, master. I’m happy we are helping your friend grow stronger.” she replied.

    “Pachirisu, use Spark!” Bianca shouted. The Pachirisu took in a deep breath and charged up instantly. Taking that Confusion attack had really fired it up; it was getting much more adept at preparing the move, no longer having to charge up the energy beforehand. It charged at the Ralts, already covered in crackling electricity and power. David shouted “Paula, use Teleport!” just in time for her to dodge it, but the Pachirisu managed to catch it as it was reappearing and corrected its course almost immediately. Paula barely had time to cover herself before the attack hit. It didn’t KO her, but it was so well executed, she pretended like it had and went down.

    “Ack! Paula, no!” David shouted, doing his best to hide his excitement for Bianca. He ran up to his Pokémon and knelt next to her. As he bent over her, he winked, and Paula returned the gesture. “You okay?” he thought to her. “Achy, and a bit out of breath, but nothing a short rest won’t cure, master. I’m glad we could help your friend. Her Pokémon is impressive.” she replied.

    “Good job, Paula. Thank you.” David said aloud as he returned her to her ball. He stood up and looked at Bianca with a big grin spreading across his face. Bianca looked confused and excited as the realization that she had won crept in.

    “Did… did we win? Did we just win!?! Oooooooh YEEEEEESSSSS!!! Go Pachirisu!!” she said as the little squirrel jumped into her arms. She held it close and patted the joyous little Pokémon on the head, pleased beyond measure at its success.

    “Fine work, Bianca. I’m proud of you.” David said.

    “Oh David, we did it! Did you see that? Pachirisu was amazing!” she exclaimed.

    “Haha, see it? I was the one you beat, remember?” David chuckled.

    “Thank you, David! I feel so much more prepared for my battle now! I was so worried when you said we should battle, but I’m glad we did. Thank you.” she said as she returned her Pokémon to its ball.

    “Sure thing, bud.” David said, trying to hide how pleased he really was. This was the happiest he had ever been to lose to one of his friends at something before.

    “Are you sure you didn’t just let me win?” Bianca said with a wink.

    “So uh hey, we should probably try and catch up to Cheren, huh?” David said nervously.

    * * *

    After their battle, the young pair continued on their way to Striaton City. As they neared the city gates, they could see Cheren off in the distance pacing back and forth very angrily. He was muttering to himself with a hand on his chin and the other in his pocket. Occasionally he would shout something and raise his hands up before returning to his pattern.

    “Where the hell have you assholes been?! I’ve been standing here for like an hour waiting!” Cheren shouted angrily as they approached him.

    “We took the scenic route.” David responded with a smirk. “Did a little training, saw a little nature… you know… adventure stuff.”

    “Well thanks the hell for telling me that before I ran all the way here!” Cheren shouted.

    “I DID try and tell you that, Cheren! I said ‘Oh Cheren, no, come on. You know I’m no good at running, and even with these new shoes, I can’t really run in this skirt and heavy vest.’ But you just went off running!” Bianca replied.

    “Well yeah, but… even if you didn’t want to run, you could have at least not taken so damn long. I’ve been standing here for ages.” Cheren said dejectedly.

    “Aww, poor baby. At least you won though; you get to challenge the gym first.” David responded.

    “Yeah, well…” Cheren started to say, but trailed off.

    The reunited group started off into the city together and quickly found themselves in an urban metropolis. Striaton City was much more advanced than rural Nuvema Town or Accumula. Large apartment complexes dotted the streets, spread amongst the many office buildings and historical landmarks. For as urbanized as the city was though, there were still many old world charms about it; many of the buildings were designed in a turn-of-the-century style and were made of laid brick, aged and worn by soot and dirt. Portions of the city had cobblestone streets, and there were trees and small parks all throughout the town. There was one massive park on the western side of the city; mid-morning joggers were out and about and elderly couples had brought bread crumbs to feed the Pidove. It was beautifully landscaped, with many sculpted bushes dotting the path in the shape of various Pokémon. A long, circular stream ran alongside the winding path, and Basculin and Goldeen jumped from the water’s surface into the air before returning to the cool blue depths below.

    Eventually they came to a brightly adorned restaurant. The building was made of solid old brick, and had a veneer of aged, dark brown oak wood. Multi-colored flags hung from the face of the building, almost obscuring the large, carved Pokéball etched into the siding. The smell of New England chowder was drifting through the air as the restaurant began serving its lunch specials. There was a small amount of outdoor seating in the front of the building, and as they passed by, a young woman called out to them.

    “David! Cheren! Bianca! You hoo! Over here! Come here!” shouted the woman, waving them down.

    “Is that lady yelling at us?” Cheren asked.

    “Seems to be. Maybe this is Professor Juniper’s associate.” David replied. “Let’s go see what she wants.”

    The woman was much younger than the professor. She had fair, white skin and tired looking eyes. She had a grin that seemed almost permanently etched onto her face. She wore rimless glasses and a large white overcoat. She had a small pink flower in her hair, matching her slip-on shoes and the pink sundress she wore beneath her coat. Her hair was long and straight, a deep purple in color and falling almost to her ankles. As the group walked over to her, she began to speak loudly and excitedly.

    “Oh it’s so nice to meet you!” she said excitedly. “Professor Juniper has told me so so so much about you three. I’m so happy you’re finally here!”

    Composing herself, she put a hand to her chest and continued, “My name is Fennel. I am a Pokémon researcher just like your old teacher, Professor Juniper. Aurea and I actually went to college together if you can believe it. I was going for my Bachelor’s when she was trying to get her Ph.D. though.” she said with a laugh. “Aurea was always such an overachiever.”

    “Well, it sounds like you already know our names, but this is Bianca…” said David pointing to her, “…and Cheren…” pointing to Cheren, “…and I’m David.” ending on himself. “It’s nice to meet you, ma’am.” he concluded.

    “Oh it’s so nice to meet you three too! I’ve heard such wonderful success stories about you three. You’re Professor Juniper’s star pupils; that’s why she gave you such unique starters.” Fennel said. “Come, would you care to join me for some lunch?” she asked.

    “Sure! Thank you!” said Bianca happily.

    * * *

    As the group decided what they would have, a young waiter came up to the table to take their order. He wore a smart black tuxedo with an apron and had short, spiky green hair. He had small beady eyes and large ears.

    “Hello, welcome to Château de la Ligue, may I take your order?” he said with a fake French accent.

    Fennel looked at her new friends and began to giggle to herself very softly. She looked up at him, still laughing, and replied, “Yes, I think, hehehe, I’ll have the uh, hehehe, the um… hehehe, the clam chowder please, hehehe.”

    The waiter winked at her and replied, “Ahh but of course; the chaudrée de palourdes for the elder madame, and how about for the younger madame? What will you have, miss?” he said, looking at Bianca.

    “I’d like your filleted chicken breast please.” said Bianca politely as she closed the menu. Fennel began to laugh again as she saw Bianca look at the waiter.

    “What are you laughing at, Fennel?” David asked, confused. She waived her hand dismissively and composed herself, still grinning a big grin.

    The waiter continued to smile. “Ahh, but of course. Un petit poulet for the young madame. And for you, sir?” he said looking now to Cheren.

    “Hmm… what’s your favorite pasta dish?” he asked.

    As Cheren now too acknowledged the waiter’s presence, Fennel began to crack up again. David shot her another confused look and she again dismissed him, composing herself but still grinning.

    “We have a lovely fettuccine alfredo that is the specialty of the chef. May I recommend that for you, monsieur?” said the waiter, now starting to chuckle to himself along with Fennel.

    “That sounds great, I’ll have that.” Cheren said as he closed the menu.

    “And for you, sir?” said the waiter, looking at David.

    David looked him squarely in the eyes and said as he placed his hands on the table “I’d like to refrain from ordering until you two…” he said as he turned his gaze now to Fennel “…tell me just what is so damn funny.”

    Fennel couldn’t contain herself now. She burst out laughing and patted the waiter on the back. The young man rose with a grin of contentment on his face. He cleared his throat and clapped his hands together over his shoulder twice. From inside the restaurant, two other young waiters came to join them, their features similar to the first but one with red hair and one with blue. The three of them stood side by side and brought their arms together in front of them. Fennel composed herself and spoke up, “David, allow me to introduce you to Cilan…” pointing to the original waiter, “…Cress…” now motioning towards the blue-haired man, “…and Chili…” indicating towards the red-haired waiter, “…the Striaton City Gym Leaders.” The trio bowed in unison before their audience and said together “How do you do?” Fennel continued, “…and this…” indicating to the building, “…is the Striaton City Gym!”

    Cilan now spoke up, “We three own and operate this restaurant, which we inherited from our parents before us, and which they inherited from their parents before them.”

    Cress continued his brother’s statement, “The fine service industry has been in our family for generations. We now carry the torch, and have combined our passion for fine dining with our responsibilities as Gym Leaders.”

    Chili concluded his brothers’ explanation, “This restaurant is a working storefront most of the time, but when we get a challenge, the tables and chairs are put away and the battlefield comes to life! Sizzle!”

    Cilan again piped up, “Madame Fennel is a regular customer. She has informed us of your impending challenge, and we accept. The battles shall commence tomorrow at 10 o’clock sharp, right in between the breakfast and lunch rushes.”

    David sat dumbstruck. This wave of information washed over him, and he struggled to think of something clever to say back, as so to not look like a complete ignoramus. He slowly picked up the menu, looked it over, and said calmly, “Well, in that case, I’ll have the filet mignon.” Fennel chuckled to herself again, covering her mouth.

    * * *

    Once their food had arrived and they began to eat, Fennel piped up again. “Well, seeing as you have the rest of the day to train for your Gym battle, what would you three say to assisting me in my research?”

    Cheren didn’t look up from his plate, but Bianca and David turned to hear her proposition.

    “Are you three familiar with a Pokémon called Munna? Or its evolution Musharna?” she asked.

    “I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never seen one.” David said. Bianca mimicked the sentiment.

    “Munna and Musharna are Pokémon very heavily associated with dreams. They are able to visualize and even enter the dreams of people and Pokémon as they are happening. My current research goal is to understand the science of how they actually manage that.” she said. “Munna have the ability to visualize the dreams of anyone they are near, but its evolved form Musharna can create a special ‘Dream Mist’ that allows one to actually enter the dreams themselves. Think of it like a portal that you can step in and out through to enter the dream world.” she continued.

    “That’s so cool!” said Bianca. “Imagine, being able to see and even interact with a person’s dream while it’s happening!”

    “Yeah… super…” said David, remembering the dream about Bianca he had had a few nights prior.

    “It’s more than just ‘cool,’ Bianca. It could be the scientific breakthrough of the century! In dreams, you control the logic and physics behind all of reality. You could simply materialize anything you wanted. If we could enter a person’s dreams and bring things back out from those dreams into the real world, anything could be possible! We could have time machines and flying cars within the decade!” she said excitedly. “Other possibilities exist too. Many Pokémon tend to dream about other Pokémon, typically ones that can’t really exist. Imagine being able to obtain a Pokémon with a different ability than it typically has, or special attacks they can’t normally know! It could be revolutionary for trainers as well.” she continued.

    “That’s actually pretty amazing, Fennel. How is your research going? Is it all mostly theoretical or are you hitting any breakthroughs?” David asked.

    “My associate and I are actually making excellent progress, but we have run into one snag. That’s why I asked if you three would like to help me.” she said. “We have been receiving monthly shipments of trace amounts of Dream Mist from a foreign supplier for the past six months or so, but the amounts we are getting are outrageously expensive and not high enough in quantity to really put to any use. We need to obtain a Munna or Musharna of our own in order to make any real progress.” she continued.

    “There is an abandoned factory to the east of the city that was condemned and eventually destroyed many years ago. It has become overgrown with weeds and foliage and is now considered an excellent training ground for beginning trainers. The citizens of Striaton refer to it as ‘The Dreamyard.’ Many Munna live there, and I would like for you three to catch me one. I would do it myself, but I have no Pokémon of my own to do it with.” she said. “It would be an excellent place to do any last minute training before your gym battle, so doing this for me would be beneficial to all of us.” she concluded.

    “Wow, sure! I’m in!” said Bianca excitedly.

    “I’m in too.” said David. “If Bianca is going, I’m going.” he thought to himself. He heard Paula giggle very faintly in his head.

    “Cheren, how about you?” asked Fennel.

    Looking up from his plate, a bit of sauce dribbling down his chin, Cheren replied “Nah, that sounds lame. You two can handle it.”

    “Cheren! Don’t be rude!” Bianca shouted at her friend.

    Cheren shrugged and said, “Striaton City has a world famous Pokémon Trainers’ School that Professor Juniper used to teach at. I’m going to go study there. Eevee is plenty strong, I just need to hone my own technique. I’ll meet you guys at the Pokémon Center later tonight.”

    David was surprised at his friend’s blunt rudeness, but on the other hand, it meant more alone time with Bianca, and he couldn’t argue with that.

    * * *

    After they had finished their meal, Bianca and David left for the Dreamyard, Cheren went to go find the Trainers’ School, and Fennel returned to her laboratory. She gave Bianca and David the address and instructed them to come straight there once they had obtained the Munna. She gave them 5 empty Pokéballs each and sent them on their way.

    The farther east into the city they went, the more and more trees they began to see. Slowly, the city began to naturally meld into the forest, and the skyscrapers and apartment complexes became pine and evergreen trees. They walked through the forest a ways and eventually came to the abandoned factory.

    “Wow, Fennel was right. This place is a wreck!” Bianca said.

    “You can tell there definitely was some kind of building here before, but it looks like it got hit by a goddamn bomb or something.” David commented.

    There were young trainers all around, having Pokémon battles and running and playing with their young Pokémon. There were gently rolling hills, small cliffs to jump from, ramps and stairs to play on and run around, and plenty of tall grass to house wild Pokémon to battle. The factory stood to the north of the field, standing defiantly against the march of time, unwilling to completely fall but unable to shine in its former glory. The roof was missing in most places and there were gaping holes in most of the walls. David suggested they move farther into the facility, and Bianca followed right behind him.

    As they passed abandoned factory equipment and office furniture, they heard a sound coming from deeper inside the warehouse.

    “W-w-w-what was t-t-t-that?” Bianca asked nervously.

    “I don’t know. It sounds like people talking.” David whispered back. They were quite far within the old factory now, and the sounds and sights of the field outside had long since left them. They were all alone in the old building, the light from the holes in the roof casting menacing shadows on the derelict machines.

    “Should we go check it out? It sounds… menacing, almost.” said Bianca timidly.

    “I don’t know. Remember our objective, we need to find a Munna.” David replied.

    “But we’re also here to train and get stronger for our Gym battle. If someone is in trouble back there, this could be the perfect opportunity to do that.” she responded.

    Bianca had a good point, but this place gave him the creeps. He didn’t want to look unmanly in front of her, but he also didn’t want to get wrapped up in something bigger than they were anticipating.

    As he stood there considering his options, he heard Bianca whisper something to him.

    “David… David!” she whispered in a panic. “There’s… something… behind… me!”

    David slowly turned around and saw her frozen in place, a look of panic in her eyes and a cold sweat forming on her brow. He didn’t see anything behind her though, and didn’t know what she felt.

    “I don’t see anything, Bianca; what do you feel?” he whispered back.

    “Something… is… fiddling… with… my… hair!” she whispered in a panic. She felt a cold, clammy hand touch the bare flesh on the back of her neck and she shrieked.

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKK!

    David jumped back in shock, and saw the dark silhouette of a Duskull go flying off, chuckling to itself over its latest prank.

    “You rotten little bastard.” he said under his breath at the Pokémon.

    Hey, did you hear that?” someone in the next room said. “Yeah, come on!” said a second voice.

    “Oh ****, Bianca, hide!” David whispered to his friend. The two of them ran behind a broken down machine and waited to see who or what came through the door.

    “Alright, who’s in here?!” said the stern voice of a man.

    “Show yourselves!” said the second voice.

    “David! I’m s-s-s-scared!” Bianca whispered in his ear. They were hunched over in the corner, hidden behind the machine. She was knelt right behind him, holding onto him for dear life, her cheek almost touching his. He could hear her breath and could feel her heartbeat. “Well, at least one good thing came of all this...” he thought to himself.

    “We know you’re in here! We’re giving you ‘til the count of 3 to come out! 1…” said the first voice.

    “David, what are we going to do?!” whispered Bianca.

    “2…” said the second voice.

    “I don’t know! I guess we’re going to have to battle them. Get your Pachirisu ready.” David whispered back.

    “Thre- AAAH!” the first voice shouted. “JESUS, WHAT WAS THAT?!” he screamed.

    The errand little Duskull went sailing off through the air again, laughing to itself over the grand success it had been having that day. While the two men were distracted, David and Bianca leapt out and released their Pokémon.

    “Go, Ralts!” David shouted.

    “Pachirisu, help us!” Bianca chimed in.

    The two men stood to face their attackers, and realized just what they were up against.

    “Hey, wait a minute, mate. These are just a couple of snot-butted little kids!” said the first man.

    “Hey yeah! It’s nothing but a couple of no good kiddies. What the hell are you two doing here? Trying to find a nice dark place away from mommy and daddy to go make out?” said the second man mockingly.

    David blushed at the thought, but quickly snapped back “We should ask you the same thing! We heard sounds like an animal getting tortured coming from back there. Who the hell are you guys?”

    The two men chuckled and stepped into the light, revealing their attire. They were dressed in the same get-ups as the Team Plasma guards they had seen in Accumula Town.

    “We are noble operatives of Team Plasma. We are here doing the valiant work of our Lord Ghetsis, and you little brats will not stand in our way.” said the goon.

    As he said this, he and his partner grabbed Pokéballs from their hips and threw them out together to oppose Ralts and Pachirisu. A Patrat and Purrloin popped out and stood to face their attackers.

    “We’re going to have to Double Battle them, Bianca. You take the Purrloin, I’ll take the Patrat.” David said.

    “O-okay!” Bianca said nervously.

    “Ralts, use Double Team!” David shouted. Paula hovered off the ground and flooded the room with her doppelgangers. The two Plasma grunts were taken aback and looked annoyed.

    “Screw this. Purrloin, use Scratch!” shouted one of the grunts. The cat leapt into the air, bounced off of a machine and flung itself towards Pachirisu. Pachirisu took a step back, worriedly awaiting instruction from its trainer.

    “Pachirisu, try using Bide!” shouted Bianca. “I looked up some of Pachirisu’s moves in my Pokédex earlier. I want to try this one out.” she commented to David.

    Pachirisu curled up into a ball and flared out the sharp points along its tail and spine. The Purrloin slashed at it with Scratch and struck a powerful blow, but Pachirisu took it like a champ. Meanwhile, the other goon was working his way through Paula’s Double Team, and had whittled them almost all the way down.

    “Patrat, just keep using Tackle!” the grunt commanded. The little rodent flung itself at the nearest copy of the Ralts, and upon dissolving the fake, moved onto the next one. David knew he had to act before the real Paula got hit, and he leapt into action.

    “Paula, use Confusion!” Suddenly, all the copies disappeared and the Patrat stumbled, surprised and shocked as the one he was fighting dissolved before him. Paula floated off the ground a bit and launched the blast forth towards the Patrat. It took it head on, and was flung across the room. It knocked into its partner, and fell to the ground in a slump. The Purrloin got right back up and continued hacking and slashing at Pachirisu. It had taken quite a bit of abuse at this point and started to twitch. Pachirisu’s body began to glow a bright red, intensifying in strength until it burst open and launched a wave of energy out at the Purrloin. The little cat was flung across the room, and moved no more. Both of them were down for the count; Bianca and David had won.

    “Yeah! Go Pachirisu! We did it!” shouted Bianca. “That’s a really great move.”

    “Alright you bastards, nowhere left to run. What are you lot doing here?” David asked sternly.

    As he said this, a timid “…munn?” came from behind the Plasma grunts. A Munna poked its head into the doorway from the room where the grunts had come from, and looked around in shock.

    “Forget this, quick, grab it!” shouted one of the grunts. His partner lurched forward and grabbed the little Pokémon. It squealed in worry and pain, and struggled to break free.

    “I’ve got it, let’s get out of here!” shouted the second man.

    “Oh no you don’t! Paula, use Confusion!” David shouted. The Ralts again loosed a psychic blast towards the man, knocking him over and freeing the Munna. It floated towards David, trying desperately to escape its captors.

    “I’ve got’cha!” shouted the first grunt, grabbing the Pokémon. “GIVE! US! THE! DAMN! DREAM MIST!” he shouted, smacking the little Pokémon with each word.

    “Eeek! Hey, stop that! Don’t hurt it!” shouted Bianca. “Pachirisu, Quick Attack!” she shouted.

    Pachirisu leapt into action and kicked the man squarely in the jaw. The shock and pain from the blow loosened his grip and the Munna was able to escape. It flew quickly across the room and hid behind Bianca, trying to stay out of sight.

    David ran across the room, took a flying leap, and smashed into the grunt, delivering a tremendous punch to his face. The grunt flew back and landed square on his ***, dazed and bleeding.

    “Bianca, go! Get the police! I’ll keep these two here. Hurry!” David shouted. “That will not be necessary…” said a voice from the other room.

    The stern, imposing figure of a man came walking slowly through the doorway in front of him. The man was dressed in eccentric clothing, and David recognized him immediately; it was the man from the park in Accumula Town.

    “My operatives and I will take our leave now. There will be no need for further violence.” the man said.

    Holy crap, it’s Ghetsis himself!” said one of the grunts, sitting up and holding his head.

    YOU!” Ghetsis shouted at the man. “You two imbeciles shall be SILENT. You two have failed me this day, and shall be punished for it. Run! Run away from this place while you still can. We shall rendezvous at point delta where I shall dole out appropriate penalties.” he said, stroking his chin.

    “Come on, let’s get out of here!” shouted the other grunt.

    “Our apologies, my Lord. We shall make right this mistake.” stammered the other grunt.

    The two of them quickly stood and bolted past David and Bianca. They ran out of the factory screaming, and were gone in an instant.

    David stood staring at Ghetsis, not knowing just how to handle the situation. Ghetsis stood staring blankly back at him, and after a moment said “Are they gone?”

    David was taken aback at this comment, and a moment later heard Paula say “Yes, it is safe to come out now.” The man standing before him faded from sight, dissolving into thin air before David’s very eyes. As he vanished, the Munna floating behind Bianca came out from behind her protector, and a fully grown Musharna came into view from the other room.

    “Oh wow! It was all an illusion!” said Bianca. “That Musharna saved us!”

    “Saved us? We had those two cornered and it let them get away!” David shouted.

    Bianca put a slender finger to her lips and pursed them together, indicating for him to be quiet. The Munna and Musharna had floated together, nuzzling up to each other affectionately.

    “Aww…” cooed Bianca. “If that isn’t just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen…”

    The mother and daughter floated together in harmony and happiness, joyous to be once again safe in their home. A mysterious purple gas began drifting out from the Musharna: Dream Mist.

    “Bianca, quick, grab that jar over there.” David said, pointing to a jar sitting abandoned on the desk. “Try and grab some of this stuff for Fennel.” he said.

    Bianca began collecting the Dream Mist, and once she had filled the jar, the two loving Pokémon separated. David approached the pair with a proposition.

    “Munna, Musharna, there’s a nice young doctor back in town who could really use your help. Her name is Fennel. How would you two like to come live with her? You’ll be safe from those Plasma goons if they ever come back, and you can live in a nice apartment instead of this run-down factory.” David said.

    The pair looked at each other, considering the proposition. A moment later, the Musharna uttered a few strange sounds and nodded its head. David heard Paula’s voice in his head say “They said they would be delighted, master. Job well done, if I do say so myself.”

    “Then it’s agreed. Bianca, could you hand me two of the Pokéballs?” David said.

    Bianca handed him the balls, and he gently pushed them up against the two Pokémon. They fell to the floor, wiggled three times, and then were still.

    “Well Bianca, it looks like we just caught our first Pokémon.” said David with a grin.

    * * *

    “Oh, you two did wonderful! This is better than I could have ever hoped for!” shouted Fennel joyously. Bianca and David had just returned with not just the Munna she asked for, but a fully grown Musharna and a full jar of Dream Mist. Needless to say, Fennel was pleased.

    “Glad we could be of service, ma’am.” said David with a nod.

    “When your research makes that big breakthrough, I get dibs on the first flying car!” said Bianca with a giggle.

    “You’ve got a deal, Bianca! Oh, thank you ever so much, kids; this will help my research tremendously.” Fennel said, cuddling up to her new Pokémon. “Actually… how would you two like a little down payment on that flying car right now?” she asked.

    “What do you mean?” asked Bianca.

    Fennel held up her index finger, indicating “just a moment,” and went over to a cabinet. She opened the top drawer, rummaged around for a bit, and then closed it. She moved down the column to the next one, and found what she was looking for. She returned with a small machine, and presented it to Bianca.

    “Here you are, kids. This is a little something for all your hard work. It’s a Technical Machine, or ‘TM’ for short.” she said.

    “Oh hey, I’ve heard about those things.” David said. “You can use them to teach moves to Pokémon, right?”

    “Yes you can, David! And this one contains a very useful move indeed: Hidden Power.” she said. “All Pokémon have a hidden power, buried deep within themselves. This move allows Pokémon to tap into that power and unleash it in a powerful bolt of energy. Each Pokémon’s Hidden Power is different, and it can be any type of move. You could have Hidden Power Fire, or Hidden Power Steel, or Hidden Power Rock… anything! It all just depends on the Pokémon using it.” she continued.

    “Wow, that’s awesome! I want to know what my little Pachirisu’s Hidden Power is!” shouted Bianca.

    She took the machine from Fennel and activated it. It whirred to life and began to hum. Bianca called Pachirisu out of her Pokéball, and had it step up to the machine. Pachirisu began to interface with it, and in a moment of clarity, Pachirisu had learned Hidden Power!

    “Let’s go outside and see what it does, David. Thank you, Fennel! Good luck in your research!” Bianca said.

    “Thank you, love. Good luck in your upcoming Gym battle too. Come back and visit any time, you hear?” Fennel said as they left the apartment.

    Bianca, David and Pachirisu went down to the street and walked up to a nearby tree.

    “Pachirisu, use Hidden Power on that tree!” Bianca commanded.

    Pachirisu doubled over on itself, charging up the energy buried inside of it. Once it had charged up, it spread its arms and let loose the powerful blast. The tree shook and instantly froze solid.

    “Hmm… so it looks like Pachirisu’s Hidden Power is Ice.” said David. “That’s actually really awesome; Ice is very effective against Grass types, so you should have no problem beating Cilan now. Also, since Pachirisu is an Electric type, that means she has unresisted type coverage; no known Pokémon that resists Electric also resists Ice, and no Pokémon that resists Ice also resists Electric.” he continued.

    “Oh really? Is that so?” Bianca asked.

    “Yeah, I think so. There was this Champion a few decades ago that had a Pokémon that knew Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, and it was said that nothing could withstand that combo. Scholars call it ‘BoltBeam’ now in honor of him, I think.” David commented.

    “Wow, that’s great! Pachirisu, you’re getting stronger every day!” Bianca exclaimed.

    * * *

    Later that night at the Pokémon Center, Bianca and David were catching Cheren up on the events that had transpired. They explained about the Dreamyard, finding the two Plasma grunts, about “meeting” Ghetsis, and about catching the Munna. Cheren was enthralled by the whole story.

    “Man, I really wish I had gone now. I just spent all day sitting in a library reading dusty old books. What you two did is way more exciting.” said Cheren.

    “Well, that’s what you get for being a prick to Fennel.” said David. “She even gave us a TM she was so pleased with us.”

    “Really? Which one?” asked Cheren.

    “Hidden Power, and you can’t use it. You didn’t come help us, so pppppth!” said Bianca, sticking her tongue out at him.

    “We taught it to Pachirisu. Her Hidden Power is Ice, evidently.” said David.

    “Oh, well that works out great. You get the easy Gym battle now, Bianca.” said Cheren. As he said this, his face grew somber and he looked down at his lap. He continued, “That Team Plasma lot has me really worried now though. If they’re just a bunch of loons yelling at people in the park, that’s one thing, but such outright violence towards Pokémon… this won’t end well.”

    “I’m sure the police will handle them, Cheren. I doubt we’ll have to deal with them personally anymore.” said David. “I’m just glad Bianca and I got out of there alright.”

    “Can’t say the same for that one goon though! David smacked him right in his face! It was awesome!” said Bianca excitedly. David blushed at the praise from his crush.

    “Oh… yeah, well…” he stammered.

    “When you say ‘smacked,’ what do you mean by that? Like, he ran up and gave him a sissy little slap?” said Cheren, mockingly.

    “How about I show you, buttlicker?” said David, getting up. Bianca giggled and Cheren shifted away in his seat.

    “Now now, boys, let’s save the fights for the Pokémon, shall we? Hehehe…” chuckled Bianca.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  6. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hontoni

    This spot has been reserved for the rest of my comments. Just finished chapter 1 after multiple stopping (busy busy busy).

    I will, however, say that after reading the first chapter, the change in the standard plot is refreshing. After so many B/W remakes (using the generic starters and the generic characters) it's nice to see you do something else with the story line.

    So far, I have to say that David's falling for Bianca, especially since he first noticed his feelings for her that day, are progressing very fast.

    At least that's how I feel, because that's how it happened to me. A friend, no romantic interest at all, sparked this... Moment that caused me to re-think things. But we were friends. And I wanted to make VERY SURE that I wasn't just feeling things, that it was real. I think it took me like, 3 weeks to finally admit to myself that I started liking her.

    David began to admit it on the first day, where it could have easily (to add more bulk to the story as well) been spread out over a few chapters, that internal struggle between "I like her, I like her not." It could have added more had it been spaced out. You still can do that, and it is author's preference. I'm just saying I how I feel aloud here. hehe.

    But so far so good, I'm gonna read chapter 2 soon, and then I'll edit this post (unless you post after this, and then I can just post afterwards. ^___^
    Again, originality gets an 'a-ok' from me.

    EDIT 1: Chapter 2 was also pretty good. I like how you let David and Paula train, to imply strength, but in his first battle, he lost soundly. Granted, there was that whole bit about bad typing, but nonetheless, you let(MADE) David lose. Definitely allows some character building, if you play your cards right.

    It's also good how David is actually coming to terms with his feelings towards Bianca, as opposed to just realizing he has feelings for her and then jumping straight into it.

    So chapter 2's also pretty good. I didn't see any spelling mistakes, or grammar problems. The length is also pretty nice; comparing it to food, it's like having just enough food to eat, but still not enough so that you want more.

    EDIT 2: For chapter 3. @___@

    Anyways, I liked it. This story is definitely going to be an interesting read. I like how (so you can cross out my earlier comments) David's trying to take his time trying to figure out his feelings towards Bianca. Whoops, haha. It's actually doing pretty well.

    I guess characterization is what I noticed the most in this chapter. David's definitely got a soft spot for Bianca; his winning streak (0-2 right after losing to Bianca) proves that, since most people don't like losing. It also shows how he's a good guy, especially when you couple that with him getting mad at Cheren for being mean to Bianca. You can attribute that to his feelings towards her though. Bianca's character also is keeping true to the character, with a lot of room for your own twist on her. It's pretty spot on, actually.

    Now, Cheren is where I'm starting to see an inconsistency. Not within your story; that's very consistent, but within canon. Cheren's supposedly this super-intelligent teenage prodigy-ish character, who knows all these things that most kids his age wouldn't know. You have his drive for power down pat, the beginning of the chapter showed that. But he never interjects to show his intelligence. Rather, you focus more on your take of Cheren, turning him more into a teenager (which is fine; he is one), and less as the smart kid. So maybe focus a little more on that. He is your character (within the story, I mean) and what you do with him is your choice. But I'd suggest showcasing his intelligence more often. I could be taking this the wrong way though; maybe I'm just missing the points where he showcases his intelligence. @___@

    And beyond that, you're doing pretty well with the story. Your description's pretty good, grammar and such is good enough that your mistakes aren't completely obvious, and the content is just as good as the rest. Good thing is, I know that you're waiting til tomorrow to post the next chapter, so I'm not going to have to wait long, but as soon as the next chapter's out, I'll have something to say about it (hopefully. I'm surprised I typed so much as a review. This is really the first fic I've ever reviewed so technically. This actually may be my last intelligent review [supposing that it even is intelligent], although let's hope not. @__@)

    Alright, I'll just wait for the next chapter to come out. This is some pretty good stuff.

    EDIT 3: Just had to say, this review looks like it could be a different (although significantly shorter) chapter. haha
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  7. catzeye

    catzeye Writer's Block

    Well this is certainly a story updates very quickly.

    Your story is quite the original take on Unova journey fics. I'm usually a little wary of David, Bianca, and Cheren getting non-traditional starters, but you made it work.

    Like the other reviewer had said, it seems as if you dampened all the intelligence Cheren is supposed to have. I think he would have known beforehand that there were 3 different gym leaders in the Striaton city gym. That's a question I would have expected Bianca or even David to have asked.

    Speaking of David, so far he is my favorite character. He is a strong, yet believable trainer. The fact that he lost to N wasn't just because he had a type disadvantage, but because he hadn't caught another Pokemon that he could have used against a Purrloin. All that time training his Ralts and yet it didn't occur to him catch another Pokemon. I also like his somewhat-obsession with Bianca. It's funny how he's trying to cope with the fact that he is attracted to a girl he's known almost his whole life.

    I'm surprised you didn't bring up Bianca's dad and his whole issue with her going on a Pokemon journey. Is it going to come up or will there be a new plot that takes the place of that one?

    You have good description that doesn't overdo it. I've noticed you pay close attention to when you are describing Bianca. However since this is from David's point of view it makes sense.

    Since it's at the beginning stages, there isn't really much I can truly comment on. However I will be keeping an eye on this story.
     
  8. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    This is the original version of Chapter 4. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


    Author's Notes:

    Things I learned from this chapter:

    1. My attempt at a French accent sounds more like German when I say it out loud.
    2. You can add “s'il vous plait?” onto the end of any sentence and make it sound French. Trufax.
    3. I can’t think of any French girl names besides “Colette.”

    Seriously though, you should try reading Colette’s dialog out loud, and with the accent. It’s fun, and it makes the character much more believable. She is my first 100% made up character in this series, and I think she turned out well.

    As far as the heavy French overtones go, let me just say this: I haven't watched the TV show since early Sinnoh, and I have no idea how the show portrays Cilan or the others. I'm putting my own take on the gym leaders that may be very different than how the show portrays them.

    In other news, hey, we got our first real reply! *cue streamers* I know I say I’m doing this for fun and love of the characters, not for attention or rates, but my heart still skipped a beat seeing new posts on this thread that weren’t mine. Nachoe, your comments are very appreciated and very well stated. I’ll take them into consideration. I also think I’m doing a fairly good job at reigning David and Bianca’s relationship in, which was your main criticism. Also, as far as Cheren showing off his intelligence, there will definitely be more of that to come, but I think you’ll like this chapter in that regard. As a special note, by the way, I noticed your signature, and I’d like to just say this: if you like Green Day, I have a special surprise for you in Chapter 7. *mischievous face*

    As I’ve been writing this, I see we got another one. Damn… 3 chapters with nothing and then suddenly I’ve hit the proverbial jackpot. Catzeye, your comments are also very appreciated and eloquently stated. It sounds like making Cheren smarter is key, eh? Keep in mind that I wrote this chapter entirely before seeing any of these comments, but I think you’ll still appreciate his role in it in terms of showcasing his intelligence.

    I just want to say one last little thing in response to my new comments and then I’ll get on with the chapter. I think it will be much easier and will allow me to develop a much more character driven story if I limit them to 3 Pokemon teams. As you can see by the chapter listing, I am going to have a Part 1 and a Part 2, which is the main game (getting badges, stopping Team Plasma, beating the E4 for the first time) and the Post-Game (Eastern Unova, battling the E4 the second time, etc…). I am going to have them build full 6 Pokemon teams during Part 2, that will end with a climactic final battle with them, but for now, our adventurers get 3 Pokemon each. I don’t want to spoil anything, but here’s a little tease:

    David: Starter, Pinwheel Forest, Chargestone Cave.
    Bianca: Starter, Wellspring Cave, Mistralton Cave.
    Cheren: Starter, Relic Castle, Cold Storage.

    *second mischievous face*

    Here is Chapter 4 of “Chronicles of Unova.” It covers the Striaton City Gym battles for Cheren, Bianca and David, and is aptly titled “The Striaton City Gym Battle.” Clever title is clever. To any native speakers of French out there, please blame Google Translate if the little French that is in here is horribly wrong, s'il vous plait.

    Thanks for reading. Hope you all enjoy.

    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 4: The Striaton City Gym Battle

    “Pansear, Incinerate!”

    The day of David’s first official Pokémon League Gym battle had finally arrived. After dreaming about it all his life, David was finally about to challenge a real, certified Gym Leader. Typically it was Bianca’s thing to get super excited over things, but today he was right there alongside his friend in that regard. Though he had only been a trainer for a few days, he and Ralts had already made leaps and bounds in their training and coordination. He felt confident in their ability to win against Chili and bring home the coveted Trio Badge.

    He, Bianca and Cheren walked into the Gym and approached the reservation table. All the tables in the large, extravagant dining room had been pushed to the sides and the chairs placed neatly on top of them. Cilan was sweeping up the clearing in the middle of the room where the battles would take place, Cress was in the back washing a few final dishes from the morning rush, and Chili was practicing attacks with his Pansear.

    Upon hearing its trainer’s command, the fiery little monkey grabbed its tail and shot out a stream of fire from the tip, spraying a flamethrower that heated the whole room instantly. The move was most impressive, and as quickly as it had started, the Pokémon cut the stream and leapt into the air behind it. It spun around, performing a back flip, and landed on one foot on one of the tables. It was not just strong, but acrobatic and nimble. David reconsidered just how “easy” this battle might be.

    As the group approached the reservation table, the young receptionist behind the counter spoke to them. “Ahh, bonjour, bonjour. You, ah… you have ze, ah… appointment, ze ah… rendezvous, with ze Gym Leaders, oui oui?” she asked in a thick accent. David nodded and answered for the group. “Ahh, zen you follow me to ze, ahh... ze battling arena, ze colisée, s'il vous plait.” she said.

    The young woman picked up a menu off her table and walked the group over to the middle of the room where Cilan and Chili were. Cress came out of the kitchen to meet them as well.

    “Thank you, Colette, please go and wait for us in the judge’s booth, s’il vous plait.” Cilan said. She curtsied and walked over to the far side of the room.

    “Welcome, friends. Château de la Ligue welcomes you into its doors and hopes you will have a splendid experience. May we start you off with any appetizers this morning before we get started?”

    They politely shook their heads, and he continued. “Then we shall begin. Who shall be taking the stage first this morning?”

    Cheren spoke up and said that he was; he had won the bet the day before and earned the right to battle first. Bianca would go next, and David last. Cilan bowed his head and stepped aside for his brother Cress to take the field. The two trainers stood opposite each other in the room, and readied their Pokémon. Bianca and David sat behind their friend, while Cilan and Chili took up positions behind their brother. The young receptionist stood in the middle of the room, and raised her arms straight up.

    * * *

    “Ah today…” she said in a loud voice, “…we have ze battle between Monsieur Cress, of ze Striaton City, and Monsieur Che-Ren, of ze Nuvema Town.” She stressed the two syllables in his name, pronouncing them carefully. “Zis vill be ze un à un Pokémon battle, ze ahh… bataille, comme il était, between Monsieur Cress’ Panpour, et Monsieur Che-Ren’s Eevee. Vill ze trainers please release ze Pokémon, s'il vous plait?

    Cheren silently drew Eevee’s Pokéball from his belt and threw it out into the room. The Pokémon leapt from the ball, and stood proudly in the large room. The scale of the room and the high ceilings dwarfed the tiny Pokémon, but it stood proudly and defiantly, ready to face the challenge.

    Cress also drew his Pokéball, and released it into the air with a triumphant shout of “Panpour, go!” The little blue monkey leapt from the ball in midair, and gracefully grabbed a hold of the exquisite chandelier hanging from the ceiling. It swung from the beams daintily and landed with a soft “pat, pat” on the ground opposite Eevee.

    Colette spoke again, “I vill be ze judge of zis match, le juge, and shall determine when ze losing Pokémon is unfit to continue.” She stepped back towards the kitchen at the far end of the room to get out of the way of the opposing Pokémon and swung her arms down in unison. “Aaaaaand, begin!”

    Cress was faster and called out the first move. “Panpour, use Water Gun!”

    The little blue monkey swung its tail around from behind it and held it in both hands like a hose. It sprayed a fierce jet of water from the tip and hit Eevee dead on with it. Eevee went flying back across the room, trying to regain its footing to get out of the way of the blast. It hit the wall behind Cheren, and slid to the ground. Panpour stopped the stream, raising its arms in the air and shouting in celebration. Eevee stood back up and ran back to the battlefield, shaking the water from its coat and clearing its head. It puffed out its chest defiantly, ready to strike back.

    “Good hit, Cress, but here’s an even better one. Eevee, let’s use that new move we discovered!”

    Eevee sat down on its hind legs and closed its eyes. Its fur began to rise and flare up with mystical power. The room began to shake and Panpour and Cress looked around in shock. Eevee opened its eyes; its pupils flashed every color of the rainbow and seemed to be channeling the very powers of Arceus. A blinding flash shot out from Eevee’s eyes, and all returned to normal in an instant. Cress and Panpour looked around to see what had happened, but nothing appeared different. Eevee rose and puffed out its chest proudly and defiantly.

    “What was that? What did you just do?” shouted Cress.

    “Never you mind that, Frenchy. Now for some power; Eevee, use Tackle!”

    Eevee moved as if it were a flash. It launched itself at the monkey Pokémon, hitting it before it could even see where Eevee had gone. The hit knocked the Panpour off its feet and sent it flying. It did a tremendous amount of damage, disorienting and severely wounding it.

    “Wow, that looked like it really hurt!” Bianca exclaimed.

    “That’s because of its Adaptability, Eevee’s ability.” David said as he folded his arms. “When a Pokémon uses a move of the same type as it, such as the Normal type Eevee using the Normal type Tackle attack, it gains a little power boost known as ‘STAB,’ or ‘S.ame T.ype A.ttack B.onus.’ Pokémon that have the Adaptability ability increase that boost by a small margin, making their STAB attacks much more powerful.” he continued.

    “Oh wow, that’s awesome! Cheren’s really smart for utilizing that.” Bianca said.

    “Not necessarily…” David quipped back. “Eevee has a fairly limited move pool, mostly consisting of low-powered STAB attacks. It’s really a pretty perfect ability for it, but evolution is really the saving grace for most Eevee.”

    “Oh hush, you dork. Just watch the neat battle.” said Bianca, pushing on her friend’s arm.

    Panpour stood itself back up, clutching its head and trying to find its opponent. It was disoriented and tired, the Tackle attack having done a tremendous amount of damage. It leapt back into the fray, and Cress shouted for it to use Water Gun again. It readied its tail and fired, but this time Eevee jumped out of the way.

    As it landed, the flash of light that it had shot off earlier flew through the walls and came back to it, causing its fur to rise and swirl with power and energy again. Eevee had a look of grit and determination in its eyes; suddenly all the damage it had endured during the battle washed away, healed in an instant by its Wish.

    Cheren turned to face his friends and said “I discovered Eevee could use Wish yesterday while I was at the Trainers’ School. Professor Oak’s aide must have taught it that before giving it to Professor Juniper. Guess my day wasn’t a waste after all, huh?” he said with a grin.

    Turning back around, he faced his opponent and shouted “Now that Wish has kicked in, it’s time to finish this. Eevee, use Quick Attack.”

    Eevee bobbed its head in acknowledgement and then vanished. It was moving so fast it couldn’t even be seen. Panpour looked around in a panic for its foe, still disoriented from the Tackle it had sustained earlier. Suddenly, Eevee struck from behind and hit it square in the back. As it was falling forward, Eevee struck again from the side, then the other side, then the front, and so on. Eevee was unrelenting and uncounterable, moving so fast it couldn’t even be seen. As Panpour fell backwards, nearly on the verge of defeat, Eevee ran behind it and stopped. Panpour tripped over it as it fell, stumbling and landing on its head. Eevee jumped up with all its might, launching Panpour high into the air. It came sailing back down to the ground and landed with a “thud!” It lifted its head and waved an arm, and then collapsed, too exhausted to continue the fight.

    Colette raised her left hand and turned to Cheren. She announced in her thick French accent “Panpour is unable to battle. Monsieur Che-Ren is ze winner!”

    Eevee ran back to Cheren joyously and leapt into its trainer’s arms. Cheren was grinning a massive grin and pet Eevee on the head, congratulating it and giving it praise. He took a small Pokémon treat from his pocket and gave it to the little fox, which Eevee devoured happily.

    Cress recalled his Pokémon and walked to the middle of the room. Cheren met him half way and the two trainers shook hands. Cheren was victorious, and had earned his first official Pokémon League badge.

    * * *

    “Ah next…” Colette shouted, “…we have ze battle between Monsieur Cilan, of ze Striaton City, and Madame Bianca, of ze Nuvema Town. Zis vill also be ze un à un Pokémon battle, between Monsieur Cilan’s Pansage, et Madame Bianca’s Pachirisu. Will ze trainers please release ze Pokémon, s'il vous plait?

    Bianca took Pachirisu’s ball out of her bag and threw it high into the air, shouting “Go Pachirisu!” with a squeal. The ball landed on the ground, and the ele-squirrel Pokémon leapt out, striking a pose and bristling with electricity.

    Cilan drew his Pokéball and threw it underhanded into the center of the room, a smile of contentment and ease on his face. A small green Pansage popped out, and smiled at Pachirisu, preparing to spar with its new opponent.

    Colette spoke again, “I shall again be ze judge of zis match and shall determine when ze losing Pokémon is unfit to continue.” She raised her arms above her head and swung them down in unison. “Aaaaaand, begin!”

    Femmes first…” said Cilan with a flick of his wrist. His accent was strong.

    “You’re going to regret underestimating me, buster! Pachirisu, Quick Attack!” Bianca shouted.

    Pachirisu went down on all fours and began to charge at the Pansage. Pansage stood perfectly still, waiting and watching its opponent draw closer. Cilan stood calmly too, his eyes closed and a hand on his hip. At the last moment, he audibly snapped his fingers and Pansage dodged. It leapt straight up, Pachirisu running blisteringly quickly under it.

    “Pansage, use your Vine Whip, s'il vous plait.” Cilan said calmly. As it fell back down, Pansage did a backflip and shot out the vines from the tip of its tail. The speeding vines launched forth to Pachirisu and caught it mid-stride, swinging it back around the room and crashing into the opposite wall. Pansage landed gracefully and stood to face Pachirisu, who stood itself up and shook off the disorientation.

    “Pachirisu, try it again! Hurry, Quick Attack!” Bianca shouted. Pachirisu shot towards Pansage at lightning speed, determination and rage burning in its eyes for being duped. Cilan and Pansage were again calm and still. Again, at the last moment, Cilan ordered his Pokémon to attack, this time calling for a Scratch attack. Pansage nimbly sidestepped at the last moment, extending its claws and raking the little squirrel as it ran past. Pachirisu yelped in pain and stumbled, falling to the ground and skidding to a halt. Pachirisu stood itself up, burning with anger and lusting for revenge.

    Bianca knew trying the same attack a third time would be pointless; it was time to call out the big guns and use her secret weapon. “Pachirisu, use your Hidden Power!” she shrieked. David could hear the fire and passion in her voice, and suddenly got that funny feeling again unexpectedly.

    Pachirisu was seething with rage and strength. It launched off the powerful attack, filling the entire room with frost.

    “Ack! Pansage, quick, run away!” Cilan shouted.

    The blast of cold air filled the entire room, catching Pansage from behind as it tried to escape and knocking it to the ground, severely wounded. Pachirisu composed itself and bristled with electricity. Bianca ordered a Spark and it charged forth at the Pansage, knowing this would be the finishing blow. Pansage turned over its shoulder, still trying to stand after being knocked down by the Hidden Power, and saw the bolt of lightning screaming towards it. It tried to roll out of the way, but Pachirisu’s aim was true. It smashed into the little monkey and filled it with current. Pansage was down, laying flat on its face, and Colette raised her left hand again, signaling towards Bianca.

    “Pansage is unable to battle. Madame Bianca is ze winner!” she shouted.

    Pachirisu ran back to its trainer, bruised and aching, but full of pride that it had won for her. Bianca squealed and ran out to meet her Pokémon. It leapt into her arms and she embraced it, cuddling it next to her face. She knelt on the ground, hugging her Pokémon and oblivious to everything else around her. Cilan returned Pansage to its Pokéball and, like his brother before him, walked out to shake Bianca’s hand. She too had won her Gym battle, and had earned herself her own Trio Badge.

    * * *

    Now it was David’s turn. He was the last one to battle, and the only one without a badge. Everything was riding on this battle, and as certain as he was in he and Paula’s abilities, he couldn’t help but feel nervous.

    Colette began her announcement for the third time that day, “Ahh finally, we have ze battle between Monsieur Chili, of ze Striaton City, and Monsieur David, of ze Nuvema Town. Zis vill be ze final un à un Pokémon battle of ze day, between Monsieur Chili’s Pansear, et Monsieur David’s Ralts. Will ze trainers please release ze Pokémon, s'il vous plait?

    David took hold of Paula’s Pokéball and threw it gently into the arena. The little Ralts popped out and floated off the ground, shouting its name and preparing for battle. “Have no fear, master. We will win. I have a few tricks up my sleeve even my wonderful trainer does not know about.” he heard Paula say in his head. He wondered what she could mean, but noticed that she did seem to have a certain sheen to her; a glow that seemed to resonate with power and energy. “Thank you, master; I noticed it too.” she interrupted.

    Chili clutched his Pokéball and threw it emphatically into the middle of the room. He was the most rough-and-tumble of the brothers; his choice of Pokémon was a reflection of his fiery personality and battling style. His Pansear flew out from the ball and landed with an audible “thud!” on the ground, a striking difference to the entrances his brothers had made.

    “Get ready to get burned, kid! We’re about to sizzle, yow!” he shouted.

    Colette repeated her instructions to the trainers for the final time. “I shall be ze judge of zis final match and shall determine when ze losing Pokémon is unfit to continue.” She brought her arms above her head and swung them down in unison. “Aaaaaand, begin!”

    “Paula, use Double Team!” “Pansear, hit ‘em with Incinerate!” the trainers shouted in unison. Paula quickly flooded the room with her copies, but Pansear shot them with the blast of fire as quickly as she could make them. Just as the blast was about to reach the real Paula, she Teleported away and out of harm.

    “That’s quite a fast-paced start to such a hot battle, yow!” Chili shouted.

    David agreed, but he agreed by keeping up the pace Chili appreciated so much. “Paula, hit it with Confusion!” he shouted. Ralts shot forth the blast, striking the Pansear, but it was just a glancing blow. Pansear sloughed it off and charged towards her, ready to attack. Chili called for a Fury Swipes attack, and it dashed towards the Ralts, claws bared. It took a mighty swipe at her, but she Teleported away.

    “Keep it up, Paula, just keep Teleporting! Stay safe and we’ll wear it down.” David shouted. Paula reappeared a short distance away, and Pansear took another swipe. Paula Teleported away from that one, and the pattern began again. The two Pokémon had a dance going of Pansear taking a slash at Paula, Paula Teleporting away, and then rematerializing a short distance from it and starting over again. After several seconds of this back-and-forth, Pansear managed to catch a lucky shot and glanced a blow, spinning her side-over-side and knocking her to the floor.

    Paula was in a dire straight. She lay defenseless on the ground, trying valiantly to get back up and defend herself, the fiery monkey slowing closing in for the final blow.

    “Let’s finish this, Pansear. Burn it with Incinerate!” shouted Chili with a devilish laugh. Pansear walked slowly over to the Ralts, tail in hand, ready to launch the blast. A Cheshire grin spread across its face, ready to deliver the final blow. David was out of options; he didn’t know what to do. He desperately called for Paula to Teleport away, but she was still reeling from the Fury Swipes. Paula leaned herself up on one arm, shielding her face with the other and looked up to see her would-be attacker. Just as Pansear prepared to launch the blow, David heard Paula’s voice in his head speak. “Say your prayers, you son of a gun. Master, watch this!

    In a brilliant flash of light, Paula summoned all the energy her tiny little body could store, and evaporated in a flash. It blinded the Pansear, spraying its fire all throughout the room. Paula reappeared just below the chandelier, hovering gracefully in the air. She let out a cry and began to glow a brilliant white. Rings of blue light surrounded her body and she began to change. She slowly began to morph from one form to another. The light began to pulsate quickly, the blue rings moving up and down her tiny form too quickly to follow. In an instant, the bundle of light and energy that had been Paula burst, and she reappeared, now in the graceful form of a beautiful young Kirlia.

    Kirlia sang out a brilliant note, and drifted daintily down to the ground, pirouetting gracefully on her long, slender new legs. She drifted down to the ground gently, and landed softly on the tips of her toes. She turned to look at her opponent, and struck a fighting pose. The Pansear was taken aback by the new form of its opponent and didn’t know what to do.

    “Whatever, you think you’re so hot? Pansear, Fury Swipes!” Chili shouted.

    Pansear again rushed towards his new foe, claws bared and ready to strike. Kirlia was much faster this time, Teleporting away from the danger easily. With each new Teleport, she warped behind the monkey Pokémon and gave it a smack on the back of the head. This enraged it, making each swipe more powerful and less controlled than the last. After several seconds of this, Pansear went into a frenzy and slashed wildly at the air. Kirlia teleported to a safe distance away and watched the confused little Pokémon flailing in desperation. “May I please put it out of its misery, master?” David heard her say.

    David agreed, shouting for her to use Confusion. She loosed the blast, now much more powerful than before, and it struck the confused Pokémon squarely, tossing it against the far wall with great power. It slumped to the ground in a tired mess, and gave up the ghost. Colette raised her left arm for a final time and announced “Pansear is unable to battle. Monsieur David is ze winner!”

    David let the sound of her voice wash over him. He lowered his head and grinned. He had just competed in his first Pokémon League Gym battle, with his two best friends watching and had won. He looked up at Paula, who smiled and closed her eyes. She Teleported over to him and stood by his side, looking up lovingly at her trainer. David put a hand on her shoulder and tried to think of the biggest cake he could imagine. Kirlia put a hand to her mouth and giggled, then he returned her to her Pokéball.

    “Man… burned out…” said Chili, dejectedly recalling his Pokémon to the ball. He closed his eyes and grinned, running out to the field to congratulate his opponent. David walked calmly over and shook his hand, then turned around to look at his friends. Cheren flashed a thumbs up and Bianca waved and blew him a kiss. He blushed and turned back to his opponent, releasing his grip. Cilan and Cress walked up to join their brother, and began to clap politely for all three trainers. Everyone had won that day.

    * * *

    As the last of the lunch rush began to pour in, Cilan nodded to his brothers and walked to the center of the restaurant with a Champaign glass and a butter knife in hand. He tapped them both together several times to get everyone’s attention, and began to speak.

    “Welcomed and respected patrons of Château de la Ligue, we, the Striaton City Gym Leaders and purveyors of this fine establishment, would like to congratulate and recognize the latest group of trainers to leave our fair city with the honored Trio Badge.” he said.

    David, Cheren and Bianca stood from their seats as the crowd began to applaud. David and Cheren shook hands and bowed, while Bianca curtsied and giggled.

    Cilan continued, “It is my honor as a Gym Leader to award these talented trainers with their first Unova region badge. May it be the first of many on their Pokémon journey.”

    Colette walked up to him and handed him a case with three shiny new badges in it. She curtsied and backed away, returning to her post. Cilan walked up to his brothers and they each took one. Cress awarded a badge to Cheren, Cilan awarded one to Bianca, and Chili awarded one to David. The three friends looked at each other with grins on their faces, and raised their badges in unison for all to see. The restaurant again erupted into applause, and congratulated the young challengers on their victories.

    “One down, seven to go…” David thought to himself. This was bound to be the start of something great.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  9. Ejunknown

    Ejunknown be creative

    It'll be a long night. ;u;

    BAGSY-ING THIS POST. My edits will be through in a few hours, if that is allowed? Reading in progress. 8D
     
  10. Glover

    Glover Pain in Rocket side

    This really does have all themakings of a fun story. I'm goign to take a few lessons off your telling of Unova I think, for if/when I throw my characters in.

    I'm going to hold off on reviewing the front three, since they've bene hit pretty accurately, but I do find the choice of starters odd, for the sole reason that Unova is in fact isolated from the rest of the Pokemon world. Yes, you've justified their being there, Paula at least, is going to be a hoot and a half, though Duskull has taken that spot of "memorable Pokemon interaction" but it still feels off to have a Sinnoh, Hoenn and Kanto Pokemon being handed out from a regional specific lab. I'll get over that though.

    Dd I mention Paula being a lot of fun? I think it would serve well, that if you plan to keep Cheren and Bianca together, to start a spotlight on Pachirisu and Eevee as well, Otherwise it's going to turn into the "Humans and Paula", and you'll lose the point of low-number teams. In that light, Going more into the Striaton Gym battles might have been a good place to start. (Says the guy who tries to avoid writing Pokemon battles so he doesn't butcher them)

    Also, I realy worry about your call to do three-mon teams. I'm just not sure that quality-over-quantity will work here, and I wonder if you'll find yourself later wanting to catch a few things that that limit will prevent.

    Chapter 4 notes
    Using the Toast post-battle in the restaurant, a wonderful idea.

    In reading Colette, and this may be that I've never written nor read a lot of french characters, but all the "ze"s running around felt more Russian than French.

    Felt a little redudnant there, like there were two landings. Might it read better as

    Kirlia sang out a brilliant note, and drifted daintily down to the ground, landed softly on the tips of her toes; pirouetting gracefully on her long, slender new legs before taking a fighting stance.

    or am I just full of it?

    If I were David, I'd be learning how to put up a barrier in my mind, right quick.
     
  11. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hontoni

    I lost my spot as the first poster. *glares at Glover and Ejunknown*

    Just kidding.

    Anyways, good chapter. The evolution during the gym battle, while predictable, was executed well enough to avoid the cliche. Kudos. haha. And go ahead and use your take on the gym leaders/important characters; it adds a different flavor to each character. There is something about that that I think I should bring to your attention, but let's go with the flattery first. Good, then bad. ^__^

    Battle scenes. One of the hardest things in writing Pokemon fanfiction, and something that even I have put off until now (7 chapters in and not one battle. *shamed*). Yours is pretty good. I can't believe I never mentioned it before, but your style of writing Pokemon battles is decent enough that the only thing you can do with it is to add on. I suggest reading this thread if you want some in-depth suggestions on how to improve. But it's good enough as it is, just thought I'd put that out there.

    Ok, now. As I said earlier, it's good you're putting your own spin to the canon characters. But you should maybe research them a bit, just so you have an idea of what they're like.

    For example, Cilan and the others are Connoisseurs. Basically, they study the relationship between Pokemon and Trainer and judge/determine/examine/observe what goes on between them. Now, it's fine that you add their own personalities to these already established characters. Giving them French backgrounds was pretty smart actually. But throughout the battles, you could have had the trainers do more than just call out commands and observe. This might be because I watched the current anime (it helps actually), but it might have been nice to throw in some personality to the characters.

    For Cilan (and Cress and Chili), you could have kept those traits you gave them, but also added their previous established traits. Cilan, in game, is more shy, and lacks confidence (anime-wise, he's outgoing and a little. odd). But even with this, you could have had him examine and call out his observations between the trainers and their Pokemon. Chili could have kept his fiery personality, but at the same time, you could add his own observations (which would probably be more aggressive than Cilan's obersvations) while Cress's would have been more suave, more eloquent.

    So basically, and this is completely up to you, I suggest you do a liiiiittle bit of research prior to writing, so that you can figure out who each character is, as well as who you want them to be, and find a way to blend them.

    Another thing is the other trainer's Pokemon. As Glover stated earlier, it would be nice if the other two Pokemon had some limelight (although I'm positive that's going to come up fairly soon). But throughout the battle, I didn't feel anything from Eevee and Pachirisu. Eevee, at the moment, is this fighting machine that belongs to Cheren, and Pachirisu is a squirrel that battles for Bianca. So maybe giving a little insight to their personalities would be a good idea. You can do that even in a battle. Is Eevee happy he's battling? Is he scared? Is he clumsy, causing himself to trip, or miss? Is Pachirisu excited about battling, or is she too lazy to battle? Does she like Bianca? All these things can be addressed in a battle. Battles are contests held between four (or 6, or 8) living beings, each with their own individual personalities. There's bound to be more involved than just commanding an attack, watching the attack, and either attacking again, or coutner-attacking. Just another point you might want to look into.

    Also, the whole 3 Pokemon teams. That's not a bad idea, and it goes well with Unova because there was a girl in the game that talked about trainers having only 3 Pokemon so that they can focus on raising them properly. But if you're getting the trio to go up against Team Plasma, you may want to reconsider. While your reasoning behind this is understandable, imagine. These three teenagers are going up against an entire Team. Ghetsis is crazy strong and has a Hydreigon. And 6 Pokemon (assuming you're following canon). N is also strong, and has a full party of 6 as well as Reshiram/Zekrom. Now unless you plan on superpowering 9 Pokemon, it might be a bit difficult to pull off a believable win with just the 9. MIGHT be, not impossible. Again, it is your story, and you are God (for the story). I'm sure you'll come up with some way to make it work.

    Uhhhhhh.... I think that's it. hahaha. Although I wrote a big chunk above about characterization, they're more helpful tips as opposed to "YOU DID THIS WRONG, GO FIX IT." You're writing is fine as it is; if you are to continue writing the way you do now, it wouldn't be a big issue. But as it seems that you want to focus a lot on characterization, addressing these things can help you out a bit.

    Anyways, I'm excited for the next chapter. I'm a bit excited to see what Bianca's going to catch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  12. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    This is the original version of Chapter 5. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


    Author's Notes:

    Hi, everyone. First of all, let me respond to all my comments. We have so many readers now. :3

    @Ejunknown, looking forward to seeing what you post, but as of the time of writing, your post is being updating with your comments. I'll keep watching it though. Thanks for reading.

    @Glover, thanks for the long review. You have some very nice things to say. I'm especially glad you like Paula so much; she's going to start playing a bigger role here as we progress through the story. Btw, thanks for catching that bit about Kirlia when she evolves; I try and proof these things pretty thoroughly, but I guess stuff still slips by. Thanks for reading.

    @NACHOE!, you didn't lose your spot as first poster, you just aren't the only commenter anymore. Don't worry, bud, Chronicles had room enough for everyone, and still remembers its favorites. ;) Glad you liked Chapter 4, you had great things to say as usual. Glad to see you're liking the battle scenes, as the descriptiveness I (am able/attempt) to describe them with is the main hook of the series, the thing that sets it apart. You're right about trying to research some of the more important secondary characters though. That thought occurred to me after I had finished the last one, but I'll try to do it with future characters. I had the idea myself actually because I was trying to do a little research into Bianca. I know she has appeared in the show at least in Japan, and I was trying to find out anything about her that I could. As you all can guess, David is my name and the character is based on me; writing about her so much, I'm starting to develop a little crush on Bianca of my own, lol. She has a pretty face, what can I say?

    @Everyone, evidently I'm running into some opposition on the whole 3-Pokemon-teams thing I guess. I'm reluctant to want to change that though, because I already have large portions of the overall story planned out, and trying to come up with 9 more Pokemon for them all to catch might make the story less cohesive. In terms of trying to stop Team Plasma and beat the E4 with just 9 Pokemon however, rest assured, I have a plan! I have a canonical answer for how to fix that, and it will make for a great climax to Part 1. Fear not, I have ze plaaaans... :3 Also, Pachirisu and Eevee will start to play bigger roles as we go forward, I'll make sure of it.

    @Everyone again, I forgot to mention this last time, but I am not going to be addressing that little side plot with Bianca and her dad. I'm sorry, but that felt so forced and horrible in the game, I just don't want to deal with it. It had absolutely no lasting effect, it served no point in the overall plot, and didn't really expand on the character of Bianca in any meaningful way. It was just a convenient plot device to introduce Elesa, and I just don't want to deal with that. Bianca's dad in this story is a used car salesman and totally supports his daughter's journey. Boom, ya'll just got hit by unofficial Chronicles canon, lol.

    With that addressed, I'm going to start my final proofread of this chapter. As I read it, I'll write the following comments on the chapter as a whole as I come to them.

    1. I credit it within the actual chapter itself as well, but I want to be extra clear about this: The song they are singing is called "School Days," and it was written and performed by Chuck Berry in 1957. Aside from changing "Amer-I-Can" to "U-No-Van," I take absolutely no credit for creation of any part of the song. Chuck Berry is awesome; I just know how strict ya'll are about plagiarism.

    2. I tried to make the build-up to Team Plasma stealing the Pokemon as big as I could, but I fear it still came out weird. Sun's shining, kids are laughing, everything's sugar and lollipops, and then Team Plasma just shows up and steals the Pokemon. It feels a little forced and unexpected to me, but that's pretty much how it happens in the game, so I have no real control over that. I hope I wrote the build-up to that pretty okay though.

    3. I like the Beatles. Like, I really like the Beatles. Like, I love the Beatles. Like, I really love the Beatles. Like, I really REALLLLY love the Beatles. Lennon and McCartney are going to be recurring characters, and we'll see them again many more times during the rest of the story. They will play what I hope will be a pivotal role by the end of Part 1.

    4. This chapter features a first for the series, and that is a large portion of the narrative being told from the perspective of someone other than David. Several portions of the story are told from the eyes of Lennon, and several from the eyes of Bianca. This is something new and I think it turned out well; we get to see a new perspective into what Bianca thinks and feels, and are introduced to the new characters of Lennon and McCartney directly.

    5. I think GF did something pretty clever with their take on Team Plasma. The entire time I was playing Black, whenever I ran into Plasma, I kept thinking to myself "Wow, this is totally them responding to the claims that Pokemon is like cock fighting." Obviously, as a corporation, they can't be quite so blunt about it, but I can, and am. I want to really flesh out that argument that GF hinted at.

    6. Yes, Bianca catches a shiny Zubat as her first Pokemon. I know it is cliche, but the fact that it is shiny will play an important plot role later on. It will definitely come into play in Chapter 7 at the very least, and possibly more down the road. Rest assured that as of right now, I have no plans to include any further shiny Pokemon.

    On the subject of them catching previous generation Pokemon in Unova, I am planning on them each having one Unova Pokemon and two prior generation Pokemon each. If I may, I'd like to take this opportunity to explain why I think it makes good sense canonically to have prior generation Pokemon in Unova.

    Let's look at this from the perspective of the show. Ash starts his Pokemon journey and he travels around through Kanto, seeing the original 151. He returns after his adventures, and Professor Oak informs him that 100 new Pokemon were discovered in Johto. As the viewer, we assume these Pokemon, having been newly discovered, are specific to Johto. Much like in the real world, just as how kangaroos are associated strongly with Australia, Johto Pokemon, we assume, are exclusive to Johto. Ash goes off to Johto and sees all the new Pokemon.

    He returns to Pallet Town a while later and Oak again informs him of umpty-squat new Pokemon having been discovered in Hoenn. Again, we make the assumption that these Pokemon are specific to that region. He goes off to Hoenn and he sees the old Kanto Pokemon there in addition to the new Hoenn ones, but he also continues to see the Johto Pokemon there. Suddenly that idea that the new Johto Pokemon are exclusive to Johto seems a bit more faulty.

    He returns again and heads off to Sinnoh, having learned of more new Pokemon being there. When he gets to Sinnoh, not only are the old Kanto Pokemon there along with the new Sinnoh ones, but the Johto and Hoenn Pokemon are there too. The trend continues into Unova, and we're up to current date.

    I don't look at "Johto Pokemon," for example, and see them as being exclusive to that region, because that's simply not how it has worked in practice. I look at "Johto Pokemon" and simply think of them as being a group that was originally discovered in Johto, but do technically live everywhere. Pokemon have never been, in practice, truly region specific, so having a Zubat or a Ralts or what-have-you in Unova, I think, makes perfect sense. Basically, the newer the region, the more Pokemon it has access to. For my purposes, there are no region-specific Pokemon, and you can find every Pokemon in every region (sans legendaries, of course). It makes sense to me canonically, and it makes for a more interesting story. Like I said, they each are going to have 1 Unova Pokemon and 2 older generation Pokemon by the time they complete their teams. I just wanted to take this opportunity to respond to that issue.

    7. Pre-proofread, Cheren pokes the stick with a fire, like a BOSS! And yes, Bianca is quoting sbemail #118.

    I guess that's all. Here's Chapter 7, "Preschool Daze (Bianca Catches a Pokémon)." Hope you like it; thanks for reading.

    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 5: Preschool Daze (Bianca Catches a Pokémon)

    UP in the morning and out to school!” Bianca shouted.

    The teacher is teachin’ the golden rule.” David continued, a smile spreading across his face.

    Unovan hiss-tree and practical math.” Cheren chimed in.

    You’re studyin’ hard and hopin’ to pass.” Bianca sang.

    Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone.” David replied.

    And the guy behind you won’t leave you alone…” Cheren sang in a deep voice.

    Hail, hail, rock & roll!” shouted Bianca with a laugh.

    [Author’s Note: Sung to the tune of “School Days” by Chuck Berry. I take no credit for creation of the lyrics or music.]

    The sun was shining, the Pidove were chirping, and the ground was ever-so-slightly damp from the drizzle the previous night. The mist on the plants accentuated their smells, carrying the sweet scent of ripe fruit and freshly cut grass through the air. Wild Pokémon frolicked and played along the side of the road as they walked, and all of nature seemed to come alive and say “hello!” Route 3 was renowned across all of Unova as one of the purest and most beautiful portions of the region. With its rolling hills, lush green pastures, beautiful sparkling lakes and bright, inviting forests, how could it not be?

    Having defeated the Striaton City Gym and won their Trio Badges, the group’s next destination was Nacrene City to the west. The city was a two day walk from Striaton, passing through the beautiful countryside of Route 3. The area was home to a famous Day Care Center and Preschool, with a sister location right next door for Pokémon. The Day Care had been started by a young couple many years prior who had always loved children and Pokémon but could never have a child of their own. Deciding to do the next best thing, they opened their doors to the citizens of Striaton and opened a Day Care mixed with a Preschool, which quickly grew and became famous around the region for producing gifted students and talented businessmen. They later opened a sister location in the building next door especially for Pokémon, which in time also grew famous in its own right for producing top-notch Pokémon eggs. It was said that the Pokémon born at the Route 3 Day Care Center always grew to be powerful warriors, so it was a hotspot for trainers too. Passing the famous school sparked the impromptu song from Bianca.

    As they walked past the gates to the legendary establishment, they could see small children running and frolicking on the grounds of the campus. Teachers pushed their students gently on the swings, children played and laughed in the sandbox and on the slides, and the little boys always held the door for their female classmates and minded their manners among the adults. It reminded David of his own childhood, and gave him a warm feeling for the future. The institution was continuing to hold their standards high and produce well mannered citizens that would benefit the world. Next door, he could see small Pokémon in much the same role; being fed by their handlers, running and playing Tag in the grass, and enjoying the beautiful day as they awaited their trainers’ returns.

    As these thoughts filled his head, he moved his gaze toward Bianca and watched as she took in the sights and sounds of the Preschool. She had a calm smile on her face, and her eyes shimmered in the sun. She swung her arms ever-so-slightly more quickly as she passed, and had the slightest of springs in her step which wasn’t normally there. He knew he was beginning to fall for his old friend and think of her in a romantic light, he couldn’t keep denying that, but they were just kids themselves; they were only 18, just now reaching the prime of their lives and newly embarked on their Pokémon journey. They would be on the road traveling and going on adventures for several more years before they settled down and returned to society. The thought of children with Bianca was something so completely distant to him that he almost couldn’t even imagine it, but watching her as she gazed at the tikes made it seem like something not completely unappealing at some point in the distant future. She was swinging her arms right along side of him, and her hand would occasionally brush against his. He wished he could hold it as they walked, but knew he had to restrain himself; so close, and yet so far.

    A little boy who had been sitting on the swings and watching them as they passed jumped down and ran across the field to a little girl who was sitting on the stoop. He ran over and whispered something in her ear. A smile spread across her face and she looked at him and nodded. The little boy helped her up, and the pair ran up to the fence.

    “Hey! Are you guys Pokémon trainers?” the little boy asked.

    David looked at his friends with a quizzical look and Bianca and Cheren returned the sentiment, shrugging.

    “Um… yeah? We are.” David replied.

    The kids looked at each other and large grins spread across their faces. “Would you like to have a Pokémon battle with us?” the little boy asked. “We have Pokémon too!” the little girl chimed in.

    A grin spread across Bianca’s face and she clasped her hands in front of her.

    “Awww! How sweet! You two are just adorable! I’ll have a battle with you if it’s alright with your teachers.” she said. “Cheren, will you and Eevee be my battle partners?”

    “Sure,” Cheren replied coolly, “but you’re right about needing to get permission from their teacher. Can you kids go get your teacher, please?” he continued.

    “Sure! I’ll go get her.” said the little boy excitedly. He ran back to the swings and began talking excitedly to the young woman who had been pushing him. He took her hand and pulled her over to where the group had been talking.

    “Hello, kids. Mikey tells me you three agreed to have a Pokémon battle with him. Is that right? Mikey, you haven’t been bothering these nice people, have you?” his teacher asked.

    “No, Ms. Perkins! I would never do that! They said they would, didn’t’cha, guys?” said the little boy, looking up at his new friends.

    “We did, ma’am. We’re in no rush, and Bianca here was so enthralled by his polite little offer, we just couldn’t say ‘no.’” Cheren replied. “Bianca and I would be happy to have a battle with them if it’s alright with you.”

    “Well, they are obviously much too young to be real trainers, and their Pokémon are very young too, so please go easy on them, but I suppose it’s alright with me.” she said. The little children looked at each other with grins as big as their faces and shouted “Alright!” in unison.

    * * *

    A small crowd had drawn to watch the battle. All the school children were anxious to see their classmates in a real Pokémon battle with real life, actual trainers. Even the teachers were in on the action, happy to see the children so into it. Bianca and Cheren released their Pokémon and prepared to fight.

    The two children stood opposite them on the field, chomping at the bit to begin. The little boy shouted “My name is Mikey and this is Amy. Get ready, trainers; here we come!”

    The little boy threw out a Pokéball and a small Lillipup jumped out. It barked excitedly and wagged its tail. The little girl then threw out her Pokéball and a Pidove flew out. It cooed and spread its wings, flying happily in the warm sun. The children’s teacher looked at Bianca and Cheren, and then to Mikey and Amy, and, satisfied they were prepared, shouted “Begin!”

    “Okay Lillipup, here we go! Use your Bite attack!” Mikey shouted. The little dog ran clumsily towards Eevee and took a snap. Eevee jumped out of the way and landed to the side of its opponent.

    “Eevee, use Sand-Attack.” Cheren said calmly. Eevee picked its hind legs up and kicked at the ground. The Lillipup turned to face its opponent and took the spray of dirt right in the eyes. Blinded, it tipped over trying to regain its vision.

    Across the field, Amy shouted for Pidove to use Gust. The tiny pigeon Pokémon flew up high into the air and flapped its wings with all its might at Pachirisu. Pachirisu dug in to try and withstand the strong winds, but was knocked off its feet and flew back.

    “Ack! Pachirisu, use Quick Attack!” Bianca shouted.

    Pachirisu was still stumbling and flying backwards through the air. But as soon as it managed to find the smallest bit of traction, it took off, bolting forward towards the enemy. It leapt into the air and kicked at Pidove, knocking it from flight and sending it hurtling towards the ground.

    As Lillipup tried desperately to blink the dirt from its eyes, Cheren gave Eevee its command.

    “Eevee, use Tackle.” he said.

    Eevee hunched over, wagging its tail, and launched itself at the Lillipup. It sent the puppy Pokémon flying back, and it landed in a slump before its trainer.

    Pidove was still reeling from the Quick Attack. It flapped desperately, trying to regain altitude. Pachirisu landed nimbly and stood, waiting for the next command.

    “Pachirisu, use Hidden Power!” Bianca shouted. “Pidove, counter it with Gust again!” shouted back Amy.

    Pachirisu let loose the blast, rushing towards Pidove. Pidove tried with all its might to flap it away, the strong winds pushing back the freezing blast. The two forces met in midair, struggling to overcome each other. The tug-of-war was short lived, though to Amy it seemed to last forever; Pachirisu’s Hidden Power eventually overcame the mighty winds and launched forth to the Pidove, striking it for one final blow. The little bird fell from the sky and landed next to its partner, tired and defeated. Bianca and Cheren had won.

    “Yeah!” shouted Bianca. “Nice work, Cheren.”

    “You too, Bianca.” Cheren said calmly.

    Though they were happy to have won, the pair looked at their opponents, worried at how they might react. The kids looked at their Pokémon in shock. Bianca put a hand to her mouth and became worried, sensing the tears that were sure to follow, but to her surprise, none came. The kids leapt into the air shouting “Yeah!” and high-fived. Despite the loss, they were ecstatic to have had the opportunity to battle. It was something they wouldn’t soon forget.

    The small crowd began to clap for the trainers, clapping for Bianca and Cheren for their decisive victory, and for Mikey and Amy for their good sportsmanship. The whole campus seemed alive and happy, proud of all their students and friends. The moment seemed to last forever, it occurred to David, and nothing could spoil his day.

    Quick, grab ‘em!

    Two hooded figures ran from the road onto the campus. They bolted onto the field and snatched up the defeated Lillipup and Pidove. As quickly as they had appeared, they bolted back toward the road and ran off with the little Pokémon. The entire campus sat dumbstruck at what had happened.

    * * *

    “Team Plasma? That’s what they call themselves? What kind of name is that?” the teacher asked, having listened to David and Bianca’s explanation.

    “I don’t know, ma’am, but they’re a bunch of crooks and loons. We’ve run into them before. They’re very dangerous and not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.” David replied.

    “Teacher, those men stole our Pokémon!” shouted Mikey, tugging on her apron.

    “Yes, Mikey, I know. We’ll find a way of getting them back.” she said, reassuringly. But to be honest, she had no idea what to do. Calling the police would do no good, because by the time they arrived from Striaton, the grunts would already be long gone. She couldn’t go after them herself, because the school was already short staffed as it was. She wanted to appear calm and in control of the situation in front of the students as so not to worry them, but she was out of options and starting to panic.

    Seeing this, David spoke up, “Miss, we could go try and get the Pokémon back for you… if you can’t. We’ve dealt with them before.”

    “Hey yeah, we can get those crooks for you!” said Bianca, snapping her fingers.

    “I’ve never actually fought Team Plasma personally. I’d love to get my hands dirty in that regard, given the option…” said Cheren, rubbing his hands together and trailing off.

    “You… you will?” stammered the teacher. “Oh my, oh thank you! Oh my, oh my… thank you!” she shouted. She embraced each of them, wiping her eyes.

    “Yay! The Pokémon Trainers are going to get our Pokémon back, Amy! Yay!” shouted Mikey. The look of worry was gone from his face, replaced in an instant by joy.

    “Come on, guys. We’ve got to hurry if we’re going to catch up to them!” shouted David, turning to run back to the road.

    “We’ll be back before you know it, kids!” shouted Bianca.

    The group of adventurers ran off towards the road. They were determined to get the Pokémon back. They sprinted away, and slowly, the school faded from view.

    * * *

    Lennon was tired. Oh my God, was he tired. “The things I do for Pokémon…” he thought to himself. He was winded and breathing heavily. His legs burned, and his heart felt like it was beating out of his chest. The heavy cloak he wore didn’t help lessen the burden, and his sheath hit against his thighs with each step. But he kept running. He ran without looking back. He put the pain out of his mind and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other, trying to put as much distance between him and the school as he could. The Lillipup in his arms was passed out from its battle. He looked down at the little Pokémon and redoubled his efforts. If he had to endure a little bit of running to keep the little guy safe… well, that was just a damn fine trade off.

    He looked behind him to make sure his partner was still following. He was… good; and no one appeared to be following them either. He could no longer see the school, so he shouted back to his partner.

    “Hey! McCartney! Hold up a minute.” he shouted back.

    The two men let their momentum run out and stopped. They ducked into the forest off the road and hunkered down, fading away into the shadows.

    “Were we followed?” Lennon asked.

    “We don’t appear to have been. Team Plasma strikes again! Haha!” McCartney replied.

    “I’m about to keel over. We gotta rest for a minute. Wellspring Cave is right up ahead; let’s duck in there for a little while and wait for the dust to settle. We’ll come out once night falls and return to the rendezvous point.” Lennon said.

    “Sounds good to me. Let’s go.” his partner replied.

    The two men checked down the road to make sure no one was coming, and started back along the path. His heart rate had returned to normal and he had caught his breath. The Lillipup began to stir and he looked down at it.

    “Hey, McCartney, my Pokémon is coming to. Help me out, will ya?” he said.

    McCartney reached into his pack and took out some food and water. He handed the supplies to his partner, and Lennon began to feed the little Pokémon.

    “Hey there, Lillipup. How do you feel?” Lennon asked soothingly. “You want some water? Are you hungry?” he said, offering it the food.

    The Lillipup looked up at him, confused. It tried to let out a little bark, but it was too tired. It took a little sip of water and fell back asleep in his arms.

    “Don’t worry, Lillipup, you’re safe with Team Plasma now. No evil humans will ever hurt you again. Those stupid kids think they can control you, but they can’t. We can help you reach your full potential. You’ll be fine, don’t you worry.” Lennon said reassuringly. He looked over to his partner and nodded.

    Lennon began to start walking again, and felt something tug at his tunic. The grip tripped him and he stumbled, hearing his clothing rip. He looked down and saw that his dress had snared on a branch and torn, a small patch waving in the breeze on the side of the road.

    “Damnit… God damnit, I just got this uniform.” he said under his breath.

    “Hey, don’t worry about it. We rescued the Pokémon, didn’t we?” McCartney said. “That’s all that matters. We can fix it later.”

    “Yeah… yeah, you’re right. Thanks. Come on, I can see Wellspring Cave up ahead.” Lennon replied.

    The two of them continued on their journey. Lennon smiled to himself. “Thank Arceus for Team Plasma.” he thought to himself.

    * * *

    The group ran down the road, hell-bent on catching up to the thieves. Bianca wheezed and could hardly keep up, but she pushed herself with all her might. She had always been a little big, and she knew it, but she had hoped going on her adventure might slim her down a bit. “I guess it has to start somewhere…” she thought to herself.

    They ran forward, not knowing where they were going or what lay ahead. For all they knew, the crooks had left the road and begun traveling through the forest, but such thoughts would imply they had failed, and they wouldn’t accept that. Things looked grim, but they pushed on, knowing they couldn’t return empty handed and crush the children’s spirits. Suddenly, Cheren spotted something that gave him hope.

    “Hey, look at that, you guys!” he shouted.

    They ran up to the little bush, sitting proudly along the side of the road. On any other day it would have just been a rosebush, looking pretty and adding color to the highway, but today, it was so much more. Flapping in the wind, proudly on display for any kind-hearted passersby, was a small piece of gray cloth: the very same that had torn from the Plasma Grunt’s tunic.

    “It’s a piece of one of their tunics. We must be on the right path.” Cheren commented.

    “There’s a cave up ahead. Maybe they ducked in there.” David mused.

    “It’s not just any cave, David. That’s Wellspring Cave. It was in the news a few years ago. Do you know the Pokémon Roggenrola?” Cheren asked.

    “Oh yeah, I remember that. Something about them discovering it here or something, right?” David replied.

    “Right. Wellspring Cave, as the name would suggest, contains a natural freshwater spring, and a crew was trying to set up a piping system from here to Striaton a few years back to supply water to the city. The mining equipment accidentally disturbed a colony of Roggenrola, but they had never been seen by people before. They’ve started cropping up elsewhere since then, but this was where they were first discovered.” Cheren explained. “You’re probably right, they probably did go to hide in there. It’s pretty secluded, so they could hide out until nightfall and make their escape in the cover of darkness. The natural spring could also be useful to them. We should definitely check it out.” he continued.

    “Wow, Cheren, you’re pretty smart.” Bianca said, catching her breath.

    “Thanks, but we should get going.” Cheren said as he took off running again.

    David took off on his heels and the two of them ran for the cave. Bianca stared at them and put her hands on her knees. “Great, more running…” she thought. “Remember your love handles, Bianca. Think ‘thin.’”

    * * *

    Lennon sat next to the small lake inside the cave. Lillipup and Pidove were sleeping peacefully next to him, recovering from their battle earlier in the day. He looked at them and smiled to himself, knowing in his heart that what he was doing was good. He looked at the clear blue water and saw a colony of Basculin swim by.

    “You see that, McCartney? That’s how Pokémon should be; free and wild, able to control their own destiny.” Lennon said to his partner.

    McCartney stood on lookout duty near the cave entrance. He looked to his partner and smiled.

    “I tell ya, Lennon… Joining Team Plasma is the best thing to have ever happened to me.” he said. “I was a nobody, working for some shithole corporate behemoth, toiling away 9-to-5 for the man, and for what? What was I trying to accomplish with my life? I knew I didn’t want to keep making widgets forever; I wanted to do something to help the world. I tell ya, Lennon… we’re sure- hey… hey, Lennon, come here! There’s someone coming!” he shouted.

    Lennon’s face grew stern. He rose to meet his companion and inspect the danger. He was right; a couple of snot-butted kids were running up to the cave. They looked like they meant business too.

    “Get ready, McCartney. Time to prove our worth to Team Plasma.” he said with determination.

    The two men backed away from the entrance and found cover deeper within the cave. They steeled themselves, ready to fight to protect the newly freed Pokémon.

    Cheren and David burst into the cave, Bianca following a moment later. David spied the stolen Pokémon and pointed them out to Cheren.

    “Jackpot.” he said. “We know you’re in here, Plasma. Come on out and we’ll give you a fair fight.”

    The two masked men leapt from their cover and struck fighting poses.

    “You’ll never take these Pokémon back! We are noble operatives of Team Plasma, and we have sworn to protect them with our lives!” Lennon shouted.

    As he said this, they pulled Pokéballs from their hips simultaneously and threw them out to meet the challenge. Lennon released a Roggenrola and McCartney a Trubbish. The Pokémon stood defiantly in the clearing, ready to fight.

    David and Cheren shot each other a look, each seeing the gleam in the other’s eyes, and released their Pokémon. Cheren threw out Eevee to do battle with the Trubbish and David send out Paula to fight Roggenrola.

    “It doesn’t have to come to this, Plasma. Just return the Pokémon and we’ll let you go.” Cheren said sternly.

    “Screw! Off!” McCartney shouted back defiantly. “Trubbish, use Poison Gas!”

    The Pokémon opened its mouth and let loose the stench. It filled the room, choking Eevee and blinding it.

    “Eevee, Quick Attack!” Cheren shouted. Eevee squinted, its eyes stinging from the thick cloud of noxious fumes. It found its mark and took off, shooting towards the Trubbish like a gunshot. Eevee’s aim was true and slammed into it, sending the Pokémon flying back through the cave.

    “Paula, use Confusion!” David commanded. The Kirlia levitated off the ground ever-so-slightly and loosed the blast towards Roggenrola. Lennon called for it to use Harden, and the mantle Pokémon became still. It stood like a statue, letting the attack wash over it. It hurt it, but it weathered the attack, its Sturdy body unfaltering.

    “Roggenrola, hit back with Rock Blast!” Lennon shouted. It relaxed its body and hurled the projectile towards Paula. She moved out of the way just in time to dodge the first one, but the second caught her in the side of the head, knocking her to the ground.

    Eevee was beginning to really suffer from the poisonous gasses, and was growing faint. Trubbish leapt back into the action, McCartney calling for it to use Acid Spray. It shot the fizzling blast towards Eevee, the green liquid sparking and crackling menacingly. Eevee dove out of the way, not caring where it landed and not being able to see anyway. The puddle of acid landed on the cave floor and burned through the rocks, creating a small crater.

    The battle began to disturb the wild Pokémon in the cave. The school of Basculin that had so interested Lennon just moments before swam to the far side of the lake, the local Roggenrola population scuttled into the dark recesses of the cave, and the Zubat and Woobat that hung from the ceiling began to fly out of the cave and into the evening sky. They swarmed towards the trainers en masse, screeching and causing a big commotion. David and Cheren ducked and the swarm flew past them, heading straight for Bianca, still standing in the doorway. Seeing the hoard of bats flying towards her, she screamed, covering her head with her arms and shutting her eyes tightly. They flew past her, ruffling her hair and knocking her hat to the ground. As she opened her eyes, one lone Zubat flew past, trying to catch up to the pack. This one was different than all the rest; it had a certain shine to it that the others lacked. It caught Bianca’s eye as it flew past and time seemed to slow as she watched it escape into the night sky.

    Kirlia picked herself up from the Rock Blast and stood to face her opponent. David began to call for another Confusion attack, but he heard her speak in his mind. “Master, I believe I have an idea. May I try something?” she asked.

    The last time she had asked if she could test something out, it had resulted in her learning Teleport. If this was half as useful as that, he couldn’t say “no.” He nodded and she closed her eyes, focusing. David heard the wind outside begin to blow, and suddenly a torrent of leaves flew into the cave, shimmering in a mystical purple light. The stream of foliage flew towards the Roggenrola, soundly defeating it; Kirlia had learned Magical Leaf.

    The smog of Poison Gas was beginning to clear, and Cheren ordered Eevee to launch one final Tackle attack. It threw itself at the Trubbish, leaping over the puddle of acid still burning away at the floor. It smashed into the Pokémon with a resounding “thud!” and sent it flying. Trubbish lay still, and moved no more. The Plasma Grunts had been defeated.

    “Nowhere to run now, Plasma. Give it up, you’ve lost!” Cheren shouted defiantly.

    “We’ll never surrender to you!” shouted McCartney, drawing his sword.

    He began to charge forth, but Lennon put a hand on his shoulder and stopped him.

    “McCartney, stop! What are you doing?” he asked. “You can’t kill them, it isn’t worth that. Remember when you said you joined Plasma to help the world? Keeping the Pokémon safe is important, but they’re just kids. Killing them isn’t a fair tradeoff.” he said somberly.

    McCartney’s face grew stern. He lowered his sword and the shine in his eyes faded.

    “… you’re right.” he said. “… you’re right, let’s just get out of here.”

    The two men drew their swords and stood to face the adventurers. They appeared ready to strike, but moved slowly.

    “Alright, you brats, you’ve won. We’ll release the Pokémon and we won’t hurt you, in exchange for letting us go. Deal?” Lennon shouted sternly.

    None of them wanted to let the grunts escape, but they knew they meant business, and those swords looked pretty real. David and Cheren nodded and stepped aside. The Plasma grunts withdrew their Pokémon and slowly walked towards the cave entrance. They reached it, sheathed their swords and began to run. They got a few dozen feet away and Cheren shouted out to them.

    “Hey Plasma! Can I just ask you lot one question?” he shouted.

    “Whadd’ya want, kid?” Lennon shouted back.

    “If you’re all about Pokémon Liberation, how come you use Pokémon yourselves? How are you any better than us trainers?” Cheren asked.

    “We don’t use Pokémon, you cretin! Only wicked Pokémon Trainers use Pokémon. Our Pokémon are our partners and friends. They are as committed to the Pokémon Liberation movement as we are!” Lennon shouted back. The two men turned back around and ran out of sight.

    “Bah, what a bunch of loons…” Cheren said, returning to the cave.

    “We don’t ‘use’ our Pokémon either though!” shouted Bianca, stamping her foot. “Pachirisu and I are friends, and I know the same is true of you and your Pokémon.” she said to both her friends.

    “There’s no reasoning with them, Bianca. They’re going to see Pokémon battles as cock fighting no matter what you tell them to the contrary. The only thing we can do is stand to oppose them at every turn, and it looks like we’re going to have to keep doing just that.” said David, collecting the stolen Pokémon.

    “I wish you were wrong… but I know you’re right…” said Bianca dejectedly. “Pokémon battles are about developing skill and understanding. Trainers don’t fight to hurt their Pokémon, we do it to improve ourselves.”

    The group grew somber, and slowly returned to the school.

    * * *

    OH MY GOODNESS! THEY’RE BACK!” the young teacher shouted, covering her mouth. The students and teachers all rushed to the gates to meet the wandering heroes and learn the outcome of the chase.

    “Trainers! Pokémon trainers! Did you bring us back our Pokémon? Did’ja? Did’ja?” shouted Mikey and Amy in unison.

    “We sure did! Your Pokémon are perfectly safe and sound!” said Bianca happily, setting the pair down on the ground.

    Pidove and Lillipup saw their trainers and ran up to meet them. Lillipup leapt into Mikey, knocking him down and licking his face excitedly; Pidove flew into Amy’s arms and cooed lovingly. The children embraced their Pokémon and wept with joy.

    “Thank you, trainers! We love our Pokémon, and you brought them back to us!” Amy shouted through the tears.

    “All in a day’s work, ma’am.” said David, bowing dramatically.

    “I don’t know how I can ever repay you, kids! You’ve done a wonderful thing today. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” the teacher said excitedly.

    “We don’t need any kind of payment, ma’am. We’re happy to have helped.” Cheren replied. “Our Pokémon grew stronger, we logged a few new Pokédex entries, and David’s Kirlia even learned a new attack. Helping the kids is reward enough for us.”

    The group said their good-byes to the kids and headed on their way back down the road. They needed to make a bit more progress through Route 3 before making camp if they were going to make it to Nacrene City on schedule.

    * * *

    Bianca sat still, looking out at the crystal clear lake, shimmering in the moonlight. Her friends were sound asleep next to her, their campfire dying down and the sounds of the night growing softer. She looked up at the stars and drifted off into thought. She kept thinking about the battle earlier that day and the wave of Zubat and Woobat that had rushed past her. She could still feel their wings slapping gently against her face and arms, and she shuttered. She wasn’t normally afraid of bats, but being so surrounded by them made her feel uncomfortable. Beside her, Cheren let out a loud snore and it broke her concentration. She looked at her sleeping friends and tried to do the same.

    She lay in her bag, watching the campfire die off, and tried to let sleep come to her. She could feel her eyes sting with tiredness and her legs still ached from before, but try as she might, she couldn’t sleep. She kept thinking about that special Zubat she had seen fly past her last; there was something about it that had caught her eye. It had a shimmer to it, a kind of a shine. In the dim cave light, it had almost looked green, as opposed to the standard blue. She shut her eyes tightly, trying to forget about it and go to sleep, but she couldn’t. Frustrated and determined, she got out of her bag and slipped into her clothes.

    She gathered her things and walked a short distance from their campsite. She released Pachirisu from her ball and the little squirrel popped out, wiping the sleep from its eyes.

    “Pachirisu, are you awake?” she asked. “How would you like to go catch a new Pokémon?”

    Pachirisu looked tired, its eyelids drooping. It shut its eyes tightly and bristled with electricity. The small jolt shocked it awake, and it growled with determination.

    “That’s my girl.” Bianca said.

    * * *

    The pair approached Wellspring Cave nervously, armed with only a flashlight and their wits. Bianca shuttered, but Pachirisu reassured her. They walked into the cave and shone the light around. It was pitch black inside the cave, the moonlight unable to penetrate its dark recesses. Many Zubat and Woobat hung from the ceiling, sizing her up as she entered their domain.

    “Zubat?” she whispered nervously. “Zuuuu-bat? Are you in here?”

    Suddenly, the mass of Woobat and Zubat that had left the cave earlier flew back in, returning from their night of hunting. Bianca turned and saw the mob of flesh approaching her. She fell to the floor in a hurry. She heard their wings flapping and could feel the wind being blown over her. As they passed, she rose and stuck her tongue out at them.

    One lone Zubat again flew in behind them, unable to keep up with the pack. It shimmered in the moonlight and caught Bianca’s eye. It was the same one from before, she knew it. She was right about the coloring too; it was a distinctively green color with pink wings, markedly different from the standard blue and purple combination. She wanted it, and this was her chance.

    “Hey! Zubat!” she shouted. The Zubat turned around to face her and it heard a rock go sailing past its head. Bianca stood with a hand on her hip, hefting another one in her other hand.

    “Now that I’ve got your attention, I challenge you to a battle! If I win, I get the right to try and catch you.” she shouted.

    The Zubat screeched and stretched its wings. It flew towards her at tremendous speed and started to attack. Bianca fell to the floor again, covering her head with her hands. Pachirisu leapt from her side and grabbed hold of its tail. The Zubat screeched again, this time in pain, as the ele-squirrel Pokémon hung on for dear life.

    “Pachirisu, use Spark!” Bianca shouted up to her Pokémon. Pachirisu coated itself in electricity, and the stream of current ran up its arms and into the Zubat’s body. The Zubat fell to the ground in a slump, flopping around on the ground and trying desperately to get back into the air.

    Bianca took out one of the Pokéballs Fennel had given her from her bag and threw it authoritatively at the little bat. It struck the Pokémon squarely on the back and sealed it inside. The ball landed on the ground with a “clink!” and was still. It shook once, the Zubat trapped within trying to fight its way out; it shook twice, weaker now than before; it shook a third time, and then… it was still.

    Bianca walked up and picked the ball up off the ground. She stepped out into the moonlight and looked at its surface. She could see herself reflected in it and was reminded of when she was given Pachirisu. The little squirrel walked out of the cave to join her trainer, and jumped onto Bianca’s shoulder. Bianca turned to look at her little friend and said proudly “Pachirisu, I think we just caught our first Pokémon.”

    * * *

    “David…” Bianca said softly.

    She shook her friend gently to try and wake him, but he didn’t stir. She repeated his name again, a bit louder now, but he remained stubbornly asleep. Cheren stood up from in front of the campfire where he had been sitting and moved her aside. He pinched David’s nose and he jerked awake, gasping for breath.

    “Let’s see how you like it, ‘Princess.’” said Cheren, walking calmly back to his seat.

    “Wha- what?” David said sleepily. “What the hell’s going on?”

    “Bianca says she has some announcement for us. She wouldn’t tell me what it was though; she said she wanted us both to be awake for it.” Cheren replied, poking the fire with a stick.

    “I didn’t say ‘both,’ Cheren, I said ‘all.’ I want everyone to see this. David, please let Paula out of her ball; Cheren, you too.” Bianca said, a grin growing on her face.

    David and Cheren let their Pokémon out and they all gathered around the campfire. Bianca stood opposite it with Pachirisu on her shoulder, beaming a huge grin. She cleared her throat and straightened her skirt.

    “Everyone, Pachirisu and I have a big announcement. We would like to introduce you to the newest member of our little family, Zubat!” Bianca said as she threw its ball into the air. “Pachirisu and I met him yesterday when we stopped those Plasma goons, and I caught him last night while you two were asleep.”

    The little bat flew from the Pokéball in midair and flew around the campsite a few times before landing on Bianca’s wrist. It shone in the morning sunlight, shining a dark moss green color.

    “Oh my God, Bianca. That’s amazing! Do you know what that is?” Cheren asked, flabbergasted.

    “Um, yeah! I just told you, he’s a Zubat!” she replied.

    “No, I mean, do you know what that IS! You found a shiny Pokémon!” Cheren quipped back.

    “Oh, what, the coloring? Yeah, I know, pretty, huh? He must be like… an albino or something…” she mused.

    “Bianca, I don’t think you quite understand what you did. It’s great that you caught your first Pokémon, but shinies are incredibly rare. Only 1 in around every 10,000 Pokémon in the wild are shiny like that. That Zubat is incredibly valuable and rare.” David said.

    “Wha-?! Really?! WOWEE! That is not a small number! That is a big number!” Bianca said. Her jaw dropped and she turned to look at her new Pokémon. “I knew he was special, but that’s incredible!”

    “You’ve got to be extra careful to take super good care of that little guy. He’s quite the catch.” Cheren spoke up.

    “You bet I will! Well, Zuzu and I did a little practicing last night before I came back, and he’s really strong. I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made with Pachirisu, so I made sure to learn all his moves right up front. He appears to know Leech Life, Bite, Wing Attack and Confuse Ray, so there’s that.” she said excitedly.

    “Well, welcome aboard, Zubat! You’re in capable hands.” said David, rising.

    “He is difficult to read, but he indicates his pleasure to be with us, master.” Paula said to them all. “I welcome our new friend.”

    The Zubat let out a screech and leapt from Bianca’s arm. It flew around the campsite several times, joyously screeching to its new friends below.

    * * *

    A few hours later, after a short trek across the lake, the gang reached the entrance to Nacrene City. Their adventures in Route 3 had proven to be both exciting and beneficial. They had protected the school from Team Plasma, Paula had learned a new move, and Bianca had made a first for the group, being the first one to catch a new Pokémon. These memories swam in David’s head as he entered the city. As happy as he was about these strides the group had made, he couldn’t stop thinking about his fight with Team Plasma. He grew more and more uncertain that Cheren was right about them being simply “crazy” every time he thought about it. They had such conviction and determination, they didn’t seem to be in it just for profit or self-gain. They seemed to almost think they were in the right, as if stealing people’s Pokémon made them the good guys. He knew they would be trouble in the future, and worried that future battles with them may not go so well.

    As they approached the gatehouse to enter the city, Bianca began to sing again.

    Up in the morning and out to school!” she began. She looked at her friend to continue the song. David was still worried about Team Plasma, but the happy and carefree look on her face banished the thoughts from his mind. His somber expression melted away, replaced by a slowly spreading grin.

    The teacher is teaching the golden rule.” he continued.

    Unovan hiss-tree and practical math.” Cheren chimed in.

    You’re studyin’ hard and hopin’ to pass.” Bianca sang in a low voice, giggling to herself.

    Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone.” David responded.

    And the guy behind you won’t leave you alone…” Cheren sang.

    Hail, Hail Rock & Roll!” Bianca shouted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  13. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hontoni

    The Beatles? Lots of like.

    Ok. This chapter doesn't have much to say in terms of improvement (since they've already been said. ^_^) So I guess I can only comment on the chapter itself.

    Hey, first comment after a new chapter. WIN!

    Anyways, it was pretty good overall. I really like with what you did with Lennon and McCartney. It's nice to see that Plasma has some real good guys (misguided, yes, but good nontheless). Basically, it's nice to see you characterize some Plasma grunts, letting us into their side of the story. Possibly somewhat like Jessie and James?

    I also noticed your way of getting Paula to learn attacks. That's actually pretty interesting. She just has the gut feeling and wants to try it out. That's pretty sweet, although it doesn't leave a lot of room for the element of surprise. But still pretty sweet.

    Oh, one thing I did notice. Barring Paula, the other Pokemon still don't seem to have a personality. So maybe work on that a bit more.

    The transitioning from happy trainer battle to OH NOES, PLASMA GRUNTS STEALING POKEMON! was actually pretty nice. I like how that went down to be honest. Which reminds me, the only thing in the chapter that kind of irked me (kind of) was the reaction to Plasma's Pokenapping.

    Plasma steals Pokemon -> OH NOES! -> Watch them run away ->Stand there and discuss what happened.

    I would have run after them right away, especially if I was going to anyways, instead of explaining the whole situation from the get go. Bianca could have explained it separate from the two boys too. But that's it.

    BIANCA. Hahaha, I keep almost forgetting. If you're looking for Bianca ideas, the anime Bianca is very similar to yours (although yours has a bit more sense). She's very outgoing, and a little ditzy, and is very hard to deal with (she sees a cute Pokemon, she will keep trying to trade it with you, even if she has to give away her starter Pokemon for it. she's somewhat selfish, but not in a really bad way). I like your blend of in-game and (unconsciously) anime Bianca. Somewhat unsure, but still pretty confident.

    Good heads up on the spoiler. hahaha. cleared some things up. I don't 100% agree with your statement on the Pokemon (I like to think that Unova has only 5th Gen pokes because it has strict immigration laws or something) but it works. Two pre-5th Gens is pretty nice too. I'm glad you're not making it pure pre-5th gen; that would be a bit odd since in Unova, 5th gen Pokemon are, at the vary least, pre-dominant.

    So. I think that's it. Pretty solid chapter, nothing super duper, but not bad at all. It's solid. I await the next chapters! The current pacing is very nice, btw. Everyday new chapter? I love that! But it's ok if you slow down. I understand. Sometimes, it takes me a month to get out a new chapter. hahha. I just wanted to say.
     
  14. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    It'll be a little while before the next chapter comes, so I'm going to break tradition and respond to comments without putting them in the Author's Notes of a chapter. Sorry for any disappointment, but the next chapter is pretty long. I might break it up into two, actually, but I doubt that at this point because the second one would be pretty short. We'll see.

    Nachoe, great comments as always. It's nice having a dedicated reader like yourself. I already have significantly more of a following than I ever anticipated. I kind of assumed I'd just be writing this into a vacuum when I started, so any kind of reaction is nice. Thanks for your continually high-quality reviews.

    Thanks, I thought it was a nice touch. Like I said, they're going to be recurring characters. We'll see them again a little ways down the road; no time in the immediate future, but soon-ish. They'll start cropping up more and more the closer we get to the E4. I don't want to spoil it though, so I'll try not to say too much.

    I'm surprised you approve of that, actually. I feel like it is going to get pretty old after a while. Paula can pull it off because she can speak, but I'm not sure how I'll handle it with the other Pokemon. I always imagined level-up moves in the games working something like this: Pokemon is training with the trainer and gets an idea for a new move, Pokemon begins testing out the move in its mind, Pokemon levels up and somehow indicates to the trainer its idea, trainer either approves or denies the idea, new move either learned or not learned. The problem is, I don't know how to go about that indication process for a Pokemon that can't speak like Pachirisu or Eevee. I guess it's just something I'll figure out over time, but yeah... we'll see.

    A lot of people have told me that now. I'm going to have to do something about it for sure. Maybe I'll do a chapter at some point in the future that revolves entirely around the Pokemon for a day or something, like one of those Pikachu Shorts they use to do for the movies. What would you guys think of something like that? The Pokemon going off for an adventure away from their trainers, and maybe Paula trying to keep them in line or something. Where should I fit something like that in?

    That's a good idea, but I think the time lapse during that event is shorter than I maybe described it being. I was imagining the time lapse between them stealing the Pokemon and them running after Plasma to be maybe 3-4 minutes; just enough time to explain who Team Plasma is, suggest they could go after them for the teacher, and book it. If I didn't explain that clearly, then I guess that's something I should practice. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

    I spent a good while earlier today looking at the episode pictures on here for all the episodes she's been in and reading about her on Bulbapedia. I don't know how I'd go about trying to watch any of the episodes though. I don't even know what channel Cartoon Network is anymore, and I doubt I could find good quality versions of the episodes online that were both in English and available freely so quickly after they aired. I'd love to learn more about her, but I don't know how I could watch the show. After looking through those pictures though I've got to say, she's a real cutie; she's much more likable than I first thought, and that's saying something, lol.

    Oh, you think so? Dang... I've been getting a little heat for the pacing being too quick to build up any kind of readership. I was planning on releasing the next chapter on Wednesday, and then the final one before school starts some time over the weekend in an attempt to kind of slow down a bit. But do you all like the pacing okay then? I'm conflicted now... :\

    By the way, I think I've said this elsewhere but I don't think I've said it here yet. Note to viewers: I start college on Tuesday, September 6th. It is a 154 credit program, completed in 4 years; that is 4 more credits than a Master's degree, but completed in one year less. I will be very busy after that date and chapters will come out slower after that point. I have a point in the story I want to try to get myself to before then (leaving Castelia heading to Route 4) and I think I will hit it just fine, but after that date, production of chapters will ramp down to a more traditional pace. I'll try to keep it to at least one a week though for the first little while at least. We'll see how it goes I guess.

    - - - - -

    Thank you again to all my readers, and I hope you've been enjoying it. I've been having a lot more fun writing this than I ever anticipated I would, and I'm getting a lot of satisfaction out of both developing the characters and reading your nice reviews. The fact that this is not just getting comments but getting largely positive comments is awesome and I appreciate it. I hope you can see in this past chapter and future chapters how I'm beginning to take all your advice, and I appreciate all the comments, good and bad. It helps me know what to emphasize and what to steer clear of, so ultimately it makes for better content for all of you. Thanks again for reading, and I'm glad you enjoy it.
     
  15. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hontoni

    Haha. I know the feeling. When you said before that your heart skipped a beat when you saw new posters, I understood. It happens to me too.

    A Pokemon shorts would be a cool idea, although it's not entirely needed. You can easily incorporate that into a normal chapter. You know, have some interaction between all the trainers and the Pokemon every now and then. For example, I don't imagine that while traveling they always travel with the Pokemon inside their Pokeballs. Being originally wild creatures, I imagine they'd like to spend some time outside of their Pokeballs to stretch their legs out a bit. Unless they're lazy. You could use that time to show some of their little quirks; a Zubat who likes to play hide-and-seek, a Kirlia who likes to Teleport at random to scare people, a Pachirisu who like to steal people's combs and shock everyone, etc. Creativity is in your hands. haha

    Btw, a good way to look for anime is at animecrazy. Just cross-reference with the episode listings on the main site to find them. Bianca specifically appears in episodes 13, 29, 30, 43, 44, 45 and 46. And yeah, for a cartoon, I like Bianca too. Except, I like her better in-game than in the anime. She's a little too pushy for my tastes (in the anime). @__@

    And I just mentioned liking the pacing because I like to read. And I hate waiting for the next chapter. hahaha. But really, it's fine. You go at whatever pace is comfortable for you. ^__^
     
  16. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    Wow, dude, thanks for posting that. That's a great resource. I just watched my first episode of the show in like... 4 years, and I must say, the writing quality has improved greatly. There were some legitimately funny parts. I watched the one where Bianca catches her Cinccino; you're right, she's very different in the show than in the game, and pretty different even than my version. I'll try and watch a few more and maybe it'll influence my take on the character. Thanks for the reference.

    Also, I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this, given that the whole franchise is technically Japanese, but Pokemon in Japanese is weird. "Badge Case" in Japanese is apparently "badge case-oo," lol. There were a lot of things like that. Bianca's Japanese voice is a little grating; is she any better in the English dub?
     
  17. catzeye

    catzeye Writer's Block

    Yay updates!

    Well I'm reviewing both chapters 4 and 5 in this post.

    Chapter 4:

    The battle scenes were very enjoyable. You had good description that didn't go overboard. The scenes themselves were just the right length. This is key since it seems you will be covering more than one battle per chapter when it comes to the gym challenge. However something that did strike me as odd was the fact that Kirlia evolved so soon. David hasn't had Kirlia for too long. I understand that they have been doing a lot of battles but it felt just a little too soon for me. But that's just a minor complaint. I also like the use of gratuitous French although I have never studied the language myself. It added to the feel of the restaurant/gym atmosphere.

    Chapter 5:

    I find it really neat how you incorporated The Beatles into your story, and as the bad guys no less! Even though I'm not a fan of them (never really heard too many of their songs), I still find it cool how you placed an important part of pop culture into Pokemon without it being cheesy. I can't wait to see more of Plasma Grunts Lennon and McCartney especially when they try to justify their actions. The fact that you are giving the point of view of the villains is pretty original.

    When Cheren and Bianca teamed up for the battle against the preschoolers, I thought I was going to see a little reaction from David. I mean even though Cheren and David are practically like brothers, the fact that David has a crush on Bianca would have an effect on him seeing Cheren team up with her instead of him. I thought David might just a brief hint of jealousy, or worry that Bianca doesn't feel the same way. That irrational fear and jealousy is common when you first start having a crush on someone.



    Overall the story is still very enjoyable and unique. I'll try to review as much as possible, although I'll probably review two chapters a post. Maybe you should make a PM list because now you have quite a following.
     
  18. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    Hey everyone, couple of things I want to mention. First of all, Chapter 6, "The Dragon's Skull," is 100% written and mostly proofed. I will post it first thing tomorrow morning. It is a whopping 24 pages, making it by far the longest chapter yet. It covers everything having to do with Nacrene City and Pinwheel Forest.

    Second, I want to issue an amendment to something I said before. I mentioned a while ago that Cheren would catch his two non-starter Pokemon in the Desert Resort and the Cold Storage. I would like to amend that statement and say that he will be catching both of his Pokemon in Relic Castle. Don't let that frighten you though; it will be over the course of a 2 part chapter set, Chapter 8 "Buried Alive..." and Chapter 10 "The Legend of Gustavo Riviera." The final thing I'd like to announce is that Chapters 8 and 10 will be the two halves of a linked chapter set covering an overarching subplot. I would just like everyone to know that it will be awesome! If it turns out like I'm hoping it will, it will be probably the greatest thing I've ever written.

    I thought it may have been a bit soon myself, but it was a way of making the battle interesting in a non-gimmicky way. Rather than just have her spam Confusion until Pansear goes down, I thought it would make for an interesting battle. Glad to see you liked the other two though; I'm glad the battle scenes are turning out well.

    Lol, I haven't either. That was all Google Translate. :p


    Thanks, glad you like it. I spent around 10 minutes when I was writing it trying to come up with names and I couldn't think of anything better than just the generic "Bob" and "Joe" type names (no offense to anyone with main characters named Bob and Joe, lol). I just decided in the end to go with my first idea, which was Lennon and McCartney.

    I don't know what a PM list is.

    - - - - -

    Thanks for reading, everyone. New chapter tomorrow morning. Like I said, it's a doozy, so prepare for a long read.
     
  19. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hontoni

    A PM List is when you have a list of people who you PM when a new chapter comes up, so that they know and can read it as soon as they can.

    Not a lot of people use the subscribe button I guess. @__@
     
  20. ChaosBlizzard

    ChaosBlizzard Crit Happens.

    This is the original version of Chapter 6, Part 1. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version, Part 1
    Updated Version, Part 2


    Author's Notes:

    Hey everyone, I’ve got a big chapter for you all today. This chapter is a solid 24 pages in Word, making it the longest chapter thus far. It is, in fact, so long, that it will have to be broken up into two posts because it is almost 13,000 characters over the character limit. Get ready for a doozy!

    I took a lot of high-risk high-reward risks with this chapter, the most notable being the length, but I hope they will all pay off. There is a portion of the story that I blow way out of proportion for comedic effect, and I even go so far as to call it a Deus ex machina in the story itself. However, I am spoofing that portion of the game, making it Nintendo’s Deus ex machina, not mine. Hopefully that section is viewed as funny and not as poor writing. The section immediately following that one is also in that same vein of humor, and I’m not sure if I pulled it off well or not. We’ll just have to see.

    I’d like to also mention that all you Paula fans out there (all two of you) will probably like this chapter. She has a couple of pretty zingy one-liners I think you all will enjoy. However, minor spoiler alert, I introduce a new character in this chapter that I hope will rival even Paula in terms of comedic relief. Hope you all like him.

    Onto the numbered chapter comments! I’m about to begin my final proofread, and I’ll jot these down as I go.

    1. I very actively tried to make Cheren smarter in this chapter like you all suggested, and I hope it shows.
    2. David beats N very resoundingly this time, which is the reverse of how it went in Accumula. That doesn't make either one a one-off, it is so that David passes N's test definitively and cements the idea of David being the other Hero in N's mind.
    3. I portrayed Lenora like how I imagine her to be based on her character, how she looks, and the circumstances the player finds her in. Her accent and mannerisms are not intended to offend. She actually has very few speaking lines.
    4. A bit of Gorm's dialog is stuff he actually does say in the game. That didn't appear to be a problem with Juniper back in Chapter 1 though, but I just thought I should mention it.

    Just one last bit of news: at the recommendation of you guys, I’ll be making a PM list for this thread, so I guess just PM me with your username or whatever if you want to be included on it. It’ll be kinda cool for my purposes to actually be able to see just how many people actually do read this thing. By the way, I see some people put their PM lists in the OP with links to the people's profiles; should I do that? Anyway, here is Chapter 6 of Chronicles of Unova, “The Dragon’s Skull.” Hope you all enjoy.

    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 6: The Dragon's Skull
    Part 1 of 2

    The group of adventurers had finally reached Nacrene City. The pleasant little town was quiet and quaint, with many shops and boutiques lining the streets. All the buildings were made of wood, and stood in neat rows and columns along the cobblestone roads. The town was surrounded on all sides by lush, thick forests, and the air was cool and thin. Many people could be seen talking and bells rang to mark the arrivals and departures of customers leaving the shops. Commerce hustled and bustled in the quaint, small-town Main Street, and flags flew in front of every shop. The people here were simple and good, living on their means and enjoying the atmosphere of community and family. Many travelers like the three friends passed through this town, sampling the wares and goods of the local merchants, bringing a steady flow of goods and cash into the small economy. Everywhere one went, the people looked as if they would wave and say “Howdy, neighbor!” just for stopping to look at them. This town was good, and it resonated with the group.

    “This city is so charming.” David commented. “Everything looks so old and rural, like it sprang up from the ground a few centuries ago and hasn’t changed since.”

    “That’s because it hasn’t.” said Cheren. “Nacrene City used to be a logging settlement, and eventually grew into this town. The warehouses were abandoned and the people moved into them, repurposing them as homes or shops. That’s why everything looks like it does and is so simple. These people live with what they found and have opted to not change it.”

    “So what’s that big building over there?” Bianca asked.

    She pointed at a massive stone building, towering over the rest of the city. No matter where you were in the town, you could see at least some part of the giant structure, its aged white bricks shimmering in the sunlight. It was designed in a Greek style, with massive columns supporting the triangular ceiling. Large marble steps rose up from the street into its open doors, and gave the building an imposing air.

    “That’s the Nacrene City Gym, Bianca. The Gym Leader there is a woman named Lenora. It doubles as an archaeology museum, of which she is also the curator and number one contributor. She is an archaeologist by trade.” Cheren responded.

    “Wow, that’s so cool. How do you know so much about this place, Cheren?” Bianca asked.

    “I felt bad going into our journey without knowing about the Striaton City Gym or its leaders and having to have Professor Juniper explain it to us. I made certain to research each of the towns with Gyms in them when I was at the Trainers’ School that day.” he replied.

    “So she’s an archaeologist then, huh? Does that mean she uses Rock types? Or Steel types maybe?” David asked.

    “No, believe it or not she uses Normal type Pokémon. Unova has one Ground type Gym Leader, Driftveil City’s Clay, but no Rock or Steel type Gyms.” Cheren answered.

    “Oh… that’s strange.” David said, trailing off. “Well, do you guys want to go check it out? We can look at the museum today and battle her tomorrow I guess.”

    “Sure. Going to a nice, quiet museum sounds pretty nice after all the excitement on Route 3.” Cheren said.

    The group headed off towards the building, anxious to meet their next opponent.

    * * *

    The town was quiet and peaceful, all save for one exception. A construction crew was noisily doing work on the roof of the Gym, hauling equipment and tools up and down the walls of the eastern side of the building. The commotion was noisy and broke the quiet air of the little town, but for a building that size, maintenance had to be done regularly, David assumed.

    They approached the grand marble steps and spied someone sitting on them, looking up at the workers. They recognized the man and walked up to him.

    “N? Is that you?” David asked.

    N turned to look at the group and a look of happy surprise spread across his face. He rose to meet them, his imposing height dwarfing them.

    “David! And Bianca and Cheren! How nice to see you three again. David, how is Paula doing? She recovered from our battle well I hope?” he said excitedly.

    “You- …what? You remember Paula’s name? …um, yeah, she’s doing fine. She evolved into a Kirlia, by the way.” David said in surprise.

    “Oh wonderful! May I see her please?” N said cheerily.

    “I… um… I suppose you can.” David said, taking out her Pokéball. He released her from it, and she gracefully popped out.

    N stared intently into Kirlia’s eyes, a large smile spreading across his face. He put his hands on his knees and bent down to her level. He tilted his head back as if about to speak, but no words came. Kirlia looked puzzled, a look of surprise showing in her eyes. A moment later, David heard her speak.

    “I am fine, Mr. N, thank you for asking. How are you managing to-” but she was cut off.

    N continued to stare at her eyes, bobbing his head and making expressions as if he was speaking, but no sound came. David again heard Paula speak.

    “Master David is a fine trainer, and I am happy with him and Mr. Cheren and Ms. Bianca. But I am truly very curious, how are-” but she trailed off again.

    N continued his strange facial contortions, and David again heard Paula speak.

    “No, sir, the thought never crossed my mind. I don’t think I would like that very much.” Paula said, and N chuckled to himself, standing back up.

    “You have such a polite Pokémon, David. You truly must take good care of her. We have just been having the most delightful conversation.” N said.

    David heard Paula speak in his mind, saying “Master, this man was just speaking to me in my mind much like we often do, but I was not using my psychic powers. He managed the feat on his own accord. He is most strange indeed…”

    “Paula says you were just talking to her, but she wasn’t using her powers. N… are you… are you psychic?” David asked, slightly embarrassed for asking the question.

    N chuckled to himself and responded “No, not quite.” He continued, “I have spent so much time around Pokémon that I can speak to them and understand them, but I cannot do it with humans or other animals. Pokémon are such wonderful and mysterious creatures, I do love them so.”

    “Master, this man is most strange. He is not like most humans; I can sense it in his heart.” Paula said. David heard a slight tremble in her voice; an uneasiness that wasn’t normally there. He mimicked the sentiment.

    “David, do you remember in Accumula Town when I said you in particular were special?” N asked. “May I give you a test to see just how developed your special power is? All I ask is for another Pokémon battle. You don’t have to use Paula if you would prefer another Pokémon.” he continued.

    “I, um… oh… I uh… haven’t… caught any other… um… Pokémon…” David stammered, looking at the ground.

    “Oh you haven’t?! How wonderful! I knew you were a good person, not wanting to keep the Pokémon trapped under our control. I like you even more, my friend. How about it then, will you battle me with Paula?” N said excitedly.

    David remembered the resounding loss he has suffered to N in Accumula Town and was scared he would repeat it. N was so polite though, he couldn’t say “no,” even if he was a little off the deep end.

    “Sure, I suppose… can you not use another Dark type though, please?” David said.

    “Oh I certainly don’t have to! Thank you for agreeing to take my test, David. Let me just give you some room.” he said, backing away.

    David and Paula took up their battle positions opposite him and N took out a Pokéball. He threw it in front of him, releasing a cheerful little Tympole. The little tadpole flopped on the ground, humming happily to itself.

    “You may make the first move, my friend.” said N with a smile.

    “Okay then. Paula, use Magical Leaf.” David said calmly.

    Paula focused her mind and the trees beside the museum began to rustle. The leaves flew from them, racing toward the Tympole, surrounded in the mystical purple light.

    “Oh no! Tympole, quick, roll out of the way!” N shouted.

    Tympole flopped on the ground with a look of worry on its face, trying to evade the storm of leaves. For every one it dodged though, another took its place, and the evaded leaf circled back around for another pass. Eventually the leaves began to strike the little Pokémon, draining it of energy very quickly.

    “Magical Leaf is a move that never misses. Being a Grass type move, it’s also very effective against the Water type Tympole. Why would N tell his Pokémon to try and dodge it? I thought he said he’d spent so much time around Pokémon.” said Cheren under his breath to Bianca.

    The leaves struck the Pokémon, stinging it and hurting it very badly. Tympole flopped on the ground a few last times, trying to stave off the pain as long as it could, and collapsed. N ran out to his Pokémon and picked it up in his arms.

    “Oh my, that was a resounding loss, wasn’t it? Thank you, Tympole. We’ll get you medical attention at once, my friend.” N said.

    “Oh… well… that was easy.” David thought to himself. He heard Paula chuckle and smiled at her.

    “So did I pass, N?” David asked with a smirk. N looked up and smiled, nodding in the affirmative.

    “You certainly did, my friend. It is I who has failed this time. You have the power to make your ideals come to life and make everyone listen. I need more power if I am ever going to create my perfect world for Pokémon…” N trailed off. “I need a Hero…” he said under his breath.

    “Oh yeah, that reminds me…” Cheren began to say. “We’ve had a few more encounters with your Plasma buddies since we last met. They’ve attacked us twice, stole some Pokémon from a couple of toddlers, and Bianca and David found a pair torturing a Munna. Can you explain that to us, maybe?” Cheren said venomously.

    “Oh noooo!” N said with faked sincerity. “They’ve been doing that? Well that just won’t do. Those people are officially on my bad list now. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Cheren. I will not associate with those people any further!” he continued.

    “Well yeah I- um… wait… oh…” he stammered. “Well then… good for you.” he continued.

    “David, I really must get my little friend here to the Pokémon Center.” N said politely. “It was lovely seeing you all again, especially you, Paula.” he said, looking at the Kirlia.

    “It was nice seeing you too, Mr. N.” David heard Paula say. N began to walk away and David heard her continue “…you bizarre little weirdo.” under her breath. David couldn’t help but snicker.

    “Oh hey wait! N!” Bianca shouted. “Do you know what all this construction is about?” she asked politely.

    N stopped but did not turn to look at them. “I would leave them alone if I were you, Bianca. Those men are busy and working very hard.” he said sternly and condescendingly. N continued walking and vanished from sight.

    “Well gosh… I was just asking a question, you don’t need to get snotty…” Bianca said, taken aback.

    “That is one weird dude…” said Cheren dismissively, turning to walk into the museum.

    David looked up at the construction workers and shrugged, following his friend in.

    * * *

    “Hello, young people! Welcome to the Nacrene Museum of Natural History. My name is Hawes, and I am the assistant director of the museum. What brings you here today?” a dapper older man said as they entered the museum. He was short and clean cut, with short hair and beady eyes.

    “Hello Mr. Hawes. My name is David and this is Bianca and Cheren. We’re Pokémon trainers and we’ve come to challenge the Gym. We were also coming to look around the museum if that’s alright.” David responded.

    “Oh wonderful! I’ll let Lenora know about your challenge.” Hawes said. “I’m so glad you’ve come to see the museum too. So many challengers come to do the first thing and not the second…” he trailed off. “Would you like a tour of the museum?”

    “Wow, that’d be really nice, Mr. Hawes. Aren’t you busy though?” David replied.

    “Never too busy to teach inquiring minds, young man!” said Hawes with a chuckle. He stepped out from behind the counter and motioned for them to follow him.

    “We here at the Nacrene Museum of Natural History have a massive collection of ancient Pokémon fossils and artifacts. Lenora is the Gym Leader, curator, and our chief contributor; she has found many of the objects on display that you see here today in our travels abroad.” Hawes said as they walked.

    ‘Our?’” Bianca asked.

    “Oh, haha, yes. I guess I neglected to mention, Lenora is my wife. We’ve been married for… well, for as long as I can remember. We traveled the world in our younger days, collecting artifacts for the museum.” Hawes replied with a chuckle.

    “Here you can see a wide variety of ancient Pokémon fossils.” he said, pointing to some stone tablets that were on display. “These ancient Pokémon were caught up in some sort of volcanic activity or massive flood in their time, and their forms were impressed into the rock below. They leave behind cavities in the Earth’s crust, and their bodies slowly deteriorate away. Fast forward a couple million years to when we find the cavities; we fill them with a special plaster, break the surrounding rock, and voilà! A perfect replica of the ancient Pokémon’s bones!” he said excitedly.

    “That’s super neat! I always thought you just found the bones lying preserved in the ground, but you learn something new every day.” Bianca said.

    “Many fossils are discovered that way, but more frequently they are discovered via the cavity method. Constant learning is what we strive for at the Nacrene Museum of Natural History though, Bianca!” said Hawes excitedly. “Now this piece…” he said, walking towards a large skeleton, “…is my favorite object in the museum. Are you kids familiar with the Pokémon Dragonite?” he asked.

    David and Bianca shook their heads “no,” but Cheren spoke up that he was.

    “Dragonite is a Dragon type Pokémon that is extremely rare and endangered nowadays. It evolves from a Pokémon called Dragonair, which in turn evolves from a Pokémon called Dratini. The species was long thought to be extinct, but in recent years, small schools of them have been found around the world.” Hawes continued. “This skeleton is a perfectly preserved replica of a Dragonite; a relic of the time when we thought they were extinct. Looking at it fills me with such a sense of majesty; I would love to see a Dragonite in real life…” he trailed off.

    “Hey Hawes, what’s this little stone?” Cheren asked, pointing to a display. A small black stone with some ancient markings on it sat on a small pillow, sitting in the open air on display. It was perfectly round, like a ball.

    “Oh, that? That’s just a stone Lenora and I found in our travels. It isn’t valuable or anything, we just always thought it looked neat…” Hawes said. “We discovered it in the Desert Resort on Route 4.”

    Hawes turned to look back at the Dragonite skeleton, and folded his arms. He looked up at the massive beast and smiled to himself.

    “This skeleton truly is remarkable I think. Even though it has become markedly less rare since Dragonite were discovered not to be extinct, I still think it is just so beautiful.” he said, almost daydreaming.

    Hawes began to walk away from the skeleton, moving on to show them something else in the museum, when suddenly, all of the lights shut off in unison, plunging the giant room into darkness.

    “Hey! Whoa! What happened to the lights?” Hawes said, startled.

    “It must be a blackout or something.” Cheren commented. “But in the middle of a clear day like this?”

    “What’s tha- Hey!” Bianca shouted. “Whoever that was, keep your hands to yourself, buster!”

    “Master!” David heard Paula say in a shocked tone.

    “What? …don’t judge me.” he thought nonchalantly.

    “Someone get the backup generators.” Hawes shouted to an aide.

    “It was probably those construction workers outside, Hawes; one of them must have blown a fuse or something.” Cheren suggested.

    “Construction workers? We haven’t contracted any construction wor- ” Hawes started to say, but the lights came back on before he could finish.

    “-kers… oh… hmm, the lights are back.” Hawes said, casually. “Well that was very pecul- THE SKELETON!!” he shouted.

    Hawes turned around to look at the large Dragonite skeleton and saw, much to his dismay, that the skull of the proud beast was gone. There was a gap in the ceiling above it, one of the acoustic tiles from the roof lying next to the display on the ground. Some heavy cables dangled gently from the hole. Someone had broken into the museum and stolen the skull!

    “Oh no! Ooooh no! OOOOOH NO!” Hawes began to shout frantically. He bounced up and down on the spot, fanning himself with his hands. He pulled an inhaler from his pocket and took several deep swigs from it.

    “Hawes! Hawes! Calm down, they couldn’t have gone far!” David shouted, but he couldn’t be subdued.

    “I must go and tell Lenora what has happened! She’ll know what to do! Honeeeeeey!” he shouted, running towards the back of the museum.

    “Come on, let’s go check outside. That skull was enormous; they couldn’t just go running through town with it.” David said to his friends. The group ran outside and looked down the street for any sign of the thieves.

    “Are these the kids you were with, sugah?” they heard a woman shout from behind them. They turned and saw a heavy set, elderly black woman jogging towards them, Hawes following in tow. She was very dark skinned, with a kind looking face and flamboyant green hair, standing up in an afro. She wore simple work clothes which matched her hair and a salmon colored jacket draped over her shoulder. She was very tall, just slightly taller than David.

    “Yes, Lenora my dear, these are the kids. David, did you see which way they went?!” Hawes said.

    “No, we didn’t. I don’t understand; how could they get something that big out without being spotted?” David replied.

    “Howdy, Lenora! You having a yard sale?” shouted a man from down the street. He was walking up casually with a hand in his pocket.

    “A yard sale? Wha-? Boy, you out of your flippin’ mind? What makes you think we havin’ a yard sale at a time like this?” Lenora shouted back to the man.

    “Well because…” he started to say back. “I just saw a couple of guys running away with some old junk from the museum. I thought you might be selling off some stuff…” he said.

    “You did?! What did they have, sugah? Was it a big skull?” she said excitedly.

    “Yeah, why?” the man replied.

    “Quick, Burgh! You must follow them! Those men stole it!” Hawes shouted.

    “What?! Why didn’t you say so! Come on!” the man shouted.

    “David, Bianca, Cheren, you three go with Burgh. Lenora and I will stay here in case they come back for more. Hurry!” Hawes shouted. The four of them took off down the street, heading towards the forest.

    * * *

    The group ran through the streets, looking desperately for the men who stole the skull. They had no real leads, aside from the fact that the robbers had been running the opposite direction of the young man they were with.

    “What’s your name, stranger?” David asked as they ran.

    “The name’s Burgh. I’m the Gym Leader of Castelia City. Lenora and I go way back. I’ll tell you about it some time. What are your names?” he replied, still keeping up the pace.

    “I’m David, and this is Bianca and Cheren.” David replied, motioning to his friends.

    “Nice to meet you, kids, though I wish I could do it under nicer circumstances.” Burgh replied.

    They slowed to a stop, looking around for any sign of the thieves. Burgh put a hand to his hip and looked around, shading his eyes with his other hand. He was extremely tall and lanky, a good foot taller than David even. He had pale white skin and very large facial features. He had large, wavy blonde hair, and there was a brush shaped like a butterfly sticking out of it, which was mimicked in his belt buckle. He wore a tight, green, V-neck shirt and striped pants with fancy leather shoes. He was very trendy and fashionably dressed, a scarf thrown casually over his shoulder.

    Burgh looked towards the forest to the west and said “If they were running opposite me, they must be heading into Pinwheel Forest. That’s the way I came, and it would make sense; that’s the fastest way out of the city.”

    The group took off running again, heading toward the forest. There was no gentle gradient into the wilderness for this city like there had been in Striaton going into the Dreamyard. Given that it was an old logging settlement, the town ended abruptly where the tree line began. They exited the city and ran through the forest a short ways. After a distance, the forest canopy became thick enough to obscure the sun and the path forked.

    “Alright kids, I think this is where we part ways. The path forks here, one way leading to Skyarrow Bridge and one way leading deeper into the forest. There’s a nice paved road leading to Skyarrow going this way…” he said, pointing north, “…and an animal trail leading into the woods this way.” he said, now pointing west. “Bianca and Cheren, you two head up north to Skyarrow and block the exit; see if you can cut them off. David and I will circle through the forest and see if we can rout them out. Unless they’ve already made it to Skyarrow Bridge by now, then they’ll have to pass by one of us.”

    “Sounds good, Burgh.” Cheren replied, taking off down the road. Bianca waved nervously and followed after him.

    “Come on, David, let’s roll!” Burgh said with determination. The pair ran into the deep woods, giving chase to the criminals.

    * * *

    David and Burgh walked through the woods calmly. The sun was mostly obscured by the thick canopy, the sun streaming in through thin pockets in the leaves. Wild Bug and Grass Pokémon could be heard chirping, buzzing and flying around them in the dense growth. David was a little creeped out by it all, but Burgh seemed perfectly at home among the foliage and insects. David decided to try talking to his new partner.

    “So Burgh, you’re a Gym Leader, eh? What type do you specialize in?” David asked.

    “Bug. I’ve always loved bugs, ever since I was a small boy. The complexity of their little bodies fascinates me so.” Burgh replied, looking around at the beauty of the forest.

    “Oh, huh… wouldn’t have pegged you as a Bug type user. How do you know Lenora?” David continued.

    “Much like how the Striaton Gym Leaders are restaurant owners, and Lenora is an archaeologist, I am an artist by trade. All of the Gym Leaders in Unova have active careers in addition to their responsibilities as Gym Leaders. Elesa is a fashion model, Clay is an investor, Drayden is a politician, et cetera!” Burgh said excitedly. “Nacrene City is full of ambitious young artists, and the good ones, like yours truly, move to Castelia City across the bay like I did when they get recognized. When I need inspiration for a piece, I always come home to Nacrene and go to the museum; Lenora always finds the most scrumptious objects that strike my fancy.” he said.

    “Oh, that’s pretty cool.” David said. “I thought it might be fun to be an artist when I was younger, but I can’t draw realistically.”

    “Art is not about drawing realistically, my young friend! Art is about expressing how you feel! Art is about letting loose your deepest feelings and letting them explode onto the canvas!” Burgh replied excitedly.

    David’s “deepest feelings” were exactly the kind of thing he didn’t want exploding onto anything, but he put that thought aside and replied. “Not to offend you, but that’s kind of a big qualm I’ve always had with professional artists. That kind of art doesn’t take any real skill. It isn’t something you can develop and get better at, it’s just something you’re either born with or you aren’t. Being able to sit down at an easel with a pencil or brush and replicate the thing you are looking at in front of you realistically is a skill that can be taught and honed. It is something that an unskilled person can, over time, learn how to do better. Expressionistic art is, as you say, just an explosion of color.”

    “But that is the best part, David! Don’t you see? Expressionistic art is some of the most beautiful. Anyone can go down to the dime store and buy a camera if they want ‘realistic’ images. A good artist can paint or draw what they feel and create something much more beautiful than anything you could draw if you wanted it to look ‘realistic.’” Burgh responded.

    “And that’s where artists and I start to diverge.” David replied. “Art isn’t a science; it isn’t deterministic or procedural. There are no formulas you can plug variables into and get a consistent, solid answer out from with art. Something so…” he struggled, looking for the word, “…inconsistent and undocumented just gives it an air of unprofessionalism to me. I was always much more interested in the sciences as a kid, and I like things where you can get an answer to a scenario.”

    “I suppose what you find unappealing about art is what I love so much about it. The freedom to simply create and to breathe is what I love about it. I feel like my truest self when I’m at the canvas, simply able to express what I’m feeling in the rawest, most simplistic form. It makes one feel alive and happy.” Burgh said calmly.

    “But you have an unfair bias, Burgh; you’re actually talented.” David replied. “Like I said before, expressionistic art like that isn’t something you can learn or be taught, it’s something you’re either born good at or you’re not. You can slap a wet paintbrush at the canvas and call it art; someone like me slaps a wet paintbrush at a canvas and calls it a blot of paint on a big white board. There’s a degree of luck associated with what you do, and you turned out lucky. Being a doctor or a computer programmer is something that can be learned, but takes years of schooling, making it a high value career. Art is, well… not as valuable.”

    Burgh shrugged. “We’ll have to agree to disagree, my friend. You raise some valid points, but we simply aren’t looking at the issue through the same lens. I make money and earn fame doing what I love to do; I don’t care if there is a ‘science’ to it or not, because at the end of the day, I love what I do and I enjoy the final product of my work.” he said calmly.

    David let the argument drop and they continued walking. They had covered quite a bit of ground and hadn’t run into anybody yet. Maybe the thieves didn’t come this way? They passed a stream and stopped to rest for a moment. Burgh knelt down to the stream and splashed his face, grinning to himself as he stood back up.

    David turned to walk back to the path, and saw a shadow move out of the corner of his eye. Slowly, hooded figures began to step out of the dark undergrowth, menacingly walking towards them. He began to walk backwards toward Burgh and felt himself bump up against him. He turned over his shoulder and saw that they were coming from the other direction too, surrounding them. “Two against ten?” Burgh said under his breath. “…I like those odds.”

    A man stepped forward from the group, dressed differently than the rest of them. He moved silently and did not speak. He stepped into the light and motioned for the rest of them to follow suit. As the sunlight hit their clothing, David realized they were all with Team Plasma; assorted goons working for the twisted cult. The man who had stepped forward was dressed like Ghetsis had been in Accumula and the Dreamyard, but slightly less ornate. He spoke in a calm, elderly voice.

    “I am Gorm of the Seven Sages. I believe I recognize Burgh, the Bug type Gym Leader of Castelia City, but I do not recognize you, young man. What is your name?” the man asked.

    “My name is David. I have stood to oppose you goons several times in the past and I guess my efforts are needed again. Don’t you bastards ever quit?” he replied mockingly.

    “Such a sharp tongue in front of your elders; I am shocked. But I suppose it is understandable, given the circumstances. I believe this is what you are looking for?” he asked. He lifted is cloak and held up the Dragonite skull.

    “You lot always act so smug and self-righteous. Don’t you people realize you’re stealing? How does that make you the good guys?” David asked.

    “I have neither the time nor interest to argue the logistics of our operations with children!” Gorm spat. “I am, however, interested in making it out of here safely with the skull. Since you both have proven to be adept Pokémon trainers in the past, I suppose the only thing stopping me is you. Guards, dispose of them.” he commanded.

    The grunts standing around him took a step forward and put their hands on their hips. They all drew Pokéballs and released them to the air. Ten Pokémon landed in the clearing and stood to oppose them, all growling and glaring menacingly.

    “Feel like a little warm up before your battle with Lenora, David?” Burgh asked.

    “Hell, Burgh… I might actually break a sweat.” David replied, sarcastically.

    David and Burgh released their Pokéballs in a flash and the battle began.

    * * *

    Bianca and Cheren stood in the middle of the road on the edge of Pinwheel Forest, staring off into space and simply waiting for something to happen. Bianca spied a small rock on the ground and kicked it into the nearby stream. It landed in the murky water with a “plop!”

    “Hey.” Cheren said casually.

    “Yeah?” Bianca replied.

    “You ever wonder why we’re here?” he asked.

    Bianca paused as she considered the question. “It’s one of life’s great mysteries, isn’t it? Why are we here? I mean… are we the product of some cosmic coincidence or… is Arceus even real, watching everything, you know… with a plan for us and stuff… I dunno, Cheren… but it keeps me up at night…” she trailed off.

    Cheren stared at her, the most perplexed and confused look on his face she had ever seen.

    What?!” he said. “I meant why are we out here, in the middle of this forest?”

    “Oh… uh… yeah…” Bianca stammered.

    “What was all that stuff about Arceus?” Cheren asked.

    “Uhh… hmm? Nothing…” Bianca said, trying to ignore the question.

    “You… wanna talk about it?” Cheren asked, concerned.

    “No.” Bianca said quietly.

    “You sure?” Cheren continued.

    “Yeah.” Bianca said, turning away and blushing.

    “Seriously though, why are we out here? How come we’re never the ones in the middle of all the action?” Cheren asked.

    “I was with David when we got attacked at the Dreamyard. That counts.” Bianca quipped.

    “Fine, why am I never the one in the middle of the action? Why does David get all the fun?” Cheren asked angrily.

    The two of them stared back off into space in silence. The forest was completely quiet. Nothing moved. Nothing exciting happened. Just… nothing.

    “Yep.” said Bianca.

    “Yep…” replied Cheren.

    They were bored.

    [Author’s Note: The previous dialog was heavily based on dialog from Episode 1, Season 1 of “Red vs. Blue” by Rooster Teeth Productions. I take absolutely no credit for creation of the show, and references to the material are intended for comedic purposes only. The dialog has been slightly changed from its original format and is not just a straight copy. The video the above link goes to is in keeping with the PG-15 rating of this thread for mild language and should be viewed at your own risk if you are underage. Also, I would just like to say that Michael “Burnie” Burns and Matt Hullum, co-writers of “Red vs. Blue,” are awesome guys and would recognize my reference as harmless.]

    * * *

    “Paula, use Confusion!” David shouted. The blast flew towards the final opposing Pokémon, knocking it to the ground and defeating it. Burgh recalled his Pokémon and they stood triumphantly before the Plasma grunts, staring at them coldly and sarcastically.

    “That the best you got, Plasma?” David shouted, raising his fist in the air. The grunts were all taken aback, shocked the ten of them had lost to just two opponents. Gorm seethed with rage at their incompetence.

    “You fools, do something! Protect your Sage!” he shouted at them angrily. They were out of Pokémon though, so there was nothing they could do.

    “Hand over the skull, Plasma. We’ve got you trapped in this forest. There’s no way out, so just make it easy on yourselves and surrender.” Burgh said proudly.

    “Never! I’ll never give you this skull! It is absolutely, unequivocally, beyond any shadow of a doubt vital to Team Plasma’s continued-” he started to say, but he was cut off by a dull beeping noise. Gorm was startled by the noise and almost leapt out of his skin. He quickly realized where it was coming from and began fidgeting in his cloak for whatever was making the sound. He pulled a small headset out from somewhere beneath his cloak and put it on.

    “This had better be pretty Goddamn important!” he shouted into the device.

    “Yeah, what about it?!” he yelled. “It’s… uh huh? …uh huh? …uh huh? …right, the dragon’s skull, uh huh? …IT’S WHAT?!?” he shouted again. “What do you mean ‘not the right Pokémon!?’” he screamed.

    Burgh and David looked at each other, both flashing the other a confused look. “Was this really happening?” they both thought.

    Gorm finished his call and cleared his throat, turning back around to face them.

    “Ahem, yes, well… hmm… I have just been informed that this is NOT in fact the skull of the legendary Pokémon we were thinking it was, and is in fact just a worthless heap of trash…” he said, embarrassed. “You can… um… have it back, I guess…” he said, handing it to Burgh.

    Burgh took the skull quizzically, saying in a confused voice “Thank… you? …I guess?”

    Gorm again cleared his throat, stepping back into the shadows. “Just know this, Pokémon Trainers…” he said angrily. “…Our leader Ghetsis, another of the Seven Noble Sages of Team Plasma, has decreed the Pokémon Liberation movement to be in full swing, and ordered his compatriots to take all the Pokémon they can, by force, if necessary… Heed my words, Gym Leader and Trainer, for you shall soon know them well: Know your enemies, know yourself, and know you need not fear the result of a hundred battles... This time, we shall retreat quietly, but steel yourselves for the coming war. For… PLASMAAAAA!” he shouted.

    The group of Plasma grunts surrounding him echoed his battle cry and raised their arms triumphantly into the air. They threw them down, throwing tiny smoke balls to the ground before them. The smoke rose quickly into the air, covering their retreat. Burgh and David choked on the noxious smoke, and could do nothing to stop them.

    Once the smoke had cleared, they were again alone in the woods. The pair looked at each other, confusion spread across both their faces.

    “Well… that was a Deus ex machina if I’ve ever seen one…” David said quietly.

    Burgh spoke up, “I… um… I guess I’ll take the skull back to the museum. You can go get your friends and tell them it’s okay to come back to the city. I’ll set up your battle with Lenora for you. Tomorrow morning good for you?”

    “Yeah, we’ll be there.” David replied.

    “Cool. See you ‘round.” Burgh replied, and he casually strode off with the skull in hand.

    David looked at the ground and shook his head. “What the hell have I gotten myself into?” He took off down the road to find his friends and return to the city.

    * * *

    “So they just gave it back and left?” Bianca asked him quizzically as they walked through the woods.

    “Yep… damndest thing I ever saw…” said David.

    “I know I said they’re crazy before, but I’d like to amend that statement.” Cheren said. “They’re not just crazy, they’re Goddamn morons.” he continued.

    Bianca giggled to herself and started to speak again. “Well, at least we got the skull back, that’s all that mat… um… ters…” but she said, trailing off. “Hey, uhh… do you two see that?” she asked.

    She pointed to a bush sitting along the side of the path and her friends stopped to look. The little berry bush appeared to be rustling, as if moving on its own. The wind was still, but yet it rustled and shook very violently. Small Oran Berries dropped from its branches, falling to the ground and rolling away.

    “What the hell?” Cheren asked in a confused voice. “Hello? Is someone in there?”

    The bush stopped rustling upon hearing his words. It was silent for a few seconds, and then slowly, a small green paw began to reach out from inside the bush. It crept out, reaching towards a berry that had fallen and was sitting on the road. The group watched, dumbstruck, as the little paw reached for the berry. It found its target, and quickly scooped it up and pulled it back into the bush. The little plant began to shake again, and more berries fell from it. Quiet chewing noises could be heard coming from inside it.

    “Ummm…” Cheren said. “What is this, I don’t even…” he said under his breath.

    “Alright, enough of this.” David said, annoyed. “Come on out, you little bugger.”

    The bush again stopped moving and was quiet for a moment. A little green creature stepped out from the bush cautiously, looking at the group inquisitively. Satisfied there was no danger, it stepped out and waddled slowly into the middle of the road opposite them. It walked very fast, its stout legs waddling quickly, but it took very small steps. It reached the middle of the path, turned to look at them with a blank expression, and sat down. It looked up at them, and they looked back at it. After a few seconds of this, it grinned a big grin and said audibly “Munch!”

    “It’s! So! CUUUUUUUTE!!!” Bianca squealed. “Oh my gosh, one of you two has to catch it!” she said.

    “I don’t even know what it is.” said David, perplexed.

    “It looks like a Munchlax.” Cheren said, adjusting his glasses. “It’s the pre-evolved form of Snorlax. Bianca’s right, actually, we should catch it. We still only have one Pokémon each and Snorlax are very powerful.”

    “You want it, Cheren?” David asked.

    “Oh-ho no; I’m not getting up in the middle of the night to feed that little bottomless pit. He’s all yours, David.” Cheren replied, stepping back.

    “Okay, well… here goes…” David said. He took out Paula’s Pokéball and threw it opposite the little creature. She popped out and struck a fighting pose. The Munchlax stayed seated and tilted its head, letting out a confused cry of “Munch?”

    “Ready to catch our first Pokémon together, Paula?” David shouted.

    “Yes indeed, master. I could use a little company.” she replied.

    “Alright then! Paula, use Confusion!” he shouted.

    She closed her eyes and focused, letting loose the blast towards the little creature. It sat perfectly still, letting the hit wash over it. It seemed to not even feel it, letting the blow glance right off. It stood back up and walked over to its bush, plucking more berries from it and continuing to satisfy its hunger.

    “Wow, it’s really bulky!” Bianca said, surprised it had withstood the hit so effortlessly.

    “Don’t worry, we’ll get it.” David replied. “Paula, use Magical Leaf!” he shouted.

    She focused her mind and the bush began to rustle again. The leaves dropped from it in an instant and swarmed the little Pokémon, hacking and slashing at its thick hide. It hurt the Munchlax, but it still seemed more interested in eating. Paula ceased the attack and stared at it, taken aback by its apparent disinterest in battling her. The Munchlax continued to eat, faster now that the leaves had fallen from its bush. She looked to David in confusion, not sure how to proceed.

    David pinched the bridge of his nose and lowered his head. “Oh for crying out loud… why am I catching this thing?” he thought to himself. He looked up at the little Pokémon, eating happily, oblivious to everything around it. It plucked the last berry from the bush, tossed it casually into the air, and let it land in its mouth, happily enjoying the succulent juices and pulp inside. Seeing that there were no more berries left to eat, it sat down and proceeded to doze off, having satisfied its hunger.

    “Psst, David.” Cheren whispered. “I think this is your chance. Paula’s Special attacks are never going to wear this thing down enough, try and catch it while it’s asleep.”

    David reached into his pack, pulled out one of the Pokéballs that Fennel had given him, and threw it sharply towards the little monster. He struck the Pokémon in the head, awakening it and causing it to fall over. It flailed its arms in shock, trying to regain its balance, and was zapped inside the ball. It shook once but did not break, and then was still, not caring enough to try and break free. David walked up to it, picked it up, and looked at it quizzically.

    “Well guys, I… um… I guess I just caught a Munchlax.” he said.

    “Yay! It’s such a little cutie-pie! You’re lucky, David!” Bianca shouted.

    “It doesn’t seem too bright, but it can sure take a hit.” Cheren said, folding his arms.

    David looked down at the Pokéball and thought about what he had just seen.

    “Jesus, this has been a long day…” he thought to himself tiredly.

    * * *

    The night passed uneventfully, and the group rested comfortably at the Pokémon Center, preparing for their upcoming Gym battle. David and Munchlax were doing a little practice in front of the building when Cheren and Bianca came out, walking up to him to head off for the Gym.

    “Hey David, how’s training Munchlax going?” Cheren asked him as he walked up.

    “Pretty great, actually.” David replied. “He’s surprisingly strong in addition to being so bulky. You were right; he’s going to be a big asset to the team. He’s pretty easy to train too; not surprisingly, he’ll do anything for a bite of food.” he continued, pulling a kernel of food from his bag.

    “Munchlax, show Cheren your moves! How about you give us an Earthquake?” David said, holding up the kernel. Munchlax held up its arms excitedly and leapt into the air. It curled itself up as it began to fall back down, slamming into the ground with a mighty crash. The ground shook, knocking them all over. Munchlax jumped up and down with its arms in the air, happily awaiting its treat.

    “Holy crap! That was something else!” Bianca shouted as David helped her up. David tossed the kibble into its mouth and it devoured it happily. The little Pokémon seemed much more awake now than it had the previous day.

    “I know, he’s pretty great. It looks like he’s got Earthquake, Body Slam and, not surprisingly, Crunch. We’re going to beat Lenora for sure!” David said, making a fist.

    “You ready to head on over to the Gym?” Cheren asked.

    “Yeah, let’s get going.” David replied as they took off. The group walked towards the building and prepared for their match against Lenora. The tension was building as they anticipated their second official Pokémon League Gym battle.

    * * *

    [Continued Below]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012

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