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Heroes After All

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Umbramatic, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    Keep staring at it for a few more turns and it'll float away.

    Oh god. Yeah there's... there's pretty much no way that isn't actually something nasty.

    YEP, NASTY. :p God, and with the goodra stuff in there, you KNOW it's probably all gross and viscous on top of everything else.

    QUICK, TO THE BURN WARD

    Why did I read that as "psyduck". DON'T PSYDUCK AARON, BRO.

    For some reason I always forget that clawitzer has heal pulse access. Gosh that thing's cool.

    Okay, I know he expressed a fondness for human toys, but I fully suspect he digs cat toys, too. :B

    Heh. I wonder if that's an upgrade or a downgrade from her usual spell...

    Aaaand yep, totally read that as "Fomantis" at first. :B


    Also! The Mountain Keeper is a badass and I love her. :D
     
  2. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Yooo, I've only been saying I'd review this for like, what, a year? Gah! Time to fix that:

    Chapter 1:
    Ooh, now there's a cool way to refer to the Ultimate Weapon firing. (Also I'm amused because my Rayquaza in PoGo is named Skybreaker.)
    He's... precious...
    Just a quick heads up, since I noticed you do this a lot with dialogue, but since these two lines a have the same speaker, you can combine them. It's totally fine to have small actions come between spoken word and still have them in the same paragraph if they're the same speaker. Splitting them kind of prepares the mind for a new speaker, so it can be a bit jarring for it to be the same person then.
    oh my god. xD
    A longer example of what I mentioned above, but these four lines would all work fine as one paragraph. The only time I'd put a paragraph break between two lines of the same speaker is if the stage directions go on for a few sentences and we need to 're-establish the speaker, if that makes sense.
    Oh cool, I hadn't thought about the idea of aura being used for more moves than just the Aura Spheres we saw in the movie.
    maaaaaybe they should have tried this example outside. xD
    Ooh, I think it'd be cool if we got a bit more description on Aaron here. This is a big turning point for him, so seeing his expression/body language could really show off his determination.
    Oh! It's Ginji! I might've mentioned it before since I did read this chapter last year, but I really like that you brought him into this.

    Chapter 2:
    Ahh, I see, I like the fact that you've expanded on this, and I think it'll be cool to learn more about how these powers work in humans.
    She is... not even in the remote area of messing around, is she? xD (also, typo on dormitory)
    "You messed up a perfectly good monkey mon. Look at it. It's got anxiety."
    Ah, I love it when fics go into the balance between human and Pokemon, and I'd love to learn more about the Vow later on.
    Huh! So is he not the Ginji I was thinking of, or is this just a cover story for him being a human-turned-Pokemon?

    Chapter 3:
    These kids are gonna be talking like sailors within days. xD
    "stabby" sahjfghfskgfds
    The funny thing is that he was a freak at home because of his powers, but everyone here has powers, so like... he hasn't actually done anything out of the ordinary here.
    Okay, this on the other hand kinda stands out. xD
    Ouch, he doesn't even get a demonstration first.
    Oh! So he actually felt some of the damage physically. I was expecting him to feel the emotions of the prey which, uh... would be a lot more rough. I'm kinda surprised he handled this as well as he did! Is it just that he hasn't really gotten a chance to consider that the prey is just as thinking and feeling as he is?
    idk but Lucario vs Blaziken doesn't seem like the best matchup. :V

    Kinda surprised Ginji's family hasn't gone off on their own by now! Seeing as there pretty much doesn't seem to be anything in it for them by staying with this pack.
    welp. Rest in pepperonis. :T Although something tells me that if the others see signs of fire they're gonna blame it on Ginji, even if it obviously couldn't be him...

    I should be able to get to chapters 4-6 later this week!

    ~Chibi~
     
  3. canisaries

    canisaries sometimes i get a deadache, yeah

    Hi there! I was itching for something new to read, and since you've replied to a couple of my fics, I figured I may as well return the favor by checking this out. I was hesitant before given I don't follow the anime and have never seen the movie starring the character in focus here, but after some googling, there doesn't seem to be any super complex lore that would get in the way of my understanding. Anyway, I've read up to Chapter 3 now, and I think I wanna give some thoughts.

    The beginning picks up very quickly, and the pacing continues to be quite fast. I'm a fan of fast beginnings as they're more successful in hooking me, but from there onward, I feel like the story could benefit a lot from stopping and smelling the flowers, so to speak. There's quite little description when it comes to the environment. I'm not saying you should list every detail in each new setting or anything, but I think just a little description would help make the scenes more vivid and the world more alive. Things like what material walls or floors are made of, where the lighting comes from, what the weather is like, what plants there are, what sounds can you hear, so on. An advantage of describing scenery is also being able to show how the protagonist and other characters react to it, building character at the same time. For example, this was done when Aaron arrived at the monastery and felt small before it.

    Regarding the characters, we've gotten a few so far, though haven't had a chance to get to know them too well in this little time yet. From what I've seen, though, they appear consistent and distinct, so props for that - well, Polly's behavior changes dramatically when she's teaching the children, but as this is acknowledged in-universe it feels intentional and that there's an explanation we just don't know yet at this stage. However, Louis' introduction did give off a more aggressive vibe than seemed to fit his behavior later. It might be due to the capitalized YOU making it seem like he shouted the word instead of simple emphasis, which I'm used to seeing italicized.

    Anyway, I have mixed feelings about the Aura Guardians - they don't really seem too into their jobs as herding and teaching children and whatnot. This could be because they've been forced into that position out of duty or lack of actually willing staff which would be a case of subtle worldbuilding, but if it's not that, it really makes one question why they're hired.

    Speaking of worldbuilding, though, I'm interested in there being multiple types of Aura like that. I don't know if that was a thing from the movie Aaron is from or if it's an original idea of yours, but it's got me curious to see just how those types manifest and what techniques they offer. There's also the yet unanswered question of what exactly these Aura Guardians are guarding, and what they're guarding it from. Also I love love love the origin of the pokéball symbol.

    Then for some technical notes and quote-specific commentary:

    Closing quotation mark is missing.

    Polly misspelled here? Unless Polly is a nickname of Poly?

    Mmm, may be better to write it out as "okay" in speech. Fits better in the setting, I think.

    aaaaa its kars oh gosh oh frick

    Small note - when the word "blue-green" is used, does it mean there's both blue and green distinctly in there, or does it mean a hue that's midway between the two? Because if the latter, words like "cyan" and "teal" or even "azure" may be what you want. If the former, just ignore me lol

    In chapters 2 and 3, I noticed that instead of just one empty line between paragraphs, there's two. I'm guessing that's an error, as I know that occasionally happens when copypasting to the editor. It's not too bad in the end, but I think that formatting like italics and so on also tend to be lost when that error happens, so you probably ought to double check if it does that. What I actually do myself to fix this issue is open up a blank text document (.txt), paste my chapter there and then copy and paste it back. For whatever reason it gets rid of the extra line breaks (I think it has something to do with old invisible ASCII characters being misinterpreted?), but it also does definitely get rid of formatting. However, to be able to recover from stuff like this at will, I mark each italicized or otherwise specially formatted sections with asterisks, which I then CTRL+F for and remove as I reformat the sections. Somewhat of a hassle, but it does have the advantage of always working. And luckily, asterisks or whatever I use for the markings are easy to remove inside a Word document with Find and Replace All.

    Word missing or typo here?

    This scene was a little weird given she's an adult and the students are just kids, so it was pretty obvious Aaron would get his ass handed to him regardless of training. Also, it was here that I realized that there actually hasn't really been any word on how old these children are? Maybe I missed it, but I currently don't know whether these kids are like 13 or 9, and it's a pretty big difference, so it'd be good to know.

    ow that sounds quite painful

    well boy lets just say her scythe aint the only thing thats psycho huehhuahuaha

    Anyway, I like the choice of tildes to mark telepathy. Makes it distinct from the private thoughts in italics.

    Oh, wow, that Riolu grew up pretty quickly? Hard to say since there's no clear indication of how much time passed between these first two chapters.

    Accidental period in place of comma.

    ohhhh huh. I never played USUM, so I don't know if that's actually a thing, but regardless... strange.

    Missing space before the opening quote.

    Italics missing from these thoughts?

    Well... not really? I mean, Aaron was somewhat able to telepathically talk to Polly, and he had Fighting Aura. These kids already have two Fighting users among them, so it doesn't seem to be a rule that there's one of each in a room. Given all this, I'd say Eve could technically be of any type with the current knowledge.

    Louis?

    Only put together on my second read that this was a kind of Aura recoil and what Ginji was talking about earlier. Anyway, it seems "empathic" was used here but "empathetic" was used later instead. It should probably be just one or the other for clarity's sake.

    Regarding the word "suddenly": it usually only takes the punch out of an action rather than giving it more kick.

    Something's off about this sentence, like a missing word or a wrong verb form?

    I was expecting the Riolu's hesitation over killing to come more into play, but he kind of seems to just get over it on the spot. Maybe have something about instincts taking over, or some other introspection?

    I've noticed the scene changing lines are pretty frequent. If there are too many in quick succession, it can make the flow seem choppy, so when there are parts like these that can pretty much work without a scene change, I'd leave them out.

    good riddance lol

    Well, that's it for my thoughts for now. Despite my many criticisms, I think I like what I've read so far, and expect to continue sometime in the future. For now, good luck, and feel free to ask for elaboration on anything I've said, either on here or the writers' Discord.
     
  4. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    REVIEW REPLY TIME! Chibi I will get you elsewhere

    ahahahaha

    You don't want to know the contents of Callie's stomach are like on a regular basis.



    wee woo wee woo



    psyduck could totally be a verb and i hate this

    Yep! I was like "hmmm, what would be an unusual choice of healer"

    you know what i'm just going to say this is canon

    Dowgrade, but thanks for asking!

    I am imagining a Fomorrtis/Fomantis hybrid now and I hate it

    Thanks! You may or may not see more of her down the line. ;)

    Oh hey! Nice to see you here. Yeah the fact this is based on a very specific part of Pokeani canon has made this fic a bit niche, but I'm kind of rebuilding the lore from the ground up partially so people like you don't get lost.

    Pacing and description are... weak points of mine. I'll try to work on it going forward (and am already adjusting some scenes in Chapter 7 based on this)

    Thanks on the character stuff! Yeah the thing with Louis was a mistake.

    They're forced into the position out of duty, which I should probably... elaborate on.

    It's an original idea! One that originated from some RP shenanigans mind, but. You'll see more of how they work later. And hehe, I've always been proud of the Pokeball symbol lore.

    As to what the Aura Guardians DO aside from herding children with superpowers... I need to get to that.

    (I'm gonna skim these in this reply unless I have something in particular to say)

    Jojo's Bizzare Pokefic

    8-12, Aaron's about 8 0r 9



    fear her

    also FFnet doesn't eat them! Yet.

    Oh, uh, it'd been a few months, but Pokemon progress toward maturity way, way faster than humans in my setting.


    There are Necrozma people in USUM, but Callie's cult was a completely separate entity more like (greatly) toned-down versions of the Chaos cults in Warhammer 40k (i don't think you will get that reference so just google it)

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the feedback, and I hope to see you back before too long! I'll definitely ask you if I need you to elaborate anything down the line, and I'll keep your feedback in mind for later chapters.

    Anyway, Chapter 7 is soon. Very soon. Impending soon. See you then.
     
  5. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Oof, five months. Worldbuilding June and Artfight ambushed me and made me lose track of fic stuff. But I've got a chapter here anyway! Hope you enjoy:

    Chapter 7: Encounters


    Aaron had taken some time to himself to explore the monastery. Partially because he was bored, and partially because the monastery was just that huge - there were various facilities and nooks and crannies, spiraling towers and sprawling courtyards, that he was certain he hadn't uncovered all of yet.


    It wasn't long, however, before he got a bit lost.


    In his hapless wandering he turned a corner and bumped straight into a Scyther. The Scyther let out a startled buzz and brandished its scythes as Aaron yelped. A pale, dark-haired boy quickly approached.


    "Easy Rook it's just the dweeb."


    Rook blinked and then shrunk back from Aaron sheepishly, clacking his scythes together.


    "Er, sorry about that," said Aaron.


    "It's not you, for once," said Louis. "Rook's startled pretty easily."


    "Don't worry," said Aaron. "I... I wasn't scared."


    Louis raised an eyebrow. "You sure?"


    "Positive!"


    A mischievous smirk appeared on Louis' face. "Is that so? Well then, why don't you take a gander at... Him?"


    Lewis pointed dramatically over to a patch of grass by the greenhouse. Upon that patch of grass sat a snoring Rhyperior.


    "See him? That's Andalas. Legendarily grouchy Rhyperior. If you're not afraid of a Scyther surely giving him a poke isn't too scary."


    Aaron gulped. "That's... That's diff-"


    He shook his head. "I can do that! Just you watch!"


    "Good luck," said Louis, snickering. "You're gonna need it."


    Rook just nervously looked between Aaron and the sleeping Andalas.


    Aaron looked at Louis again, then to Andalas, then started slowly creeping toward the latter.


    He eventually got close enough that he could see the fine details of the massive creature. He was still sound asleep, his rocky body subtly heaving with each breath.


    Aaron reached out a finger. It would be OK, he thought. The Rhyperior's rocky hide probably wouldn't even feel it.


    He touched it. It felt like rock yet somehow... warm, and alive. He quickly drew the finger back. Andalas was still asleep. He looked backward. Louis and Rook were gone. He looked back to Andalas. Still asleep. Aaron almost sighed in relief, but held his breath to avoid waking the Rhyperior up.


    Then Andalas' eyes snapped open anyway.


    A rocky paw lunged itself in Aaron's direction. Aaron instinctively yelped and raised up his hands, an Aura barrier forming. The paw bounced off the barrier harmlessly, but Andalas' other paw swung around and grabbed him from behind. Aaron screamed as Andalas yanked him upward and brought him close to his face, dangerously close to his two horns. Aaron whimpered.


    "I'm so sorry mister Andalas! Please forgive me!"


    Andalas opened his mouth. For a second Aaron thought he was going to swallow him whole.


    Then Andalas started making Pokemon noises at him - a careful mix of "rhy"s, "perior"s, and strange high-pitched whinnying bleats. Aaron almost felt as if the massive Pokemon was scolding him.


    ~Put him down.~


    Andalas turned, pulling Aaron around with him, letting Aaron see that Polly's Metagross was standing next to the both of them. Andalas gave a bleat and a "rhy" at Metagross.


    ~He's my responsibility.~


    Andalas grunted in annoyance, tossed Aaron in front of Metagross, then stomped off. Aaron lay on the ground in shock for a few seconds before picking himself up.


    "T-Thanks..."


    ~Don't mention it. Andalas wouldn't have hurt you but he probably would have kept lecturing you for several hours.~


    "...Really?"


    ~He's like that.~


    "...Huh."


    ~Anyway, I'm not just here to save your ass from Andalas. Class with Polly is soon.~


    "Oh! I forgot! Thank you for reminding me!"


    He made to move off, then stopped and turned back to Metagross.


    "Which way?"


    There was a long, drawn-out mental sigh.


    ~...Follow me.~


    And Metagross led Aaron off.


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


    Aaron was sitting at the back of the class. As usual. People were less likely to notice and pick on him back there.


    Polly arrived at the front of the class and looked around at the assembled students. "Alright. Today's lesson... well, let me get something out real quick.


    She dug within a desk drawer and pulled out a strange, crystaline flower. Aaron leaned over his desk, curious.


    "This... Is a Time Flower," said Polly. "It actually gives the monastery its name."


    Aaron raised his hand. "This place has a name?"


    Polly gave him a look. "Yes. This place is called the Time Flower Abbey. You didn't pick that up?"


    Aaron did not reply, just lowered his hand sheepishly as the other kids giggled.


    "Anyway," said Polly. "Ought to show you how these things work..."


    She waved her other hand over the Time Flower as her palm glowed with Aura. The Time Flower immediately responded, projecting an illusion of Polly giving a similar lecture to a different class. The class oohed and aahed.


    "Time Flowers are crystalline life forms that bud from a bigger crystalline life form, the Tree of Beginning. They grow through this whole area and are a major export - precisely because they can generate Obscuric illusions that record sound and images. At least, if you have a human on the Auric spectrum or Pokemon to activate them."


    Callie raised her hand. "Are the illusions like a Zoroark's?"


    "Yes, precisely. Why they react this way to Aura is still unknown. But they take root anywhere there's rock and their illusion abilities are useful for messages, so they're worth a lot of money."

    Polly chuckled.

    "In the old days me and Metagross used to go on Time Flower runs."


    "How did you meet Metagross anyway?" asked Eve. "He seems so strong..."


    Polly thought a bit.


    "Metagross has been with Time Flower Abbey as long as I can remember. His species lives a very long time. I... I didn't actually choose him as my partner Pokemon. He chose me. After-"


    She shook her head. "We're getting off-topic. Right, we were on the Tree... It's not just a resource. People make pilgrimages to see it in the name of Xerneas and Mew, though they never go inside for... reasons I mentioned before."


    Aaron gulped.


    "You see, the people of Kalos and Galar and nearby nations had their own Tree, not too far away. They made pilgrimages to that instead. Then the Demon King AZ came into power and fired his Ultimate Weapon. The weapon devastated that tree to the point most thought it was dead, and so refugees headed off across land and sea to this Tree, as I mentioned before eventually forming Rota. Eventually a band of heroes found the old Tree still clung to life and saved it, but the Rotans remained, and the Genesis Mountain Aura Guardians made this monastery to aid them, as well as..."


    Polly looked around and sighed. "Alright kids, time for the awkward part. Which of you are Obscurics?"


    Dead silence. Then slowly kids started raising their hands. Aaron did not - he was a Fighting Auric apparently.


    "Right," said Polly, "I'm not gonna ask you all to share your stories just yet. But you all know about discrimination. Aurics, Psychics, it depends on the place but most of us can at least survive. Obscuirics... They're hunted. Executed. Slaughtered. And that's why we're here. To protect all people on the spectrum."


    Aaron was taken aback. He had dealt with enough being an Auric, but apparently the Obscuric kids had it even worse? As Polly changed the subject to the abbey's architecture Aaron resolved to ask his Obscuric bunkmates about it.


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


    After class, Aaron looked around for two people in particular. Eventually he found them - Callie and Atta, talking with each other about lunch. Munchkin and Stabby were arguing about... something.


    "Hey? You two?" he asked.


    Both girls gave Aaron puzzled looks.


    "Yes?" said Callie.


    "This better be good," said Atta.


    "Remember what Polly mentioned in class about Obscurics having a hard time?" said Aaron. "What was that like for you guys?"


    "Oh! The Necrozma cult loved Obscurics!" said Callie. "They were good vessels for the Blinding One because they canceled out the Psychic energy!"


    She frowned. "But... Some mean people... They killed most of the cult... Took me... The Aura Guardians had to rescue me..."


    "Same here..." said Atta. "Parents abandoned me because I was Obscuric. Bisharp took me in, raised me with his Pawniard pack. Aura Guardians found me, Bisharp sent me and Stabby with them."


    Munchkin and Stabby, overhearing all this, lowered their heads sorrowfully.


    "O-oh," said Aaron. "That's... not good."


    "What happened to you Aaron?" said Callie.


    "My dad died... I don't wanna talk about why," said Aaron. "But other than that I've mostly been bullied."


    "Chump," said Atta.


    "Atta you can't just say that!" said Callie.


    "N-no, it's fine," said Aaron. "You both have been through a lot..." He gulped. "We should probably go get lunch now."


    "Sure!" said Callie.


    The three, as well as Munchkin and Stabby, headed off to lunch. Even so, Aaron thought to himself.


    Guess I'm not the only one who wanted to escape... but... things haven't changed much...


    -----------


    Polly was winding down at the end of the day, heading to the back of the kitchen to get a snack. As she did, however, she noticed a rustling in one of the bags of apples. Sighing, thinking it was probably a Ratatta or a Bidoof, she grabbed a broom and lightly thwacked the moving lump.


    What emerged from the bag, however, was decidedly not a Ratatta or a Bidoof, but a smal purple creature with a large pointy head, which buzzed and sprayed sticky goo in Polly's direction. Polly, just barely stepping out of the way of being sprayed, gaped in shock.


    "Hey! You're one of those portal varmints!"


    The purple creature snickered at her distress and flew off.


    "Oh no you don't!"


    Polly gave chase, running after the creature until she emerged in an open courtyard, the setting sun barely illuminating the scene.


    "Damn it... where did the little brat go?"


    She saw a flickering.

    "Aha!"


    She swung the broom at the flickering.


    With lightning speed, Polly's broom was knocked out of her hand and she was pinned to the ground. She could make out a cloak, a mask, something almost... tasting her.


    Then the being let go, faded from corporealness, and was gone. Polly lay on the ground gaping for breath.


    "That... Definitely wasn't one of the portal varmints."


    After a bit she got up, grabbed her hat, and booked it to Ryan's quarters. This could be a lead on the killers. But she wondered.


    If that was the case why did they let her live?


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


    Riolu walked down the streets of the busy human town, the roofs and bricks seeming to stretch far beyond what he expected. His Aura feelers flared and eyes peeled for any sign of danger. So far there were none, but the humans and Pokemon here alike sometimes gave him funny looks.


    Speaking of the latter, Riolu was astounded by the variety of Pokemon on display, countless species he had never seen in the mountain forests. One Pokemon that seemed to be a chunk of solid ice with a head and limbs trudged by him, giving him a chill.


    That chill gave way to a rumbling stomach. Riolu realized he needed food. Looking around, he saw some apples sitting at a bazaar. Surprised they were just laying there, he reached out to grab one.


    "Hey!" said a human. "You gonna pay for that?"


    Riolu paused. The food was right there. But apparently he had to do... Something for it.


    "Pay? What is pay?"


    "Don't yap at me!" said the human. "Pay up!"


    The human couldn't understand him? Weird. Different Pokemon could understand each other, apparently humans were an exception. How could he communicate with this human?

    Then he had a realization. His kind could communicate via Aura... Maybe if he tried that with a human...

    ~What... Is... Pay?~

    The human jumped a bit. "You can talk? You don't look like a Psychic type. Anyway pay is money. You got money?"


    ~N-o?~


    "Then you can't take the apple."


    Riolu paused, looked at the human, then at the apples, then at the human, then at the apples again. Then he grabbed one and ran.


    "Hey!" said the human, giving chase.


    Riolu ran through the streets, dodging left and right as if that Charizard was still chasing him. That said, that human didn't look too tough. No claws, no fangs, what could it even do to him if it caught hi-


    "Maurice, get him!"


    There was an unholy screech of "Hey! That's my human's apple!" as a Staraptor swooped in from overhead. Riolu's eyes widened as he booked it further. The Staraptor lunged as Rolu ducked out of the way, just in time, taking cover under a shop stand. Crawling desperately while still clutching the apple, he emerged on the other side and kept running.


    "Hey! Over here!" said a voice.


    Riolu noticed a strange orange lizard Pokemon gesturing to him from an alleyway. Riolu ran toward him, ducking behind him. The lizard grabbed him and pulled him inside a barrel as the Staraptor flew past. Seconds passed before Riolu punched and kicked at the lizard, trying to get out of the barrel.


    "Woah woah woah buddy," said the lizard. "I'm not gonna eat you, or your apple. Looks like you came straight from the woods."


    "...I did," said Riolu.


    "It doesn't work that way around here. No predator-prey stuff. Pokemon help each other, and humans take care of food and shelter."

    "They... do?"


    "Yeah! Listen, you did a good job nabbing that apple. I know some folks who'll like you."


    "Oh?"


    "Come on."


    The two climbed out of the barrel and headed off.


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


    Eventually, Riolu and the lizard reached an abandoned building. It was crumbled, worn, with eaves falling inward, and a door hanging ajar. The lizard slipped in, Riolu following.


    Inside were an assemblage of different Pokemon; a froglike Pokemon counting Berries, a green and white biped cutting vegetables with his scythes, a monkey with a flaming head reading a book, and a smaller monkey with a flaming tail watching.


    "Hey!" said the lizard. "I found someone interesting!"


    The others turned to look at Riolu. The large monkey in particular scrutinized him with his green eyes.


    "Aww, it's a little puppy!" said the frog.


    "Meh. Do we have to clean after it?" said the biped.


    "H-hi," said the smaller monkey."


    "Hmm. And you are?" said the big monkey.


    "I'm... I'm Riolu. What are you all?"


    "I'm Grog! I'm a Toxicroak!" said the frog.


    "I'm Vallant, the Gallade," said the biped.


    "I'm Shifty the Scrafty!" said the lizard.


    "I'm... I'm Nicolas the Chimchar, nice to meet you," said the small monkey.


    "And I am Koba the Infernape, the leader of this little band. We call ourselves... The Wonderful Fighting Thieves."


    "The humans provide and we take anything we want!" said Shifty.


    "And we work together to do it!" said Grog.


    "It's a good gig, I suppose," said Vallant.


    "Dad makes sure everyone's taken care of..." said Nicolas.


    "This Riolu was doing some nice work nabbing an apple from old man Victor and his Staraptor Maurice," said Shifty. "He could do some nice work for us!"


    "Hmm... He probably has a lot to learn, but I'll allow it," said Koba. "Riolu, you'll get food, shelter, company for your services... If you're willing to stick with us of course."


    Riolu stared at the others, feeling their Auras carefully. He took a moment to look down and think to himself, clutching the apple, before looking back up.


    "...Sure."


    ***
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  6. Venia Silente

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

    I've had pending commenting on this story since like, forever, give or take a couple years; apologies for that. But I did get to the catching up part which is good because this is one of the most interesting premises for a canon character centric stories I've seen in a while. Take one of the best Pokémon movies and hold on to one of the best characters it has and then start asking more questions. Backstory! I'm a sucker for that to my own detriment.

    And I'll be commenting more on that as I give out a deeper reading since the first time I was in HURRY UP CATCH UP modo aka "easy modo". I have some things I really want to give commentary on if no one has beaten me on that, like for example I like what you have done with the Aura Guardians as a context thing and how they socially seem to function like the Phantom Menace Jedi Order except they are much less known it seems...? And then this reflects with Aaron's early character. In particular the scene with the dummy seems to be either foreshadowing or meta commentary on how sometimes you are not fit to be eg.: a cop, but it's the only thing that's there where your abilities can flourish anyway.

    Anyway, I'm expecting to catch up more on the Adventures of Aura Doge and their Future Human Companion. Good job on getting to write this, I know I've said this elsewhere but it deserves more repetition.

    Yay! Two cakes!
     
    Umbramatic likes this.
  7. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Thank you! Glad you're such a big fan of the premise.


    Anyway I was able to motor it and produce Chapter 8! This one is BACKSTORY HO, plus some new peeps:


    Chapter 8: Stories


    It had been a few weeks since Polly was attacked.


    The other Aura Guardians had organized squads to find the perpetrator. There was no luck. Polly herself was fine. Fine. She'd dealt with worse.


    She was idly sipping some tea, Metagross and Dunsparce by her side, when Carol and Lovegood approached.


    ~Are you OK dear?~ said Carol.


    "Don't call me dear. And I'm fine."


    "~Well you've been kind of... sulking.~


    "It's because our potential culprit to those murders was literally right in my face and we still haven't gotten any further than that!"


    ~Polly, calm down,~ said Metagross.


    Dunsparce hissed worriedly.


    "I'm fine," said Polly.


    ~No you're not,~ said Carol. ~Come on, hang out with the rest of us. It's staff luncheon day!~


    Lovegood nodded. ~Socialization may help with aggravated mental states, depending on the person.~


    "Hrm. Fine." said Polly.


    She got up, and she and her Pokemon followed Carol and Lovegood out.


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


    There was a party going on at least. With refreshments - double good.


    Even so Polly wasn't feeling particularly up to socializing with anyone other than the food. Regardless Carol approached her.


    ~How's it going?~


    "Okay."


    ~That doesn't sound convincing.~

    "It wasn't meant to be."


    Carol gave a telepathic sigh and sat down next to Polly.


    ~Look, I know you're frustrated about the lack of leads. But don't beat yourself up. We've been through worse. Way worse. Remember how I lost my voice?~


    "...Yes. You were born to a noble house. A rival lord's Pangoro beat you. You survived, but lost your voice and much of your hearing and your family disowned you for it. You've had a hatred for the rich since."


    ~Well I hate them for a lot of reasons! That was just the catalyst. Point is, I've been through ****, you've been through ****... together some murder mystery is no big deal.~

    "Alright, thanks." Polly sighed. "I... I miss Eliot. And Sir Donovan."


    ~We all do.~


    "This is kind of getting depressing for party conversation."


    ~Agreed. Let's go find someone else.~


    The two got up and started looking around the party - as well as sampling food - before they found Vince.


    ~Vince! Hey!~ said Carol.


    "How are you doing?" said Polly.


    "...What do you two want?" said Vince.


    "Someone better to talk to than each other."


    ~It's better in threes, you know.~ Carol winked.


    Vince winced. "No thanks."


    "What, are you too good for us?" said Polly.


    "N-No. I mean yes. I mean gah."


    Carol telepathically snickered. Vince sighed.


    "Honestly I wish I was too good for you guys. But I know I'm not."


    Polly raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"


    "I've been put down all my life," said Vince.


    ~Is this about the "terrible wizard" thing?~


    "No. Or at least. Your little nickname isn't the worst of it."


    "I think I know what you're getting at." said Polly. "Didn't your parents try to keep you away from the outside world because you were an Obscuric?"


    "Not even because that," said Vince. "Because I wasn't even a very good Obscuric. Even after I finally ran away and found the monastery it took years for me to get to where I am today. And in the meantime... everyone picked on me. Except you two. And... I still don't feel like I'm good enough."


    ~Ah, yes, I remember now...~ said Carol.


    "I feel sorry for that Aaron kid," said Vince. "He was in the same boat I was."


    "I've been keeping an eye on him," said Polly. "So has Metagross."


    "That's good."


    "Guys! Guys! Hey!" said another voice.


    "Not her," whispered Vince under his breath.


    A redheaded woman with a red, white and pink uniform approached the three. "Whatcha guys talking about?"


    ~Our lives, Hannah,~ said Carol. ~It involves lots of suffering. Join us.~


    "Ooh, uh, well, I stubbed my toe earlier if you're talking about suffering!"


    Vince rolled his eyes.

    "You guys should probably cheer yourselves up!" said Hannah. "Have you seen any cute Pokemon around?"


    "My Dunsparce is probably hiding from you again," said Polly.


    "Aww, too bad! She's wonderful. I love Dunsparce - so buzzy and sweet!"


    Polly chuckled. "Take it easy on her."


    "I will!"


    "What are you all yammering about?" This time Nightjar approached the growing gaggle of gossiping Guardians.


    "Cute Pokemon!" said Hannah.


    "Our lives," said Vince.


    "Hmph," said Nightjar. "Sounds trivial."


    "Well, it's better than sucking up to Ryan constantly," said Vince.


    "Ooh, burn!" said Hannah.


    "Y-you take that back!" said Nightjar, eyes widening and taking an aggressive posture. "Ryan- he- you plebeians don't understand!"


    "Plebeians?" said Polly. "You're the one who-"


    "Enough."


    Everyone stood at attention when Ryan showed up.


    "Er, Ryan, lovely to see you," said Nightjar. "I wasn't arguing on your behalf again I swea-"


    "I said enough, all of you."


    Everyone grew quiet. Ryan turned to Polly. "Polly. I need to talk to you about a few things."


    Polly raised an eyebrow. "Like what?"


    "I've gotten a bit of help for our case."


    Polly was now paying full attention. "Go on."


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


    Two Aura Guardians walked into a bar.


    Polly looked around as she and Ryan took their seats. "Are you sure he's here?"


    "He said that's where he'd meet us. Hard to overhear in this place."


    Polly looked around. There were various humans and Pokemon in the bar, in varying states of drunkenness. A man was passed out in his chair. A Gardevoir was drunkenly floating around hiccuping. A Spinda was actually walking straight for once.


    Then Polly saw a slim man and his white Florges approach. Polly noticed the man was wearing a white cloak and robes, and had green hair, purple eyes, and a pretty, cheerful-looking face.


    "Hello! You two must be the Aura Guardians I'm looking for."


    Polly immediately scanned the man's surface thoughts. She couldn't get much further than that but what she did pick up was friendly, warm, inviting.


    "...Yes. Yes we are."


    "Nice to meet you, Beo," said Ryan.


    "My pleasure!" said Beo.


    "Polly, Beo is the head of the Blue Wave Society. Another organization that protects those on the Auric Spectrum." He gestured to his Florges. "This is Madam Sprout."


    Polly stared a bit and nodded before telepathically addressing Ryan.


    ~...Why do we need more than one?~


    ~The Aura Guardians have a wide reach, but are scattered and divided into separate factions. The Blue Wave Society is more concentrated, precise.~


    ~Okay, but why do we need their help for a murder and a dissapearance?~


    ~Beo will explain.~


    "So, Beo," said Polly. "What do you know?"


    "The murders and disappearances you encountered were far from the only ones," said Beo, frowning. Madam Sprout hung her head.


    Polly's eyes widened. "There have been... more?"


    "Yes. Aurics found dead or, more often, missing in very specific ways matching your description all over this region. And mentions of suspicious activity beforehand for each. This has included Aura users under the Blue Wave Society's care."


    "This... This is concerning," said Polly.


    "Which is why we're joining forces with the Blue Wave Society. They have valuable resources to help," said Ryan.


    "Very well then, Beo. What can you provide us?"


    "People! More eyes and ears to figure out who's doing this... Ooh, ooh, and we can share supplies too!"


    Madam Sprout chittered in response.


    "I ought to help," Beo said. "After all..."


    He held up one of his hands. A tiny pinprick of Fighting Aura light shone before disappearing.


    "I'm an Auric myself!"


    Polly thought. She didn't entirely like getting outside help but if this guy was one of them and could help then...


    "Alright!" said Polly. "Welcome aboard."


    "Yay! Drinks on me then!" He turned to the bartender. "One scotch on the rocks!"


    Polly and Ryan stared. Beo gave them a quizzical look.

    "What?"


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


    Two Aura Guardians walked into a completely different bar.


    "Why are we doing a different bar?" said Polly.

    "Easier to cover our tracks," said Ryan.


    The two sat again. This bar was much the same as the last, albeit with different people and Pokemon.


    The person that approached them, however, was new. A young man, around Polly's age it seemed like with dark blue and black clothes, icy blue hair and eyes, and glasses, and a Corviknight approached.


    "And you are...?" said Polly.


    The man stared at her and Ryan for a moment before nodding, as did his Corviknight. "Terrence Morendo, at your service. I'm here on a mission. This is one of my Pokemon partners, Zawisza" His Corviknight gave an affirmative "cor" and a squawk.


    "And that mission is..."


    "One of my friends and his Pokemon partner are missing. I've tracked whoever did it here, to the Genesis Mountain range, and now found you Aura Guardians. And I could use your help. In return I will lend you my services."


    Polly raised an eyebrow. She scanned Terrence's surface thoughts and found she was being suppressed, even harder than with Beo. She didn't like that.


    "...What kind of services?"


    "I don't have powers like you do. But my Pokemon and I are good fighters. And good at tracking down the kinds of people who'd do such a thing."


    Zawisza cawed and nodded.


    "Terrence contacted me about our current crisis," said Ryan. "Thought he could help. Thought he ought to help. We'd provide him with lodging at least."


    Polly gave Terrence a look. Beo she could tolerate, but this guy just waltzing right in with his mental reinforcements and making himself at home?


    ~Are you sure about this guy Ryan? I can't read him. That's bad.~


    ~As far as I can tell he means no harm and is just as invested in this case as we are. Give him a chance.~


    ~...Fine.~


    "We will gladly accept your help, Terrence.

    Terrence nodded and bowed. "Thank you, Aura Guardians. I suppose we celebrate with a drink."


    He turned to the bartender. "Give me a mixed berry drink for me and my Corviknight please!"


    Polly and Ryan stared again.


    "What?" said Terrence.


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


    It had been a month or two. Riolu had gotten used to life with his new companions. Even if said life was a bit... hectic.


    He and Shifty had just commandeered a pile of bananas (which were apparently different from Nanab Berries) and going to town on them.


    "Man, this is great!" said Shifty.


    He slumped back.


    "Reminds me of the old days..."


    "Old days?" said Riolu.


    "Uh, yeah! You don't think I just crawled out of the egg and ended up where I am now, did you?"


    "...Really?"


    "...Okay I kind of did. But then it got complicated I swear."


    Riolu raised an eyebrow. "How?"


    "Now, see I was born a street Rattata, like I am now, in a faraway land! But then, a band of pirates found me! We went on all sorts of pirate adventures! We even saw Kyogre!"


    "Wait, really?" said Riolu.


    "Yeah!" said Shifty.


    "...What are pirates?"


    "Thieves like us but on a boat!"


    "...A boat?"


    "It's... I'll explain later. Just know it was awesome."


    "Then how did you end up here?"


    Shifty frowned. "One of the pirate adventures went wrong. A bunch of nasty humans started cracking down on piracy. Our whole "steal from the rich" policy came back to bite us. I woke up in a cell in a bar with no memory of how I got there. My crew was gone. I eventually escaped and wound up with the others by chance."

    "Oh. I'm... I'm sorry I guess..."


    "Nah, not your fault. It was those asshole humans." Shifty pat Riolu on the head. "Heh... You kinda remind me of me back then. Nowhere to go until you found the right peoplemons."


    "...Heh. Were... were the others pirates too?"


    "Huh? Heck no. You know what, you should ask them. I'll save you some bananas."


    "...Sure."


    Riolu trotted off, leaving Shifty to idly munch on bananas.


    -----------


    Riolu found Grog scrubbing himself with a towel.


    "Wha- Oh, hey Riolu! Was just giving myself the old wishy-washy!"


    "I thought you said Wishiwashi was a Pokemon."


    "It's both, silly!"


    Riolu sighed. "Anyway. Shifty said to ask you what you did before the Fighting Thieves?"


    "Oh, uh." Grog shifted worriedly, clacking his claws together. "I... I killed people."


    Riolu stared. "You mean, like, killed other Pokemon for food?"


    "No, I... Killed humans. I was an assassin. It was awful."


    Riolu's eyes widened. "You what? My dad said- my dad said the Vow forbade Pokemon killing humans!"


    "Apparently these humans didn't care! I had to do it or they'd kill me!"


    "That's... that's awful!"


    "The good news," said Grog, perking up. "Was that I wasn't very good at it. I was too polite. I would always yell "Sneak Attack!" before I struck my foe."


    "What happened after that?"


    "Eventually they got fed up with my poor performance and I got fed up with them and I escaped here! I've been much happier without them!"


    "Hm. I see."


    "...What's wrong?"


    "...Nothing. Do you know where Vallant is?"


    "Oh yeah! Over that way."


    "Thanks."


    Riolu headed off. Grog looked at him in confusion before scrubbing himself again.


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


    Rilou found Vallant cutting firewood with his arm scythes.


    "Vallant?"


    "What do you want, kid?"


    "What happened to you before you joined the Fighting Thieves?"


    Vallant sighed. "Okay, why do you want to know?"


    "I was curious."


    "...Fine. I was a knight."


    "...A knight?"


    "See there's this human that's arbitrarily in charge of all the other humans in a given area right? Sort of an... alpha female or alpha male, I haven't heard of humans having any alpha enbies except in like... Unova, long ago, and that was a Pokemon anyway. They call them a king or a queen. Knights work for the king or queen."


    "Oh. So you worked for the alpha human?"


    "Yeah! And it was glamorous. I got all the food and attention and, hehe, attractive boy mons I could ever hope for."


    "...But then something happened."


    "Yeah. This asshole human knight got jealous of me. Framed me for a crime I didn't commit. I was exiled. Now I'm stuck here, committing actual crimes to survive."


    "Oh... I'm sorry."


    "Meh. I never needed them."


    "...I'm going to find Nicolas now."


    Riolu trudged off. Vallant shook his head.

    "Weird kid."


    -----------


    Riolu found Nicolas studying a tree stump.


    "...What are you doing?" said Riolu.


    "Science!" said Nicolas.


    "...What?"


    "It's how you learn how the world works!"


    Riolu raised an eyebrow. "...How do tree stumps tell you how the world works?"


    "Well, I'm trying to look at the rings on trees! See how they age!"


    "...That's how you tell?"


    "Yeah! Human scientists figured that out!"


    "They did? Neat..."


    "Yeah! I've been learning to be like them!"


    He frowned.


    "Humans probably won't let a Chimchar do science with them though..."


    "They won't?"


    "Yeah! What I hear is they only let other humans do it! At least in the Rotan and Kantonian courts..."


    "Really? That's no good..." Riolu looked around. "Where's your dad?"


    "Oh, he went that way," said Nicolas, pointing.


    Riolu headed off in that direction as Nicolas continued investigating the tree stump.


    ---------


    At last, Riolu found Koba sitting, meditating. Riolu moved to tap Koba on the shoulder when Koba spoke.


    "I know you're there."


    Riolu stopped. Then sat next to him.


    "Koba?"


    "Yes?"

    "Your whole deal is being a leader to the Fighting Thieves... Why?"


    Koba was silent for a moment.


    "They're all like me. Did you speak to the others before coming to me?"


    "Yes. Why?"


    "Did you notice a common thread in their stories?"


    ''...Humans?"


    "Yes. humans always let them down, disappointed them. I too, was like them when I was young."


    "How?"


    Another pause.


    "There was a human I loved very much, who I aimed to please, both out of the ancient laws of the Vow and out of sheer desire for friendship. But he did not love me back. He beat me, berate me, told me I wasn't strong enough. Eventually, heartbroken, I fled."


    "O-oh..."


    "You see, Riolu... Humans can very well make Pokemon stronger, smarter, greater. But the human always wants something out of the bargain. If you are to make a pact with one you must know the risks."


    "I... I see."


    "And even if it succeeds... the relationship is always one of master and servant. Nothing more, nothing less."


    Riolu paused. Then shambled off, leaving Koba to his meditation.


    Now Riolu too was lost in thought.


    ***


    Some art:


    Hannah by Daydre

    Beo by Lidjia


    Beo by Zakuru


    Terrence by Enduro


    Terrrence by yubakeme
     
  8. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    I have returned! With chapters 4-6 this time~

    Chapter 4:

    Given that we get to see what kind of damage all the other kids are doing, It's be neat to mention exactly what kind of damage he did.
    Ahh, makes sense that telepathy would be really useful for folks who can't speak, for whatever reason.
    Ooh, I like this, more worldbuilding about the tree is always welcome.
    I approve of this. :p
    Oho I see where this is going.
    Oh hey, I was worried that the killer being fire-type would cause them to be even more terrible to him, so this is a nice surprise.
    Okay this is a playful bit of narration, I'd like to see more instance of this. ;)

    Chapter 5:

    Well then~ This is an unexpected treat. (Also nice touch bringing in Kalos legendaries since the kingdom is from Kalos.)
    One of. Hoo boy. Multiple killers and one of them is an aura user?
    Is Metagross the Mom Friend.
    Oh! I wasn't expecting that we'd get to see the Poipole from the MMM extra in the main body of the fic.

    Chapter 6:

    You talk to the dummy. It doesn't seem much for conversation. :V
    Wholesome bug is wholesome.
    ...I. Really shouldn't be surprised.
    You get the brick.
    Ahaha, it's funny, I was just thinking to myself "okay the past like four scenes have all ended in Aaron getting shot down and just saying "okay" and leaving, so this is perfect timing.
    Oh boy, he's terrible at this. xD
    ahahah he basically came right out and said he's not human and Aaron didn't notice. xD
    I know you've struggled with description and scene setting so I just wanted to call this out for being a really good passage. Chilling and atmospheric without being too gratuitous.

    So, I know that Chapter 5 was the one that had to get edited, and overall I think it works well. Riolu struggling with feeling like he doesn't fit in the pack without his father, and his mother encouraging him to find his own path--it's believable given that we've seen Riolu being a more active character in his parts, in contrast to Aaron (though I can tell Aaron's trying to change that!).

    Hopefully shouldn't take as long before I get to the next few chapters!

    ~Chibi~
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
    Umbramatic likes this.
  9. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Chibi I will get you either later or later and elsewhere! Anyway...


    AT LAST. I have been wanting to get to this chapter for a LONG time for REASONS and now it's finally here, so please, enjoy:


    Chapter 9: Separation Anxiety


    A few months had passed. Aaron was slowly starting to get more adjusted to life at the Time Flower Abbey.


    There was just one problem.


    "What do you mean you still don't have a Pokemon partner?" said Louis incredulously at the lunch table.


    "I... I..." said Aaron.


    "At this point, everyone but you has one..." said Atta.


    "D-don't rub it in!"


    "Hard not to when it's true," said Eve.


    "You should make a sacrifice to Necrozma so they can send you one!" said Callie. "Light for the light god! Crystals for the crystal throne!"


    "...No thanks," said Aaron.


    "I guess you could, you know," said Eve, "try harder to find one?"


    "Er, yes, I will do exactly that!" said Aaron, rushing off.


    "...He didn't finish his lunch," said Louis.


    "More for me then," said Atta, shoveling it all into her mouth.


    --------


    Aaron was just outside Time Flower Abbey, looking around. He knew any Pokemon he found inside probably was the partner of someone already, so out here was his best bet of finding one for him.


    Then, he spotted one. A Wynaut, foraging for Berries - Aaron still didn't understand the difference between them and regular fruit even in class - and blissfully unaware of his presence. This small creature would do.


    "Hey there?"


    The Wynaut froze, then turned toward him.


    "Do you want to be my friend?" said Aaron.


    "Wynaut!"


    "Really?! Oh this is great, I finally have a Pokemon par-"


    "Wynaut." The Wynaut followed this up with a wobbling noise.


    "...Wait, right, that's part of your name. Do you still want to be my partner?"


    The Wynaut made another wobbling noise as it waved their headfeelers in Aaron's direction.


    "Do you still want to be my partner?" said Aaron. Wait. He'd already said that. "Do you still want to be my partner?" Oh no, not again. And he was frozen in place too. Aaron realized he had been hit with the Wynaut's Encore.


    The Wynaut snickered and headed off. Aaron was stuck in place parroting himself for a few minutes before it wore off and he collapsed with a moan.


    -------


    Aaron had since moved into the forest, where he was looking around wildly at any noise. Then, in the dappled sunlight of the treetops, he saw it: A Weepinbel, curled around a tree branch and swaying in the breeze.


    "H-hey!" Aaron shouted up at it. "Do you want to be my partner?"


    The Weepinbel glared at Aaron and pointed their leaf toward some rustling in a nearby tree.


    "Uh..." said Aaron. "Is that food?"


    The Weepinbel nodded.


    "Uh, I guess... No, Metagross says all Pokemon are intelligent like people," said Aaron. "I can't help you."


    The Weepinbell just rolled their eyes and kept staring.


    Aaron looked at the Weepinbell. Then at the rustling. Maybe if he helped the Pokemon the Weepinbel was trying to eat then they'd help him?


    He concentrated, sending an Aura blast at the other tree, knocking him back. There was a crack, then splinters everywhere, before a swarm of angry Beedrill emerged and headed straight for Aaron. His eyes widened.


    "Oh no."


    He exited, pursued by Beedril.


    ------


    A few stings later, Aaron stumbled back toward Time Flower Abbey, rubbing himself. It was then he noticed a sleeping Munchlax.


    "Maybe them..."


    He approached the Munchlax and poked it. "Hey! You want to be my friend?"


    The Munchlax kept snoring.


    "Hello?"


    The Munchlax rolled over. Aaron scowled and pushed the Munchlax, attempting to move them. The Munchlax raised a finger and waggled it, resulting in a wave of sludge that promptly washed Aaron away.


    -------


    Now sore, stung, and with sludge stains in his clothes, Aaron stumbled to a patch of grass a bit away from Time Flower Abbey. It was then he saw a Mareep. Aaron thought to himself for a bit. If asking directly didn't work maybe he could catch it...


    He snuck closer to the Mareep. They kept grazing. He leapt to tackle them, and immediately got shocked, stumbling back. Aaron was now staring down a very angry Mareep.


    "Uh, hey, hehe, I just wanted to be friends..."


    He bolted, the Mareep chasing after back to the monastery.


    ----------


    Several other children were hanging out, chatting and playing, in the courtyard, when a screaming Aaron burst in pursued by an angry Mareep. Aaron tripped and fell, and the Mareep zapped him one last time and stormed off in a huff.


    Aaron slowly got up, sore, covered in stings, sludge, and electrical burns, and noticed the other kids were staring at him.


    "Uh... Hi?"


    The other kids started laughing, and pointing.


    "Wait, no, please, stop," said Aaron, cowering and hiding his face. "I just wanted to- "


    They kept laughing. Aaron ducked and cowered.


    "Hey! Leave him alone! Shoo, shoo!"


    Things got quiet. Aaron looked up and saw the other kids were gone and Hanna was standing over him. "You OK?" she asked.


    "...No."


    "Aw, come here," said Hannah, pulling Aaron into a hug. Aaron yelped and squirmed.


    "Ow, that hurts!" Aaron said.


    "Oops, sorry," said Hannah, putting him down.


    "What's going on?" said a voice. "I heard a commotion..."


    A strange blue-haired man in glasses approached. Aaron recognized him as the man who had been hanging around Time Flower Abbey for quite some time but had never gotten the name of.


    "Oh, Terrence!" said Hannah, solving Aaron's problem in that department, "Poor Aaron here was being teased by the other kids for... What was it again?"


    "I tried to befriend a bunch of Pokemon but they all attacked me."


    Terrence leaned down to inspect Aaron, looking him up, down, left, and sideways, before standing back up and nodding.


    "Yep, he got ****ed up pretty bad."


    Hannah gasped and covered her mouth. "Watch your language around the children!"


    "I think what's important here is he gets medical attention," said Terrence.


    Hannah nodded and picked Aaron up, causing Aaron to yelp in pain.


    "...We need to get it to him carefully," said Terrence.


    Hannah put Aaron down, and the two led him off to the infirmary.


    ----


    Aaron's injuries had been patched up. His wounds bandaged. But his feelings still hurt.


    He wandered around outside Time Flower Abbey, not wanting to be in contact with anything or anyone. He thought to himself.


    He had come to Time Flower Abby as an escape. But it had changed nothing. He was still unwanted. Still singled out.


    He let out a scream of frustration, sending a blast of Aura at the ground. It kicked up a lot of dirt and dust, and made a loud bang as bird and bug Pokemon scattered. Aaron panted from the exertion in the aftermath, hunched over.


    Eventually, he stood up. And that's when he saw something approach.


    --------


    The Fighting Thieves were all gathered together in their, Koba standing on a platform a bit taller than all of them.


    "Friends, partners," he said, "I have a lead... on the ultimate heist."


    There were gasps and murmurs among the group, except Riolu, who kind of just raised an eyebrow, and Vallant, who scoffed.

    "Ultimate heist? This oughta be good," said Shifty.


    "Ooh! Ooh! What are we stealing?" said Grog.


    "Is it a fun thing?" said Nicolas.


    "Please don't let it be something stupid," said Vallant.

    "Easy, easy," said Koba. "As for what it is... I have located a monastery to the north of here, up the mountain, known as Time Flower Abbey. There is a stash of strange crystals there that the Aura Guardians there use to transport their Pokemon servants. Those crystals are worth quite a lot of human money."


    "So we break into the monastery, grab the crystals, then sell them to some other humans for a wagonload of cash?" said Vallant. "I like the sound of that!"


    "We'll never go hungry again!" said Grog.


    "What about security?" said Shifty


    "It's... Tighter than usual. But I know a workaround. Follow me."


    "Let's do this!" said Nicolas.


    The group headed out of the hut. Riolu remained silent the whole time. Yes, this would be good for him and his friends, but... he had a bad feeling about this.


    ----------


    Eventually, after traversing a forested mountain outside the village, the group came to Time Flower Abbey. It was huge, built into the mountain, forested and grassy plateaus extending from the parts that weren't, its spires stretching up into the sky, its structures laid out like a miniature city, decorated with stone sculptures of time flowers. The group looked on in awe.


    "Damn." said Shifty. "How the hell are we gonna break in there?"


    "I'll show you," said Koba.


    He led the group around the side of the monastery across one of the forested plateaus until they found a series of bushes nestled around one of the walls. Koba parted the bushes to reveal a tunnel.

    "A secret entrance," said Vallant. "Of course."


    "Hey if it works it works!" said Nicolas. "I knew Dad would figure something out."


    "Well..." said Riolu. "I guess we're going in."


    "Of course, Captain Obvious!" said Shifty.


    They entered.


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


    It was dark in the tunnels, but not completely dark due to the fire on Koba's head and Nicolas' tail. The two of them lead the others through the winding cave. Riolu kept eyes and Aura feelers out for hostile Pokemon.


    Finally, they emerged in an empty room, filled with boxes of food, including a bag of apples that had been recently ripped into, a sticky glue-like substance left behind.


    "Look at all this food!" said Grog.


    "If we stole this too we could eat like kings!" said Vallant.


    "We need to keep our priorities straight," said Koba." The coast is clear... For now. We need to hurry."


    The group grabbed some sacks from the room and hurried through dark stone back hallways, hiding at any peep of human and Pokemon activity. Eventually, they got to a large, vault-like door.


    "This is it," said Koba with visible excitement. "This is the place!"


    "Shiny." said Grog.


    "Sounds great," said Shifty. "But how do we even get in?"


    "Simple, we break it open," said Vallant.


    "And make noise? That tells peoplemons we're here?" said Nicolas.


    "Wait," said Riolu. "I have an idea."


    He moved his Aura senses over the structure of the door until he found the gears and mechanisms inside. Carefully, he placed a paw on them and then Force Palmed what he saw as a weak point.


    The door creaked, murmured. Koba pushed it. It opened.


    "All right! Nice lockpicking Riolu," said Shifty.


    The Fighting Thieves headed inside, and within were exactly what they came for - a veritable pile of the strange crystals, and other gems. Atop the pile, however, was something Riolu noticed was different from the others - a strange, pulsating crystal orb that Riolu could sort of feel was alive.


    "Take as many as you can carry, but be careful - they can suck unwary Pokemon inside of them," said Koba.


    The others started gathering up gems carefully, placing them gently in the sacks. Koba grabbed the orb, treating it extra-carefully. The sacks started bulging with loot.


    Then they all heard a voice mentally sigh in their heads.


    ~I don't know how the hell you got in here, but you need to put those back please or there will be consequences.~


    Everyone turned to see a Musharna floating in the doorway.


    "Oh no, the living bong is here to stop us, I'm so scared," said Vallant.


    The Musharna sighed again. ~Your funeral.~


    He telekinetically flung one of the staff gems at Vallant. He yelped as he was sucked inside and the gem was pulled to the Musharna's side as it shook wildly.


    "Oh shi-" said Shifty before the same to him. Grog screamed loudly as he was also ensnared. The Musharna threw another at Koba, but he threw up a Protect, shielding himself, Riolu, and Polly.


    "Nicolas! Riolu! Go!"


    Nicolas paused. Riolu promptly grabbed him and bolted out of there. The two ran and ran down seemingly endless stone hallways until-


    "Hey, watch it!"


    Riolu tripped over the Aura Guardian's shoe, sending him and Nicolas sprawling. In confusion and panic the two ran in separate directions until they lost track of each other completely.


    -----------

    Shifty, Vallant, Grog, and Koba were all restrained in a dungeon cell as Nightjar and her Musharna companion looked them over.


    "Raiding a vault full of gems? Thankfully for you our penalty for petty thievery isn't death or tourture or anything, but you're still staying her a long while." Nightjar turned to the Musharna. "Thank you for apprehending them, Lazy Bones."


    ~Not a problem, miss Nightjar,~ said Lazy Bones.


    "Anyway," said Nightjar, "I will be reporting this to Ryan. Don't get too comfy."


    She and Lazy Bones headed off.


    "What are we going to do?!" said Grog, rattling his Aura-reinforced chains.


    "Simple!" said Vallant. "We escape and blow this joint!"


    "Not just that..." said Koba. "Nicolas and Riolu are still out there..."


    "Yeah! We can't leave without either of them!" said Shifty. "Not on my watch!"


    ------


    Eventually, Riolu made it outside, through the courtyard, out the front gate until he was a fair distance away from Time Flower Abbey. He gasped and panted before turning back to the massive building, panicking.


    He had only had a short time with the Fighting Thieves, and they had already been torn away from him. Flashbacks to his parents, his father, filled his mine. Everything happy in his short life felt ephemeral, meaningless... He...


    No. He would not accept this. He would free them. But how?


    Then he heard a noise. A flash of bright light he recognised as Auric out of the corner of his eye.


    He turned. A human boy had kicked up a cloud of dust with that display. That human had done it? Riolu's Aura feelers flared - indeed, that human had a rare spark of Aura that he rarely saw away from here.


    Then he had an idea. Humans were the masters and Pokemon were the servants. But humans were willing to work with Pokemon. Could this human... help him find his friends? If he made a pact? It was risky but...


    Riolu approached the human. The human slowly looked up from his lurching position and his expression turned from one of anger to one of wonder and curiosity. Riolu gulped. He should probably keep this formal...


    ~...I ask of you. Will you be my master?~


    ***
     
    Chibi Pika likes this.
  10. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    Looks like he can take the apple. Looks like he can take it just fine. :y

    I think there comes a time in nearly every person's life where one means gah.

    Couldn't resist, could ya?

    (I couldn't have, either. :B)

    Just make sure never to get them mixed up. Never wash your nethers with a fish!

    :D A wynaut!

    Wynaut you little ****...

    BEES, BOY

    BEES!

    That munchlax gave basically no fricks and still managed to own him. This is decidedly not Aaron's day.

    That he'll eventually accept is a foregone conclusion, of course. But will he accept right away, even after all he's been through today--or maybe because of all he's been through? Those are the questions.
     
  11. auspicious-clouds

    auspicious-clouds wandering, lost in dreams

    ~Chapter 1 review~

    Hello! Interesting start, I really like the premise of this!

    some notes, made as i read:

    - this sentence is a little bit hard to read and understand, maybe change the phrasing a bit?

    - maybe "what kind of love" would work better?

    - yay, platonic relationships!

    - "mine's" seems a little awkward

    - poor kid

    - psychic distance? is this really close to the boy's mind, or is it farther away, like an omniscient narrator? (mentioned this to you already, so you can ignore this)
    - is this any specific move? or is the boy just kinda screaming and channeling power through that?

    - good details, let's us visualize her very well, very specific
    - I would add a "," after "green eyes" though, but that's mostly just a style and opinion change. strange also implies that it's unfamiliar and different, so having both of them in there seems a little odd. it works, but maybe there could be a different way to phrase this? "a strange style of clothing that was unfamiliar to the boy".

    - you don't have to say the second "up to"; cold just leave it at "behind him to rest at"

    - just only having "jumped" here is a little strange, maybe "jumped back in surprise" or "jumped in surprise"?

    - where did she get the "'magic powers'" phrase from? it sounds like she's quoting the boy, but he never says that

    - missing a few commas in there. I don't think you really need to have the woman list out every thing she's wearing because you already described it to us in detail earlier.

    - this sentence doesn't really make sense for the woman to be telling a kid - maybe mention that she was talking to herself?

    - comma before the "but"

    - I don't think it's necessary to add the "different"—the reader should be able to pick up on the fact that it's a different person than the earlier woman with your description of "blue hair and blue eyes"

    - maybe this is just a pet-peeve of mine, but "OK" seems too...slang-y and informal, and improper for this time period too. maybe "okay" spelled out would work better

    - i like that you're being specific, but "ulna" just...doesn't quite seem to fit. plus, the fact that i had to look it up might hinder a few readers. (although my knowledge of human biology is spotty at best and probably worse than the average reader)
    - maybe you should change that?

    - maybe switch the "quickly" to before the "dissipated".

    - change "all three of his mother..." to just "all three of them" or just "his mother, Polly, and Polly's Dunsparce"
    - or "all three of them - his mother, Polly..." although that might be a little redundant

    - should be "gritting"

    -...yeah, maybe practice this outside next time, kid
    - "flinching" and "yelping" might work better than "flinched and yelped"

    - this confused me the first time i read it—i thought Polly was saying that the boy had the most potential with fighting-type aura. or is she saying that he is the most potentially-powerful kid she's seen in fighting-type aura?
    - maybe make this clearer

    -maybe make this one paragraph; if it's the same character speaking, but with an action between the two sections of dialogue, especially since they're not very long, you can combine them into one paragraph
    there are a few other instances where you do this in the chapter, too

    - "geez" is a very modern slang word that doesn't quite seem to fit with the setting

    - nice that you withheld the boy's identity until the end of the scene; most of the audience who watched the eighth movie will probably recognize him and have a moment because of that

    - not sure why these two sentences were conjoined together; they don't have much to do with each other.
    - try removing the "were" from the second part

    - make the "A" in front of "Blaziken" lowercase
    - nice PMD reference!

    - something about this doesn't seem right; he entered and immediately sneered at Ginji?
    - the dialogue beforehand seems to indicate that he didn't know Ginij was there, but this sentence implied that he entered while sneering at Ginji - the two don't quite match up

    - try "elitist" instead of "nepotist", or "purist"

    - "raised haunches" doesn't seem quite right - hackles, maybe?

    - "zilch", again, doesn't quite seem to fit the setting

    - "undeveloped" implies the the riolu is only half-developed, not yet fully developed into an embryo at all, maybe switch it out
    - was it yipping after the egg fell open?

    - is there a different system of naming for wild pokemon?
    - so far of the wild pokemon, only Ginji has a name and that's because he had a trainer

    All in all though, this was a great start!

    I really liked the characters - Aaron with his timid unsureness and status as a bullied outcast, and Polly's rough affection and mentor/older-sibling-ish interactions with him. Ginji was also a nice character, although maybe flesh out the female Lucario and Aaron's mother a bit more.

    This does go by a little fast, so maybe slow it down a bit? Like, take a bit more time to flesh out Aaron's situation, and th edecision his mother has to make. (Because that is no easy decision at all, and so you should show her hesitating a bit more, even when Aaron says he wants to go.)

    The Riolu scene was also a bit short - maybe embellish a bit more on the pack and such? The reader still doesn't quite get a hold of the situation because of how brief the interaction between Ginji and the other Lucario was.

    Add more sensations. The feel of the dirt when Aaron was lying on the ground, the smell of his house (maybe his mother was cooking), the sound the teapot made when it shattered. What the house felt like when the faux-Focus blast tore through it, the rumble that went through it as it groaned and shook from the force. And etc.

    One thing that threw me a off bit is how modern all the characters sounded for having lived a thousand years ago. A lot of the vocabulary and sentence structure is very modern, things you would hear today. Expressions like "evildoer," "geez," "buddy," for example.

    It would be good to try to make the story to feel a bit more like it's taking place a thousand years ago, so be careful of the way characters talk and the expressions they use.

    The way Polly interacts with Aaron is also very casual. Like a mentor figure, but also a lot like an older sibling, rather than someone who's a lot higher-ranked. It might be because Aaron's another aura-user, and there's an understanding of how he feels, and she's trying to hlpe him out, but it's just a thing to note. It might also just be her personality, and I like her character the way it is.

    My apologies if this was rather nitpicky - my reviews can be like that, though I'm trying to tone it down.

    The character interactions were nice, and this chapter got things started nicely. I'll enjoy seeing how Aaron develops from a shy, nervous, outcast to the hero we see in the movie. :)

    I'll try to get Chapter 2 soon!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019

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