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Green And White [5th Anniversary Edition]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Umbramatic, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Well, this is something a bit special. Namely, this a rewrite of where my whole "Yangverse" shared universe project recursively began, done specially for this particular story's fifth anniversary today. It's part of a bigger milestone celebration for the project as a whole, and I hope anyone reading this enjoys both this story and further celebrations to come. On that note, however, due to a time crunch getting both this and another project done I didn't expand on this story as much as I would have liked; however, I do at least feel confident I gave it a good amount of polish to bring it up to my current skill level.

    But without further ado:

    Green And White [5th Anniversary Edition]

    She was waiting. As always.

    Here she was, a nigh-powerful white dragon deity, stuck in this tower in the form of a white stone shaped like some bratty human girl's hair accessory. It wasn’t fair.

    Granted, she wasn’t completely lonely. There were plenty of Druddigon, who patrolled the tower along with the Golett and the Meinfoo. But of those, only high-ranking Druddigon ventured up to check on her and communicate.

    Bored, she extended her senses outward from her current spherical form to see if there was something, anything, going on. “Reshiram,” she said to the empty space before her, “what are you going to do with yourself?”

    She wished she could look out of one of the Dragonspiral Tower’s windows at the Unova region beyond.

    “It's a beautiful place… yet me and my brother out and out destroyed it at one point...”

    As always, she tried to prevent the painful memories from rushing to the front of her mind. As always, they came back even stronger as a result.

    -------

    In an elaborate throne room, a massive gray dragon stood, looking between two men. One man had long black hair but wore voluminous white robes like those of a priest or mage, while the other had short white hair and wore obsidian-black armor.

    "Do you really think your deluded visions would ever lead this empire to greatness?" said the white-robed one. "Your ideals will only bring ruin!"

    "Your plan is built on a flawed foundation," said the black-armored one, "and faulty delusions of truth!"

    The dragon looked back and forth between the two, their mind in just as much conflict as the two brothers.

    They are divided, utterly... But I could never choose between them, I love them both... I can't... I must...

    Suddenly, the dragon felt a horrible feeling, like their body was being slowly ripped apart bit by bit. They screamed, the scream coming out as a roar of anguish.

    Finally, the pain stopped, and the dragon opened their eyes.

    Her eyes, she realized. She had no idea how she knew, but she sensed it.
    Then she looked down at her body.

    It was bizarre to look at now. Strange rings encircled her neck, and her body was covered in brilliant white feathers. Her hands, she noticed, were wings. Her tail was even stranger, resembling the torches scattered around the brothers’ castle.

    She felt there was something missing. Only by looking at what was next to her did she see exactly how much.

    There was another dragon, this one deep black and almost mechanical-looking with its platelike scales and a tail that resembled some sort of futuristic device.

    …I think we used to be the same, she thought.

    I think likewise, the black dragon thought.

    ...Wait, you can hear my thoughts?

    Pretty much… sister, I should call you?

    ...That confirms it. And that’s fine.

    The two dragons then noticed the two kings looking between them, mesmerized.

    Last I remember, the black dragon thought, they wanted us to choose between them.

    The white dragon furrowed her brow. How? I doubt it's purely by their fashion sense.

    As she thought that, however, she looked over the white-robed king in question. The one who sought truth. The one who wanted the Unovan Empire to take what it was and improve in it, make it better. The one opposed to his brother's idea of taking a new approach from scratch.

    The more she regarded him the more she realized they were partners in what they believed in.

    She moved over to his side. Her brother moved over to the black-armored king's side. The kings regarded the dragons a bit longer then turned on each other again.

    "The white one has sided with me! It knows I have found the truth!"

    "It doesn't matter! The black one and I shall make my ideal a reality!"

    The dragons shifted uneasily. Their loyalties aside, they knew this would not end well.

    ----

    The ruler in white sat alone, except for the white dragon flanking him, looming over him.

    "Reshiram?" he said.

    She started, then shook her head. That was her name now, she'd have to get used to it.

    ~What is it?~ she said.

    "This... division, between me and my brother," he said, "how has it affected you, given you were once the Arbiter, someone we both cared deeply about? I'm sure there's more to it than just a physical split."

    Reshiram paused, thought to herself carefully for a bit, before responding.

    ~It's... Been odd, certainly. I don't even remember all that much of being the Arbiter, one of the major exceptions being you and your brother, and caring about you in particular.~

    The king in white put a hand to his chin. "Did you lean toward me even before, or is this the part of you that chose me talking?"

    Reshiram shook her head. ~I cannot say for sure.~

    "I apologize."

    ~It's all right.~

    "I wish I could say it was, but there's a harsh reality ahead."

    He gave her a hard look.

    "My brother and I want war."

    ---

    She flew across the battlefield, the ruler who sought truth on her back. All around them was carnage and chaos, with the dead lying strewn about and the living fighting endlessly.

    Suddenly, she saw a blueish shape speeding towards her. Garchomp, Reshiram remembered it was called – a vicious, powerful Pokémon from a faraway land.

    She realized its reputation was well-deserved when it slammed into her with an Outrage.

    “Aaaagh!”

    She immediately retaliated with a powerful Dragon Pulse, which knocked the sharklike Dragon out of the sky.

    “Well, glad that’s ov- “

    She was immediately raked by a powerful Dragon Claw. Turning midair, she was unsurprised to see her ebony brother was the culprit, the ruler of Ideals on his back.

    …I’m sorry, sister.

    It’s fine, brother. Like it or not, this is our life now.

    The two continued clashing, Reshiram firing Fusion Flares and Dragon Pulses and her brother Zekrom retaliating with Fusion Bolts and Dragon Claws. To both it seemed almost neverending.

    Then they saw a glow that rivaled that of the sun.

    That glow belonged to a Volcarona, the queen of the desert kingdom to the south. She flew over to the two warring dragons, heat exuding from her in waves out of her fury.

    “Enough! You four started a war on a whim, and now look at all the damage you’ve caused! I wouldn’t be surprised if you set your sights on my kingdom as a battleground! Well, I’m not letting that happen!”

    The two dragons looked on with shock and more than a bit of shame. The rulers riding them looked at each other with concern.

    ---

    Years passed. War ceased. The brothers agreed to settle their differences, and lived out the rest of their days with their dragons in peace.

    Their sons, however, weren't so inclined, and it wasn't long before the two dragons were facing each other on a battlefield again.

    Reshiram, on said battlefield, looked back at the son of the king she had sided with. This is crude, but I have no choice.

    She then turned to her brother in a fighting stance. He, strangely, seemed shocked.

    But… can’t we settle this some other way?

    Our friends, their fathers, said we had to listen to them. I’m taking that to heart, as hard as it is.

    But it’s not right! We could destroy everything if our power goes unchecked! Do you want to risk that for some stupid argument?

    I’m sorry, brother.

    She unleashed a Blue Flare.

    He retaliated with Bolt Strike.

    The resulting shockwave spread across Unova, obliterating all in its path.

    ----

    In the present day, Reshiram , berating herself.

    “You… why didn’t you listen to your brother? His ideals weren’t so stupid right then…”

    She sighed again, and settled down for a long sleep, in preparation for what seemed like an uneventful tomorrow, or next few millennia, for that matter.

    ---

    When she woke up, however, she was surprised to see she first, was whole again, and second, had a visitor.

    The visitor was human- a male, upon closer, particularly scrutinizing inspection. He wore strange clothes in black, white, and brown hues, and had a hat on his head and a strange cube dangling from his waist. His most striking features, however, were his long green hair, which formed a shaggy ponytail, and his gray eyes, which stared at her with a mix of awe and… was that embarrassment? She hadn’t seen a human in so long, she couldn’t tell.

    “Can you help me?” said the human.

    Reshiram tilted her head. Was he talking in her language?

    “Well, I appreciate you being straightforward…But I need you to tell me what you need help with. “

    “I need to separate humans and Pokémon.”

    Reshiram’s eyes widened.

    “But… why?”

    She noticed he struggled to keep eye contact with her.

    “Humans have treated Pokémon like slaves for millennia. They’ve abused them, abandoned them, and treated them like nothing but tools or numbers to be crunched. I need you to prove to the Champion of this region that they must be free.”

    Reshiram resisted the urge to shake her head in amazement. How did this boy expect to “free” the world’s Pokémon?

    And yet there was something about him that reminded her of her first friend, the ruler who sought the truth. She got a very strong vibe from him that he wanted the truth about this world as well. And wasn’t he right? Hadn’t millions of Pokémon, even in her time – especially in her time- been treated like dirt?
    Perhaps she could help him after all.

    “What do you need me to do?”

    The human smiled.

    ---

    The two were alone, in a castle, one that gave Reshiram vibes of the one she once lived in, yet somehow seemed... Off. Ignoring this for a moment, she started at the young man feeling at her feathers.

    "What are you doing?!" she said.

    The green-haired human gave a yelp and jumped back. "I'm sorry! I should have assumed you wouldn't be comfortable with human contact. Most Pokemon I meet aren't at first..."

    Reshiram blinked a bit at "most" before sighing and shaking her head.

    "It's fine. Just make sure I can see you, I'm a pretty big mon, as you can tell."

    "All right," he said.

    Reshiram tilted her head. "What's your name, anyway? You haven't mentioned it since I got here."

    The young man paused, then shifted a bit. "It's N."

    "N? That's it? Just one letter? It's got to be short for something?"

    "...Natural... Harmonia... Gropius."

    At that Reshiram snorted so hard in laughter she sent a few flames out from her nose.

    "Gropius?! Oh, that's rich, no wonder you go by a letter!"

    N cringed. "Yes, I know, it's... Please, stop..."

    Reshiram did, looking at him sheepishly. "Oh, um, I'm sorry about that... Should have realized that was a sore spot."

    "It's all right... It's just... That name is still strange and awkward to me, while the name N is crisp and concise, like the formula to change the world."

    Reshiram nodded. "Yeah, I'd agree."

    She looked around. "Though we can't really change much from in here."

    "I know," said N. "Which is why I've been going out into the world to learn more."

    He sighed. "Unfortunately, what I've learned has led me to resort to things I'd rather not do..."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I'll need to show you."

    And the two headed off.

    ----

    The Zororark snarled briefly before being sucked into the ball. Three shakes, a click, and it was caught.

    N shook his head sadly before picking up the ball and turning to Reshiram.
    “I normally don’t enslave them like this for too long… But I have no other choice. “

    “Why don’t you?” she replied.

    “Because I need to defeat the Champion. I need to show the world I’m not weak. “

    “How are you weak? You’re one of the strongest humans I’ve ever seen, both in skill and spirit!”

    N hung his head dejectedly.

    “Tell that to Ghetsis. He says I need to be stronger if I want to accomplish Team Plasma’s goal.”

    “I thought it was your goal, too?”

    N turned away and gazed off in no particular direction.

    “After meeting that other boy so many times… I’m not quite as sure of it anymore.”

    ---

    Inside Plasma’s castle, N and Reshiram stood waiting.

    “He’s coming. The other boy. I know it,” said N.

    “I know we defeated the champion soundly… but are you sure you’ll be OK here until you need me?”

    N smiled. ”Just wait for your cue.”

    She flew out through the castle roof and waited. Then, when she heard N calling her name, she burst in with a triumphant roar, placing herself behind N and facing the brown-haired boy foolish enough to try and stop them.

    Then, something very familiar began to float out of the other boy’s bag.

    “The Dark Stone!” Reshiram said. “That means…”

    The stone expanded, unfurled, until it finally formed the shape of her brother Zekrom. He landed in front of his chosen hero and let out a triumphant roar of his own.

    Long time no see, sister.

    I’m sorry… about last time…

    I know. I’m just worried these two will start it all over again. Even if they do have good intentions this time.

    Let’s hope not.

    The two began to fight, flames and electrical sparks flying in all directions. At first, it seemed Reshiram had the upper hand.


    “Hah!” she said as she landed a well- placed Fusion Flare.

    Zekrom merely absorbed the hit and launched a Fusion Bolt at her.

    Reshiram roared in pain as the bolt struck a fragile part of her chest. She collapsed, with Zekrom giving a roar of victory.

    She was barely conscious for what happened next, but she could understand all the same.

    After the boy emerged victorious over N’s other Pokémon, Ghetsis revealed his true colors. He was manipulating N all along, he said, and that N was just a worthless excuse for a human only good for his plans, a freak. She resisted the urge to fry that monster right there and then, and only because she was too weak.

    ---
    Reshiram flew across the ocean, N straddling her back.

    “Can we stop at that island? Please?” N said.

    She was surprised, to say the least. N hadn’t said anything since leaving Plasma’s castle.

    She coasted to a stop on the island N indicated. He hopped off her back, and startled her when he buried his head in her feathers and didn't remove them for a good long while.

    “I…I trusted him…”

    Reshiram caressed N with a wing.

    “N. It's hard, I know, but we need to move on.”

    “But what do I even move on to? What do we move on to?.”

    He removed himself from her feathered body and gazed out at the ocean, shaking his head sadly.

    “I’m nothing. Worthless. I was raised to destroy when I wanted to save. I made so many mistakes and acted all smug and cocky until everything came crashing down.”

    Reshiram frowned.

    “You’re not worthless, N. Not in the slightest. And on your metric... I’ve made far worse mistakes than you.”

    N turned and looked at her expectantly. She noticed he no longer struggled to keep eye contact.

    “And those people who say you’re worthless or horrible? They don’t matter. You can be something great, something like the world has never seen before. “

    She smiled.

    “I believe in you, N. That’s the truth.”

    N stared at her, seemingly blankly, but with the faintest smile forming.

    Reshiram grinned. “And if anyone gives you too much flack I can always fry ‘em. “

    At that point he laughed joyously.

    She chuckled. “Come on, kiddo. Let’s go.“

    He hopped on her back again. Reshiram paused for a second pondering if N's eyes were always that shade of blue before shaking her head and addressing him again.

    “N?”

    “Yes?”

    “Want to know another truth?”

    “Sure.”

    “You’re the best friend I've ever had.”

    And so onward they flew.

    ***
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  2. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Hiya! Sorry it took so long, but I'm finally here for that promised review!

    So, just gonna throw this out there, but I'm one of those raving BW fans people like to joke about. I absolutely loved the story and characters of 5th gen, and prior to Sun/Moon, it was easily my favorite out of the entire main series (to say nothing of my love for N.) So a story offering the promise of expanding on those character interaction is already right up my alley.

    (Also it's past midnight in your timezone now so happy birthday. ;P

    Anyway, I found it interesting how the piece tended to go with a minimalistic, kind of storybook-like feel to the narration. It makes it clear that the characters' emotions, rather than the actions, are meant to be the focus. And they are! But it definitely left me wanting more in a lot of passages. Like right here:
    Aaaaaaaa come on, you know I want to see more pain and confusion here. ;D This has got to be the most bizarre and disorienting feeling around! Suddenly being someone else entirely, but also the same person, whole, yet missing something?
    Also here. I'd love to see more of the pain they're feeling being pitted against each other, while also feeling utterly bound to the heroes they've chosen.
    I noticed as soon as N showed up, we started to get a lot more fleshed out emotion from the narration. And that's good! But hopefully that illustrates what I mean about the earlier scenes.

    aaaaa that ending scene with N and Reshiram was definitely my favorite part. <3 The emotion felt the most genuine there, how N feels lost having his goals fall to pieces from faulty truths, how Reshiram tries to reassure him that he's not worthless.
    Also that's just cute. c:


    Basically, lots of fun ideas and perspectives going on here, I just want to see all of it more fleshed-out. More emotion, more inner turmoil, more confusion and self-doubt. Moooooore. 8D

    ~Chibi~;249;;448;
     
  3. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    Happy fifth anniversary on this! I didn't read the original, so I can't comment on any changes, but you'll have the perspective of someone taking a look at this for the first time.

    N and Reshiram are clearly some of your favorite characters to write about, and this is a good introduction to their story together, I think. Honestly, what I'd really like to see is more of the two of them together! Like, at the end of the one-shot Reshiram mentions that N's her best friend, but we actually don't get to see much of that friendship in play. I think N and Reshiram are only together for, what, four or five scenes? That's enough if you're very careful about displaying what makes them such good friends, but what you have right now doesn't really focus on that aspect. In general, why is N Reshiram's best friend? How is he different from the humans (or pokémon) she's met before? It would probably be good to specifically contrast her relationship with N with how she related to the legendary heroes/their sons. Speaking of those guys, I liked the contrasting color schemes you used for them; it was a clever way to echo the dragons' contrasting color schemes and one of the most vivid images in the story.

    It would also be nice to see you go deeper with Reshiram's thoughts and feelings about things. Like, how does it feel to be forced to fight your brother, not once but twice? Throughout the one-shot we don't get a lot of insight into Reshiram's subjective experiences: she mostly just describes what's going on. But think of all the potential those dramatic scenes give you: the emotional anguish at being forced to fight because you love your partner, even though you know all the destruction and suffering the war will cause; the pain of taking those attacks, coupled with the psychological pain of having to inflict that kind of pain on her brother; the joy of being released from slumbering in the crystal at last, at meeting a new, enchanting human. I feel like the story as written gives you a nice framework to start exploring those kinds of things, but doesn't go all the way yet. More emotional depth, more drama, is I guess what I'd like to see!

    I liked how you incorporated the volcarona into the initial fight between the dragons, by the way. It's a pokémon with such interestig lore about it, and yet you rarely ever see it get utilized in fanfic.

    I'm also curious what's up with N's blue eyes at the end of the story! It's an interesting detail that suggests he's starting to take on some of Reshiram's characteristics, but there really isn't anything to indicate what it could mean. Seems like a sequel hook, if anything.

    Mechanically there really isn't anything to worry about here; you did a good job of cleaning up the prose for the revision, if it wasn't like this already. Of course, there are inevitable typos, like this one:

    Should be "it," not "them," because N's head is singular.

    But seriously, there's nothing much to worry about in terms of the prose. Like Chibi, what I'd like to see is more! Really dig into your appreciation for the N/Reshiram relationship and give us all the stuff you see makes it great. This one-shot feels more like a tantalizing glimpse than a real fleshed-out exploration of their dynamic. Maybe not with this one-shot, but if you wrote something N/Reshiram-centric at some later point it would be great to see you really dive in go to town with that. Congrats on sticking it out five years, and good luck with your future stories!
     

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