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Outside the Frame (One-Shot) [FOLLOW-UP INCOMING]


A Dense Irritating Miniature Beast of Burden
Author’s Notes: Hey, Neb here! I’m pleased to bring you all a brand new one-shot, that serves as a standalone from the main story of TCATS, but still takes place in that universe, with some cameos at the end. If it hasn’t become apparent yet, this story was inspired by the chatlog format, specifically, that of Discord, which is what Diancord in this story is named after.

Obviously, there are both good and bad things about Discord, the bad parts mainly to do with the more unsavoury parts of the community. This fic doesn’t glorify Discord as a platform; it just acknowledges it as a platform, and the main point the story makes is that it’s a tool, just like any other form of technology. I thought it would make for a good device to tell a personal and emotional story from the perspective of an outsider looking in. With that being said, enjoy.

Acknowledgements: Thanks, @Namohysip, for agreeing to beta-read this! Your input was valuable.

Content Warning: It does touch upon some parts of death and grief, with some mild swearing involved, but otherwise, there's not much objectionable stuff here.

Summary: After a traumatic incident, Gyro the Zangoose turns to the internet for solace. Discovering the chatting app Diancord, he finds a whole network of people to talk to. A chance encounter with a human on the other side of the screen might prove to be the key to expelling his inner demons.

EDIT: Tweaked the fight scene at the end according to Chibi's comments about the reality of the situation being too vague, along with a few detail changes.

EDIT 2: Extended the chat between Gyro and the Mom due to one review on another site that said the conversation went too fast and wrapped up things a bit too neatly.



A lonely desktop computer sat on a table in a dark, dusty and unused room. While it was pristine, all of the possessions around it lay untouched. The curtains were drawn, drenching the room in darkness except for the sliver of light slipping in from the hallway. Gyro’s red eyes peered inside the opening of the door. The room itself belonged to Gyro’s trainer, whose Mom wouldn’t allow anyone else in the room, except she was asleep downstairs. She didn’t need to know. Gyro considered turning back, but ultimately took a deep breath and entered, closing the door behind him.

His main point of interest was the computer desk. With his usual height, it was impossible for him to even see the monitor, but once he climbed up the chair, he wiggled the mouse and light flooded into the room. He shielded his eyes. It usually took a while for him to adjust, but after a while, he was able to look at the desktop screen.

There was that old background of Ash, Pikachu, and the gang from X and Y enjoying a picnic. The memories of him watching the show with his trainer made his heart ache. Nevertheless, he retracted his claws, held his paws on the mouse and keyboard, and peered at the blue icon of a certain app: Diancord.

His trainer had used it quite frequently. He was only vaguely aware that it was a chatroom app, but with his limited typing and literacy skills, he had never built up the confidence to check it out. But the more Gyro spent the remainder of his days on his own, the more that urge for some sort of connection sparked. Finally, he clicked on it.

It opened, taking him to the Pokemon server, which encouraged discussion on the Pokemon games, anime, manga and more. He was in the Let’s Go channel, where several users chatted.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: they announced sword and shield, at last! finally moving on from let’s go!

Eviolight: What’s wrong with LG?

Lysandre did nothing wrong: lazy reboot. need i say more?

Eviolight: I dunno. I’m fine with the Let’s Go series as is. I felt like it was the next step for Nintendo to go with the success of the Switch.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: yeah, but there are already remakes of gen 1 with lg/fr. why not just skip to sinnoh? or better yet, don’t do remakes at all and expect players to consider it a core game

ChildishAudino: So you think it’s a spin-off, then?

Lysandre did nothing wrong: yeah

orz: lots of peeps would disagree with you on that lol

Chair: I don’t see why it matters. It’s still good in my eyes.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: yeah, if you’re a filthy GO shilling casual


A picture of an ugly, grinning Greninja popped up.

Chair: We’re really getting into this, are we? You do realise this is a casual server, right? We try to leave it open for everyone. This isn’t Smogon.

Eviolight: I don’t agree with what he’s saying exactly (I’m a Let’s Go hypebeast myself), but I think there’s room for both types of discussion. This channel isn’t specifically casual or competitive.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: @orz crap, set myself up for that one, didn’t i?

Gyro was lost. While he heard of the concepts of core and spin-off entries from some of the streamers, he didn’t entirely know what they meant by that. Still, he wanted to join in the discussion, so he took a deep breath and aimed his meaty paws at the small keys.

A3000: i just liek eevee

Chair: You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t.

orz: smol fluffy boi

Eviolight: So much floof!

He smiled. These strangers seemed to share a fondness for the evolution Pokemon.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: goes a little too far on the internet, lol

A3000: wat u mean?

Lysandre did nothing wrong: you know... rule 34, no exceptions


Chair: Please don’t listen to him.

uwu: OwO what’s this??

Chair: Or him either.


Eviolight: Please don’t bring that into this discussion. That was a bit of a stretch.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: okay, okay, sorry. i had to

Eviolight: You didn’t. That was unnecessary.

Chair: Just because you can be an edgelord doesn’t mean you should.

orz: 3edgy5me

He cocked his head at the rapidly scrolling messages.

A3000: wat is that rule? shood i search?

ChildishAudino: By his white ass, no!

orz: no swearing on this arcean server either

Eviolight: If you don’t know, I wouldn’t bother searching it. Please. For your sanity’s sake.

Chair: You might need to pour bleach all over your eyes if you do.

Did the Mom have bleach in the house? Perhaps he shouldn’t have searched, though. Curiosity killed the, er, Skitty, after all. That’s what his trainer always said.

Something beeped, and a red box appeared in the corner with a Charizard icon. Or rather, an icon of a wooden chair that had a fiery tail like Charizard, to be exact. It belonged to Chair. Figures. He put his claw on the mouse and clicked over the notification.

Chair: Just a word of advice, I would be careful around people like him on Diancord, or just Diancord in general. I guess you’re just a kid, so I thought I’d give you a heads up to be safe.

He paused, squinting at the monitor with its dark blue light burning into his eyes. His head throbbed, as it usually did whenever he spent too long looking at electronics. His wildling eyes weren’t adapted for human technology, yet he put his paws back on the keyboard, ready to type, at least for a few more minutes before he took a break.

A3000: no not a kid. i am adult in my years

Chair: Ah, I see. No worries.

A3000: new to diancord, sry

Chair: It’s fine. I don’t wanna seem rude, lol.

A3000: you are fine

Chair: Ha, alright then. Wish I could hear that more often. So you like Eevee, huh?

A3000: yea luv eevee! very fluffy! very cute! the minigame in lets go is cute as well!

Chair: Ha ha, yeah. About time we got something more fleshed out than the Pokemon Amie system.

A3000: seen that! that seems cute as well! especially lucario! you get given them for free! so cute!

Chair: Yeah, you could say that. To be honest, Lucario’s a really overused Pokemon. Gets way too much exposure lol

A3000: y?

Chair: Everyone and their mother has a Lucario in their team. They’re popular IRL as well. I can see why: they’re easy to get along with and all, and also very battle capable, but they’re everywhere.

A3000: aw

Chair: Doesn’t mean they’re bad. They can be very helpful. One of my friends in Sinnoh knows a Lucario that speaks like us, and often teaches other Pokemon the same. They’re very good at listening to their problems with their aura, although tbh, it creeps me out.

A3000: y?

Chair: They can read thoughts once they evolve, right? It’s kind of an invasion of privacy in its own way. If my thoughts were constantly being monitored, I’d be a little on edge.

Gyro took a deep breath. He had met a few Lucario on his journey with other trainers before. They had spikes on their paws, so they always gave him a run for his money whenever they fought. Some were really nice after the battle, however, making sure he was alright whenever he fainted. They were fluffy as well, but not as fluffy as Eevee.

He rubbed his head and stood up again, deciding to send a few last messages to this ‘Chair’ before he retired for the day.

A3000: ones i met were frendly

Chair: Yeah, there’s that. At least they’re aware of what’s going on and seem self-conscious of their powers. Pokemon can be pretty smart, after all.

He frowned. Gyro never considered how smart the average Pokemon was, especially not of his kind. Apparently, those from the wild were less intelligent than those who grew up with trainers or were born with humans. Was he like that? He was in a house, with a guardian to look after him, and in the city, so there was that. But what about his past? Years ago, wouldn’t he have been feral?

A3000: sounds weird but do u think im smart?

Chair: Um, I don’t really know you yet. I don’t want to say you’re dumb. I never wanna call someone an idiot if I don’t know them IRL.

A3000: wat about a edgelord?

Chair: That was different. I was mostly joking. But why did you bring that up?

A3000: can i say who i am?

Chair: Go ahead. Your secret’s safe with me.

A3000: im gyro

Chair: Alright, Gyro, nice to meet you.

A3000: im a zangoose.

Gyro stared at the screen, tapping the desk in anticipation for the next reply, but after a few minutes, it never came. The throbbing had turned into a headache, and he fell back into his chair. It was clear he reached his limit. He headed out of the room and closed it before him, hoping Mom didn’t notice he entered the room after she woke up.


Upon waking, Gyro bit his fist. He remembered Chair’s reaction, or rather, non-reaction, and worried about whether or not she was weirded out by the chat.

In the midst of all this, his stomach rumbled. Wearily, he got out of his napping spot on the lounge room chair and grabbed a Chesto berry from the kitchen, trying not to look out the window to the garden. He crept up the stairs, moving slowly to not make any noise, or knock over any of the leftover beer bottles. At least his paws were soft, a trait which paid off during his wildling days. He couldn’t say the same for his sense of smell, as the stink of barley wafted in the air. Once he was up there, he snuck through the corridor and into his trainer’s room again, which was dark like last time. The computer must’ve turned itself off.

He laid the berry on the desk and turned the screen on again. Once he saw there was a new notification from Chair, his heart skipped a beat.

Chair: Ha. Okay.

He breathed a sigh of relief. Gyro typed again, with one paw on the keyboard and the other digging into the berry.

A3000: wat u mean, okay?

Chair: Well, okay as in, yeah, okay. That’s a bit of a surprise.

A3000: do some pokemon use diancord?

Chair: I don’t know of any personally, but I guess you can’t really tell when everyone’s anonymous.

A3000: anonymous?

Chair: Like when everyone’s unknown. You don’t know their face, their name, or what their lives are like unless they’re the type of person to vent.

A3000: i c

Chair: If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re just a human roleplaying at a Zangoose.

A3000: dont u beleev me?

Chair: It’s pretty common for people to take on a persona like that, or I guess you could say a PokeSona. I could say I’m a Charizard right now and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

A3000: like ur icon?

Chair: Exactly. But it doesn’t sound too farfetched for you to be an actual Zangoose. You’re a pretty slow typer and your written skills are what I’d expect for a Pokemon.

Gyro looked back at his paws, which were, indeed, very clumsy to do anything with other than knead something. She must’ve been some mind reader if she saw that.

A3000: are u a lucario?

Chair: Nope, just a regular human, fleshy skin and all.

A3000: joking

Chair: I gathered that. ;)

He smiled. He figured he should do an emoticon as well, with extra smilies to one-up her.

A3000: :)))))

What’s that supposed to be?

A3000: smiley

Chair: Looks like a guy with four chins.

A3000: dont get it

Chair: Whatever. I’m a little sceptical still, but I’ll play along for now.

A3000: wat do i need 2 do 2 prove myself?

Chair: You could go to video chat right now. That’s one way to find out.

A3000: ok

Chair: Wait I was joking

Gyro didn't notice and clicked on the call screen. The computer beeped, making the poor Zangoose jump from his seat, but he readjusted himself in time for the monitor’s flash to turn on, dowsing the dark room in a brilliant white light. A girl laid in the bed of her tent with a Swirlix stuck in her afro on another screen. Her eyes widened as well as Gyro’s on the video feed, his wild red eyes glinting in the camera flash.

The floorboards creaked from outside. Mom was coming. Gyro hurriedly pushed the off switch on the computer, powering it down with a faint whir, and scurried under the bed. The room was dark again. Hopefully, she wouldn’t notice him lying there.

The door opened. A switch clicked on. Yellow light shone from above. A sigh. A few footsteps shuffled towards the bed. Alcohol and perfume wafted in the air. The mattress creaked. Then, silence, aside from a few sighs from her. This continued for a few minutes. Gyro steadily breathed in and out, hoping she wouldn’t hear him under there. At last, she stood up, dragging her feet over to the door. Gyro shifted forward, trying to confirm she left.

Mom turned back. He scurried further inward. She walked to the desk and gasped, then walked out of the door again, turning the light switch off.

Gyro slid out from underneath, holding his beating chest. That was close. He reached down to turn the computer one once more and grabbed at the Chesto berry, only to grasp at thin air. It wasn’t there any more.

His heart beat twofold. Now THAT was close. He listened out for Mom’s footsteps, making sure she went back to her duties, and sure enough, there was shuffling and sizzling downstairs, along with the aroma of Miltank cooking in oil. Gyro licked his lips. That would be enough to put him in a food coma for the rest of the day. He decided to leave the room and come back the day after when he wasn’t so suspicious.


The next day, after he woke up, Gyro went straight for his trainer’s room, with no detours for snacks or anything else. Since he left Chair hanging last time, it would’ve been rude not to reply. He booted up the system, and logged into Diancord once more, greeted by 3 new messages from Chair yesterday.

Chair: You weren’t kidding, lol.

Chair: Hello?

Chair: Sorry, I gotta take this fluffy girl out for a sparring match. She’s getting pretty antsy and keeps messing up my hair. Swirlix cotton takes forever to wash out, lol. I might be back tomorrow or maybe later depending on how busy it gets, so speak to you then. ;)

He smiled and typed as fast as he could.

A3000: hi! sry i left, sumthing happend. r u ok?

She appeared to be offline for now. He shrugged and got back to the Pokemon server, onto the ‘Let’s Go’ channel once more.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: pokemon let’s go pikachu and eevee is a nostalgic cash grab: change my mind

orz: so stunning and brave :kappa:

Congress Of Dunsparces: I don’t see why it matters in particular. The Pokemon franchise is quite the cash Miltank in general, so it doesn’t seem like anything different than what ORAS or HGSS did.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: at least they were competitive. this is babby’s first pokemon game.

Congress Of Dunsparces: Even though the Pokemon series IS for children? You’re gatekeeping a game that’s not for your intended audience.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: yet they already appealed to both camps. why tf would they change the core mechanics???

Guardian of Aura: Coming from someone who loves the deep mechanics of the portable series, I enjoy Let’s Go for what it is. As it stands, it’s a hybrid title, and a great way for Nintendo to test the waters of the Switch before Sword and Shield, which looks fantastic so far. I really don’t see it as something to get salty over.

orz: all these flavours and you choose to be salty

uwu: @orz nuff with the dead memes already

Lysandre did nothing wrong: still not changing my mind

Guardian of Aura: Not asking you to. We’re entitled to our own opinions.

Eviolight: @lysandre did nothing wrong I don’t mind your opinion either, but I prefer you kept it civil and didn’t make casual players feel unwelcome.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: not trying to.

A3000: im confus, lol

Gyro grumbled. Why couldn’t these humans just get along? He was pleased to even watch LG’s gameplay in the first place, which was a privilege most Pokemon didn’t have, so couldn’t they have been grateful? Never mind. His eyes flitted over to Chair’s icon again when another DM message popped up from a Lucario icon. It came from Guardian of Aura.

Guardian of Aura: Hey, haven’t heard from you in a while! It’s about time I caught you here (been as busy as a Combee lately), but how are you?

Gyro squinted at the screen.

Gyro: ...who r u?

Guardian of Aura: Don’t you remember me? I guess it’s been a long time, but I didn’t think that long. But like I said, how are you? I hope the Zangoose is doing fine.

His jaw dropped. He hadn’t mentioned he was a Zangoose, so who did? Chair wouldn’t have blabbed it over the server, so Gyro scanned a page of the chat log, the last entry being from three months ago. Three months before it all happened.

Of course. He must’ve been one of his trainer’s old friends. Even without his computer, his trainer still used Diancord through the phone.

Guardian of Aura: Hey, is everything alright? You can vent to me if you want; I’m all ears.

Gyro gulped. Of course, he wanted to open up about what he went through, but never had the chance to in the past except to other Pokemon, and all they told him was to stop whining and get over it. But he couldn’t get over it; not when it hurt so much inside. Now that chance presented itself to him, he got cramped up over it. He could’ve told the truth about himself to the Guardian, but that would’ve meant…

He sniffled and scratched at the wooden surface of the desk. Tears welled up, and yet, he wiped them away and grasped the mouse again. He right clicked on the icon and pressed ‘block’, silencing all of the messages Guardian sent. That way, he didn’t have to talk to him about his trainer ever again. Simple as that.

Gyro stared at the screen for a while, waiting in anticipation and dread for Chair’s message. But it never came. Perhaps it was best to leave it for now, and besides, he didn’t feel like talking anymore. If he went on the Pokemon server again with people knowing him, he’d only be pestered with more reminders of his trainer. So, he shut the computer off and curled up onto his spot in the lounge room, drifting off to sleep.


He woke up in the middle of a forest. Rain lashed down at him. Flooded water reached his chest. He waded through the muddy water for what seemed like ages. He screamed for help, but nothing came. There was only the pitter patters of the rain and the lapping of the water and the crackling of thunder and the breaking of branches and the hissing of the…

Oh, crap.

He rushed through the flooded woods, swimming as fast as he could. The hissing got louder and louder, until it became a trill against Gyro’s ears. Before he could turn around to see what pursued him, hot, sharp pain spread through his back. All the warmth oozed out of his body. His teeth chattered. His blood dyed the water red. He hit the puddle, and then, the ground underneath. His vision faded, but he still felt the cold seeping out of him to the point his heart started turning into ice. Then, something gnashed at his legs.

Gyro opened his eyes, back in the safety of Mom’s home. He spent the rest of the night staring at the ceiling until dawn.


The following morning, Mom prepared a breakfast of hard boiled, store-brand Chansey Eggs for Gyro in a bowl. The ones she got from the mart never tasted quite like the real thing, but they were still filling and gooey to the Zangoose. It made him feel less groggy, at least. If only he was allowed coffee, now that would’ve woke him up. He ate in the lounge quietly while Mom sat in the kitchen, attending to something. It was usual for them to eat separately, and whenever the two were in the same room, she either ate in silence, watched TV reruns or drank from her never-ending supply of beer bottles. Or maybe all three at the same time.

“Oh, h-hey. Glad you called.”

She was speaking to someone on the phone in there.

“Yeah, I-i-it’s been going fine, I guess.”

Gyro paused mid-bite. He got as close as he could to the door without drawing her attention.

“Yeah, I know. It’s been too long. I don’t know. Perhaps I deserve a night out. I just wanna forget everything that’s been going on, even for a little bit. But Gyro’s still here.”

The way she said that last sentence struck Gyro as off, as if she was sneering at his name. After that, another pause.

“I’ve been trying to find other trainers to send him to, but there’s been no such luck. I know I can’t keep him in this house, but he can’t go back to the wild either. He wouldn’t last a day out there. Well, maybe he would, but whatever.”

Gyro gulped, almost choking on his egg.

“No, he takes care of himself, as far as I know. There’s just the standard amount of mess he leaves, and other than that, he’s quiet and polite, but I don’t know what else he does other than lounge around the house like, well, I dunno, some fat Purugly.

“Bottom line, he can’t stay here. It’s no place for a Pokemon; they need to be outside battling, or something, I dunno. He doesn’t deserve to be here. He doesn’t deserve... doesn’t deserve...”

Another pause. Mom was breathing heavily. She sprinted somewhere further away from the living room and a door out of Gyro’s view closed. His ears perked up when he heard the sound of retching far away. He took the bowl and scurried up the stairs and back into his trainer’s room, making sure to close the door behind him.

Gyro jumped on the chair again, trying to cover his ears from the noise downstairs. He just wanted to tune out the rest of the world and escape somewhere else. He wanted to find out what Chair was up to at the same time, though!

A light bulb flashed in his mind. His trainer had a pair of old headphones lying about in his room. If only he knew where it was. He looked around the dark room, on the bed, under it, and on the neatly arranged shelves too. But no headphones. Then what about the drawers?

He pulled out each drawer, one by one, until he found his prize. He brought them over to the computer and plugged them in, jerking both the tiny speakers into his fuzzy ears. They didn’t quite fit, as they were made for the human notches on their own ears, but it did the job. After searching for some ‘lo-fi hip-hop’, the world around him disappeared, and he checked Diancord once more. Chair left 1 new message, and her status was online that time.

Chair: Hey, sorry about that. We also went for a day out after that, so I didn’t find much time to go on the web. But anyways, I’m here. How are you?

Gyro took a deep breath and smiled. His virtual companion was back.

A3000: fine 4 now

Chair: Nice. I think we got a bit off track, but I’m trying to remember what we were talking about before.

A3000: pokesonas?

Chair: Well, now I know you’re the real thing. I have to say, it’s pretty cool that a Pokemon can type here. Your trainer must’ve taught you quite a lot!

He hummed to himself, trying to dodge the question with a half truth.

A3000: self taut

Chair: Hmm, how does that work? You’d need a lot of help with that, I imagine.

A3000: watching Pokemon w/subtitles. i could hear human, but didnt write it. listening and reeding at same time helped. i mostly tipe what i hear in my hed. took weeks. monfs? i get confused w/time lol. rote on paper 2, lol. pensil is hard 2 hold tho

Chair: Oh, that’s awesome! Yeah, I could see where that’s coming from. I didn’t think about that before, lol. Though I guess it’s weird that the Pokemon in that show keep saying their names over and over again? That does lock out half the dialogue for you, doesn’t it?

A3000: yeah, lol

Chair: Then, what’s up? You’re either on a computer or a phone or something. You must be around humans. Like a guardian or a trainer. The last time I saw, there was that room, so you must be living comfortably. It’d be interesting to know the story, if you want to tell it.

Gyro reclined in his seat, remembering the presence of the room he was in. That stagnant air. That stillness of his trainer’s untouched belongings. Those Pokemon movie posters left hung up on the walls, drooping sadly. It was a time capsule of everything his trainer had built up to, all his life before he set off on his quest for good. And then the years after that, until…

Gyro sighed and stood up again, choosing to focus on the screen instead of those suffocating four walls. The ache in his heart grew more and more, yet his paws itched to type. He had to get this out, now or never. The tips of his paws traced the keyboard, as if considering one last time before he pushed the first strokes.

A3000: trainer is dead.

No response. He sighed, and tears welled up again before he rubbed them away.

A3000: dont want 2 say much else. staying w/his mom. shes devistated

A long pause. The background music no longer fitted the vibe. He pulled the headphones out. The downstairs area was silent.

Chair: Wow, jeez. I’m so sorry about that.

A3000: not ur folt. dont have anywear else 2 go. mom cant find an other trainer. she wants me out

Chair: I don’t know what to say to that except damn. That really sucks.

A3000: i no

Chair: Do you have anyone that can help you, or at least have another Pokemon you can speak to? Do you have a team?

A3000: yes. all sent off tho. only 1 left. mom bearly speaks 2 me.

Chair: Ohhhhhhh

Tears streamed down Gyro’s cheeks.

A3000: i dont think she cares

Chair: I don’t wanna suggest anything, but this doesn’t sound healthy for either of you at all. Believe me, I’ve lived with that kind of grief before and it hasn’t done me any good in the past. At this point, you can’t afford to shut out the world. You need to get out there.

A3000: i no. diancord has done a lot

Chair: And that’s great. But staring at the screen all day and doing nothing else can damage you as well. You need real, long lasting connections IRL, not just through fiber tubes (the internet, basically, sry for my jargon)

Gyro stared at the screen in disbelief. Nothing he tried in the real world worked, and the internet was the best thing that happened to him since that incident.

A3000: y? isnt this real?

Chair: Yes, but it doesn’t replace that human or Mon contact.

A3000: we saw each others faces, tho. we made contact. is none of it real? have u been lying all along?

Chair: No, no. Of course not. But what do you really know about me? We’ve only spoken a few times, tops, and I’ve never talked about myself in detail. For all you know, I could be some psycho harvesting Pokemon organs or something.

A3000: i no your not. your too kind

Chair: Well, thanks. But still, we’re complete strangers. All you know is that I’m a trainer.

Gyro took a series of deep breaths. His heart got heavier the further the conversation went, and he was starting to get restless. Nevertheless, he tried to keep himself calm as he typed in his thoughts.

A3000: then y dont you become my trainer? pls. have no 1 else

Chair: You’re asking me to fly possibly all over Kalos just to see a Zangoose I met through a chat server. That’s asking too much. I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m not the doctor here in the end.

He huffed and puffed as he stared at the screen, expecting another reply to undo what she said. But none came. No matter how much he tried to control his nerves, the waiting and the cold silence sent him over the edge.

A3000: then Y?

A3000: Y DO U TALK 2 ME




One paw hovered over the mouse. The other scratched at the desk. Gyro grasped the keyboard instead of the clicker and raised it over his head, ready to strike. In time, though, he stopped. As much as he wanted to bash it over the monitor, in the end, he would’ve just been bashing plastic against plastic. Against something his trainer once loved. He placed the keyboard back on the torn-up desk.

A3000: sry

Chair: No, I’m sorry. You’re going through a lot. I understand that. I went through something similar a few years back. I dunno if I wanna say much right now, but it’s like your soul’s being ripped apart. Is that your pain right now?

He gripped his chest, which felt as if it would burst open.

A3000: yes

Chair: Human or Pokemon, nobody deserves that ****. You need to talk to mom and tell her how you feel.

A3000: i dont speak human

Chair: Then write it out! You’re a step above what most other Pokemon are doing, and all by yourself! Tell her how you feel through that!

A3000: but wat if she doesnt listen? what if she throws me out b4 then? will i tell her then? will i

The door swung open. The Mom stood outside the frame, yellow light enveloping her. It was the first proper look Gyro gave her. Her long hair covered her face, her eyes were baggy and bloodshot, and her clothes were wrinkled and unironed. She leered at Gyro, who stood in shock, trying to think of a way to communicate with her. Before he had any sort of chance, though, her face twisted in rage.

“Get out!” she screamed.

He froze, as stiff as a statue. Why couldn’t he move? Why there, of all places? Before he could react, the Mom stormed over and grabbed him by the furry scruff of his neck. She stormed out of the room and door the stairs, dangling him like a toy.

“Of all the things I tell you not to do, you went in there! Didn’t you listen?! Did you just go in there to ruin my life more, or do you really not understand?! Maybe you’re just as stupid as the rest of the wildlings!”

The more she ranted, the more Gyro lost a part of himself. He just wanted to disappear. That was, until he was brought to the sight of the back garden. There were dark clouds, swaying trees, and thunderous rain. Once she opened the door, he jolted back to life and squirmed in her grasp. He couldn’t go back outside. Not where…

It was too late. She threw him into a patch of grass and locked the backdoor. The Zangoose rushed over to there, pounding at the window, then drew out his claws and struck as he cried for her attention. The glass was reinforced. Of course, it was Poke-proof. It was useless. Mom was in the middle of trashing the kitchen, throwing jars and glasses at the walls and sweeping the tables and counters of all its contents, leaving food and cutlery scattered everywhere. By the time she broke down and fell to her knees, screaming, the dining area was completely totalled.

Gyro kept knocking and pounding at the glass, but to no avail. It didn’t matter. He just wanted to focus on anything else but the outdoors behind him, otherwise, that would’ve meant facing…


Gyro stopped, and time stood still. He took a deep breath and plucked up the courage to look to his side. The rain stopped. The trees no longer rustled with the wind. The world around Gyro had turned into a noiseless vacuum.


Except for the hiss’ trilling. It turned into a crescendo, and each trill became a stab of fear in Gyro’s heart. It came from his side. With nowhere to go, he turned towards the hiss’ source.

There it was: the Seviper in his nightmares. Its tongue vibrated as it hissed again, poison dripped down its red icepick fangs, and its knife-edge tail swayed behind it as it stared down its longtime rival: the Zangoose. Gyro whimpered, shakily raising a claw to the monster.

“W-why? Why did you do it? Why did you kill him?!”

No response, except for more hissing. The Seviper’s red, unblinking eyes were like those Gyro saw back in the wild: indifferent, and yet cruel all the same. It didn’t know compassion. He didn’t know compassion before he met Andre, either.

Gyro wasn’t there when his trainer was suddenly killed by the Seviper. He was in his Pokeball. Andre was a part of his life, and then, he wasn’t there anymore. Just snuffed out like a candle in the wind. Why didn’t Andre use him, or his other Pokemon? He could’ve saved himself. Gyro would’ve been glad to die if it meant protecting him.

Then, was there nothing in the world worth living for? There were the streams and all the shows he liked. He enjoyed watching Ash’s adventures on the screen with Andre before he went on his journey, and he enjoyed it now. Now his trainer was gone, was he still tied to him?

No. That rope was severed long ago. There was no bringing him back. He had to live with his trainer’s death for the rest of his life, and yet, his gut told him to go on. He wanted to watch more of his favourite shows and streamers. He wanted to hear what was going on in the rest of the world. He wanted to chance to talk to others again, in real life or on Diancord, no matter how painful it was sometimes. His trainer wouldn’t have wanted him to die for him or waste away. He wanted him to live on, as well as his other Pokemon. He hoped they were doing fine with other loving trainers.

That was it, then. Gyro entered a battle stance, planting his paws firmly into the dirt. The Seviper hissed and whipped its tail at the Zangoose. His instinct kicked in. He rolled out of harm’s way and sprung into a sprint, aiming for the side. The Seviper turned around and struck with its blade again. The Zangoose leapt towards it, barely missing the tail, and climbed up on its back all the way to the top of its head. It thrashed in confusion. The Zangoose raised his claws to strike it with Close Combat.

Swipe. Pound. He threw blow after blow at its tough skull, wailing on it as it shrieked in pain. In desperation, the Seviper rolled out of the way as well, which sent the Zangoose flying. He quickly got to his feet just as the Seviper thrust itself forward in a serpentine motion. The Zangoose tried to roll again, but the force of the scaly mass struck him. It knocked him to the ground, and the coiling monster pinned him down.

It hissed, licking at the Zangoose’s face with its rough tongue, about to close in on its prey. The Zangoose could still move his arms, however. With all the strength left in his body, the Zangoose aimed his claw at the Seviper’s eye, using Revenge. Then, slash. With one swift motion, he plunged his claw into the monster’s eye, making it thrash around in pain. The Zangoose was on his feet again. He pursued the monster, but the Seviper, sadly hissing, slunk away, leaving purple bloodstains on the grass.

The Zangoose, or rather, Gyro, gasped for air. It was gone for now. After facing it head on for the first time in a season, the aching in his heart disappeared. From there, it was safe to retract his claws.

He became unstuck in time. The rain fell on his head again, drenching his fur coat. His ears were all floppy. Thunder crackled. How long had he been out for?

The door unlocked, and there, Andre’s mother waited. Her eyes were red, but the rage in her face was replaced with sorrow.

“Please, come in.” She pointed to Gyro. “I’m sorry. I just want answers now.”

Before Gyro crept back into the house, he took one last glance at the scene before him. The purple bloodstains were gone. He let out a sigh of relief, and hoped that was all in his head. Eventually, he padded back inside. The kitchen was a mess, with the once pristine floor made into a bed of glass shards and disassembled cutlery. Mom acknowledged this and picked Gyro up, carrying him over the mess at the bottom until they were in the living room. She sat him down on the tattered couch, and turned to him.

“Do you understand what I’m saying?” she said, grasping her temple. “P-please, I need to just get this out there.”

Gyro nodded vigorously, making himself clear. She sighed and rested her head on the cushions. For a moment, it seemed like she was about to say something else, but her mouth hung open, hanging on a thread. Gyro breathed in and out, trying not to crack under the pressure of the silence, or her scornful gaze. Finally, her eyebrows knitted together, and she spoke.

“Do you know how much I hate you? All this time, I’ve been trying to piece together what happened, and all I get is silence. They won’t tell me anything. And all I have left from him is you, of all things, and after all that, I just have another mouth to feed.”

She shakily pointed a finger to him.

“Do you know what that feels like? Nothing can replace his love, and yet you’re here! Just give me a sign! Why did he have to die instead of you? Why?”

Gyro gulped, and held his paws behind his back. He was trying to stop himself from drawing out his claws, however badly they shook, but no matter how much he couldn’t stand to listen to her or look at her reddened face, he had to roll with the punches. He couldn’t act like a meek cub in front of her any more. He had to be the tough, hardy Zangoose he was born to be. So instead, he turned to writing instead of fighting. He looked at the table. There was a pen and a pad nearby, waiting to be used. That itching feeling in his paws returned. He grabbed it, and she looked on, puzzled, until he wrote as best as he could.

‘he dIdnT waNt Me to DiE. WANted You to CaRRy on.’

Her eyes widened. Clearly, she must have been shocked at first by his sudden display of literacy skills, but returned to a sorrowful expression. Her mind must’ve been focused on other things.

“H-he did? Were you that close?”

‘he PlAid gAmeS anD woTched shoWS wiTHme. I wAs a FreNd noT juSt hIs pokeMOn. I BecaMe beTter CuZ of His trAinInG.’

She let out a hollow laugh.

“I had the feeling, ever since we adopted you, but he never talked about you. He always kept to himself.”

‘rLy? I nEvEr kNew. I ThauT he SharED a LoT’

“No. I tried to talk to him about how he felt, but he always said he was fine. Don’t you think I tried hard enough?” She clenched her fists. “I was there for him, wasn’t I?”

Gyro just stared at her, trying to put his thoughts to words, but he couldn’t write anything in the end. A lot of what happened went over his head. Mom grasped her sweatpants and turned away from him.

“Oh dear, what am I saying? Why am I asking a Pokemon this?” She sighed. “I should know him well, I raised him for yonks until he set off on his own for the league. That’s what a Mom should do, know everything about their kids, shouldn’t they? Am I right, or am I just talking to myself here?” She sniffled, sinking into the couch. “Maybe I’ve just failed as a mother.”

Tears of his own started to form, but he wouldn’t break there. For all of those things Mom said, Gyro didn’t know the answer, but she never struck him as being incapable, as she fed and clothed Andre while he was still alive, just like any loving human parent would’ve. That’s more than what wild cubs usually got, when all there was necessity, at least from what he heard. Gyro should’ve given her something, at least to prevent her from getting angrier or sadder. He wrote ‘DunnO, nEVEr had a Mom. U Did a gooD Job’ and handed it to her, which she took silently.

“Yeah, did.” Her breath shuddered, trying to say something next, but before she did, she turned around, making the side of her face visible to Gyro. She looked down, turning the slip around in her hand.

“I always wondered about that. I was proud of him. Anyone would be overjoyed if their kid went off to face the world with their Pokemon partner. B-but--” Tears dripped onto the paper. “What s-sort of job did I do if he wouldn’t even talk to me? Did he even love me?”

Gyro frowned. He tried to wrap his head around all of this, as these problems seemed new to him. However, after sifting through the memories of Andre talking to her over the phone after big battles, or looking at the photos of him and her on his tablet, which Gyro was a fly on the wall for, he had no other answer than to write this:

‘nO. hE lOvEd yOu. DiDn’t KnoW how 2 Say it. QuIet 2 otHers 2.’

“But still! If I kept him closer, then maybe he still would’ve-- Oh god, it’s all my fault!”

She shielded her face and sobbed in her hands. Gyro sat still, allowing her to let it all out before she came back to her senses. He needed just as much pause as well, trying not to burst in order to continue writing. He put pencil to pad once more.

‘dOnt blAmE urSeLF. BlaMe me. If I was tHerE 2 protect Him from SeviPer, he woodve’

Gyro tried to find the right words for what to write next, but ended up scribbling all over the page. At that moment, everything came rushing back to him, and it was all too much. He threw the pad to one side and wailed. That snapped her out of her headspace, and after she read the notepad, she cradled him in her arms, despite his blubbering.

“No, no, no,” she cooed, “It’s not your fault, it’s not your fault. I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

She sniffled, looking like she was about to crack again, but kept repeating those words like a lullaby to Gyro. He was trying to process everything: the guilt, the emptiness, the loneliness, the sadness, and the rift between them in those past few months. His face was a waterfall. He didn’t even know if he cried this much in his life, not in the wild or at home after he came back from the incident. But in that moment, Mom held him close to her, stroking his head and letting him get it out of his system. Was this what a mother’s embrace was like? If this was his first time, then it was greatly comforting, even if it was from a human. He sobbed into her chest, drying his face on her shirt, which smelled nice.

Time passed, and Gyro stopped at last. Through all the tears, his heart felt much lighter, though still burdened by all the problems he’d have to face. Eventually, Mom sighed, and with one final pat on the head, she gently put him back on his spot on the couch. She rubbed her eyes, pulling herself together before turning back to the Zangoose.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to heap this all onto you, but--” She shook her head. “Never mind. God.” She dug her nails into her arm. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around all of this. I just need some time alone, okay?”

Gyro sat there, not knowing what to say. He was tempted to pick up the notepad again, but he felt as if that barrier re-emerged between the two. Taking the hint, Gyro sat up and leaned forward to leap off the seat.

“Stop,” she said, releasing the grip on her arm, which started to bleed. “Sorry again. I don’t want you to feel unwelcome here, but it’s just a bit too much for me at the moment. For now though, you’re allowed in Andre’s room. That’s the least I can do.”

He beamed at that, and tried to coax a ‘thank you’ in the human tongue, but all that came out were slurred words vaguely resembling human speech.

“Don’t worry, I get the gist of it, and you’re welcome. If you feel up to it, we can talk more later.” She smiled, for the first time in a season. “I never knew you were such a clever Pokemon.”

Gyro cocked his head, still not knowing how to respond. Truth be told, he didn’t feel like talking to her that much, after all the distance between them, but if it meant he had someone to meet face to face, then that was a good enough promise. He returned the smile, slunk back to his spot in the living room, curled up in his bed, and closed his eyes. He was too mentally exhausted to do anything else, and didn’t feel like sleeping in his trainer’s bed either. He knew once he woke up, he’d have to face another day with that void Andre’s absence left, but deep in his gut, Gyro knew that things would be better from here on out, if only slightly.


A day later, while Mom was busy cleaning up the kitchen, Gyro walked over to his trainer’s room once more. The blinds were open, so it let the sunshine in. Andre’s game consoles, plushes and figurines laid neatly arranged as usual, but were polished clean, and felt more homely as opposed to suspended in time. He looked to the computer, which was still on, just on standby. After that conversation with Chair, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to use it as much anymore, but maybe it was worth checking again, just to see if she said anything else.

Gyro sat in his chair again and opened Diancord once more. There were five new messages from Chair left from yesterday, although she was offline.

Chair: Hello?

Chair: Is everything alright?

Chair: I’m sorry about all of that still. I was trying to distance myself from this convo, but the more I thought about it, the more I realise I was talking out of my ass.

Chair: The internet can be a scary place sometimes. You don’t know what the person on the other side is thinking. But there’s also a lot of good in its as well. It’s a tool, just like anything else, really. Not exactly a replacement for real life, but just a way to support it. If you wanna vent, I’m always here. If I’m getting on your nerves tho, you can always open up on the Pokemon Diancord. There’s a vent channel filled with peeps that want to listen to your troubles. If you ever feel lonely or desperate (story of my life), go on there. You might find you’ll like it.

Chair: One more thing. I might be away for another day or two, sorry for being a pain in the ass, but are you still looking for a new trainer? If so, I’m currently in Lumiose at the moment. If it’s not too far off, I’d be happy for you to join our team. Only if his Mom lets you. I don’t wanna separate you two.

He grinned from ear to ear. If he remembered the map correctly, that didn’t sound too far off from where he was.

A3000: campfreer town. id love to join u

A3000: dunno a bout mom. will think on it.

It appeared she wouldn’t be able to reply for at least another day, so he took her word and went on the vent channel. There was a past log of people who opened up about their troubles, such as trainer troubles, rent (whatever that meant to Gyro) and loneliness. The last one, he could relate to. Taking a deep breath, he started to type in his thoughts.

A3000: hi. i dunno if others will listen but here i am. im a pokemon. a zangoose. my trainer died a season ago cuz of a wild encounter. tryin to deal w/it atm. its like ive lost a brother. its loneli. diancord helps a lot. i dunno if you beleev me if i say im a pokemon. i dunno how many pokemon use diancord. r there many out there? feel like the only one lol.

He waited for a response. Multiple users were typing in to reply at once.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: jeez, man, mon??? that blows.

Eviolight: :hug:

Congress of Dunspaces: I’m sorry to hear that. It can be quite lonely if you don’t have many others to turn to. I experience that daily.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: i’ve had to deal with a bro dying to, so i know what that’s like. seriously, mon, heart goes out to you. sorry if i come across as a dick sometimes.

A3000: no thats fine, lol. thx everyone

Lysandre did nothing wrong: its rare to see pokemon on this server, lol (even though pokemon on a pokemon server would seem obvious). but if any of you peeps want to come forward and come clean, speak up.

ChildishAudino: Yup! Gligar here!

Lysandre did nothing wrong: wow, that was fast. but holy s

orz: what a tweest!

ChildishAudino: @Congress of Dunsparces If I’m doing it, then you have to as well!

Congress of Dunsparces: Alright, perhaps I should. I’m a Luxray.

orz: double tweest

A3000: rly? its hard enuff typing w/my paws. how do u do it w/out hands?

ChildishAudino: We’re able to speak human. The computer transcribes for us.

Lysandre did nothing wrong: no way. never would’ve thot of that.


Lysandre did nothing wrong: did i seriously mistype thought? that wasn’t even intentional lol

Congress of Dunsparces: There are more of us out there than you realise. It’s hard to tell because of the magic of the internet, but it’s becoming more of a thing since trainer numbers are decreasing. There’s less of a need to become one, so Pokemon are becoming more domesticated.

ChildishAudino: I’m a city rat myself. Or city bat, you could say.

A3000: lol

ChildishAudino: @Eviolight I know advertising isn’t encouraged, but I feel like this is relevant for our new friend here. Can I plug my own server for Pokemon users?

Eviolight: I’ll make an exception this time. :)

ChildishAudino: Here!

A link to the Pokespeaker’s Extravaganza server popped up.

ChildishAudino: If you ever want to improve your typing skills or want to learn to speak human, and have any Pokemon related troubles to talk about, feel free to join! We’d love to have you on there!

Perhaps this would be good for him. Gyro always had a vague interest in learning to speak human, but never knew how to break into it. Now there was the possibility of being with a trainer again, he wanted to be able to talk face to face with them. He wanted to do it for Chair. He smiled and clicked on the link.

To be continued in Outside the Box...
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Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Ahh, there's so much to love here. For starters, the online interactions felt very genuine (Gyro's "im confus lol" is a Big Mood, haha) and it was easy to get a feel for what each of the chat members were like despite having nothing to go off but the chat. I also like how indirect a lot of the storytelling in this is, as we slowly get a feel for what this household is like without being told outright. The beer bottles, the dusty room, the way Gyro jolts at noises and slinks around, all great ways to paint the tone so that the reader knows what happened long before it's 'revealed.' One of the most heartbreaking bits for me was actually the way that Gyro panic-blocked his trainer's old friend to avoid having to explain what was going on. D:

The fight with the Seviper felt a bit weird, as at first I thought it was a hallucination, but then as the fight went on, it seemed more like it was actually happening, which seemed... odd. (Not that a Seviper needs an excuse to pick a fight with a Zangoose, haha, but rather that this specific Seviper would somehow be around at this exact moment.) But then, upon reflection, I think it still might have been intended as a hallucination? I assume you meant it to be open-ended, in any case. That said, I really enjoyed the followup to the fight, and the way that Gyro and the mom slowly come to an understanding through all the grief.

Shine and Barley showing up at the end was a nice nod to TCATS btw! (I'd totally forgotten their usernames, haha.)



sometimes i get a deadache, yeah
Hey, here for the Review Game! I was already interested in checking out your other stuff since Black Paint and what little I’ve read of TCATS, anyway. And I’m very glad I read this one, as I enjoyed it a lot! Here are my thoughts, starting with quote-specific ones and them moving onto some more general ones.

One of my friends in Sinnoh knows a Lucario that speaks like us, and often teaches other Pokemon the same.

thought you could sneak these tcats references by me huh...

A3000: can i say who i am?

Chair: Go ahead. Your secret’s safe with me.

A3000: im gyro


Chair: I gathered that. ;)

He smiled. He figured he should do an emoticon as well, with extra smilies to one-up her.

A3000: :)))))

Assuming the graphic smilies are accidental. A tip to circumventing autofeatures like this is to explicitly mark part of it as the normal font size (think it was 4), which causes BBcode tags to break up the string an autofeature would be activated by while changing basically nothing for the reader. This same trick can be used to circumvent swear filters, which is allowed within stories on here.

A girl laid in the bed of her tent with a Swirlix stuck in her afro on another screen.

i don’t care what she says later on there’s no way that can ever come out

Lysandre did nothing wrong: pokemon let’s go pikachu and eevee is a nostalgic cash grab: change my mind

lysandre out here actin like a vocal drunk in a bus

He hit the puddle, and then, the ground underneath.

Hmm, I know it’s a dream and inconsistency is totally a thing in those, but is it intentional here? Puddle doesn’t add up as a descriptor of a forest flood to me.

A3000: Y DO U TALK 2 ME

o shi he going caps mode

The Zangoose, or rather, Gyro, gasped for air.

This tripped me up on the first read and kind of still does. I’m assuming the intention was that his identity had subsided while instincts took hold, but it didn’t come across strongly enough to me and the fact that Gyro was never mentioned by name flew over my head before I started specifically looking for it. Maybe I just didn’t get that feral a feel of how he was acting? The type names being mentioned may have to do with that, since they seem like human constructs or at least human terms for the techniques. Putting focus on more animalistic elements like smell and whiskers might help get the temporary loss of identity come across better. Even turning “feet” into “paws” might make a noticeable difference.

‘he dIdnT waNt Me to DiE. WANted You to CaRRy on.’

I love that Gyro’s writing is case-shuffled for that scrawly look. If I wanted to be really nitpicky, though, I’d say that the case would probably be constant for the letters that change shape between cases...

Chair: One more thing. I might be away for another day or two, sorry for being a pain in the ass, but are you still looking for a new trainer? If so, I’m currently in Lumiose at the moment. If it’s not too far off, I’d be happy for you to join our team. Only if his Mom lets you. I don’t wanna separate you two.

It felt odd to me how quickly Chair made the turn, as before it was like ‘no way dude that’s ridiculous’ and now it’s ‘yeah sure fam just hop along, I’ll adopt you’. It may be necessary for the sequel, but on the off-chance it isn’t or there’s some wiggle room, a meetup to help Gyro figure some stuff out and ask around if some acquaintances can adopt or know someone that can would feel more likely.


The beginning of the story is very atmospheric, having a clear air of stillness and unspoken baggage for the room. The contrast with the happy desktop background strengthens this further, and captures that discord (no not that Discord) one has when first returning to something reminding them of a person now lost, a relic of a happier time in a way. The same lightheartedness is seen in a petty chat squabble, which the protagonist feels detached from, unfamiliar with the chat culture.

Gyro's interactions with the other users are adorable, by the way. His broken English and unawareness have such a childlike charm. It's like those jokes about animals pretending to be human online.

And on the subject of memes - you're no doubt aware that internet culture ages fairly quickly and thus references will become dated. I doubt it'll hit this story so hard, though. The contemporary elements are pretty much just peripheral, when the true themes of the story, isolation and dealing with loss, are timeless. And, well, in the end it's a bit absurd to nitpick timelessness in a fanfic, anyway.

The bad state the mother is very well implied with details alone - not allowing anyone in the room, beer bottles, sitting silently on the bed. This ups the stakes subtly but effectively, and it all culminates when she catches Gyro. After Gyro’s done wrestling his inner demon, she brings him back and lets it all out. The scene that follows is very intense and emotional, showing how sorrow can really twist a person’s mind but also how communication and support from others is vital to dealing with mental issues. It ties together with Gyro’s search for company in the chatroom as well.

The story then ends on a heartwarming, hopeful note and wraps up very nicely, so nicely in fact that I’m not sure where the sequel would go. I’m guessing it’s to do with Gyro joining Chair, but beyond that, it’s a mystery.

That’s about all I had in mind. Hope it was helpful, and if there’s something I didn’t touch on that you’d like to hear my opinion on, feel free to ask.

S. Lee

~ 빈 ~
Wow! Yeah, I definitely didn’t expect that! I don’t have too much experience reading fanfics atm, so this was more-or-less a new experience for me. Tbh, it blew me away a little bit! I think one of your biggest strengths is your dialogue, which I really noticed since I tend to struggle with it. In particular, the chat logs had a great conversational tone that mimics modern day internet culture really well. Though it could be argued that it sometimes tries too hard in terms of internet slang, I would suggest otherwise, as it sets the tone, and gives a rather immersive effect. Also, it gave great characterisation, as it became immediately clear what type of personality each user had, and therefore, their responses appeared naturalistic and real.

I feel harsh in saying this, but I would say that the beginning was a little rough, not because of content, but because of your language. Sometimes I felt that the words that you were using felt too formal in an otherwise informal context. Now, I am aware that using different styles of language can provide an insight towards characters’ personalities, but I felt the vibe was a little awkward. But, I admit that this might be a personal perspective, and doesn’t necessarily voice how other people may feel about your use of language. Also, I would like to point out that your language smoothed out in the body and conclusion of your fic, so it was only noticeable in the beginning.

Others have already given you some great feedback on how to improve, but if I could suggest anything, I think it might help to flex your descriptive muscles more – for instance, in some areas I feel like everything is beautifully described, and I have a clear image of what you mean, but in others, I am more-or-less forming the picture in my head by myself. I totally don’t mean that in a negative way or anything, as again, you’ve did a great job with this! Once more: the dialogue was really what kept me engaged, and the overall selling point of this fic. Great job!