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Pletora's Story

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by canisaries, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. canisaries

    canisaries *blocks your path*

    Hi, it's Canis. What you're (hopefully) about to read here is pretty different from my usual content. This is a rather short story in a world very loosely PMD, so essentially just a Pokécentric fic in a world without human civilization. I'm planning a bigger story in this world and with the protagonist of this story, so this is basically a test drive in unfamiliar territory.

    I'm not sure how many parts there will be, but I have the whole story planned out. Currently I'm estimating about three parts. This first part is around 3500 words, so not too long.

    Rating is teen for violence and possibly language. Not much of either in this first part, but towards the end of the story, things can get a bit gruesome.

    I hope you enjoy what little I have here. I don't think it's that great myself, being pretty inexperienced in third person and actually relatively normal protagonists, but that's why feedback and suggestions are extremely welcome and appreciated. Thank you, and here is the first part.

    ---

    PLETORA'S STORY

    Synopsis:
    Scolipede Pletora lives a quiet, solitary life in the forest she calls home, and she likes it that way. One day, however, an odd creature arrives - and so do rumors of a monster.

    Genre:
    Slice of Life, Drama, Action

    Started:
    15 September 2018

    Status:
    Ongoing

    Length:
    N/A

    ---

    Part One

    ---
    Okay. I should make a strong entrance. It’ll be intimidated and give me what I want. Easy as that. I won’t be hungry for much longer.

    Realizing it’s being talked about, Pletora’s belly growls. She freezes in place.

    It didn’t hear me, did it?

    She peeks through the leaves. The oddish is still there. Pletora allows herself to exhale.

    Okay, bad start. But second time’s the charm.

    The scolipede draws another deep breath in, then lets it out. She creeps her back legs closer to her front legs, arching her long, segmented back.

    Then she pounces.

    Her four feet glide through the bushes and land on the mold with muffled thumps. She raises her head up high, staring down the deep blue mon before her.

    The oddish has now frozen in place, eyes as wide as they can get for its kind. The large fan of gray-tipped leaves atop its head closes up in fear.

    “You! Oddish!” Pletora booms, and the oddish jumps in its skin. “Give me one of your leaves!”

    The walking plant shivers for a while, but eventually gathers its courage to speak up. “I-I won’t!” it puffs, its voice male and old. “I need them to ph-ph-photo-”

    “You don’t need all of them,” Pletora interrupts. “I only need one. Let me take it peacefully or it’ll hurt far more.”

    The oddish stutters, not knowing what to say. The moustache of leaves on his face twitches. Pletora stands still and stern, waiting for the mon’s answer. Eventually, she gets it - in the form of a blast of purple powder from the center of the oddish’s leaves.

    Pletora is blinded by the grainy cloud, but only momentarily. She snorts and shakes the spores out of her way and rushes onward, following the pitter-patter her antennae pick up. Nice try, but I’m a poison type too!

    She now sees the oddish scramble along the path, surprisingly quickly for his stubby legs. Either you know I’d find you if you hid among the plants, or you’re really dumb... She speeds up to a gallop, easily gaining on the mon. His troubled breathing is now audible.

    “Just stop,” Pletora yells, right behind her target. “Otherwise I’m gonna yank it out!”

    The oddish cries out something incoherent, continuing to run. Fine, your loss.

    Pletora chomps on the closest leaf and holds onto it tight with her jaws. She shoves her feet into the ground, driving deep grooves in the mold. A loud snap and a distressed wail can be heard.

    The oddish, now short one leaf, keeps running as fast as he can. Soon he disappears from Pletora’s vision. Pletora lies down on the mold, catching her breath and admiring her trophy.

    ---

    After finding a fitting, mulchy spot and digging it loose with her forefeet, Pletora lowers her leaf onto the ground. Her mouth waters already, and her gut awakens from its numbed state to demand food even louder.

    But she need not wait long - the mulch begins to move. A shiny, pale-green head emerges through the deep brown. It wriggles its way out of its underground bed, revealing more of its thick, translucent, pink-striped, delicious body. Pletora, trying to contain her drool in her mouth, sizes up the larva, determining it to be the length of her horns’ last segment. This digbeetle larva is huge!

    The larva bends its neck to the leaf’s edge and begins munching. Knowing it's now sufficiently distracted, Pletora dives for the juicy bug and seizes it between her mandibles. She wastes no time and gobbles up the thing, barely breathing in the midst of her greedy dining. Oh, joy, such pure, pure joy! she only thinks as her shrunken belly finally gets some filling.

    Something rustles the bushes ahead. Pletora’s tail-antennae perk up. She swallows her last mouthful of the larva’s flesh and hops on top of the oddish leaf. Oh, no no no. You're not stealing my bait, whoever you are.

    The source of the rustling approaches. Pletora can make out steps on the mold. That’s two legs… and their owner is small. Is this the oddish again? It knows it can’t just stick the leaf back, right?

    The leaves nearest to Pletora move, and the creature finally shows itself.

    It’s not an oddish, Pletora can tell that, but she can’t quite tell what it is instead. It vaguely looks like a rattata standing on its hind legs… but it has a much longer snout, no visible teeth or ears, a dark blue leathery back and a pale yellow coat of fur. Three stripes of that fur run through that leathery back - on its snout, on its head and on its waist. Its eyes are narrow, so narrow that they seem closed. Is it blind? But it has no visible ears or antennae… does it hear, either? Does it just use that long snout to sniff its way through the world? It didn’t seem to smell me...

    The creature stumbles around with its little arms spread to the sides for balance. It doesn’t seem to have spotted Pletora, or if it has, it doesn’t care about her.

    Curious, Pletora raises a forefoot and thumps the mold with it.

    The creature raises its head, seeing the massive, deep magenta centipede towering over it. Its narrow eyes widen just a little bit. It screams, turning around and revealing its sparking back. A fire type? What’s one doing around here? It scrambles back the way it came, disappearing into the bushes. Some leaves gain black spots.

    Soon it’s quiet again, save for the wind circling in the canopy.

    Well, that was weird, Pletora thinks, moving off the leaf. Guess I’ll just ignore that and go back to catching larvae.

    ---

    Hunger conquered and belly full after a few more meals, Pletora heads out of the woods and comes across a familiar clearing. A few thick, white clouds have appeared in the previously clear sky. A distant drumming rings around the area.

    Well, some pikipek still being here should mean the bugs haven't totally run out. She glances at the lightly nibbled leaf resting on her back. Hope they don't eat all of those bugs away from me… this oddish leaf will wilt in just a day or two.

    “Aaaaaghh! Stay away from me!” someone screams, his voice echoing throughout the opening. The drumming of the pikipek stops and a bird-like form flees from the canopy further into the woods.

    Someone's in trouble… wait, don't I know that voice?

    Pletora decides not to dwell on that question and speeds up to a trot. She turns a corner of the clearing and spots a faraway scene with two mon near the clearing’s edge.

    One of the mon she’s met before - it's the oddish whose leaf rests on her shoulders. The other is a stranger, but its species is not. Pletora glowers.

    A durant. For most strangers I’d ask feral or not, but with those brutes there’s barely a difference. What does it want from an oddish?

    Pletora grabs the leaf on her back and skewers it on her tail antennae for safer keeping. She cringes at the noise it makes so close to the sensory organs. Then she slips back into the bushy woods, staying hidden but keeping an eye on the mon. She creeps closer and closer, tail antennae pointed at the scene.

    “Give leaves! Now! Hive needs leaves!” screeches the durant, impatiently snapping her metallic mandibles together. They make rather loud clangs upon impact.

    “I can't give you my leaves! I need them to live!” the oddish cries. “I already lost one today!”

    “Hive need leaves! Leaves for ritual! Ritual keep Red Death away! Hive safe! You safe too!”

    “What ‘Red Death’? I don't know what that is! You're crazy, stay away!” The oddish attempts to escape, but the durant clasps his leaves and yanks him back.

    “Give leaves! Now! Or I take by pain!” she shouts.

    Man, she's got the negotiation part down, but not quite the tact…

    Pletora reaches the stretch of trees closest to the oddish. Neither he or the durant seem to have noticed her.

    “O-o-okay! You win!” the oddish says. “Y-you can get one of my leaves, just don't hurt me!”

    “All! Not one! All!”

    “Wh-what? You can't possibly need all of them!”

    “Hive need all leaves for keep Red Death away! Now enough wait! I take leaves!”

    The durant opens her mandibles wide. The oddish screams.

    Pletora bends her hind legs, then springs herself out of hiding. She lands beside the oddish, raises her head up high and stares deep into the durant’s fierce red eyes.

    “What business do you have threatening my prey?” Pletora thunders.

    “Not your prey! My prey! Hive’s prey!” hisses the durant, stomping a leg.

    “There is more than one oddish in these woods. Go find another one, unless you want to contend with me!”

    The durant’s ring-like pupil flicks between the shivering oddish and the scolipede thrice her size.

    Finally, she backs away. “You crazy,” she grumbles. “Red Death take you. But I find new oddish for Hive, keep Hive safe. Just no come to Hive when Red Death upon you.”

    With those words, the metal mon scuttles away.

    Pletora looks behind her. The oddish whimpers, unsure of her intentions.

    “You shouldn't go around losing those leaves,” Pletora grumbles. “If this bug drought keeps up, I'll need more and I'll take them. You got that?”

    “Y-yes!”

    “Good.”

    She hmphs, walking away. If he had any brains, or whatever grass types have instead, he would've run the moment I jumped in… he's gonna have to wisen up if he wants to survive. Mother Nature likes to weed out the fools...

    ---

    Playful bubbling arises from a large stream as the water dances its way down steps of dark gray rock. Gentle gusts of warm air stroke the vividly green blades of grass, sending waves of bright and dark across the field. In the distance, a trumbeak honks.

    Pletora, finally at her destination, gallops towards the stream. Her mouth is drying as if a desert wind was blowing on it, begging for her to drink as soon as possible. Her exoskeleton, heavy and hot, sears the muscles beneath. She thinks of the fresh, cooling water and how wonderful its purifying embrace will be, and arrives at the edge of the water.

    Wait, what’s wrong with the… oh, not again!

    Clumps of mud and swirls of brown travel with the flow. The further Pletora looks upstream, the stronger the colors are. At the top, against the small stony cascade, sits a large, plump mon, its bumpy blue hide mostly covered in blotches of brown.

    Pletora growls to herself and starts hopping her way up the hill. I’m gonna pop that filthy frog’s warts when I get to him.

    As Pletora reaches the mon, more details become visible. It’s an elderly seismitoad with saggy, mud-coated skin. Several black-cyan growths are attached to the hide, some of them larger than Pletora’s face. Two of these bigger warts hang in front of the toad’s eyes, further weakening the vision that must already be rather poor at his age.

    “Hey! Old mon!” Pletora shouts. “I told you to stop bringing mud here!”

    “Hmm?” the seismitoad reacts, his voice hoarse. He’s raised his head and is turning it from side to side, not finding the one who spoke, apparently oblivious to the obstruction of his sight.

    Pletora steps to the edge of the pooled water and stirs its surface with a foot. “Over here, warty! I’m talking to you.”

    The motion catches the mon’s eye and so his attention. He turns toward it. “Sorry, what’d ye say, sonny?”

    I’m a female, you idiot... Pletora stretches her neck. “I said you need to stop mudbathing here! Mon downstream drink from this!”

    “Ahh, hold on, me mud’s runnin’ out...” The seismitoad gets up, turns around and shuffles to the opposite edge of the pool. He arduously climbs up onto his knees and crawls to the pit of mud just a meter away. He rolls about in the muck, then returns to the pool, all without saying a word.

    Pletora groans. This is taking too long. I’ll just climb a level above.

    “Fine, I’m going,” she snaps to the mon. “But don’t let me catch you doing this again!”

    She turns around and takes a few steps, but the seismitoad interrupts her, a finger of his held up.

    “Whoa, hold on there, boy! Before ye leave, I got a word o’ warnin’!”

    “Ugh! What is it?” This better be important.

    “I’ve heard of a mighty dangerous creature lurkin’ around these parts lately! One that gets ye when yer alone… and it ain’t no ordinary killer, either. It only takes just one of yer organs, and then returns to the shades… so, sonny, keep yer eyes open! Ye don’t know who might be followin’...”

    Seriously? All he had is some tall tale?

    “Wow, that’s so scary! I’m simply shivering in my shell! I won’t be leaving my nest for at least a week!” Pletora snorts and returns to walking away. “Bye.”

    “I ain’t pullin’ yer leg, sonny! They say it has its den in the Glowrock Caverns!” the mon shouts after her.

    Pletora only shakes her head and continues on. She clambers up the steep, rocky rise to the next platform. When all her four feet are securely on the grass, she immediately dashes into the stream.

    The cold blanket of the water envelops her up to her back. The heated exoskeleton cools rapidly - Pletora swears she could hear sizzling upon first contact. She submerges her neck and head in the stream as well, sucking in the water and finally quenching her burning thirst.

    Having drunk enough, she climbs out of the stream and sighs from relief. Lazily, she looks up. A front of clouds has advanced halfway over the sky. The deeper Pletora follows it, the darker it gets. And it’s moving quite fast.

    Huh… that’s a sudden change of weather. Would have been nice to know it was gonna rain before I came all the way here. Well, whatever, whatever… guess I’ll admire the view for a bit, then head back. The sun isn’t that far from the horizon anyway.

    Pletora crosses the stream, its water feeling rather cold by now, and trots to the woodless edge of the plateau. A grassless, steep cliffside runs down several dozen meters before her forefeet. It leads to a large, rocky field bordered by a seemingly endless sea of woods on the right and back. On the left, it takes a deep dive down and so does everything else - they all surround the massive abyss known as Crawlers’ Pit.

    Ugh, just looking over there makes me anxious. Back to the rocks.

    In the field of rocks, a mound of solid stone rises. A few holes open up by its base, allowing entrance to the labyrinthine caverns underneath. It's not dark yet, but when it will be, Pletora knows those entrances will glow a faint, orange light. The reason for this lies in a peculiar type of rock encountered within the caverns, the rock that gives the place its name.

    I wonder why that old mon said the creature lived in those Glowrock Caverns. If I had to choose a den for a creepy killer, I’d put it in Crawlers’ Pit for sure. It's pretty much known for its terrifying inhabitants.

    Well, I suppose I’ve seen enough. Time to go home.


    Pletora turns back and walks back the way she came. Her surroundings have dimmed considerably from before - the clouds above are racing to cover every inch of the sky.

    Pletora doesn’t mind rain. In moderate amounts, that is. But this time it seems like it’s really going to pour. She picks up her pace, descending the cliff and heading back to the forest.

    She stops as a faint noise reaches her antennae.

    Is that… sniffling?

    She pauses to pin down the direction of the noise, then tiptoes toward it. Through a hole in the leaves, she sees the sniffler - its pale fur, its blue back and its lengthy snout.

    That thing again! The fire type. I thought it would've left by now. Why is it crying? It can't be a feral if it can cry…

    The creature looks up at something and resumes its crying. Pletora changes her angle to see what it glanced at, spotting a lone red-green apple hanging from a tree. Too high up for the creature to reach. Ah.

    It doesn't seem to be too high up for me, though… should I intervene? The last time it saw me, it ran away screaming… and it seems like a kid, those are annoying. Shouldn't it be just fine by itself? It's not like it'll have much to fear with mostly plants and bugs about.

    Pletora watches the creature for a while longer. As it wails and wails, something in Pletora begins to change. Her throat is constricted. Her chest aches.

    Ughh, I hate having a heart… fine!

    The creature freezes as Pletora emerges through the bushes. It quiets down so effectively that Pletora isn't sure if it's even breathing. She takes that as another reason to make this quick.

    Pletora lifts her forelegs onto the apple tree's trunk and reaches for the apple with her mandibles.

    Easy, now… she thinks as they clasp around the fruit. Don't want to break the surface and have my throat close up again. It's such a shame I can't eat these, it'd help a lot with gathering food…

    She pulls back, bending the branch with her until the stalk of the apple snaps off. Didn't take too much force. Sign of a ripe fruit, I'm told.

    Pletora drops back onto her forefeet and lowers the apple on the ground, its peel intact. She gives the still frozen creature a shy look, then retreats through the bushes and resumes her course for home.

    Hope it got the message. If it didn't, it was probably a goner anyway…

    Shuffles arise from behind her. She stops and turns.

    The creature stares back, the apple held in its paws.

    Pletora stiffly continues walking. She can hear steps behind her. A peek over her shoulder confirms she's being followed.

    “...I don't have any more apples,” Pletora says, pace getting brisker. No answer, but the steps don't stop.

    Pletora stops and turns around. “Okay, just what is it that you want?”

    The creature recoils a bit, and Pletora realizes her tone was rather harsh. Still, she decides against apologizing.

    “Mhh…” the creature squeaks, snout pointed at the ground. After a few seconds, it finally rises. “Are you the Leggy Snake?”

    “What?” Pletora tilts her head. Did I even hear that right? Leggy Snake?

    “Mommy told me about the Leggy Snake…”

    The creature’s voice is young, and Pletora’s somewhat sure it's female. Not that it really matters.

    “She said,” the creature continues, “that there's a Leggy Snake that eats lone children in the woods and that's why I shouldn’t wander off on my own…” Her voice trails off.

    “...Well,” replies Pletora, “I’m a bug, not a snake. And I only eat little bugs, the kind that don’t talk. So I don’t think I’m a Leggy Snake. And even if I have a lot of legs, only four of them really do anything.” She resumes walking away. “Hope that cleared things up. Bye.”

    The steps return.

    “Why are you following me?” growls Pletora, speeding up. “Shouldn’t you be with your parents?”

    “I don’t know where they are...”

    “Well, you should go find them, then.”

    “I tried… it didn’t work...”

    Pletora sighs heavily and stops once more. “Kid, look, I don’t know where your parents are, either. I actually know less than you. So, how about you leave me alone and keep searching. It’s not like there’s anything really dangerous for you out here, even - you’re a fire type, right? All the bugs and plants will make way for you, some will probably help with glee. There’s no reason you should be on my --”

    A crack of thunder carries over from the horizon. Pletora looks up and sees the sky whirling with gray.

    The ache returns in her chest.

    Gods! Fine! But this’ll be the last time!

    “Okay, kid,” she says, defeated. “Here’s the deal. It’s gonna rain soon, and you really shouldn’t be outside then. So, I’m gonna take you to my nest, and you can stay the night there. But when morning comes and the rain stops, you are out. Got that?”

    Slowly, the creature nods.

    Pletora exhales. “Alright, let’s get going, then. Rain could be here any minute.” She lies down. “Climb on my back. We’ll get there faster that way.”

    The creature waddles to Pletora and crawls up onto her back, rather clumsily as the little thing still holds the apple between its paws.

    “You ready?” asks Pletora.

    “Mm-hm,” affirms the creature.

    “Good. Here we go.” Pletora stands up and begins to trot. “You know, you should probably eat that apple before it gets bad.”

    “Ah… yeah.” The words are followed by modest chomps.

    A few strides are made in silence, but soon Pletora speaks up again.

    “What’s your name, anyway?”

    “I’m Sisi.”

    “And your kind is...”

    “Oh. I’m a cyndaquil.”

    Cyndaquil… never heard of it.

    “So what’s your name?” asks Sisi.

    “It shouldn’t really matter, but… it’s Pletora.”

    “Can I call you Pleppy?”

    “No.”

    The two reach the edge of the clearing and continue making their way through the sunless forest. After a while, the core of an apple is chucked away, landing on the soft brown mold. Wind slithers through branches with leaves of various shades of green and shapes. Somewhere, lightning strikes.

    ---
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  2. pikalax

    pikalax Back in the OLDEN days...

    Wowee that was a fun read on a Friday night. Lemme dump my thoughts here now.

    Well that was fast, but I suppose a good hearty meal waits for no one owo

    Ah, I love this tactic. By having the protagonist not recognize the Pokemon she's dealing with, it forces you to describe its appearance for the viewer, and I must say you did a great job with verbal "Who's That Pokemon".

    Is this Durant foreign or just primitive?

    Ow the edge

    Bwahahahahaha!!! "Leggy Snake"!! That's perfect for this character!

    I think I'm going to like Sisi.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
    canisaries likes this.
  3. Namohysip

    Namohysip Well-Known Member

    Oh, is this the one you mentioned had some similar elements to mine that I’m writing, by any chance? Well, based on how you described it in the synopsis, it sounds like there are flashes of similarities, but perhaps only if you really, really boil it down. Oh well. Time to get reading to see what it’s like!

    First sentence time! So, we’re opening with some thoughts. That’s cool. Nebulous, but cool, since right now I have no idea what this person actually wants. My first thought is that she plans to mug somebody. Intimidated and ‘give me what I want’ seems to indicate that.


    Pletora. Hm. Okay, I have an name, and that she has a gut. But it’s a little strange. It’s not until six lines later that I actually learn what her species is—and a big one she is! Scolipede! I do wish I used Scolipede in my work, because it’s such an awesome species. Maybe later…. But in any case! At least now I know what she is, though it’s odd that it took so long to figure out.

    This feels like a compromise between the best and worst case scenarios. I thought it was predatory. Initially, I thought it was mugging. This is… both? I think?

    …This what?

    Ahh, here’s the mutants I’m thinking you’re mentioning. How interesting, heh. Well, it’s certainly adding a bit of mystery to the story—I’d argue this is the first bit of true mystery, since so far we’re just watching Pletora foraging.

    Well, that’s something. Territorial love, how adorable~ Ahh, but the Red Death. Our second splotch of mystery. So far it’s just a sighting and a name, but it’s a good start to get it all sprinkled in, even if, so far it’s only superficial. I can’t expect much from just part 1!

    So, that’s weird. Also, it’s that kinda what Pletora just did to the Oddish? Makes me wonder if it’s some sort of karma coming her way shortly…

    Y’know, all things considered, she did spare the Oddish… mostly. It’s a weird conflict, but I suppose it’s also a necessity for having to eat. Wild Pokémon morality is always a strange thing, even if there’s a distinction between a wild—or whatever Pletora would be classified as—and a feral in this case, it seems.

    And so, fate pushes them together, heh. To be honest, I didn’t expect to see this strange creature again. I thought it was just a one-off appearance for foreshadowing. Cool to see her again so soon!


    Aaaaaaaand I’m an idiot. I came in with the pretense that this is all about mutants because of what you told me in my review a while ago, but nope! Just a fire hedgehog. Cool. Great. I’m leaving those quotes up if only to demonstrate my foolish thought process.


    __


    Well! That’s about everything. I thought this was a good start! A little intrigue, but to be honest, I’m more interested in the interactions between Sisi and Pletora than anything. It feels like they have some interesting chemistry, though I’m not sure how long that will last in terms of its novelty. Sisi in particular, we know little about—so that’s definitely a good spot to capitalize on, or have them work as foils to one another? Hard to tell where this will go. I just know that I’m interested mostly in their dynamic.


    Hope to see the next part~
     
  4. canisaries

    canisaries *blocks your path*

    Durant kinda have their own thing going on. Don't need complex language when in tune with your own hive members and all that.

    I'm no entomologist so I just made something up ( ._.)

    Well, good that it caught your interest, I was afraid this first chapter didn't have much going for it to engage the reader.

    Right, I do suppose the Red Death would catch the reader's attention. I hope how it plays out won't be disappointing :/

    Well, I can't blame you, I was pretty much struggling with coming up with a way to describe a cyndaquil in terms Pletora was familiar with. The unusual markings didn't help with the recognition, and you did have that mutant thing in mind.

    Same! My writing got a lot faster once I got to the part where they finally interacted. The two's dynamic is my favorite part of this story beside... well, you'll see. ;P

    Thank you both for your comments! Pretty amazing to get two replies in just one night. I guess that's the PMD magic working owo

    Stay tuned for Part Two!
     
    pikalax likes this.
  5. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Definitely a winter

    A small story, huh? If I had to guess, I think it's going to end up centered around Pletora having to deal with this mysterious predator/Leggy Snake thing... possibly while lugging Sisi along in an effort to find her parents. I... don't really have a solid guess as to what Leggy Snake is. Maybe it's an Eelektross, given that we're centered on a Gen V 'mon here... but it could be some dragon or dragon-like 'mon. Not really sure. I do like some of the friendly hat-tips toward Gen V stuff like Durant being worried about what's likely a Heatmor attacking her colony and the really gross Seismitoad.

    Descriptions are good too. I don't have the greatest macro scale of things, yet, likely due to the scene cuts and not really getting a sense of north from south yet, but that's alright. The forest and river are shown off enough. And the third-person present narration is good, too. There was only one slight quirk I noticed in the opening scene where you use "now" a lot when describing Pletora's actions, almost like you were narrating a nature documentary. I don't think it's intentional, but it was a bit awkward to come across so many of them.

    One last thing before I go...
    Heh, I see what you did there. :p
     
    canisaries likes this.
  6. RocketKnight66

    RocketKnight66 404: Consistent Schedule not Found

    Decided to check this one out tonight, it's pretty interesting. There's already a bit of worldbuilding going on and I like the way the landmarks were presented.

    The "Red Death," huh? and it takes one of it's victim's organs supposedly... that'll be interesting to find out more about, but it sounds nasty for sure.

    I really like Pletora as a character so far, she's a bit cold and blunt, but not a total jerk. And she's pretty snarky, something that I always love.

    The old Seismitoad was amusing, and Sisi and Pletora's interactions were pretty cute. I'm liking this so far, and I'll be curious to see what happens next.

    There's a word missing here.

    Gotta love that snark.

    I laughed at this line so hard, it's just perfect. xD
     
    canisaries likes this.
  7. DeliriousAbsol

    DeliriousAbsol Call me Del

    This was an interesting and fun read. I don't think I'm used to seeing pokemon in a PMD setting actually hunt other pokemon, even if it is merely to gather tools to bait non-canon grubs. The durant seemed even more brutal, however. And given the 'leggy-snake' story and whatever it was the seismitoad was warning Pletora about, I get the impression there are also carnivores. I wonder if they were talking about the same thing...?

    I kinda like Pletora as a character. Harsh words hiding a heart, it seems. Sissi is also adorable. The cyndaquil line is unashamedly my favourite fire starter line, giving me even more incentive to keep following this =P

    This is a pretty unique world. I'm not sure if its PMD, or PMD without a guild/structure? Whatever it is, I'm interested to see where it goes.

    Yes.

    Please say this is gonna happen XD
     
    canisaries likes this.
  8. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Decided to check this out since I'm on a reviewing roll. And my first impression is this is quite cute! Though from your description and some foreshadowing I think I caught it sounds like it'll get far grimmer later haha.

    It's always intresting to see the perspective of wild Pokemon in fics and this captures that nicely. Pletora is a cool protagonist (of a species we rarely see as a small bonus), and Sisi is cute and (also a warm stoat which is also a bonus).

    I find it really interesting how you still have a concept of ferals in a wild Pokemon setting, especially when you include non-Pokemon creatures that can't talk. I'd admittedly like to see the implications of that a bit more, but that'll probably be for future chapters.

    Anyway you've got a strong start with this ficlet! Good luck with it; I bet it's going to go down some interesting paths.
     
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  9. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner *aromatisse noise*

    Well, I'm already enjoying this. :D Kind of suspected I would, really. I do like me some pokécentric stuff.

    I like that one of the very first things that happens is something of a sort I rarely if ever see. Namely, the way she hunts there. Catches the "prey", but robs him rather than kills him (albeit robbing him of part of his body, and then using what she takes as bait for the REAL prey. Neat!

    I do have my suspicions about what the Red Death might be, but I'll keep them under wraps for now. What I will say is that I find myself wondering if what the durant was talking about and what the seismitoad were talking about were, in fact, actually the same thing, and what, if anything, it means for my current guesses if they aren't. Hmm.

    At any rate, yeah. I'm digging this. :D Looking forward to more.
     
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  10. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → follow your fire.

    Mind if I cross-post this? O: I forgot to ask in DMs before the MMM deadline...

    Anyway, just based off of Part One, this is definitely different than your other works, although your writing style flows as well as ever and is just as gripping. With splitting up a story into three parts, I'd say that Part One is supposed to be exposition-y and introduce the characters, and you do that pretty well here. Pletora the scolipede (and I freakin' love scolipede, by the way, A+ choice) seems to get annoyed at whatever gets in her way, but she's still got a soft spot for others and will help. She'll still say it was for her own selfish reasons, of course, like when she saves the oddish from having all its leaves taken away because that means she won't be able to get leaves for herself in the future, but you can still see glimpses in the narration of her genuinely not wanting to see others suffering. She also seems not at all afraid of fire-types, despite her typing, which adds to her badassery, heh.

    I don't think I get to see hunting scenes from a Pokémon's POV often, and it was a treat here. I rather like that Pletora only takes one leaf from the oddish; combined with the apparent sentience this world's Pokémon have, I can see a symbiotic relationship where they help each other without absolutely destroying each other. Oh, and the part where planting the leaf and having larvae grow from it immediately is creepy in a cool kind of way. With the leaf stemming from a grass-type and grass-type Pokémon having weird af powers, I can believe it.

    The worldbuilding scattered throughout is interesting, too. Why is there a bug shortage? With Pletora being a bug-type, does that mean she'll have people after her in future parts? What is this Red Death the durant rambled about crazily? There's lots of good stuff to look forward to.
     
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  11. canisaries

    canisaries *blocks your path*

    Alright broskis, the second part is finally finished! Thank you all for reading and replying to the first one, your thoughts have been logged. I hope you enjoy this one as well! Rating is teen, probably, as there's nothing really shocking but I wouldn't call this an everyone, either.

    ---

    Part Two

    ---
    “Are we there yet?”

    Yes, we are, thinks Pletora, but I’ll be damned if I give you the satisfaction of a positive answer now, after I’ve had to hear the question about three hundred times.

    Another thunder booms. Sparse tapping sounds from above - the rain has begun.

    “Hold on tight,” Pletora says as she speeds up to a gallop. Droplets plummet from the canopy around the two. Only a few dozen strides left...

    “Eep!” squeaks Sisi as one drop splats onto her forehead.

    The familiar sights woosh past. That rock, that hill, that other rock, the tree!

    Pletora slows down as smoothly as she can, though at her speed and hurry, it turns out rather bumpy still. She stops in front of a thick, tall tree trunk with a boulder thrice the size of Sisi resting at the roots. The mold around the boulder is free of grass.

    “Get off, quick,” Pletora instructs, and Sisi stumbles off her back with an ‘oof’. Two drops of rain plop right onto the segment the cyndaquil had sat on. The drumming above strengthens. Sisi lets out a distraught whine.

    “Just a few seconds more,” Pletora says and shoves her horns onto the boulder. With a strong grunt, she tilts it to reveal a dark burrow between the tree's roots.

    “Get in!” she shouts, holding the rock in place.

    Sisi skitters to the hole. She stops at the edge. “I-it's dark…”

    “There's a light inside! Just go!” insists Pletora, several droplets hitting her exoskeleton. Outside the partial shelter of the tree, the ground is bombarded with thousands more.

    Sisi enters the void with a whimper. When the cyndaquil has gone deep enough, Pletora dives in, the boulder rolling back in place in her wake.

    The two mon descend further into the burrow, the muffled noises of the storm behind them. Gradually, the darkness loosens its grip, fading away with a faint orange light from ahead.

    The tunnel widens, then finally opens up into a sizeable room. The soft mold from the entrance has changed into harder, rockier soil. A flat pile of hay lies in one corner. Next to it is half a coconut shell and a glowing, rugged crystal - the light source of the room.

    Pletora sighs from relief, walks over to the hay bed and lies down. “Alright, we're safe here. And it's where we'll sleep. It's pretty late.”

    Sisi, however, finds it harder to relax. She eyes the low ceiling, one paw grasping the other. “Won't the water flow down here?”

    “Nah,” Pletora says, resting her head on the bed. “The angle of the entrance isn't right for it - and even if some water gets in, it'll get trapped in those grooves on the floor.” She waves a leg at the thin scars in the ground. “This is an old drilbur nest. If they didn't know how to deal with water, there wouldn’t be any drilbur left in the world.”

    “What if this all collapses?” Sisi squeaks.

    “Like said, it's an old drilbur nest. It's held up so far, and it'll likely keep doing so till the end of time. Now, you should sleep.” Pletora yanks off a tuft of hay and places it next to her. “Use this. And don't burn it.”

    “I-I couldn't. I don't know how to make proper fire yet…” Sisi mumbles.

    “Whatever,” Pletora mutters. “Now, goodnight. I'll help you get on your way home tomorrow.”

    The scolipede picks up the coconut shell and lowers it on the glowing rock, dimming the room. She lowers her head again and closes her eyes.

    “Okay…” Sisi responds. She stumbles her way to the little pile of hay and lies down. “Goodnight…”

    The silence of the two allow the muffled rain outside to dominate the soundscape once more.

    “Ah!” Pletora exclaims, springing up.

    “Eek! Wh-what is it?” Sisi stutters.

    “I just realized… the leaf came off on the way home.” Pletora wiggles her tail antennae, feeling no leaf around them. She grunts.

    “...Is that bad?”

    Pletora sighs. “I guess not for you. Whatever. We can talk about it tomorrow, I'm too tired now. Goodnight.”

    Sisi hears the scolipede settle down on her bed once again. She wonders what the leaf could be for - but not for long, as she soon realizes just how tired she’s become. She closes her eyes.

    I hope Mommy is okay at home… I hope I see her soon again. Even if she’ll be mad that I got lost. She'll probably yell at me. But I still wanna see Mommy...

    Tears nearly form in her eyes, but sleep is faster, and soon the cyndaquil drifts off into her dreams.

    ---

    Nghh… what's that glow?

    Somewhere beyond Sisi's closed eyes, a light has appeared.

    Wake-up time already? But I'm tired… I don't wanna wake up yet…

    Sisi rolls on her other side and is pleased to find it to be darker. It's oddly cold, though.

    “Sisi…” mumbles some voice. Female but deep.

    Mommy? Maybe she'll leave me alone if I pretend to still be asleep...

    Sisi feels a nudge at her back. She frowns. “Nghnn… Mommy...”

    “No, you can't call me Mommy, either. Now get up.”

    Wait, that's not Mommy. Then who…

    Sisi opens her eyes. In front of her lie not the bricks of her bedroom, but a wall of hard soil illuminated by an orange glow and partially darkened by her own shadow.

    Oh… right. Sisi feels the urge to whimper, but suppresses it.

    Bones aching, she twists herself up to a sit and turns around. Pletora’s sitting before her, next to the uncovered crystal that lights the burrow.

    “Good morning,” Pletora mumbles. Her tone suggests she didn't quite mean that. “We should head out for some food. That way you can get an early start and find your parents more likely during daylight.”

    Food? Yeah! thinks Sisi. “What kinda food?”

    “Well, since you happily ate that apple yesterday, I guess that,” says Pletora, standing up and heading for the exit. “Not that there’d be enough bugs for the both of us, anyway. If there are any…”

    “You seem grumpy,” Sisi remarks. “Are you not a morning person? Mommy says --”

    “Well, if your mom can't even keep track of her own kid, I'm not interested in her advice. Let's go.”

    Sisi pouts, but skitters into the tunnel after the scolipede.

    ---

    All the clouds from the storm have disappeared overnight, rendering the sky a cheerful blue. The leaves of the trees and bushes still bear droplets here and there and sparkle in the late morning sun. Wild pikipek drum and flit about from trunk to trunk, keeping an eye out for any tasty apples or small insects around and possible hungry braviary above.

    “So where are we going?” asks Sisi, sitting on Pletora's rump as the scolipede treads along the rich, damp soil.

    “There's a grove I know with a lot of apple trees some way from here,” Pletora answers. “I can't eat the fruit myself and being around it for too long makes it hard to breathe, but there may be some bugs drawn to the area.”

    “Huh… you’re allergic to apples?”

    Pletora slows down. “What's a ‘lergic’?”

    Sisi tilts her head. “You don't know what ‘allergic’ means?”

    “I'm not a guildren, I don't know those fancy words.” Pletora turns her head to Sisi. “Are you a guildren?”

    “Yeah! I’m from Briggstone. There's a lot of fire types there. The guildmaster is Delphox Virene. She's cool!” the cyndaquil explains, her stubby arms flailing.

    She seems pretty excited to talk about her guild, Pletora thinks. What else can I expect from a guildren…

    “Haven’t heard of Briggstone,” she says. “What’s the environment like there?”

    “Well, it’s rocky… there’s a lot of rocks...”

    “Is there anything besides rocks?”

    “Stones!”

    “Uh-huh.” A thought comes to Pletora. “Are the rocks red?”

    “Yeah, they're red, like the spots on my back! Have you been there?”

    “I may have. I think that can help me send you in the right direction, actually.”

    “O-oh, yay!” Sisi's voice is excited, but contains a hint of uncertainty.

    Hmm, I guess she isn't too big on the idea of traveling alone again… I mean, I guess it makes sense if she can't even make proper fire…

    The two mon continue on their trail, the sun gradually rising higher above them. The droplets on the vegetation evaporate and a more matte texture is restored to the leaves. Pletora pushes on, not bothered by the repetitive surroundings, but the same can't be said of Sisi.

    “Are we th-”

    “No.” Pletora wastes no time in shutting the cyndaquil down.

    “I'm hungry,” groans Sisi, turning onto her back.

    What do you think I am? Pletora grits her mouthparts. Her gut grumbles at the reminder of its hollowness.

    “We're already more than halfway there. Just hang on,” she says, speeding up to dull her aching belly.

    “Couldn't we eat something here?” asks Sisi, squirming back up. “Like, what about those round white things?”

    Pletora sighs. “What, you mean these puffball mushrooms?” She steers to a cluster of fungi at a nearby tree's roots. “All they're good for is diversion.”

    She pokes at one bubble with the tip of her leg. It ruptures with a faint popping noise and produces a rising cloud of yellowish spores. The powder reaches Sisi's snout, tickling it.

    “Ah, ahh, ahh... chih!”

    A bright, orange flare explodes out of the tip of Sisi's snout, propelling her off Pletora's back. The burst of heat meets with one of Pletora's tail antennae, singeing it.

    The pain in her sensory organ causes Pletora to let out a yell and rear, forelegs swiping the air. She bolts five body lengths ahead, antenna fruitlessly flailing in an effort to shake off the burning sensation. It cools, but it keeps aching.

    Pletora's non-primal thoughts return to her. Her breathing rate slows.

    She… she's dangerous.

    Pletora turns around to see the little fire type standing some way behind. Sisi's paws are on her snout. She's trembling.

    “I-I'm sorry!” Sisi cries, rushing to Pletora. “I didn’t mean to!”

    She lunges in for a hug, but the scolipede recoils.

    “So you can make proper fire?” the bug demands, voice raised.

    “N-no, I mean, yes, but I-I can't do it when I want to…”

    “You…” starts Pletora, unnaturally still. “You should walk on your own from now on.”

    Sisi whimpers, but lowers her head in acceptance.

    She feels guilty, but… I have to leave her as soon as I can. I didn't know I was dealing with an uncontrolled source of fire…

    Pletora slowly resumes her walking. Sisi follows, keeping a distance.

    It's for the better. She hasn't caused anything but trouble for me, anyway. I had to run home from the rain, and I lost the oddish leaf…

    Pletora clenches her mandibles and pins her gaze on the path before her.

    Fire types really don't belong here.

    The pair continue on their trail in silence. Even the pikipek seem like they've quieted.

    In due time, the branches of the trees around them show something more than just green leaves and the occasional perched bird - blots of red and pink. Apples. Deeper into the fruit-bearing part of the woods, the change of scenery manifests in the air as well. Sisi raises her snout skyward, sniffing in the promising aroma and momentarily forgetting her shame, but Pletora tries her best not to breathe any more than usual.

    An odd, subtle motion in the cyndaquil draws Pletora’s attention. She realizes it's been there for a while now - she just didn't consciously acknowledge it.

    She's kinda wriggling as she walks. Is it because she’s tired? No, that wouldn’t make sense. Is she impatient? Feeling itches? Oh, gross, what if she has parasites? I slept right next to her!

    Pletora shakes those thoughts away and just decides to ask.

    “Sisi?” she reservedly says and stops. “Is something wrong?”

    “I need to pee,” Sisi answers right away, like she’d been holding in the question for several hours.

    Ohhhh. Right. She’s a mammal.

    “Ffhh… well, go do that behind a bush or something,” Pletora says. “I’ll wait here.”

    “Thanks,” Sisi squeaks and wobbles into the surrounding vegetation.

    Mammals are odd, thinks Pletora and turns around, only to turn around again as she realizes she can obstruct her sight but not her hearing. Hope she goes far away enough...

    Her antennae pick up something. Despite her expectations, it isn’t Sisi-related. It’s more like… something’s walking ahead, but there’s also clanking…

    Pletora’s eyes widen. Oh Gods. No, no no no no.

    The scolipede turns to the noise, stance defensive. The noise strengthens, multiplies. Pletora’s joints weaken. Th-this is bad.

    From the bushes, several many-legged creatures crawl out. As soon as the sunlight hits them, their steely exoskeletons flash blindingly bright.

    Durant.

    Pletora skims over their mean red eyes, unfortunately finding them locked onto hers. Crap. They don't look very friendly.

    “Uhh, h-hello!” Pletora greets with forced cheer. “Wh-what seems to be the problem?”

    “You! Many-legs!” snaps one of the frontmost durant. She appears to be the largest. “This Hive area. Only durant in Hive area. No many-legs.”

    Hive area? Since when is this their territory? Oh, forget it, I can't start arguing. There's nine of them and one of me.

    “Oh, sorry, sorry,” says Pletora, taking steps back. “My mistake. I'll go get my friend and leave.”

    “Wait!” hisses someone from further back. Leaves rustle, and the durant give way to one more of their kind. The new durant skitters closer, staring at Pletora.

    “What is reason for interrupt?” demands the largest durant.

    The new durant raises an accusing foot at Pletora. “This many-legs stole oddish from I!”

    Oh, oh no. Her size does match the durant from before...

    The big durant turns to Pletora. “This true, many-legs?”

    “Whaaat? No no no, no way. I would never!” Pletora tries, but the durant don't seem convinced.

    “She lie,” murmur the durant between each other. “Many-legs lie. Many-legs Hive enemy!”

    The big durant clacks her mandibles, silencing the others.

    “It decided,” she speaks. “Many-legs enemy. Enemy must die!”

    Pletora's heart jumps to her throat. “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” she laughs nervously, backing away from the approaching insects. “Th-there's no need for this, I-I'll just leave, it'll be fine!”

    “Yes, you leave…” the durant says, legs raised high with each step. “You leave this life!”

    The troop of durant open their sharply serrated mandibles and bend their back legs in preparation to pounce. Yet they… don't.

    Something has hijacked their attention, something shocking enough to widen their eyes to show the pupil's full circle.

    Pletora heard the leaves rustle, too, but she’s horrified for an entirely different reason. She glances behind, and there it stands - a young, little cyndaquil.

    “Hi,” Sisi says, waving her stubby arm to the strangers. She looks at Pletora. “Who are these?”

    Pletora stares back, pupils thin as needles.

    Oh Gods. Why, why the hell did you have to wander in here right now? You'd be defenseless against one of these things without on-command fire, and there's ten of them!

    One durant begins to tremble. “It… Heat’mor,” it whispers - instantly to be shushed by the others.

    “No say Red Death name!” they hiss, a two of them stomping their feet on the speaker's head, driving it to the mold.

    Wait, they're… afraid of her? Pletora eyes the cyndaquil, who seems more perplexed by the second, tilting her head in all directions. Pletora's eyes narrow.

    She searches the ground, her eyes finding what she needs at the root of a nearby bush. I've got it.

    “Silence!” snaps the big durant, shaking off her initial fear. “This runt not Red Death! Red Death big, its tail smoking, its claws long and sharp, its mouth breathing hot light! This runt only impostor! It tiny, it have no hot light! No be fooled! Attack!”

    The durant exchange glances, gradually growing more confident.

    “Sisi, get closer,” Pletora orders.

    “O-okay,” Sisi complies, running to Pletora's side.

    “Sister right,” says one of the durant. “Must destroy runt and many-legs!”

    The durant screech in agreement and dash for the pair.

    Sisi yelps and tries to grab onto Pletora, but the scolipede raises her foot and stomps it at the root of the bush - rupturing a white puffball growing on the spot and setting afloat a cloud of yellow spores. Pletora ducks and draws away, leaving the powder to envelop Sisi.

    “Pletora, wai- aahh-ah-chih!”

    A mighty fireball manifests before the cyndaquil's snout, flashing its deadly heat to the durant. It burns out as quickly as it was lit, charring the blades of grass below, but leaving it at that.

    The durant, however, recoil as if it were a puff of lethal, poisonous gas.

    “Red Death! Red Death!” they screech, scrambling over and under each other in nigh-blind panic. The clattering of their metal limbs against their armored bodies could surely be heard all the way to the bottom of Crawlers’ Pit.

    Eventually, the mon find their direction and flee back into the bushes and beyond - all but one. The largest still stands in her spot, feet glued onto the ground. Her eyes are stern, but her limbs tremble.

    Sisi rubs her nose, attempting to rid it of its itch. “S-sorry…”

    Pletora steps to her side, head held high, staring the remaining durant in the eye.

    “You won't stand a chance alone,” Pletora booms. “It'd be best for you to join your sisters.”

    The durant stares back, grinding her mouthparts. Eventually, she picks up her feet and leaves, muttering something incoherent to herself.

    Pletora exhales in relief and a bit of triumph.

    “D-did I do something bad?” asks Sisi, her nostrils now clear.

    “No, no. You did very well,” Pletora replies calmly and walks over to one of the apple trees to pick a juicy, round fruit. She brings it to Sisi and pats the mon's head gently with a foreleg. “Now, eat up. We have a long walk ahead of us.”

    ---

    After ensuring Sisi had eaten enough, and herself having eaten the few flies and beetles she could find, Pletora guided Sisi back to her nest. From there, the duo continued on south, where Pletora knew red rocks could be found. To the delight of the cyndaquil - and her feet - Pletora let Sisi ride on her back again, as long as the fire type would be very careful with her snout and back.

    As they progressed, the trees shrunk to shrubs and the mold beneath grew thinner. The shrubbery then gave way to yellow meadows of hay. The mold turned rockier and rockier until it had fully crossed the line over to gravel, at which point the plants had given up and disappeared. Then the gravel, too, got sparser until the bumpy bedrock was fully exposed. And, yes - that bedrock was red.

    “See any familiar spots?” asks Pletora.

    “Nahhh… not yet,” says Sisi, scanning the boulders scattered around while leaning on her elbow. “But it looks like how Briggstone looks.”

    Pletora stops in her tracks. Sisi stands up, wondering what the holdup is.

    “What's that?” asks Pletora, pointing to a small, sandy brown creature skittering across the rust-colored stone. It looked like a bug, but it had one pair of legs and another pair of pincers too many - not to mention a long, segmented tail ending in a stinger.

    Sisi peeks at the creature, then draws away. “Oh, watch out! That's a scorpion. If it stings you, it really hurts and you'll get sick. We should get away --”

    She's interrupted by a crunching noise.

    Pletora stares back at Sisi, a crushed scorpion seized in her mouthparts, somewhat amused by the cyndaquil's upset expression.

    “What?” Sisi exclaims.

    Pletora munches up the creature before replying. “What do you mean ‘what’?”

    “I just told you it'd make you sick! Now you ate it!”

    “It won’t make me sick, I'm a poison type.”

    “Wha… huh. Really?” Sisi lays a paw on her chin.

    “Yeah, bug and poison. Can't poison a poison type,” Pletora explains and resumes walking. “Hmm… I hope there's more of those around here. They don't taste the best, but I'm still hungry.”

    “Oh, I bet my mom could offer you something,” Sisi says. “She's super nice! Ah, but…” Her face turns somber. “You're not gonna come that far, are you?”

    “Eh, well…” Pletora pauses in contemplation. “If we find the guild fast enough, I guess I could stay for dinner. I can't eat apples, though…”

    “That's okay! We have all kinds of food, like berries and bread and feral eggs. You're sure to find something.”

    “Bread… so you farm around here? It doesn't look like anything could grow here, though…”

    “No, no, there are places with more plants, like -- look, there!”

    Sisi points at a tiny, gray scribble in the distance. As Pletora squints her eyes, she recognizes it as a leafless-looking bush.

    Pletora clicks her mandibles. “Doesn't really convince me about this land's fertility…”

    “Yeah, whatever, but I mean, those kinds of plants grow near the guild! We must be close!”

    Pletora, while skeptical, briskens up her pace. The plant in the horizon is followed by many others, their size larger. Some could even be called trees, if one was loose enough with the definition.

    Pletora reaches the first bush, examines it further and notices that it does indeed have leaves, just very thin and yellowish ones. The patch of softer ground below it seems rather thin. These plants sure make the best of what they have, Pletora thinks. My own woods would probably be heaven to them...

    “Look, over there! That big rock!” Sisi shouts. “I think I know that rock!”

    Pletora trots towards the rock, Sisi becoming surer the closer she gets. At the foot of the giant shard, Pletora achieves certainty as well, thanks to the stony constructs now revealed behind the landmark.

    That's it, that's a guild. It's been a long time since I last saw one, but it's not something you'd forget.

    Sisi hops off Pletora's back. “Hold on,” she says, sniffing. She drops onto four legs and sweeps a small area with her snout, nostrils busy.

    Pletora tilts her head. “Uhh…”

    “I smell Mommy,” Sisi says. “She's been here just a while ago. Maybe she was looking for me.”

    Sisi attempts to climb back onto Pletora’s back, but as she fails repeatedly, Pletora crouches and finally allows for the cyndaquil to be successful.

    Sisi taps Pletora’s shell. “Let’s go! Mommy could be close!”

    The two ride on. Sisi holds her snout low, keeping a nose out for any surges or drops in her mother’s scent. Pletora distinguishes a faint path beneath her feet and works to follow it.

    A split comes in the road, and Sisi’s sense of smell decides that they take the route encircling the town rather than the one leading to it. Stone walls and mudbrick houses pass by, as do more boulders and barely-trees on the other side, until…

    “Mommy?” asks Sisi quietly, spotting the large mon with colors similar to hers walking ahead on the road.

    The mon and the other few that accompany it - mostly more species Pletora doesn’t know - turn around upon hearing the approaching gallop of the scolipede. Sisi recognizes her mother’s face, and the mother recognizes her child. The big blue-and-yellow mammal rushes for Sisi, who in turn jumps off Pletora’s back and runs to the arms of her mother.

    “Mommy!” Sisi shouts, clinging to her mother’s neck.

    “Sisi, sweetie! I’m so glad you’re okay!” the mother cries. She hugs Sisi tight, as if never to let go again.

    “I’m sorry I wandered off!” Sisi says and rubs her head against her mother’s warm fur.

    “Oh, honey… that’s okay,” the mother says, “I’m just happy you’re safe now...”

    She lifts Sisi up and steps back, clutching the child in her arms. “But, Sisi...” Her voice wavers. She stares at Pletora, a serious expression on her face. “Why were you with… that?”

    Pletora, who had been cautiously approaching during the conversation, stops.

    “Oh, that’s Pletora!” answers Sisi, trying to wave to Pletora but finding difficulty in it with her mother’s arms so tightly around her. “She found me and helped me get back! Come on, Pletora, say hi!”

    “N-no...” the mother says, walking backwards. The mon around her, all seeming to be fire types with their red and yellow colors and natural flames, take slow, reserved steps forward. Pletora scans their faces. They don’t look welcoming.

    The mother holds Sisi outward to speak to her face to face. “Sisi, honey, you know what we’ve told you about the Leggy Snake.”

    “What?” Sisi tries to look back at Pletora, but her mother won’t allow it. “That’s not the Leggy Snake, that’s Pletora! She’s nice, and she’s not a snake, she’s a bug --”

    “No, honey, I know it may have told you that, but the Leggy Snake’s a tricky creature. You can’t trust what it says. Now, we need to go home.”

    “What? No, Mommy, she brought me back --”

    “We’re going home, Sisi,” the mother interrupts sternly, and turn around to head for the town.

    Sisi squirms in the mon’s hold, crying out for Pletora, but in vain. Pletora watches, unable to interfere, too afraid of the burns and singes that may await her if she does.

    One of the remaining mon, almost exactly like a simisage but red, speaks up. “You best get goin’. You don’t want no trouble.”

    Pletora glares at the monkey. “I see how it is...”

    Some of the mon raise their brows, apparently not having expected the scolipede to talk. In the distance, the protesting Sisi is finally drawn out of sight.

    “Well,” Pletora continues, suppressing the lump in her throat. “I guess I'll just leave, then. Wouldn't trust you people to be nice company, anyway.”

    “Be on your way, monster!” yells another mon, this time tortoise-like, and snorts steam out of his nostrils.

    Pletora turns around, head held high but heart sinking low as she walks back the way she came. At least I can have some more of those scorpions on the way back, she attempts to cheer herself up, but it does little good.

    She glances behind, seeing the mon depart as well, and lets her neck droop unwitnessed.

    ---
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  12. Namohysip

    Namohysip Well-Known Member

    Truly monumental scenery.

    Sick burns.

    I knew it, but I didn’t expect it to be this clever. After the tension that followed beforehand with Pletora thinking that she’d be a danger, it turned out to be exactly correct. Sisi IS a danger—and therefore, a danger to the Durant! Hah! While it’s a little too convenient that these events all happened in perfect sequence, I still thought it was clever. The Red Death… is Heatmor. Of course. That’s one mystery solved.


    __



    And then we return Sisi home! That was pretty quick, though I’m glad that we got something to happen during this chapter. I’m not sure which direction it’s going to go from here, though. Pletora obviously made a sort of bond with Sisi during their short time together, perhaps simply out of gratitude for saving her from the Durant.


    The biggest mystery here, however, comes from her encounter with the Guild. It seems to be a Guild of Fire Types of some kind, with a particular distaste for Pletora’s species, but why? Is it general discrimination toward Bugs or Poisons, or something more? As it stands, it appears to be the central, immediate plot point that remains after resolving most else, so I’m wondering if this is going to be the backdrop for something larger, or if it’s going to be the catalyst for what happens next. As it stands, though, it’s hard to judge the actual direction of this story. I’m hoping the third part rectifies that.
     
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  13. pikalax

    pikalax Back in the OLDEN days...

    Having read your other works on the TPP subreddit, I find this new piece positively charming and uplifting. Allow me to share more specific memes reactions below.

    Aww, after all that trouble she went through to procure that leaf? That's a shame.

    This entire block, the only one written from Sisi's perspective, reminds me of how I was as a child.

    Even her sneezes are adorable!!

    I'm a biologist by training, but I did not realize before now that insects etc. don't expel nitrogenous waste in the same manner as mammals. Nice detail, and a perfect setup for the subsequent fight scene.

    Gotta love Pletora's resourcefulness in this sequence.

    Sisi: (thinking emoji)
     
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