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Jade [Pokémon Fanfiction]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by WriterRaichu, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. WriterRaichu

    WriterRaichu Member

    Chapter Zero - I Promise

    "Jade, listen to me. You need to get out of here, right now." His eyes flashed with an urgent desperation. "You need to get out of here, right now. I promise that I'll come find you. I promise."


    I promise.
     
  2. WriterRaichu

    WriterRaichu Member

    Chapter One - Testing, Testing

    "I love you!"

    "I love you too, Mom!"

    I emerged into the crisp morning air of Pallet Town. The refreshing chill of the morning breeze invigorated me, flooding my body with a newfound energy. Pidgey chirped whimsically above my head in the slender branches of a tall, elderly tree. Below, a lone Caterpie scuttled busily in and out of the dewy, sun-kissed grass. I exhaled. The quaint town's storybook atmosphere could be mesmerizing at times, but in that moment only one thought inhabited my mind.

    Today was it.

    I treaded at a sedated pace, my shoes sinking in the soft soil of the winding dirt pathway leading to Pallet's laboratory. Both the laboratory and the professor responsible for maintaining it were held in a high regard across the region.

    I'd only met with him once, but if first impressions held any accuracy, Professor Marcus Grace was a kind man, but not without a respectable discipline. Professor Grace would be testing me, and provided that I demonstrated the knowledge necessary to pass, he'd be the one entrusting me with my first Pokémon.

    Thorns of anxiety began to creep upwards through my stomach and into my throat.

    Striding with deep, steady breaths, I carefully smoothed my red skirt. The fabric of the cloth was soft against my fingers, and it hung downwards to just above my knees. Normally, I'd only be sighted in a skirt once in a blue moon. I'd be comfier in a pair of track pants; they possess a lighter material and they're less restrictive, allowing me to move with ease. Mom insisted that I dressed nicely for my exam. Alongside the skirt, I wore a simplistic white long-sleeved shirt with two buttons at the collar. I brought my fingers towards the buttons and unfastened the top one. Despite there being merely one undone button, I felt the tight knot of stress in my stomach loosen with the shirt. My own small slice of casual. Long brown locks of my hair flowed gently over the white surface.

    Systematically trimmed bushes lined the entryway to the lab. The lab was modestly built yet impressively methodical. With smooth, light brown bricks and a glass sliding door, it possessed a bureaucratic aura. After I took a moment to compose myself, I strode forward with a practiced confidence.

    The doors slid open at my approach. A large quantity of elegant windows provided the building with an abundance of natural lighting. Computers lined the walls, frequented by researchers and students alike. Scattered among the walls were posters of the Pokémon Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle.

    Directly before me, centre with the back wall, sat a young woman at a desk. She appeared to be in her late twenties or early thirties. Small hoop earrings dangled from her ears and her hair was fashioned in a professional bun.

    The woman's almond eyes rose from her work as I approached her. "Hello," she greeted brightly. "Welcome to Professor Marcus Grace's Pokémon lab!" She gestured around the facility. "May I help you?"

    No, actually, I thought I'd come over here just to stare at you.

    I politely mimicked her smile, my enthusiasm an attempted reflection of her own. "My name's Jade! I'm here to take the Trainer's Exam," I explained.

    "Ah, Jade!" she exclaimed, evidently aware of who I was. She outstretched her hand in greeting, and I returned the gesture. During our handshake, I was made painfully aware of how ghostly her fine, chocolate skin made mine appear in contrast. "All the way from Sinnoh? Wow. And Marcus has told me you're a very intelligent young lady! I'm his assistant, Lana. Right this way!"

    Lana guided me along a sleek hallway with a floor shiny enough to be a mirror, the fluorescence of the overhead lights reflecting off of the surface.

    "So you moved here to Kanto recently?" Lana asked, peering over her shoulder as her heels clicked in front of me.

    "Yup!"

    "I hear that Sinnoh can be quite the cold place," she told me, voicing the common Sinnoh stereotyping.

    "Actually, only northern Sinnoh. I came from a city called Sunnyshore, and it gets real hot sometimes," I informed her.

    Lana nodded in understanding. "Oh, I see. Well, Kanto's a very nice place. I do hope you enjoy it here!"

    She sounded genuine.

    I like her, I decided.

    We approached a light gray door with a silver handle. "Here!" Lana declared as she opened it. "Professor Grace, sir, Jade from Sinnoh is here for the Trainer's exam."

    Marcus Grace had aging salt-and-pepper hair with a chiseled face. His professional white lab coat fluttered behind him as he stepped towards us. His small, grey eyes warmed when they met mine, a soft twinkle igniting in his gaze.

    Beside him stood a boy who I'd have guessed to be my age. The light brown, almost honey color of the boy's messy hair matched the color of his eyes.

    "Miss Woods, welcome! Have you and Jocelyn settled in nicely?" Professor Grace questioned. His voice was deep, a steady tone with no falter.

    "Yeah, thanks! Mom and I finally finished unpacking the last box yesterday," I recounted.

    "Excellent! Now, the reason you're here," Marcus began as he stood straighter. His eyes grew more focused. "I'm sure you're already aware, but for the sake of being professional, I'll explain anyways. There will be two parts to your exam. First is a written test. This is to ensure that you know the basics of how to care for Pokémon, rules and Pokémon battling. The second part will be a mock Pokémon battle between you and my son, Orange. Orange, this is Jade." He nodded towards the honey-haired boy him.

    The boy, Orange, stepped forward. "Jade? Isn't that like, a rock or something?"

    Nice to meet you too.

    "It's a gemstone, Orange," Lana corrected him. I took the way she emphasized his name as a discreet method of telling the boy named after a damn colour to keep himself in check.

    He disregarded her correction. "And you're from Sinnoh? Isn't it freezing?"

    "Only northern Sinnoh. Some of Sinnoh is pretty hot. We don't all live in igloos." I followed my statement with a polite smile as to not appear overly passive-aggressive.

    Grace cleared his throat. "So, Jade! Are you ready to take the first part of your exam?" His question ended our irrelevant discussion.

    "I am." I nodded with a false confidence.

    Professor Grace supplied me with paper and a pencil. He then instructed me to sit at a desk. "You have an hour and fifteen minutes. In order to pass the written part of the exam, you will need to achieve a minimum of eighty percent. Good luck!" He, Orange, and Lana curtly departed the room.

    My eyes drifted down to my paper and the array of questions flooded my mind.

    •••


    4.) If your Pokémon undergoes paralysis, apply an Antidote.


    False. An Antidote is for poisoning. Apply a Paralyze Heal.


    15.) Which two singular Pokémon types have the least weaknesses?


    The Normal and Electric types. Normal is only weak to fighting and electric to ground.


    18.) What Pokémon has the most evolution possibilities?


    Eevee. It can evolve into one of eight different Pokémon.


    23.) What are all the weaknesses of the GRASS type?


    Bug, Flying, Fire, Ice and Poison.


    30.) All professors tell you that it is not okay to ride your bike indoors. There is a time and place for everything.


    ... True?


    49.) Pokémon are a livelihood and should be used for battle tools to gain currency.


    False. While money can be made from Pokémon battles, Pokémon should never be treated as anything less than our companions and our partners.


    •••​

    I set my pencil down with gentle relief and suppressed a grin. Even with fifty questions, I was positive that I knew almost every answer.

    I pushed the assumption out of my mind to avoid false hopes.

    Two minutes passed, and Professor Grace entered with Lana close behind. Lana was clasping a brown briefcase.

    "Finished?" inquired Grace. I nodded and presented him with my test paper.

    This earned a smile of approval from Lana.

    "Excellent!" Professor Grace praised. "Now if you'll come this way, there's a Pokémon battlefield prepared outside for your mock battle with my son," he beckoned me.

    The sun was shining brighter outside now that the afternoon was approaching. Temporarily blinded, I raised a hand to shield my eyes from the intrusive rays.

    We traipsed towards a dirt battlefield. Much like the lab, it was lined with neatly trimmed bushes. In the center stood Orange. He appeared to be agonizingly bored, as if his very presence was paining his soul. "Took you long enough!" he called towards us. Neither Lana nor Professor Grace paid an ounce of acknowledgement to his complaint.

    As we reached the dirt field's center, Lana placed the briefcase gently on the ground. Swiftly undoing the latches, the assistant opened it and revealed the two Pokéballs encased within.

    Professor Grace cleared his throat. "Now, in these Pokéballs are two low-level Pokémon that are similar in their skill capabilities. Jade, you will use one; Orange will use the other. This battle will be the second half of your exam. Your results from the first half combined with the results of this battle will determine if you're ready for this responsibility and privilege."

    Grace reached down and plucked the two Pokéballs from their cases before throwing them up into the air. The area was momentarily engulfed in a brilliant bright light. As the glow dwindled, two small, young Pokémon stood in front of me.
     
  3. WriterRaichu

    WriterRaichu Member

    Chapter Two - Mock Battle

    "Shinx!"

    "Starly!"

    The two Pokémon trilled cheerfully, their curious gazes darting about their surroundings as they stretched their tiny limbs.

    "Jade, you should recognize these Pokémon. They're from Sinnoh! I recently took a trip there and brought these two home with me to study. It's quite interesting, it appears as though each region has a sort of 'basic' or 'base' tiny bird Pokémon, much like we have Pidgey. Shinx, on the other hand, is a bit more unique." As Professor Grace continued explaining, I nodded along to the lecture I didn't sign up for.

    Orange swiped a Pokédex from the pocket of his army green cargo shorts. I couldn't help but notice that his shorts made his rear look fantastic. I could probably bounce a coin off of it.

    Now's not the time, Jade.

    The honey-haired boy aimed the Pokédex in Starly's direction. After a few seconds of delay, the screen lit up. "Starly, the starling Pokémon," the mechanical voice stated. The black and white bird's petit head bobbed up in curiosity upon the mention of its name. "Starly is the pre-evolution of Staravia and Staraptor. It usually is sighted in large, bickering flocks. Starly spend their time flying around fields and mountains, intent on finding bugs to consume. This Starly is male."

    The Pokédex failed to mention how irritating their morning songs could be if you were trying to sleep at 5:00 AM.

    Professor Grace's son diverted his attention towards the Shinx. Shinx resembled a lion cub with black fur at the back and light blue fur at the front. The small electric type was scampering in circles, chasing its star-tipped black tail with a humorous determination. The puffy tuft of fur on Shinx's head bobbed up and down with every hop.

    "Shinx, the flash Pokémon," Orange's Pokédex chimed in. "Shinx is the pre-evolution of Luxio and Luxray. The extension and contraction of its muscles produce its electricity. If it is in danger, Shinx's fur will gleam; this temporarily blinds its enemy. This Shinx is male." The flash Pokémon started rolling around on the ground, mewing happily to itself. A giggle escaped my lips.

    Orange yawned. "Dad, can we just get this stupid battle over with? I'd rather be doing trainer things."

    Relax, bro.

    Professor Grace studied him with a glint of disapproval in his eyes. "You're a novice trainer as well. You yourself could learn something from this battle. If I were you, I'd put the attitude away."

    This resulted in a quiet scoff from his son.

    The professor turned towards me, his eyes softening. "Jade, you will battle alongside Shinx. If you demonstrate the ability to handle a Pokémon, you will be able to choose from Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle and begin your journey as a Pokémon trainer. You do not need to necessarily win, but you do need to show some level of capability."

    "O-okay," my voice wavered slightly. Then I coughed and repeated myself with more assurance.

    "Lana, while I observe the battle, I'd like you to evaluate Jade's paper," Grace instructed with an authoritative tone. With a nod and a curt 'yes sir,' the assistant disappeared promptly into the lab.

    Professor Grace recalled both Shinx and Starly to their respective Pokéballs. He then proceeded to hand Starly's to Orange and Shinx's to me. "Pokémon are smart. If you gesture for them to exit their Pokéballs, they will do so. Just a simple command will work," the professor explained. He directed me and Orange to stand at opposite ends of the dirt battlefield. "Whenever you're ready, Jade!"

    I gazed down at the red and white sphere gripped tightly in my hand. How did Pokéballs work, anyway? It was amazing - how they could confine Pokémon with sizes that vastly multiplied their own.

    Focus, Jade.

    I extended my arm forward, the Pokéball facing towards Orange. Even from a distance, I could see the sheer boredom plastered on his face.

    "Go, Shinx!"

    The same brilliance of white light emerged from the ball. Moments later, the electric lion cub had materialized. Instantly, he began to bounce around again, sporting a rare quantity of energy and enthusiasm. However, he froze when he realized he had been sent into battle. His attitude immediately morphed and his eyes glinted with a concentrated stare towards the opposing Starly. It was actually kind of intimidating.

    "You can make the first move, girly!" Orange called.

    Who do you think you are?

    "Uhhhh..." I responded intelligently. "Shinx, are you ready?" Shinx bobbed his head in confirmation. "Okay, use Tackle!"

    Shinx jolted forward with impressive speed. Despite being a low level, powerful muscles rippled in the small Pokémon's legs as he neared Starly. Just as it seemed like the move would be a direct hit, Orange began his commands.

    "Starly, into the air!" The Starly swiftly lifted off, its tiny wings fluttering furiously. By a split second, Shinx's tackle missed. "Now, Quick Attack!" Shinx was left vulnerable after his attack failed to land, giving him no time to dodge the impending ball of ruffled feathers. Starly slammed into Shinx's flank, causing him to be knocked an impressive eight meters towards me. I should have considered the possibility of a bird flying.

    "You call that an attack? Maybe you shouldn't be in such a rush to become a trainer after all!" Orange sneered. Arrogant asshat.

    "Okay, Shinx, you can do this!" I called out, ignoring the boy's taunts. Even at a low level, Shinx should process some electric type attacks.

    Shinx shook the dust from the impact out of his pelt, then gazed at me. I could tell that he was trusting me to call out a good move.

    Orange interrupted my thoughts. "Starly, attack from above!" The starling Pokémon darted through the sky.

    "Shinx, use Thundershock - straight up in the air!"

    Shinx's body became completely enveloped in bright energy, followed by a bolt of electricity crackling into the air. Starly had no chance of avoiding. The bolt of electricity hit the bird head-on, sending the starling Pokémon spiraling out of control. Downwards it fell, and with a loud 'thump,' it collided with the ground.

    "Get up Starly, and use Wing Attack!" frustration audibly cut into Orange's commands.

    "Don't let it move! Tackle!" Once more, Shinx charged towards the bird. The difference was that this time, he made contact. The starling Pokémon was sent crashing over the battlefield. After skidding violently through the dirt, it twitched once, twice, then was still. Starly was down for the count, and I wasn't sure what pleased me more: the fact that I won, or the look of sheer astonishment on Orange's face.

    I cheered. "Great job Shinx!" Shinx bounded towards me and leaped into my arms. His chest was puffed out in pride and his throat was vibrating with long purrs. His pride was reflected in to me. I felt like a proud best friend, or a mother.

    Shinx isn't yours, Jade. Shinx isn't a starter.

    In the laboratory, I anxiously awaited my results. Alone, I sat in a vibrantly painted room. Paintings depicting green vines, blue splashes of water and fiery red embers spiralled over the wall's surface. I examined the posters, Pokémon statistic charts and other professor-like objects that lined the room, then fell into boredom. Both Starly and Shinx had been returned to Professor Grace.

    Grace had applauded my victory, assuring me that I did well. Orange, however, was not so gracious. He muttered something about 'beginner's luck' before indignantly stalking away to Arceus knows where.

    After what felt like centuries but was likely minutes, the door rattled and opened, revealing Lana. She was beaming, which caused my heart to leap.

    "Marcus is waiting in the lobby - with the Pokémon and your Pokédex." she almost squealed, confirming my hopes.

    Without thinking, I leapt out of my chair and hugged her. I didn't care if she was technically a stranger. The excitement flowed through me, high on the adrenalized euphoria. She appeared momentarily taken aback, but that quickly faded as she returned my embrace. "You did great. Ninety-six percent! You had nothing to worry about, you're a complete natural!"

    ***

    "Excellent job on passing the Trainer's Exam, Jade," Professor Grace congratulated me. We were in the lab's lobby, which looked very similar to the way it did in the morning, aside from the noon's lighting difference.

    The professor handed me a Pokédex. "This is the same model Pokdex you saw Orange use earlier," he explained. "It will also function as your Trainer ID. This will allow you to do things such as challenge the Pokémon League, provided you collect all eight gym badges."

    The Pokédex was thin, with the surface area of my hand. I ran my fingers along the red surface before gently tapping the large blue power button. The screen sprung to life with a display of Pokémon species, moves, areas and other information. My fingers trembled slightly at the realization of just how much knowledge this tiny, mechanical device possessed. "More importantly," continued Professor Grace, "you now get to choose your partner Pokémon."

    Lana stepped forward with a briefcase similar to the one before, except this one contained three Pokéballs. Each ball was labeled with three stickers. One red for fire, the second green for grass and the final one was blue for water. Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle, respectively.

    The three starters of Pallet's Laboratory were world renown. Through families of professors such as the Thorns, the Oaks and now the Graces, the traditional starters remained concrete.

    Charmander, the lizard Pokémon. Fire burned at the tip of its tail, and its final evolution was Charizard. Charizard was a powerful dragon-like Pokémon. Having one would be a huge asset to anyone's team. Bulbasaur, the seed Pokémon. Bulbasaur could heal itself solely on the powers of sunlight. That'd give it an advantage in many battles. And finally, Squirtle, the tiny turtle Pokémon. The water type had spectacular defense thanks to its impenetrable shell and could travel against large bodies of water effortlessly. All three of these Pokémon were powerful.

    "Have you made your decision, Jade? Which Pokémon do you want?" asked Lana, visibly curious.

    "Yeah," I nodded. "I want Shinx."
     
  4. WriterRaichu

    WriterRaichu Member

    Chapter Three - Light

    "You... you want Shinx?" Lana questioned me, puzzled.

    "Yes," I spoke firmly. Something about the way Shinx and I battled together, it just felt right. It was a feeling I never wanted to lose.

    The assistant hesitated, then shook her head sympathetically. "Jade, I'm really sorry, but Shinx isn't an option. That Pokémon was just to test you, to make sure you'd be a responsible trainer. But Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle would all make excellent companions," she told me gently.

    I wasn't about to give up that easily.

    I turned to Professor Grace, who had been eyeing me with a calm curiosity. "Professor, I know that this is a lot to ask," I began pleadingly. "And I know that you brought Shinx from Sinnoh for your research. But I just felt a-"

    "While battling with Shinx, you felt a connection," said the professor, who was evidently psychic. "You wish your partner to be Shinx because in the small time you battled, you could already feel a powerful bond forming. Furthermore, you feel as though something like that will be hard to find again."

    "Yeah." I nodded, half impressed, unnerved. How could he read me so effortlessly?

    "Then Shinx is yours."

    "Please, professor, I reall- wait, what?"

    Professor Grace chuckled. "Shinx is yours," he repeated. He wasn't smiling, but his brown eyes glinted with amusement.

    "But what about your research?"

    "I think that can wait."

    I took a moment to let it sink in. He was actually going to give me Shinx. I felt my face slowly light up and a large grin began to form. "Thank you," I gushed graciously. And I repeated it many times over.

    Lana presented me with Shinx's Pokéball. I noticed a strange flicker of emotion flash on her face, but when I blinked, she was beaming again.

    Must've imagined it.

    I gently pressed the large button at the center of the Pokéball. It immediately snapped open, materializing Shinx. His long star-tipped tail swayed back and forth as he took in his surroundings. His ears perked up at the sight of me. Before I knew it, I had been tackled to the ground with a joyful Shinx licking my face, resulting in lots of laughter from my viewers. Normally I'd say 'ew, gross,' but for the moment, I was too damn happy to care.

    "So, Shinx," I began, after separating the lion cub's rump from my stomach. "I'm going to be your new trainer! Is that okay with you?" I inquired, knowing that most Pokémon possessed uncanny abilities to comprehend human speech, despite not speaking it themselves.

    Shinx tilted his head, confused, as if to say 'you mean you weren't already my trainer?' Either that, or he was trying to get something out of his ear. Regardless, I beamed at him.

    "Now that Shinx is yours, would you like to give it a nickname?" Professor Grace asked the classic 'professor-giving-a-new-trainer-their-first-Pokémon' question.

    I gazed thoughtfully at Shinx, my eyes travelling over his fluffy body, and he returned the stare back. His mouth was closed, but his pink tongue poked out slightly. His blue-furred face was innocent, curious and unassuming.

    "His name's Light," I stated.

    "Ah, in honor of his electric typing?" the professor asked in assumption.

    "Yeah," I said. "Something like that."

    No, nothing like that.

    ***​

    A brilliant shade of orange and streaked with rare pink stripes, the peaceful afternoon sky overhead was as beautiful as I'd ever witnessed. The fluffy white clouds slowly drifted by with the slightest breeze. Light trotted contently alongside me, occasionally running off of the dirt path to chase nearby Rattata. The small, purple mouse Pokémon would squeak at the sight of him, darting frantically back into the tall swaying grass that lined Pallet Town's modest gardens. Every time one of them escaped, which was every time, the young Shinx's head would droop in a defeated disappointment - only to spring back up in excitement at the slightest sign of movement.

    A good ten minutes passed and Light grew tired of this game. Or rather, he grew tired. The electric cub was all too happy to leap into my arms. He situated himself comfortably, which meant stuffing his paw in my face multiple times while squirming about. Light fell asleep in record time. He remained as such for the duration of the trek home.

    Split-seconds after I had emerged into the doorway, Light and I were greeted with a squeal of delight. My mother was smothering me in seconds, shouting things similar to 'you passed the test!' and 'I knew you could do it!'

    Two minutes and a very ruffled Shinx later, Mom had calmed down. She quickly fashioned her shoulder-length brown hair into a neat ponytail, which had been frazzled in her excitement.

    "So, this is the little guy who's gonna be taking care of you?" she asked while petting Light. He proudly emitted a cry of agreement.

    "Yep!" I proceeded to explain why I had a Shinx, instead of one of the standard starter Pokémon.

    "I'll admit, I was rather shocked to see an electric Pokémon with you," my mother cracked off a pun.

    "Stop trying to be funny, Mom. It doesn't work."

    She feigned a look of hurt in response. "Well, I think my jokes are funny."

    "You can't make jokes."

    "I made you," she pointed out. Then she snapped her fingers.

    Thank you, mother.

    "Okay, okay, that one was decent," I admitted, throwing my hands up in surrender.

    "Damn right it was," she muttered under her breath. After a moment of victorious silence, her eyes lit up again as if she had recalled something. "We still haven't introduced Light to Inferno!" Without waiting for a response, Mom quickly withdrew a red and white Pokéball from her bag. "Come on out, Inferno!"

    Inferno materialized from the ball, blinking drowsily a couple times before looking around. Her long, pink ears perked up at the sight of the strange new Pokémon. "Sylveee?" she trilled questioningly.

    I took out my Pokédex. I already knew about the Sylveon species, but I intended to show off my Pokédex to my mother. I aimed the device at Inferno and pressed the large blue button. The Pokédex began rapidly spouting facts about Sylveon in its mechanical voice. Inferno, meanwhile, was beginning to sniff around at Light. Light stared at Inferno in uncertainty.

    I held my breath. How would he react to a new Pokémon? I exhaled in relief when Light decided to lick the Sylveon's nose and began bouncing in circles around her. Inferno flicked her ribbon-like feelers in amusement.

    I always found Inferno's name funny. She was Mom's partner Pokémon a long time ago, back in Sinnoh. When Mom obtained her as an Eevee, she gave her the name, planning to use a Fire Stone. However, their bond had become so great during their journey that instead of evolving into a Flareon, she evolved into the fairy type, Sylveon.

    After letting Light and Inferno get acquainted, the four of us watched a movie. We watched Beauty and the Beast, the classic tale of a man who was turned into a beastly Pokémon. When the movie was over, I said my goodnights.

    "Don't stay up in your room all night, Jade," my mother commanded. "You can't start your journey without a full night's rest."

    After promising that I would indeed get some rest, I lightly trotted up the wooden stairs to my room. Light galloped up behind me with a loud 'thump! thump! thump!' after every step.

    It wasn't until I entered the warm blankets of my bed that I noticed how much the day's events had exhausted me - I was completely drained. It was a struggle just to keep my eyes open.

    Light had made himself comfortably present at the end of my bed, his body heat was keeping my feet warm. I watched the peacefully sleeping electric cub. Light, who was a part of my fresh start here in Kanto. His name was Light not because he was an electric type, but because I was hoping he could help me to forget the darkness in my past. The darkness that me and Mom had escaped.

    But I hadn't actually escaped. Not really.

    I finally allowed my eyelids to flutter shut, despite knowing all too well of the impending horrors soon to come.

    The nightmares came every night.

    I had to relive it every night.
     
  5. WriterRaichu

    WriterRaichu Member

    Chapter Four - R is for Rocket

    "Jade, listen to me. You need to get out of here, right now." His eyes flashed with an urgent desperation. "You need to get out of here, right now. I promise that I'll come find you. I promise."


    My voice wailed in response. "Please don't stay! He'll get you! Please!"

    He knelt down to my level, as he always did. His forest green eyes met my own. He placed a firm hand on either side of my tear-streaked face. His touch was comforting, soothing.

    "You don't have to be scared, Jade, I'll always protect y-"

    Bang.

    My eyes flew open. The sun shone through my blinds, the rays invading my eyes with great inconsideration.

    Carefully maneuvering myself, I slipped out of bed slowly as to not disturb the bundle of black and blue fur peacefully slumbering near my feet. I sauntered into the white-tiled bathroom and blinked groggily into the mirror. I looked like Trubbish. My skin shone with sweat, my hair was a matted mess and my forest green eyes were puffy. I had been crying. Ew.

    I hopped into the shower to wash up. I basked in the hot water, closing my eyes and exhaling gratefully as it streamed through my hair and down my back. I lathered shampoo and soap generously. This would be the last time for a while that I wouldn't have to pay for hygiene. If I think of it that way...

    After showering and brushing my teeth, I tiptoed back to my bedroom with multiple bottles of soap, shampoo and toothpaste tubes and slipped them into my bag. Grand theft. Sorry not sorry, Mom.

    I grabbed clothes out of my drawer, ones of my choice this time. After throwing some in my bag, I slipped on a pair of ripped jeans of an aesthetic pastel blue and a long-sleeved black shirt. The shirt had a front chest pocket embroidered with a Masterball design. Better than that silly skirt.

    Light had begun to stir. He stretched out in a lengthy yawn before his eyes fluttered. They lit up when they landed on me and he tried to walk over in greeting. Unfortunately for him, gravity. He attempted a step, evidentially forgetting he was up on bed, and plummeted to the wooden floor with a yelp and a crash.

    "Are you okay?" I snorted, trying unsuccessfully prevent myself from laughing at the little electric cub. He indignantly ruffled his fur and then struck a pose, pretending as though nothing embarrassing had happened.

    "Jade, honey, you awake?" Mom's familiar footsteps bounced up the stairwell. "Would you like something to eat?"

    "Yes and yes!"

    Silence.

    "Please," I added.

    "Theeeere we gooo," my mother entered my room. She pulled me into a brief embrace, her arms spreading a comfortable warmth along my shoulders. "So, Jade. After you leave for your little adventure, I think I'll re-paint your room... maybe a hot, sizzling pink?" Her lips curled slyly.

    I smiled sweetly. "No way in hell. Over my dead body."

    She cackled and rubbed her hands together with a malicious grin before disappearing back downstairs to make breakfast.

    I continued packing. Clothes? Check. Spare Pokéballs? Check. Non-perishable foods? Check. Mental stability?

    Uh.

    Potions? Check. Soap stolen from Mom? Check.

    Light decided to help. He climbed inside the bag and started rolling around, mewing. My quest to pull him back out resulted in a wrestling match and a punctured tube of toothpaste.

    One fiasco later, we ventured downstairs for breakfast. I marveled at my mother's pancake-making abilities. The pancakes were shaped into perfect circles and shaded with a perfect golden brown. A sweet syrup ran over their surfaces.

    They were gone in seconds.

    "Ugh. My baby girl, all grown up," Mom began as we stood at the doorway, our figures gently traced by the touch of the soft morning light. "Why did you get so old so fast? First you're a baby, and then the next thing I know, this beautiful, seventeen-year-old woman is standing in front of me!"

    "Time is a thing," I shrugged matter-of-factly.

    Mom gave an exasperated sigh. "And why are you such a smart ass?"

    "You are my mother."

    She threw her head back laughed, the sound of her hearty humour filling the room with a glow. "Well, can't argue with that one." Pulling me into another hug, her voice grew quieter. "I love you so much Jade, and I'm so proud of you. I want you to always remember that."

    "I know. I love you too, Mom. Thank you, for everything." And with a smile, Light and I were out the door.

    Down Pallet Town's gently winding dirt path once again, except this time we ventured in the opposite direction.

    I'm actually a Pokémon Trainer.

    We broke into a jog, running until we reached the edge of town. Directly ahead of me was Route 1. As Light and I progressed forward, our surroundings morphed to be less urban and more natural. Trees were dotted around the flat area and a gentle breeze caused branches to slowly sway back and forth. The occasional Pidgey and Spearow fluttered overhead, their wings producing the smallest bits of noise. Whenever one of them flew close enough, Light would attempt to knock it out of the sky with a Thundershock. This, of course, angered them. Thanks to an energetic Shinx who didn't think before he acted, we were chased by the furiously squawking birds for twenty minutes straight. I had a couple beak-inflicted bruises forming on my shoulders. Light gazed at me with wide, adorable, innocent eyes.

    Dammit, Light.

    An hour of feather-free walking later, I decided to take a break. I perched up against an old, shady oak tree while the electric lion cub bounced aimlessly in patches of grass, wrecking havoc among the wild Pokémon residing there.

    Three minutes. I got to rest for three damn minutes before my peace was interrupted by a bellowing screech.

    "Get away from me!"

    The shouting came from a more tree-dense area. With Light leading the way, I stumbled through brambles, trusting Shinx's instincts to lead the way. The underbrush tore the sleeve of my shirt, so now I was pissed.

    I found the source of the screaming after I scrambled through layers of bushes. Or rather, I crashed into the source and sent us both hurtling to the ground. He didn't really seem to mind, though, he was more focused on the two men in front of us. They both appeared to be in their mid-thirties, and each of them were furiously clutching Pokéballs in battle formation. They were both wearing uniforms, each with a logo that had been treated almost as a taboo in the years it was prominent.

    The majority of their uniform consisted of all black. The exception was the huge red "R" on their chests.
     
  6. Cutlerine

    Cutlerine Gone. Not coming back.

    I'm not quite sure how this one slipped under my radar – maybe the front page displays fewer threads than it did before? I swear things appear and disappear just like that – but I'm glad I stumbled across it! There are a lot of neat ideas in here – firstly and most obviously, your take on the formal process of beginning a trainer journey. I always like seeing people's interpretations of what is in the games a fairly loose and apparently unsupervised activity, and this is a good one; of course you need to ascertain that potential trainers have some baseline competence, the knowledge and capacity to take care of a pokémon, all of that stuff. That's just basic safeguarding, for both trainer and pokémon, and it's great to see that recognised here with not just one but two separate tests. Nicely done.

    But just as we've begun to get the measure of the process, we're confronted with a twist in Jade's choice of partner. Aside from being a pretty competently executed bit of writing, I also think it's indicative of something that keeps coming up in this story: the way life interrupts the expected order of things. Grace doesn't get to keep his research subject; Jade gets an unconventional starter; Inferno ended up being a sylveon. You've got both a sense of this world as a place with its own customs and systems, and a sense of it as a place where, just as in real life, things just keep getting in the way of those systems. It's very lively. As are the characters, for that matter. There are a lot of nice touches here and there; I like Jade's forced patience as she counters stereotypes about Sinnoh, for instance.

    I think the one bit of critique I'd offer is that sometimes you tend towards overwriting – partly because your phrasing is a little odd on occasion (“With smooth, light brown bricks and a glass sliding door, it possessed a bureaucratic order” doesn't sound like the kind of thing Jade would actually say) and partly because when you're describing something, you shove a lot of description into a very short space, which can weigh a sentence down and make it harder to get through than it needs to be. One solution would be to better pace your description, introducing those details that are relevant as and when it becomes necessary to do so – and also to perhaps cut down on some of the longer ones. Like, that long paragraph about what Jade is wearing to her test could be shortened, I think. I understand the impulse to try and communicate as full a picture to your reader of what you see in your mind as possible, but the human brain is excellent at filling in gaps and bad at remembering lots of details, and suggesting an impression of a person is often a more effective way of getting your reader to visualise your characters than just describing them at length.

    That said, I think you're definitely onto something good here. I've covered most of what I like, but it seems like the plot's just starting to pick up, too; we've got some tantalising hints of past trauma, and Jade hasn't even managed to get one day into her journey before encountering Team Rocket, which in addition to probably being some kind of record is also a sure sign of imminent conflict. Definitely looking forward to more!
     

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