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Crater Dreams (Alpha and Omega contest entry)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Umbramatic, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Hello! Before you read this story a few things about it:

    This story was initially written as an entry to the Alpha and Omega contest on these very forums. However, this time I decided to use the judges' feedback to actually revise the story I had, rather than writing a new story with the same themes and concepts from scratch (which is how Caging Destruction was born). Ultimately there were several deeper flaws I didn't know how to fix without such a story overhaul, but I revised what I felt I could and I hope you enjoy it anyway.

    But let's get started:

    Crater Dreams

    The Sootopolis gym was closing for the day. Workers were leaving for home, and Trainers were heading towards the Pokemon Center for the night. At the Gym's master bedroom, a young man with a white shock in his hair was talking to a young boy with turquoise hair and a white beret.

    "Wallace," said the young man. "It's time for a bedtime story."

    "But I'm not tired yet! I wanna train my Pokemon some more, Juan!" Wallace replied, his face in a visible pout.

    "Now now, Wallace," said Juan. "This story is about your ancestors. The ones who founded this very city."

    "...So?" said Wallace, crossing his arms. "They're dead now. Why should I care?"

    "Tell you what, if you listen to my story, I'll let you train your Pokemon a bit more."

    Wallace glanced warily at Juan. "I suppose..."

    "Alright!"

    The two sat down.

    "Long long ago," said Juan, "On an island far off the coast of the Hoenn mainland, there were two children, one much like you..."

    ------

    A small island village was winding down for the day as the rays of the setting sun licked the thatched rooftops of its huts. Farmers returning to their houses and mothers were calling their children inside. One green-haired girl and her young Tropius, however, stayed outside and moved towards the edge of their village.

    "Come on, Blanca!" said the girl. "I wanna explore some more!"

    The Tropius, who at the time wasn't much taller than the girl, plodded along behind her, giving small, contented "Pi"s.

    The girl noticed a turquoise-haired boy sitting beside a small pond, watching a Feebas swimming about.

    "Hey, you!" said the girl.

    The boy looked up in surprise.

    "What kinda Pokemon is that?"

    "She's a Feebas!" said the boy. "Her name is Thetis!"

    "She's ugly!"

    "No she's not!"

    "Yuh-huh!"

    "Nuh-uh!"

    In the background as the string of "yuh-huhs" and "nuh-uhs" continued, Thetis and Blanca took notice of each other.

    Blanca nudged Thetis with her nose, causing the Feebas to attempt to hop out of the water and nuzzle back. The two Pokemon then began making bellows and burbles at each other in a sort of conversation.

    The two children eventually turned and noticed.

    "They... like each other?" said the girl.

    "I guess?" said the boy.

    The two looked at each other a bit awkwardly before the boy spoke up.

    "I'm Apollo! What's your name?"

    "...Narissa."

    "Narissa!" said a voice from the huts. "Time to come in!"

    "Gotta go!" said Narissa, running back to the huts with Blanca. "See you!"

    "See you!" said Apollo, waving back.

    ----------

    A skinny young man with turquoise hair sat at the edge of a seaside cliff, gazing out into the ocean. It wasn't long before a Milotic slithered up next to him and began nuzzling him.

    The young man smiled. "Hey Thetis! Good to see you, girl!"

    He petted the Milotic, who cooed in response.

    "Apollo! There you are!"

    The young man turned to see a young woman with green hair and a Tropius approaching. Thetis immediately slithered over to the Tropius and began a Monese conversation.

    ''Narissa!" Apollo said cheerfully. "Good to see you here too!"

    "I've searched the entire village and the whole island looking for you!" Narissa replied, putting her hands on her hips. "We're supposed to harvest Cheri Berries today!"

    "Come on, Narissa," said Apollo. "You know this is my favorite spot."

    Narissa sighed. "Fine. I suppose you want me to join you?"

    Apollo nodded. Narissa sat down next to him and gazed out to sea alongside him.

    "... It is really pretty," she said after a while.

    Apollo smiled. "See why I said it's my favorite spot?"

    Narissa smirked. "Yeah."

    "But you're right," said Apollo. "We should be-"

    "Tropiiiiiiiiii!"

    "What is it, Blanca?" said Narissa.

    Blanca and Thetis were pointing out to sea with a foot and tail, respectively. Apollo and Narissa looked to see a trio of ships with Absol footprints painted on their sails. Their expressions changed to ones of abject horror.

    "The Absol Paw Tribe," said Apollo.

    ---------

    The four rushed back to their village, where people and Pokemon alike were running around in a state of panic. Apollo, panting heavily, ran to one particular hut, where men were gathering weapons and armoring their Pokemon.

    "Father! Where are you?!" yelled Apollo, looking around frantically.

    "Apollo!" said a man with similar turquoise hair and a necklace of Sharpedo teeth around his neck. "This isn't your fight! Get to the boats on the other side of the island!"

    "But Father-"

    A tremor rocked the huts.

    "Now!" yelled his father.

    Hesitantly, Apollo turned and ran back outside to Narissa.

    "Apollo, are we-" she said.

    "We have to get to the boats, now!" he replied.

    With that, the two and their Pokemon ran south as more raider boats came ashore.

    -----------

    The two young adults and their Pokemon trudged through a mangrove swamp, looking about hurriedly for any boats.

    "We should be getting close..." said Narissa.

    Apollo noticed something out of the corner of his eye heading straight for Narissa. His eyes widened in horror, andhe immediately tackled her to the ground just as a Fire Blast passed over their heads. Just as quickly Thetis and Blanca pulled them into the undergrowth and concealed them amid the mangrove shoots and roots.

    Soon after, a man alit within the mangroves atop his Salamence, scanning the area.

    "You see 'em, boy? I didn't see 'em." he said.

    His Salamence growled and started scanning and sniffing the area.

    In the undergrowth, Apollo, Thetis, and Blanca held deathly still. Narissa, on the other hand, didn't even dare to breathe. instead shaking in fear at the large, vicious carnivore approaching their location.

    The Salamence moved closer. Narrisa's heart pounded at a rapid pace.

    Quickly, Apollo grabbed a rock and threw it as high and far as he could. The rock landed with a loud splash a fair distance away.

    "There they are! After them!" yelled the man.

    The Salamence roared and charged after the source of the noise.

    As soon as they had moved off a ways Thetis scooped Apollo and Narissa onto her back and charged out to sea, Blanca following close behind.

    -----------

    Out to sea, Thetis and her passengers drifted aimlessly as Blanca circled overhead.

    "Do you see any boats?" said Apollo.

    "All I see is storm clouds ahead..." replied Narissa.

    The two grew silent for a moment.

    "I don't think anyone made it..." said Narissa, shaking her head.

    "No, no, someone else has to have made it..." muttered Apollo, his voice wavering.

    Thunder cracked from the oncoming storm.

    "Blanca!" said Narissa. "Try to find dry land! The rest of us are going under!"

    Apollo nodded. "Thetis, Dive!"

    Thetis blew a massive bubble encapsulating herself and her riders; she then dove underwater as Blanca flew east.

    -----------

    It was dark and featureless beneath the waves, and Apollo and Narissa huddled close as Thetis moved their bubble along.

    "...The storm isn't that bad judging from when we've surfaced for air," said Apollo. "Do we have to stay down here?"

    Narissa shook her head sadly. "It's likely to get worse."

    "Good point."

    "We've lost our families and our home already. Losing our lives is not something-"

    "Narissa. We're going to be OK. I promise you that." His voice wavered slightly as he said it.

    Narissa paused for a few seconds before embracing him, sobbing.

    Apollo hugged back for a while before opening his eyes and realizing the darkness around them had grown deeper.

    "Thetis... Where are we?"

    Thetis cooed uncertainly, then spotted a pinprick of light above.

    "Tic!"

    She quickly shot upward, taking her passengers along for the ride.

    -----------

    The three emerged in a lake within a massive volcanic crater. Around the lake were patches of volcanic soil where Berry trees grew, which gave way to cliffs of white rock with their own patches of soil further up the crater's slopes. The storm seemed to have bypassed it, as the moon and stars were visible above its lip.

    Narissa gasped. "It's beautiful..."

    Thetis quickly came ashore, where Apollo ran his fingers through the dirt.

    "It seems rich. No wonder the berries are growing here!"

    He looked around, the faintest cracks of a smile forming on his caught himself and shook his head, his expression becoming more serious.

    He then noticed Narissa climbing the cliffs.

    "Narissa! Be careful!"

    "I'm fine!" she replied, smiling and heaving herself up onto a cliff.

    Apollo sighed and followed.

    The two, after much climbing of cliffs, eventually reached a cave entrance, pausing to stare at it a while.

    "M-Maybe we should get Thetis before we go in..." said Apollo, beginning to back up.

    Narrisa stared at him for a second before her expression hardened and she clenched her fists

    "Hey! You can't back off like that! You wouldn't let me do that, right?"

    Apollo nodded nervously.

    "Well, I ought to do the same with you. Now come on!"

    She stood back patiently.

    "...All right," said Apollo. "Let's go."

    They headed into the cave together.

    --------

    The darkness of the cave was punctuated by blue and red crystals glowing with geothermic clustered above, Zubat and Golbat sleeping soundly as Apollo and Narissa made their way through.

    "Wow..." the two said in unison.

    Apollo's foot bumped into a small object on the cavern floor.

    "Hmm?"

    He picked up a small, flower-shaped blue crystal.

    "Looks like this one got dislodged."

    He handed it to Narissa.

    "Here! It's yours!"

    "Oh! Thank you!" said Narissa.

    ~Now now dearies,~ said a voice in their heads. ~If you want to take it that's fine but it's best you ask first!~

    "...Who was that?" said Narissa.

    "I... don't know..." said Apollo.

    They hesitated for a few seconds before heading deeper into the cave.

    ---------

    Upon entering the deepest part of the cave, Apollo and Narissa saw that a pool in the middle of the cavern contained the massive, sleeping form of Kyogre.

    "I... I don't think we should wake her..." said Narissa.

    "Well, she seemed friendly..." said Apollo uncertainly.

    Kyogre's eyes snapped open.

    ~Humans!~ she said. ~I haven't seen humans in this spot in... well, ever! Of course me and Groudon made this crater long long ago, so maybe you just overlooked it. What brings you here, dearies?~

    "Well..." said Apollo. "We... kind of lost our home."

    ~Oh? How?~

    "The Absol Paw Tribe." said Narissa. "They're these zealots, ruffians... They took over our home, killed everyone..."

    Kyogre snorted. ~Oh, them. Giratina's been telling me about them. Says they're giving him a bad name! Well if you've run afoul of those creeps you're more than welcome to stay in this crater!~

    Apollo started. "We can?"

    Narissa bowed profusely. "Thank you, thank you!"

    ~No problem, dearies. And keep ahold of that crystal! It's a very nice one. But if you see a blue orb with an Alpha symbol on it, keep it away from me! It makes me go berserk and sends my powers out of control!~

    "...Noted," said Apollo.

    Apollo and Narissa exited the chamber and started heading outside.

    "Apollo?" said Narissa.

    "Yes?"

    "...Do you really think we can start a new life here?"

    Apollo paused.

    We've lost everything. We have barely a chance of survival even here. Who knows how it'll all turn out?

    He clenched his fists.

    And yet... We've both made it so far... Mabye...

    He relaxed and smiled, much more naturally than any other smile in their whole ordeal.

    "I think we can."

    -----------

    The morning after the Kyogre encounter, Apollo and Narissa were sleeping next to each other on an island in the middle of the crater, Thetis curled up beside them.

    Narissa was awakened by a nudge to the face.

    "Zzzz... Wha?"

    She opened her eyes to see a familiar Tropius staring down at her worriedly.

    "Blanca! You're OK!"

    She jumped up and hugged the Tropius tightly, stirring Apollo and Thetis awake.

    "Oh! Blanca!" said Apollo. "...What's she holding in her mouth?"

    Narissa plucked the object from Blanca's mouth.

    "It's a piece of cloth... My mother used to love weaving this pattern..."

    Apollo stared at the cloth for a few seconds, his eyes widening in recognition. He hurriedly grabbed Narissa's shoulder.

    "Narissa! Do you know what this could mean?"

    Narissa stared back at Apollo for a few seconds before the realization hit her like a Salamence's Outrage.

    "Blanca! Take us to where you got that cloth!"

    Blanca bellowed as the two hopped on to her back and began to fly off, with Thetis looking on and giving a series of sad "tics" in response.

    ---------

    Blanca soared over a mainland beach where a crowd of people had gathered, and landed amidst them. Apollo and Narissa were immediately swarmed by the overjoyed crowd, and were embraced by two women in particular.

    "Mother! I thought I lost you..." said Narissa.

    "We thought we lost you all!" said Apollo.

    "These are all that managed to make it ashore before the storm," said Apollo's mother. "And your father..."

    Everyone grew silent for several moments. Apollo forced himself to stand tall and face the others.

    "We've lost many..." said Apollo, still wavering. "But Narissa and I found a place where we'll be safe from the Absol Paw Tribe and anyone else that tries to hurt us!"

    "Apollo," said Narissa, frowning. "How in Rayquaza''s name are we going to get everyone to the crater?"

    Apollo looked around at the various Pokemon scattered amid the humans in the crowd.

    "We're going to need as many swimming and flying Pokemon as we can get."

    ------------

    The crater was now bustling with activity, with humans and Pokemon working together to build small shelters amid the cliffs. Meanwhile, flying and surfing Pokemon carried people, smaller Pokemon, and supplies into the crater via the sky and secret entrance

    "Keep it coming!" said Apollo, directing the surfers and flyers with waves of his hands.

    Beside him Thetis was doing the same with her tail, letting out "tics" and coos.

    Above everyone, Narissa and Blanca flew around the lip of the crater, keeping an eye on incoming Flying mons.

    Then, she noticed a Flygon decorated with Absol Paw warpaint circling the crater. Her eyes widened and her gut clenched in panic at the sight. She then shook her head and barked out an order.

    "Blanca, u-use Air Slash!"

    The Tropius quickly fired a blade of air at the Flygon, but it dodged and flew off into the distance. Narissa cursed under her breath.

    "We need to warn the others!".

    She and Blanca dived into the crater below.

    --------

    The villagers and their Pokemon had all gathered around the crater lip and in the lake below, each group armed with makeshift weapons. Apollo and Narissa were in separate groups, but keeping an eye out for each other from a distance. All were completely silent.

    Then...

    "They're coming!"

    A Huntail with an Absol Paw rider clinging to its back emerged from the lake below, only for them to be peppered with a volley of attacks and forced back. More Water Pokemon riders soon emerged, however, and Apollo and his allies often found themselves split between multiple opponents.

    Meanwhile, Narissa and her fellow air-mounted villagers engaged flying invaders as they attacked the edge of the crater, doing their best to prevent them from landing and attacking from above if they did, as well as attacking the three ships gathered around the crater.

    Narissa was in the process of knocking the rider of an Altaria off his mount when Blanca yelped and ducked a Fire Blast.

    "Hehe... And you thought you escaped me last time."

    A familiar man flew into view on a familiar Salamence. Narissa's stomach clenched again and her heart started racing.

    "I don't think you'll escape this time," said the man, smirking.

    Narrissa paled and gulped, but stayed at the ready.

    The Salamence lunged at Blanca's throat with a Crunch. Blanca veered out of the way, only to get singed by another Fire Blast. Meanwhile, Narissa was trying to get a hit in with her spear to no avail, while the chieftain was getting dangerously close with each strike of his.

    Down below Apollo looked up and saw the commotion, his eyes widening in shock.

    This time, however, he just as quickly gritted his teeth and clenched his fists.

    "Thetis! Ice Beam, now!"

    Thetis looked up and shot a ray of cold into the sky.

    The Salamence yowled in surprise and quickly veered out of the way of the Ice Beam.

    Narissa saw the display and her expression hardened, her hands clenched around her a spear.

    "Blanca, Air Slash!"

    Blanca took the opportunity to send an Air Slash at his face, disorienting him and causing him to flare his wings in shock. Narissa quickly thrust her spear as hard as she could at its left wing, hearing an audible crack and seeing gushing blood.

    The Salamence yowled again in agony, bucked its rider, and fell to a cliff below.

    Still atop her mount, Narissa looked around at the chaos below, at her people being pushed back into a corner.

    Even with the leader down they're still coming... she thought. How are we-

    Then, she felt the crystal in her pocket and realized what she had to do.

    "Everyone!" she shouted as loud as she could. "To the cave!"

    Every villager turned tail and ran to the caves, the Absol Paw Tribe members in hot pursuit.

    -------

    A contingent of Absol Paw Tribe members were pushing their way through the cave, squeezing one at a time through narrow openings.

    "Bah!" said one. "Damn scrawny villagers getting through this faster than we can..."

    "Are you sure this is a good idea?" said another. "I think they took down the chief..."

    "If so," said a third, "It's our duty to avenge him! We'll take those heretics and gut them like-"

    They all stopped in their tracks upon reaching the end of the cave.

    Illuminated at the end of the cave were the villagers- all sitting astride the back or riding water Pokemon beside the massive form of Kyogre.

    ~Excuse me?~ said Kyogre. ~You said you wanted to hurt these people?~

    "We're not afraid of you, false god!" said a tribe member. "The One Beyond will overcome you!"

    ~False God? How dare you! You are fools if you think you've won Giratina's favor. He does not like you, and quite frankly neither do I.~

    "We don't care how powerful you are. We'll take you on!"

    ~If you insist.~

    She opened her maw and blasted the tribe members with a torrent of water, pushing them back through the cave and out the entrance.

    The villagers all cheered, embracing their fellows and Pokemon in celebration.

    "Thank you, Kyogre!" said Apollo, patting the massive Pokemon from astride Thetis.

    "But..." said Narissa. "What if they don't leave?"

    ~Oh, I have a solution to that.~ said Kyogre.

    --------

    Storm clouds began forming over the crater, causing the Absol Paw tribe to look up in , strong wind and waves started buffeting the ships outside the crater, knocking people overboard. Thunderbolts began striking within the crater, causing tribe members and their Pokemon to scatter. A whirlpool formed within the crater lake, pulling anyone still in it under and spitting them out outside the crater.

    It didn't take long for the tribe members to leave en masse.

    -------

    After the Absol Paw tribe had fled, Narissa, Blanca, Apollo, and Thetis emerged from the cave in the pouring rain and looked around.

    Good riddance to the Absol Paw tribe, thought Narissa. Let's hope they never bother us again.

    It's finally over, thought Apollo. I almost can't believe it.

    He closed his eyes and felt the rain splashing down on his body, smiling.

    Almost.

    The two looked at each other and nodded before returning to the cave, their Pokemon following.

    -----------

    The next day the crater village was busy once again, this time with people and Pokemon repairing the damage from the attack and tending to the wounded and deceased. On the central island Narissa was tending to Blanca when Apollo and Thetis approached.

    "Oh, Apollo! How's it going?"

    "Good, good. The repairs are going smoothly!"

    He looked over to one hut, where a certain Salamence with a splinted wing was eyeing Narissa warily.

    "The chieftain left his Salamence behind. He's still scared of you."

    "Good!," said Narissa, crossing her arms and smirking..

    She then turned to Apollo with a smile on her face.

    "But I heard you're becoming chieftain! Congrats!"

    Apollo gulped audibly.

    "Actually," he said, shifting nervously, "I was talking to the surviving elders and we agreed..."

    "...Oh?"

    "...That you should be chieftain."

    "Huh?!"

    "Look, we've stuck together through this whole thing. And you weren't the only one who was scared. I was terrified and paranoid and trying to hide it the whole time behind fake optimism. But that final battle proved you handled that fear better than I did."

    "I... I..."

    "I know, it's a lot, and if it's too much I can- Mmph!"

    Apollo was interrupted by Narissa kissing him passionately on the lips, Thetis and Blanca giving a "Tic!" and a "Tropiiiiiii!" of approval in the background.

    When Narissa broke the kiss she and Apollo stared at each other sheepishly.

    "So... " said Narissa. "If I'm chieftain I have my first duty for you."

    "Oh?"

    Narissa gestured out to the rest of the crater.

    "Name our new home."

    Apollo gazed around the crater and thought. His mind thought back to its early days, belching lava and soot.

    "Sootopolis."

    ---------

    "Is the story over?"Wallace asked with a frown.

    Juan smiled. "This story? Yes."

    "Awww."

    "What's this?" Juan asked with a tilt of his head. "I thought you didn't like the story."

    "That story was so cool!" said Wallace, bouncing up and down.

    "I'm glad you liked it!" said Juan, grinning.

    "Wait," said Wallace, frowning. "How do we know it actually happened?"

    "Funny you asked..." said Juan.

    Juan pulled out an unusually shaped crystal rock that oddly resembled a rose.

    "The rose!" said Wallace in amazement.

    "Yep. It has been passed down through your family for generations!"

    "Can I..." Wallace yawned. "Can I have it?"

    Juan patted his head and smirked.

    "Someday, little one. Someday. For now, appreciate the great heights your ancestors went to!"

    "Will I reach great heights, Juan?"

    Juan smiled wider, knowingly.

    "Perhaps! But for now, you can always dream!"

    Juan switched the lights off, tucking Wallace in for sleep.

    --------

    In the dark depths of the Cave Of Origin the sleeping Kyogre smiled.

    ~~~
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  2. Spiteful Murkrow

    Spiteful Murkrow Early Game Encounter

    I actually thought the core of your story was rather solid, even if there were a couple rather visible issues that I saw with the fic.

    The first big one is that the description feels just a tad barebones, for example, in the scene where Narissa and Apollo are searching for help at sea...

    The scene details are mostly ambiguous up until Narissa's first line. We don't know how rough the sea is getting, if Narissa and Apollo can see anything other than open water during the scene, which is something that makes some of your transitions feel a bit more sudden than I think you intended. It's one of those scenes that would function well enough if the fic was in a medium with a visual component, but there doesn't seem to be enough "picture painting" in the text to compensate for that.

    The other major thing that stands out is that in your fic is that there are a couple of times where important concepts and character attributes get introduced relatively late on with little leadup. The biggest example of this that I saw was the revelation that the Absol Paw Tribe apparently sees Narissa and Apollo's tribe as heretics, which would imply a very specific type of antagonism between the two groups, but it isn't reflected or alluded to at all in the earlier raid or in the reunion scene when Narissa and Apollo find what's left of their tribe. If story-important concepts such as those (the pattern of the tribal cloth is another example) were introduced or at least hinted at a bit earlier on, I feel that it could have made the fic read a bit stronger.

    That said, I did find it entertaining to follow the characters in your story, the scenario's cute, and I feel that if you ever decided to give this thing an overhaul for whatever reason, that you would actually be able to leverage what you already have quite straightforwardly into your revamp as opposed to starting from scratch.

    Hope your next writing projects also turn out to be fun reads.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  3. Starlight Aurate

    Starlight Aurate Just a fallen star

    Hi there! I got your notification, so I decided to come and check the story out! I was quite nitpicky with this review, as I haven't had the opportunity to do this in a long time, so sorry if I went overboard on that ^_^; Anyways, on to the review!

    Just a comment on the opening scene: I see how you have Juan telling young Wallace (awww!) a bedtime story. I'm going to assume that Juan is Wallace's mentor, since Wallace calls him by name, but the image paints a sort of fatherly-scene in my head. Not sure if you intended it that way, but it seems here that Juan is like a father figure to Wallace in addition to just a Pokemon training-teacher. Is Juan taking care of Wallace? Or are his parents there, but just letting them spend time with each other? These aren't flaws or critiques; I'm honestly just curious.

    This particular sentence, I've noticed is particularly descriptive. It's a nice sentence and pleasant to read, but I do want to make note that your description throughout the story is a bit inconsistent. There are times, such as when Spiteful Murkrow mentioned, that you don't have much at all, and there are other times like this where it's beautiful. If you do want to aim more for the descriptive side, I recommend trying to maintain that throughout your fic.

    Just another nitpick: Is Thetis coming from out of the ocean? I would assume so, but you also say that Apollo is sitting at the edge of a cliff, which, granted, can be short or tall. Upon reading, I immediately assume it to be large (since that's what the word "cliff" is usually associated with--at least to me), but if a Milotic is slithering up then I assume it's a short cliff. You might want to clarify that; you don't have to say "He sat at the edge of a ten-foot cliff" or tack numbers onto it, but just clarify as to whether it's small or large or make some reference to its height.

    Missing a space between "and" and "he."

    Should be a comma after " 'em," since you're finishing the sentence with "he said."

    The period after "breathe" should be a comma, or maybe a semi-colon would also work. I also want to point out that the word "instead" just feels a little out-of-place, probably because it's coming out as "she was shaking instead of breathing" even though a person can shake and breathe at the same time. You could emphasize that all she could do was shake in fear, or something along those lines, but the word "instead" just doesn't seem to quite fit.

    That's a nice little explanation as to how Dive works, instead of just the people holding their breath like they do in the games :p

    I think you're missing a word between "his" and "caught."

    You're missing a period at the end.

    I think you're missing a word after "geothermic," since it's an adjective but you just follow it with another adjective.

    I'm a little curious at this part; have Apollo and Narissa seen Kyogre before? Or have they at least heart about it in legends? Or is this being told from an omniscient point of view? Since Narissa and Apollo are from a tribal village and nothing has been said of Kyogre ever visiting them (and it seems like Kyogre just sleeps in Cave of Origin or the Seafloor Cavern all day, depending on which canon you follow--though yours can be different, and that's perfectly fine), I would imagine that they wouldn't have seen it before or know what it is.

    Well, that is just about the nicest and most adorable and motherly Kyogre I have ever come across!

    You accidentally put an extra apostrophe in "Rayquaza's."

    "A ray of cold" isn't incorrect and it's perfectly fine, but it feels a little underwhelming. I mean, in this story a dragon is chasing a flying plant-dinosaur through the air and then this sea-snake is shooting what's pretty much a freeze ray at him, and it makes for a pretty intense scene and interesting fight. Thus, the "ray of cold" just feels like it's almost too little.

    I think you're missing a word after "...the Absol Paw tribe to look up in," and you don't need the space before that comma there either.

    I notice that you usually italicize your characters' thoughts, but here you didn't. Not sure if this was on purpose or not or if there was any reason to it, but thought I would point it out.

    You don't need the comma after the exclamation point after "Good," and you accidentally put two periods at the end of the sentence.

    So Kyogre is always watching them? That reinforces the motherly image, but it also has the potential for creepiness! :p


    I agree with Spiteful Murkrow in that this was quite entertaining to read and it was an interesting new spin on the origins of Sootopolis. I only have a few minor issues, and one of them is Narissa's and Apollo's reactions to believing that everyone from their home has just died and that they're now left homeless. I get that they're distraught and all, but I didn't really feel it. Ditto with when Apollo gets news of his dad's death. I know that it was in a dire situation and that there wasn't much time for mourning, but for anyone with real life experience with this stuff it makes it pretty underwhelming and rather dry on the emotional side.

    That said, it was enjoyable, and if I ever came across as harsh or rude, I'm sorry! Just make note of the nitpicks I pointed out and try to proofread your stuff more carefully in the future. Good luck with your future writing projects! :p
     
  4. Venia Silente

    Venia Silente [](int x){return x;}

    I don't really recall if I ever commented on this story during development, but in case I didn't do it... I want to begin with one special thing:

    I can't think for the life of me who in their sane mind would think to edify a friggin' permanent settlement inside a volcano, active or not. I mean, like, NO.

    Then this story comes in and tackles the issue from before the beginning without having to actively delve into the issue. There are other concerns, bigger in their specific scale as they specifically affect people, hinting towards an interesting lore, but things are still focused on the present and things still occur more or less because of chance. Looking at it that way, of course it's going to work. Kyogre and Groudon made that thing! And they don't seem to care much about it, so it's going to stay there for a while. (Ironically, probably until they themselves throw a tantrum at it maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany generations down the road and then we won't have to care because the space gecko will take care of that issue).

    In reading one impression I got about the story is that it mixed what seems to be the first part of a story with the last part of another. As in, it leaves too obvious questions open from both ends of the reading. I concur that the buildup to some important concepts seems to start too late, and more noticeably, kinda lax. They are just referred to as just a thing that is, not pressed on, and taken a bit more as accidental details than anything else. Characters don't seem to right out react to things, thus, even when reality is hitting at them with the force of a 18-wheeler. I mean, come on, your protags are to believe that they are the last of their race, yet it seems no thought in any direction is spared on that, not even the silly "want to help repopulate? ^.^" kind of thing.

    The story itself is good, is founfed on the premise of a glaringly obvious unexplored matter in the world of Pokémon and takes advantage of it, is set on about the right-feeling left for a oneshot, it is presented in an entertaining fashion (I can just see that Kid!Wallace growing up into a silly dressing nasty Champion who spams Max Revices or Max Potions to make his opponents go AAAAARGHHHH!), and it deals with lore. Ya know almost all of those are elements I just love to see in stories. It could be more solid with a reordering on what questions are being asked and when, but right now it's not doing any bad at all. in my opinion, this looks like a very good candidate to the kind of story you'd suggest someone to read if they (and you) want to ask themselves questions about the world of Pokémon.
     
  5. Uhh, hi there. When I browsed through the different reviews of the Alpha and Omega contest entries, I really found this idea interesting. Just like solovino, I always wondered what would make someone have the bright idea of starting a community within the crater of an [admittedly dormant, but still] volcano, and this fic plays around with the idea pretty nicely. I like how you attribute it to a need more than anything, and how it all comes together in the end is pretty satisfying.

    However, I'm a bit half-and-half about the way the story progressed, as IMO it felt a little bit too neat and tidy. The story seemed like it was flowing from one point to another very seamlessly and it left no room for the nuances and roughness that allow characters to grow and plots to expand. starliteevee's comment on not feeling enough of Narissa and Apollo's grief is a good example of this, as the straightforwardness of the narrative didn't really have the space to explore just how painful and traumatizing that realization would be for both of them, especially since they are young. If you gave more focus on that, the relief upon finding out that they weren't actually killed would have been much more satisfying, and the intensity of the final battle in the volcano would have been magnified much more.

    This can be addressed by improving on how you expound certain parts of your story, which has a lot to do with understanding your characters and immersing yourself in the world you're working with. You already have the latter one down seeing as your story is hinged on expanding a certain world, so I want that to apply to how you form your characters. Right now, it's hard to empathize with them since we aren't given much about them. Their dialogue and actions are mainly there to forward the narrative, in that there isn't much that shows what type of thinkers they are or how they interact with other characters or how they react to the world around them. Spiteful Murkrow brings up the issue of description, and I feel that that's a very good step toward making not only your setting but also your characters more holistic.

    That being said, the description of the battles is proof that you already understand all of the points above; it's just a matter of applying them to the other elements of your story. I feel that when you improve on your characters, the whole story would be an even more enjoyable read than it already is. In any case, great job on it! :)
     
  6. flamebeam

    flamebeam DAYN-JUH ZONE!

    So I decided to look into what stories are available to get more active and whose one-shot do I find at the top? :p

    First thing first, I really enjoyed your story. It was very cute and flowed very well and tonally consistent. And like the others noted, it focused on the origin of a city that was built around, of all places, a volcano crater. I thought it was interesting that you constructed it as a frame, but at the same time I completely forgot that Juan was telling this story to Wallace until they returned in the end. So one way to improve this already great one-shot would be to incorporate the present-day character a la Princess Bride (which is a great movie, if you've never seen it) and have Wallace interrupt Juan a few times so that we can get an idea of who they are relative to the story.

    That was just an idea, though. Nonetheless, I think the theme with what's missing in this story is absence of character. The plot is smooth and well-developed, and I became invested in the two protagonists because the simplistic nature of the writing made them lovable, almost nostalgic for me. But, much like the reviewers before me, I never felt the feelings of the characters. Perhaps the most jarring scene in this story, as excerpted by Spiteful Murkrow, was Apollo's and Narissa's realization that everyone they know and/or love is dead. While it's true that they discover this to be false later on, they should have gone through at least two of the five stages of grief. And their reunion with the survivors, which should have been the most heartfelt point of the story, was kind of a letdown. Furthermore, Apollo learned that, despite some of the villagers surviving, his father was most definitely dead. Now, because the ages of the protagonists are never specified, I think it is safe to assume that Apollo is an adolescent, so it is impossible for me to believe that he accepted the news of his dad so neatly.

    I think the other part of the story that could have been developed was the Absol Paw Tribe. All we know about them is they are a ruthless gang who has sworn its loyalty to Giratina, which by the way I found a bit out of place for a Hoenn-themed one-shot. As other reviewers have noted, there were details about the APT that didn't come up until very late into the story, like the Salamence trainer being the boss of the gang or a hint of an explanation (the heretic comment) for why they do what they do. My personal suggestion would be to include a scene featuring the gang leader hyping up his underlings for an attack, and it would be easy to squeeze considering the story's multi-scene loose-transitioning structure. He could remind them why they raid villages and leave no survivors behind. Maybe he's a sadistic sunuva***** who was exposed to ritualistic Giratina hate-culture and brainwashed a group of disturbed souls into carrying out his vile wishes. Maybe he is a tactician and a bigot who seizes land occupied by indigenous cultures for profit and power and has enlisted a unit of chauvinists and xenophobes as a means to an end. Even though the fight scene was pretty well written, I wasn't emotionally invested in it because I practically knew the Salamence trainer was going to be defeated. And sure, it was satisfying to see Narissa and Apollo work together, but it would have had more meaning if they worked together to defeat an established character.

    One last, small thing I want to touch upon is the beginning of the story within the story. It starts out with introducing the main characters and their Pokemon and it quickly flashes forward to the next point of the story, but I think there is potential here to build the world better. As one reviewer suggested, you could have introduced the fashion of the village in here to add meaning to the cloth that Blanca finds later in the story. I think if you started with the protagonists as children and watch them and their relationship grow while also incorporating subtle bits of information that will hold meaning during the plot is a great way to fix the things the preceding reviewers and I have highlighted. The cloth is just one example; another exampe is a 50-word scene where they're dressing up for some festival and Narissa is wearing a princess outfit while Apollo is wearing an Absol Paw Tribe outfit and it scares her and he teases her about it (*hint hint* because this cute moment of friendship secretly inserts a very important and upcoming plot point).

    So to summarize these blocks of text, the main things that could definitely improve this one-shot did I mention this one-shot was good to begin with? would be to establish the characters, establish the villain, and add meaning to key plot points and devices by giving them precedent during the world-building first act. Now, I'm still new to this whole reviewer thing so I feel like I went overboard with the criticism which is why I want to briefly highlight what I loved (yes, loved) about this one-shot. Again, you took a general prompt and used it to focus on something we I never see get brought up and you gave it a very interesting lore. The pacing, albeit a bit fast for my state, was very consistent to the point that my eyes were glued from beginning to end. Telling the story from Juan's point of view meant you had to give it the whole And that's how the events of A, B, and C led to what we know today as X, Y, and Z... and you honestly nailed it in that department which, personally, I consider no easy feat. You had the cutest characters ever, between Narissa, Apollo, and Kyogre; even Blanca and Milotic deserve some acknowledgement and they didn't even have lines! So to conclude, I'm very happy I read this story, I'm very happy that my critiques mostly match up with everyone else's (bcuz yay growing as a writer), and I look forward to reading more of your work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015

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