1. We have moved to a new forum system. All your posts and data should have transferred over. Welcome, to the new Serebii Forums. Details here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders
    Dismiss Notice

Overlord ["Criminal Intent" Contest, 2015]

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by Venia Silente, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. Venia Silente

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

    Good time-of-day, my dear readers, and welcome to yet another piece of such lovable activity as is writing. Of course, I apologize for not engaging in it more often, and as a small token of bribery appreciation I'd like to present to you my entry to the Criminal Intent 2015 Writing Contest.
    (The title sounds like the classic naming scheme for 2000's police procedural series, kinda like Prime Suspect, Cold Case or Without a Trace. More specifically, there is a Law and Order spinoff specifically called “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” which from what I understand did not fare too well in broadcast, alas. Still, all of them good series in their own regard. I felt like saying this because, really, this contest was a very good idea and I could totally see it giving birth to a trend)

    (Ahem… I digress)

    This year's writing contest dealt with the subject of the oh so lovable, rogue “Evil Teams”, what do whey do and how do they organize themselves; quoting from the contest's introduction, “whether it be a short ficlet about the daily life of low-ranking grunts, a large-scale heist thriller or a character study of your favorite team leader”. In other words what is life for this Team, be it their higher-ups or their grunts.


    For this contest I went with a somewhat peculiar take on the subject, which I hope you will enjoy. The chosen test subject is none other than a character we all know and love: the leader of Team Rocket!


    And no, I don't mean Mr. Giovanni, but the actual leader of Team Rocket; he who is always there, observing and spending quality time with Giovanni, never leaving his side, for as much as the Gym Leader might be an evil guy who is not above hurting Pokémon en masse to achieve his goals, it can not be denied that Giovanni truly loves… none other than his Persian, his cat; alas many of us know that there is no such thing as a “cat owner”, but rather, humans who are given the privilege and regale of a feline's company and -more importantly- oversight.

    [​IMG]

    (That and a divetackle to vital organs at 5 AM from the top of the shelf. Gotta love cats.)

    So… what must life be like for Giovanni's Persian to endure the activities of Team Rocket? Let's take a sneak peek at the daily life of one of the, if not the, Top Cats, as he has to keep track of such human activities as business and science.

    Hope you all enjoy this small story.


    As was the case for the previous contest entry, my “Built for Risk” preliminary, some meta notices.


    First, this entry was judged by none other than our very own (I love that phrase) bobandbill, Creepychu, Dragonfree and Sike Saner, to whom I give my gratitude for organizing the contest and my congratulations for the awesome job. The judges's ranking puts this entry in the 5[SUP]th[/SUP] place shared with Umbramatic's “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Plasbad”, for which I will provide a link here when the entry is published. The reviews they gave, and the answers to them, will be posted here later as I answer to more commentary from the general audience.


    Second, and again as was the case with the previous entry, what I am releasing here should be treated as a preliminary revision. It is the same version that was sent to the judges, barring some mechanical fixes for grammar and an annoying double full-stop I only noticed two weeks after the deadline.


    Besides the judges, my thanks go to various people from Serebii and other abodes across the internet, such as Tangent, Spiteful Murkrow, Virgil, Paticoria, CorvusAtrox, Mezzopiano, Monzón and Tagg, who contributed to the proofreading; to Umbramatic, who was among the people to poke and prod me until I decided to enter the contest; and to my cats, or rather, the cats I serve to and that gave me the time to work in this entry, mostly by going into cat fights up until 3 AM forcing me to stay up and do something useful.


    So, let's not delay our enjoyment any further. After a small index that will be updated later:


    …I leave with you with the worldwide première of…





    Overlord

    Flick… flick… flick…


    “…That said, it is an unique opportunity for your company.” The voice came from the Persian’s human, a man sitting on the swivel chair at the end of the table- the chair the Persian always liked to keep an eye on during human meetings. “With only a signature, that legion of lawyers Devon keeps by your development offices, gone…”

    Then came the sound of a finger flick and the chair bent back a bit, with just the precision and the absolute minimum of sound, enough to indicate a move well practised, perfected, enjoyed.

    “In a matter of hours.”

    The other humans were at this point squinting at the Persian’s human, sometimes leaning on the table for extra closeness, the lights on the room dim and focused on the pieces of artwork around the table. For the Persian the lights were just perfect, not that he needed them.

    The cat's tail continued to flick about. In the darkness he could perceive a tall woman of open, commanding gestures arguing with an older human who calmly read through every page, every line, as if looking for inscrutable clues that would save his team from this dire situation. There were two other people trying to go over the documents and discuss options, but the old man showed his erudition by keeping focused on the precise task at hand.

    The Persian’s human caught on some of the argument and the cat saw his human’s mouth twist only slightly in a gesture full of vindictive pleasure.

    The Persian’s ear instinctively leaned to the left to catch the sound of head scratching and of hands running through folders and papers. The humans left around a scent not unlike that of stressed and cornered prey, Persian noticed. The dim light revealed their hands as sweaty and shaky, they would momentarily close into fists and meet the table for each possible route of escape that the human in charge of examining documents would preemptively refute as a dead end.

    The feline decided that his human’s threat had brought about the desired effect.

    Or… perhaps, nearly the desired effect. The Persian buffed and stirred on the carpet for a moment, struggling to fight increasing pangs of hunger and a growing desire for a bit of moonlight and fresh air. And perhaps a small live Pidgey to eat.

    Flick… flick… flick…

    Moonlight, finally… The Persian looked to the side opposite to that of the window to witness the twisting of the shadows of the humans, invisible for them, cast on the other side of the room. The pale but growing moonlight reached through the curtains, and with those flailing ghosts it ornamented the logo of the “city of evergreen” that featured as the largest icon in that wall.

    “The… the patent managers were insistent that…” came the voice of one of the male humans at the other side of the table, followed by more shuffling of papers, “we were to discuss any alternatives with the project supervisors…”

    Oh no, here they were with the hesitation again.

    For the thirty-somethingth time already.

    Flick… flick… flick…

    The Persian took a look at the window, his tail still flicking about as it had been for over half an hour already. The curtains were completely closed and the feline could only barely perceive the lazily swirling city lights past them, as the shine of the Moon reached higher into the sky.

    Yawn…

    …Had this meeting lasted that long?

    The attention of the cat was forcibly returned to the table by a quiet and exasperated breath coming from the person sitting at the swivel chair.

    “Did he? The project supervisor, hmmm.” The human leaned forwards and rested his arms on the table this time, with only his business black attire and his Boldorex watch coming under the light. “He will attest that the terms have barely changed, if at all.”

    The Persian could now sense the stress expressed in his human’s hands almost scratching the table, the same way the Persian’s claws would less than amicably stroke the carpet.

    Flick… flick… flick…

    The Persian stretched his claws. He only knew bits and pieces of the human business language, but he was quite familiar with the language of their bodies, more than enough to understand he was not the only one fed up with the pathetic indecisions of those future subjects.

    One of the women in the team spoke this time. “Our team would like to return to the hotel,” came her voice, older and assured, but still tense as the woman faced the certainty in the voice of the Persian’s human, “and rest a little to more adequately review the terms of this offer.”

    …They had to be kidding.

    Flick flick flick flick…

    The Persian sighed and let his fangs show, his tail swinging back and forth more menacingly now, sensing for something to swat.

    ...They had DARED!

    Flick flick flick flick…

    Dared to make him wait even more. Such an annoyance.

    They are simply weaker than my human, thus they are bound to serve me”, the Persian thought, letting his fangs show for a moment. “They just have to accept it.

    Work for the Persian had been hard during the last few days, and surely those days had been hard for his subjects, too.

    For them and for his partner in crime…

    For weeks the human led his people in arduous tasks to please the Persian. The subjects did everything that was requested of them at any time of the day they were asked to. Even if they had just been conquered and were untrained, they would obey.

    Flick… flick… flick…

    He had to admit they did things right, yes.

    It had been a long time in the past, but Persian remembered. When he had once gotten bored with simple marbles to play with and his human, busy with the rites of attending to a Gym challenge, was not available to tend to him, Persian went to file his complaint to his human’s mate. The next day his human tasked some subjects to go fetch beautiful, amber-like rocks from the mountains to the north for the cat to play with and swat around.

    Or that time not too long ago, when Persian grew irate that the campus was bereft of Rattata to chase and play around with; the human gathered his subjects at the backyard and ordered that they were to be issued Zubat and Grimer as partners instead.

    Once or twice a season, when the Persian started to get bored of the same buildings, the same house, the same alleys, his human and his subjects would take him to various expeditions and places of enjoyment, such as the fenced land where he and his human could hunt Pokémon at their leisure, or -as was the case last time- the town to the east with the cemetery tower, where the human had ordered his subjects to run pranks and bully the Trainers around.

    Yes, it was their job…

    Yes, it was done well.

    Flick… flick… flick…

    But right now Persian wanted to have fun, to play with his human partner and to frolic around under the moonlight... Wasn’t that his human’s job, too? The Persian took it as a given. Besides, he… they, were more than fed up with educating future subjects today.

    A part of him even wondered, in his boredom, if his subjects were allowed to have fun too. Perhaps they were having fun with their Rattata - his Rattata- while he was caged here with his human and some cowards from the next town over.

    Thump.

    The feline scowled as his tail slapped the carpet. Fun for the plebeians, the thought!

    Perhaps it was best that the Persian made his opinion… no, his command, on the matter, known right now.

    As he came to a decision, the Persian heard and sensed his human’s posture become more rigid, his voice harsher. The commanding attitude both had learned during their lives came off from the human naturally; his human had learned it well, thought the Persian, realizing that the human must have sensed the cat’s decision too.

    “Our buyout offer is as it stands right here and now. Leave this table, and I withdraw it along with the rest of our…”, the Persian heard the chair swivel, “current assistance.”

    A threat of hunt. The Persian’s eyes opened wider.

    His curiosity piqued, the Persian stretched once again and sat on his hind legs. He focused his eyes and saw clearly that the human was no longer watching his interlocutors. Such lesser beings even among their own kind, entangled in their documents of strange and binding language, arguing with each other, likely about how to take their now assured defeat.

    Persian turned to his human and saw he had turned away to the covered windows. His hands held in front of his face, his fingers interlocked, the gesture hiding what would be in a cat the threat of fangs; but the gesture did nothing to hide the rest of his face, tensed in a private agony, or his eyes, which tried to reach to something beyond the office they were all sitting in.

    Flick… flick… flick…

    Persian knew full well where his human had turned his sights to. Far beyond the reaches of the night, filled by the closer and more soothing voices of the female and the child his human had had for a family, there was the abode that the human and sometimes the feline called “home”.

    Yes. This was a shared desire.

    And as such, it should be command.

    A tug on the human's pants brought his eyes down, to meet those of the Persian that had just reached to him; for a brief moment they looked into each other, only able to reveal in their half-openness the extreme tiredness and the souring mood taking over the two of them.

    That was allowed to last a little. They were partners, and would well inform each other of their wants and pains.

    Then came the jump to the human’s lap. That was more because of tradition, but also because the Persian wanted to gain a higher ground. He was not to let a bunch of cowards force him to have to look them up.

    Staring at the four or five humans didn’t last long. They were still busy discussing their surrender anyway. The Persian’s human let one of his hands approach and stroke the Persian’s fur, right in the base of the head and around the neck and from there to the chin. Those carefully timed movements had been practised by the human and the Pokémon for years, to maximize pleasure and minimize the effort required. The Persian’s human sighed, probably thinking back to times where petting and playing were more frequent activities.

    Over the table, the voices of the team of future servants reached the Persian, but he did not care about the contradictory mix of defiance and resignation in the older woman and in the man of skill in contracts.


    He wanted attention. He cared only of having time to share with his human.

    Purr~

    The feline Pokémon stared at his partner for a moment, purring softly (so that the others wouldn’t hear him) and then softly closed his eyes, this request finally having a noticeable effect. The human raised his hand and interrupted the negotiations with a stern voice.

    “My… friends,” the words came forth as a fake compliment, with a hint of feline scorn even, “maybe you are right… this is such an ungodly hour. Let’s continue to discuss the terms of our involvement tomorrow, when we all feel more refreshed.”

    The Persian could feel his partner's shared eagerness to get out of that place and took the first step, from his lap to the carpeted ground below. From there, he wasted no time to rush to one of the thick doors that served as exits. He sat there facing the door, not bothering to make any effort to further acknowledge the losers he had left behind. At most he turned an ear to verify that his human was soon following.

    In fact, just a bit later, the human's hand reached for the knob and the feline turned a last bit of attention to the workers he and his human left behind. The servants-to-be tired and confused as they continued to examine the documents and hushed about what had gone through “director Giovanni’s” head just now.

    Servants, be they standing or new, always would lack the required understanding.

    Right now they mattered not, anyway.

    ----



    Ah, finally free. Outside.

    It was a bit chilly compared to the inside and the streetlights had been behaving weird for a couple of days straight, sure, but the Persian’s natural coat of fur and natural eyesight took care of most of that.

    The Persian felt very pleased at being able to stretch and breathe. Finally getting to the park, the greenest area in an already green city, dispelled much of the feline’s worries. During the walk to get outside of the building his claws had tried every surface: the fine wine red carpeting, the strangely tiled glass-like floor by the elevator, the shoes of a secretary who dared interrupt them with a report about a “zap dose”, the ivory pillars by the lobby even. The cat had felt growing pleasure in reacquainting himself with the outside world and with growing pleasure came purrs also growing louder.

    The human on the other paw, had taken off his jacket and made his way out yawning and stretching every once in a while, when he stopped to examine the various ornaments such as paintings, flowerpots and statues. He would take in every sight and every scent of their path to the freedom outside.

    As the two reached to the first floor and headed to the last door out of the lobby, the feline deigned to look behind at the place. The wine red carpeting had been nice, and the feline made a point to check that his subjects had not fixed the little holes he had left after next meeting. Because there would be a next one. Hissing and scratching at the secretary to assert his dominance was fun too, and the face of disingenuousness -mock disingenuousness, at that- that his human had given to him while reprimanding him had been totally worth it.

    But all that was part of the job. What he was going after was leisure.

    The pair greeted the final security guard with a nod and a meow and then walked outside of the building; they did not stop or look behind when the automatic doors closed, they just continued walking until they got to the overhead pass that connected to the park the across the street. Even then they only walked faster, never slower, until they had crossed it.

    They were part of it now. Among the trees and lampposts of the manmade forest and in the middle of the night: freedom. The Persian sniffed around and looked up to a world that, while nocturnal and shadowy for the humans, was full of sound and light and bursting activity for the feline. All of the moonlight, all of the city’s secrets were now at their disposal.

    Meow.

    The Persian called up and received some pets on his head, right by the jewel that crowned it. The city could come later, right now he deserved this: some time for petting, and for relaxation.

    A moment after, the human and Pokémon were sitting on a bench. The human folded his jacket over his shoulder and arm, to cover himself from the wind coming that direction, and the two of them relaxed and whiled away some time just watching the world go by. It took some minutes for the human to finally express his feelings about the meeting, which he did with a tired slight of some sort towards the mother of one of the “accountant” humans in the losers team. Whichever of them her son was, with how the day had been going, he likely deserved it. No matter who the mother was, the Persian decided.

    The Persian made a mental note to have that accountant be found and cast out during the next meeting. Under what kind of punishment he didn't get to figure out, as the Pokémon's mood was soothed by the sudden and much welcome touch of the human on the creature's forehead, which then moved to the top of the head and from there -oh, bliss, oh vibrations and harmonic inhalations- to the neck and torso.

    And he had thought that meeting was never going to be over…

    Meow.

    The Persian stretched his neck and purred for a moment. He rolled on the bench by the human a couple of times, elegantly scratching the wood, and in return the human leaned over and searched across the Persian's back for more spots to be pet and scratched.

    Much of the day had been wasted in silly human incompetence, so the feline was quick to guide the human’s touch to the shoulder and the base of the neck, the spots he loved so much to have rubbed and cleared of loose fur.

    The two talked for several minutes while they allowed themselves to expel the stress of the day. They talked about family, about back-alley concerts, about Poké balls, about the Gym in the city, about prey offerings, about the moonlight.... After that, the feline grew restless. He needed to stretch his muscles and let them loose.

    The human looked around, there were barely any people this time of the night. The feline listened around too, all of the birds were sleeping or occupying themselves watching over the humans in the busy streets with unsatisfiable curiosity. The wind was low but firm, and surely had already revealed the Persian’s presence to the Pokémon living around the area, as not even the Caterpie were wandering around. The Persian huffed in annoyance.

    That was when it happened.

    He should have known “it” would come to tease and fight in a moment like this.

    “It” shone near the fountain and quickly darted across the ground, heading towards a nearby tree. Somehow it disappeared and then appeared on the next tree and from there and blinked its red form over to a bench nearby, mocking him.

    It was “it” again. The Persian tensed and stood up, he tried to bump his head against the human’s to guide his sight to where the strange creature was. The human laughed, tensed a bit, but followed the motion and explained something that the cat did not understand – at least not the words, but the tone and intent were more than clear enough. “It” was there, and it had to be caught or chased away.

    Yes, this time it would not escape. The Persian stood on his human’s lap and scratched at his legs in preparation. He stared at the creature, dancing in the night with its offending red brightness, crossing from place to place and vanishing into thin air along the way. The feline’s body readied, his hindquarters and tail shaking to flex his muscles and set them to the finesse and precision required for the chase, his ears flattened, his whiskers folded to his muzzle.

    The creature halted by some bushes where there was a plaque commemorating the creation of the park.

    The human said the word.

    The Persian leapt after the creature with a hiss, claws out and tail sprung and ready for the maneuvers that would be required for capturing this creature that was even smaller, more agile and more evasive than the best trained Joltik.

    This would be the Persian’s retribution for the day-long meeting. As the strange creature danced away, the predator leapt and circled around, and took over the park with a threatening roar- for nothing more was required. Even if it was by proxy, this park, these buildings, this city, they were his.

    And this creature had to learn that.

    Tonight, the Red Dot would fall.

    ----



    The cat was, of course, not the only one aware of the worship his subjects owed to him after all those days and weeks of endless meetings. Otherwise he would not have had a partner.

    Giovanni had been thinking of something for a long time... a surprise, a well planned gift... an idea born, developed, and realized in the highest secrecy. It had come into being beneath the city's bustling streets, beyond the rhythms of time set by the sun, above the need to call to friends for support. Most importantly, it was hidden from even the cat's suspicion, for the cat deserved not only the best offerings and gifts, but also the best emotions of thrill from the gifts and of pleasure from the offerings.

    It came about much later, when the city's vibrant green had cycled into a more muddy and brownish and then back to the vibrant green after the customary snowy months When the Persian's human was requested by the humans in white coats to come to a strange underground labyrinth of plastic and metal, far from the city's greenery.

    ----


    Persian personally did not like the place, and sometimes wondered why Giovanni did. The wires and machines hidden behind the walls were noisy- not that the humans ever seemed to notice- and the place was uncomfortably dry.

    The place felt disorderly unlike the offices in the human city. Everyone moved around barely speaking a word or making a gesture to each other, or to the cat. He was not able to understand what the humans were doing with all those strange machines, and from the recurring sight of them scratching their heads, or spending hours examining the same page of a book, or screaming and kicking for answers at computers far bigger than the ones the family had in their abode, sometimes Persian had the impression they didn't understand either.

    The people there did show respect and obedience towards the Persian’s human, as much as the cat knew. Still, they seemed to be working for someone else, not for the Persian, something that he did not like.

    The day accorded for the visit came. The Persian obliged to Giovanni’s request and decided to accompany him and ignore the dry corridors and the disrespectful people, if only just long enough to comply with the personal request his human had made to him.

    It had been a very good excuse, Persian would later admit. Some people were fixing the house and the family all had to leave for the whole day, forcing Giovanni to bring along his child, his heir, to the human's various jobs, where he needed for Persian to keep him entertained.

    Not safe, entertained. The child, walking across the corridors right behind his father, had his own protector and partner already to keep him safe, idly sprawled on top of the little human's head and well camouflaged in the child’s mess of red hair – except for its purple horn and ears. While it certainly was not a fellow feline, Persian approved of the choice. The more considering it had been a gift for the Persian and his adopted family.

    Hiss…

    Besides, it was disrespectful and inelegant for a cat to refuse a gift – they would, as Persian did several times, merely feign disdain at the given moment.

    At least he did not have to pretend he did not dislike the underground place.

    Eventually some men in long white coats joined the small group and they started complaining about this and that while trying to shove sheets of paper and small cards on Giovanni’s hands.

    “But Sir, it’s not ready!”

    “It’s still a couple of months down the road for completion, in particular considering the recent… defections among the top personnel.”

    They led the Persian’s human to an elevator and from there to some hidden chambers, each hidden behind a thicker door than the previous one.

    “It’s still incapable of proactive defense, Sir; I can assure the heir and the cat won’t be in danger. Technically, Sir, at this moment it’s not even developed enough to be sentient.”

    “We can deliver the results advertised, but we need a guarantee on the time frames we requested… please don’t fire me Sir.”

    All the way the child with his Nidoran-for-a-hat followed, though slowly falling behind as he trailed off to take notice of every door and every window pane, impressed with the artifacts and computers in the facility and the people working with them, working for his father.

    Further behind, Persian followed after the main group, always alert and leaving to his senses of smell and hearing the task of detecting any danger to his human. His tail was flicked up and curled, and he took advantage of the little human trailing off to afford himself a slower, quieter and more secure walk. He kept an eye on the boy at all times, for even though he had his own partner now, the two were still but children.

    Hiss…

    The Nidoran’s ear turned to track the sounds made by the Persian, but the Pokémon did not otherwise move. Persian just wanted the meetings to be over. If anything, the danger would come from himself and his claws if this one lasted any longer than the Persian cared to remain around the place.

    Not five minutes later the group reached the final chamber- much larger than the others, and also much more tidy, Persian observed. Not nearly as many machines or wires, the ground was clean and shiny, and besides the computer chairs and the consoles there were barely any features.

    Giovanni instructed the child to sit on a chair as he walked to the center of the room, accompanied by two men and a woman in white coats. Persian remained in place, bothered by something. His tail flicked about and his ears flared as Giovanni reached fora very large object standing at the center of the room.

    Persian’s paws pressed on the floor. Hard, metallic, clearly not a carpet at all. He then turned around and examined the room. The room was full of screens, chairs and consoles, most of the seats occupied with subjects watching paper print and fiddling with the consoles. On one side of the room, there were several devices on shelves; those devices had small tubes and syringes.

    Overall the room was not unlike the ones Persian would see during his visits to a Pokémon Center.

    …Uh oh…

    Hiss…

    The devices, the people in lab coats… Suddenly Persian’s fur stood on end as the Pokémon felt caged and hissed at some of the people in coats; he wondered if it was himself who was in danger. The cat sidled up against Giovanni and gave him a warm call with his ears flattened against his head and the biggest, pearliest pretty eyes he could make, demanding (requesting, not that he would let anyone but his human know that) protection and attention.

    Meow?

    Had he… been brought to the vet?

    No, Giovanni’s soothing words and relaxing petting answered.

    Persian chose to believe. His whiskers flicked as his senses confirmed his suspicions, this was definitely not a meeting room. There were no other Pokémon around either. Perhaps it was not a Pokémon Center either. Giovanni was calm and none of the humans in lab coats had fixated their interests on the cat. Half grateful, half worried, Persian purred contently at his human for a moment, though his tail was still twirling anxiously.

    Was it not for the heir, Persian would seriously consider just bolting out of the place.

    Giovanni and three humans in white coats stood around what appeared to be a large glass cylinder. The tube reached up to the ceiling and seemed to be anchored to the floor by a huge block of metal with lights and switches. That was the main attraction today, that much Persian got, but he still couldn’t figure out what it was.

    While the three people in coats greeted Giovanni and started explaining some things, Persian took a look back at the child to see him fiddling with a console and swiveling back and forth slowly in his chair, while the Nidoran idly nibbled at some strands of the little boy’s loose hair, drawing giggles from the often serious heir. The little creature probably mistook the hair for grass.

    A smirk.

    At least someone was having fun here. Child entertained? Request accomplished! Persian purred, satisfied that this task hadn’t required him to so much as lift a claw in effort, and turned around to care about his human.

    “As Doctor Fuji explained in his first report,” spoke the older man of the two, not shifting his posture and not staring at the Persian or his human, “the sample was too damaged to reproduce most of its properties…”

    The woman spoke next. “At this stage we can hardly measure the creature’s psychic signature, Sir, but we’re certain it’s already equivalent to that of an Abra.”

    Yawn…

    Fine, a Pokémon then, Persian thought. It must be somewhere. He squinted at the tube, noticed there seemed to be some bubbles and a hard to distinguish shape tied to wires hanging from the ceiling. Was this “it”?

    Persian turned and stared at one of the humans exasperatedly, demanding an answer. One of them, the woman, seemed to notice and nervously turned to address the Persian’s human.

    “Well Sir, it’s alive and doing well, but the embryonic structure still needs some adjustments. The neck cord’s transmission node still does not work properly.”

    Giovanni stepped closer to the tube, as did Persian, and the two looked at it more closely. Past the glass, Persian could make out what appeared to be a small creature curled up inside.

    Persian blinked. The creature was floating in something like water. Were these humans working on teaching a Pokémon how to swim or something like that? Persian rolled his eyes, wondering if perhaps these humans were let to have too much fun.

    The conversation between the humans continued, but Persian only cared to grab little bits for it – after all, this was all beginning to feel like a meeting.

    “We can do it. It will be smarter, it will think faster…”

    That was the voice of the younger male, hesitant and pleading. Bah.

    “Please consider the extra funding requested, Sir.” This time it was the woman who spoke, denoting a sensation similar to what Persian would think was the thrill of the hunt in humans. “We have a good shot to control and neutralize even those Hoenn lunatics with their ideas to raise dormant super-Pokémon, Sir.”

    The insecure man spoke again, trying to sound more convincing. “It will be the ultimate life form, Sir.”

    Persian sat and stared at the tube idly, licking his paws clean for a moment as he listened with slight disbelief. What? What heresy was this, were these people talking about making a creature that would control people better than a cat does?

    Persian scowled at the lab coat people, in particular at the insecure man. They were disrespectful, ungrateful towards the Persian, and they came to the human with weird ideas about the superiority of un-feline creatures.

    Persian thought of his human and of the child, and of how busy his human was. The child had been given to his protection. Surely these people could clearly not be left to fool around and idle unsupervised around him.

    Meow.

    Giovanni looked down at his partner and raised an eyebrow at the sudden and angry reclamation. Persian opened his eyes wider in response and meowed his concerns again, trying to be as concise as possible. The human seemed to understand: he turned to the three people in lab coats, crossed curt words with them for a moment, and with an elegant gesture with his hand he shooed two of them away. Persian observed as the woman and the younger man retreated and left the room through a side door, looking worried.

    Two out of three. A good start.

    Giovanni spent some time speaking to the third scientist while Persian pondered what offense exactly would these humans be incurring into, his tail flicking up and thumping down in a mixture of exasperation and inquisitiveness. They were looking for what, an ultimate life form? Persian rolled his eyes, he was right there with them, in all his feline grace!

    It did not hit him that perhaps they meant something like “another cat”.

    Giovanni scanned his Persian’s expressions for a moment. The menacing eyes, the movements his tail did, the back and hind legs flexed and ready to get out of the place, yet the Pokémon’s ears and glare still fixated on the tube. The human spoke to the Persian and the feline, sensing confusion in his human, answered by reaching to the tube and gently pressing his chin and cheeks against it. It was his after all, like everything else here, and he wanted to know more about it.

    Giovanni smiled and turned to his kid. “Son, come here, lemme introduce you and Persian to a special someone.”

    As the child left his chair and approached, Giovanni produced from his suit a small card and showed it to him and then to Persian. The child looked interested and started asking questions, but Persian could not make out the fine details in the card. The only thing he understood was a rudely drawn figure somewhat similar to a young cat.

    Giovanni started explaining to Persian and the little heir, and as the kid started asking questions, everything became suddenly clearer to Persian. He knew in ancient times humans were more sincere and thorough in their worship towards cats as the graceful pinnacles of nature they were. It seemed Giovanni disliked such lack of commitment and had put his people - Persian’s people - hard to work. The cat in the card was a deity among felines, long gone and only rarely heard of, and the humans in the laboratory had been gathered to create some sort of idol in its semblance.

    From Persian’s perspective, it would be quite an arduous task. Even for cats themselves it took years to master the graceful and silent movements that made them adored.

    Then Giovanni added that this cat-idol creature was to be a powerful hunter as service to Persian and his human. Where the servants spent so many time and Rattata to catch a bunch of Tauros, this new creature would, with ultimate feline skill, do it alone and at once. Persian and Giovanni probably thought the same thing, although from different perspectives: Persian saw he would have a new partner, a left paw that would go outside and fight against other Pokémon while his right paw partner, his human, would exert his dominance with papers and contracts from inside the human buildings.

    Giovanni walked around the tube, examining it as he spoke to the lab coat man. “Much as it is a clone, it shall become different enough that we can call him our creation.” He stroked the glass carefully with the full palm of his hand, as if imitating the Persian’s demonstrations of dominion, and seemed lost in thought for a moment. “So has the team finally settled on a name for this creature?”

    Persian could hear the surprise and confusion in the other man’s voice as he mumbled one thing or another, incomplete words in a hushed voice. The man looked at Giovanni, at the child and at the Persian and finally to Giovanni again.

    “Considering how much it will still look like the original and the overall direction of the project… er, the head neuroprogrammers still want to call him meow too.”

    Meow?

    Yes, it seemed clear now. Giovanni had these people trying to create a faster, smarter, better cat. But why, why had Persian not been informed?
    The Persian stared at the tube, his eyes opened wide to try and catch a clear view of who slept inside. His forepaws pressed hard against the glass, trying to get a firm grip, though they would slip down almost instantly, forcing the Persian to raise his paws and scratch the slippery surface again. The humans in coats seemed to see this as a bad thing, but a glare from the Persian and some words from his human put them back in their place.

    The humans had clearly said “meow too”, right? It had to look like the one in the card. Had to be a fellow feline!

    Through the glass it seemed to have the long tail, too, and it looked like the cat figure in the card, just a different kind of ugly and rough. Persian’s tail was going flick-thump. He wanted to know more about this cat.

    Meow!

    Yes, yes. Pats on head. His human replied to the call and ran his fingers across the back of the Pokémon to then return his attention to the tube and the scientists. Figuring out that it was the job of the humans to explain, Persian did the same.

    Giovanni continued to talk about this new cat with the people in lab coats as he stroke Persian’s fur. The feline focused on the glass tube and after a moment of thinking this through, realized.

    It was to be a better hunter, a better fighter, a better cat. There was only one Pokémon this future feline could sit alongside to, it seemed only natural.

    Giovanni did this, Giovanni knew, but Persian did not. This future feline was a surprise for Persian. A gift, a friend that would be in certain ways closer than Giovanni himself could be.

    Persian went back to all fours and walked around the tube, examining it from all directions while Giovanni gleefully explained his plans to the scientists.

    The creature, swimming inside a bubbling teal liquid, did not respond to any scratching or meowing. It was small and seemed to be sleeping. It looked so frail and simple- it reminded Persian of a newly born kitten. And he worried about it in this way, even if he would probably only admit it to Giovanni. Much later, when the creature had grown up.

    Purrrrrr…

    It would grow up not alone. It would have to be taught how to fight and hunt. It would have to be taught to lord over the human servants, yet at the same time to respect and receive respect from its peer and its human handler.

    Yes, it would be glorious. With the might of his human and this new feline friend, they would certainly win every hunt. The Persian's tail twirled anxiously.

    Yes. Even the elusive Red Dot would surely fall to them.

    The cat was content and he was not the only one, as Giovanni spoke of extending the reach of Persian’s domains to the stars above, to unite all people under one nation.

    One where down the line, no longer a dream, all the people shall bow to welcome their new feline overlords.



    -o-

    There, I hope you have enjoyed it. I'll post the responses to the judges' reviews along the responses to other commentary I hope this story receives.


    For those interested in a printed version for reading, you can obtain it via this PDF.

    Be seeing you, dear readers, it was a pleasure.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  2. [Imaginative]:[Clockwork]

    [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] X-treme trainer

    Out of all the entries, I think this was the one I was most interested in reading. Not only does it have an interesting perspective on the contest theme, but that perspective is from a cat, truly the greatest creatures among us. On that front, I think you delivered. Persian's arrogance mixed with a touch of anxiety was very much how I picture a cat's inner monologue, and it was pretty entertaining. In particular, I liked the way certain events are reinterpreted (correctly or not) to be in service to or because of Persian. It helped make the perspective feel like it was being fully utilized and gave some added characterization to the pokemon.

    I did think the beginning was a little odd, since Persian admits to not understanding the business aspect of negotiations, but some of the descriptions seemed to indicate he had a pretty good idea of what was going on, particularly when he talked about the human examining the documents. I guess I just find it strange that a cat would understand that contracts and documents would contain loopholes, which is what seemed to be happening. I think at this point the narration seemed to be hovering in between third person limited and third person omniscient, whereas the rest of the one-shot was grounded pretty firmly in Persian's perspective.

    I also felt like the three parts of the story could have been connected a little more strongly. Right now, the meeting does a good job of establishing Persian's character and his relationship with Giovanni (another part I loved, by the way). The purpose of the second part is a little foggier for me. I thought it might be there to bring up the fact that despite the awful meetings, Persian finds it worth it as long as he gets to spend time with his human, although I'm not sure if that's communicated very clearly since Persian never makes any appraisal of the situation as being much better than before (there was plenty of purring and petting, though, so maybe it's my bad for not picking up on it). The section in the lab would be the time to tie it all together, but I'm not sure what kind of conclusion you're going for. At first, it looked like it was pulling the rug out from under Persian, revealing that there was a new cat in town. That was then subverted by Persian assuming that this cat was at most a partner and at least another servant type figure. This is fine, but I think it needs some type of spin. Is Persian's arrogance keeping him from seeing the truth, or is the bond he has with Giovanni really strong enough that no cat could ever take his place? Either way (or any other way that I didn't think of), I just feel like it needs to be said, or it at least implied. As it is, I'm not getting a whole lot of meaning out of the ending.

    This sounds like a lot of negative, but I want to emphasize that the best part of the story wasn't what happened, but the perspective on what was happening. I think egotism is always fun to read and write, and the fact that it's coming from a cat adds an extra layer of entertainment. Despite maybe needing a little more definition in the narrative department, this one-shot succeeds for me because Persian is just so entertaining to read about. Great job!
     
  3. SO before anything else:

    I just need to point out that that Tumblr post was exactly what I first thought of going into this, so I feel a sense of achievement seeing it being referred here. Haha. But anyway...

    I thought the strongest element of the fic was Persian's narration - I think it hit the right balance of over-the-top and believability that a character like Giovanni's Persian demands. There were certainly times where Persian's thoughts of the humans came off as ridiculous, but it served to strengthen the regalness and high-and-mighty aura of Persian's character. (Unfortunately, I am a dog owner, so I can't really comment much on Persian's characterization here in relation to him being a cat, but I did feel it was strong.)

    As a sucker for slice of life fiction, I loved the second scene and how it served both as a stark contrast and a necessary extension to the first scene. While you conveyed the draggingness of the first scene well, I thought it was really brought up by how simple but well-written the second scene is. Persian spends a lot of time describing the idealness of his relationship with Giovanni in the first scene (and I see you have a lot of fun using his condescending language and contrasting it with the tediousness of the other humans' presence), but to see it pay off as something simple as talking to each other on a bench and playing with a laser pointer feels very powerful. I thought the build up to that point was really good, and contrasting their tiresomeness with the almost automatic affection that they show to each other really says a lot about their relationship.

    I did feel, though, that the last scene with Mewtwo didn't gel well with the first two. After reading it, I felt like it was a chapter two to the fic rather than the third scene of the one-shot. You do bring it together by Persian's monologue of Mewtwo being a second feline overlord in the end, but I felt it was too detached from what was happening in the first two scenes, even if you do have that short transition from Giovanni's point of view added in. Like [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] says above, I do feel that this could really benefit from a stronger link between each scene, and the third scene in particular could have more carried over from the first two other than Persian's witty narration and the feline imagery. As it stands, I feel that it's too separated from the prior scenes and felt that the one-shot would've ended better with the second scene (which it apparently did in the contest entry looking back at the judges' reviews), but I do understand why the third scene is important in building Persian's and Giovanni's character, so it could use more tightening and stronger transitioning.

    It's a great fic, though! Again, Persian's narration really brought a lot of zest into the fic and made it such a pleasure to read. Good job with it! :)
     
  4. Venia Silente

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

    Thanks, Clockwork and Dramatic Melody for your commentary.

    I'll address those, but first:

    The judges's reviews.

    Quoting fight from the review post:

    Not bad, all things considered. Also amused that I tied with Umbramatic, as the two of us were, more or less, writing our entries together.

    bobandbill

    Thanks, that was brought to my attention, though unfortunately too late to make a good fix into the submission. The version posted here has a compromise in making the mention of the flicking tail two paragraphs earlier, but for an eventual full rewrite the plan is to start this scene a bit earlier so with any luck we'll get to see Persian's tail start flicking.

    I've taken note of your noted regarding where to split certain paragraphs, as well.

    Hush hush, a bit of a reveal: the ending was more or less an afterthought, and as a scene it was a bit born out of madness. Very early plans for the ending revolved around Giovanni and Persian arriving home at night and going right to sleep on the bed - or rather, Giovanni would sleep on the bed and Persian would sleep on Giovanni's chest. That was quickly scrapped though when I decided, "why not TWO cats?".

    Creepychu

    Why thank you. Some people whom I showed the story to showed some confusion as to who is really calling the shots, but I like to think that the ambiguity is in a certain way focal to the story. Not only do cats interpret everything as revolving around them, but we cat lovers do, admittedly, go to some long strides in making it so that things do revolve around our cats, so... :p

    I blame it on myself and letting myself enter this contest far too late. I wish I could have expanded on some things, but had to cut enough from the original plans and I think your idea of featuring both of them interacting at the hunting grounds would make a wonderful choice since it is a situation that can provide a better character conflict - Persian wanting to hunt at his leisure versus Giovanni wanting to orderly poach some Pokémon, for example. So I am taking note of this for a rewrite.

    I'm also taking from your note on how the premise of the story is never fully realized - I'll see to consult what is a better plot progression that can be used to improve on that.

    Don't we all wish. The notes on the rewrite might be of interest.

    Dragonfree

    Oh so you find it cool to see? Admittedly, the whole thing of the focus on body language and realizing Persian's commands as if they had been interpreted by Giovanni both having the net effect of making dialogue become more a background matter was more or less an accidental necessity, born out of the design of the story. You might notice that two of the three scenes feature a situation that has been going on for a while already and where Persian has lost most if not all interest - he only remains aware and attentive to them in as much as they intercept with his relationship to Giovanni. The scenes were chosen to feature situations in which Giovanni has already "won" but Persian is not able to enjoy the victory, not until he does choose to involve himself in the situation more directly: he leaps to Giovanni's leg and demands some private time after the threat; he rubs his head on the glass tube and demands to Giovanni to know why is there a cat -or rather a kitten - inside.

    As a result of that, as well, dialogue was also minimized which was not in the original plans and was more so that I could create more body "conversation" between the characters rather than just body language. If it worked, all the better. :p

    Hmmm well, at least this time my overall style of prose was useful for something. :p

    I hope in comparative terms I have improved enough from my writing for Built for Risk; of course, this would not be a halting point. Thanks for pointing out some of the particulars and the focus on grammar.

    Taking note on how you see Persian's catness as believable, and also on some of his particular behaviours than don't seem to fit.

    For writing this entry I had the bias of being a cat owner, so I know secondhand what a cat (purportedly) wants when he goes headbutt or meow at a human. :p As well, many of the betareaders for the story were also cat owners or had prior experience with felines, which might have helped in choosing the right sentence structures and perspectives to make Persian's catness come across as "catness" and not something else. Still, hopefully beyond all that Persian feels properly... Pokémon-ish, rather than merely a RL animal but better.

    I am told by some reviewers though that the whole cat perspective thing made things more troubling to follow or interpret at points, such as Sike's commentary, or a beta reader complaining that my description of cat behaviour was more or less "assuming things about cat owners". Woulda need to weight those things on the scale, since it being from an overlord cat perspective is, well, the point of the story. If not it, I might as well write about a worker ant.

    Regarding your notes on particular cat behaviours: the part on tugging at people's pants is a behaviour I've seen in several cats that tend to share bedroom with their owners: when cats see them tidying stuff or moving a lot of things around without paying attention to the cat, the cat tends to skip to tugging on clothes or directly headbutting the human rather than begin their calls for attention with the usual meowing. The other two are notoriously less feline behaviours but still not out of line, and are more intended to be more reminders or notices that his presence is known than attempts at threat (he does acknowledge that Giovanni is doing a good work at that, after all), but still they might merit a conversation with reviewers in order to see in what direction to go from there: if more "obviously feline" or more "looks like a cat but more his own thing". Also they might need to be contrasted more on him being a sapient creature.

    Sike Saner

    Sorry to hear that. I guess I have to look for a way to make the descriptions and interpretations of events a bit flatter while also at the same time remaining properly nonhuman.

    Sorry to disappoint but I haven't heard of that game, though you relating it to Persian's manner of thinking now makes me want to learn out more about it. So I'll go on a wiki walk if you excuse me. :p

    Thanks much!


    Clockwork and Melody:

    The management of Team Rocket secretly approves of your worship.

    A good note on that, and I'll take care to portray it better. The overall limited perspective that Persian should have is "Giovanni is setting them the usual traps, it's fun to see humans despair over those".

    A bit of column A and much more of column B. A focus at the end is how Persian things the new cat will need to be "trained". But I will try to make it more patent as well as make it clear that, Persian knowing Giovanni well enough, he trusts that the new cat will be placed as an elite footsoldier with at most equal standing to whatever Persian himself considers Giovanni's right hand.

    Of course, things go awry, but we can't fault a cat for having a dream~

    Good! The blog was pointed out to me by, like, two or three beta readers. And I think it fits marvelously. :p

    Thank you, it was a real pleasure to write.

    I can understand that, and hopefully the full rewrite and the relink to the currently nonexistent Fourth Scene (see below), will fix these issues.

    ----


    Notes on rewrite.

    Since some if you judges, as well as some beta readers and reviewers, have expressed interest in the deleted scenes as well as original plans for the story, I'll share here some thoughts on what things were considered and what things remain considered for the eventual rewrite.

    Originally the story was to comprise four or five scenes.

    The first scene is the meeting and made it more or less unchanged to the contest version. We can see here Giovanni in one of his business ventures, out to buy a company that is also under the watching eye of Devon. It is worth to think of Devon as a competitor to Sylph in an international scale: they both develop Poke Balla and other kinds of technology, and we know Team Rocket has enough capability to infiltrate and probably take control of Sylph.

    The starting dialogue, where Giovanni makes clear how easily he can buy out the company and rid of other vectors of threat, in this case the presence of Devon, is heavily borrowed from a scene of the very good Batman Beyond animated series' pilot episode, where villain du jour and eccentric millionaire Derek Powers, villain and rich enough to buy out Bruce Wayne's company, uses dialogue and attitude like this to sell such niceties as nerve gas. Good times. Shame I can't find a video of the specific scene in youtube.

    The second scene, at the park, remained mostly unchanged from the original plans. I would have wanted to ideally showcase more of Persian trying to hunt the Red Dot down, ideally even using some attacks such as Thunderbolt on it, obviously to no avail. Here, more of Giovanni's perspective would have been shown, of course reflected via Persian's own perspective and actions, and more exposition would be given to the two characters interacting in a space where they do not have a necessity to lord over everyone else - here, they're just "a kid and his cat". That bit had to be dropped for time concerns as I had to focus on repurposing the fourth and fifth scenes which would later become the third and last scene in the contest release.

    A scene that was dropped for this contest would have been a "third scene" and would have featured the Viridian City Gym. This would have taken place some days after the meeting and the scene would have focused on how Persian, despite being "da Boss", is not allowed to take part of the Gym challenges unlike the rest of Giovanni's team. Unlike the other scenes, this would have had a bit more of conflict in it, in that despite lacking direct interaction between Giovanni and his cat, the interaction between Persian and the rest of Giovanni's Pokémon, and the way how he sees Team Rocket managing the various tasks at the Gym and how the humans use such rules to fight that Persian can not take part in, would add to the tension of Persian not having his human for himself.

    A "fourth scene" that was scrapped very early featured Giovanni and Persian at home some weeks later, with the human side of the family discussing some expansions to the home now that their little heir, the red-haired boy we all know and love, has just gotten his first Pokémon, a gift from a researcher wanting to become an apprentince to Giovanni. This scene would mostly focus on how does Persian live at home, looking for places to nap every once in a while and keeping a watchful eyes on human activities, to then grow concerned as a couple of Rocket operatives come visit with information about a project in a secret laboratory that Giovanni needs to attend to immediately, resulting in him having to drag his child and new Pokémon for the ride. The part on the visit and Giovanni's concerns was merged into the fifth scene and the two were merged into the third and last scene for contest release, but for an eventual rewrite I intend to expand on this fourth scene in full, including a sub-scene of Persian having night-time adventures while the human family is asleep.

    The fifth scene, featuring the M2 project laboratory, initially began much later and only mostly involved Giovanni and Persian checking on the personnel including some operatives that would later become the Administratives in HG/SS. This was dropped for time concerns and instead Silver and his Nido were brought into the picture, to allow Persian to have some more emotional investment in the scene before Mewtwo-in-a-tube shows up. I decided on Persian not loking the place and having the feeling that staff there were working for "someone else" as a way to signal that, while considering himself the lord and master of the group, he does not have to know or approve of everything each minion does nor how do they carry it out all via human culture (and tech). Original ending for the scene was to have Giovanni explain a bit more of his plans for Mewtwo, all the while Persian was having a "Meowth's Dream" moment, you know the ones. Instead it was shortened to a simpler scene where both Giovanni and Persian daydreamed of better times, each one on their own way. Red Dot included.

    So, for a full rewrite of this story, the idea would be to fully develop into the original five scenes. Plus, potentially, bringing out an extra scene in the form of a Flashback, featuring Giovanni and Persian at the hunting grounds mentioned in Scene 1, as creepychu suggested. Who knows what else, but that's what lies in my plans.

    For when would it be? Hmmm... the rewrite for Counterparts in Crime is only half-done and after that there's the rewrite for Built for Risk, and other writing of more relevance going on, so I'd say late 2016 in the least for publication, but depending on how things go I might be asking for beta readers well before that.



    Anyway, thanks to you and I hope you enjoyed the story.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  5. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    Well, it's been a couple years, so I'm not sure whether you're still interested in rewriting this one. Nevertheless, I felt I should at least give you some sort of comment after all this time, since I did read and enjoy this one-shot.

    Before we get to the text itself, just a couple comments on your revision notes. It looks like you have a lot of extra material in mind that we didn't get to see in this version of the one-shot. I think I'd particularly be interested in seeing the Viridian Gym chapter; I think it would be particularly interesting to explore how Persian deals with Giovanni's other pokémon. Obviously Persian's going to consider them inferior and not as close to Giovanni as he is, but how does he reconcile that with the fact that they get to fight and he doesn't? How exactly does Giovanni justify that one to him? (Come to that, why doesn't Giovanni battle with Persian? Is Persian straight-up not as strong as his other pokémon, or not battle trained at all, or is Giovanni more worried about him getting hurt than the other pokémon? To me, it sounds like that section asks the most interesting questions.

    I think it's important to keep in mind what [Imaginative]:[Clockwork] said about the ending feeling a bit disconnected from the rest of the story and maybe not wrapping things up in a very satisfying way. You have a lot of great scenes here, but one thing that might be worth focusing on in the rewrite is how those scenes are going to connect to one another and form some larger narrative. Slice-of-life is great, but for me what's really great is to see a collection of standalone scenes add up to something more when you put them all together. Is there something you want to say about Giovanni and Persian's relationship that you can bring out as a common thread between your different scenes? What makes them more interesting together than simply standing alone? I think individually all the pieces of your entry were great, but I did feel like there wasn't a lot to tie them together aside from the fact that they used the same characters, so it might be something to consider if you decide to rewrite and add more material.

    Now, you've already gotten plenty of great feedback on this version of the story. I feel like most of the good aspects of this story have been well-acknowledged. Giovanni and Persian's relationship is simply great. The way Persian's convinced he's the one in charge of everything--even if he slips up occasionally in referring to Giovanni's underlings as belonging to the boss exclusively--is great and so very catty. I also liked your use of cat body language and mannerisms throughout the story; you did a nice job of capturing the sense of being in a cat's head, with a cat's priorities and means of expression (even if a super-powerful cat who pretty much always gets his way, which is honestly kind of terrifying). The bit in the park where Persian's rolling around on the park bench and then chasing after the laser pointer was probably my favorite bit. For all that this is a one-shot about Persian and Giovanni, we don't get to see a ton of them interacting outside the confines of Giovanni's job, and I thought what we did get of that was fantastic.

    The Mewtwo section felt a little less polished than the earlier ones; I know that wasn't part of the version you sent to the judges, so I don't know whether it got a little less attention in terms of editing than the other sections. In particular there was this kind of weird POV shift towards the end of the current version, in the Mewtwo section. It feels like you actually kind of slid out of Persian's POV and into Giovanni's for a bit. Like, for most of the one-shot Persian refers to Giovanni as "his human," but then in this section Giovanni suddenly becomes "Giovanni." And you have sentences like this:

    To me these sentences sound as though they're from Giovanni's POV, or perhaps an omniscient narrator, rather than Persian describing what he's doing, the way it works for the rest of the 'fic. Also there's moments like where "Giovanni's kid" is mentioned, which seemed really grating to me because that's not how Persian normally refers to Silver at all. It just struck me as incongruous and not really consistent with the style of the earlier sections.

    One thing I did really like about this ending section was the recognition that Mewtwo is, after all, another cat. Giovanni's really got a thing for felines, huh? I hadn't noticed that connection at all before reading this.

    So all in all, I think this is a really cool one-shot. Although you've done a number of pieces from pokémon POVs in the past, I would say this is the one that most captures that feeling of otherness, and Persian's POV just has so much personality. Unfortunately, you do have issues with meandering and complicated sentences, as other people have mentioned, and at times that can make it difficult to follow what's going on. Which is a shame, because the ideas and charcter beats are fantastic. This was a really creative take on the contest prompt, and definitely a fun read. If you do end up cleaning up and reposting, I'll be sure to check out the revised version, too.
     
  6. Venia Silente

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

    Thanks for the extra review, Negrek. Wanted to let you know that the rewrite for this story is still in the plans, but as I am making my rewrites in order that means that the rewrite for Built for Risk (another contest entry) comes first. So far I have collected the notes that are put on the reviews on which sections of the story require changing, as the most immediate improvement to carry out.

    To be honest, I never gave too much thought as to why Persian wouldn't fight when it comes to Gym Battles; it seemed natural to me that, barring the obvious answer of "not a Ground type", one big issue was that Gym battles are a more or less regular activity (or would be, except apparently Giovanni's Gym is closed for extended periods of time) where persistent training for would cut on time for Persian's other activities. Like napping and staring into THE VOID. Interestingly enough, Persian does fight where it matters - at least from what I recall of the anime, he beats Pikachu once (trivially at that!) and doesn't he also go after a minor Legendary? So we should take it that he's trained differently from the rest of Giovanni's other Pokémon - for hunting or for tactical one-on-oneing, rather than for sports or spectacle, I am given the impression of. But with what you say of how does Giovanni justify that one, I'll have to give it further thought. So that's something to do for the future Gym scene.

    I'll give this more consideration because, yeah, the message was somewhat undercut with the adjustments for release leading to the loss of an entire scene of the family at home and other such things, so... yeah. I want to try and emphasize more of what does Persian see Team Rocket as.

    Apparently there's something there, heh. Well let us not hope that a Ground-type feline shows up, or we might start seeing some tensions XD

    Well, that's also part of the idea behind a rewrite - one's writing, like wine, only gets better with time. I have to thank some of my beta readers a lot for helping me learn where and how to shorten sentences, alas most of these changes only show up in my more recent works so far. So it's coming up, and I hope that it really fixes and improves things. It's just not right on my writing desk just yet.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to give input on this, and thanks much for even keeping tabs on it after such time.
     

Share This Page