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

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Diddy

Renegade
Welcome.

This is something I've been writing and keeping to myself for over a year now, something that I once tried to stop thinking about, but it was persistent. This has undergone so many personal revisions that it hardly resembles what it used to be, but at it's heart, it is what it is.

A story about a journey. Nothing more, nothing less.

Without further ado, I present to you...

For Whom The Bell Tolls
Chapter 0



Images flashed violently across her mind as she bolted awake.

The clothes she wore were simply tattered rags. The flesh visible through the shirt was ghostly white, and the girl was sweating profusely, staining the cloth upon her body.

When she had managed to move the dark brown hair lying limp over her eyes, she was truly able to gauge her surroundings. Sat alone upon grass, she could see only trees and the morning sun. Standing up in the forest clearing, she shook her head and, barely hanging onto her ripped shirt, walked into the forest. She knew her way home, though a wild animal attack had taught to her keep her distance from the forest, the knowledge just made her walk that little bit faster.

The girl had to wonder how had she managed to get to the middle of the forest without knowing it; she had never been known to sleepwalk. Although the dream did involve the forest. The girl grimaced and slapped a palm to her forehead as if to knock the dream into focus, but the more she thought about it, the more it evaded her grasp, like water escaping from a cupped hand.

The girl continued to walk, eventually leaving the forest and reaching a small village of stone houses, looking for all the world like a beggar from the street. The locals gave her a wide berth as she walked down the cobbled road, reproachful eyes cast at her from every direction, she would turn to look through a window, only for the curtain to get shut promptly.

The girl reached a familiar stone wall and looked into the window. The occupant didn't flee after being caught staring, instead they opened the window and shouted for the girl to get inside quickly. She was opening the gate when the door was flung open by a female figure whose hair was an identical shade of brown to the girl, now walking up to the house. Concerned, she rushed over to the young girl and draped an arm around her shoulder, guiding her inside.

“I saw your empty bed and feared the worst, what happened to you, and why are your clothes torn? Oh it doesn't matter now, lets get you inside, your father has prepared breakfast.”

Oddly the girl didn't seem hungry. “It doesn't matter Mum, I'm not hungry. Can I just go upstairs and get a change of clothes? These are ruined,” she indicated the rips and tears in her night clothes.

The girl's mother looked rather suspicious and grabbed her daughter's hand, “How can you not be hungry? Look at you, you're basically skin and bone and you're so pale. I think you're ill, no one can healthily lose the amount of weight you have that quickly.”

The girl felt a new anger rising in her that she had never felt before, like a great beast rearing its ugly head, “No mother, I'm fine.” She snapped, “I just look like skin and bone compared to you, have you ever heard of a diet!” The girl broke free from her mother's grip and for the tiniest moment, the girl's mother could swear she saw a glimmer of blue amongst the usual deep brown of her daughter's eyes. “I said, I'm going upstairs to get a change of clothes.”

And as the girl stormed off upstairs, she left her mother stunned in the hall.

“Is everything all right dear?” Came the question from her husband in the kitchen.


--


The girl slammed the door to her room and jumped onto her bed, face pressed into the pillow.

The girl didn't know why she was so angry, her mother hadn't done anything wrong. She got up and walked to her dresser, opening a small blue velvet laced box she had been given years ago. Inside was a necklace that had her name, 'Zaniah', written in fancy text across a silvery full moon, it was a present from her grandmother and she cherished it, but kept it always in the box unless she really needed to look at it. It always acted as a great sense of comfort to her.

Zaniah reached out and grabbed the silver chain but recoiled her hand almost as soon as she had touched it. The chain seemed to radiate an intense heat that burned her skin, the chain and pendant both fell on to the dresser, both looking fairly innocuous. She rushed to the bathroom to run her hand under the tap, which left it feeling quite numb. 'At least the pain is gone' she thought. She tried to push it out of her mind, but as soon as she entered her room again, her eye was dragged straight towards the necklace that lay haphazardly on her dresser.

She distracted herself by studying her clothes in the full length mirror on the back of her bedroom door. Her favourite white night shirt had several large rips across the torso and the left shoulder had been torn completely off leaving the shirt hanging precariously on her other shoulder, her three quarter length pants weren't so bad but had one large tear running the length of the right leg. She also noticed several very long but thin cuts that seemed to co-ordinate with the rips in her clothes. 'Thorns?' Zaniah asked herself, it seemed the most likely explanation, she did wake up in a forest after all.

Zaniah removed her shirt and realised what her mother was talking about, her ribs were easily visible, each bone could be seen and from the bottom of her ribs was a very noticeable inwards curve on both sides which awkwardly curved back out to her pelvis which jutted out horribly. Looking quite scared, she found a pair of what were her tightest pants and found that she could slip them on without much trouble, leaving some room at the ankle where the material flapped around. The effect was made worse by the fact that she was rather tall for a fifteen year old, the overall look was that of an extremely malnourished teenager.

Zaniah was confused though, she hadn't changed what she ate in the past month and she hadn't felt any different than she had a month ago, although she was falling asleep earlier and waking later than she usually did. She put on a simple black t-shirt and went downstairs to get some breakfast, no matter how full she felt, she was going to eat as much as she could, she knew no earthly way how she could have lost so much weight, but she was determined to put it back on.

Creeping downstairs, she slowly popped her head around the door of the kitchen, where her mother and father were currently eating. Feeling apprehensive, she approached the table and cleared her throat, her mother didn't look up, but her father looked over the top of his glasses and asked “What is it you want, dear?”

Zaniah directed her response to her mother,“I'm sorry for shouting at you earlier mum, you were right and I had no reason to be angry at you, but I felt really strange and I couldn't stop what I was saying before I said it.” for a majority of the apology, Zaniah looked at the floor shuffling her feet. She felt relieved to get it out into the air at the very least and felt brave enough to ask a follow up question, “Is it okay if I have some breakfast?”

Her mother was sat silent for a few seconds and seemed to be chewing a piece of bacon, when she finally looked up to the pale face of her daughter, she smiled, “Of course you can have some breakfast, I made your father save you some.”

Zaniah smiled and sat down to the left of her mother and grabbed the last of the bacon and some toast and ate like she hadn't done so in a few days.

“I thought you weren't hungry” asked her mother suspiciously, raising an eyebrow.

“Once I got upstairs I realised I was quite hungry, so I finished dressing and came back down.”

Zaniah's mother raised her eyebrow again, that was an obvious cover-up, but she let it slide, “Oh, your grandmother sent you a package, I left it on the table in the living room. Once you've finished eating you should open it.”

Zaniah looked confused, it wasn't her birthday for another three months, so why would she be sent a package? She took the final bite from her bacon sandwich and got up from the table and walked into the living room where she saw a brown package wrapped in string, there was a note attached, 'I know you'll find this useful. Grandma'

She looked at the package for a few seconds with a quizzical stare, 'What would I find useful?' she thought. Slowly untying the string then unfolding the brown wrapping paper, she found a shoe box, but the box was considerably lighter than a box with shoes in it should be. Zaniah opened the lid and was met by a pokéball, enclosed with lots of tissue paper and a note, which read:

Dearest Zaniah,

Make sure your parents don't read this note.

Inside this pokéball is a pokémon from a distant land, with the recent developments you may or may not be aware of, this little pokémon can help. Her species is called 'Chingling' and hails from the continent of Sinnoh. This particular Chingling was bred from a pokémon of mine, which is important, I would like you to visit me in Ecruteak, we have things to discuss...
-Grandma​

“What has she sent you?” came a voice.

Zaniah jumped and spun round, sliding the note into her back pocket as she did, her mother was standing in the doorway. “Oh, it's just a... a pokéball, I don't know why she'd send it to me though.”

“That mother of mine, you know, she was always trying to get me into pokémon training, but I told her, 'It's my life mother and you can't tell me what to do.' She kept trying though, but now it seems she has turned her attention to you. So what do you think?” Zaniah's mother had a reminiscent look about her as she said this.

“Think about what?” asked Zaniah.

“About pokémon training of course, you're fifteen, you've finished your education and you don't seem to have any other plans. It would be good for you to get out the house and get some exercise, get some muscles on your bones.”

Zaniah had to think, it did seem nice and a lot of her friends had started, some earlier than others. It had always seemed that she would be the last one to go, but now she had a pokémon for herself, “I'll have to think about it,” she replied, mulling it over in her head.

“Well you should at least see what pokémon she sent you, you can let it out in the back garden and say hello.”





Zaniah held the pokéball in her hand, staring at it as if to open the ball using only the power of her mind.

That was until her mother said, “Just throw it.”

Zaniah looked up and smiled hesitantly, “Sorry mum, okay then.”

She threw the pokéball at the garden fence, it wasn't the most terrific throw ever, but something must have triggered a release mechanism. Perhaps it was the sudden increase in movement or maybe because it sensed some kind of throwing action on Zaniah's part, but in mid flight, the ball split in two horizontally across the middle, red on the top half and white on the bottom. The resultant red flash of energy caused Zaniah to block her vision with her arms, when she loooked over however, she now saw a yellow sphere sitting next to the red and white one she had just thrown.

This new sphere had a face, a face which looked up at the girl with mixed fear and confusion. The girl crept over to the newly released pokémon and got a better look at it, along with a face, it also had stumpy arms and legs and a ribbon like extension coming from its head, coloured red and white in a swirling pattern around the 'ribbon', much like a candy cane.

The pokémon looked up at the girl approaching cautiously and muttered the tiniest of squeaks, unfortunately, the girl heard this squeak and bent down even further saying words like 'cute' and 'frightened' that meant nothing to the small yellow pokémon, who recoiled slightly from the advancing girl. The girl then reached out a hand to touch the little yellow pokémon, who promptly curled into a defensive foetal position, when it felt the hand touch its skin it shuddered slightly but quickly calmed as it began to enjoy the feeling of the girls thin fingers tracing over its head. The small, yellow chingling opened its eyes and stared into the happy smiling face of the girl stroking it, something that looks this happy couldn't pose a threat, it rationalised, and began to smile much like the girl.

“You know, I didn't think that this pokémon malarkey would be any use but this little guy is really cute. I suppose a little time off from my education couldn't be all that bad.” the girl called to her mother, still stroking the chingling, “Just look at it, it's so small and delicate.”

“It's a bit like you then isn't it, except you aren't that small, you already have something in common.” added her mother.

But the girl didn't hear her mother, she was busy stroking her pokémon. Her pokémon. It dawned upon her that she owned this pokémon and thus had the responsibility for its upkeep and well being. If she was to care for it, then she would need to know about it, an idea suddenly struck the girl.

“I need to go to the library,” she said suddenly, turning to look at her mother. “Mum, I need to go to Violet Town and get a book on how to look after my pokémon.”

“Well make sure you're back in time for tea, I thought we could have a special dinner in celebration of your plans,” the girl's mother replied. “And you should take your pokémon with you, think of it as a practice run for when you actually go.”

“That's a good idea, and I'm sure she'll be glad of some company instead of being cramped in that small pokéball by herself.”

“How do you know it's a girl?” her mother asked.

“Oh.” The girl had been caught in a predicament, she couldn't tell her mother about the note as her grandmother specifically stated not to show her mother or father, and she wouldn't do that unless it was absolutely necessary. “I suppose I just do. Well, I should probably get dressed if I need to get to Violet and back before tea.”

Zaniah picked the chingling up and ran inside, giving her mother a big smile as she passed her.

Her mother didn't return a genuine smile, her daughter was hiding something and she intended to find out what it was. For now however, she was content to play a waiting game.



==

If you're reading this then I assume you read the prologue, I hope you enjoyed it and will continue to see if the rest of the story is any good.

Just a quick note, yes the title was inspired in part by the Hemingway novel, which I openly admit to only knowing about because of the Metallica song. I enjoyed both of them and they in turn gave me tiny bits of inspiration to write this entire thing, hence the title.

If you're interested, I will make special notes in my Livejournal, which you can find linked in my signature, I'll probably talk about what I thought during the creation of the specific chapter, any easter eggs or random notes I can think of etcetera. I also want to start a little side segment called "Ask the Cast" in which you can ask whatever you like to one the characters and I'll try to answer it in character as best as I can, this is obviously limited to actually receiving questions, but I'll be glad for a chance to stretch my imagination.
 
Last edited:

Breezy

Well-Known Member
I don't get why you're breaking up your paragraphs kind of awkwardly in the beginning. I mean, I guess I can get the whole "one line for the opener" thing, but I don't get why you split up the two character description paragraphs like that. It makes your flow kind of abrupt.

The clothes she wore were simply tattered rags, the flesh visible through the shirt was ghostly white and the girl was sweating profusely, staining the cloth upon her body.
The comma in red should be a period; it's not strong enough to connect those two independent clauses together. On the other hand, there should be a comma between "white" and "and" as you're using a conjunction + comma to connect two complete sentences together. You actually might be better off starting a new sentence after "white."

When she had managed to move the dark brown hair lying limp over her eyes, shethentruly got to gauge her surroundings. Sat alone upon grass, she could see only trees and the morning sun. Standing up in the forest clearing she shook her head and, holding onto her shirt which was barely hanging on, walked into the forest.
The hair descriptor is kind of awkward honestly; it doesn't really seem important at this very instance to know, but that might be a YMMV sort of thing.

I think "sat" should be "sitting" but that said, "sitting alone upon grass" is just ... odd, especially since you start another sentence with the same sentence structure immediately afterward (a comma should be between "clearing" and "she").

The girl had to wonder how had she managed to get to the middle of the forest without knowing it, she had never been known to sleepwalk.
Comma in red should be a semicolon or period.

The girl continued to walk, eventually leaving the forest and reaching a small village of stone houses, looking for all the world like a beggar from the street.
I really don't get your simile here or why it's needed.

The locals gave her a wide berth as she walked down the cobbled road, reproachful eyes cast at her from every direction, she would turn to look through a window, only for the curtain to get shut promptly.
From what I know, "berth" isn't really "giving distance" (not unless she's a ship according to multiple online dictionaries) so much as in using the word ... well, distance.

Comma in red should be a period.

The girl reached a familiar stone wall and looked into the window. The occupant didn't flee after being caught staring, instead they opened the window and shouted for the girl to get inside quickly.
Since I have a feeling this review is going to be nothing but me pointing out comma splice errors, let's just do a general overview.

You commit a comma splice when you use a comma to connect two independent clauses/complete sentences. The comma isn't strong enough to connect two or more complete sentences; the semicolon or period is. While some people are okay with the comma splice here and there, especially between either short, related independent clauses (think "I came, I saw, I conquered"), they can be confusing. Periods have that fun ability to end a thought; commas just seem to indicate the thought just keeps going and going when you might not want it to.

IF YOU DO want to connect two independent clauses together because they're so related, you either use a semicolon:
The girl reached a familiar stone wall and looked into the window. The occupant didn't flee after being caught staring; instead they opened the window and shouted for the girl to get inside quickly.​
or use a comma + conjunction combination:
The girl reached a familiar stone wall and looked into the window. The occupant didn't flee after being caught staring,and instead they opened the window and shouted for the girl to get inside quickly.​
(thought admittedly I would just omit the comma and "they" here.)


As she approached the door, it was flung open by a female figure whose hair was an identical shade of brown to the girl walking up to the house.
Is the girl at the door or walking to the house? Two different images you're conjuring here.

“It doesn't matter mum,
"Mum" should be capitalized as its acting as a proper noun.

The girl broke free from her mothers grip and for the tiniest moment
Mother's

Her mother was sat silent for a few seconds and seemed to be chewing a piece of bacon, when she finally looked up to the pale face of her daughter, she smiled, “Of course you can have some breakfast, I made your father save you some.”

Zaniah smiled and sat down to the left of her mother and grabbed the last of the bacon and some toast and ate like she hadn't done so in a few days.

“I thought you weren't hungry” asked her mother coldly, raising an eyebrow.
I don't get how you want to portray the mother. She seems caring in the first paragraph, then just gets kind of mean-spirited a paragraph later. I would get "teasingly" more than "coldly" but ... yeah.

While the premise holds promise, the execution was, unfortunately, really shaky. Some of it was tough to read because you tend to commit comma splices/run-on sentences quite a bit, which makes it a bit harder to tell when one idea ends and a new one forms. You don't have any homophone/typo problems, at least none that I caught, so there's that, but the comma splice issue is something you really need to work on. Read over your work (I even suggest reading it out loud. Like really out loud, not in a muttered, fast pace) a little more thoroughly and slowly and hopefully you can catch where you're committing this error. Funny enough, you tend to omit commas where you actually need them. The language itself is a bit wonky in sections (I can't get over "sat alone upon grass" for some reason. That just ... sticks out for me o_O) though you're pretty precise for the most part. You tend to shove similes in weird places with some of them not being that analogous to the actual situation.

I don't really get your characterization either; people are going to extremes of emotions and then reverting back to their normal state with no one flinching at the strange reaction. The mother, for example ... I'm not sure if you want her to be warm or cold or warm but suspicious; she's just a crazy mix of everything. I guess I can get Zaniah (you did develop an eerie, strange, mysterious aura around her), but the way she just jumped back into "normalcy" without a second reflection on her morning is just ... what? The dialogue/interaction between characters is kind of flat. The only time there seemed to be life between characters was with Zaniah and the chingling because the chingling seemed to have a set personality/reaction and Zaniah didn't randomly flip it the bird and then go back to cuddling it (though admittedly that imagery is funny). Actions cause reactions; you can't have some blow-up scene between the mother and daughter and then kind of ignore it the scene following, which was, timewise, only a few minutes apart.

You did set up the mysterious vibe nicely, and the whole "forgetting the dialogue/interaction in the first scene" kind of works to your advantage there as it returns us back to normalcy and almost made me forget Zaniah's whole ordeal earlier (though I'm not sure if that's what you were going for nor if that's a good or bad thing). There is definitely something intriguing about her and what she went through. Plus yay chingling.
 

Diddy

Renegade
There's a niggling feeling in the back of my mind which tells me I might just need someone to beta my awful, awful use of commas. Honestly, I never properly got how to use commas (I must have fallen asleep during that lesson) I just seem to have some kind of mental block against it.

I really don't get your simile here or why it's needed.
I honestly thought that I'd gotten rid of that during editing, it must've re-edited itself in when I wasn't looking.

From what I know, "berth" isn't really "giving distance" (not unless she's a ship according to multiple online dictionaries) so much as in using the word ... well, distance.
From what I've always understood, giving someone a wide berth is just keeping out of their way for whatever reason. It might just be an idiosyncratic thing though.

Is the girl at the door or walking to the house? Two different images you're conjuring here.
I think I need to reword that, I can see why it could be confusing, that was one of the places I made some last minute edits so it seems to have suffered for it.

I don't get how you want to portray the mother. She seems caring in the first paragraph, then just gets kind of mean-spirited a paragraph later. I would get "teasingly" more than "coldly" but ... yeah.
The thing I've always had in my mind for Zaniah's mother is someone who is perfectly at home to play the loving mother, but she doesn't like it when things are taken from her control and she can definitely hold a grudge. When Zaniah snaps at her, she takes it personally and even after the apology, she accepts it on face value to make things normal around the house, but it's not the most sincere of things.

I know that this isn't an excuse, but I wrote this a year and a half ago and it's been hard trying to update the writing but keep the feel the same without messing up in some way. I would have taken more time to edit it but if I didn't release when I did I would have put it off and I'd work myself into a procrastination cycle where I end up doing nothing.

I don't really get your characterization either; people are going to extremes of emotions and then reverting back to their normal state with no one flinching at the strange reaction. The mother, for example ... I'm not sure if you want her to be warm or cold or warm but suspicious; she's just a crazy mix of everything.
With this I think I'm just falling prey to my own personal fears about fics in general. I don't want a character to be flat or blank, I actually realised an hour before I posted it that the only way I describe the mother is 'overweight' and even that is just implied through dialogue. I think that people would just pick at it saying 'you didn't describe the mother enough' so I tried to do something about it. It's the same with the characterisation, I didn't want people to pick at me for writing your typical 2D "Mother-who's-only purpose-is-to-smile-happily-whilst-sending-her-child-off-to-train-pokémon" so I gave her a character beyond that, it seems now that I may have gone a little overboard with it.

I was kinda aware of this being a problem and I actually toned it down in editing (if you can believe it) but I obviously didn't try hard enough xD

I guess I can get Zaniah (you did develop an eerie, strange, mysterious aura around her), but the way she just jumped back into "normalcy" without a second reflection on her morning is just ... what?
The only explanation I can give to this is that Zaniah was already overloaded with trying to calm her mother down after snapping at her, wondering what the hell happened to her and recieving a pokémon so she did what I assume most teenagers would do in that situation, she swept it under the rug and hoped it would go away by itself.

That and the whole necklace thing was a recycled plot point from an earlier iteration of the fic which I left in because it serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

Actions cause reactions; you can't have some blow-up scene between the mother and daughter and then kind of ignore it the scene following, which was, timewise, only a few minutes apart.
Totally agree, but I think my intention was that (I think the ending hints toward it) Zaniah's mother acted in such a way as to diffuse the tension. Zaniah thought everything was better so thought nothing of it, to her, it was water under the bridge, but Zaniah's mother clearly hadn't dropped the issue and intends to pick it when she can.

I think "Ignoring things to maintain normalcy" is a running theme in this fic, mainly because it's such a major part of my psyche that it would have to manifest in my writing in some way. I do pick up my plot points somewhere along the line though, nothing is ever dead.

I heartily thank you for correcting some of the mistakes, I'm not the best at finding errors in my own work, others maybe, but not my own.
 

katiekitten

The Compromise
x3 Did-ster! *noogies* I read this a while ago, just didn't have the time to review - I really enjoyed this~! x3 You've set up an interesting plot, it has my curiosity piqued. x3

A few quick, minor things:

When she had managed to move the dark brown hair lying limp over her eyes, she then truly got to gauge her surroundings.
The 'then truly got to' sounds a little awkward? How about 'was then able to truly gauge' or just 'she was able to gauge' to make it a little less wordy?

She knew her way home, though after she was attacked by a wild animal in this very forest, she tended to stay away from it.
Although the dream she had did involve the forest.
'She'd had did' seems to fit better.

I know what you mean here, but as the original subject was her home, the final sentence's use of 'it' sounds as if it is saying that she wanted to avoid home, not the forest.

Apart from those little points, the story really did catch me - I'm currently imagining a werewolf-esque twist, but that's because I'm a sucker for the supernatural. x3 I'll keep an eye out for this. <3
 

Glover

Pain in Rocket side
YAY new Fiction!

Images flashed violently across her mind as she sat bolt awake.
"sat bolt awake" is a new phrase to me. Bolted awake, yes. I'm no expert, but it stuck out to me.

truly got to gauge her surroundings.
rolls off the tongue wrong for me. "Was able to" gauge maybe?
EDITKatie caught ot ahead of me.
holding onto her shirt which was barely hanging on,
that whcih sticks out, maybe some more detail to smooth over?

She knew her way home, though after she was attacked by a wild animal in this very forest, she tended to stay away from it.
Ah. You wanted "it" to refer to the forest, yes? In my interpretation, it tries to refer to "home", as in "trying to avoid the home". This is because the aside abnout being attacked in the forest is that, and aside to the main part of the sentance.

The girl grimaced and slapped a palm to her forehead as if to knock the dream into focus, but the more she thought about it, the more it evaded her grasp, like water escaping from a cupped hand.
Love it, the story and the metaphor. and I can well relate to evasive dreams.

ust a quick note, yes the title was inspired in part by the Hemingway novel, which I openly admit to only knowing about because of the Metallica song. I enjoyed both of them and they in turn gave me tiny bits of inspiration to write this entire thing, hence the title.
Which convienetly, is also the basis for a PKMN episode "For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll, which also took place in Ecruteak, which is where I fuigured this started. I wasn't THAT far off, anyway.

From the reviews:
From what I've always understood, giving someone a wide berth is just keeping out of their way for whatever reason. It might just be an idiosyncratic thing though.
I've heard that too. Couldn't site a source, but it's right.

Although the dream she had did involve the forest.
'She'd had did' seems to fit better.
I dsagree. She'd had is a double past tense, She did had. Again, just my take though.
 
Last edited:

Diddy

Renegade
Yay! New mistakes to fix!

I've been editing old stuff a lot lately and it seems I'm still not very good at it, I'll get around to fixing those as soon as I can. Retroactively editing is going to be a fairly big priority for this fic, I'd like it to be in tip-top shape.

Oh yeah, I suppose I got some reviews as well, gotta respond to those.

@katiekitten

Incidentally, you post number is 13373739 which makes 'leeteteg' I don't know what that means though...

x3 Did-ster! *noogies* I read this a while ago, just didn't have the time to review - I really enjoyed this~! x3 You've set up an interesting plot, it has my curiosity piqued. x3
*rubs head* ow D:

It really has been a while, last thing I remember from you was the pretty epic banner making contest in... that secret place *shifty eyes*... I still have the banner you did in my photobucket folder :p

Careful, curiosity killed the katiekitten *shot*

That first line suffered an awful lot of editing, there was originally a short section before the start and the first line was in reaction that short section, so when I deleted the first section I had to reword the first line. I was never quite happy with it.

Apart from those little points, the story really did catch me - I'm currently imagining a werewolf-esque twist, but that's because I'm a sucker for the supernatural. x3 I'll keep an eye out for this. <3
I assume you read the LJ post I did regarding this? If not, then I'll direct you towards it now (seeing as you just added me, took a bit of detective work to find out who this evil bunny king was though xD) You'll see exactly why you have a werewolf-esque leaning.

@Glover

Epic name by the way. Simple, but effective.

YAY new Fiction!
It's not new to me, considering I started writing it almost two years ago xD

"sat bolt awake" is a new phrase to me. Bolted awake, yes. I'm no expert, but it stuck out to me.
That's a good point, I'll change it.

Which convienetly, is also the basis for a PKMN episode "For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll, which also took place in Ecruteak, which is where I fuigured this started. I wasn't THAT far off, anyway.
I'd argue that it's predominately a pun, considering the majority of the dub anime titles. It was probably just lucky that the pun fit so well, kinda like my fic :p

I dsagree. She'd had is a double past tense, She did had. Again, just my take though.
I think katie meant "The dream she had had did involve the forest"

Argh, my mouth cannot say that and my brain is failing to understand it. Getting edited.


Now, Firstly thanks of course to Breezy, katie and Glover for the reviews and pointing out mistakes (always invaluable)

but secondly, and most importantly, the next chapter will be up on tuesday which goes along with my schedule. This isn't going to be a one a week deal (I'm far too slow a writer to consider that) but I do have a fair wodge of fic written so what I have will be released on a schedule, past that it'll be based on how fast I can write.

The first few chapters I decided to release weekly because I'm not leaving people waiting for too long but it's still a reasonable gap between chapters. After a while, I'll push it back to every two weeks so I have a buffer between what I have already written and what is being written.

Of course, look on my LJ for some random (director's commentary style) crap about the chapter a few hours or so after the chapter has been put out. Don't read it before because there may be spoilers, I'll work on a 'you've already read it' attitude, because... to be honest, who watches a film for the first time with director's commentary on?
 
Last edited:

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Hmm, this looks interesting. It's Johto-centric, by the looks of it, so naturally I would be drawn to it. This girl, Zaniah, has just been introduced, but already we can tell there is something going on in her head. What that is, though, I haven't an inkling. Also, that's a rather unique name, "Zaniah". I suppose it has an important meaning, though I have never heard of it before. Hmm...

I'm going to wait for another chapter or two before I make a complete judgment on this story. The prologue is a nice set-up, but I feel there is something missing. I can't tell what it is, though, so it should come around for me within the next couple of chapters. So I'll keep an eye on it until I decide whether to be on the PM list or not. I don't doubt your writing and story-telling abilities, you are skilled in it, but unlike your other pieces of work, this has a rather slow build-up. Thus, I am going to stick around for as long as I have mentioned and wait to see what it is that'll snag my interest.

Well, yeah, the title caught my interest, but that's something else entirely. You can say I'm waiting to see if I can catch what the plot is about, what would make this different from a journey story.
 

Glover

Pain in Rocket side
Yay! New mistakes to fix!

@Glover

Epic name by the way. Simple, but effective.
Thanks. I have Dad to thank for that, it was his suggestion for a player name for Colosseum, back before I knew anything about this "Wes" guy. Said it was in the family, but I don;t know whom, or from what decade. Dad was weird.

It's not new to me, considering I started writing it almost two years ago xD
Valid, but I figure if I say "Used" or "Pre-owned" fiction, I'd get smacked. So "New (to me)".

Also, as things get going, you'll find I won't go much into grammar and spelling errors, since I suck at those things and often miss them myself. So hopefully you won't get much of Reviews out of me, cause you won't need the! :p
 

Diddy

Renegade
@Kutie Pie

It's Johto-centric, by the looks of it, so naturally I would be drawn to it. This girl, Zaniah, has just been introduced, but already we can tell there is something going on in her head. What that is, though, I haven't an inkling. Also, that's a rather unique name, "Zaniah". I suppose it has an important meaning, though I have never heard of it before. Hmm...
Yup, it's Johto-centric, the next chapter will make it clear where this is set.

Also, to answer the second question, a direct quote from my LJ...

You may be thinking, if you read it, what the hell kinda name is Zaniah? To be completely fair, I don't know, it one of those occasions where a name attached itself to a character and it stuck so much that I couldn't imagine naming her something else, it must be something because why would my brain think to name her Zaniah, but to this day I'm unsure where it came from.

Sorry if that kinda ruins the meaningful edge, (Zaniah, I found out, is a star in the Virgo constellation and I'm a Virgo is that counts) but I only found that out after I already named her.

I'm going to wait for another chapter or two before I make a complete judgment on this story. The prologue is a nice set-up, but I feel there is something missing. I can't tell what it is, though, so it should come around for me within the next couple of chapters. So I'll keep an eye on it until I decide whether to be on the PM list or not. I don't doubt your writing and story-telling abilities, you are skilled in it, but unlike your other pieces of work, this has a rather slow build-up. Thus, I am going to stick around for as long as I have mentioned and wait to see what it is that'll snag my interest.
That's a completely fair and sensible way of looking at it. I hope to ensnare you with later chapters... Chapter 13 part 2 is pretty epic though, just saying :p

Slow build up is a pretty big theme in this thing, plot points get stretched out over a fairly long period (Or maybe that's just my view whilst writing them), as I said to Breezy though I don't intend to let any of them drop.

@Glover

Also, as things get going, you'll find I won't go much into grammar and spelling errors, since I suck at those things and often miss them myself. So hopefully you won't get much of Reviews out of me, cause you won't need the! :p
You're always welcome to point them out if you spot them though, I'm sure there will be some. Even if you just post to say that you read the chapter and haven't died or something will be fine for me xD


I'll just continue editing Chapter 1, this one actually has a lame chapter title!
 

Diddy

Renegade
This chapter is brought to you by Caffiene - Because sleep is for the weak!

Just a heads up on some important Headcanon (because I'm not about to scream it in the chapter) This fic is set somewhere in the past, not too far, but far enough that it's different. I like to put the time around 40-50 years pre-HG/SS, which is when I decided the pokéball was invented.

Berries resemble and act like their real life counterparts Oran = Orange, Leppa = Apple etcetera.

Also a Headcanon note about pokéballs (which will be expanded upon in my LJ afterwards) I take a mixed view from the anime and my own ideas. Pokéballs exist, having just been invented, but they are quite expensive and only top trainers/fairly rich people can afford to use them. They are better than traditional apricorns (except the effect balls in various situations) I include non-effect apricorns which are just like pokéballs in the games, flat catch rate and quite weak.

It's not terribly important, but it's hardly something I can just easily say in the fic without breaking the flow.

This chapter isn't too eventful, but it does set things up for future chapters, read carefully and try to guess what they are, because you'll need something to do other than point out my glaring errors!

Without further stalling


Knowledge Is Power
Chapter 1

The girl had found that almost all of her clothes barely fit. She could only wear her previous 'tightest' clothes which at least made her look normal.

Zaniah had a few pairs of tight pants at least, but only a handful of shirts that would make her look presentable. When she got into town, she would need to buy more clothes and perhaps some food for her new pokémon when she found out what it ate, which again required a trip into town.

She turned around and faced the pokémon who was now sitting on her bed. The chingling happily stared at anything and everything in Zaniah's room, it stared at the drawers and it stared at it's reflection in the mirror (which lead to a confusing few moments when the chingling wondered where the other pokémon had come from) and it stared as Zaniah tried and again failed to pick up her necklace. Each new thing it saw brought new information into the mind of the young pokémon, although she never did understand why the human girl would drag a 'brush', as she called it, through her hair.

Zaniah picked up the chingling, which she found to be fairly light, and walked downstairs. She said goodbye to her mother and father who were having a conversation in the living room, and walked out of the front door, locking it behind her.

The girl took a deep breath and looked at the people passing the gate of her house, then walked to join them. It was comforting to know that this time, rather than gawk and stare, the people in the street were a lot more friendly, offering greetings and waving. The village Zaniah lived in was tiny and most of the people that lived there were acquainted in some way. The village was known simply as Union and lay close to a system of caves that some people said had underground lakes, but no one from the village had bothered to go that deep so could neither confirm nor deny it.

Leaving the village gates, the girl looked down into her arms where the small form of the chingling could be seen looking at all nature had to offer. Every now and then it would see something exciting and make a small clanging noises as it tried to get a better look. “That pokémon is called a pidgey,” Zaniah said softly as the small brown and white bird pokémon swooped by, “That one is a rattata,” a purple rat pokémon emerged from the bushes and scurried across their path.


It was after about ten more minutes of walking that she heard a shout coming from the trees to her left. “Hey you, yeah you with the black t-shirt!”

Zaniah instinctively looked left and saw a boy around the age of eleven, wearing khaki shorts and a blue t-shirt, staring at her from the forest. “We locked eyes, that means we have to battle. You have pokémon with you, so you must be a trainer, go rattata!” The boy released the rat pokémon, not unlike the one they had seen earlier, from an apricorn. It squeaked loudly at the chingling, baring it's large front teeth in preparation for battle.

“Excuse me, but you called my attention. If you didn't say anything or had I ignored you, which would have been rude by the way, then I wouldn't have 'locked eyes with you'.” Zaniah turned, walking away from the youth, “And besides, don't we both have to agree to the battle before it can begin?” the girl said matter-of-factly.

The boy looked confused and scratched the back of his head, “Er... Shut up!” And he ran back into the forest, leaving Zaniah looking rather dumbfounded.

“Boys and their battling, I'll never understand it. I mean, everyone can enjoy it but its like an obsession with them.” The chingling gave an enthusiastic squeak of agreement and started to fidget in the girls arms.

“Will you stop messing around, there's nothing to get excited about,” she said reassuringly, but the chingling continued it's escape attempt, making a rather nice ringing noise as it did. The girl didn't have the endurance to outlast the bell pokémon and it broke away from her arms, making a dash for freedom down the road.

“No, come back!” She yelled, running to try and catch up, but the chingling was surprisingly quick. The girl chased the small yellow pokémon, feeling somewhat grateful that the ringing sound made it easy to follow.

Zaniah stood atop a hill gasping for breath when she saw her chingling enter the nearby ruins, which had been quite a tourist attraction at one time. Although, with the recent invention of the pokéball, people have been looking towards the future instead of researching the past. It now lay quite untouched, but that didn't mean it was uninhabited.

Glad for the downhill descent, Zaniah pulled herself together and ran towards the ruins to find that someone had fixed a painted sign to the perimeter wall. It read, 'The Ruins of Ralph'.

“Please don't tell me,” she said exasperatedly.

The girl walked furtively into the ruins and had her ears pricked to sense any ringing that might be her escaped pokémon. 'What would grandma say if she knew I'd lost the pokémon she gave me.'

And then she heard it, a faint tinkling noise coming from round the corner. “Thank the gods,” she exclaimed, but upon rounding the corner, she saw that the chingling was not alone. Bearing down on it was a large blue brute, clearly four or five times its size, a thick ridged fin running down its back and along its big, flat tail. “Quag!” it shouted menacingly.

The chingling looked beyond itself in terror, but when the beast got close, the bell pokémon released an ear splitting cry causing immense pain to anyone who happened to be in the area, including Zaniah. She dropped to her knees clutching her ears, it felt as if her head were being cleaved in two.

The beast seemed to be stunned, it had a glazed look upon its face and wasn't moving except for the odd twitch. The sonic attack ceased and Zaniah got back to her feet rather shakily, she at least felt better than the quagsire. She noticed the chingling sat against a wall, shaking like a leaf. Slowly, Zaniah walked over and began speaking in a calm, soothing voice, “That was quite impressive. I don't think I've heard anything so loud, in fact, my head is still ringing.” Zaniah picked the cowering pokémon up, gave it a quick hug and started to stroke its head softly, “Just try and make sure you don't get me with it next time.”

“Come on little one, I've got one thing to check before we leave-” this started a tirade of squeaks on the chingling's part. “No more quagsire will hurt you whilst I'm around and we won't be around for long, I promise.” The Chingling was having none of it, she still gave furtive glances to her periphery just in case.

Zaniah didn't know where she was going and had resorted to shouting the name Ralph, to no avail. It wasn't until she spotted a flickering light coming from one of the caves that she had any idea of where to go. She entered the cave slowly, hugging the chingling close to her chest.

By the light of the fire, it looked more like a stone temple than a cave, and there were odd shaped markings on the wall. Then she heard whistling, she turned around to see a tall human figure with a pot of paint in one hand and a brush in the other.

“Ralph! What are you doing!?” Zaniah shouted.

The person, apparently named Ralph, dropped the brush and kicked over the pot of paint. “Aw, look what ya made me do.”

The figure had straightened it's back and proceeded to walk over to the girl and her pokémon. “And what might you be doing here? Kids aint interested in history no more.” Ralph was a middle aged man wearing dirty overalls and white shirt stained with many different colours of paint, but Zaniah was used to seeing him in a business suit, seeing as he served on the local council. He was also a family friend and allowed Zaniah to call him by his first name, rather than Mr. Bonneham.

“I was looking for this pokémon,” she nodded her head to the chingling in her arms. “I've seen your sign outside by the way, the ruins of Ralph? And why are you painting in here?”

“All right, all right. I was hoping to get some more tourists flowing into the area, and the ruins were here ready to be exploited, So I decided to give them a snappy name and make up some phony legend about the pokémon that live here. You know, the ones that looks like letters. So I'm painting some of them on the wall to make it seem that they're all mysterious and such. Clever huh.” The man gave a smug grin, looking pleased with himself.

“So you're desecrating ruins for a bit of money from tourists? Do you know how crazy and possibly illegal that is? People have already studied this area and they didn't find anything-”

“That's the beauty of it,” Ralph interrupted, “They may have looked at the area, but they haven't looked at the ruins of Ralph, scientists searching for years trying to find a secret that doesn't exist, we'll be rich.” And if human eyeballs had the capacity to transform into money symbols, then his would have certainly done so, because that's all his mind was on at the moment.

“Not that I agree with anything you're doing, but I have somewhere to go, so I'll just leave you to it.” Zaniah mumbled 'idiot' under her breath. She turned to leave, but when she got the entrance to the cave, she heard Ralph say “I didn't paint this one.” She was about to go back but thought better of it. She thought that everyone already knew about the stories around the ruins, but then again, Ralph had never been the sharpest tool in the shed.

She was about to turn left and continue her walk to Violet town, but had an idea. She found the sign Ralph had put up, got a handkerchief from out of her pocket and smeared the 'R' in Ralph from it. “There we go, sounds a lot better now. Don't you agree Chingling?” This earned an appreciative squeak from the bell pokémon.


--


Finally, after much walking and being sidetracked, Violet Town could be seen through the trees. The brick houses were compacted into sparse rows around a large grassy area in the centre of town, where the important buildings like the town hall and the local city gym were. More importantly however, it was where the library was.

The south entrance to the town was surrounded by berry bushes, and it was here that Chingling started to wriggle and squeak again. “What is it this time? I'm not going to let you run off again.” The bell pokémon didn't relent however, reaching its stubby arms out to try and grab something. “Oh, I think I know what's going on, you're hungry aren't you? And it looks like you want some berries. Well, that's one mystery solved, you like berries.”

The girl walked to the bush and plucked a few of the bluk berries, handing one to the pokémon in her arms. Opening its mouth, it ate the berry in only a few bites. “You were hungry weren't you. Well, you can have one more but that's it for now.” The small yellow pokémon ate the berry at the same high speed she ate the other one, oddly it looked like she wanted another one.

“How big is your appetite? One of those berries was almost the same size as you! Wait until I've finished in the library, then I'll give you one more.”

'I sound like my mother,' she thought, horrifyingly.


It was a sunny day and many people were gathered in the centre of town, eating picnics on the grass, throwing Frisbee and playing with their pokémon. There was an almighty cheer from the gym to the girl's left, maybe the challenger had won, but the residents of Violet Town would probably want to cheer their town representative.

Zaniah had never shown any interest in doing the gym challenge, she thought that it was for people who lived for battling, much like the boy she saw earlier. He was probably looking to get some battle experience for his pokémon in preparation for it, but even she knew that rattata were weak and not worth training as battlers.

What she didn't know however, were the capabilities of the chingling she had in her arms. That was the entire reason why she was going to the library, the large important looking building attached to the Violet Museum.

The inside of the museum was marvellously decorated, the floor appeared to be made entirely of marble and various banners exclaiming new exhibits hung from the roof. Even from the entrance, she could already see the preserved remains of an ancient pokémon and some artefacts from different archaeological dig sites around the continent. All of them in thick glass cases to make sure nobody touched them.

The room she was looking for was on the far right, through a windowed door that had a poster with a list of rules on it.

1. No running in the library
2. No eating in the library
3. No drinking in the library
4. No loud talking in the library
5. No loose pokémon in the library​
All of them accompanied by a little picture explaining the rule.

“Sorry Chingling, but you'll have to go in your pokéball for a while. I'm not allowed to take you into the library,” the girl whispered. The chingling bowed its head and allowed the red beam to transport it into the ball.

With chingling's pokéball safely stowed in her pocket, helped by the revolutionary shrink function they have, Zaniah pushed the door and entered. The girl looked to her left and saw the middle aged librarian spring to life as if she had been rudely awoken, a piece of paper sticking oddly to her left cheek.

“Oh deary me, a visitor.” she said, whilst rapidly clearing her desk of paper and moving her light brown hair out of her eyes. She straightened her knitted cardigan and turned to talk to Zaniah. “I'm Librarian Mary, it's nice to see someone... I mean, its nice to see a young face in the library. May I be of any help.”

“Actually yes. I need to find a book that will tell me about my pokémon, a chingling my Grandmother sent me,” Zaniah replied, courteously.

Librarian Mary scratched her chin then said “What you need is 'The Big Book of Pokémon' by Victor van de Merwe. It has compiled data from all known pokémon, it will be on the second row from the bottom on the first 'Reference Books' aisle.” She pointed at one of the many ten foot high wooden bookcases, full to the brim with books, “It should be over there.”

“Oh, thanks.” the girl replied, walking slowly to the aisle that the librarian pointed out. The brass plaque placed upon the side of the bookcase said 'Reference Books 389 – 468' once she had the aisle, she knelt down to be on level with the second to bottom shelf and looked across for the name van de Merwe. Zaniah found it on a very thick book with an emerald green spine, she pulled it out and carried it over to a nearby table, setting it down with a thud.

The cover depicted a vast plain with the words 'The Big Book of Pokémon' emblazoned on the top. Zaniah skipped the first few pages of publishing information and found the contents page. Using her finger to help scan down the countless names of all known pokémon, she finally rested upon chingling and opened at the corresponding page.

It started with a large sketch of a chingling on a rocky mountain clearing and underneath detailed lots of information like its eating habits, it's usual habitats and its average height and weight. It was really detailed stuff, mentioning moves and abilities it usually displays. “So she really does like berries, it's almost all she eats. At least I know I don't have to buy her any special food.”

At this point, Librarian Mary had sidled her way over to the table Zaniah was seated at, “Are you taking the book out or just researching?”

“No its all right, I only needed it to check up on my pokémon, what it eats and stuff like that. I can leave now, thank you.” The girl got up, moved the book back to it rightful place and exited the library.

“Please come back!” Librarian Mary shouted, breaking one of her own rules, “I'm ever so lonely,” she said quietly, looking at her feet.


--


Zaniah found the pokéball in her pocket and released the chingling once more. She walked out of the museum foyer whilst talking about random facts she had read in the book. The chingling didn't seem to mind, but looked up at the girl expectantly.

“Oh yes, you can have another berry, I suppose you've earned it.” The chingling squeaked happily as it accepted the bluk berry.

Zaniah wandered onto the grassy area outside of the museum and looked at the clock tower attached to the top of the city hall. “Just past noon, I have plenty of time. Well Chingling, I really need to find you a name, I can't just keep calling you chingling forever, can I?” She laughed to herself before speaking again, “Perhaps I'll think of something whilst I shop for some new clothes.”

The girl, who had a relatively good knowledge of the town due to her frequent visits, headed west to the area of Violet town that housed all the best shops. And by best, she meant cheap and decent. Not everyone would think of going to the 'Clothes Hangar' for all your best buys, and they'd be partially right. It's basically a warehouse full of clothes rail after clothes rail, but sometimes, a real gem turns up and it would still retain the cheap price of everything else in the store.

The pickings were slim, but she managed it. She had picked out a few casual shirts, some formal looking shirts and a few short dresses that would be good for when it got warmer. She also found two hooded jackets, one plain black and comfy, the other dark blue and waterproof. She also bought a pair of comfortable, chingling approved, hi-top sneakers.

With the chingling looking out of one of her bags, she was all set to go home. However, the southern exit to Violet Town was almost blocked by a large wagon with two fiery-maned rapidash grazing nearby.

'How do the pokémon not set it on fire?' the girl thought.

She dismissed the thought and took a closer look at the wagon. It seemed to be a travelling market stall of sorts judging by the sign, 'Antomar's Apothecary', the gentleman running the stall was shouting about his amazing deals, energy boosting products and herbal remedies. Sat absent mindedly on the side of the wagon was a black haired girl who looked around Zaniah's age, passing out products for people who had purchased them. As Zaniah walked past, she could hear the gentleman, wearing a long brown coat, shouting to sell his wares.

“A cold got you? One of my fiery pepping products will perk you up in no time at all! Andreas Antomar, the man whose remedies you can trust!” He didn't seem overly charismatic, but he was obviously charismatic enough because there were quite a few people lining to buy some of his products.

Zaniah stared at the girl as she passed, and the girl stared back. Zaniah looked away instantly and walked that bit faster on her way home.


==


“Mum, I'm home!” Zaniah shouted, locking the door back up and putting her bags on the floor. She checked the clock on the wall, it was two o'clock. She shouted 'Mum' again, and this time got a response.

“We're in the kitchen!” Her mother shouted.

Casually intrigued, Zaniah walked into the kitchen to find her parents sat eating lunch.

“We decided to wait for you to come home and then we could all have lunch together. Sit down, we're having pasta.”

The girl sat and ate with her family, telling them all about her trip between mouthfuls. About the ruins, she neglected to tell the part in which she lost chingling, about what she found out in the library and about the strange wagon selling its remedies.

“That Ralph, I've told him many times to just give up on tourists, there's nothing here except the pokémon centre that would interest outsiders, and they're mostly just trainers passing through. He doesn't seem to give up though, I'll give him that.” Her mother laughed and continued eating.

Her father spoke up afterwards, “So, have you put any thought into when you want to leave?”

“I thought it would be best if I got to it as soon as possible, perhaps tomorrow or the day after, give myself some time to get everything I need and then set off.”

Her mother choked on the bit of pasta in her mouth and coughed to clear it. “Right away? I suppose you could always take that old tent.”

“A tent would be too big to carry, and I don't want to be putting up a tent every night just to go to sleep. Regular camping equipment will do, I can buy any necessities like pokémon stuff when I get out there.” The girl ate the final mouthful of her pasta and put the plate into the sink.

“You seem to have this all figured out,” her father said.

“I had a lot of time to think on the way back from the library, now I need to put the things I bought into a bag. Nothing too heavy or too bulky, but something big enough to hold the essentials,” she replied knowingly.

“I have an old rucksack I used when I went rock-climbing. You could have that.”

“Perfect.” The girl said with a smile.

Which made her mother smile. She always liked it when these things resolved themselves without her having to do anything.


==

Of course, mistake fixes are welcome.

Just a reminder, this chapter wasn't entirely useless, one of the characters in this chapter has a fairly big role. Check out my LJ (Link in my signature) if you enjoy reading Headcanon, which isn't many people, but at least I offered.

Don't worry, the chapter titles get considerably less lame as we go further through the fic :p
 
Last edited:

Glover

Pain in Rocket side
This chapter is brought to you by Caffiene - Because sleep is for the weak!
Hurray Caffiene!

She turned around and faced the pokémon who was now sitting on her bed. The chingling happily stared at anything and everything in Zaniah's room, it stared at the drawers and it stared at it's reflection in the mirror (which lead to a confusing few moments when the chingling wondered where the other pokémon had come from) and it stared as Zaniah tried and again failed to pick up her necklace. Each new thing it saw brought new information into the mind of the young pokémon, although she never did understand why the human girl dragged a 'brush', as she called it, through her hair.
I love his interaction. That being said,

why the human girl dragged a 'brush', as she called it,
Is Dragged one of those cases where it sounds horrible, but is right? I'd suggest "would drag" myself, considering that Zaniah has and will do it again, but I'm not a Grammar teacher.

It was after about ten more minutes of walking that she heard a shout coming from the trees to her left. “Hey you, yeah you with the black t-shirt!”

Zaniah instinctively looked left and saw a boy around the age of eleven, wearing khaki shorts and a blue t-shirt, staring at her from the forest. “We locked eyes, that means we have to battle. You have pokémon with you, so you must be a trainer, go rattata!” The boy released the rat pokémon, not unlike the one they had seen earlier, from an apricorn. It squeaked loudly at the chingling, baring it's large front teeth in preparation for battle.

“Excuse me, but you called my attention. If you didn't say anything or had I ignored you, which would have been rude by the way, then I wouldn't have 'locked eyes with you'.” Zaniah turned, walking away from the youth, “And besides, don't we both have to agree to the battle before it can begin?” the girl said matter-of-factly.

The boy looked confused and scratched the back of his head, “Er... Shut up!” And he ran back into the forest, leaving Zaniah looking rather dumbfounded.

“Boys and their battling, I'll never understand it. I mean, everyone can enjoy it but its like an obsession with them.” The chingling gave an enthusiastic squeak of agreement and started to fidget in the girls arms.
Love that.

'The Ruins of Ralph'.
Ralph? I believe it should still be Alph, as the faded R would have already been recorded in history and been attached to the tourist signs. (And technically, Alph is a hint at "alphabet", referring to the Unown) Btu still funny, and considering the supply of whacky names in the PKMN world, Ralph would be normal, er strange, er strange because it is so normal, or something like that.

She was about to turn left and continue her walk to Violet town, but had an idea. She found the sign Ralph had put up, got a handkerchief from out of her pocket and smeared the 'R' in Ralph from it. “There we go, sounds a lot better now. Don't you agree Chingling?” This earned an appreciative squeak from the bell pokémon.
nevr mind, this'll teach me for reviewing as I go. PHHT!

“We thought we would have a late dinner, so we decided to wait for you to come home and then we could all have lunch together. Sit down, we're having pasta.”
you bounce between two meals here.

“A tent would be too big to carry, and I don't want to be putting up a tent every night just to go to sleep. Regular camping equipment will do, I can buy any necessities like pokémon stuff when I get out there.” The girl ate the final mouthful of her pasta and put the plate into the sink.

“You seem to have this all figured out,” her father said.

“I had a lot of time to think on the way back from the library, now I need to put the things I bought into a bag. Nothing too heavy or too bulky, but something big enough to hold the essentials,” she replied knowingly.

“I have an old rucksack I used when I went rock-climbing. You could have that.”

“Perfect.” The girl said with a smile.

Which made her mother smile. She always liked it when these things resolved themselves without her having to do anything.
That's just the motivation I needed for a chapter of mine. Thanks!

PS I'm not a LiveJournal user, but I'll read it.
 
Last edited:

Diddy

Renegade
@Glover

Is Dragged one of those cases where it sounds horrible, but is right? I'd suggest "would drag" myself, considering that Zaniah has and will do it again, but I'm not a Grammar teacher.
It's my interpretation thart 'dragged' is correct in the context, but 'would drag' works perfectly well also, it might actually work a little better, so I might switch it around.

Love that.
Ha, yeah. I remember writing that section, I wanted to poke fun at those early game trainers that are there purely to explain the "rules" of battling. In Johto, I believe they are the few battles (and one NPC) after Youngster Joey but before Bug Catcher Wade (I only remember their names because you can put them in the PokéGear xD) They'd spout lines like "We locked eyes, that means we have to battle" regardless of whether you were walking in a different direction. There was also "You have pokémon with you, that means you must be a trainer!" So I turned them into that kid.

Ralph? I believe it should still be Alph, as the faded R would have already been recorded in history and been attached to the tourist signs. (And technically, Alph is a hint at "alphabet", referring to the Unown) Btu still funny, and considering the supply of whacky names in the PKMN world, Ralph would be normal, er strange, er strange because it is so normal, or something like that.
To be completely honest, I only made the 'Alph/Alphabet' link after Bulbapedia pointed it out to me when I was researching the place the other day, during edits xD

I wanted to make my own little interpretation of the place, but I didn't blatantly want to usurp canon.

nevr mind, this'll teach me for reviewing as I go. PHHT!
:p I never actually looked at it this way, what reviewers would think of the whole Ralph thing, it's actually quite funny.

you bounce between two meals here.
Argh, I can see what you mean. I intended for her mother to say that they decided to move dinner back a few hours (i.e to around 7-8 o'clock) because they were having a late lunch (at 2 o'clock) I'll go make it more obvious.

That's just the motivation I needed for a chapter of mine. Thanks!

PS I'm not a LiveJournal user, but I'll read it.
The tent thing? Yeah, I had to question the validity of putting up a tent when you were only staying for a few hours max. Besides, My characters don't tend to sleep outside very often, they usually just keep going until they find a pokémon centre. They don't sleep outside unless it's absolutely definite they have to.

I don't set any of my posts on there to friends only anyway (or at least I haven't yet) so you can just click on the link and browse, reading previous posts will show you how I almost missed my deadline posting the fic.

Thanks for the review.

*flies away, presumably to edit*
 

katiekitten

The Compromise
<3! *goes to read the head canon*

:3 I really enjoyed this, m'dear! It's all developing nicely~~ I also loved the trainer scene, it was all too true - as well as the bit with the Ruins of Ralph, haha. Classical ploy to draw more tourists in. That being said, I did catch the comment of 'huh, I didn't paint that' from Ralph - did Zaniah walk out in the nick of time? x3 I'll be interested in seeing how that all plays out~

I'd like to think, as well, that her being effected by screech is another werewolf thread, but that's just because I <3 shapeshifters. x333

I'm guessing we'll be seeing the girl from the wagon again? x3 I quite liked that moment, it seemed significant - I'm intrigued to see how it all plays out. x3

Only a couple of grammar things:

She turned to leave, but when she got the entrance to the cave, she heard Ralph say “I didn't paint this one,” she was about to go back but thought better of it.
Comma splice, I believe - you are connecting two complete sentences with a comma, which you can't do. It's easy enough to fix, just split the 'she was about to go back' phrase into it's own sentence, or replace the comma with a semi colon, the sentences are related enough. Semicolons are finicky things, though. xD

Zaniah found the pokéball in her pocket and released the chingling once more, she walked out of the museum foyer whilst talking about random facts she had read in the book.
Another comma splice, the two sentences are independent. They aren't quite related enough for a semi colon, though, so I'd either split them or slip in an 'and' or a 'then' or the like. x3

Zaniah stared at the girl as she passed, and the girl stared back, Zaniah looked away instantly and walked that bit faster on her way home.
Another one, the final bit. I'd just split the two sentences entirely, the snappier sentences make it a bit tenser. x3

But yeah, I really enjoyed this, Diddy! Great job :3
 

Diddy

Renegade
@katiekitten

<3! *goes to read the head canon*
I had always intended to give some quick overviews about the writing process when I posted the fic, there were so many random things and revisions that I'm reminded of when I read back over them that I felt that it would be something extra that the readers can look at.

I'd like to think, as well, that her being effected by screech is another werewolf thread, but that's just because I <3 shapeshifters. x333
Each time it hops, it makes a ringing sound. It deafens foes by emitting high-frequency cries. - The Pearl pokédex entry, I was partially inspired for that scene by this.

But now that I think about it, I might have inspired myself. As a side note, I wrote the entry on Chingling/Chimecho in the Pokémon Encyclopedia in the Author's Café and I put in there that Chingling have a defense mechanism where they unleash a wall of sound to stun predators. Which might have been inspired by this scene... argh, all so convoluted... in short, it's semi canon.

surreptitiously steals 'effected by sonic attacks' plot point ¬¬

I'm guessing we'll be seeing the girl from the wagon again? x3 I quite liked that moment, it seemed significant - I'm intrigued to see how it all plays out. x3
*places pistol on wall*

Oh hi, Chekhov!

You'll see who I was talking about soon enough... or maybe later :p

I believe - you are connecting two complete sentences with a comma, which you can't do. It's easy enough to fix, just split the 'she was about to go back' phrase into it's own sentence, or replace the comma with a semi colon, the sentences are related enough. Semicolons are finicky things, though. xD
Damn it, I was checking explicitly for those... *plans visit to the optometrist* I might need my eyes checking xD

thanks again!
 

Diddy

Renegade
I'm honestly running out of intros for these first few chapters. This is why I wanted to post them a week apart, they're so closely linked that if I just went all out and stuck two or more weeks between them it would've just made everything worse off in the long run.

Just don't get used to this one a week thing.

This chapter is coincidentally the longest one up to now.


Back In Violet
Chapter 2

A few days had passed since the lunch in which Zaniah had found a decent bag to store her stuff. Since then however, more and more things had come to her mind.

'What if I fall down a hole and need to be pulled out? I think I need a rope.'

'What if I'm trapped for days on end in which I can't find a place to eat? I think I need to carry food with me at all times.'


Her mother told her that she was being paranoid. She had never heard of any trainer getting trapped for days on end or falling down any holes big enough to need rope to get out. “I asked Ralph to draw up a list of what a trainer needs, he used to be one after all. I suppose you could add a few more things to the list, because of developments in technology. I hear these new pokéballs are almost twice as likely to capture pokémon than the traditional apricorns, although they are very expensive.”

“Sorry mum, but this a big thing, I want to make sure I'm safe as well as having fun.” The girl replied.

“Most kids your age are in too much of a rush that they don't care whether they're safe or not.” Her mother stated.

“Yeah, well most kids haven't been attacked by a wild animal.” Zaniah replied, rubbing her elbow.

“You're always using that as an excuse, you must know that I don't accept it any more.”

“No, I really mean it this time. I only used it before as a reason not to do gym. This time I'll be traipsing around forests and sleeping outside when I can't get inside. It's all very exciting, don't get me wrong, but there is an element of foreboding about it.”

“Foreboding! Do you know what you're saying girl? There is nothing that will hurt you, you will have pokémon by your side at all times, isn't that enough to convince you? Countless people have done what you're about to do, and if there was a risky element of danger about it, then it wouldn't be as popular as it is.” the girls mother ranted at her.

“I suppose your right. I'll stop goofing around and get my head straight.”

And from this conversation the girl had a better idea of what she should and shouldn't bring with her.

The bag her father gave to her, a Varlatek bag, is apparently a big name in climbing. It was spacious and had various side pockets to store the many things the girl had wanted to bring. It was dark out by time she had finished packing, she delayed setting off until morning, her mother flat out refused to let her go in the darkness of night. Zaniah, tired from carrying and lifting all day, crawled into bed and whispered good night to the chingling's pokéball on her night stand and drifted almost instantaneously into sleep.


--


The girl got up and surveyed her room, her bag was gone, and so were her personal effects.

Thinking this odd, she checked downstairs to see if they had been moved, not in the living room or the dining room. She set her hand on a doorknob and turned it, pushing at the same time. Standing in her kitchen were Ralph, dressed in his usual dark blue suit and her Grandmother in a bright red cardigan with matching pants.

Zaniah proceeded to ask where her parents were and why her things had been moved. The two adults turned to the source of the question and stared with a great sense of confusion. “Who are you, girl? Why exactly are you dressed so lightly in my house?” Ralph asked.

Zaniah looked down and she was wearing only a long shirt and her undergarments, she distinctly remembered going to sleep in some pants. Not to mention that Ralph certainly didn't own her house.

“What do you mean Ralph? It's me, Zaniah.” her dark brown eyes flashed quickly across to her grandmother, who was staring at her with a great curiosity, but just sipped her tea. Her gaze returned to Ralph and she continued “I saw you a few days ago in the ruins.”

Ralph seemed quite nonplussed, “There are no ruins around these parts, girl. I think I would know if there were, being the mayor.”

The girl stopped and thought, 'Why were these two acting so weird? Why were they pretending as if they didn't know me?' and before she could ponder more questions she blurted out, “You're not the mayor, I know that for a fact that nobody would elect you.”

This remark caused Ralph to recoil in shock and her grandmother to finally say something. “How dare you speak to Mayor Bonneham like that. Your insolence must be punished!” The little old lady screamed in anger and seemed to be growing hair all over her skin. Thick, coarse grey hairs covered the whole of her body her teeth sharpened until her canines had reached four inches in length and shone like silver. She now closely resembled the great beast that had attacked her all those years ago, albeit wrapped in a bright red cardigan.

“Get out of my house, you cretin, you vermin. I won't hesitate in stripping the flesh from your bones.” she snarled.

“O-okay, I'm sorry, I'll just leave then.” The girl backed away keeping her eyes on the beast. She looked at Ralph, now sipping tea, he didn't seem shocked at all. The beast that was her grandmother bared down upon her, Zaniah kept walking until she bumped her back on the door, she grabbed the door handle and slipped out quickly.

She took a step and fell. Wind rushing from below her, she reached her hands down to stop her shirt from flapping. She couldn't find her shirt, she looked down and noticed she was wearing a bright blue jumpsuit. She screamed as she saw her house floating aimlessly in the air above her as she fell.

Zaniah took a chance, she was already wearing a jumpsuit, why not a parachute? She reached a hand to her back and felt a large squishy rucksack. Issuing a huge sigh of relief she found the cord and pulled.

The wind caught in the parachutes folds and slowed her descent to earth. She finally felt safe, gliding down strapped into a parachute. It allowed her to ponder what had been happening today, but before she could think a single sentence she was nearing the ground. Her destination appeared to be a small camp-site judging by the wooden huts and large fire in the centre.

When she finally landed, she was surrounded by women. Some in business suits, some dressed casually and some only in underwear.

“Welcome, girl, to our humble village. You will find yourself most welcome here, your every need will be taken care of, you need only ask.” A large woman in a tribal headdress said.

Zaniah found herself wanting to stay with the women but fought her mind to make some sense of the situation. But before her mind could think her mouth had said “Sure, I'll stay,” and smiled.

She stepped over a wooden log, but tripped and fell to the floor face first, she put her hands up to stop herself, awaiting the impact she...

Awoke violently and instantly.


The bed she was lay in had sweat stains all over it and the duvet was crumpled on the floor next to her bed, presumably kicked off in the night. Her first thought was 'Mummy!' but she suppressed it, 'I'm fifteen damn it.' She tried to remember the dream she had and recalled the majority of it, not knowing what it meant in the slightest.

Zaniah looked over to the clock on her bedside table, it was six am. “I might as well get ready then,” she sighed.

Hauling her self out of bed, she stumbled to the bathroom and jumped into the shower. Lather, rinse, repeat, until she had finished.

Wrapping herself in a fluffy white dressing gown, she got back into her room and stared at herself in the mirror. She ran a brush through her hair and got to thinking about where she should go when she leaves. 'They say Violet is the best option for newbies, anywhere else would be too much of a hike just for my first gym badge.' She settled the issue and got her mind back to brushing her hair.

She stood up and suddenly had a brainwave, 'I can't go around Johto with my hair looking like crap,' and the brush went into the bag.

Zaniah's eyes looked over to where the chingling was, still encased in her pokéball, 'I suppose she could use some fresh air, Hopefully her sleep was less eventful than mine.' With the now familiar flash of red light, the small yellow pokémon appeared on the girl's messy bed.

“Today's the day.” She said, staring at the chingling. When she realised that she still hadn't thought of a name, she sighed. “You really need a name, any suggestions?” It was annoying really, how hard was it to think of a name?

The pokémon made a motion that could be a shrug. Regardless, it didn't have any ideas, even if it did, it had no way of communicating them to her.

The girl, annoyed that her pokémon had an inability to talk, continued with the hurried collection of last minute items and making herself look good. The little pokémon wondered why she was going through so much trouble, maybe it was the way of human females, to present a clean and presentable self in order to attract attention from the males.

The girl went about her business, occasionally stopping, looking at the chingling directly and sighing.

She had obviously not thought of a good name for the little pokémon sat on her bed, watching her every move. The chingling, not knowing anything since she was unveiled into the strange green land filled with the tall beings known as humans, didn't have a name of her own. She hoped that the human caring for her came up with an idea quickly, being called by species was a rather degrading thing, even for a creature as young as the chingling.

Zaniah, on the other hand, was too busy wondering if she had used the right conditioner on her hair or whether she had packed those pants she liked. She was blissfully unaware of the affairs and inner desires of the chingling.

The clock on her bedside table now read seven forty six am and a loud shout of “Zaniah!” was heard. The girl froze, looking at her pokémon on the bed, “I suppose I should go downstairs.”

When she entered the kitchen she was assaulted by a barrage of delicious smells. Plates of bacon, eggs, sausages and everything you'd need to get the day started were sat waiting to be eaten. Although she knew it was a heart attack waiting to happen, she dived in, piling her plate high.

“Well someone has certainly got their appetite back, you're looking a lot better lately.” Zaniah's mother, who was seated opposite her at the table, stated.

“I realised that if I want to do well on this 'journey' of mine, I need to keep my strength up, which means eating. Oh, that reminds me, I should nip outside and pick a few berries for my pokémon.”

“Still haven't thought of a name then?” asked her mother, raising an eyebrow.

“It's a hard decision. I don't think you named me the first thing that came into your head after I was born, or did you?”

This remark made her mother laugh. “No, no, you have a point, we went through a whole list of names before we got the perfect one for you. Take your time, the right name will present itself before long.” And with that, silence fell between the two until the breakfast had been finished.

Zaniah drained the last of her oran juice and wiped her mouth. “Thanks mum. I should get the rest of my things done and then I can leave.” Her voice showed a very obvious note of excitement as she finished the sentence.

“Don't think I'm rushing you out the door, you've got all the time in the world.”

“I know, I just want to get this thing started then I can worry about other stuff later.” She rushed off upstairs, leaving her mother in the kitchen.

Zaniah's mother stood up from her seat and looked at the overflowing, messy table and sighed. “Trust her to leave me with the washing up.”

--

The bag was full and her room was unusually tidy. 'It's really about to happen' she thought.

A little while ago she was just a girl who thought the whole 'pokémon training' thing was for people who were obsessed with forcing creatures to fight, but her recent experiences had taught her otherwise, it was more than that. A lot more. It was about a person and their pokémon, bonding, forming a friendship, and you look after your friends.

She would take this journey as an opportunity to make friends, form bonds and make the world an overall smaller place. If she achieves but one of these goals, then she can safely say that whatever the outcome in the gym challenge, she would have succeeded in what she set out to do.

Smiling slightly at her realisation she looked over to the bed on which her chingling had decided to take a nap. She wouldn't be sleeping there for a very long time. Then she cast her gaze to the desk where she had sat and stared at her reflection in the mirror for all those years, the blue velvet box was still there. Opening it carefully, she grabbed not the chain, but the piece hanging from it, this didn't hurt her when she touched it, but felt pleasantly cool in her hand. She put a cloth over her hand and detached the necklace. She began to think what she could do with it when she had an idea.

She rushed downstairs and headed into the kitchen, “Excellent, are you here to help me do the dishes?” her mother asked hopefully.

“No sorry, do you know where we keep the string?” Zaniah inquired.

“Bottom drawer, over there. Why?” Her mother was quite confused.

“Nothing major, just needed some, thanks.” She rushed back upstairs again, leaving her mother to complete the cleaning for the second time that day.

“Ooh, I swear, if this wasn't a special occasion, I'd ground her so much she'd end up being excavated in Sinnoh.”


The girl however, had thread the string through the small metal hole on top of the pendant and tied it at the top. She placed it around her neck and admired it in her mirror, 'perfect' she thought.

Finding a box in one of the bags she had carried her shopping in, she pulled out the pair of hi-top sneakers and put them on. “I never would have guessed shoes like this would be so comfy,” she said aloud, which caused the chingling the wake from its nap.

“Finally up are you? Had a nice sleep? It's good for some isn't it, I on the other hand have been rushing around like a mad woman trying to get everything sorted.” The chingling gave a slight movement to sit up, which didn't go unnoticed by the girl. “No, don't get up, I'll do everything.”

The small yellow pokémon gave a confused sounding 'ching' and stared at the girl.

The girl however, who had taken to rummaging in her bag and listing off items in her head, was trying not to think about anything over than getting everything packed and leaving the house. She had wasted enough time messing around and delaying herself to not leave now.

“Clothes... Blankets... Toothbrush... Hairbrush” She made to zip up the bag when she noticed the logo on the bag “Varlatek” she said out loud, “Varla...” Zaniah grabbed the small pokémon and picked her up holding her at eye level, “I may have a name for you. Now, if you don't like it you can protest and I'll think of something else, if you do like it, then it's all good.” She smiled and took a deep breath in anticipation, “I would like to call you... Varla.” The pokémon had a rather vacant expression on its face, like it had its mind elsewhere.

The girl stared and put down the pokémon on her bed. “Oh, I knew it, it's an awful name. I knew I couldn't think of something good. I fail at names.”

The chingling's stomach let out a oddly loud rumble. She smiled and hopped over to the girl, giving her as much hug as her small arms could.

Zaniah snapped back to reality and stared at the pokémon hugging her leg. “Wait, you like the name? Really?” The girl felt oddly emotional at the opinion of the small pokémon burying its head against her. “Okay then, Varla, I have everything packed. We should be going.”

The girl picked up her pokémon and gave her a little squeeze of affection. Zaniah made a few last minute checks before pulling on her hooded jacket, when she knew she was ready she grabbed her bag and slung it over her shoulder. Taking some time to get used to its weight, she took one last fleeting look at her bedroom and shut the door.

“It'll be a long time before we'll see that again,” the girl said as she descended the stairs to the waiting form of her mother.

“Finally! I thought you'd never leave.” Her mother stood there, hands on hips, scowling. Zaniah looked shocked and was about to protest when her mother burst into laughter. “I had you going for a while there, didn't I? Come on, lighten up Zaniah, it's called a joke.”

“I didn't want to leave the house knowing the last words my mother spoke to me were 'I thought you'd never leave.' It would put a damper on the whole trip I think.” The girl said haughtily, she walked down the last few steps and went to open the door.

“Did you really think I'd let you leave without giving you a big hug?” Zaniah's mother flung her arms around her teenage daughter and stayed that way for at least thirty seconds, when she finished, she wiped away a tear “I can't believe your finally leaving, I knew this day would come when you said you'd go, but it's still kinda sad.”

Zaniah simply smiled and told her mother that she would be fine. The girl walked to the door and opened it, walking slowly down the garden path.

“Have fun out there, and be safe. And I mean, safe.”

The girl turned around, “Mum!” Zaniah looked shocked and appalled, “I think I'll be too busy adventuring and training pokémon to be worrying about anything else much, thank you.”

Her mother looked suspiciously innocent “What? I didn't mean anything by it.”

“Oh really? Anyway, I should leave, I'll write when I can.” The girl left home knowing that she wouldn't return for a long period of time. She wasn't one for sappy goodbyes so left through the gate and walked her way to the entrance of the village of Union, only stopping and looking back once to give a wave of farewell.


==


On her travel back to Violet Town, Zaniah had walked past the ruins where she met Ralph and chuckled slightly to herself, whereas Varla the chingling buried her head in the girls arms.

The two passed various trainers battling their pokémon, one of which starred a geodude pitted against a pidgey. Even Zaniah, a relative newbie to pokémon battling, knew the pidgey stood no chance, tackle after tackle glancing off the rock types hard outer coating. The rock pokémon launched one Rock Throw attack and the pidgey was out for the count. Smiling smugly, the trainer with the geodude went to collect his winnings from the loser, who Zaniah noticed had run away whilst the winning trainer had been show boating to the audience.

The girl laughed and kept on walking. But the battle had left her thinking whether she should start battling with Varla or leave it for a while, she is rather young. But isn't it best to start them young? Many thoughts like these wound themselves through Zaniah's mind and by time she had reached a steady conclusion, she had arrived in Violet Town.

The conclusion was so, she would return to the library. As her mother always says 'When in doubt, consult a book.'

She followed the familiar paths through Violet Town, passing the central grassy area with it's many occupants and the gym stadium which, Zaniah noticed, now had a large wooden market stall outside bearing the legend 'Antomar's Apothecary'. She ignored this she walked on, finding the museum as easily as she did last time she visited.

When she entered, the interior had changed somewhat. Instead of preserved pokémon remains, there now stood various jugs and urns on their own marble plinths and the banners had been removed. Zaniah walked to the side door, noticing the 'rules' sheet, she returned Varla to her ball and pushed the door open.

Hearing the door opening for a second time awoke Librarian Mary. She again had paper stuck to her face, “Hello and welcome to... oh hello again, I didn't expect you to come back, no one ever comes back.”

Zaniah gave a cheerful hello, whilst wondering whether the Librarian gets out much, “I have another question. I want to know the pros and cons of training pokémon in relation to how old they are.”

Mary thought for a moment, scratching her chin, before replying “I would suggest a book called 'Back to Basics: The Science of Training' by the one and only Terence Poplar, it'll tell you everything you want to know about training pokémon.”

“Okay, but what was the author's name, Terence something?”

“Are you being serious, girl? Terence Poplar, the worlds foremost expert on Pokémon Physiology, not ringing any bells? No... Have you been living under a rock?”

“I grew up in Union. We don't get much information about 'the outside world' as it were, but he does sound like he knows his stuff.”

Mary gave a snort of derision, “Knows his stuff? I heard Professor Poplar has an IQ in the one eighties.”

“Okay sorry, I never knew you loved him that much-”

The librarian made a noise somewhere between a laugh and a growl, “I don't love him... I just respect his work.”

Getting impatient, Zaniah decided to just ask where the book was.

“I have a copy right here.” Reaching under her desk, Mary grabbed a thick book and gave it to Zaniah “Be careful with that.”

“Obsessed much?” the girl said under her breath. Finding a table, which wasn't that hard considering the general emptiness of the library, she sat and opened the book. Scanning her eyes along the contents section, she found it amazing one person could write so much about pokémon training. She found the correct section (Newly Hatched Pokémon: To Train or not to Train?) and began reading...


The usual 'rule' for newly hatched pokémon is to train them early. This helps them understand the role they will play in their future, this will also hand them an advantage as the early training will have considerably strengthened your pokémon when time comes for proper battles.

However, and it should be noted that this book is for those wishing to train pokémon so therefore the option of not training is voided, there is leading research which states that pokémon raised at an early age stand better chances of developing conditions like Arthritis, Heart Problems and Muscle Degeneration when older. It should also be noted that new born pokémon are a lot more fragile than those of at least six months old and can sustain heavy injuries during battles which can seriously cripple the pokémon, or worse, even kill it.



Zaniah couldn't take any more.

She couldn't imagine someone forcing a newly hatched pokémon to fight, just so they would have an edge later on. You could just wait and not risk hurting the poor things later in life, then you're both happy. Forcing a pokémon to fight if it doesn't want to, or doesn't know better, is just as worse as hurting it yourself. It was really a sad fact that this kind of behaviour can't be cracked down on. Not to mention a well respected Professor advocating it? What is the world coming to?

Standing back up again, Zaniah gave the book back to Mary. “You can have your book back!” she said scornfully, storming away. “I'm not coming back here again!”

Mary sat in complete shock. One, because she had just been shouted at by a fifteen year old for no apparent reason, and two, she had just lost one of her only patrons.

Alone again in the big empty room, with only books as her companions, Mary opened a drawer and took out a bottle of pills, taking two she lay her head down on her desk and drifted off into sleep.

--

Feeling angry and dejected, Zaniah sat down on the grassy area outside the museum and released the chingling who, upon release into the high energy environment, became very agitated.

“I need to ask you a question Varla,” she said seriously. The chingling stopped looking around at the various people and pokémon and looked straight into her deep brown eyes, listening intently.

“I was reading a book earlier... about pokémon training, and I was just wondering whether you're up to it at all. I can understand if you don't want to, because this book detailed all sorts of things that could happen if you're pushed too hard. It made me really angry, and I shouted at the librarian who didn't really deserve to be shouted at, then...”

Varla interrupted the girl's rant with a single loud squeak, looked her in the eyes then hugged her.

Zaniah, agreeably quite stunned at the onslaught of hugging, laughed “I think I'll take that as a yes. I just wanted to check is all.” She picked up the bell pokémon and hugged her back.

“If we're going to be successful at this battling stuff, we might as well check out how the local gym does it, sound good to you?”



* * *

This chapter marks our first dream sequence!

We'll see a lot more of those and it's up to you whether you want to see any significance in them, they can get pretty wacky at times.

Once again, read, review and all that good stuff.
 
Last edited:

Diddy

Renegade
That is one of the many possible endings I've been alluding to all this time xD

Okay, terribly sorry about being late... There was some important stuff that needed my full attention I was totally not playing Gears of War 3 all day

*cough*

So anyway, this chapter is slightly different from the others in terms of style. I wanted to write with a slightly comedic tone so most of the stuff you see (especially in the middle) was written purely for comedic effect. I never said I was funny, but I'm trying xP


Your Gym Isn't Straight!
Chapter 3


The gym stadium, which was very close to the grassy area Zaniah was previously sat, took little time to reach.

There appeared to be only one entrance to the monolithic building, which takes up the majority of the Violet skyline (the other being the Sprout Tower). When Zaniah found that the wall nearest to her had no entrance, she sighed and took the walk around the base of the building. After only a few metres however, she noticed a large gathering of people chatting animatedly.

“Did you see the size of that tower? I strained my neck just looking at the top-”

“And that school! I don't think I've seen a more impressive school in all my years. Why back in my day-”

“Don't forget this gym. She hasn't told us about it and it already seems impressive-”

Seeing an opportunity to learn something about the gym and perhaps some local history, Zaniah joined the group at the back and listened in on what a tour guide was saying. The blonde, ever smiling tour guide dressed in her royal blue suit, was quieting people down at the front of the group when she finally shouted “Quiet!”

“Thank you for listening” she continued in a sickeningly sweet voice, “Over to our left is the unmissable Violet Town Gym Stadium, famous for it's unwavering choice of using flying type pokémon over all others. The leader, self-proclaimed style icon of Violet, Butch Mariana has been training flying types since childhood due to his father's influence. Butch's father, the recently resigned Violet Gym leader, Percy 'Patches' Mariana, was a thorn in the side of many beginning trainers hoping to become champions or even gym leaders themselves. But enough about Butch and his father, the gym itself has come up in recent town council meetings due to the apparent subsidence occurring on the east side, just over there-” At this point she gestured to a very visible crack in the floor at the base of the gym, where the building seemed to be sinking into the earth. “-some have argued that the subsidence may be a clever ploy from Butch himself to give land based Pokémon a disadvantage where his birds would be unaffected. Whereas others have blamed the sudden increase in gym equipment being brought in that is aggravating some loose soil under the gym. An inquiry is under way to find out the problem. Now if you'll follow me.”

The group continued round the base of the gym, some people even taking pictures of the crack in the floor, until they stopped again on the north side.

“Now as you can see, the bricks the gym is made of were imported straight from the Vermilion clay mines in Kanto and the steel framework was imported directly from Sinnoh. This plaque-” she pointed to a small rectangular slab of rock which was slightly weather worn. “-was laid when the gym was first completed fifty years ago. The architect Thomas Gladson is directly commended along with the town motto 'May all your dreams take flight', the mayor thought due to the nature of the gym, it was necessary for the time. That concludes this section of the tour, we're having a thirty minute break then setting off for the next location, the recently discovered 'Ruins of Alph' if you'd like to have some dinner, there are various restaurants nearby and some concession stands inside the gym itself, along with benches for resting on. Meet me back here in half an hour.”

Zaniah sighed, 'people are actually believing the crap about the ruins? What is the world coming to?' Figuring there was nothing else she could do, she took off for the entrance to the gym. A brisk walk around the base and the large metal doors of the Violet gym loomed before her. She knocked, with an echoing clang! But nothing happened. Varla squeaked, jumped from her arms and pushed the door open, with great difficulty. The first thing she heard was up beat, high energy music and the sound of metal hitting metal. Looking awkwardly through the doors, she saw someone sat at a desk reading a fashion magazine which obscured their face from view. Zaniah took a few steps forward towards the desk.

“Excuse me? I'd like to watch a gym battle if that's all right” she asked tentatively.

The person behind the desk, who Zaniah believed to be some kind of secretary or assistant, put the magazine to reveal an extremely tanned and... moustached figure. Upon seeing the girl, he immediately 'humphed' in what seemed like jealousy.

“I envy you girl, how do you stay so slim? What's your secret? Is it intense dieting, diet pills-” then he lowered his voice -”or is it surgery?”

Zaniah was beyond stunned, it took her a while to regain her senses and reply to the man. “No... No, I don't er, diet or anything. I actually just woke up like this one day.”

The guy looked overly shocked and seemed to flail his arms, “Shut up! You are so lucky! I eat anything with the tiniest bit of fat and I end up looking like a wailord, seriously. Then it takes me days in the gym and some other 'vigorous exercises', if you catch my drift, to work it all off.” He giggled, actually giggled and gave Zaniah a wink. “If you want to watch a battle it's off to your left up the first set of stairs, if you want to 'pump some iron' then you go right to our in built gym. You get it? Johto's first gym and gym!” He announced the last part with a look of smug glee on his face.

“Gym and Gym? Sounds good, I heard someone say it was the amount of gym equipment that's causing that crack in the floor outside, if you look carefully, you can see that the gym isn't straight.”

“That's not the half of it!” he said, winking again. A beeping sound rang from the guy's pocket and he giggled again. 'This guy is weird,' thought Zaniah, and she was quite sure Varla did to.

“Break time!” he sang, he took off his red jacket with the Violet gym logo on, revealing a tight white vest. “I'm going to use 'the facilities' maybe inspect the piping in the gym.” he winked again. “If you need anything, just ask for Pablo!” he turned and headed right, but not before Zaniah shouted after him.

“Who's Pablo?”

“Why I am, dear.” and he continued on, grabbing a towel from the wall, whistling merrily as he went, leaving Zaniah at the desk scratching her head in confusion.


Finding the stairs without great difficulty and then finding a seat, with great difficulty, she finally sat and viewed the enormous stadium. It seemed even more impressive from the inside, the seating was arranged in a huge semi-circle around the massive orange clay floor of the battling area. Upon the clay was a white outlined rectangle, which Zaniah presumed indicated some kind of boundary for the battle to take place in, the rectangle was split down the middle which separated the two sides and finally at each end was a small metal booth in which the trainers stood.

As the challenger stepped out, a great roar rang out around the stadium, sending chills up and down Zaniah's spine. The atmosphere was electric and Zaniah felt a surge of energy rush through her body, she felt as though she could run a marathon. The feeling only grew as the gym leader Butch stepped out, the roar grew louder and the scene became wilder.

From a side door the referee, dressed in a black & white striped jersey and black pants, emerged and signalled for the crowd to quiet down.

“Introducing, Cassandra Antomar from our very own Violet Town!” He waited for the cheers to wear away. “And she will be facing, the one, the only, the self-proclaimed style king of Violet town, Butch Mariana!” Again, he waited for the cheers to die down. “This will be a two on two battle, championship rules.-” he raised two flags; one red, one green and held them in the air for seconds, which for the crowd felt like minutes. “-Let battle commence!”


--


Zaniah had never been so exhilarated. The thrill of watching the battle was more than she had ever felt, but there was still a niggling feeling in the back of her mind which worried about the pokémon that were hurt during the battle. She wondered whether she could go into battle and each time risk the safety of her pokémon. Sure it was fun for her to watch other people compete, but would Varla feel the same way out there being battered each time?

It was questions like these that Zaniah pondered on her way down the stairs from the seating area and back into the main foyer. An unnaturally high pitched scream coming from the gym however, interrupted her train of thought.

Zaniah ran over to see what was going on. A crowd had started to gather but she pushed her way through to see the cause of the scream, 'someone must have been hurt or something' thought the girl, but she had to make sure first. Turning a corner; the girl saw several hulking figures, each sporting multicoloured wrestling singlets, stood on one piece of equipment as a spinarak circled them menacingly, a sinister glare in it's eyes.

At least, that's what the gym patrons saw.

All Zaniah saw was a cuddly bug pokémon who had gotten lost, wandered into the gym and become confused by the screaming.

“Who made all that noise?” Zaniah asked curiously. A trembling hand arose from amidst the pack of muscular torsos.

“It was me, Pablo. I'm sorry, but spinarak scare the crap out of me. And hey, I'm not complaining up here.” Pablo giggled in that way he did and so did a few of the men gathered around him. “It's like being the jam in a muscular doughnut.”

From somewhere, a deep voice entered the conversation. “You can be the jam in my doughnut any time you want, Pablo.” Everyone turned around, shocked by what the voice had just said. None other than gym leader Butch Mariana stood in a doorway, balled hands on his hips, smiling cockily. The whole room watched as, in slow motion, he flicked his flowing blonde locks around his head in a way only people in shampoo adverts can and showed his pearly whites, which seemed to flash bright as a light bounced off their enamel surface.

Showing immense bravery in the face of the adversity, Butch picked up the little spider, earning a gasp from the watching crowd and merely contorted his face to show deep thought, whilst still looking devilishly stylish. “Haven't I seen you before?” He asked in his deep rumbling tones, which seemed to reverberate around the tiled gym walls.

“Yeah.-” Another voice entered the mix, this one female and slightly melancholic. A girl emerged from the crowd in a black and purple knee length dress, her hair was black but showed streams of white where the bright gym lights hit their shiny surface, the girl's heavily made-up eyes looked directly into Butch's gleaming baby-blues. “He's mine” she said in an all too unnecessary dramatic whisper. Pulling a black and yellow apricorn from her bag she recalled the small spider.

Pablo and his muscular companions sighed a sigh of relief and climbed down from the weight lifting apparatus. Pablo immediately ran to Butch and gave the gym leader a tight hug, “You really are worth it, Butch,” he said whilst stroking the leaders magnificently trimmed beard. Butch Mariana merely gave an immense laugh that even the heartiest of hikers would have been impressed with. Some have even argued the six pack helps.

Whilst this public show of man love went on and as the crowd stared awe inspired at the tremendously rugged but devilishly stylish Butch, Zaniah had started up a conversation with the girl who owned the spinarak, “I loved your battle. It was the most fun I've ever had, I especially liked when you used your spinarak's web to gunk up the pidgey's wings.”

“Yeah, my main tactic was to stop his pokémon from flying, so I taught all my pokémon moves which could help. It's not only electricity that can clip a bird's wings you know. Oddly, Butch seemed to really enjoy that move, he told me it reminded him of Pablo for some reason.”

“Guy's sure are strange around here. Anyway, what are you going to do now you've got your Zephyr Badge?”

“I'm going to go to Azalea Town, get the second gym badge and continue my journey to get to the league championships. Are you here to get the Violet gym badge as well?”

“That was my original plan, but after watching your battle, I don't think I have the heart to go out there each time and risk the health of my pokémon. I suppose deep down I'm just a big softy.”

Speaking of big softies, Pablo was now crying into Butch's rippling shoulder, amongst the sobs, a few words could be heard “Feared for my life... Evil... Crazy spider... I don't think I can be alone tonight.”

The girl turned back to Zaniah after witnessing the secretary’s breakdown, laughing “You probably aren't as soft as him. I've seen manlier togepi.”

Zaniah laughed. “Good battler, funny. Do you have any other hidden talents?”

“I think you'll find I'm full of secrets. I'm Cassandra by the way, have I seen you before, I'm sure I remember your face.”

“You're the girl who was working on that mobile stall weren't you? I think you looked at me when I was going home, I got a bit embarrassed actually.” Zaniah laughed nervously, wondering why she had just pointed that out.

“That's right. As you were talking to me all I could think was, 'where have I seen that face before?' where do you live anyway?”

“Down in Union, I only came up here to get my gym badge, but I seem to have changed my mind a bit. Maybe I should just give up and go home.”

Cassandra narrowed her eyes, “Now that's no way to think. You don't have to collect badges to enjoy an adventure, it's all about growing closer to your pokémon and making friends, that's what my Dad always told me when I was growing up.”

“He sounds like a smart guy.”

“Yeah he's great, if only he'd let me go on this thing a bit earlier.” Cassandra looked slightly crest-fallen, “I hate seeing kids younger than me having lots of pokémon. Now that I think of it, I need to go through Union Cave to get to Azalea, how about you show me the way?”

“You mean you and me travel together? Well sure, I'd really like that, I'm sure Varla would as well.” The chingling in the girls arms smiled.

The two girls shook hands, exiting the crowd gathered around the gym leader and the crying Pablo.

Butch loosened the grip his muscular arms had around Pablo, instead he grabbed him by the shoulders and looked deep into his eyes. “Pablo, I've just thought about the perfect name for a child, how do you like Falkner?”

“Pablo dried his eyes, but found them filling with more tears, this time they were tears of happiness. “I love it Butch! Although we're far too attractive for children right now, maybe in a decade or so when were all old and ugly, a baby might make us feel young again.”

Butch smiled one of his perfectly white smiles, “Your right, we'll wait... I love you Pablo.”

The two embraced in a kiss whilst the crowd still watched on, captivated by the gym leader's personal life. They gave various 'Awww' noises at appropriate times and also garnered more than a few scornful glances from the muscular men in the multicoloured singlets.

One of the men ran out of the crowd, tears in his eyes shouting “Damn you Butch and your devilish style!”


--


Back outside, the two girls continued their conversation whist heading towards the gates of the town.

“So this must be Varla. I've never seen a pokémon like this before, where did you get him?” Cassandra asked, sounding interested.

Zaniah thought for a while, thinking back to the letter she had received from her Grandmother. “Varla's a girl actually, my Grandmother gave her to me as a present. I think she went a bit overboard to be honest, look what she sent her in.-” Zaniah pulled out Varla's pokéball from her pocket and held it up for Cassandra.

“Wow, I didn't think I'd see any beginning trainers with any of those, aren't pokéballs supposed to be really expensive?” She continued to stare at the ball with a gleam in her eyes.

“Yeah, that's why it's mostly gym leaders and top trainers that have them. They say they also have much better chances of capturing pokémon than traditional apricorns.”

“Your Grandmother must really love you-” she said with a laugh “I don't think anyone in my family would be able to afford one of these. Can I, you know... hold it? Just for a while.”

Zaniah looked strangely at her new friend for a while, she was thinking if all trainers were this gung-ho about 'the latest equipment' but she supposed there was no harm in it. “Yeah, why not?”

Cassandra caught the ball as Zaniah threw it to her and allowed for the change in weight, apricorns are known for being oddly heavy for their size, but found it wasn't as heavy as she expected, “This is really light!”

“Look what else it can do.” interjected Zaniah, she reached over and pressed the button in the centre of the red and white ball, it immediately shrunk in size to that of a ping-pong ball rather than that of a ripe oran.

Needless to say, Cassandra was shocked. “How can it do that!? That is really useful. Oh I'm sorry, I got all worked up about the pokéball I didn't let you tell me about Varla.”

Zaniah laughed, “Don't worry. As I was saying, My Grandmother sent me her in the pokéball. I don't really know why, it isn't my birthday for a few months. I went to the garden to see what she'd sent me, and out came Varla, she was a bit timid at first, but she warmed to me. I didn't recognise her at first either, I went to the library and read a book which had her in. Her species name is 'chingling' and she's the psychic type, my Grandmother also said she was newly hatched so that's also why I don't want to battle her. She also said that the chingling species is native to Sinnoh, so I don't think you'll see many round these parts.”

Cassandra looked intrigued. “A rare pokémon?-”

“Not necessarily, just she is in this region, apparently they're fairly abundant in the mountainous regions of Sinnoh.”

“-Okay, so not necessarily rare, but you have to admit, she's still very interesting.”

The chingling in Zaniah's arms gave a cheery squeak of approval, as if saying 'I like her, she says nice things.'

The two girls and the chingling walked south from Violet and continued chatting (the intermittent squeaks of the bell pokémon notwithstanding) until they witnessed three children, no older than ten, throwing stones at someone's house. The two girls turned to each other looking slightly shocked. Cassandra ran over to the kids shouting “Stop doing that” as she went.

Upon hearing the shouting, the kids scattered into the forest. Cassandra looked angry as Zaniah ran up behind her out of breath “Can you tell me... before you... run away like that.”

“Sorry, it's just that I know the guy who lives here. I also know why those kids were throwing stones at his house. Let's go talk to him, see if he's all right.”

And with a firm determination in her eyes, Cassandra knocked on the front door of the house and waited.


--

*Le gasp*

Is that a cliffhangar? Just who is this guy? Why are children throwing rocks at his house? Did this chapter overdo it on the puns?

Read, review, all that good stuff.
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Okay, Diddy, you reeled me into this story. I can now make a proper judgment because of that. Before that, though, I'm gonna put on my Grammar Nazi hat and... *pause* actually, that'll take forever to point out individual mistakes. So I'll just say that you keep using "your" when you should be using "you're", and sometimes you use "you" in context that would make this seem like a second person point-of-view. It's a big distracting like that. I haven't paid much attention to see how your commas are the past two chapters, so you're off the hook--for now.

All right, though it was slow from the prologue to the first chapter, it's now starting to pick up. Zaniah is now on her journey to just strengthen the bond of Varla, her Chingling. We may just see the gym leaders, but not necessarily gym leader battles, at least when it comes to her. Cassandra (I don't know why, but I thought she would have that sort of name) is collecting her badges, so we'll at least see gym battles, maybe. And my guess is we'll be seeing Ralph from time to time.

And I don't know why, but the librarian naming off the book titles reminded me of Harry Potter a lot. And was that a reference to Joey in the first chapter, despite this taking place half a century before Joey?

That first dream sequence was really... odd. I'm sure you know what you're doing with these dream sequences, so there's bound to be plenty of symbolism in them.

Now, the ending of this recent chapter... between Pablo and Butch... um... well, Pablo by himself is a bit funny, albeit creepy, and we didn't get enough character development with Butch, which makes sense since Zaniah didn't battle him, so we couldn't see his battling skills. But uh... that was out-of-place, it seems, to me anyway. Now, I don't know how you see the Pokémon world, whether the games have it take place in the future--of our world, at least in another universe, but from the way I see it, that didn't fit. Yeah, I'm being nit-picky about a certain scene that we probably shouldn't take seriously, but it doesn't make sense. And I shouldn't be dwelling on that.

*scrubs brain*

Anyhoo, despite all of that, you have ensnared me into the story. Thus, I'd like to be on the PM list, if you have any.
 

Diddy

Renegade
Anyhoo, despite all of that, you have ensnared me into the story. Thus, I'd like to be on the PM list, if you have any.
Considering that the internet obviously didn't want me to post a detailed reply to you, I'll condense the points that I made into easily digestible chunks.

-Welcome to the fishing boat! *bad reel pun*
-Will fix grammar, thanks for pointing it out.
-Your assessment of Zaniah was pretty much spot on, at the moment, she doesn't want to battle for fear of hurting her pokémon.
-Cassandra will battle the gyms.
-You win a prize if you can guess who I referenced when naming Cassandra
-Librarian Mary rocks
-It was a reference to Youngster Joey type characters, the ones that teach you "the rules of trainer battles"
-Dreams are usually weird, they usually make a little bit of sense in this fic though
-I had to carefully toe the line with the general feel of that section
-Homosexuality exists, doesn't make sense to ignore it
-Butch is like a manlier Chuck Norris
-I'll see about starting a PM list.

I'll quickly post this before my internet craps out again.
 
Top