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*No Man Is An Island (Action; Some Violence)*

M

mindripper

Guest
After uncounted hours of writing and planning, and then writing some more, it is a relief and a pleasure to finally unveil my new fic, and I did have a lot of fun writing it, especially the main character.

There are some pretty graphic scenes, and if you cannot take blood of any sort, then to my greatest regret it is perhaps advisable that you do not carry on with this fic.

Many fictions have prologues, and this one is no different. I posted it as a one-shot, to introduce the main character, and is linked here: A Dish Best Served Cold.

I will link all the chapters as well as I add more chapters. I will also start to edit in the people who have reviewed my stuff, and whose stuff I will review as well.

I need to review for:
Cyndaquil_Dratini
~Crono~
Saffire Persian
Zerodius
Act

Chapter Summary:

Chapter One: A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed
Chapter Two: The Calm Before A Storm

Without further ado, the show must go on. Enjoy.
 
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M

mindripper

Guest
A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

Here is chapter one, with notes at the bottom about certain areas which are intentionally not made clear. Also, some areas are deliberately left to later chapters. It would be a crime to show my hand in the first chapter, which is basically just pure action all the way. The first two or three chapters will be introductionary in nature.

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Chapter One: A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

All hope abandon, Ye who enter here –- The Gates of Hell

--

Captain Actaeon Caedo was having a field day, an occurrence that he always enjoyed immensely-- increasingly moral protocol was the order of the day, as far as his company was involved, and this meant considerably less opportunities for Caedo to showcase his considerable talents. He was decked out in hunting attire from head to toe, armed with electric batons and other decidedly eclectic forms of weaponry, finished off with a face mask and goggles to protect from the tumultuous winds that buffered the arid, sandy areas that the main event of the day was to take place in. He shot a menacing glance over his shoulder, to one of the random scrubs he had under his command.

“You there! Get your behind down the column and find out why we are proceeding so slowly. I want those filthy scum up here before I can say ‘I-am-going-to-skin-you-alive’, or I am going to be saying just that to your dead body.”

A tremulous yelp of acquiescence answered his eloquent demand, as the underling scampered off faster than a squirrel with its tail on fire, headed towards the caged caravans which carried the human bounty which Captain Caedo wanted to be in contact with so quickly.

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The Shorondorean sun coruscated down from its celestial precipices, bathing the land in its phosphorescent splendour. The sky was an expanse of the deepest cyan blue, blemished yet embellished by the occasional desultory modicum of cloud cover, itself woven in an ordered haphazard manner such as to suggest the work of some aesthetically predilected being. The warmth rekindled life within the cold-blooded portion of Nature’s dichotomy, while the radiance captured all illuminated by its presence in a wondrous amalgam of dazzling auroral refinement, balanced by a delicately shaded network of shadows.

Two nimble hands made use of that same radiance, spinning what seemed to be two delicately weighted axes, transferring them from finger to finger at a speed which made them seem entirely circular to the untrained eye. Just as the show of dexterity had begun, it stopped abruptly, with said objects being shoved unceremoniously into two belt pockets, taking their place alongside a single Pokeball. Tense, wiry muscles teased a waistcoat over a battered white shirt, and brushed slick strands of moist, jet black hair away from fiery eyes, before relaxing, as they stretched outwards, open palms facing skywards, almost reminiscent of a trance-inducing pose.

An eye for an eye.

He took a deep breath, allowing it to settle deeply into every nook and cranny of his metaphysical being.

A debt of blood, a gaeas, a destiny.

His leg muscles tensed, and with the smallest environmental disturbance humanly possible, he was gone, with nothing but the lingering scent of musky malevolence hanging thickly in the air to mark his passing.

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Captain Caeda drew himself up to his full height, which would be more than six feet tall, and reflexively flexed his muscles, as if to stretch and iron any kinks out of his body. He gave a fake yawn, an all-too-obvious show of disinterest in current proceedings, even as those who had served under him before took a step back in precaution, as his keen eyes had betrayed his true intentions just as clearly as a cuneal form of pictorial representation across his forehead would. There was a clear touch of inexorable anathema in those slit eyes, tempered by a distinct inculcation of glee. Those who did not know Captain Caeda from his precious exploits retreated backwards, while those who did retreated further still.

“So, let us get the formalities out of the way first. The name is Captain Actaeon Caeda, pleased to meet you. You must be?” Every word was spoken with perfect courtesy, although the perfunctory veil of civility hid a poisonous inflexion of syllables.

“Please, Captain. I have a family to feed. I never meant to… … I didn’t… …”

“I believe I asked for the name, my ignorant prisoner, not a moralizing speech on why your actions are validated.”

“Captain, my apologies. My name is… …”

“Oh, sorry to interrupt, but I don’t really care what your name is. Full confession, or you will be screaming my name into the wee hours of tomorrow.” Caeda gave the slightest hint of a smile, with the right end of his lips curled into a bloodcurdling caricature of the Mona Lisa, all the while moving his face towards the cage, intending and succeeding in intimidating his prisoner.

“The choice is yours.”

“I… I confess.”

“Excellent. I knew you would see things my way. Gentlemen, kindly bring the written confession here for this fine specimen to sign.” Caeda motioned towards the underlings within closest proximity to himself, and they scampered off, to return moments later with a form and a pen.

“If you will, do sign right here. Right here. Easy on the pressure. Nice and clear.” Caeda talked the convict through the entire process, without pausing for breath, much like a salesman would talk a client through the various stages of a purchase.

“Gentlemen, we now have a self-professed criminal, and I am sure that all of you have been briefed on the protocol we follow when dealing with convicted felons. Let us set an example for the other convicts to take note of.” The brandishing of a thumbscrew by one of the soldiers was sufficient cause for the understanding of the situation.

“You said that you would spare me if I confessed! You monster! If I was on the outside of this cage, I would…” The prisoner gripped the bars of his cage so tightly his knuckles became white from the stretching of the skin over the bones, his teeth gnashing in anger even as he spat at the Captain, as a show of defiance.

“I told you that you would be screaming my name into the wee hours of tomorrow if you did not confess. I shall keep my word.” Captain Caeda’s eyes were veritable whirlpools of unbridled asperity, even as his countenance mirrored one of absolute serenity.

“Gentlemen, ensure that you break this man’s jaw before administering the thumbscrew. Also, inform the other prisoners that this man refused to confess, and that they will share his fate if they are unwilling to comply.”

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Astor walked briskly through the jungle, never sparing a thought for the unencumbered distention the local vegetation underwent in their struggle for sunlight, a worthy extension of natural selection and pure hardiness. Trees stretched upwards forevermore, drunk in their gulosity for that very substance that would give them the ability to live and propagate. Ferns and vines used these trees as stepping stones to reach the heights, negating their lack of a solid base or aggrandized height, twirling and embracing tree trunks and branches for all that they were worth. A different kind of survival was on Astor’s mind, and the hairs on his arms stood rigidly from both inexplicable excitement and inevitable fear.

He mentally traced his route over the continent of Shorondor, a route which he had been toying with for a total of ten years, and which would take him crashing through the various people he held personally responsible for past grievances. The only trace of doubt left on his mind pertained to his next destination, which would lie beyond the jungle and the arid area after that which was so afflicted by desertification, and which would take him all the way back to the one place he truly feared, where wounds buried ten years deep would bleed freshly once again. He trembled slightly, although from latent fear or the biting wind-chill factor is uncertain.

The verdant vegetation started to thin, as he encroached upon the vicissitudes between sylvan flora and inutile desert. He steeled his psyche even as he set his mind on the tasks before him, and thought of his Franciscas, who would soon be dressed in the most crimson of plumes. Picking up the pace, Astor crashed through the final dregs of undergrowth much like a bowling ball would crash through bowling pins, looked into the distance, and smiled wholeheartedly.

It was shaping up to be a good day.

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“I know my rights! I am not saying a single thing until I see my lawyer!” The next convict, a man with an upturned nose which had invariably earned him his fair share of scuffles, thick brown hair and a penchant for attempting to talk himself out of trouble, while inevitably failing miserably on all conceivable occasions, spouted in a whiny voice, all the while adding pithy mutterings about the lack of amenities and the nonexistence of human rights.

“I’ll show you your rights, convict.” The guard apparently in charge of coercing the prisoner into making a voluntary confession pulled back a meaty fist, before slamming it into the prisoner’s nose, causing the latter to reel backwards involuntarily, blood pouring from both nostrils.

“Yu boke mi mose! I wanna si mure maptain! The prisoner decided to make his discomfort very public indeed, and was certain that the guard would accede to his requests with the proverbial sword of Damocles hanging over his head.

“Een fac, I em sho hee weel giv yu hell!” The prisoner decided to push his incumbent advantage over the guard, who made no sign of a reply.

“Oh mo.” The prisoner managed to utter two incoherent words before the same meaty fist that had smacked him senseless just moments ago made contact with his face again, and that brought an end to the prisoner’s mutiny.

Even as the guard reached downwards through the bars of the cage to apparently hoist the prisoner back to his feet, a bell gonged twice, each time a sonorous warning of unequivocal danger, a vocal insinuation of imminent irruption. The guard mirrored the reaction of everybody else and looked towards the cymbal, their designated warning sign, and the vigilant sentry who had apparently sounded the alarm. Half of them were not surprised to see the sentry lying face down on the sand, bleeding profusely from a head wound, while the other half showed visible signs of inexpectation at seeing their comrade incapacitated on the ground. All showed signs of appalled, flabbergasted consternation at the figure standing with a single leg squarely on the sentry’s back, as though he treated the fallen soldier as a step, or some sort of grotesque pedestal.

“I must commend this man on doing a great job of manning the bells. His head made a great sound upon contact with the inside of that bell, I must say. The Corporation sure knows how to choose its personnel.” Astor grinned widely even as he spoke, feeling the wind run through his hair, and welcoming the spurt of adrenaline that the situation afforded him. He had waited ten years for this moment, and was surprised that he felt impatient even upon the appended delay on its impending passing.

“I’m in a little bit of a good mood today, so if you boys stay calm and not move, I will try not to kill anybody. I’ll not be trying too hard, though.” Astor stood with arms on his hips and a smile that failed to transmit any degree of vivacity, his peripheral vision taking in all of his supposed prisoners. His right hand removed a Francisca from its belt pocket, and he tilted the axe-head such that the refulgent sunlight reflected off it and into the eyes of the soldier nearest to him, with the latter flinching reflexively, which was all Astor would need.

“I was kinda hoping that would happen.” His smile transcended the notions and invisible boundaries of turgid falsity into blissful reality, even as he extricated his Pokeball from a notch in his belt. “You always need two to dance. Let’s go, Snap; same routine.”

A flash of red light emanated from Astor’s thrown Pokeball, forming a vague outline, before growing and filling out the required spaces, such that the Pokemon seemed to be comprised of red light, before solidifying into the Pokemon itself. It was distinctly reptilian, with scabrous red skin to match its trainer’s eyes, with muscular legs and a furrowed snout. Its three toes clawed the sandy ground, finding and seeking purchase to balance its weight, even as a flaming tail whipped the sand behind it into a whirling frenzy of grained composition. The three claws on its right hand stretched in preparation and to get the blood flowing, but its most distinctive feature was the jet-black eye patch over its left eye, which still could not mask the inimitable anger burning in its single eye, as well as the unpleasant sneer it wore freely on its face. With a heart-stopping bellow, and a release of a gout of fire through its nostrils, Snap threw itself into its opponents, intending to make those unable to get out of its way pay in every manner imaginable.

Having been trained in all manners of combat tactics and parameter defense, the soldiers of Captain Actaeon Caedo were no pushovers, and while some rushed to have their rifles bearing on the two brazen intruders, others moved forwards in numbers, hoping to incapacitate the enemies with Taser batons. Astor gave a short, but savage cry of defiance, as he charged into the midst of his enemy, dual Franciscas being twirled in his hands even as he bore down on the receiving party. His adrenaline levels spiked even as he took in his opponents’ superior numbers—he was outnumbered ten to one.

Too bad for them.

Even as he approached, his left arm let fly with its Francisca, deliberately aimed low, and the weapon buried itself in the thigh of his nearest opponent, slamming through flesh like a hot poker through ice, before wedging itself in the man’s femur, with thanks given to the femur’s high resistance to deformity. The wound spat globs of scarlet, non-coagulated cruor, with the victim’s horrified scream matching the look on his face to perfection. Even as the rest of the soldiers’ hearts leapt at the reality of the situation, the notion of never troubling Trouble until Trouble would trouble you was broken forevermore, as Trouble itself charged into their midst, brandishing an extremely sleek, shiny and most importantly, cuspidated axe, and most certainly did not look as though it would be afraid to use it.

Snap ran straight through its first two human obstacles as though they were nothing more than prissy dandelions, making a beeline for the soldiers who were yanking out guns of all shapes and sizes. An overzealous soldier fired a shot off without any attempt at stability or accuracy, but intended for the shot to serve as a warning shot, as animals were intrinsically afraid of loud noises such as that, and were usually scared off by the possibility of harm done to themselves. Snap was no ordinary animal. A red mist descended over its vision, and lowering its head, it head-butted the soldier who had fired at it, hearing the distinctive sound of ribs cracking under the concentrated force. At the same time, its tail lashed out in a leftwards arc, sweeping two soldiers off their feet before continuing the motion, smoothly lifting its tail into the air and sending it crashing down on the fallen soldiers’ kneecaps, scoring a hit with its extended claws on an advancing soldier at the same time, raking flesh away from bone, and drawing furrows of crimson blood.

Astor had most certainly worn his welcome out, and his opponents fought with a scrambling tenacity that he could not imagine. As fast as he was, and as nimble as his reflexes invariably were, it was still humanly impossible for him to duck every blow thrown in his general direction. A sidestep away from a crashing baton was greeted by an elbow to the right ear. Head ringing and disoriented from the shock, Astor stumbled backwards, with that very motion brutally halted by a soldier slipping a foot between Astor’s feet and forming a sickle with his upturned foot and shin, lifting and sweeping Astor off his feet, sneding the latter crashing to the earth. Ironically, the fall and the subsequent impact cleared Astor’s head of any lingering sensory overload, and he quickly reacted to the Taser baton that was directed at the middle of his chest in the only way he knew—to fight fire with more fire. Grasping his sole Francisca firmly in his right hand, he walked down the most practical path available to him, winding his arm before burying the down-turned point of the Francisca into his aggressor’s foot. The resulting screech could never hope to drown out the sound of the metatarsals in the foot cracking radially, as the foot was impaled to the ground by the axe, and it never did. Twisting the axe-head in the victim’s foot, Astor jarred the axe free, with residual bone fragments and a slick layer of blood clothing and decorating his Francisca in the most macabre fashion possible, and jackknifed both feet upwards, scoring hits on the sides of two onrushing soldiers’ necks, even as mixed droplets of blood and bone dripped cloyingly downwards from his upheld axe, painting Astor’s face a grisly mosaic of red and white.

Rolling away from a barbarous kick from a decidedly rancorous opponent, Astor momentarily contemplated burying his axe into his opponent’s foot, as he had done seconds before, but decided against the seeming lack of creativity, and suffered for it when he was caught square in the back by a Taser baton, sending innumerable voltage coursing through his body. Astor completed his roll, body twitching spasmodically from the inability of his cognitive synapses to send electrical messages to and from his brain. His vision tapered to a filamentary constriction of its normality, and even as he fought against the pinions holding him nigh insensate, a small part of him recognized a boot lifted up over his face, ready to drop with bone-crunching force, while the larger part of him screamed inwardly with implacable choler and self-pitying trepidation. Whatever his voice box was unable to articulate was rendered altogether null and void as something, or someone, had crashed into Astor’s attacker, removing any viable threat for a split second, which would be all Astor would need. Evidently, Snap had intervened on his behalf. Without any real semblance of grace or the dexterity Astor associated with himself, he mentally and physically dragged himself to his feet, pausing to take in his surroundings.

Yanking his second Francisca out of his first victim’s thigh, Astor ducked a blow which would certainly have sealed his fate, and even as the attacker drew a handgun, Astor rewound the clock, and smashed the butt of his right Francisca into the thumb joint of the would-be-firer, before pushing him towards the last remaining soldier that still opposed Astor, sending both stumbling backwards. Astor pressed his advantage, once again going low and changing his grip on the right Francisca to a downwards grip, dug its upswept point into the area just above the kneecap of the soldier who had attempted to fire at him. Without pausing to retrieve his weapon, Astor kneed his victim multiple times, before dumping the limp body sideways, and took great care to step on it when passing over.

Replacing his Francisca in its belt pocket, Astor looked his last opponent in the eye, before deciding to have a little hands-on action.

Mano a mano, what do you say? So, bad day in the office, huh? No worries, when I am through with you, you will have all the reasons you need to go on medical leave, for a long long time.” Astor kept up his knack of deadpanning lines, showing his empty hands to his opponent.

His opponent paid his words no heed, and rushed forward with his Taser baton, after seeing what had happened to a comrade who had taken the time to draw a weapon, following combat drills which had been inculcated within his mentality, drawing arcs around the target with his weapon, with said arcs growing progressively smaller, forcing the opponent to keep up on defense at all times. Astor feinted once with a right hook, and deliberately left his right flank wide open to attack, an opportunity which no opponent would logically pass up. A split second later, Astor threw himself backwards and leftwards, twisting his body like a pretzel, all the while using his left hand and both feet as pillars of support and balance, muscles tensing and jaw set in gritty concentration, allowing the baton to pass harmlessly over the back of his head, even as he reversed the tension afforded by the twisting of his hips, snapping his right arm upwards, wrapping it around the baton much like a vine would twist around a tree. Using the same circular torque, Astor cracked his left foot upwards, catching his opponent on the right temple, even as he regained his vertical status quo, snaking his left arm around his opponent’s neck, and restraining the latter via a reverse chin-lock.

“I have kept my promise, and I have left everyone single one of you scum alive, all thanks to my good mood, eh? Now, complete this sentence; speech is silver… …”

“S-s-silence is golden?”

“Ah, you do have some intelligence after all. You would do well to remember your own words.”

Slipping his right hand downwards and retrieving his Francisca, Astor pressed the upswept point of the axe against the underside of his victim’s chin, slowly but surely increasing the pressure, until blood ran freely down the already sticky blade surface. His pain threshold overcome by the chronic onslaught of pain, his mouth opened convulsively, before expectorating a ragged vocal combination of pain and unadulterated hatred. Before the soldier could make either head or tail of the ramifications of that action, Astor had activated the Taser baton and shoved it into the soldier’s mouth, and a shuddering paroxysm later, the victim’s poise took on a languid flaccidity, and Astor cast him aside with a nonchalant flick.

“I did tell him to remember his own words.” Astor verbally vindicated his own actions, shrugging his shoulders to emphasise his point.

Turning his head around, Astor visually searched for his Pokemon, and easily followed the trail of incapacitated victims bearing scratch, bite or burn marks to Snap’s imposing figure, just in time to see his Pokemon clubbed in the head by a rifle by an equally imposing human. Retrieving his Francisca from the knee of his previous victim, Astor shouted a warning he knew Snap would not hear, and coming to a quick decision, flung one of his Franciscas towards the head of Snap’s aggressor.

Captain Caeda had harboured hope that the security breach would be handled by his underlings, but was proven violently wrong, and had to take it upon himself to assure his own continued survival. He had chosen to go after the Pokemon first, as a creature of that size, that power and most importantly, that attitude, would invariably prove a larger threat than a mere human. Biding his time while the Pokemon savaged one of his own men, Actaeon Caeda had snuck up on the creature, and slammed the rifle butt with as much dynamic force as he could muster into the back of the Polemon’s head, with the latter hitting the deck a split second later. He saw a glint out of the corner of his eye, and turned around in the nick of time, positioning the rifle between his face and the metallic projectile, with his eyes dilating in shock as the axe-head cleaved through the rifle body, stopping a hair’s breadth away from his right eye.

“Take a good look at that, for it will be the last thing you ever see.”

“Ah, the impertinence of youth. Captain Actaeon Caeda, at your service. To whom do I owe this… This precarious situation?”

“Captain Caeda, as of now you have two options. Your first option is to prone yourself on the ground and give up. Your second option involves me walking up to you, introducing my axe to your face, beating you so badly that you will spend a year drinking porridge out of a straw, and ending with you lying on the ground, surrendering to me. I would say that option one saves us a lot of time, but I personally hope you pick option two.”

“The fatal flaw in every plan is the assumption that you know more than your opponent, my impulsive friend.”

“Have it your way then. I’m going to chop you into so many pieces that they’re going to make a thousand piece jigsaw out of you.”

Astor began a charge at his enemy for the umpteenth time that day, a savage smile on his face, fists clenched in grim expectation of what was to come. Captain Caeda had other thoughts. Reaching into a back holster, Caeda withdrew a polished revolver, squeezing off five shots in quick succession at the onrushing enemy. Astor had many undesirable traits, but stupidity and inertia of thought were not among them, and he dove ground-wards, before a combination of rolls, cartwheels and pirouettes meant that he escaped all five bullets, with the sole exception scoring a graze across his right shoulder, dumping hot blood onto his arm and chest. Astor’s acrobatics had landed him next to a caged caravan, and with his self-preservation skills kicking in he sent his axe crashing through the chain that held the door open, reached in and grabbed the cage’s occupant, who would so happen to be the prisoner who had suffered a broken nose earlier.

“You have one last bullet, Caeda. You can fire at me if you wish, but if you hit my human shield instead, I hope for your sake that you are a good runner, for I certainly am a good thrower. I am willing to take that risk; are you?” Astor maneuvered the prisoner such that the latter would act as a human shield, and slowly walked towards his opponent, until they were barely two metres apart from each other, slit eyes staring monotonously into fiery eyes, unspoken silence speaking volumes. Fingers tightened on both a trigger and an axe handle, even as sweat cascaded from every caprice and pore on both faces.

The untenable standstill between both men was broken by a loud snort, which given the palpable silence resonated like an owl’s ululation through the evening sky. Both men knew exactly what the sound was, and their reactions to said sonance differed accordingly. Actaeon Caeda had no intention to allow the Pokemon to regain consciousness, and diverted his attention to the new development, even as Astor pushed the prisoner towards Caeda, impacting the man and spinning him around in a right angle, such that the revolver was pointed in Astor’s general direction. Before any consequence could register on Caeda’s mind, Astor’s axe had already found its mark, knocking the revolver out of his grip, before swinging backwards towards Actaeon Caeda’s body. Even as the evening began its diurnal supersession by tenebrific night, Astor began practicing his own grotesque form of calligraphy, and one could not be sure if the ruby rays of the effulgently setting evening sun were entirely responsible for dying the arid sand red, or if a more mundane, intramural reason was applicable.

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“All of you are free to go. My only regret is that I could not have arrived earlier. Do not be so quick to label me a hero, or a saviour, for I am but the lesser of two evils, whose only saving grace is my incessant gnawing at the greater evil.” Astor had released all the prisoners from their prior incarceration, and apologized for not having been able to chance upon their predicament earlier.

“Wait, I owe you my life.”

“I used you as a shield just now. We are even.”

“You are seeking to put an end to all these atrocities? I wish to be part of it, and to pay off my life debt along the way.”

“If you were to journey with me, then remember that your life debt is one which I will never hesitate to claim.”

“Fine, on two conditions.”

“And what might these conditions be?” Astor was mildly intrigued by someone who would want to willingly partake in what looked like a suicide mission.

“That you tell me your name, and tell me why your Charmeleon is called Snap. Oh, and the name is Haddad.”

“Well met, Haddad. Astor at your service, and as for Snap, you can put your head into his mouth and find out.”

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The sound of crickets giving vocal emotions filled the air with harmonious modulations, even as the rustle of innumerable leaves added a fittingly augural backdrop. The crescent moon’s debile illumination resulted in numerous parallax penumbras, whose ensconcing rendered human sight nigh nugatory, all the while enticing the darker side of one’s imagination to hazard a guess at the infinitely inchoate circumscriptions present in disconcerting ubiquity. The only two distinct figures were humanoid, and it was perhaps only fitting that they broke the pervasive aura of silence that had settled in a seemingly primordial ecosystem.

“Astor, why pit yourself against the corporation?”

“It is a gaeas, Haddad, and one which I must fulfill; God help he who stands in my way.”

“I always thought life was about give and take?”

“It is about give and take. I give them hell, and I take their lives away.”

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Note: Shorondor is the name of the continent they are on. Individual towns and cities will be named as we proceed.

As for what a gaeas is, I will leave it to the imagination and for later chapters to explain. It is a tool used by certain fantasy writers, and is a pretty rare occurence. Steeped in mythology as well.
 
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O

Ouallada

Guest
Without nitpicking on typos, as I have not had the time to specifically look for them even as I pilot my way through the story, I will once again congratulate you on a piece well written. Let me point out a few things which perhaps could have been done a little better.

“Please, Captain. I have a family to feed. I never meant to… … I didn’t… …”

You have a habit of using elipses, which may or may not be a bad thing. One thing is for certain, that they lose their effectiveness on repeated usage.

Another thing which bugged me slightly is the usage of guns. For example, when Caeda shot five times at Astor, it is highly unlikely that he would miss all five, although I grant you the fact that they were squeezed off, rather than measured, and that you did at least have the main get hit.

Once again, there is copious use of vocabulary, which may or may not be a good thing. I do notice that you tend to use them more often when describing surroundings. Any reason for this? Not that I have a problem. I had to check on a couple of words, but the style, and the meshing of the words, is brilliant once again.

“I told you that you would be screaming my name into the wee hours of tomorrow if you did not confess. I shall keep my word.” Captain Caeda’s eyes were veritable whirlpools of unbridled asperity, even as his countenance mirrored one of absolute serenity.

“Gentlemen, ensure that you break this man’s jaw before administering the thumbscrew. Also, inform the other prisoners that this man refused to confess, and that they will share his fate if they are unwilling to comply.”

Your fic can soon be recognised as the haven for one-liners and characters with a serious attitude problem if this goes on. I really enjoyed that sequence.

“I must commend this man on doing a great job of manning the bells. His head made a great sound upon contact with the inside of that bell, I must say. The Corporation sure knows how to choose its personnel.”

Another one right there. Subtle, yet smacking of attitude. It is funny too, as a bonus.

I’m going to chop you into so many pieces that they’re going to make a thousand piece jigsaw out of you.”

Another one. I can understand why you had an absolute field day writing the character, as you said in your prologue.

and as for Snap, you can put your head into his mouth and find out

It is about give and take. I give them hell, and I take their lives away

For pure one-liners those two are pure gold. Witty and shows the cuel side to your main. Which brings me to Astor. From your prologue we understand that he has a chip on his shoulder, and that he is utterly ruthless. You managed to hammer that point across, while keeping the character in check. I have a feeling that once we find out what his entire backstory is, we will understand this character better. As of now, Astor is carrying this fic on his wise-cracking shoulders. His admission of he being merely the lesser of two heroes already opens up a new side of the character. We know what he does and that he is good at it, but we also understand that he has moments of compassion, like when he frees the prisoners, and when he admits his fallacies. A great character you have.

Snap is a good name for a pokemon. I do want to hear about his backstory as well, and how he was left with one eye. I have a feeling we will see much more of him in the future.

Twisting the axe-head in the victim’s foot, Astor jarred the axe free, with residual bone fragments and a slick layer of blood clothing and decorating his Francisca in the most macabre fashion possible, and jackknifed both feet upwards, scoring hits on the sides of two onrushing soldiers’ necks, even as mixed droplets of blood and bone dripped cloyingly downwards from his upheld axe, painting Astor’s face a grisly mosaic of red and white.

The gory imagery afforded by this scene is absolutely classic. Horror writers should take note.

Even as the evening began its diurnal supersession by tenebrific night, Astor began practicing his own grotesque form of calligraphy, and one could not be sure if the ruby rays of the effulgently setting evening sun were entirely responsible for dying the arid sand red, or if a more mundane, intramural reason was applicable.

For a stylish author like yourself, this is the kind of line which embodies your work. Anyone who can fully delve into this single line and understand the notions of the evening sun masking the flow of blood created when Astor carves his enemy up can take something away. A terrible scene, but a poetic way to write it.

Again, I await to see your responses, and will nitpick when I have more time. Back to the real world for me. Keep Astor alive.
 

Wes

Iblis Wings
Interesting to say the least for sure. Once again like the previous poster has siad your writing always seems to be captavating to me and others...usually. I like the plot...kinda different then most fics....around here. Prison escape...I like originality a bit. Hmm....Astor....very appealing personality in a way which I also like from the first chapter. Well as usual good luck wiith the next chapter.
 

eagle-kyogre

Legendary Kyogre
I can see any mistakes and it is a very good story you could make more you this I give9/10 points
 
M

mindripper

Guest
Prison escape...I like originality a bit. Hmm....Astor....very appealing personality in a way which I also like from the first chapter. Well as usual good luck wiith the next chapter

Techincally, it is not really a prison escape, but more of the main character just happening to be passing by. Oh yeah I do think that Astor is pretty interesting, albeit a little flawed, as we all are.

I can see any mistakes and it is a very good story you could make more you this I give9/10 points

Well, thanks. If you stay around I guarantee there will be more. Thanks a mil!
 

katiekitten

The Compromise
Well done mindripper! This is a spectacular first chapter, and I enjoyed it immensely. Lots of blood and gore, some humour, perfect. Astor has a believable personality and, another bonus, I could understand it. Very well done. I have no complaints.

*thumbs up*
 

The Burnt Shadow

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)
Great, excellente! three sylables to describe this, Ge-ni-us! Anyways great job, as ussual. I'm actually suprised you call yourself a beginner at this. Well overall it's pretty good. Keep it up...
 

Felix Feral Fezirix

Densetsu no Pikachu!
Oh my god. Craptastic. There are several reasons I like gore, and you emphasize it very well, mindripper. Violence is crazy enough, but combining it with clss is sheer ...well, greatness. This fic is a drug. I'm hooked, but my teacher says I'm not to read anymore gory stuff lest I go nuts in class and try to kill, maim, or severely injure anyone... Hehe. Be checking back though. My teacher can't monitor me 24/7 anyway, plus it's the hols on my side. Hehehe. Tata for now!
 

StellarWind

The Sylvan Saber
I'm not exactly a great fan of blood, random abuse and guns, but what I've read was very well written, and had a few excellent lines and the characters would definitely be memorable once they started developing a bit (I loved Astor's explanation on his Charmeleon's name, for instane. xD)

I didn't have too long to read this story, so this was a rather quick review (and the reason I didn't go into too much detail). But I'm hoping that I might have the time to give it the attention it deserves soon. Three thumbs up from me. ^^
 

Night Avenger

Rust In Peace
ºoº... Incredible, is this really your first fic? Wow, you are a Genius as the Burnt Shadow said. I think it's a amazing fic!! don't forget to review my fic now :D
 
M

mindripper

Guest
Lots of blood and gore, some humour, perfect. Astor has a believable personality and, another bonus, I could understand it. Very well done. I have no complaints.

Thanks Kate. I always thought that Astor was a little larger than life, in a flawed kind of way. Yup I toned down a little for this one, better for everyone huh?

Great, excellente! three sylables to describe this, Ge-ni-us! Anyways great job, as ussual. I'm actually suprised you call yourself a beginner at this. Well overall it's pretty good. Keep it up...

Oh it will definitely be kept up, barring extraordinary circumstances. I would not go so far as to call myself a genius or anything, but this is my second chaptered fic. T&T was written when I joined these forums with my previous account at the beginning of 2004, but I never got around to posting it.

Violence is crazy enough, but combining it with clss is sheer ...well, greatness. This fic is a drug. I'm hooked, but my teacher says I'm not to read anymore gory stuff lest I go nuts in class and try to kill, maim, or severely injure anyone... Hehe. Be checking back though. My teacher can't monitor me 24/7 anyway, plus it's the hols on my side.

Great! That means you can stay around for future chapters! I would say playing Manhunt and similar games is kinda worse than reading about violence, non?

I'm not exactly a great fan of blood, random abuse and guns, but what I've read was very well written, and had a few excellent lines and the characters would definitely be memorable once they started developing a bit (I loved Astor's explanation on his Charmeleon's name, for instane. xD)

Thank you Stellar. I was glad you liked it, and I do hope the characters get fleshed out to their potential.

Incredible, is this really your first fic? Wow, you are a Genius as the Burnt Shadow said. I think it's a amazing fic!! don't forget to review my fic now

Not a genius. Also, I was looking for your fic but I cannot fint it. Could you link me?
 

Xiang

Well-Known Member
Well done, mindripper. Bloody fantastic. Your writing talent covers pretty much everything I know. And I'll have to see what erm...gaease (whatever) means. XD

Argh, this message had to be cut and pasted because somehow the computer logged me out. XD And there's a link to my fic in my sig.

Ratiasu
 

Sike Saner

Peace to the Mountain
Damn...

I had expected you would exceed my expectations - does that make any sense? *laughs* And, surprise, surprise, you went and did it.

Best action sequences I have ever read, there. What brings them to life is that you are staggeringly good at illustrating pain. Seriously, I lost count of how many moments there were while reading that when I had to just cringe and go, "Ooh!..." Very cool. Plus, you seem to have an extensive knowledge of the physics of fighting, and breaking, human bodies. Action you can see; action you can feel. Not easy to pull off through mere text, but there you've done it. Not for the last time, I say yum.

Favorite moments:

“I must commend this man on doing a great job of manning the bells. His head made a great sound upon contact with the inside of that bell, I must say. The Corporation sure knows how to choose its personnel.”

Good old Astor. Voice to some of THE best dialogue you'll find in text.

Snap ran straight through its first two human obstacles as though they were nothing more than prissy dandelions,

Prissy dandelions! I love that. ^_^

The resulting screech could never hope to drown out the sound of the metatarsals in the foot cracking radially, as the foot was impaled to the ground by the axe, and it never did.

This is exactly what I mean when I refer to illustrating pain. Love those "That's gotta hurt!" moments.

Without pausing to retrieve his weapon, Astor kneed his victim multiple times, before dumping the limp body sideways, and took great care to step on it when passing over.

...Okay, now I have to hug you for that. Get over here, you... ^_^


“I have kept my promise, and I have left everyone single one of you scum alive, all thanks to my good mood, eh? Now, complete this sentence; speech is silver… …”

“S-s-silence is golden?”

“Ah, you do have some intelligence after all. You would do well to remember your own words.”


“Captain Caeda, as of now you have two options. Your first option is to prone yourself on the ground and give up. Your second option involves me walking up to you, introducing my axe to your face, beating you so badly that you will spend a year drinking porridge out of a straw, and ending with you lying on the ground, surrendering to me. I would say that option one saves us a lot of time, but I personally hope you pick option two.”

See those? They're examples of APUs - Astor's Priceless Utterances. Already, I find myself losing count of those...

Astor at your service, and as for Snap, you can put your head into his mouth and find out.

I had been wondering about that name, myself. Well, that shut me up about it. XD


One last thing before I go: "Cruor"? (That was the only unfamiliar word I could not find in my dictionary. ^_^; Time to get a new one, I suspect...)

Staggeringly good work, dude. *bows* See you next time. ^_^
 
Ahhhh! i wish my computer would work!!!! I just finished your review and then it screwed up to I had to write another one! AAAAAH!

OK. Firstly, as soon as I started reading your story, I could tell that you were a fantastic author. You've had lots of positive feedback, and that's because it's a well-constructed, well-written story. Personally, I hate this genre, I see action as the enjoyment of people being tortured- I don't see beautiful descriptions of people having their heads ripped off as fun to read...I loved your Captain Caedo character, he was brilliant and really evil, one of the most evil characters I've ever read about- and its his love of violence and his extreme, uncaring attitude that makes him so sick- but your hero is evil too. There's so much gore in this... I'm awaiting the next chapter with the explanation for it and the plot, they're the bits I like the best.

My main critisism, however, is that you need to learn how to describe without using huge words nobody understands. People can tell you're a good writer by the way you write, not by the words you choose. To me, the idea of description is to create an image in someone's head by using words that relate to the reader- using impressive sounding words does make you look clever, but if someone doesn't understand a sentence, then they're not gonna get much out of it. And I guess it depends on who your target audience is, but it's not the reader's fault if they don't understand a sentence, it's yours. Not all your readers are gonna know the thesaurus off by heart like you, and you should be able to write things they enjoy too. It's not an indication of how good a wirter you are if readers need to constantly go check dictionaries because they don't understand words.
Here, I'll give you some examples. I'm not sure how to quote things yet, so I just copied and pasted, I hope that's not against any rules.

"The Shorondorean sun coruscated down from its celestial precipices, bathing the land in its phosphorescent splendour. The sky was an expanse of the deepest cyan blue, blemished yet embellished by the occasional desultory modicum of cloud cover, itself woven in an ordered haphazard manner such as to suggest the work of some aesthetically predilected being. The warmth rekindled life within the cold-blooded portion of Nature’s dichotomy, while the radiance captured all illuminated by its presence in a wondrous amalgam of dazzling auroral refinement, balanced by a delicately shaded network of shadows."

Words like "desultry" and "modicum" and beautiful, wonderful words but they don't mean anything to me, because I've never heard them before- so I don't relate them to anything. it's great that you have such an amazing vocabulary, but you don't need to use it to such an extent all the time. It would be much more effective to describe something by using one or two of these kind of words, but an entire paragraph-full seems a bit much. "a wondrous amalgam of dazzling auroral refinement, balanced by a delicately shaded network of shadows" sounds almost like a joke, because the words you've used are so over the top. I get what you mean, but you need to re-read the paragraph over and over again to get anything out of it. What I think you need to do more than anything is learn how to describe things so that we can actually imagine them, use words that mean something to readers. Only use pretty, flowery, impressive words once or twice a paragraph (or less, even). If you use them to the extent you have, they lose their effect.

You obviously have a lot of fans, and you don't need to take any notice of this at all. This is my opinion and I'm well-known otuside serebii and the net for being a harsh critic, and being very opinionated, even if I'm a newbie round here I'm gonna tell you what I think. I look forward to reading your review, after reading your story, I'll take your criticisms seriously. You're obviously a good writer, and I think you've done an incredible job at catering to an audience I never in my wildest dreams would like pokemon...but there you go. I salute you for your brilliance, and run and hide before you write any more action sequences that make me feel like vomiting.
Oh, I know that's the idea, it's just not my kind of thing, thats all.
 

Lady Myuu

Damsel mostly Stressed.
Here I go...

It was well written and well thought out. And the story is interesting even though half the time I had to reread things just to get the gist of what is going on. ... I am not very good at reading big words.

o_O I'm in love with Snap... nothing like a deadly lizard kicking butt and taking names.

cyndaquil_dratini kinda pointed out what I was thinking, you are a great writor and you know how to tell a story and its great to know all those big fancy words. But... o.o not everyone understands them or can read them very smoothly (mainly me) and while I got the story and enjoyed it... I piece of it I felt that should have been there wasn't. Having to go back over it a few times just to understand a simply line was just kind of annoying.

It just didn't run as smoothly for me because of it.

Everything else seemed to fit well and just take off on its own. You must have alot of fun writing it as it does shine through that you enjoy what you write.

Keep it up and maybe its me who has to go and learn some new words eh? :p
 
M

mindripper

Guest
I had expected you would exceed my expectations - does that make any sense? *laughs* And, surprise, surprise, you went and did it.

Thanks a million , SS!

Plus, you seem to have an extensive knowledge of the physics of fighting, and breaking, human bodies.

Some was drawn from books on biology, while some was drawn from my own experience, when I learnt some martial arts. Good to see it come in handy.

See those? They're examples of APUs - Astor's Priceless Utterances. Already, I find myself losing count of those...

Heh, thanks. He was fun to write, a guilty pleasure almost. He does spout a lot of cocky lines, and you will be seeing more of it in the future.

One last thing before I go: "Cruor"? (That was the only unfamiliar word I could not find in my dictionary. ^_^; Time to get a new one, I suspect...)

Oh, cruor is a biological term. Used in real life, but more in biology. Means blood that has coagulated.

I loved your Captain Caedo character, he was brilliant and really evil, one of the most evil characters I've ever read about- and its his love of violence and his extreme, uncaring attitude that makes him so sick- but your hero is evil too.

Well, you should check out the meaning behing Actaeon Caedo's name, then you will understand. Also, Astor is not an untainted hero, who dashes in and out of perilous situations. He is a vengeful killer who is not afraid to cast his own morals aside. All about being a lighter shade of grey, really.

About the words used, if an author knows words it would be unfair to keep everything in check, IMO. I understand what you say, and I apologies, but if you check up the words you do not know, you will have new words to use forever, and that is not a bad thing, si?

run and hide before you write any more action sequences that make me feel like vomiting

Not the idea at all. The plan is to make violence as real as possible, so that people can judge that violence is not somethig to be bandied around easily in real life. Astor is flawed, and readers can see that, and hopefully they will disagree with his mannerisms as well.

o_O I'm in love with Snap... nothing like a deadly lizard kicking butt and taking names.

Thanks. More to come of that lizard in the future.

Keep it up and maybe its me who has to go and learn some new words eh?

Well, I would say that learning new wordsis never a bad thing at all, especially for a writer!
 

GoldenHouou

antagoonist
Wow, this is great! It took me a while to read though but still. Err, anyway...

You descripe everything very well and use a lot of "comparisons". I have to admit though, that at some points I had no idea what was happening. But it surely wasn´t your fault. You descriped everything and in depth. My problem just was that I didn´t understand some of the words XD I´ve always wanted to write something that descripes everything well and beautifully, (Just like this fic is written) but my main problem is that I´m not all too familiar with the "big words" of English ... Heck, I´m not even sure do I know all the "big words" in my mother langueage either XD

But that´s out of the point now. I like the violence in this, its descriptive, and I like those far better than those violentic scenes that won´t descripe the happensings. Still, I don´t like guns that much. I´m more into sword/axe/lance/some other "old" weapon fightning. Escpecially sword though. But meh, I still liked this. ^_^

There are many sentences I would like to quote, as they were cruel but still funny. I also loved this one: (The bolded part)

“Well met, Haddad. Astor at your service, and as for Snap, you can put your head into his mouth and find out.”

I like the way how you used Charmeleon, instead of Charizard. I have recently grew a liking to Charmeleon, and I like using it in fics as well.

I didn´t find any grammar/spelling errors, but I never look for those anyway. I don´t think its that important, as long as people understand what the word was supposed to be.

Anyways, I´ll keep reading this, and I just remembered that I have one more fic to read. I have missed three chapters of it already :( I need to catch up soon.

But, anyways, good job. Keep on going with it. ^_^
 
I loved the vocabulary you used throughout the fic. It is well written and I can feel a serious flow moving throughout. The characters are rather well portrayed, and the choices of pokemon you are using are much better than run of the mill overused things such as the starter evolutions etc.

Indeed, as with the main critisism everyone else seems to be giving, regarding the use of words, I must admit they are correct. The audiences here very greatly in age, and education. As a reuslt, many people will not understand what you are writing. For the most part I did, and found the way you used some very hard to use words rather creative. However, as it is evident in the other reviews, others did not share this view, and indeed I found myself looking through the dictionary to find out what several words meant. However, i'm a fan of strange, large words, as I mentioned at the very start, so, I'll leave those critisisms to the other reviewers.

Aside from all of that, there is not a lot else I can say really. I'll be sure to keep an eye on this story though.

-Josh :)
 
O

Ouallada

Guest
Well, you should check out the meaning behing Actaeon Caedo's name, then you will understand

I checked it out. Actaeon sounded familiar, and when I found out that he was that fellow cursed by Artemis and killed by his livestock, I understood the meaning. I suspect Caedo is either greek or latin, no time to check, though.

Again, we come to the old argument about vocabulary usage. Now, I must stress that while the idea of writing is to get a message across to readers, who will definitely not be getting any sort of message if they do not understand what is going on, it should not be that much of a limiting factor to the author. The reader also must do the author's ability justice. Remember, anything a person knows is considered easy by that person while another who knows nothing about the same issue, no matter how trivial or simplistic it is, will find it extremely tough. I do agree with the need to cater to your audience, but I do feel that the reciprocal is just as important. I personally found that the words were blended fantastically, and there was no evidence of self-exaggeration.

I wonder if we will find out why Snap is blind in one eye? I do quite like that character. Using a middle evolution gets brownie points, giving him attitude gets points, and making it blind in one eye gets points as well. Not to mention a vey nice name.

I do hope that we will also see a re-enactment or at least a keen explanation of your characters' full history, for anything less would diminish them greatly. Part of Astor's appeal is that he maims without blinking an eye, but does so discriminately, only acting against his enemies. His reasoning must be sound, and backed up, for it is so easy to let everything degenerate from here. Do not ever let him become a robot, who injures and kills for the sake of it. Give us a reason to be soundly on his side (even though I have this feeling Astor will never be the kind of character everybody sides with, but is rather the kind of character everybody loves and thus cheers for his personality and mystique), and make it good. Will there be any more characters? At least a hint there will suffice.

As I have said, Astor carries the fic on his shoulders, with the supporting cast doing what they must, and I suggest that you carry on with that trend at least to a certain extent, for I do like an extremely flawed hero.
 
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