Tessa wiped her eyes. "No," she whispered. "I'm on the right track, aren't I?" Her gaze sharpened. "You're worried Null's the human who's supposed to be here. Which would make your arrival an accident, just like I suggested the day we met!"
Heh, I wonder if Shane played postgame for Rescue Team. Then maybe he’d realize that he very well could be Gengar, or even the countless failed humans of Infinity. Not every human became a hero. Maybe he’s finally realizing this?
"I can tell you're going to make a wonderful edition to our Prism Virus family."
This whole exchange felt a bit on-the-nose, didn’t it? The villains randomly spouting some terms for the reader to get familiar with, assuming that it would’ve been meaningless for Tessa since they were going to infect her anyway. Oh well, we’re getting new info!
Overall, chapter 7 is finally getting things actually happening, so that’s a good change of pace. Took long enough. And! Shane has more doubts, and he finally has a moment of vulnerability and humility. I still know very little about Null despite the meta knowledge that he’s going to be important later, but that’s for another time, I suppose.
Chapter 8 –
"… I was determined to do things differently. I wanted Pokémon to like me. I thought if I acted cheerful and energetic… I could make friends. But, I totally mucked that up."
Okay. Color me impressed. We’re actually getting some proper depth from Shane! It all adds up pretty well, too, though I will admit, I don’t recall any strong hints about it. Ironically, I feel that we’re more in Tessa’s head than Shane’s, despite this being mostly third-person omni.
Just a random through from the conversation between Tessa and Null, but I’ve been very suspicious of what’s going on with Mags and Null in particular. They’re supposed to be artificial, human-made Pokémon, so there’s got to be something going on with them in particular that I hope gets outlined down the line. It’s too much of a coincidence for it to be anything else.
Very well then. Please stand by while I boot up my exposition mode. Magearna cleared her throat.
I don’t… know what… I expected.
All in all, this “exposition dump” chapter was good. I usually don’t mind exposition dumps, though, so maybe I just have a tolerance for it. I will note, however, that I thought it was particularly interesting to mix in Shane’s meta-knowledge with Mags’ in-universe knowledge. I’m not sure how significant that silly exchange about two Ho-Ohs is, but I’ll keep it on the backburner, along with the rumors of other duplicate Embodi—er, Legendaries. Heh. Anyway, let’s get to the last chapter.
"Yeah, well I hate these dumb Vulpix instincts," Shane growled. He craned his neck upward and shouted, "You couldn't have made me something cool, like a Charmander
Shane knows what’s up. Also, he later says that Riolu are cool, and I’m a little surprised that we didn’t get a little quip of reaction from Tessa for that at all! I mean, it’s her species, after all. I feel like she’d at least have a thought about it.
"Well, well, well. See, Jangmo-o, what did I tell ya? These two are a couple of no-good crooks. Kweh heh heh!"
If these guys don’t wind up being the final battle of this story, I’m going to be highly disappointed.
And that’s episode 4! Finally, the plot’s picking up, though so far, all we’re doing is taking on some grunts and getting some plot going with Umbry and Espy. Right now, my most pressing question is what’s gotten into those two in the first place, as Shane pointed out, and more importantly, what’s going on with Tessa’s ma’. But overall, I thought it was interesting to see how it all went down. The most important scene out of all of this, that stand out, is the exposition from Mags, and the beginning and end of Chapter 9. Oh, and basically any time Shane is actually not being an idiot.