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Earth, Air, Water, Fire

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Bulba the Great!, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Hi all! For those of you unfamiliar (make that everybody), I'm Bulba the Great! I frequented these forums in my youth, and wrote two fanfictions, part of an ongoing story arc. The first two are completed, and if you want you may read them at the following links:

    One of Many

    Destined

    I now present to you, after a near five year hiatus, the next part of this story. Please read and enjoy, but most of all, comment - I would like to write if not as a profession, at least as a regular hobby, and always look to improve.

    Without further ado, here is chapter one!

    Earth, Air, Water, Fire

    The lighthouse stood in solitary opposition to the blood red sun setting on the wide horizon. A harbor bell rang from across the sea, hollow and without echo. Sitting alone on the battered, weathered dock, a lean figure tossed a stone over the water and watched it break the magnificent streams of color reflected from the sun.

    His hair was a brilliant shade of magenta, a striking departure from the rest of his appearance. He was clad in a suit coated with intricate patterns of murky blues and grays, which blended easily with the jetty in the fading light. The only other defining feature that separated him clearly from the beaten stones around him was the gleaming opalescent holster fixed around his waist, a gun jutting out from one side, the other bearing three miniature orbs, half-red and half-white.

    A barely audible rustle to his left was enough to cause his gloved hand to shift adroitly to the side of his belt containing not the gun, but the spheres. He removed one, allowing it to enlarge in his hand, an unseen energy pulsing from it.

    “Show yourself.” Out of the shadows stepped a second figure, this one female. She was adorned in the same cloudy colors as the man, although her outfit was clearly a mass-produced uniform. A shape half her size skulked behind her, hovering about a foot off the ground, its four wings beating furiously but silently.

    “Gabriel, the boy has been spotted.” The man stood at once, stepping to the same level as his subordinate. The ball remained ready in his hand.

    “You’re sure it’s him?” The girl nodded. “I see. Where is he?”

    “He’s heading this way, as you predicted. The city has been set for his imminent arrival. Once he’s passed through the second gates, he’s ours.” The man nodded, a hungry look in his eyes.

    “Good. I’m trusting you’ve secured the western perimeter as well. The last thing we need is for him to escape into the Battle Frontier, where his potential allies will be dense.”

    “We have every exit carefully monitored, sir.” The man returned his gaze to the expanse in front of them, his electric blue eyes seeing further than the disappearing sun.

    “Return to your post, Natalia. And alert me when he arrives. I’ll be in the lighthouse, likely. Waiting.” The girl saluted, a gesture he did not return, and turned to her partner.

    “Come on, Crobat.” The winged creature flared up, opening its wide mouth to reveal deadly-looking yellowed fangs. It puffed its body, the rubbery purple skin expanding. She grabbed one of its stubby, half-formed feet and turned to say a parting sentence to Gabriel, but in her three seconds of distraction, the man had vanished without a sound. She frowned, used to his enigmatic ways but still disappointed. “Let’s go.” She tugged at her Pokémon and the misshapen silhouette of the two rose twenty feet in the air and glided slowly toward the city overlooking the water.

    …............................................................................

    “Low kick, now! Now, now, now!” Alec Gideon was impatient. His Machop’s reflexes were far too slow, and it was for that precise reason he’d lost against Whitney, he just knew it. The short, ash-colored creature was sweating profusely, trying to obey his trainer’s orders under the weight of the brace that was pulling at every one of his tiny muscles.

    “Machop...Ma...” it panted, dropping to the ground and extending its leg in a feeble attempt at an attack. Alec groaned, yanking his rucksack from the ground and closing the distance between him and his shuddering Pokémon.

    “The point of the Macho Brace is to make you work, Machop! It’s supposed to increase your muscle mass by at least ten percent! And until you show better results than that dismal failure against Happiny, you’re keeping that on. Now here...” He produced a zippered green bag and pulled out a Super Potion. “Drink this. We’ll take a break, but don’t think you’re getting out of push-ups every half hour. Got it?” Machop nodded wearily, propping himself into a sitting position and taking the medicine with shaking hands.

    Alec Gideon hated to lose, because it was simply not an option in his family. For generations his fathers had made significant advances in the history of the Johto region, and each son the Gideons produced was always followed by the question, “Will he live up to his father?” Because of this, Alec had every moment of his life mapped out for him, to the point where it had all become too much for him. After three years of technical school, Alec dropped out and left his house a disgrace, with nothing more than the clothes on his back and his family’s most precious heirloom, stolen and now hidden in the deepest pocket of his rucksack.

    “Now according to the map...Olivine City is still eleven miles from here. We’ll make it by nightfall if we factor in dinner and training. You done yet?” Machop was not finished with his drink, but he nodded just the same, crushing the orange container and tossing it aside. Alec scanned around. Route 28, though showing signs of population with its scrubbed picket fences and neatly laid gravel road, was currently deserted. A baby Rattata, its amethyst fur just sprouting and its front teeth barely protruding from its lips, crawled nervously across the path to its mother. The Raticate locked eyes with Alec and bared her massive incisors, stamping her three-toed feet and snarling. The trainer merely grunted. He threw his bag back over his denim-clad shoulder and produced Machop’s Poké Ball. “Off we go.” Machop reduced to a thin beam of glowing reddish light, pulled into his container with a gentle click. The trainer took a deep breath and began again on his long trek from Ecruteak City.

    He knew he wasn’t an advanced enough trainer to even attempt challenging Morty, the Ecruteak Gym Leader renowned for his symbiotic relationship with Ghost types. If his luck had run out against the Normal-type Leader Whitney, he felt the only other gym his Pokémon might fare well at was the Olivine Gym, its owner specializing in the Steel type. The journey straight from the city of Goldenrod to Olivine was long, though; he and his Pokémon had been walking without stop for five days straight, only pausing for brief two-hour naps.

    The boy had taken no more than a dozen paces when his Poké Gear began vibrating, ringing at a high intensity that could only mean a phone call. Rolling his eyes, he unhooked the device from his belt loop, expecting another pointless update on the adventures of his friend Tim and his Geodude. The number was blocked on his screen, which caused him some confusion. He was under the impression Poké Gears could identify any number. He answered hesitatingly, waiting for the caller ID to kick in, but the screen, instead of displaying the image of his caller as was custom, went blank.

    “Alec Gideon?” The voice was male, soft and smooth.

    “Who...is this?” Alec was not in the mood to be played with, not having eaten since eleven.

    “My identity is of no importance.” Of course not. “You have something I greatly desire, and it is my wish that you surrender it without a fight. However, I know your family and I know the blood that runs through your veins. Cooperation from you is unlikely. So do me a small favor? Take care of yourself.” Alec was utterly bewildered. He had very low tolerance for mind games.

    “What the hell is that supposed to mean? Show yourself and tell me what you actually mean, or I’m hanging up.” The man on the other line seemed prepared for this abrasive response. Suddenly, the video clicked on; but it didn’t display a face. All Alec could make out was a body. Dead or alive, he didn’t know. He struggled to keep his face calm, knowing his caller could see him. “Who is that?”

    “This is the person that gave us your number! Be sure to thank her, if you ever meet up with her again.” The figure shook and let out a noise that seemed somewhere between a croak and a shrill scream. Alec recognized it, his heart skipping a beat. It was his best friend from grade school, Amber Janson. She had called him yesterday after years of silence, and Alec hadn’t picked up. It had seemed random and uncalled for at the time, but Alec was fast to make the connections in his head.

    “I understand this girl was once very precious to you. She will be kept alive until we meet. But until then...” A shadow passed the screen. A large, winged Pokémon, nothing distinguishable other than its cruel golden talons and crimson plumage, plunged into the image and grabbed the frail body ruthlessly. “My Pokémon, of course, are very accident prone. So better sooner than later, no?” A click was heard off-screen - mechanical, cold, chilling. “The choice is yours. When we meet tomorrow--” The Poké Gear went blank. Alec shook it, sweating profusely.

    “When? Where? Where are you??” He didn’t know whether to be more frightened of encountering this man or...not. He didn’t want to think what would happen to Amber if she was left to the mercy of the man armed with both Pokémon and, it seemed, a gun. Should he go to the police? No, only ordinary people needed their assistance. This was his problem and he would handle it his way. He produced three Poké Balls, his hands still trembling ever so slightly. The spheres opened, and three small, humanoid figures materialized slowly from the plasma-like energy the balls produced.

    “I need you to be my eyes and ears for me. Keep on alert. We’re going to reach Olivine before nightfall. We have to.” The three Pokémon nodded obediently, not questioning their trainer. Alec gathered himself, took a swig of water, and shouldered his bag again. “Let’s go.”

    …............................................................................

    “Ladies and gentlemen, the S.S. Helen will dock in Olivine Harbor by nightfall. Please be sure your luggage is together for departure. We hope you have had a pleasant voyage and that you enjoy the rest of your time on board. Thank you.” A click was heard, and then a short series of beeps. “Lord, this has been a long trip. I’m getting too old for this, Terry. I can’t even stand half the people on this boat. It’s hard enough smiling at them at meal time, let alone making small talk about their absolutely captivating adventures through the wondrous and magical land of Unova. Give me some of that. What is it, Fuchsia’s Best?” Evidently, the captain had not pressed the correct button.

    Chase Tang sighed and beat his forehead three times, attempting to clear his head. He couldn’t help agreeing with the captain. This had been the voyage from hell. Aside from seasickness, which he had gotten over after vomiting into the small sink in his cabin three times, the trip had simply lasted too long - nine days now. He had become so jaded by his time at sea he had resorted to frequenting the casino with his companion. The trainers aboard had all proven far too inexperienced to pique Chase’s interest in battle, and Logan was more than happy to relax the vigorous training style her friend lived by for a day or two.

    Chase was a handsome young man, going on twenty and growing into manhood well, sporting a dark eleven-o-clock shadow on his otherwise fair features. His off-white hair hung loosely about his face, and his eyes burned with an intensity that more than enough females found alluring. There were secrets there that few could guess at.

    In the four years since starting her journey, Logan Clements had become almost unrecognizable from the carefree girl with flowing blond hair and soft, forgiving features. Her hair was cut short to her shoulders now, and although still attractive, her face had a hardened, world-weary expression, her robin’s-egg eyes distant and veiled.

    “I’m telling you, it’s the third from the top right!” Chase ignored his partner’s advice and went with his instinct, flipping the card second from the left. His instincts sucked. With a sinking feeling, Chase stared at the glowing miniature Voltorb under the card and nodded, bracing himself. The red-and-white globe was pulsing angrily, letting out angry metallic screeches and bulging dangerously.

    “You were right, I should’ve picked the--” Chase’s lamenting was cut off by a blinding light and a series of explosions as the game self-destructed. All eyes turned to Chase and Logan’s station. Although the conceit of the game was to detonate when the challenger lost, it was still highly embarrassing to admit defeat in such a manner (and to wear the loss in the form of slightly singed eyebrows). The pair didn’t say a word, but it was agreed that the game was finished. Logan wanted to finish packing and Chase had lost the majority of his savings. Before going back to their room, they decided to allow their Pokémon one final venture around the ship’s luxurious promenade deck.

    As they exited the room, smoke followed them into the hallway. Logan looked down both directions of the corridor before beginning the thought she’d been biting back since breakfast.

    “You know that today--”

    “I know what day it is. Trust me, I know.” Chase didn’t seem terribly interested in discussing the significance of the date, which Logan seemed to find rude.

    “I know you never liked him, Chase, but in the end...well, he didn’t turn out to be awful--” Logan’s voice shook a little bit.

    “Actions speak louder than words. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to relive--”

    “But we got to! Chase, he didn’t mean for it to happen! There’s no denying that, you just can’t! Think of what he did for Tra...” But Logan grew silent. Chase seemed incensed by her final sentence, walking slightly faster down the richly-panelled hallway.

    “He didn’t help Tracey much in the end, did he? And I will never forgive him for what he did to Sceptile. Never.” Logan’s eyes were watering, but this sign of weakness seemed to irritate her companion even more.

    “He was still an honest and brave person, and that needs to be honored, Chase.” They had reached the elaborate mahogany door that led out to the large, open space between the ship’s funnels, specifically designated for trainer battles and recreation.

    “Logan, you don’t celebrate someone’s death. Especially not someone who...you know.” Chase reached down to his belt and produced six Poké Balls, prompting Logan to do the same. Begrudgingly she released her party alongside his, not satisfied with the tactless ending to their argument. Chase solved all his problems by turning to his Pokémon. He was kneeling down next to his smallest team member. It was lime-green and serpentine, with intelligent bright-red eyes and a pure white underbelly. It stood on tiny hind legs, but it was clear without the support of its long tail it would collapse.

    “Do you know how hard it is, looking in his eyes sometimes? All I see is his father.” Chase gently stroked his Servine’s smooth head and stood, facing his other teammates. “Alright, guys, we’ve got til nightfall. Let’s let loose!”

    “Chase...” Logan’s voice was gentle, pleading. He looked at her with a fierce expression that clearly stated, “Not now.”

    “Last one to the pool’s a rotted Slowpoke tail!”

    …............................................................................

    “It’s too dark to read...Magby, use Will-o-wisp.” Alec was getting nervous. Night had fallen without consequence, but he was still hoping against all odds that the wooden post bearing a battered sign in front of him announced his arrival to Olivine City. A snore sounded out in the night. Magby had fallen asleep in the two minutes since the traveling party had stopped.

    The miniature cherry-colored creature was curled in the fetal position, its beak-like mouth wide open and emitting wisps of smoke. Alec rolled his eyes. He had a strong suspicion Magby slept only when out of the confines of his Poké Ball, and wasted his precious free time in the sphere running and exerting all of his energy on pointless activity. Any time he was actually needed, he was exhausted.

    “I swear to Arceus...” Alec produced his water bottle and shook it close to Magby’s ear, letting a drop escape onto the ground next to him. The Pokémon’s eyes snapped wide open and he sprang to his feet, absolutely terrified, shooting sparks of flame into the night. Realizing he had been tricked again, his demeanor shrank and his bulbous head lowered in humiliation.

    “Magby, Mag maa,” he apologized frantically.

    “I just need to check that we’re not lost. Can you use Will-o-wisp to light up this sign?” The trainer’s voice was not unkind, but direct and anxious. Magby nodded and tightened his stubby hands into fists, emitting a low humming sound as his internal fire lit. His whole body seemed to illuminate translucently in the falling dusk, and with a puffing of his chest he produced the specter-like flames needed to light the sign. They hovered just above Alec’s head, blue and purple streaks of excruciating heat to the touch that somehow chilled the surrounding air, making Alec draw his coat a little tighter to his body as he peered at the peeling sign, leaning forward to read it. His body sagged.

    “Olivine City, five miles. What time is it?” he asked to nobody in particular, producing his Poké Gear and flicking it on. According to the miniature icon that represented his movement on the map function, they were right on top of the massive seaside city. He stared out into the night, his hazel eyes screwed in confusion. He could see lights to his right, but couldn’t judge how far, nor whether there were enough to constitute a population.

    “There’s something weird going on. The light was useful, Magby. You can put it out. Well, we’re gonna have to pick up the pace, that’s all. Push-ups!” He and his Pokémon dropped to the ground instantly, mechanically pumping their arms to get blood flowing freely. Machop finished last, the Macho Brace tugging against his slender muscles. Alec sprang to his feet, pulling his denim jacket straight and giving each of his partners a piece of RAGE candy bar, devouring his portion. “Alright, let’s jog the next mile! We’re making good time, but it could be better.” He took off, leaving his partners to follow in his wake.

    …............................................................................

    Olivine, it seemed, had experienced a blackout. It had been just out of sight, hidden in the gloom of the night. The lights Alec had seen belonged to a small, privately owned farm devoted to breeding Miltank and cultivating its milk. The worn travelers had stopped in for a brief pick-me-up, against Alec’s better judgment.

    “Thanks for the Moomoo Milk, sir. We were running low on supplies, and times being how they are, you know.” Arthur Redding, patriarch of the ranch, shook Alec warmly by the hand.

    “Just promise me you’ll treat your Pokémon slightly easier, Mr. Gideon. That poor Machop was nearly buckling from that dreadful brace.” A smile split his scrubby gray beard, revealing several decaying teeth. “Now I’m sure they’ll have an opening at the Inn, I’m friendly with the owners. Drop my name if you want a discount. Now you just take care, young man.” Alec turned to leave, but before he could take his first step he felt Mr. Redding’s hand on his shoulder, calloused and firm. “Be on alert, too. That call you mentioned...sounds to me like you should enter that city on your guard. Rumor is, Team Skye is gathering strength again, worse than before, and if that was them...just keep your friends close. Goodnight!” He laughed jovially and the cabin door swung shut. Alec stood in the thick night, listening to the gentle hum of a Ledyba nearby.

    Impulsively, he grabbed a Poké Ball from his belt. He released an olive-green, horned Pokémon, who shivered slightly from the cold but stared up at her trainer intently. Her horn was the same size as her rocky, sleek body, and peering out from sunken, scarred sockets, her eyes dilated, adjusting to the dark.

    “Seems Team Skye is the likely culprit for that call earlier. I want you to keep me company to Olivine. Just you and me, Larvitar, just like old times. You in?” The lizard-like creature nodded, puffing her chest in importance.

    The hike to Olivine was long and uneventful, excepting Larvitar’s brutal pummeling of a sleeping Farfetch’d in an effort to defend her trainer. Just as Alec’s stomach gave a lurch in hunger, a sweeping archway came into focus just to their left.

    “Larvitar, look! The entrance. Finally.” The cry of Wingull could be heard even where they stood. The smell of saltwater enticed Larvitar; she took a step forward, nose extended curiously.

    “Larv...tar...” she whispered in wonder.

    “Come on, Larvitar. Let’s find that inn Mr. Redding told us about.” The gate was unlocked and unguarded, which Alec found unusual, but he was too tired to care at this point. Not fifteen feet away from the gate was a towering set of very solid-looking oak doors. Alec shook his head. “Well-protected, this city.” With Larvitar’s help, he pushed the creaking doors open and the two took in the view of Olivine, a harbor city that extended uphill from the seafront. Not much detail could be picked out from the door; the blackout seemed to be a serious one. The only light in the gloom came from a lighthouse standing alone on a crumbling cliff which jutted out over the water. A rustling sounded overhead as they stepped into the city. Alec glanced at the stone overhang he had just passed under. Perched atop it, still and silent, was a Xatu, its brilliant green down barely breaking the black engulfing the city. Its eyes were trained on Alec.

    “Where’s the inn in this town?” he asked aloud, not expecting an answer but more to keep the eery silence broken. Xatu spread its patterned wings and soared into the night without a backward glance. Alec looked at Larvitar, who shrugged. “Let’s take a look around, then. Even with a blackout, things are too peaceful.” Trainer and Pokémon stepped into the unknown, oblivious to the eyes watching their every move.

    From inside the lighthouse, Gabriel watched Alec advance into the city that had been awaiting his arrival for fifteen hours. Beside him, head buried under its broad wing, a Pokémon stirred.

    “Ready yourself, Mandibuzz. We’ll be joining in on the proceedings this time.” The vulture’s right eye snapped open, glinting in the blazing light emanating from the center of the circular room. It crooned, flaring its wings and lifting its head. Gabriel paced to the far edge of the room, stroking the ancient wall and allowing himself a smile.

    “The plan nears completion.” His Pokémon screeched hungrily.

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  2. Shadow Lucario

    Shadow Lucario Well-Known Member

    Here we go! Review time!

    I expect it was a case of typing too fast. It would be too. Homonyms can be quite tricky sometimes.

    Ha. Trolled.

    Hey I used the surname Janson! You're right. Great minds do think alike!

    Wait, wait, wait! But just a minute ago...

    Perhaps typing too fast again?

    There you go!

    Those things are creepy!

    Now that was a first chapter. I'm not sure if this is a sequel to one of your other fics, but I like how you start in the middle of the journey. Just like you, Johto is my favorite region. I love it so much. You've done it justice today. There were VERY few mistakes. Hell, I think there was only two. For some reason Alec reminds me of Might Gai from Naruto. Oh yeah, the crazy workouts! Poor Machop...The description was excellent and your characters had great personality for a first chapter. I expect to see more great things come out of this fic.
     
  3. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    What's ironic is for some reason, according to my computer that's a misspelling. I know for a fact it's a common surname, so suck it technology. Hahaha.

    Thank you so much! I've been rusty on the writing front, and it's nice to know I can still form some semblance of an exciting chapter. I've been outlining like crazy, laying out the railroad tracks, so I'm hoping it continues being engaging! I don't know Naruto all too well, so I hope I'm not unintentionally plagiarizing a character!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I WOULD like some more feedback before I begin working on Chapter Two...things to improve, etc...to anyone else out there willing to brave this...
     
  4. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → soul sick.

    Hi, I found your fic through the review exchange thread and thought I'd leave a review for it. Hope you don't mind.

    To start off with, you didn't start off with anything particularly exciting, but it was mysterious and interesting enough to keep me wanting to read. You also were very good about describing your characters and the setting around them. Little details such as saying that the lighthouse was solitary compared to everything else and that the sun was blood red really set the scene, so good job there.

    You need a space after the first ellipses in the dialogue. This appears with every ellipses I saw, so be careful about that. Your grammar/punctuation is otherwise good. Also, the "it" afterward should be capitalized, since "it panted" is not a speech tag like "it said" would be; it's the beginning of the next sentence.

    One thing that stuck out was your ability to show things, and your apparent desire to unnecessarily repeat things by telling them. We can already tell that Alec hates to lose, since he calls his past gym battle a "dysmal failure" and he is training his Machop rather harshly due to the fail battle. You have to trust your reader to pick up the small details about your character that you show them, and not tell them directly. It's sufficient enough to just say: "Losing was not an option in Alec's family."

    Only one question mark is still needed at the end there. It seems that you were trying to emphasize his questioning by adding another question mark, but the emphasis is already made present by the amount of questions he's asking.
    The repeated “there” sounds awkward and seems to serve no purpose.

    Anyway, your characterization and dialogue were probably the strongest parts about this. Every character introduced, no matter how much screen time they had, had some part of them revealed. And the dialogue was always very realistic and true to the character personalities that were shown. I look forward to seeing more.
     
  5. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Thank you so much for jumping on so early, DP876 (That's what I'm calling you from now on :D) I promise I'm not dead, just busy with a very long run of a college show. I'm still writing, but there are lots of backstories and character bios to mash out. Lots of good ideas for the future of this fic - if I can get a good following!

    Thank you so much for reading, guys!
     
  6. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  7. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Chapter Two

    The Inn was locked, dark and seemingly deserted. Alec tried in vain to open the decorated marble door for a third time before exhausting his efforts and glancing nervously around him. Something was definitely not right. Everything he had read about Olivine City boasted the hospitality offered to first-time visitors. It had been a favorite vacation spot of his parents; his mind wandered fleetingly to the seafront cottage they had owned before the split. He couldn’t remember whose hands it had passed to after the divorce, but he assumed it still belonged to the Gideon name. His mind was brought quite vividly back to the present as a crash sounded inside the vacated Inn. He backed away from the door, transfixed.

    “Arceus’ plates...this place is insane. Did we miss something? It’s like a ghost town...” His reptilian companion Larvitar, head reaching no higher than her trainers’ knees, looked perplexed. “I say we head for the sea cottages on Route 40. My parents’ place might still be there, and it might actually show some signs of life. This place definitely isn’t.” Overriding his last few words, a loud clicking sound broke the silence to the left of the Inn. The pair froze, listening intently. It was an instinct ingrained in both of them to attack first and leave the questions for later.

    “Chip Away!” Without further urging, Larvitar leapt towards the source of the noise, the small diamond-shaped openings in her hard body tightening and producing hardened shrapnel which blew harsh holes into the dumpster and tin trash cans perched against the Inn wall. A shadow swept out of the graffitied container and flew into the engulfing darkness.

    “Another flying type. Birds just rub me the wrong way. In the future, Larvitar, make sure you keep your focus constant through the attack. The point you aimed at was not where you ended up hitting.” Larvitar nodded, blinking its maroon eyes and stifling either a protest or a yawn. Either would displease Alec. “In any case, let’s just find a place to stay for the night. Indoors, preferably. The stranger on the phone didn’t say where he intended to meet, but I get the feeling he’ll find his way to us. If anything’s happened to Amber...” Alec shuddered involuntarily. He hated the feeling of uncertainty and couldn’t shake the suspicion his every move was being monitored.

    Astonishingly, five blocks down, the Gym was brightly lit and functioning. The only light in the wall of pressing darkness, Alec and Larvitar couldn’t help but stop and take stock. The Olivine Gym was very nicely adorned, perhaps the most decorated building in the city. The outside was set with glistening precious gems, diamond being the most prominent. A stainless steel marquee loomed above the great door, carved with a full team of Steel Pokémon: A Steelix, towering high over the rest; perched on the iron spikes jutting from its neck was a Skarmory, its wings flared, eyes gleaming and fixed directly towards approaching challengers. An Aggron was crouched on all fours, its sharp horns aiming forward. A Klinklang and Magnezone hovered just above Steelix’s arched tail, and below them a Scizor was poised to strike, its marked claws raised high over its pointed crown. Alec looked down at Larvitar.

    “Shall we?” Without waiting for affirmation, he cracked the door open. The inside maintained the same balance between beauty and ruthlessness. The cold steel door opened into a soaring corridor, well-lit and warm, if a bit narrow. The hall led to a small check-in chamber, beyond which Alec assumed the arena itself stood. The desk was deserted, the chamber drafty and uncomfortably hushed. Larvitar, who had been breathing freely in short, rattling gasps, seemed to become aware of her loud presence and silenced, looking to her trainer for answers.

    “Hello?” Perhaps the receptionist was in the restroom. A soft humming sound slowly emerged from behind a small door he had not seen initially to the right. Alec glanced at his Pokémon, dumbfounded. His better instincts told him to get out and put distance between himself and the city. “I think we should get out of here, don’t you?” Larvitar nodded, glancing nervously at the red light pulsing gently above the gym’s entrance. With a final glance at the empty room, Alec pushed his shoulder against the heavy door leading to fresh air.

    “Is that a challenger?” A quick clicking announced the return of the gym’s receptionist, a pretty woman in her mid-twenties with flaming ruby-red hair pulled up in a quick but becoming bun. She looked disheveled - her glasses were askew and she was slightly out of breath, but she looked delighted to see Alec and his Pokémon. Her sudden appearance left Alec completely nonplussed, glancing at Larvitar before answering.

    “Well, we were just...looking around. How does the gym still have power?” Perhaps he had skipped a few formalities, but his instincts were telling him to get answers. A shadow of concern crossed the female’s face.

    “The gym always has backup generators. It is the most well-funded building in the city. Isn’t it beautiful?” She gazed at the endless ceiling and back down at Alec, smiling. Instantly he felt more at ease, his breath quickening slightly. There was something about her upturned mouth that felt reassuring.

    “It is a very nice structure. Do you know what caused the blackout? And where is everybody? Is the gym still open for business? What about the Inn?” This all came out in one breath.

    “That’s an awful lot of questions, sir! Why don’t I show you and your Larvitar around the battle area, and then I can address your concerns. One at a time,” she added, with a slight giggle. Alec looked at Larvitar, who still seemed uncomfortable. Seeing his hesitation, the woman smiled again, spreading her arms and taking a step toward Larvitar. “I’m sure your Pokémon would find this arena exciting. It’s got the best furnishing in the entire Johto region. It’s kept spotless!” She opened the far door leading to the battlefield, indicating inside.

    “It can’t hurt to look around, right?” Larvitar looked unconvinced. She was always first to suspect and last to trust. Turning away from the open door, she let out a rude noise of disapproval.

    “Larvitar can be so stubborn, can’t they? My boyfriend lives right near a colony of them. The trick is finding their soft spot. Does she have a nickname?” Alec shook his head. “Well, I suppose I’ll just have to tell Jasmine you’re not interested. This would be the ideal time to battle, though - when there’s nobody else lined up behind you, vying for her time.” The girl turned, closing the gym door with a sigh. She looked so upset that Alec stopped her.

    “We’ll take the tour.”

    …............................................................................

    “Passengers will see the amazing Olivine Lighthouse on the starboard side of the Helen. Arrival is now just under ten minutes, and all on board should report to their assigned docking stations. Thank you for choosing a ULC Line Ship for this voyage. It’s been an absolute pleasure.” The captain’s voice highlighted the irony in his final statement.

    “Everything’s set. The Inn has our room ready and warm. I also booked a great lunch at the seafood place that guy with the earring was talking about, so tomorrow’s meal is set as well.” Chase was already reverting to his old regimented schedule as they neared land, the schedule Logan couldn’t stand sometimes. It took the spontaneity out out of the adventure she and Tracey had so innocently sought five years ago. “What’s the matter, are you still caught up on that one piece of raw Frillish from last year? We can always go with a buffet or something instead!”

    “No, no, seafood is great. Can you double check your bag for my travel log? I swear I left it in my nightstand but it’s been missing since last night.” Chase threw his bag on the bed and opened the outer pocket.

    “I thought you’d never ask. I’m surprised it took you this long to notice, actually.” He produced a thick, faded leather-bound book. The front was peeling, but the label still read clearly - in a neat scrawl on the olive cover was written: Tracey Morgan, Kanto Region, 2004-5. Logan reached instinctively for it. “It’s out of date, you know. By a good five years.” He handed it over. Logan opened to the inside cover, her eyes searching wildly. “The picture’s still there, don’t worry.” Chase grabbed his bag, zipping it up and shouldering it, heading for the door.

    “Chase...”

    “Logan. We both have serious baggage. The thing is, you dwell on it. You’re living in the past, like you’re in some kind of vacuum. He’s gone, and for good this time. I loved him too, and I keep him close every day.” He indicated the necklace tucked inside his jacket - a simple red chain with a fragment of metal hanging from it. Engraved in the copper was a strange symbol - one that neither understood but both respected with absolute faith. “But I don’t let it consume me. Life is going on around you, and everything’s changing but you. You’re an adult now, and part of that responsibility is accepting life for what it is and learning to enjoy it.” Logan’s bright blue eyes were wide, confused. She gently closed the book and turned her back on Chase, busying herself with her luggage. He did not pursue the subject any further. Staring at his companion for a moment, he nodded and left the room.

    Logan pulled the log out and turned to the picture inside: the last photo ever taken of Tracey Morgan. She stared sadly at the image, knowing behind the smiling eyes looking at her was loss, sorrow, and knowledge that he must die - soon. The boy, fifteen, was laughing at some last-minute comment Chase had made before the camera went off. The two were sitting lazily outside a tent, a Bulbasaur nuzzled in Tracey’s lap, asleep. The other Pokémon - a Skarmory, a Manectric, a Quilava, and a Trapinch - were sleeping as well, although the Manectric’s head was cocked and seemingly alert.

    “Miss?” A porter had poked his head in the still open door. Logan hid the journal and turned, flustered. “Sorry to disturb you, but you need to take your belongings to your docking station. We’ll be landing quite soon. You do know your docking station, don’t you?”

    “Yes, of course.”

    “Can I help with anything?” He took a step into the room.

    “No! No no, I’m fine. Thank you, sir. Don’t worry. Blitzle Lounge. I’m going.” The young man, startled at the finality in her tone, nodded and waited by the door while the blonde threw her bag together and rushed by, thanking him with averted eyes.

    …............................................................................

    Deep in the gloom that enveloped Olivine, the Inn stood silent and innocent-looking, the windows dark, the doors locked. Inside was contained the majority of the city’s inhabitants, most somber and unmoving, all fight exhausted after sixteen hours’ worth of struggle. Standing in a wall around the perimeter, Team Skye members remained stone-faced, passive to any and all protests still sounding. Flitting among the rafters were hordes of Golbat, Pidgeotto and Murkrow.

    “I’m warning you, sir. I’ve tipped the police in Ecruteak City. They’ll be arriving via helicopter any minute now.” Nobody was convinced by the words spilling nonstop from the Inn’s owner, Henri Perrineau, because all communication out of the city was completely cut off to the citizens. He continued denouncing the team, however, perhaps because there wasn’t much else to be done. The police force in the city had been completely silent, rumor spreading that the building had been infiltrated weeks ago, all true police officers removed silently. Stealth had been the team’s way as long as public memory could recall, at least since its rebirth.

    “The task we have set out to accomplish is near completion. Patience, friends. We can all go back to our lives in a matter of hours.” The speaker, a tall, broad-shouldered woman with a strong jaw and dainty nose, stood at the top of the Inn’s main staircase, a Swellow clutching her padded left arm.

    “If we’re not in any danger, like you claim, then why are we being held like this?” said an older man, his hair gray at the temples and the stubble coating his hollowed cheeks white. The woman nodded, and a Golbat landed lightly on his back, wings flared and mouth wide open, cavernous, fangs prominent.

    “It is most essential our target be captured. It should be enough for you that you all remain unharmed. As long as you all comply, we shall remain merciful.” The gray wall of uniforms tightened ever so slightly around the perimeter.

    “I’m not ‘complying’ a second longer! This is ridiculous! What are you gonna do to us if we don’t? We’ve got Pokémon same as you! Go, Barboach, Skiploom, Baltoy!” A girl whose long pigtails stood at odds with her mature face produced three Poké Balls and raised them toward the woman on the stairs. A few others who had still been shifting restlessly took the cue, red-and-white spheres emerging from jackets and belts, faces set. The time had come for action. The Skye grunts seemed relieved that the relatively calm nature of the room had finally been broken.

    “Now we’re getting somewhere.” The Swellow on the woman’s arm spread its azure wings, cawing in delight.

    …............................................................................

    The door slammed shut behind Alec and Larvitar, the noise echoing relentlessly in the cavernous stainless-steel room. The architecture was magnificent; on either challenger’s side stood a raised platform, accessible only by the narrow stairs to the far right. Jutting from the middle of the shining, unbroken expanse of silver were two archways, one reaching up to rake the ceiling, the other half that height. The room was windowless and, one the entrance was shut, completely inescapable.

    “This is incredible. So much bigger than Goldenrod’s...” Alec said, staring at the thirty-foot ceiling. Larvitar allowed a cry of wonder to escape, trotting to the middle of the field.

    “The room is leakproof, of course. Self-cleaning. It gets cleaned and polished three times a day, and after every battle, to maintain a flawless appearance.” Alec noticed the panels along the walls and ceiling, no doubt concealing the nozzles of the cleaning device. The woman had not moved from the door.

    “Spectacular. So, where’s Jasmine in all this? You said I could challenge her?” Alec reached out to touch the closer of the broad archways, finding it surprisingly warm.

    “Jasmine will not be joining us.” Alec turned, curious. The girl was wearing an odd smirk and was reaching for her belt. “It’s just us, Alec. Why don’t you hand that bag over and be a good boy?”

    …............................................................................

    Unease was growing among the passengers. The Helen had docked fifteen minutes ago, yet nobody had entered or exited the ship. The Olivine skyline was dark, only lit by the majestic lighthouse at the cape.

    “It’s been a while since I’ve seen a blackout of a complete city!” remarked Chase, making his way through the mass of bodies, suitcases, and Pokémon clamoring to exit the closed-off ship. Logan nodded, fiddling restlessly with her bag. Chase had been arguing with an officer standing by the exit. “He says there are some communication problems with the mainland, and until they make contact they can’t release us.” The exasperation in his voice was apparent, although he had been keeping a forced tone of calm since his accusation in the cabin.

    “We’ll be off the ship soon, Chase. I know you just want to be on land again.”

    “Yes! I feel so trapped on the sea. I’m not a water person,” he laughed, seating himself gingerly between Logan and the large pile of bags spilling to the floor. A loud hiss told him he had sat on a Glameow, who promptly tore into his exposed skin with delight. Chase yelped, throwing the cat a good fifteen feet away from him. It landed delicately, turning its intelligent gray face to him and turning its nose up, swaggering away to find its trainer. Chase sat, wincing and letting out a cry.

    The waiting continued. Nobody seemed exactly sure of any details, although more than a whisper was being spread that the ship was not under its captain’s jurisdiction anymore. After a third failure to produce concrete answers and a second run-in with Glameow, this time accompanied by its very haughty trainer, Chase had had enough. He stood up, running his fingers through his unkempt hair.

    “I’m going out there.” Logan looked at him, bewildered but not entirely surprised at his brash decision. “Will you cover me?”

    “What does that mean, exactly?”

    “Just create a distraction. I’ll sneak up on the deck and see what’s what.” Logan looked hesitant.

    “Chase, this is a very well-watched ship. I don’t think that’s wise to do alone...”

    “I won’t be alone.” Logan placed a steadying hand on his shoulder as the ship lurched suddenly and Chase pitched toward his friend. The lights in the Blitzle Lounge extinguished. The only source of it that remained emanated from an Ampharos, its tail glowing phosphorescent light. Logan could just make out Chase’s frame in the dark. “Logan? I think you’d better come with me.”

    …............................................................................

    “Why do you want my bag?” Alec asked. He was frantically scanning the room with his peripheral vision, seeking escape without breaking eye contact with this woman. The smile that had been so reassuring before was suddenly terrifying, hungry and ruthless. The room, so elegant and simple, was suddenly a fortress with no means of escape. Larvitar padded forward, seeking to place herself between Alec and this new opponent.

    “Return Larvitar to its Poké Ball, please. We don’t want any accidents occurring.” Larvitar, insulted, puffed out her chest and flexed her tiny but well-defined muscles.

    “Do you really think I’d be that stupid?” Alec did reach for his belt, but neither of the orbs he produced were Larvitar’s.

    “It would be pretty foolish to try fighting your way out. See, we’re locked in. The only way out is through that door and only by my signal will my friends open it again. So I’ll ask you again, Alec. Please give me the bag.” This was said very slow and soft, falling on Alec’s ears like birdsong. Alec shook his head.

    “Battle me for it.” The girl chuckled.

    “Of course, being a trainer, to you everything is an opportunity to battle. We don’t see things that way. Do you really think, given the circumstances, your Pokémon would want to battle?” Larvitar launched a Chip Away attack at her, screeching at a very high treble. A blur of violet swept down from the high rafter and broke the attack with an emerald light a good meter in front of the girl. “Thank you, Crobat. Fighting really is not one of your options, Alec. Do you need to speak to your friend again? Amber, was it? Would that convince you?” And everything clicked into place for the boy.

    “You’re from Team Skye. Who was it that called my Poké Gear earlier? It wasn’t you - did you have one of your minions make the call?” The girl laughed, a sweet, tinkling sound that didn’t fit the situation in the least. Her Crobat hovered just in front of her left shoulder, daring Larvitar to attack again.

    “You’re not in a position to be asking questions, young man. Yes, it was my team that contacted you. You certainly didn’t waste time answering the summons. We didn’t expect you until tomorrow.” Alec was silent, unable to formulate a good plan of attack while speaking. “Don’t try any funny business, really. It’s so tiresome when they fight back.” An explosion sounded from the outside, and an alarm began in the distance. The woman sighed, touching her ear lightly. “And of course, that’s what they all do.” Alec threw his remaining apprehensions aside and took the momentary shift of attention to release Machop and Magby. The girl barely registered their appearance; she seemed to be receiving a report through her earpiece and her eyes were to the floor. Her brow furrowed, she glanced up just in time to let out a shout as Machop and Larvitar jumped at her, pinning her to the floor.

    “C’mon, Magby!” Alec had finally formed an idea. He ran to the pillar he’d been examining before and looked up at the panel on the wall adjacent to it. “Magby, can you climb this?” His confused Pokémon shook its head, and Alec knew that scaling a smooth steel pillar wasn’t exactly at the top of the volcano-dweller’s list of talents. The girl was putting up a vicious fight to reach her belt, her Crobat swooping furiously at the mess of limbs, unable to get a clean hit without damaging its trainer. Alec turned urgently to his new project.

    “We’ve got to heat this pole up, Magby. We need to get this whole room hot. Aim as high as you can on the pole and use Heat Wave. And don’t let up, whatever you do.” There was a violent clang from across the room - Machop had been overpowered by Crobat. The vampire was now bashing him repeatedly with its four wings, yellowed fangs and bloodshot eyes flashing dangerously. Alec snapped his gaze to the girl, who was standing again, kicking Larvitar repeatedly until it fell, unconscious. She reached again for her belt. “Magby, now!” Alec felt the area behind him shoot up in temperature and moved his body to block his partner from the Team Skye leader. Very suddenly the tides had turned back to her favor, and she was now cocking a gun, pointing it directly at Alec’s forehead.

    …............................................................................

    The explosion had been created at a point not too far from the Olivine Gym. Through sheer number of bodies, the captives had overpowered their oppressors, and the Inn was finally showing signs of life. Innocents and gang members alike were pouring from the smoke-filled interior, their eyes screwed up as they attempted to gain sight in the murkiness of the outside. A shrill fire alarm was sounding, insignificant in the pressing black that surrounded the building. Disoriented, bodies stumbling freely through the street in front of the Inn, citizens fought to reclaim their city.

    “Electivire, Flash!” Near the entrance to the Rite Price Convenience Store, a blinding beacon lit up - a tall, tiger-like, lithe creature had released a pool of light from its forked tail, illuminating the confusion. The creature’s trainer was one of the vocal rebels from earlier - the lean older man with graying hair - and he was finally taking charge of the scattered people. “Who’s the leader of your group?” he demanded, grabbing one of the gray-clad members of Team Skye. The burly man sneered and wrestled free of his captor’s powerful grip, throwing a punch in response. The older man blocked it and swept the feet out from under his attacker, going to pick him up by the collar.

    “Preston, look out!” screamed a female voice. He turned just in time to see the Murkrow aiming a brilliant pulse of purple and blue matter in his direction.

    “Ursaring, Protect!” he called, ducking behind another of his Pokémon, a beefy, broad-set grizzly creature with a low tolerance for foolishness. It blocked the sea of dark energy and roared, not waiting to be ordered to shake its heavy fur and launch a counterattack. In five minutes, the two sides had rapidly adjusted to their new surroundings and the skirmish was becoming a full-fledged brawl, with absolutely no order. It was very difficult to distinguish friendly and malevolent fire. Preston released three more Pokémon, his eyes searching. With no sign of Jasmine or the local authority, it was his battle to win. Another explosion sounded in the direction of the ocean. It echoed through the night, causing the briefest of reprieves in the fight. The square-jawed woman with the Swellow called out from high above, riding her Pokémon above the sea of mayhem.

    “Do not investigate, I repeat, do not investigate! Stick to your task,” she yelled, guiding Swellow down to tear at a young boy. Preston, now riding on the back of his handsome chestnut Sawsbuck, launched himself in her direction, cradling a tiny blue creature in his arms.

    “Call them off, miss! Call the team away from this madness or they’ll suffer the consequences!” She leered at the man’s thin frame, pulling her Swellow up again, blood dripping from its talons.

    “And what would they be?” The blue creature in his arms stirred, glowing brilliantly and turning to face the loud female voice. Preston lifted it slowly, all attention drawing to the blinding new source of light. It was a Manaphy.

    To Be Continued...
     
  8. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    I read far enough ahead at this point to know this is a Crobat; I thought Crobats were a least as big as a person. But I could be wrong.

    HOLY CRAP IT'S BATMAN. :)

    Nice touch on the trope there. Is Tim's Geodude perhaps in the top percentage of Geodudes? ;)

    Curious...why does he not consider himself "ordinary"? Intriguing.

    I'm assuming this is what I missed in the first two stories? Or is this something else of which that we'll be filling in the blanks?

    This is a really interesting concept I've never personally seen explored. I've always imagined that pokemon in their balls were basically kept in some kind of energy stasis. To think that they are not only conscious but active in there? That's really original and creative. Nice touch!

    Speaking of Magby, without going on to quote it, I really liked the description of Will-O-Wisp. It had a nice creepy flair to it.


    And so I certainly like this as an opening. I'm excited to see what is new that I'll be getting backstory on as the characters unfold as opposed to what is stuff I missed out on from the earlier stories. Absolutely add me to any PM list you have going.
     
  9. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    Wow, I actually don't know who any of those people are.

    By the way, I read chapter 2 And no one can say that that chapter was boring. Whew. A lot of stuff going on there!

    -I like the quick changes in setting; I think it set up an even greater sense of urgency and turmoil with how quickly I, as the reader, was thrust in and back out of every scene, and it left me worrying for the characters in a "wait, I wasn't done with them, where are we going?!" kind of way. It all felt very quick and very rushed.

    -Honestly, the Tracey/Logan/Chase stuff...I had to read that about 4 times to get the identities right. They are all gender-neutral, but the one I think is the MOST manly is actually the girl; the one that is most girly is the dead guy; and the one named for my cousin's dog is the living guy. Heh. I was having a really hard time keeping them all straight, but it is only 7am, so...I'm chalking it up to sleepiness.

    -Team Skye abducted a whole town AND an incoming cruise liner just to lure Alec into a trap? That's pretty extreme. I wonder what they want of his so badly...
     
  10. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Ours is the Fury

    Finally made it here. Let the exchanging begin!

    First off, great decription right off the bat. I felt like I could picture this scene quite easily. Description goes a long way to providing an intricate and visual reading experience, and I can tell this is an area where you're not lacking at all. Good job!

    I like that bit a lot as well. Putting limitations on a Pokemon's power is important, along with showing how they naturally grow stronger and more skilled over time. Showing that Machop has more to learn shows that the characters are flawed, which is great.

    I like Alec so far, especially the fact that he's bound by family honor and expectations. That's a real dynamic that's taken place in my own life, which is probably why I've latched on to Alec more than anyone else introduced in the story so far. Larvitar is an interesting addition as well, as I've only ever seen its final form in fics. Granted, they are powerful once they evolve, so I'm looking forward to see the struggles and weaknesses associated with it since it's still so small. Using Will-o-wisp to light up the sign was nice; I enjoy fics that have Pokemon use their abilites to help their trainers with different objectives.

    Another portion that was nice to me was your description of time. He noticed that Olivine was eleven miles away, and your description of day turning to night was well recieved. It would take several hours to reach somewhere that far without transportation, and I'm glad you are using real time to show that distance equals time. I'm so tired of fics that show their characters crossing seventy miles in a day on foot. Your approach is a welcome and realistic touch.

    Pretty sure there should be an s after the apostrphe

    That 'would' being underlined threw me off a bit. You might consider using italics to put emphasis on specific words. The story was flowing quite nicely until I hit that part.

    You might consider adding genders to the Pokemon. It helps readers get more involved with the story; I found myself wondering whether Larvitar was male or female as this was taking place.

    Besides that, one part I did like was the violence against Larvitar from the girl. It's something I rarely encounter in most of the fic's I read. It makes sense for it to happen, and it's a nice realistic touch. I think there is a correlation between readers thinking of Pokemon as animals, and not wanting to hurt them IRL. The thing is though, they are that world's version of animals and in our own world, that sort of thing happens daily. It's nice to see that you're not bound by that particular situation of 'POKEMANS ARE FRIENDS, WE DONT HURT THEM EXCEPT SLIGHTLY IN BATTLE'...hope that makes sense, lol.

    Team Skye huh? I've never heard of them before in the anime or games, so I'm assuming this is an organization of your own design. Primarily using flying types in an interesting way to go. I'm struggling with what their motives could be, which can sometimes be a good thing, but I am hopeful that more of their story will be revealed in coming chapters. Unless it already has in your previous fics?

    I really liked the ending of chapter two culminating with the kid raising the Manaphy up. To be honest, it's not a Pokemon I know very much about. Obviously from the way the kid is talkin, the Manaphy can change the course of the battle. Which I was confused about at first, but then it made sense to me when I realized that it's a legendary. After reading chapter two, I can say that my interest has shifted to Logan and Chase; I'm looking forward to learning more about this Tracey person who has died (?), and the implications on that and their decision making. My focus is still on Alec however, and I'm excited to see how his struggle against the woman is going to turn out. I doubt he's going to die this early in the story, but it would be a nice touch if he did; I can say that I'm hooked whether he gets killed and if he doesn't. All in all, I've loved what I've read so far and I'm surprised this hasn't recieved more attention. Add me to the PM list please, as I'm eager to read the next chapter.
     
  11. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → soul sick.

    I don’t really like the use of the underlining here. Italics might have emphasized your point better, but this could just be personal taste. I’ve personally never seen underlined words in fanfiction or real books before.

    I’m not sure why, but I particularly liked this piece of description. You really provided a good tone of the sense of being alone and everything being creepy/uncomfortable.

    All in all, another good chapter. I really love your writing style, no doubt. Your description is always good and effective, and your dialogue is very realistic and appropriate for each characters’ personalities. It was also a nice touch to include how well-funded and how well-furnished the gyms are. They’re considered the most important buildings ever in the city, which seems realistic… even if I wouldn’t particularly agree with putting pokémon gyms on the top of a priority list when it comes to money. ;p Also, I’ll be interested to see where everything goes. Everything’s a mystery at the moment and I like it that way.

    My only complaint is that maybe too much is going on and it’s only chapter 2. You seemed to have jumped right into all the action without fully introducing your characters and such. I understand you want to hook readers in with action, but it seems like a bit much. You have no exposition and this worries me.
     
  12. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Alright, time to take a crack at all this wonderful feedback you guys have given :)

    Ooh, good point. See, I wrote that description of Alec in my first ever character outline for him. I guess I was just indulging myself by copy and pasting it into the story. I'll keep that in mind for future introductions!

    This is true, but the actual body size is probably much smaller; I always assumed the entry was reckoning wingspan into its big size.

    The very top percent. Haha I'm playing through SoulSilver again and being constantly reminded why I SHOULDN'T accept other trainer's numbers.

    He doesn't have any superpowers or anything, haha. Alec likes to think he's stronger than most people though, it's completely a mental thing - he wants to prove himself stronger than his family whom he abandoned. It's a complex thing which will continue to haunt him.

    It's a mixture of both. This story will reference characters and occasionally situations that are written about in my previous works, but also situations that occurred in the four-year gap between Destined and now. Don't worry; everything shall be explained in time :)

    Alright, ready for the complete character web? Actually, hold on. I'll make a separate post and put a link to it at the top.

    It's actually something I love to write about with Alec's Larvitar, something I'm trying to keep constant, that Larvitar is tiny but imagines itself to be as big as its final form. It's very much a Napoleon complex with her :p

    This is actually something I debated for a long time. My name is Chris, so anytime I would pluralize my name I added 's. But my English teacher told me that apparently the extra 's' is not needed, just an apostrophe. But then apparently the rules changed recently? I dunno. It's a weird area of grammar that I despise.

    How interesting that you and dp are both so irked by that. I'll avoid underlining in the future - it stems from the fact that I handwrite all my drafts first, so when I want to emphasize something I underline it. I'll translate those to italics in the future ;)

    I usually do use gender pronouns - the only time I try to use 'it' instead is to differentiate the actions. For example, in the quote you provided, the Team Skye girl had done the kicking. So it would've read "Alec snapped his gaze to the girl, who was standing again, kicking Larvitar repeatedly until she fell, unconscious." and I didn't want to create confusion about who was unconscious. Does that make sense? Probably not.

    Team Skye is my own creation, and have appeared in previous works of mine. Their backstory is minimal, because basically the team became a disbanded wreck near the end of Destined - they're re-formed now, with new leadership and entirely different goals. They're more hardcore and basically kick more butt this time around. All you really need to know is they're the 'new Team Rocket' and their focus is always flying types.

    Minor clarification, Preston is an adult. And yeah, basically this is one of my favorite cliffhanger ending to chapters, the reveal of a very powerful Pokemon. Don't worry, though, Manaphy isn't a deus ex machina, just kind of an arrival of a cavalry of sorts.

    I'm glad you're warming up to Logan and Chase; as you can probably tell, they're left over from my previous works. Again, you can read their backstory on my character web, but a lot of their story will be told in flashback and what's most crucial is how Tracey's death has affected them. This will be very important, mainly because of how close this issue is with my personal life; a very good friend of mine passed away to cancer last week, and its effect on everyone who knew him has been insane. Everything in these three character's pasts will be explained in a chapter or two, don't worry. I'm not that cruel to just continuously reference nonexistent past events :D

    Ohhh don't worry. In a chapter or two you'll regret asking for more exposition :p This IS, of course, the beginning of a story; the catalyst of things to come. The main story is yet to begin. This big confusing battle is just the tip of the iceberg and a nice little way to bring out the best and worst of the main players before things calm down a bit and all of their backstories are explained. So just hold on!

    Thank you so much for the feedback, guys. Seriously it helps so much.

    Alright, time for a character web. Hopefully it will be helpful, not confusing.
     
  13. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Alright, so to ease your pain a little, here's a complete comprehensive of things you need to know in order to continue reading without your brains hurting.

    First, a character list of important players.

    From One of Many

    Tracey Morgan

    http://i45.*******.com/sno29l.jpg

    Tracey lived in Pallet Town with his best friend, Logan. He left home at age 14 with a Bulbasaur. He initially began a badge quest but soon found himself in danger from Skylar, head of Team Skye, who was hunting the Skarmory he had captured at Cerulean Cape. Skylar accidentally caused Tracey's death, which ended One of Many. Mysteriously, he returned to life in time to join Chase Tang's journey in Destined. His return to life was never explained...until now. He was alive when last seen at the end of Destined. His second death has yet to be visited. In the convoluted love triangle forming between him, Logan, and Chase, Tracey seemed to be winning. He had a Bulbasaur, Manectric, Skarmory, Quilava, and Trapinch before his [2nd] death.

    Logan Clements

    http://i48.*******.com/5f5j4y.jpg

    Logan left Pallet Town with her best friend Tracey at the start of One of Many. Initially described as beautiful, carefree, blonde and basically perfect, she has deteriorated slightly by the timeline of Earth, Air, Water, Fire. She started with a Squirtle, and was also on a badge quest until the fateful night of Tracey's homicide at the hands of Skylar. She attempted to shield Tracey and ended up snapping her spine, which due to the advanced technology of the Pokemon world was correctable, although now her spine is mostly artificial. She is scarred by the absence of Tracey, living mostly in the past. She and Chase have been on and off romantically involved since Tracey's second death. They are returning from the Unova region. She was last seen in Destined with a Squirtle, Beedrill, and Magikarp.

    Skylar

    http://i50.*******.com/kd0i1f.jpg

    Skylar was the initial leader of the group known as Team Skye. Introduced at the climax of One of Many, he seemed at first to be a one-dimensional villain, ruthless and cruel. After his unintentional murder of Tracey, his hardened outer shell broke to reveal a man who lost his wife when she died in childbirth, also losing his child. He is seen imprisoned in Destined, and shows remorse. Team Skye is kept alive by his lieutenants who are trying to free him, but he is lynched by an angry mob before anyone can save him. Although he is deceased, his name is used often by the new generation of Team Skye present in Earth, Air, Water, Fire by the new leader, Gabriel.

    Vincent

    Vincent was a nasty piece of work who acted as a foil to Tracey in One of Many, a powerful trainer who challenged Tracey to battle a few times. While irrelevent to the main plot of Destined, he crossed paths with Chase and challenged him to a battle which culminated in Chase's Sceptile draining life energy while struggling to defeat Vincent's Charizard. He sent his condolences. In the four years since Destined, he lost his life, an event which will be further explained in Earth, Air, Water, Fire.

    From Destined

    Chase Tang

    http://i46.*******.com/288d4h.jpg

    Chase is from the Hoenn region. Destined began with his travels in the Kanto region being the sole focus. He is challenging Will of the Elite Four to a battle at the beginning of Destined, and in the aftermath of the battle he meets Tracey and Logan. Due to a dream he had the night before, Chase suggested they travel together, saying it was 'destined'. While for the duration of Destined he is a lighthearted but powerful trainer, his character shows maturation. This process has completed by the time of Earth, Air, Water, Fire. The deaths of Tracey and Sceptile have hardened him and he is prone to snapping, although his sweet nature can still shine through. He was last seen in Destined with a Sceptile, Banette, Absol, Drowzee, Nidorino, and Tyrogue.

    Sceptile

    Chase's first Pokemon, it evolved to its final stage and proved its fierce dedication to Chase while battling Vincent. In a last-ditch effort to win, it pushed beyond 0 hit points in battle, draining from its life force to bring Charizard down. It is given a year to live at the end of Destined, and has deceased since.

    Other things to know

    At the end of Destined. a portal was seen opening to the human world, our world. This caused a massive war between the Pokemon world and ours, none of which was seen. Through flashback, stories will be told from this massive event. Tracey and Vincent both lost their lives in this war.

    This will be updated if I missed anything. Cheers!
     
  14. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Just letting everyone know summer has kicked into full swing for me, I've been away from my computer and writing a lot but I've got a really good opener set up for Chapter Three. I think it's gonna be a really good chapter, Chapter Two was a bit of a mess, three should be a little more linear. Hopefully I'll be posting it soon!
     
  15. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    I hope so, too. ;) Take your time, and I'm sure it will be worth the wait.
     
  16. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    In case anyone is slightly curious, I am nearing the end of my editing process for Ch. 3. This has been a wild ride, with several rewrites. Expect it by the end of the week!
     
  17. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Chapter Three

    February 8, 2007

    “Don’t sweat it, I’ll check it out. Buena probably just left her equipment running again.” Elijah Pahria chuckled as his partner Jesse climbed the spiral staircase to the floor above them. Not much had happened in the way of excitement since he had been promoted to chief of night watch security at the Goldenrod Radio Tower, and it was a pleasant feeling being in the position to order others to investigate strange noises for once.

    “See anything?” he called out. Jesse didn’t answer immediately. “Jess? Anything up there?”

    “Yeah, I think it’s just a microphone feedback thing. I’m not gonna pretend I understand these devices very well.” Elijah nodded, smiling and allowing his heart rate to slow again. Another false alarm. “Could you come help me turn this thing off? It’s gonna bug me ‘til I figure it out.” But of course. Jess was completely hopeless when it came to technology. The head of security scanned his floor, dark and empty, and ascended the stairs. Jesse was pushing buttons at random behind Buena’s station, a high-pitched whine emitting from her soundboard. Elijah was no great shakes at this kind of equipment, either, although he would never admit it. All he could think was perhaps pulling the plug would be the cure-all solution.

    “What was that?” He heard a crash from the floor he had just left unattended. He immediately bolted, cursing his amateur mistake. As he reached the bottom of the stairs, his heart pounding, his eyes landed on the five figures in ski masks, all training their weapons on him. Jesse came puffing down the stairs a moment later, not registering the danger until a warning shot whistled past his left shoulder. “Jesse, don’t do anything rash-” Elijah hadn’t even finished when his partner barreled straight toward the group, gun drawn. Six rounds of artillery flew into the portly young man, stopping him cold. The sixth weapon belonged to a tall, lean figure who had just come up the stairs. He alone was unmasked, and he scanned the floor with a calm serenity.

    “Well, what an unexpected surprise! Fancy seeing you here, Elijah.” His small mouth twisted into an almost genuine smile. He lowered his gun, striding into the cavernous room. “It’s awfully dark up here. How do you see?” He flicked a switch on the wall, illuminating the scene: six against one, a body between them, blood seeping through the cracks of the hardwood floor.

    “Gabriel, what are you doing? This will land you in jail!” Elijah took a step toward his fallen partner, his face torn between anger, grief, and bewilderment. Another bullet narrowly missed its mark, landing instead in a piece of recording equipment, causing a rainfall of brilliant crimson and gold sparks.

    “Don’t shoot, Myles. He’s not dangerous.” Elijah’s mind was working in slow motion, his expert reflexes dulled at the sight of Gabriel in a common gang, dressed in midnight blue and chuckling quietly. He took another step toward the scarlet pool of blood, gun locked on his assailants. Six on one wasn’t good odds, every fiber of his being told him he was already dead. His only hope was tripping the alarm across the room - beyond his arm’s reach, but not his weapon’s. He shifted his aim, hand shaking more than slightly, a bead of sweat falling from his glistening forehead.

    “Clear out of here, Gabriel. I’ll give you time to escape before I trip the alarm.”

    “I’m afraid I need to retrieve a piece of very valuable machinery, first. Come now, Elijah, don’t do anything rash.” A shot sounded out, followed immediately by another. “DON’T. SHOOT!” Gabriel’s scream was a half second late. Sky-blue eyes met their twins before Elijah collapsed, the alarm sounding shrilly. Gabriel yelled, fury and anguish rising above the loud siren. He threw his gun to the ground, running to catch the unintended victim. The shooter, a female figure, eyes wide and fearful, lowered the revolver and approached cautiously.

    “Gabriel, I didn’t mean - he shot, and I...” Gabriel ignored her, cradling the blonde head of the fallen guard. When reinforcements arrived, the other thieves were long gone, but their leader was still on his knees, unmoving and stone-faced, unable to forgive himself for his brother’s death.

    …............................................................................................

    Two years later, Gabriel Pahria could be barely recognized as his former self. The figure standing in the center of the weathered lighthouse was still lean, but his shoulder were broader, his stature straight, composed. His hair had changed from thick chestnut to reedy, damaged crimson. His eyes, though still a piercing blue, were hard, unyielding. His back, visible upon removal of his fitted gray jacket, was covered with scarlet flames, black smoke billowing to either shoulder blade and a magnificent golden phoenix erupting from the center, climbing his spine to the base of his neck. Gabriel stared silently at his struggling guest.

    “All I require is one simple call. That’s all I need you to do. I would think you want this man’s assistance, wouldn’t you?” Jasmine, Gym Leader of the Olivine Gym, was bound with two other bodies to the bottom of the pedestal that normally held the beacon that guided ships through the endless sea outside. She alone was conscious, although her Ampharos had only just been knocked out after safely leading the S.S. Helen to her destination. The other body belonged to a girl named Amber she did not know, the live bait for Alex Gideon. She hadn’t moved for a good five hours.

    “Why don’t you call him like you called that poor boy?” The man kneeled down in front of her, looking calmly, directly into her eyes. Up close, Jasmine couldn’t help but appreciate his soothing scent, like cinnamon. She held his gaze, unflinching.

    “Only gym leaders know the code for Elite assistance in their cities, Jasmine.” His volume had not raised, but his voice was quiet, deadly. It was all she could muster to hide her surprise at this precious knowledge. This code had indeed been in effect since the cunning false alarm that had led to the trapping and brutal murder of Lance, the former Champion.

    “I don’t...know what you’re talking about.” She was seized with sudden inspiration, and added, “There might be something in the gym, a hidden switch or something that can summon him, if you’d just...”

    “My most trusted colleague has thoroughly searched the gym already. There is nothing. No, you are the keystone to my efforts, Jasmine. One call. Get Will to this city on the wings of his precious pet, and everyone goes back to their blissful lives. Scout’s honor.” Although his eyes were narrowed and his face was pulled in a cool smile, the gym leader gleaned sincerity in his oath. While the wheels in her head raced, a rustling overhead caused her to gasp. A shadowy winged creature soared in through the open window, landing roughly on the dusty ground in front of its trainer.

    “I thought I told you to guard the Inn, Mandibuzz. Unless...” The sorrel vulture’s baleful gaze confirmed his suspicions. Gabriel turned back to Jasmine, his manner agitated, his cool attitude evaporated completely. “Call the number and spare the citizens of Olivine from an agony quite unlike anything they’ve experienced before.” He held the gym leader’s own Poké Gear up to her face, his blue eyes drilling into hers. Jasmine made her decision, glancing quickly at her Ampharos, deflated and lifeless. She dialed the number.

    .......................................................................................

    “Just put it on the floor and back away. Don’t put anyone at risk, Alec. Don’t be foolish.” The gun was aimed quite steadily at the young man, its owner eyeing the rucksack slung over his shoulder. Alec didn’t move, prolonging the time his Magby could complete his task. “This isn’t a game, boy. The foolishness ends now.” Alec licked his dry lips, tightening his grip on his bag, the one lifeline he had left.

    “What do you want from me?” He already knew the answer; he only owned one unique item. A bullet roared past his cheek, the shot shattering the air, sound following action a half second later.

    “I’m not playing around, Alec. I can just as easily take the bag from a dead body. You get twenty seconds before the next shot. Think it over. Don’t abandon your Pokémon.” She kicked Larvitar’s small body onto its back, the large eyes closed, unconscious. A shiver passed involuntarily through Alec’s body, charging up and down his spine like a shock - ironic, considering the room was getting very hot. The girl had also noticed the climb in temperature, and her eyes flicked to Magby, bent on heating the pole behind Alec.

    “Crobat, stop that Magby.” The vampire bat, intent on drawing blood from its current victim, released Machop and sped toward the humanoid, glowing red creature behind Alec. A click and release of a loud, screeching whistle told Alec that the woman’s orders had come too late - the fire alarm had been triggered by the intense heat emanating from the pillar. Every body still moving froze at this sound, and Alec watched as the Team Skye leader realized her folly. A sudden torrent of water crashed into the room from all sides, meant for efficiency - but in the lockdown, it spelled death. Alec returned Larvitar and Machop to their Poké Balls, then dashed to the pillar which Magby was clinging onto desperately, trying to escape the spreading flood.

    “Excellent work, Magby. You’re exempt from cardio tomorrow.” Magby seemed more focused on avoiding a thorough soaking than Alec’s promise, and gratefully returned to its Poké Ball in a streak of crimson light. Alec turned at a shriek from across the room. The woman was drenched, staring in horror at her Poké Gear, which was shooting great streams of golden sparks in every direction.

    “What have you done? We’re trapped in here!” Alec stared. “This door is locked from the outside! Nobody would be stupid enough to lock themselves into a self-cleaning box! I have no way to alert my team!” This was a massive flaw in a plan Alec had thought to be close to genius.

    “Well...where are your teammates? Shouldn’t they be right outside?” Water was climbing at an alarming rate, already soaking Alec up to his knees. For all his training, he had never been great shakes at swimming. The woman yelled in frustration.

    “They’re all five blocks down, dealing with complications. They won’t even hear the sirens -” She kicked her now useless Poké Gear ten yards - “because they’re going off everywhere.” Alec was very white, his heart beating somewhere much higher than usual in his chest.

    “I’ve sentenced us to death.”

    .......................................................................................

    Chase and Logan had been separated. After fighting their way through the wall of Team Skye members barring exit from the Olivine docks, they and a handful of trainers had battled their way through the dark streets of Olivine, ringing with the mixed brutal cries of human, Pokémon, and three separate alarms. A small explosion had both split the friends in two different directions, and caused inconvenient injuries - Chase’s right eye was clamped shut, blood pouring freely from a gash above it, and Logan felt as though her ears had been lobbed off - everything sounded muffled, distant.

    “Watch behind you!” cried a thirty-some-year-old man fighting next to Chase. Before he could even react, a bright violet arm shot past him, connecting with a skull somewhere over his left shoulder. Nidoking, looking more fearsome than usual due to four scarlet tears across his horned face, dashed past his trainer, presumably to finish what he’d started.

    “Servine, Leaf Tornado!” Chase shouted, ordering his small reptilian companion forward. He thought he could make out Logan’s sheet of platinum hair, and he was taking as many shortcuts as possible to reunite with his companion. The grass snake produced a flurry of glowing jade leaves from the beige collar around its neck and whipped up a strong wind, sucking them into a cyclone that towered above the action. Before release, however, a Swoobat tackled it head-on, causing the attack to fizzle out. Chase, disoriented, his vision clouded, kicked at the icy-blue bat and bellowed Logan’s name. But of course, she couldn’t hear him.

    She was within earshot, but her ears were now ringing, and she was resorting to acting purely on impulse and sight. To her left, an older man with grey hair was lying prone on the ground, a miniature aqua-blue creature standing between him and a very tall woman, a Swellow and Staraptor circling their prey. The little blue imp had projected an orb around itself and its master, but the repeated attacks were wearing it down - Logan could see its tiny body heaving with the effort.

    “How hard is it to break one Protect? Bring it down, Swellow!” The woman was weary of the fight, eager to finish the resistance before word reached Team Skye’s leader. He had enough on his hands without the swarm of bodies and small explosions littering the once-peaceful cobbled streets of the city. Although its endurance was incredible and its offensive powers were massive, Manaphy was still buckling under the onslaught of bird Pokémon. Preston was out cold, unable to command the legendary through this insanity. The female towering over them touched her ear, brow furrowed. She nodded, a small smile appearing on her wide face.

    “Look to the skies!” The code for Team Skye that great fortune had occurred was, in this instance, also a command. Her loud voice boomed across the street, carrying over the mass of growls and screeches. Although very dark, all eyes glancing upward could see the magnificent white creature closing in on the fighters.

    “It’s Will! Champion Will has arrived!” Nearly all fighting ceased, foe and friend alike awed by the beautiful wide wings of Lugia spread above them.

    .......................................................................................

    Alec was on top of the lower steel arch now, completely soaked and examining the box that had set the hoses off in the first place. There was no visible cease trigger, which seemed an unsafe oversight on the architect’s part. The water was at his feet, although he was now nearly touching the high ceiling. The woman (whose name he still did not know, which seemed odd given the circumstances) was banging frantically on the door, having sent the rest of her bullets into it already, her gun floating uselessly twenty feet away from her. Simply put, the system was too perfectly designed to double as a deathtrap. Alec mused that perhaps Jasmine secretly headed a mafia group with a penchant for torture, his mind stressed beyond the point of sanity.

    “Open, goddammit!” The woman was now having difficulty hitting the tall doors, as they were currently completely underwater. Alec gave up on the box and dove into the water, numbly registering everything inside his pack was probably useless now. He swam to the Team Skye leader’s side and kicked the door, unable to avoid her accusing stare.

    “Since it’s likely we’re not going to be heard...can I at least know why you were ready to kill me? Or hear your name, or something.” Alec had given up hope, his only source of happiness being that his Pokémon were safe in their balls, although he wasn’t quite sure what happened to the creatures when their owner passed away. Would they still be bound to their Poké Balls? The woman hit the door once more before turning all her energy to staying afloat. Her eyes, once devoid of the I’m-going-to-kill-you expression, were really quite pretty. She examined Alec’s face before speaking.

    “Natalia. My name’s Natalia. I’m not entirely sure why I’m telling you, but.” She sighed, surprised at the calm she was experiencing. How ironic that water, so gentle and yielding, would now slowly press her out like a flame.

    “At least our Pokémon are safe.” He wasn’t sure who he was trying to reassure more, himself or Natalia. She seemed to be in her own world, though. Something was odd about her face - it was blurring slightly. Perhaps Alec’s vision was going first.

    “I was raised on the sea,” she said quietly. Alec did not know how to respond. The water was now pushing them into the ceiling. Natalia’s long hair was hanging in great strands across her face, fallen from the tight bun.

    “I’m sorry for causing this. For trapping you here, and being the last person you talk to before...being the guy you die with.” This was all Alec could think to say. Breathing was becoming difficult. In the cold water, Natalia’s face had transformed - it seemed the left side of her face had been caked with heavy, quite realistic make-up. Revealed now were a series of angry burns, spreading from her ear to the left eye, not deep or scarring, but glowing slightly as if still fresh. It occurred to him to ask about them, but that was when his head plunged under and never resurfaced.

    .......................................................................................

    Gabriel was clinging onto his Gliscor for dear life, still not completely at ease with flying. It was curious that the leader of a group so taken with the skies be afraid of heights, but he never said a word to his teammates, and nobody ever asked. It had been quite clear even from the lighthouse which direction he was headed - only one area of the city was lit. Swift as his Pokémon was, he still urged it forward, feeling impatient - he was positive he could see Lugia from where he was.

    On the ground, efforts had redoubled on both sides - Team Skye seemed determined that as little opposition remain as possible when Will joined the fight. Chase was down four Pokémon, depending entirely on his Nidoking and Torkoal to defend him. He was locked in combat with a surprisingly young-looking member of the team, wide-eyed and sandy-haired, which contrasted terribly with the degree of desperation displayed on his round face.

    “Torkoal, Sludge Bomb!” The small tortoise was completely at odds with her winged opponent and the crowded battlefield - her body was easily a quarter the size of her surrounding peers, and the long crack running widthwise across her coal-colored shell betrayed her prowess on the battlefield. She let out a high squeal and a putrid mass of foul, muddy sludge exploded from the red core of her shell and raced toward the Unfezant hovering twelve feet away. Its reflexes were sub-par, and the attack caught the bird’s right wing, causing it to spiral in midair.

    “Air Cutter!” Before the damaged Pokémon could respond, a voice rang out from the front of the Inn. “The clouds part! From the lighthouse’s direction!” This didn’t make much sense to Chase, for he couldn’t see much, and definitely couldn’t see any clouds, but his opponent’s eyes snapped reverently to the skies. Cries of support rang out from across the broad street, for Gabriel had arrived, as promised. Not fifty feet above the wounded, increasingly few moving shapes loomed the two wide-winged beasts Lugia and Gliscor, each mounted by men of wonderful power. A scream rang out, snapping Chase’s attention back to land; Torkoal had been flipped onto her back by a Golbat, who was leeching energy from her in a haze of violet venom. Nidoking stumbled twenty yards away, fighting to keep the upper hand against two Fearow and a Skarmory. Above, Lugia and Gliscor met, a bright light radiating from the Psychic Pokémon’s core. Everything was running together, and Chase’s one good eye was starting to mist over.

    Logan had been backed against the wall of the Inn, cornered with the now-revived grey-haired man from before. Her hearing was slightly improved, enough that she could puzzle together sentences. Her Houndoom was fighting tooth and nail alongside the man’s Manaphy, but the woman with the Swellow was relentless. The temporary lull had ended, and the only thing anyone could do was continue hoping Will, their Champion, would make things right.

    .......................................................................................

    Natalia, alone with her thoughts, water clogging every sense, Alec’s body floating lifeless next to her, allowed a few happy memories to play through her confused, waterlogged brain. One that continued to surface was her father, young, eager and clever, looking her in the eyes during his second wedding.

    “Talia, remember one thing. One thing,” he slurred, alcohol having slightly impaired his speech, “Our family? We’re survivors. Your grandmother, bless her heart, lived through three wars, and the purge, and she’s still going strong. Your new mother,” (here he hiccoughed, his eyes still steadily focused on his daughter), “has survived two stabbings and an abortion. You are blessed with luck.” He stumbled and laughed, the moment broken, embracing his daughter.

    Two years later, and Natalia couldn’t help but allow her last thought to be, “Well, dad. You were wrong.” As she slid out of consciousness, the doors to the gym broke open.

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  18. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    It's been a while! I'll probably have to keep referring back to the previous chapters for reference. :)

    So is that Jesse speaking there then? Since she's the one going to examine the noise? I was a little unclear. Elijah seems kind of like a jerk; a middling worker bee who gets a little authority and lords it over his staff. Will he be a regular, or is this just a nice little fleshing out of a minor character?

    Alas, Jesse. I hardly knew ye. A portly man whom I originally thought was a woman and then was gunned down in a foolish act of heroism.

    Two problems with the bolded line:
    1) It reads as if it is describing Jesse's face.
    2) Considering the narration is affixed to Elijah, it's odd to have his face described. You generally wouldn't be describing your own face. I would change that to just "his EMOTIONS torn between..."

    Watch out for overusing certain phrases (especially from different characters...if one character repeats things, it's his gimmick, but if a few people do, it reads as the writer's own voice). This is the second usage of "don't do anything rash" already.

    Hmmm. Curious!

    Okay, so now we're on this Gabriel guy pretty hard. What happened to Alec, Logan, and Chase? I miss them. But getting entirely new characters is a good way to refresh the reader after the delay between chapters.

    This was a tense chapter. The murder of Lance? Will we see/hear any more of that? It has piqued my curiosity. Do we know Alex Gideon yet? Is he related to Alec, or did you typo here? And Will...do we know him? I don't quite recognize that name. I might just have forgotten some stuff.

    Gabriel is obviously a bad guy, but...is he really? Jasmine thinks he is sincere in wanting to spare the citizens...but she could just be overly trusting. Where are the rest of her pokemon besides Ampharos?

    There ashould be another comma between "glowing" and "red".

    Another overusage of an odd term; this is the second time someone has referred to themselves as "no great shakes" at something. Just watch out for those. :)

    I'm having a hard time following the action here, as it is all very harried and quick. Which is not a bad thing, because I feel like Chase a bit in the narration: very frazzled and frustrated and trying desperately to cling to what's going on. If that's what you were shooting for, then good job. But I still got kinda lost on what the red arm and the skull were, as well as who Nidoking belongs to.

    I might like this section better if it was just attached to Chase OR Logan, and not shifting between them. I think it would do a better job showing the confusion and disconnection between them if I wasn't privy to both of their internal processes. But then, I'm kind of a stickler against omniscient narrator. :)

    Oh, that's Will. A Lugia AND a Manaphy already, huh? I'm actually slightly disappointed in the scene with Manaphy because it's reveal last chapter seemed like a big deal, but here it's kind of irrelevant.

    LOL. Okay, I like that line. He's in imminent peril, but his brain is rejecting that and instead attacking a faulty architect. I just really like everything about that line. Funny and realistic.

    Good imagery there.

    That's an interesting touch. Not sure if it will ever end up being relevant, but it's a really nice insight into the character.



    -I do like the battles as a flurry of hard-to-follow action, as I already pointed out. It really put me in the middle of the scene and made me feel as lost and desperate as the characters. that said, do be careful that they aren't overly confusing like I found the first few moments of Chase's battle to be.

    -I feel like with Natalia and Gabriel, we're introducing a lot of tragically tormented psuedo-villains. That's not necessarily bad--and, in fact, it's good to give the characters some depth--but it feels a little thick right now. Not everyone needs to have a background sob story.

    -I liked the line about hoping Will would make things right because it rings of desperation and false hope. I can't read that line and not think that Will is going to falter or just somehow fail to live through on the promise he represents.

    -I was sad to see Jasmine so easily jobbed off to Team Skye, but that's okay. I would at least like to have seen her defeat since she's a relevant gym leader.

    -Again, the Alec stuff while in mortal peril was handled really well. I particularly dug that sequence. He is the main character, yes, but he's also the most engrossing to me. He is young, smart, and entertaining. And hopefully not drowned. :)

    Keep it up!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  19. Bulba the Great!

    Bulba the Great! We Do Not Sow

    Hey guys,

    So, here's my dilemma. (This is about to become a very whiny post, I already sense it. Am I twenty therefore should be far more mature than this? Hell yeah. Do I care enough to stop? Probably not.) I love writing. I really do. But I also want to be able to improve as a writer. What really sucks is that this world I am writing in, this "Pokemon for those above ten but not in college", is like the smallest demographic ever. I love the characters and world I am writing in, but outside of a Pokemon Message Board, nobody gives a crap, therefore I can't exactly take this to a mentor and have him criticize it for me. I am very busy, as we all are, and it feels almost redundant to state writing takes a lot of commitment, as we all know that, but it's EXTREMELY disheartening when literally four people in the world care enough to read your writing, and only maybe one of them is actually reading it out of the goodness of their heart, not because they're hoping for criticism on their own work.

    Is this hypocritical? Yes. Very. I'm guilty of not doing enough of my own reading. And I apologize for that. I just have gotten very frustrated lately that in the only place somebody might actually enjoy my stories, they still barely stay afloat.

    Literally after the response to Chapter Three I haven't had the heart to even start Chapter Four. And I had big plans for this return to my created world of Pokemon.

    Sorry, maybe I just need more sleep.
     
  20. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Ours is the Fury

    Well, I was ambling through the board and saw your post and decided to comment on it. Please don't take anything I say the wrong way, as I'm only trying to help out. It seems though with your post you are answering quite a few of your questions.

    Are you saying that you can't take this to an actual author/writing teacher and have him/her give you notes on it? That's somewhat small minded because fiction is fiction, it doesn't matter if it's Pokemon centric, or Digimon, or even vampire related fiction. The writing is what matters, and ninety-nine percent of the time, people that actually have experience being an author or advisor on writing won't care what the subject matter is. If the point of your writing is to improve as an author you should take it to someone with actual experience who can give you real advice, the fact that your story is Pokemon oriented won't matter

    I almost agree with you on that, but I just can't. If I post a chapter of my fic and just one person responds, that's enough for me. Hell, I've had people respond who don't even have fic's out there so I know they're replying because they just want to. I apologize that you haven't had as many responses to your fic as you've wanted, that sucks, especially if you've been working as hard on this as you say you have, but at the same time, you have to think that if anyone reviews at all, that does mean they care. If they're only reviewing on the hope that you review them back, it's still a review, so count yourself lucky. They're are a few fic's on the board that have 5+ chapters and haven't gotten a single reply. I am pleased and honored for every shred of praise or criticism, good job or that was terrible, that I can get my hands on. Sure, some of them probably only review because I review their fic's in return, but I know that some review because they actually like my story. The thing is though buddy, that takes time, and you have to be patient.

    The quoted portion brings me to my next and last point.

    Why are you writing this story? Do you just like to write? Are you writing this because you want to see where the characters go? Or are you just writing for people to respond with their own thoughts on your imagination? All of the three are decent reasons for writing, and personally I subscribe to the second. I've had my story in my head for several years and one day I decided to just write it out. I adore my characters and I really love the story I've created. And I can honestly say that I would keep posting it even if no one gave me any more reviews. Hell, if this site went down I'd keep writing it on my laptop until it's done. I have no intention of being an author at all, I just want to see where my story goes, period. From what I see from you it seems like you want to take writing a little bit higher than the level of being a hobby, which is wonderful. From what I've read of your work so far you seem to have talent. What I'm getting at is maybe you need to decide what you're writing for. If your goal is because you just like to write, then just do it. If your goal for writing is to follow your characters and see where their adventure takes them, just write. If you want to see responses for your effort, in all honesty you are going to have to review other people's work pretty regularly, that's just the way it is. It takes time to build up a base to where people review because they love the story, and until you get to that spot, you're going to have to review to get them. I know you know that, but still.

    And if you're writing because you want people to read your work and give you praise or criticism, and you're not getting what you want here, then maybe you should take your fic to another board, or stop writing Pokemon Centric stuff altogether. You're talented buddy, and I'm sure you could write about anything you wanted and it would be an engaging read. What you're doing right now is actually infinitely harder though. You said it yourself. Pokemon fic's have a very small fanbase when compared to other genre's, so to be honest you're doing something a lot harder than anyone who writes a crime thriller or serial killer drama. You actually have to expand your imagination to the extreme to write a story that people will enjoy because of the subject matter involved.

    If your last post was just so you could vent, I apologize and ignore everything I just said. I'll tell you right now though, from now on if you put out a chapter I'll review it. I gave you one review a few months ago and after reading over it a moment ago, I want to do another for the rest of the chapters. You don't even have to review my fic in exchange. I'm going to review your's because you want it, and because so far I'm enjoying the story. So you'll have at least one response for every chapter you put out. Pm me when it's up, and I'll get it done. Good luck buddy :)
     

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