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Requiem (PG-13)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Sidewinder, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Glover

    Glover Pain in Rocket side

    So, a bit late on this, but here I am.

    First off, I'm really enjoying how you've got Alakazam and Scyther playing two sides of Ethan's psyche, and how like his conscionce (Or however you spell that thing...) he completely blows off Alakazam's wisdom. Poor Kazam.

    Love the attention to detail, using Scyther's wings to break his focus. Bug Buzz?

    You're battle scene. Again, quite violent. Not surprising, just saying, dislocating Scyther's arms (plural!).

    Alakazam=Spock. You don't piss off the Vulcan. He didn't think that whole Pokeball thing through though, but I'm kinda surprised he doesn't have the will power to let himself out. Or maybe that's a few chapters later.

    [QUOTE]“ Like we have said countless times, you are our champion. You will piece us back together.”
    [/QUOTE] This line doesn't quite feel finished to me yet. It needs some kind of emphasis somewhere, probably impatience, or its supposed to be padding out Ethan's ego, being a champion. Otherwise, and as it is, it's a reundant line that's taking up space in the dialouge. The Countless times I think is your real hangup, it's out of place for the usually more direct and formal "voices"

    I'm kinda concerned about what makes a Blastoise qualify as "leaky". Depends? Why would one name a bar after an incontinent turtle, and should I be worried if someone says "This beer tastes like piss!"?

    Buh-dump bum.

    Theories:
    I love the part where the voices say that they would fade away if someone else has a portion. Does that mean that some of the voices would be drawn to a chunk that Dorian has and away from Ethan?

    And the more I read this, I keep thinking of Spiritomb, like maybe this obsidian rock is a larger than standard "Odd Keystone". Spiritomb does have 108 spirits in him afterall...

    Now I want to go name a Spiritomb Ethan, just cause.
     
  2. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    I'm going to slightly disagree with DP876 here and say this part at least does give one bit of new information, and that this is apparently the first time Ethan ever turned violent during their quest. I had just assumed that Ethan's previous reaction was how he'd always been since this started for him, but Alakazam just let me know it is not.

    I can agree that THIS might not have been necessary, though. It's kind of like a "LAST TIME, ON REQUIEM!" summary. :) I guess it does give us a sense of guilt from Alakazam that he wasn't there to stop Ethan, but that could have been accomplished more easily later.

    I am, for some reason, innately anti-italics in 99% of cases. And I don't really like it here, either. We know Alazakazam is speaking mentally, so the italics don't add anything we don't already know. I'd have just left this non-italicized.

    I dig Alakazam here. Very powerful character emerging from him. He loves his trainer, but he also has a firm sense of right and wrong, despite what that trainer might have tried to instill in him. I'm sure he's struggled with this for a long time in his life, but here he's reached his breaking point.

    The dialogue is very fluid here without constant dialogue tags. It reads well. Good job.

    Just a heads up...you said "backwards" there twice in the span of five words. :)

    Another BEAUTIFUL fight/battle scene. It was short, but it was very imaginative and well-done. I like that Alakazam isn't above such forceful measures. He knows right and wrong, but he's not Ghandi.

    The teardrop there might be a little overdramatic, but the rest of the description is very nice.

    I'm perplexed here. In the span of one paragraph, Ethan acknowledges that the police can't hurt him, but then worries about another violent reaction. Who did he erase the memories of? I might just have forgotten that from the last update. And why does exposure mean failure? I'm guessing we'll be find that last one out later, at least.

    I might be jumping the gun here and this is exactlly what's about to happen, BUT....don't the police have video of Ethan from the museum murder? Wouldn't his home be the LEAST safe place he could go to after his image is released to the public?

    Damn. That's hardcore, dedicated stuff there. He's a braver man than I.

    Like I said in my PM...I get that Ethan is fragile, brainwashed, and narrow-minded, but I also have a very good sense of his being strong-willed. I can't imagine him putting up with this kind of talk from them for long (for a while, it makes 100% sense, but I see him getting tired of it right quick. Especially with Jiminy Cricket the Alakazam. :)

    Our characters are all going to the same place. We should have a crossover. :p

    After all that effort to let Scyther bash his skull in, and he just goes to sleep a little later that easily? ;)

    So he...DOESN'T know what actually will or won't happen. Very intriguing...

    Oh, yep. There it is. That's what I was expecting.

    I love the realistic touch of announcing the deceased mens' kin. Good job.

    I like the conflict of Ethan thinking he is untouchable, but also having to do stuff like this out of annoying necessity.


    -I hate that I had to cut this review short, but I have 5 co-workers in my office right now on my lunchbreak all talking and trying to plan future appointments. :p I can't keep concentrating well enough to thoroughly review the ending. Heh.

    -I like this, as an Ethan chapter, more than I thought I would. He's not as amusing and engaging of a character as the protagonists are, but this was a lovely insight into him. I told you the rest of my quick thoughts in PM, so...just refer to those while I go acknowledge my co-workers while on my lunch! ;)
     
  3. SilentMemento

    SilentMemento Lone Wolf

    Okay. Let's get started on this character-based review:

    First off, I love Marco as a character. He reminds me a bit of Glennon Engleman: sociopathic, all about the money, and brutally efficient in his killings. Marco, in my opinion, is Ethan's counterpart in that regard. He strikes me as an organized killer with no delusions, no morals, and nothing to bog him down except for money - which would make him so much more dangerous than Ethan...if not for his unwillingness to work with Pokemon. That confuses me a bit. Does he not trust them or does he want to rely solely on himself?

    Speaking of Ethan, I'm not quite certain if I'm right or wrong on the disorganized bit. I have to agree with diamondpearl; I saw a totally different person than Ethan in this chapter. A disorganized killer with delusions as powerful as what I've seen would never take all of those measures to cover their tracks. They certainly don't plan things out in advance, like what Ethan's doing in this chapter. Maybe he was an organized killer who merely lost his mind when he murdered Ronnie, but you also have to consider the delusions, the childish belief that he is better than everyone else (considering the officers "peasants" who are "beneath him"), and the anti-social behavior that he's shown. People like that don't tend to hold down high-paying jobs, and they definitely don't tend to think and plan in an organized fashion.

    That brings me to my next bit: how did he get the kind of money that he had in this chapter? Stocks and bonds alone wouldn't have gotten him this much; he had to have had a job that paid at least six figures a year. What kind of job would have given someone like Ethan this much money? How did he build up contacts from Johto to Unova? And just how legal were his methods?

    I was surprised at the characterization of Unova as a "poverty ridden" region. I don't tend to think of cities like Castelia, Nimbasa, Opelucid (the Black version), or even Driftveil as poor - unless you're talking about the region being billions of dollars in debt or something along those lines. (Okay, that's enough talking from a political/economic standpoint. Sorry.)

    As for other characters, I absolutely love Alakazam's portrayal. I feel so sorry for him. He's pretty much at his breaking point when it comes to his friend, and now he can't do more than watch; I can't see Ethan letting him out after he dislocated both of Scyther's shoulders. I can tell how much Alakazam and Scyther hate each other. The single tear at the end, however, was overdramatic, to tell you the truth. I could understand multiple tears, but not one. I could feel the raw emotion in the scene, though, so you did a very good job up to that point.

    I know that I really shouldn't, but I can't help but feel sorry for Scyther. She's been the target of Alakazam's rage as well as Ethan's, and now she's with a horrible excuse for a human being who won't hesitate to kill her if he gets the chance. I have a strong feeling that she's not going to survive the course of this story, and that saddens me a bit. She's a much more complicated character than she seems to be. I get the feeling that she does care a lot for her trainer and wants to follow his ideals, even if they're completely wrong. In that regard, she's just another victim, albeit an extremely dangerous one.

    I'm also wondering how Rapidash and Rhydon (that is, if we'll see Rhydon again) are going to fit into the story. Will they side with Alakazam or Ethan? You're doing a fine job with their team dynamic, setting up quite a bit of dysfunction and conflicting personalities. Ethan's team actually seems a lot more interesting than Dorian's and Shelton's. Yes, there are quite a few amazing Pokemon with the two friends (Nuzleaf, Kecleon, Machoke, and Golduck), but I'm not feeling the team dynamic with them like I am with Ethan's team. Of course, that could be because most of them haven't really been delved into much as characters.

    The voices...oh man. I knew they were going to snap at Ethan eventually, but I never expected their rage to be so strong. It'll be interesting to see what, exactly, these things are when they're put back together.

    And that last line? Awesome. I don't think you could've ended that chapter in a better fashion. It's very frightening to see how much Ethan is opting toward savagery just to send a message. Still, it makes me that much more confused if he's organized or disorganized. That's probably the only thing I didn't quite like about the chapter, though; everything else was extremely well-done. I can't wait to see what you have in store for Dorian and Shelton.

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  4. Glover

    Glover Pain in Rocket side

    Alright, since we're having discussion, I'm gonna add in my two sense. :p

    See, I'm the guy who watches the Pokemon movies to study the Pokemon, to heck with the humans, but I like this scene, and think it should be kept, because we get a lovely glimpse into the abilites of an Alakazam, being avble to mind-read people and glean logical information and results. It adds a little bit fo depth to the otherwise triggerhappy deputies as well, although it's a bit late I think for that detail to be coming to light. Perhaps if Sidey ever reposts thsi story someplace else, the chapters for this scene need to be re-arranged somewhat. The last few lines are a bit repetivie to the overall, but it gives us a better idea where this portion plugs into the storyline, since it is an aside. Not really a flashback, but we are taking two steps backwards in the timeline of the story, so having some hints as to where it all fits is good I think.

    And to the "Alakazm's perspective" discussion, yeah, I can agree its a bit odd to do, but the first part of the chapter is all him, and I think that it would have been rougher for his 15seconds of fame to have been hndled by someone else. We wouldn't have connected as well with Alakazam if it came from Dorian's perspective, I don't think, so it needed to be done.

    Now, that said, Scyther, for all her loyalty and such, is I'm afraid too simple-minded to be her own narrator. She's a strong enough character, but she isn't humanized enough, if that makes any sense.
     
  5. Skiyomi

    Skiyomi Only Mostly Dead

    Sorry I took so long to come back for another review. Finals have been killing me, but I'm done now and rarin' to read.

    Chapter 4:

    I like that you began with a battle. It’s a nice actiony start. Nice description throughout too.

    Typo: his not ihis

    It’s a good description, but you’ve repeated hit. Probably better to change one to something else.

    You’re referring to her as “she” and “it” here. I think it’s best to remain consistent in terms of pronouns for Pokemon, whether you’re going to use he/she or it. But then again, I know I have a whole lot of trouble keeping this consistent in my stuff too.

    I think you need a helping verb here “was excluded” or you could say “excluded himself.”

    I'd say it'd be better to use a period or a semi-colon or a dash here instead of a comma.

    I like the talk with Shelton about her having to deal with not having access to showers. It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed in this kind of setting, because I imagine it would be a real pain. I’m not really a big fan of the “undeniable allure” comment about her though. It feels like it’s trying too hard to let the reader know that she’s pretty when they should be figuring that out themselves through more objective description and through other people’s reaction to her.

    Nice evolution description! It was nice to see the transformation process really emphasized instead of the cheap way it’s done in the anime and games.

    A double of "body" here. Might be a good idea to get rid of the repitition.

    I understand you’re not wanting to take forever on this, but it’s much less effective when you summarize instead of showing up the praise Shelton is giving. I don't think a line or two would take that long.

    If I were you I’d find a way to indicate this without spelling it out. It’s a little too plainly stated here.

    *snicker* Love it. Plus it’s kinda interesting to think that they have DMV-style annoyances in the Pokemon world.

    This I love. That whole locking eyes thing has to be even more annoying in the real world than in the games. Who do those twelve-year-olds think they are?

    I like the end of it. Dorian’s overconfident and up against a kid who really takes this seriously. Do I smell the introduction of a new character?

    Chapter 5:

    The descriptions here are really good. So good that you really don’t need the “telling” part of this where you say it’s going badly for both contestants. We can feel that through the descriptions and don’t need it summarized. Also, I love that these battles are more violent than in the anime.

    Same deal here with the “both Pokemon were obviously exhausted.” You don’t need to tell the reader that because your description right afterward shows it more effectively.

    The “Beedrill was of the same persuasion” part sounds weird to me. I don’t think I can say that it’s technically wrong, but it just doesn’t sound right to me in that context.

    Awww... I hope that’s not all we’re going to see of that kid. He seemed interesting.

    Check-points? Maximum capacity of battle-able trainers? I’m starting to believe that Shelton’s earlier comment about fascists wasn’t as comical an overstatement as I thought.

    This sentence strikes me as a little weird. So he thought he might feel an ominous feeling but didn’t? I don’t know... I usually either get an ominous feeling or I don’t. When I don’t it would be odd for me to expect to get an ominous feeling and then not. *is possibly not making sense*

    I really like the part with the Graveler and their clashes with the construction team. It’s the kind of man intruding on natural habitat thing that we see quite a bit, but here the stakes are higher. Their elders have died. **** just got real.

    I like the conversation about the Clefairy vs. Hitmonchan fight. I feel like it’s the type of thing that could come up in small talk on a long trip. I do like the fact that you’re using it as a way of exploring Dorian and Shelton’s differing battle styles... but... there are parts where I feel that gets a little too blatantly “we’re explaining our characters to you!” I think if you toned it down a little then you could get the same messages across more subtly.

    Repetition. Might want to find a synonym.

    Wow. Very dramatic ending there.

    Chapter 6:

    Another reptition.

    Great descriptions from the free-for-all battle against the Graveler. Wall-to-wall action!

    I think it’s kind of a shame that Shelton had to be a damsel in distress here. I know it happens sometimes, but it’s still a shame. I wish she was at least conscious. She kicks too much *** in my opinion to be the kind of girl that gets knocked out and rescued.

    Wow. What an ending. I’m really curious about what happened and worried about Golduck so I’m very tempted to read on now, but I kinda want to pace myself on this. I always feel I enjoy a piece of writing more when I stop for deep breaths every so often instead of rushing through. The break between reviews won’t be that long this time, though, since I’m out of school now. I look forward to reading the rest!
     
  6. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Ours is the Fury

    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to the reviews I've gotten, my best friend came home for about a wekk so that's where most of my time has gone lately. I'll try and hit up specific points of each of your reviews, but if I miss something or don't answer a question, please let me know. And thanks to all of you for your continued reading.

    That helps me out alot, thanks. I admit, when I first started this Fic I had a plan for it, but I'm so new to writing that points like what you just mentioned escaped me. I feel like I've started to get better over time with describing things in a way that will get a reader to put themselves in the characters shoe's. I will continue to work on that, and thanks for bringing it to my attention

    That's one of the other things I've been trying to work on. When I first started I was really bad about info-dumping, but as the chapters have progressed I feel like I've been able to stop myself here and there. Thanks for bringing that up as well.

    Great point. I think my problem there is that I know these characters so well that I worry that other people are getting the wrong impression so I try and cram as much info in as I can. At the same time though, different readers will have different thoughts on a characters appearence and personality even if they read the exact same thing. I'm starting to realize that and I think it shows in later chapters.

    That helped me out alot too, because I read that as I was writing chapter 12 and 13 and I feel like I put it to use a little bit. Probably one of the best pieces of advice I've gotten so far. I think that will really help me improve.

    Sorry I didn't get to everything, but I really appreciate you reading/reviewing and giving me such an in-depth look at my problem areas. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the following chapters ^^

    You may have a point there. Alakazam is just so dear to me when I think of him. I wanted him to kinda share the light of Dorian, Shelton, and Ethan. He's very important to me and to be completely honest you're totally right about him adding nothing new at first. The only way I could start this chapter was from his point of view for some reason, as all the other times I tried to start it, I just ended up staring at a blank screen.

    Good idea

    You have a point there. Basically what I see when I think of that is that Ethan thinks of himself as all-powerful, except when it comes to the voices. Which obviously you got, but when he came back to reality (away from them), he automatically went back to his tough exterior because he didn't want to appear weak in front of Scyther. In coming chapters I'm going to explore what happens in these moments with the voices and how his mental dreaming state is different from his actual reality thinking state.

    Thanks for reading/reviewing as always. I'm going to go back and fix the errors you mentioned, thanks for bringing them to my attention.

    I'm glad you picked up on that because that's exactly what I was shooting for.

    Nicely done yet again. That's what I was thinking.

    It will be

    lmao, nice! There's actually no deep meaning behind it all. I see bars sometimes with names like, 'The Roaring Pig', and 'The Bloody Goat', and The Leaky Blastoise just popped into my head one day.

    I like that theory quite a bit, very smart. However, the flakes are what allows Ethan to talk to The Voices. They can see the world around them through the shards of Obsidian, but the flakes being inside someone is what allows them to actually talk to someone.

    Lol...That made me laugh pretty hard. Thanks for reading/reviewing as always!

    I see what you mean, and I agree with both of you. I'm going to leave it how it is, but I appreciate the input. I think I did it this way because it was the only way I could start the chapter, and also because I've always loved it when in books and movies you saw the same event unfold from different perspectives. Thanks for the input!

    That's exactly what I was going for. Nuzleaf could own me in a fight, hell, Machop could break me in half with a single punch, but Alakazam scares me more than any other Pokemon in the story. The fact that he can break bones and probably amputate limbs with his mind kinda freaks me out. He's earned that power though, as he's alot older than alot of the main Pokemon featured in the story, and I've always thought that Age=Ability.

    Hmm, I'm not sure what you're asking exactly. Lol sorry if I'm missing what you're saying.

    Believe it or not, I thought the same thing as I wrote that. I wonder what Sammy and Barry would make of Ethan?

    lmao...Thanks for your input like always ^^

    First off, I love your thoughts on Marco. I always love when you examine characters so deeply, and I'm really surprised you pegged him so well considering he had so little time in the fic so far. Wonderfully done. As for your question, that will be revealed in coming chapters, but I would lean toward your theory on relying on himself ;)

    All of those questions are very good, and I promise they will be answered with the next few Ethan chapters

    You may be on to something there ;)

    The pairing of the two of them for this mission should be alot of fun to say the least. I feel the same way about Scyther. As much as a nutjob as she can be sometimes, I feel sorry for her. I'm going to go into her more in coming chapters, and I really think you're going to like what I have in store.

    I'm glad you thought so. To be honest, it was my favorite piece of dialogue in this chapter. Thanks for reading/reviewing, I enjoyed your in-depth look at the chapter and I can't wait to see what you have to say about the next one

    I see what you mean. If you read this reply I addressed the same thing with Breezy, and I appreciate both of you bringing it up. I just know these characters so well that sometimes it's hard to let them go into the world of people reading about them...I guess I'm also a little biased because Shelton's phycial apperence and personality is based off my fiance lol

    Lol I'm glad you think so. I'm going to go more into how ridiculous my version of the League is later on.

    That's another portion that I'm working on as well. I've never written anything before this and what you mentioned may be the hardest thing for me. Subtlety is hard for me. I can see every situation happening in my head so clearly that I try and throw it out so hard to make sure that everyone is seeing the same thing that I am. I try so hard to make a clear picture that I end up creating a mess sometimes. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I'll be sure to try harder at that.

    Lol you're really on to something there. You'll really want to stay tuned :) Thnks for reading and reviewing! I'll be sure to go back and correct all the mistakes you pointed out. I look forward to seeing what you have to say about the next few chapters

    Well, for everyone following, I'm about halfway done with Chapter thirteen. It should be up by Tuesday night, and so far it's one of my favorite chapters. Thanks to all of you who have been reading and reviewing. I really love seeing what different people get from this story. All of you help me in special ways, and I really appreciate it
     
  7. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → follow your fire.

    That's good you care so much about Alakazam and your characters in general. Perhaps you could find a better time to use his point of view again in the future? :) Perhaps when Ethan is too insane to make sense (which is very likely, lol).
     
  8. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Ours is the Fury

    Chapter 13


    Great, he’s drunk again,” Shelton thought as Dorian plopped down next to her on the sofa.

    The sweet smell of whiskey filled her nose as he crossed his arms and started staring at the floor. The smell hung on him like a stubborn rainstorm, unwilling to move along. She looked him up and down, taking in the sight of his tired eyes and unshaven face. His suit had a small amber stain near the collar and for some reason that slight imperfection annoyed her more than his demeanor. As the executor of Ronnie’s will started talking from the chair across from her she found herself trying to remove the stain with her eyes.

    “Did you hear me, Ms. Street?” the mustached man asked.

    “I’m sorry?” Shelton uttered, turning her attention back to the man.

    “I said that Mr. Dvakna’s checking and savings account has been divided equally between the both of your Fidelity Trust accounts here in Pewter. The total comes to almost 224,000 credits each.”

    “That’s fine,” Shelton nodded.

    “An additional amount of 65,000 has been withheld from his savings account at Pewter Mutual until you dictate what you want done with it. Mr. Dvakna’s wish for that amount was for the both of you to agree to pay off the remaining mortgage on his home so that you would own it free and clear. If you agree, I will use the amount to pay off the remaining balance and divide the leftover credits between both your accounts. The bank already has instructions that ownership of the home would pass to both of you in the case of his death.”

    Shelton thought for a moment. Paying off the home was the smartest option, especially when Ronnie left specific instructions that that was what he wanted. She didn’t think she’d be able to live there anymore but the potential resale value of the home would net them a healthy profit. She had no intention of selling the house anytime soon, but it didn’t hurt to plan ahead. She turned to look at Dorian to ask his opinion but he would not meet her gaze. Shelton kicked him lightly with her foot to get his attention, and he threw up both hands in mock exasperation.

    “That’s fine, just go ahead and use the money to pay off the balance,” Shelton told the man.

    “Wonderful, I should have the property paperwork for you to sign tomorrow morning, along with the receipt for the transfer of the remaining credits. Anyway, I was contacted by your former guardian’s attorney and he wanted me to let both of you know that another 225,000 credits would be deposited into both your accounts within the month. Apparently you were both listed as beneficiaries for his life insurance policy.”

    “Okay.”

    “Mr. Dvakna had three more points he wanted me to discuss with you. The first, was that all of his personal possessions would be divided equally between the two of you when you decide what you want to do with them. Second, was that legal ownership of his Kecleon would be transferred to you, Ms. Street, with the understanding that Kecleon has the right to choose which one of you to live with should you change your current living situation. The third and final point was that legal ownership of his motorcycle would be transferred to Dorian Dvakna. I can handle both transfers of ownership for the Pokemon and the motorcycle, and I will have the paperwork for both of you to sign tomorrow morning along with the property paperwork.”

    “That sounds fine,” Shelton nodded.

    “Would you prefer I come back to your residence or would you like to meet at my office?”

    “We’ll come to your office. What time would be best?”

    “I can pencil you in at ten, if that will work for you.”

    “That sounds fine, thank you.”

    The man stood to leave and lightly shook Shelton’s hand. He turned to do the same to Dorian, and then shifted uncomfortably on his heels as Dorian elected not to adhere to common courtesy. The man nodded to Shelton and started off towards the door. As he reached it though, he paused and came back to them, pulling two identical envelopes from his jacket.

    “I almost forgot,” the man explained. “These were left for the both of you. They were inside Mr. Dvakna’s safety deposit box; the bank brought them to me when they saw that
    the contents of the box should be turned over to you in the event of his death. Each has one of your names on them, so I assume they are his final wishes for both of you. I’m sorry for your loss.”

    “Thank you,” Shelton nodded.

    The man left after that sentiment, leaving them alone in Ronnie’s living room. It was silent inside the quaint house, silent and completely still. She looked at Dorian but said nothing. He kept staring at the ground until a shape coming out of the kitchen caused both of them to look up. Shuppet, Nuzleaf, Machoke, and Growlithe shuffled around the corner, all wearing slightly similar expressions of sadness. They all took places in front of their respective trainers without a word.

    They had buried Ronnie a few hours ago in a small cemetery in Pewter’s northeastern corner. The sun had been shining bright overhead in the deep blue sky. To Shelton, it was almost like the weather was mocking them. Usually the sight of the full sun and warm temperature made her happy, but it seemed almost cruel in contrast with the depressed atmosphere of the small group gathered to bury her former guardian. The people who came were mostly work colleagues and a few childhood friends, not much family seeing as how he and Dorian had been the last of their family name. It had been a nice ceremony of quiet song and gentle wind. Drying leaves rustled all around, their scratching sound overlapping each other to form a soothing melody. After he was lowered into the ground, Dorian had turned and walked away, leaving Shelton alone to receive condolences from the small group of people.

    She sighed loudly to try and get him out of his funk but it didn’t work. He just kept staring down like a zombie. Shelton shook her head and looked at the letters. One was addressed with her name and address and one was likewise written for Dorian. She held his out to him but he didn’t take it. Frustrated, she threw it at his chest. After it fell down into his lap he tucked it into his pocket and got up without looking at her.

    “Where are you goi-“ Shelton started.

    “Out,” Dorian said simply, straightening his jacket and walking towards the door.

    “Nunuz,” Nuzleaf called after him, climbing to his feet as his owner passed him.

    “No, just stay here with them,” Dorian responded harshly. He was out the door a moment later, making no effort to hide his displeasure as he slammed the door loudly behind him. Shelton heard Ronnie’s motorcycle roar to life out front, followed by the sound of squealing tires.

    Shelton felt her lower lip quiver slightly as Nuzleaf turned around and slowly walked down the hall towards Dorian’s old room. He shouldn’t have spoken to Nuzleaf like that. It was so uncharacteristic and careless. Shelton knew this situation was a heavy blow to Dorian’s livelihood but it didn’t give him the right to treat either of them so brashly. Didn’t he know that this was just as equally difficult for her? Granted Ronnie wasn’t biologically related to her, but he had been there the hour she was born and had taken care of her ever since; he was her father too. She looked at the three Pokemon left in front of her.

    “Machoke, how about you go get Vibrava out of Dorian’s room and take everyone to the quarry?” Shelton suggested. “Take Nuzleaf with you too and try to cheer him up a little. In fact, take that Spoink’s pokeball with you too and introduce yourselves. Just go have some fun for a bit, I think I’m going to take a nap.”

    “Choke, Machoke?” Machoke asked.

    “That’s fine, but Nuzleaf is in charge and don’t be gone long,” Shelton answered.

    Machoke shrugged and motioned for Shuppet and Growlithe to follow him. Shuppet sang her name softly and smiled at Shelton as she passed in an attempt to get the same gesture from Shelton. The ghost Pokemon ended up disappointed though when Shelton declined to give in to her good will. As they shuffled down the hall that led to Dorian’s room, Shelton quickly excused herself upstairs. As she neared the door to Ronnie’s room she heard Kecleon whimper softly from inside. Her bottom lip started twitching again as she heard the sound. Shelton forced it down again and kept walking; the sound of Kecleon’s crying growing fainter with each step.

    She slid into her room and closed the door. Her old room was decorated like a martial arts extravaganza. Posters of Machamp, Throh, and Sawk occupied every inch of wall space. The belts she had achieved were hung from the ceiling in a way that made the ceiling look like a rainbow of discipline. Ronnie had left the room untouched since she and Dorian had moved out, though it was evident that he had kept up with the dusting. He had been just as fastidious as her, and every inch of her oak dresser and desk were polished brightly. Such a good man, such a good father. She could still hear his voice; still smell his scent of raw leather and sweet tobacco. He had been so proud of her when she started her classes, and he religiously attended every match. He had never disappointed her, not once in her life.

    Her phone beeped from her pocket.

    Shelton opened it and took in a breath; it was time. She settled down to the floor and crossed her legs, extracting a small pink sphere from the inside of her jacket. She rolled it around in her palm in an effort to shelve her thoughts and focus on the situation at hand. It was odd for her, wanting to do something so badly while at the same time scared out of her mind to follow through with it. It had been three days since Golduck had been absorbed into the hospital provided heal ball. He could be released now, and would presumably be conscious and coherent enough to function. Shelton pointed the ball to a space about three feet in front of her and pressed the release button.

    Pink splashes of light bathed the room instead of the usual white as Golduck materialized in front of her. His shape formed with his legs crossed and his arms at his sides. As the last cascade of light faded away, Shelton’s eyes were able to focus again and she looked into the face of the first Pokemon she ever caught. He looked so much healthier than he did a few days prior. His feathers were slick and all in place, his plumage radiating a brilliant azure sheen. The stump of what remained of his left arm was heavily scabbed over but other than that he looked the same. As his eyes found her they immediately began to tear. He slowly scooted forward and wrapped his arms around her, a soft quack echoing in her ear as tears wet her shoulder. His chest rose and fell evenly as he breathed, relieving Shelton greatly.

    “Duduck?” Golduck asked as he pulled back to look at her face.

    “Yeah I’m okay,” Shelton said meekly. “Ar-Are you okay?”

    “Golduck duck,” he replied with a small grin.

    This time when her lip started quivering she made no attempt to stop it. She leaned forward and rested her head against Golduck’s chest. As she listened to his heart beat, Golduck gently started stroking her hair, his claws scratching lightly against her scalp. The two of them stayed in that position for almost an hour, oblivious to the time passing around them.


    *********


    Dorian knew he shouldn’t be driving. The edges of his vision blurred grey and green as he rocketed down the road towards the south side of Pewter. The blur started inching his way toward the center of his eye until he decreased his speed, thus allowing him to focus more on what he was doing. He had been drinking since about nine this morning and he was finding it increasingly difficult to keep the bike from swaying from side to side as he rode. The sun was setting to his left, setting the sky ablaze with a swirl of orange and red. Pewter City was rolling up its sidewalks; businesses were closing and people were settling down for dinner all around him. Dorian slowed down as he approached his destination, his eyes catching a bright silver flash to his right.

    A Ledian and an Ivysaur were battling in front of the bar. Each had a trainer on either side shouting commands, one more strained than the other. The Ledian drifted and turned through the air like Golduck moved through the water. Every dip and dive was deliberate and precise; every silver wind attack hit the Ivysaur precisely where it was aiming. Usually Dorian would have thought twice before ordering an attack like that within city limits, but the Ledian’s trainer seemed to have complete confidence in his Pokemon.

    “Ledian, mach punch!” the trainer shouted.

    “Ivysaur, vine whip!” the other yelled back.

    As Dorian watched, the Ledian corkscrewed its body up higher into the air and flipped over. At the same time, the Ivysaur dug its claws deep into the grass to anchor itself to the ground. The Ledian came down to meet the grass Pokemon shockingly fast with wings and right fist glowing a silvery white. Thick green vines erupted from the Ivysaur’s back and raced towards the Ledian as it dove. The insect Pokemon twisted sideways in the air to avoid the first three, but got caught by the last two and was quickly pulled to the ground.

    “Led!” the Ledian shouted as it bounced lightly off the ground.

    What happened next took Dorian by surprise and made him dismount. Just as the Ivysaur raised the Ledian up to bounce it against the ground again, the insect Pokemon spun rapidly forward, pulling the Ivysaur’s vines taught and yanking the Pokemon up into the air. The Ivysaur flailed its arms wildly as it started falling back towards the ground, just as the Ledian pulled the vines tighter and swung them down, which caused the Ivysaur to race downwards with increased velocity. The plant Pokemon howled as it smacked into the ground with a clap and bounced back up. With a growl the Ledian dropped the vines and raced forward. It swung a glowing right fist and caught the Ivysaur with a vicious uppercut to the jaw. The grass Pokemon emitted no grunt or shouts of pain, but instead flew backwards and landed in a heap by its trainer’s feet.

    As Dorian started walking towards the bar he saw the trainer with the Ivysaur return his Pokemon and approach the victor. The man who won the battle with his Ledian started conversing with the other trainer, making no effort to hide his joy. He was of average height and slight muscular build, with close-cropped dark blond hair and dirty boots. As he gave his Ledian a jumping high-five, the snaps of his plaid shirt caught the sunlight and reflected pearly white. Dorian stopped as his hand closed around the handle of the door, a part of him wanting to go over and congratulate the victor while another part wanting to keep the voice in his head from yelling at him by drowning it out with more alcohol. As he stood in place trying to decide what to do, it came again.

    Gone, gone, gone, GONE!”

    Dorian grinded his teeth together and opened the door.

    Much to his dismay the bar was brightly lit with plenty of people inside. Cigarette smoke drifted across the room in soft white waves above the heads of the assembled patrons, creating a fog that almost obscured the band playing in the corner. He crossed the floor and sat down on the squeaky barstool at the end of the walnut bar, hands scratching at the vinyl beneath him. The bartender acknowledged him and held up a finger.

    He is gone, you do know that, don’t you?” a voice said in his head. “The bad thing is that it’s completely your fault. You know that too, don’t you?”

    “What are you having?” the bartender asked him.

    “Whiskey, I don’t care what kind,” Dorian replied.

    The bartender shuffled away to pour his drink. Dorian kept his head low and his eyes to the floor and tried the best to make himself as small as he felt. The man returned a moment later with his drink and he downed the glass quickly in an effort to make the noise inside him suffocate. The bartender raised his eyebrows and leaned down close.

    “One of those nights, huh?”

    “Yeah well, just keep them coming,” Dorian replied.

    “Start a tab?”

    “Yeah.”

    The bartender walked away again to pour him another drink and he was left to himself. He knew the man’s name. Ethan Bernard. It struck a sour chord within him. The man had lived in Saffron City, the man had lived that close. The police had broken into the man’s apartment and came back with nothing but a name. The man that ended his uncle’s life had a name, and he had nothing. Ronnie was gone. He and Shelton had buried him today. The service had been nice; not grandiose or luxurious, it had been just Ronnie’s style. Dorian couldn’t bring himself to exchange pleasantries with the people afterward though, he just couldn’t do it. People giving their condolences made it real, and though he knew it was real, it just made it harder.

    “Can I get a beer over here?” a voice called to his right.

    Dorian turned and saw the trainer from outside seated two stools down from him. It was the man who had won the battle. He saw the bartender nod in the man’s direction and watched as he and his Ledian started excitedly talking to each other. Dorian stared without meaning to; he was so consumed with his thoughts that he didn’t notice how socially awkward he was being by boring holes into the man’s head. The man’s Ledian stopped speaking and pointed over to Dorian, so he quickly looked away and downed the last of his drink.

    “How you doing, buddy?” the man asked.

    Dorian didn’t respond and motioned to the bartender.

    “I said, how you doing buddy?” the man asked again.

    “Fine,” Dorian replied, only responding out of courtesy.

    “You were outside a minute ago, right? Ledian here gave that Ivysaur a whooping, huh?”

    Dorian didn’t respond again, hoping that his lack of response would deter the man from engaging him in conversation. His intent was foiled however when the man moved over another seat and turned towards him. Dorian turned and looked the man up and down. Pale, with a few scratches up the side of his neck; but the bigger focus was on the man’s pants. His jeans were so tight fitting that they acted almost as a second skin, and moved with the man’s muscles as he tapped his feet. The man’s Ledian hopped over from its seat and crawled across his trainer’s back, blue eyes deep and intense.

    “Garrett Cayden,” the man said as he extended a hand.

    “Dorian Dvakna,” Dorian responded. He shook Garrett’s hand lightly and turned his attention back to his drink.

    “Dvakna? For some reason that’s familiar.”

    “Well, I know I haven’t met you so I don’t see why that is.”

    Dorian downed another drink and motioned for the bartender once again. The world around him was starting to move left and right. He closed his eyes and tried to steady himself but it didn’t work. When he opened them again the bar kept spinning. It was an interesting situation to him. He knew the more he kept drinking the worse his vision would get, but at the same time if he stopped drinking, reality would set back in. He could almost feel the voice gathering strength inside him. He tried to hold it down as he took another swallow, but it broke through nonetheless.

    It’s your fault. He died because you found that shard. It’s absolutely your fault.”

    “You drowning your sorrows, or are you just trying to get shithoused?” Garrett said as Dorian downed the rest of his glass.

    “I’m not trying to be rude, but how about you just leave me the hell alone.” Dorian replied.

    “What’s your problem?”

    Dorian declined to respond to the man’s question and started running Ethan Bernard’s face through his head again, focusing on every wrinkle beside his eyes and every freckle on his nose. He looked up as the bartender approached again, and gave him an appreciative nod as he filled his glass. In his peripheral vision he saw the speckled form of Garrett’s Ledian climb down from his owner’s shoulder and sit down next to him. He turned to look the Pokemon in the face and stared into his reflective inky eyes. He saw his own face and looked down to the Pokemon’s face as it started to talk to him.

    “Ledi, led, Ledian,” the Pokemon said quietly.

    “What did it say?” Dorian asked.

    “Well, ‘it’ is actually a he, and he says he feels like you’re down and down.”

    “He’s not far off,” Dorian said, giving the Ledian a nod.

    “Well, if it gets you out of your mood, I found out that my apartment back in Johto got broken into,” Garrett offered.

    Feeling the need to shut the man up permanently, Dorian said, “My Uncle was murdered three days ago.”

    An awkward silence followed that statement. The air itself felt thick after Dorian said that, and even though they were only three feet away from each other, Dorian felt like the distance between them stretched on for miles. Garrett finished his beer and ordered another. Dorian downed the last of his whiskey and held up a finger for another.

    “That’s on me,” Garrett said as the bartender filled his glass again. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

    “Much appreciated,” Dorian sighed.

    He knew the voice was coming again, but he didn’t know how to combat it.

    Why did you bring it here?” the voice in his head asked. “Did you see what that Scyther did to him? It should have been you! Why did you do that? He’s rotting now, you know. His skin is starting to decompose and he’s six feet under the ground.”

    Dorian almost retched as the words echoed through his head. It wasn’t his fault, but at the same time it was. He had done this. The sequence of events had unfolded at just the right time to cause Ronnie’s death, and Dorian had been the architect. It was his fault, there was no one else to blame. He had brought that fucking shard here and his Uncle was dead. He was dead like his father and he wasn’t coming back.

    “That was your Uncle, right?” Garrett asked. “We saw that on the news.”

    “Yeah, that was him.” Dorian groaned.

    “Well that sucks buddy, I’ll take care of your tab tonight.”

    “That’s a nice gesture, but I can handle it.”

    The Ledian patted him on the back with two of his arms and smiled at him. Dorian glared at him. This wasn’t a time for smiling and good spirits. His Uncle was dead. Why didn’t they understand that? He had said it clearly. It should be obvious from his tone that he didn’t want to talk to them at all. Yet they insisted on trying to cheer him up. This had been happening since his Uncle died, and it annoyed Dorian to no end. He knew that he was wallowing in self-pity, but why did people feel the need to talk him out of it? Why couldn’t they just leave him alone?

    Dead, dead, DEAD!” the voice inside his head said.

    “Just shut up,” Dorian growled.

    “What’s that?” Garrett asked.

    “Nothing,” Dorian replied.

    “Well, I’m sure he was a good guy,” Garrett said, motioning for another beer.

    “The best,” Dorian agreed, echoing the man’s sentiment without meaning to.

    “Probably a hell of a lot better that my father.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    “Well, my father was an interesting man, and prone to a few situations,” Garrett said with a laugh.

    “What do you mean?”

    “Nothing really, buddy. It’s just good that you had a good Uncle is all.”

    “I feel like you’re trying to imply something,” Dorian said, Garrett’s Ledian perking up at his menacing tone.

    “Look, all I mean to say is that you should count yourself lucky that you actually had someone who probably gave a shit about you.”

    “Well I guess you’re right.”

    “Damn right I am,” Garrett said. He lifted his beer and took a deep drink. “To your Uncle.”

    Dorian nodded and finished his glass. “Was your father not the best guy?”

    “To say the least,” Garrett said with a laugh. He laughed a few seconds longer than he should have at that statement, which piqued Dorian’s interest.

    “Care to elaborate?” Dorian asked.

    “Not really, but I feel like it’d make you feel better so yeah,” Garrett started. “My father worked as a laborer back in Goldenrod when they were making the Gym out there. Him and my mother got married right after high school because she got pregnant with me. Well, this would be the beginning to a fairytale except for the fact that my mother died giving birth to me.”

    Dorian flinched when Garrett said the word, ‘died’.

    “Anyway, he made no effort to hide his displeasure at the fact that I was the result of his loss, and he made a habit of showing me as soon as I learned to walk.”

    “What do you mean?” Dorian asked.

    Garrett leaned forward and pulled his t-shirt to the side, showing a deep scar colored purple. “Apparently I wasn’t supposed to ask for something to drink, when I was four.”

    Dead and gone,” the voice said in his head.

    Garrett turned around and lifted his shirt to show him a horizontal scar across his back. “That was when I asked his permission to go to a friend’s house when I was twelve.”

    It’s your fault.” the voice commented.

    “I put an end to the shit when I turned fourteen and qualified to be a trainer. Got a few Pokeballs from the local professor in Goldenrod and here I am. He left quite an impression on me as it turned out.”

    “What do you mean?” Dorian asked, the spins rolling across his vision again.

    “I was scared for a long time after him. He’d come home from the jobsite and I’d hide under my bed. He’s always find me though, and to be honest I was even scared of Ledian when I caught him.”

    “Ledi,” Ledian agreed.

    “He was only a Ledyba when I caught him, but he still flipped me out,” Garrett said with a loud laugh. “Luckily enough the bastard got diagnosed with cancer two years ago.”

    “Luckily enough?”

    “Oh yeah, he can go fuck himself, wherever he is. The best day of my life was when I started challenging Gym’s with Ledian, and we haven’t lost yet.”

    “Well good for you,” Dorian said. “You learned to deal with it. My experience was somewhat different but I can understand what you mean.”

    “I don’t think you can, actually, beca-“ Garrett started, only to be cut off by Ledian moving over and crawling across his head. “Dammit man, quit screwing around on my face.” He pushed the Ledian off of him and started back up again. “Anyway, like I said he was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and the hospital called me when he slipped into what they thought would be his last day. He was stark white when I got there. Veins were big under his skin and he looked like a drug addict. He looked at me when I got there and I looked back. I saw the sadness in his eyes and what I thought was his best attempt at remorse.”

    “So let me guess, you forgave him and put the past behind you?”

    “Not really,” Garrett laughed. “I ripped out his IV and broke his jaw.”

    Dorian was stunned. Garrett’s story had started as a kind of ‘road to understanding and forgiveness’ type story, but had suddenly detoured into a new direction.

    “That’s what I thought,” Garrett grinned. “Be lucky you had a good father, because mine was nothing to brag about.”

    “Why did you do it? I mean, I can understand you wanting to do to him after what he did to you, but he was dying.”

    “Because I struggled with what he did for a long time,” Garrett explained. “He put a fear in me that affected every aspect of my life, even when I started my journey. Looking at him in that bed reminded me of myself. He was defenseless and weak, just like I was every time he decided to use me as a punching bag.”

    Dorian turned back into his glass just as the voice in his head took on a softer tone. “He loved you, you know? It was still your fault, but you know he loved you…Right?”

    “He took something from me,” Garrett continued. “I wasn’t the same after I left, and I couldn’t figure out why. He took away who I was, and as much as I wanted to forgive him, I couldn’t. He was a poor excuse for a man and he died like the bastard he was. As soon as they hauled me off of him I got myself back.”

    Dorian couldn’t find anything to say. He felt like he should, but nothing came to mind.

    “I’m not trying to put on a pity party buddy, but it sounds like he was a good man, so think about that instead of focusing on what you lost. It could have been a lot worse.”

    He loved you so much,” the voice in his head said. “He really did.”

    “You’re right I guess,” Dorian said, trying to end the conversation. He felt tears starting to form in the corners of his eyes, warning him of the impeding flood. He finished his drink and pushed off from the bar. He stumbled backwards in his inebriation and almost fell but a strong hand from Ledian stopped him from collapsing. He motioned at the bartender with his right hand while making a scribbling motion with his left. He had to get out of here.

    “Hey buddy, I got that,” Garrett offered. “I didn’t mean to upset you. Feel better man.”

    Dorian nodded and spun around towards the door, his vision swinging from left to right viciously as he walked. A few patrons looked at him oddly as he stumbled out the door, the tears now flowing freely from his face. He burst out the door and stumbled towards his bike. Night had fallen and the stars were shining overhead which distracted him and made him fall face-first into the dirt. He pulled himself up and sat with the bike to his left, struggling to try and get rid of the voice in his head that had started back up again.

    What would he think of you now? It’s obvious that he would be disappointed, but do you think he’d be ashamed too? He was such a good man, and you dishonor him with your behavior. You’re a real piece of shit Dorian, you know that, don’t you?”

    “Just shut the fuck up already!” Dorian sobbed.

    He pushed himself up and surprised himself by deciding to walk home instead of trying to ride. He lifted his phone and saw that he missed six calls from Shelton. Well, it could have been Shelton. He didn’t know for sure because of the way the screen blinded him when he looked directly at it. Dorian shoved the phone back in his pocket and started walking back home, trying to keep from tipping over once again. There was a sour taste in his mouth that became more pungent every time he took a breath. He swallowed saliva and gulps of air at a rapid pace but his mind refused to adhere to his plea to make sense of his surroundings. He drifted forward erratically, falling four more times until his former home came into view. Shelton had left the light on for him.

    Dorian collapsed onto the front porch and suddenly felt pain as a long sliver of wood drove itself into the palm of his right hand.

    “Fuck!” he screamed in frustration. He pulled the piece of wood out and stuck the wounded portion of his hand into his mouth. This was all that man’s fault. Ethan. The murderer. He had taken Ronnie from him. Worse than that, he had taken Ronnie from Shelton too. The man’s face flashed through his mind then. He had looked confident, he had looked happy. That bastard piece of shit. All for a piece of black glass. That man had murdered his Uncle and taken the shard off his desk. Dorian started dry heaving as he envisioned the man laughing at his plight. He was laughing at Dorian as he emptied the contents of his stomach to the ground below. The man was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face, just like Dorian’s.

    He is a dog and he deserves worse than what the police want to give him,” the voice in his head suggested.

    “Agreed,” Dorian said, following up the affirmation with another splash of vomit against the ground.

    That last heave helped somewhat. He found himself now able to stop the world from spinning so badly. He still felt like his eyeballs were in a dryer, but now the speed had slowed down slightly enough for him to be able to make sense of his surroundings again. He took a long breath and stood up. The door was thankfully unlocked and he slid inside and immediately sat down on the couch. His legs were jelly and his heart was aching. His eyes couldn’t make sense of the features of the darkened room save for one item resting against the wall of the sofa. Dorian grabbed his Uncle’s guitar and placed it on his lap. He ran a hand along the smooth surface, suddenly getting a whiff of sweet tobacco. It was his Uncle’s smell.

    He pulled the guitar upright and let his fingers slide along the strings. They were rough but slick across his fingers, and the touch memory of what it was brought a warm feeling into his fingers. Dorian started strumming the strings then, despite his drunken clumsiness, and began playing a tune that Ronnie had taught him almost twelve years ago. The melody soothed him more than the alcohol he soon learned, and his vision started to clear the more he played. He kept playing as Golduck walked into the room with his hand attached to Shelton’s. They both gave him the same look of bewilderment but he kept playing undeterred. Dorian smiled broadly at Golduck as he sat down on the loveseat, and grinned even wider at Shelton as she sat down next to Dorian.

    “Are you ok-“ Shelton started, cut off when she realized that Dorian had no intention of stopping the soft melody. She realized what song it was and buried her head against his left shoulder. Dorian moved his head to nuzzle against hers when she started to cry and rubbed it softly. Shelton snaked one hand down and gripped his knee tightly.

    Dorian kept playing until they both fell asleep.


    ********


    Sunlight streamed through the open blinds and roused Dorian from his slumber. A heavenly golden glow radiated from the windows and painted the brown furniture a pleasant shade of amber. Shelton was cuddled up next to him still asleep, and Golduck was watching them both with heavy eyes. Dorian’s fingers were sore from the music he had played and he gently slid the guitar down to the ground and wrapped his newly freed arms around Shelton’s neck. The motion woke her from sleep and she opened her eyes. They looked at each other without blinking for a moment, and she hugged him tighter and buried her head deeper into his shoulder.

    “Hi,” Shelton managed.

    “Hey,” Dorian replied.

    “Duduck,” Golduck chimed in.

    Both said good morning to him and resumed their stare. Words passed between them without the need for vocalizing, and they both poured what emotion they had left into one another. Tears began to form in Dorian’s eyes and Shelton reached up and wiped them away before they had the chance to run down his face. He loved her for that.

    “Are you okay?” she asked.

    “Yeah, I’m fine,” Dorian assured her. “I’m sorry for the way I acted, I just, I don’t know, I couldn’t.”

    “I know.”

    “I know you do.”

    “He’s gone.”

    “He is,” Dorian agreed.

    “What do we do now?” Shelton asked.

    He took something from me.” Garrett’s voice suddenly sang. “I took out his IV and I broke his jaw.”

    Ethan Bernard’s face flashed through his mind again as Garrett’s words rang loud. That man had murdered his Uncle over a piece of stone. That man was Garrett’s father, that man was the scorned Graveler, that man had murdered their father. The police couldn’t find him, and Dorian knew they wouldn’t. How he could know such a thing was beyond him, but he knew the man would not be found. He knew that the man was laughing at them wherever he was. That man, that Ethan was a murderer and a monster, and he was going to get away.

    “I know what were going to do,” Dorian explained.

    “What?”

    He took something from me,” Garrett said in his mind.

    “We’re going to kill him.”

    “Kill who?”

    “Ethan Bernard, we’re going to gut the bastard.”

    “Believe me Dorian, I would if I had an opportunity, but we can’t kill him.”

    “Why’s that?” Dorian asked.

    “The police broke into his apartment and found nothing but his name. His face has been on every news outlet from here to Hoenn, and they haven’t found a trace of him.”

    “Well, we do have one advantage over the police.”

    “Oh really? And what’s that?”

    Garrett’s words and his experience of mentally traveling to Orre and Castelia inched across his mind simultaneously.

    “We know exactly where he’s going.”




    ********************************************************************************************************************************************

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4zCOHFrLVY

    The link listed above is to a song on Youtube. Every so often when I post a chapter that is especially precious to me or the story, I'll post a song that describes it to me. I encourage anyone who's following the story to listen to the song, because I feel it describes what this chapter means to me. Not only that, but to me this is the song Dorian was playing when he picked up Ronnie's guitar
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  9. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → follow your fire.

    Poor Dorian, lol. He just isn’t handling this situation very well. I’m almost surprised that Shelton is handling it pretty well over him, since she seems like the emotional one. Perhaps Dorian was closer to Ronnie?

    She’s just agreeing to everything. Perhaps she’s just in the shock phase at the moment. Also, “nodded” isn’t a speech tag, so replace the comma with a period.

    Messed up formatting here, easy fix.

    “shouldn’t have been driving.”

    Keeping these sentences in the same paragraph makes it sound like the bartender is Ethan which he obviously isn’t. I’d separate them for clarity.

    Comma after “alone” not period.

    Poor Dorian. I totally relate to these voices in the head. I also like that you added him because they’re kind of parallel to the voices in Ethan’s head. It’s almost as if Ethan transferred the bad ones to Dorian so that he could keep the good ones or something. I don’t know if that makes sense (and now I feel that it’s almost obligatory to put something in my reviews that may not make sense to you, and you do the same to me) but I like it nonetheless.

    Unless you’re directly calling Ronnie “Uncle” there’s no reason to capitalize it here and in the other places you use the word “Uncle”.

    It might be terrible of me but I laughed out loud at this. Cheering for Garrett here, especially since his father was rather terrible. Sometimes it’s best not to forgive and forget, in my opinion.

    Even though Garrett seems really social and outgoing, he seems very socially awkward at the same time. I like the combination a lot, actually.

    Like the dryer analogy. :p Never been completely wasted but that’s how I’ve always kind of pictured it.

    Overall, this was a very emotional chapter that really hooked me in. I could feel everything that Dorian was feeling and I really just wanted to give him lots of hugs and comfort. I’m glad you focused on his perspective more than Shelton’s since he seemed closer to Ronnie, but you did a good job at showing Shelton’s grief too through her brief dialogue and her crying/cuddling scenes at the end there. I think my favorite part of the chapter was Garrett and Dorian’s exchange since the way you portrayed Garrett’s story (plus the fact he killed his own father in the hospital as he was dying anyway) was fantastic. I don’t know, I just loved this chapter, the end.
     
  10. Legend of Lucario

    Legend of Lucario Songwriter

    DEAR CHRIST ALMIGHTY I'VE FINALLY MANAGED TO CATCH UP!

    Erhm, let me introduce myself!

    I'm Legend of Lucario *ignores blatant username placement* and I haven't reviewed fic in a while so luckily, I sat here all day reading and I'm caught up!

    So this review is probably not going to be that great because it is going to be an overall review of plot and stuff of everything that I have just read. I promise though from Chapter 14 and forward I will do detailed reviews!

    So I just love all the characters in this fic. I mean, that sounds really cliche and stupid but, I mean it! Dorian reminds me a lot of one of my friends and I think that if he were to read it he would think the same thing, also, I find Shelton to be a lot like myself, and her relationship with Dorian is a lot similar to my relationship with my pal (minus the romantic tension XD)

    I have to admit, at first I was confused with where Ethan tied into this, I just remember reading and then being like "Okay, what the fuck happened to the kid with the Abra, who is this trick with a Nuzleaf?" But then obviously everything began to tie together.

    And can I just say, Ethan is a crazy Trick! I mean, I know that he really isn't in control anymore, but still!

    Also, extra cookies for the description of Pokemon battles and evolution, I enjoy the details of broken limbs and blood and practically dying, along with the violent process of evolution. I kind of imagine it like a movie and it grosses me out but I just need to keep watching (err, well, reading!)

    All in all, I love the development of the fic and I promise that my future reviews will suck a lot less!
     
  11. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    Ah, I really love that line. Very realistic, intimate detail.

    -What I WOULD say about the beginning, and this is really just a personal preference, is that I don't love quotation marks around thoughts. I'm not even that big of a fan of italicizing them, but I can see the rationale for that. But quotations...they aren't really spoken, and if the narration is with Shelton, I already know it's privy to her thoughts.

    Very nice, realistic dialogue and insight into a reading of Ronnie's will. I wonder if the house will be paying off as a plot point? Even if not, it's a nice, earthy scene to just pepper in.

    It's very in keeping with Shelton's personality as previously established that she is very concerned with money and finances, but this almost makes her seem uncaring. I'd have gone a few more lines into detail about her not wanting to live in the house; it almost seems like she is ignoring the emotional weight of the house and getting straight into the money aspect of it. And while I might want to see "mock" left out of the last sentence there, it was a very effective job in so simply showing Dorian's state. I actually threw my arms up while reading it.

    Another nice detail: Pokemon as a cross between transferrable property and orphaned child.

    Oh, I do so love that my advice on abandoning frequent dialogue tagging seems to have struck with you. :)

    Assuming "the shape" is the pokemon, I'd reference it as "a handful of shapes" or even just "movement coming out of the kitchen..."

    It's not REALLY a narration shift here, but I might even say "...making no effort to hide his APPARENT displeasure..." because as it reads, I was jarred into thinking I wasn't getting Shelton's perspective anymore. Even though he's not hiding it, she can still only assume that's what it is.

    You only need "just as" or "equally" here; not both.

    I feel like I need more details on their childhood. So they were raised together? Were Shelton and Dorian's family neighbors or friends? Distant relatives? How did Ronnie end up as her guardian? It just feels like I want more details on their upbringing and how they ended up together.

    Now that IS a slight narration shift, with the reader getting a sudden, inexplicable view into Shuppet's emotions. You could say the same thing from Shelton's perspective. "She was sad to disappoint it when she could not reciprocate". Something like that.

    Heartbreaking. So very touching and well-handled.

    Tobacco and whiskey. Two things you described as having a "sweet" odor that I'd not have imagined as such. Interesting choice.

    Another great bit of narration and imagery.

    Should be a semi-colon or period (or even ellipses or dash) instead of a comma there.

    Should be "who", not "that".

    Another comma that should be almost anything else than a comma. :) Ellipses, dash, semi-colon, etc. It's two complete thoughts with no conjunction between them.

    I like this line of dialogue. Very plain and simple, but it is also very earthy and descriptive of Garrett to me.

    I had to read this a few times to figure out that it wasn't Ledian who has lung cander. LOL. It's kind of ambiguous.

    I don't know why, but I found Golduck's dialogue there to be impeccable. It was just the right mix of sweet and funny that the moment needed.

    I dig the subtle supplanting of Dorian's inner critic and self-repulsion with the [almost equally vile] voice of Garrett.


    -I absolutely adored this chapter. I actually think you do intensity better than you do humor and light-heartedness, a trend that started WAY back with the Graveler attack. Everything is so heavy and emotive, but not in anything resembling an overdone kind of way. Whereas I want the fun Dorian and Shelton back, you write them heavy-hearted as well as anyone could.
     
  12. Glover

    Glover Pain in Rocket side

    Looks like a lot of the errors were gotten,

    Does need a comma though (see the bold comma)


    Pronoun isn't entirely clear.

    Oh sure, kill him in the Orre region. Murder's a national sport!

    I have to admit though, for a lot of things happening, there's nothing happening. As a chapter in itself, I really couldn't get into this one. The little character nuiances are funny and I love the characters, but reading that much about a will wasn't really what I was expecting or hoping from you. Realism to a fault, I guess.

    I'm not a big fan of the drunk scenes, eiuther. It has to happen, and I'm curious about Mr. Cayden's role. As was said earlier, the juxtaposition of him and Dorian was pretty good, especially the "Puleld out the IV and broke his jaw" bit, but as a whole, justified or not, I wasn't fond of Dorian being drunk.

    Also, Shelton seemed all to willing to go along with killing the homocidal maniac, her first reponse wasn't"Are you out of your mind?" so much as it was how do we find him. I'm not getting a good read on Dorian anymore, he jumped aa little too far to revenge killing than I think I would've expected, but I'm really not getting a good read on him, and he does have a temper in him, seen in the first Pokemon battle.


    The music scene started a bit shakily, but was very touching.

    Golduck's Back!

    Poor Keckleon...
     
  13. Skiyomi

    Skiyomi Only Mostly Dead

    X_X Sorry it took me longer than I thought to get back to reading this. I had my own writing demons to exorcize *shot* and that took me awhile. But I'm here with my thoughts on chapters 7 and 8.

    Chapter 7:

    I’d replace either the first or second “the fighting Pokemon” with “Machop” or a male pronoun. It’s a little repetitive otherwise.

    I think you could use a better word here than “residing.” I’m not saying it’s wrong, because it’s obviously not, but when I think of “residing” I think of it having a feeling of being “at home” which works against the chaotic situation presented. Maybe saying “the hole they were hunkered down in” or something would get at the feeling of the scene more.

    I really like this description.

    Hmmm. The idea of using Pokemon medicine on humans is interesting. I have to wonder about the side-effects that might cause or how they’d sync up. It’s definitely an interesting avenue for exploration. Though it *does* seem odd that with all these miracle drugs for Pokemon there don’t seem to be human equivalents. I get that Pokemon would need them more because they’re in battle, but humans get in scrapes too. Food for thought.

    Since you’re summarizing something we already know, I don’t think you need to take this much space to do it. I understand that the reveal with Golduck and her reaction is something you want in real time, so I’d say the stuff before that should be further truncated so we can cut to the important part. Because otherwise this paragraph is rather “skippable.”

    I feel like this could use a little more description surrounding how he’s saying it and what his body language is as he’s saying it. You’ve got a stutter there and that’s somewhat indicative, but I feel like we’re missing a lot of the rest. Is his shell-shocked? Is he trying to put on a strong front for Shelton? Is he on the edge of losing his composure himself?

    Definitely don’t need the exclamation point after screamed, but that might just be typo.

    I hate to say this, but the shine is kinda coming off Shelton’s character for me at this point. On the one hand, I’m not sure to say anything at all because I *do* get that there are justifications for this, but as of now, well... in the last couple chapters she’s been of no real use because she was unconscious and now that she’s awake she’s being irrational, shouty and a light breeze away from a mental breakdown. Her Pokemon are wounded and she’s been told one of them is dead, so I get her being really upset—like I said, I see there’s a justification. But just because I get the justifications doesn’t mean I’m connecting with her as I did in the earlier chapters. I suppose you could say she’s not being admirable or likeable to me right now. Though it’s true that another reader might be connecting with her more now through sympathy—but sympathy is not how I connect with characters.

    Hmm. A second time, so that’s not a mistake then, I guess. Yeah, the exclamation mark can in the dialogue, but it doesn’t really belong at the end of the dialogue tag.

    This feels like it needs more description of tone and stage business to me. Leaving it at “said” seems like it’s underdoing it a little.

    Another really good evolution description with Machoke.

    I keep see-sawing back and forth about how I feel about this chapter. There’s a lot of great description and obviously emotions are running high. Yet there are both 1. Parts where the description of the pain and carnage seem rather heavy-handed to the point that I, as the emotionally-stunted reader that I am, begin to feel a little manipulated and therefore withdraw. 2. Parts that seem rather undeveloped in terms of description.

    ...I think all in all the chapter could be more even in its emotion and description, but I think you have good material here to work with.

    Chapter 8:

    I think if we’ve got the nice, concrete descriptions of Alakazam’s moustache drooping and him perspiring, the “he was obviously tired” bit becomes an unnecessary bit of telling instead of showing.

    I like this bit. It’s a well-handled character moment.

    Typo: face not faced

    Hmm. I’m intrigued. In fact, this whole chapter is intriguing. The incident, the voices, Ethan’s attitude toward them, and the malevolent way his story is winding toward that of Dorian and Shelton... iiiiiinteresting. *taps fingers together*

    Eesh. That’s creepy about Scyther. I do wish that this was spooled out in real time instead of just being explained to us. You do get a real emotional slash with that last poignant detail, though, so I can’t complain too much.

    The whole “image transferred into mind” thing is a pretty neat concept.

    I’m glad we got a whole chapter with Ethan here. It definitely ups the mysteriousness and makes for interesting reading.

    Hope somewhere in there I said something helpful, and, once again, sorry for the wait. Hopefully once I get back into my own writing groove I can review here more regularly.
     
  14. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Ours is the Fury

    Thanks to everyone reading/reviewing! Sorry it's taken me so long to reply, but work has been draining me recently. As always, I'll try and tocuh on a few points from each person, and thanks for hanging around ^^;

    He is kind of a mess right now lol. I like to think that Dorian wasn't closer to Ronnie, but rather Shelton handles trying situations by getting stronger, and Dorian loses himself occasionally in the moment. They both react to traumatic stimuli in different ways, and that will become more apparent as the chapters progress.

    I see what you mean exactly, and I know of the ritual we have towards each other about specific points not making sense in our reviews lol. The portion with the voice/voices is exactly what I was going for. I'm glad you picked up on that, and that will have a big role later on.

    That's actually really funny. Garrett is modeled almost exactly after my best friend, who is a really good friend of my fiance as well. The description you gave fit pretty well. He reads this story too and reads the reviews I get haha. Garrett is that person to me that makes me see the hope in things, if that makes sense. He'll have a role to play later on I think. Well, he might. But after writing him down I feel like his character is someone I want to explore again. I'm glad you liked him ^o^

    I'm really glad you liked it. I tried really hard with this chapter and I'm glad you responded to it.

    Thanks for reading/reviewing as always

    You bring up a good point there. It may just be my style of writing, but I also get scared that if I don't italisize certain moments, that people will mistake them for speech. I feel like using italics has its use occasionally, but I can see what you mean by the point of view being already in that certain person's POV. I'll keep that in mind

    I see what you mean there as well. She can be kind of cold and calculating sometimes, but I think she's that way because of how she deals with that sort of situation. While Dorian just lets go and succumbs to his emotions, Shelton gets stronger and batters them aside in order to make the most logical choice. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    I'm glad that my writing can illicit an actual physical response. I could picture that scene in my head pretty well. Dorian can be somewhat difficult sometimes lol

    That's actually going to be revealed sooner than you might think ;)

    That's quite a compliment. Thank you very much. I tend to draw on my own life experiences when writing intense scenes, and I'm glad you were able to respond to it.

    Thanks for reading/reviewing as always!

    Lol, always glad to have a new reader! I'm glad you've enjoyed what I've put out so far, and I look forward to seeing what you think of coming chapters

    That's absolutely fine. Thanks for taking the time to read. Any response that is given to what I have is welcome, so thanks ^^

    Thanks very much, it doesnt sound cliche at all. I've tried to pour as much of myself as I can into these characters. Several times I thought that all of the characters represent the best, and at times the worst part of myself, and it feels good to know that you like them so much

    I appreciate it. I've always thought it was a bit more realistic as well, and I like that you responded to it. I've always thought of evolution as a child going from childhood to puberty in under an hour, so I'm glad that you like it. As for battles, I've always thought of my style being pretty close to the more violent bits of the manga. Though I have thought that I almost make my Pokemon too overpowered lol. Anyway, keep your eyes open, because the battles are going to get alot more intense :)

    Thanks for reading/reviewing!

    I have to admit, that made me laugh pretty hard.

    I understand. To be honest, my fiance thought that having that long of a reading kinda droned on longer than it should have. But when passing on a person's estate, there's a lot to cover. I'm sorry that it didn't go over well for you, and I'll keep your concern in mind. Thanks for bringing it to my attention

    I'm glad that you liked a few bits with Garrett, as I tried really hard on them. Alcohol is such a big part of our society, that it made sense to me that it would be a somewhat present part of Dorian's world too. I drink occasionally, and it really semmed to me what Dorian would do in a moment of trauma like that. Though he is modeled after myself quite a bit, it made sense that he would find solace in a bottle to me. Alcohol does a lot for people sometimes, though usually never in a good way. However, I found that that kind of self destructive irresponsible behavoir worked for his personality.

    Hmm, Im surprised at that. To me, it felt like a reasonable reaction from him since he usually reacts on impulse rather than logic. I'll make sure to make sure his reactions seem as believeable as possible, because later on he comes to term with his decisions a little more clearly. He's on a strage road at the moment, and I think he's only still formulating the idea of killing Ethan. H doesn't know what else to do with himself, so he's struggling and this reasoning is all he can come up with.

    Thanks for reading/reviewing as always.

    Don't worry about it. I'm glad you're still following the story

    That's a good point to make. What you said makes me think of people abusing Ketamine, which is a horse tranquilizer. That's a good point you made, and I'll keep it in mind for the future. I think in this portion Dorian was just freaking out so bad he was willing to try anything to wake Shelton up. Even though having her strong personality kinda backfired on him when she freaked out, I think that was his motivation. Thanks for mentioning that.

    I suppose you're right. I just keep feeling that I need to explain things more fully when major events happen. I believe it's because I know this story so well in my head that when I write a new chapter I want to make sure that people are still aware of what's going on.

    I'm really glad you said that. Since this is my first fic, I'm doing my best to try and find a balance that everyone can relate to. Sympathy is how I connect with the characters I read about in other books, but when people say things like what you said, it helps me to broaden my thinking to make sure that everyone can understand what the characters are going through. Thanks!

    That's another thing I'm trying to work on. I think it once again goes back to the fact that I know what's happening so well that I'm trying too hard to make sure that people don't get lost in translation.

    I'm glad you thought so. Back when I was writing this chapter I thought it was about time to introduce an Ethan only chapter. Kutie Pie hit the nail on the head with one of her reviews when she said that he was working the strings from the backround early on, and I really wanted to flesh him out more and I thought that was the perfect time to do it.

    Thanks for continuing to read and review!

    Thanks to everyone to point out the errors I made with the last chapter. Tuesday I have the day off of work so I'll make sure to go back and correct them. BTW, I should have chapter 14 up by Tuesday as well.
     
  15. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Ours is the Fury

    Chapter 14


    “Are you serious?” Shelton asked. “Are you referring to the spiritual, mental, whatever trip that that shard took you on?”

    “That’s exactly what I’m talking about,” Dorian grinned, taking the guitar from his lap and placing it back on its stand. “I know where the other ones are, and once we get one it will be able to tell us where that piece of shit is.”

    “Gotcha. So we’re just going to figure out where he is and blow his head off?”

    “Well, I don’t know how we’re going to do it but we don’t need a gun. Where would we even get one?”

    “Wow, well, I was saying that to show you how completely ridiculous you sound. I’ll go ahead and forget the fact that trained detectives can’t find a trace of him, and assuming we are able to find another shard and it points the way to him, are we just supposed to fight through that Scyther and Alakazam he has and beat him to death?”

    “That’s my point; we’ll be able to find him. We have the advantage over the police. You remember how those cops looked at me when I told them about the journey that shard took me on. They tried to get me to take a breathalyzer test.”

    “Well yeah…You know I believe what happened to you, but that aside, you really think you could bring yourself to kill him?”

    “Don’t you?”

    “Of course not. What would Ronnie think?”

    “Would you like to go ask him?”

    “Why would you say that?” Shelton asked with a glare.

    “To wake you the hell up. Can you honestly say that you don’t want to see that bastard dead?”

    “Of course I do, Dorian. But that doesn’t mean that I could actually kill him. Could you?”

    “Damn right I could. And it’s actually pissing me off that you’re not up for this. He killed him and had his Scyther carve him up.”

    “I know. I was there if you recall. And it’s pissing me off that you’re being so casual about this. Were you some sort of assassin in a former life? Because you’re talking like you’re some sort of mercenary.”

    “Oh ha-ha, that’s wonderful. I’m being serious, Shelton. Let’s do this. We have the money to travel now, and it’s not like we’re doing anything else.”

    “So that’s you’re justification? You want us to go kill this guy because we don’t have much going on? Do you have any idea how crazy you sound?”

    “It’s the right thing to do, and you know it. I mean, obviously killing is ‘wrong’, but he deserves this. Who knows how many people he’s done this to, or how many he will do this to?”

    “I don’t agree with this. Let’s just let the police do their job and we’ll figure out what our next move is.”

    “Duduckduck, Golduck gold,” Golduck nodded, repeating Shelton’s statement.

    “Fine, let’s see what everyone else has to say about it.”

    Dorian got up from the sofa and quickly went to his room. Vibrava, Growlithe, and his newly captured Spoink were on the nightstand near his bed, and Nuzleaf was sitting cross-legged on the floor. He looked up as Dorian entered and shot him a dirty look.

    “Nunuz, Nuzleaf?” the grass Pokemon asked.

    “Yeah I’m okay, more than okay actually.”

    “Nuzleaf, Nuzleaf, nu, leaf!”

    “I’m sorry I talked to you like that. You know I’ve been stressed out. Not only that, but I feel like I’m justified in feeling like this. I’m sorry though, cut me some slack.”

    “Nunuz,” his Pokemon sighed. “Nuzleaf?”

    “Well no, I actually have something to talk to you about. Will you go get Machoke, Shuppet, and Kecleon and meet me in the living room?”

    “Nuzleaf,” he replied with a nod.

    Dorian opened Vibrava and Growlithe’s pokeballs. Light spilled from the interior of the balls and they materialized in front of him. Vibrava gave him a quizzical look from the air and shooed Growlithe down the stairs at Dorian’s urging. He rolled Spoink’s pokeball across his palm while he considered letting the Pokemon out. The psychic Pokemon did try to cause him seriously bodily harm, but at the same time the mental control it had to be able to accomplish that feat was impressive. He’d leave it for the time being until he figured out a way to make sure it didn’t try to hurt him again. Dorian tucked the ball into his jeans and made his way back downstairs.

    With the exception of Shuppet, all of their Pokemon were assembled. Kecleon was seated next to Machoke on the floor, patches of his face lined darker than the rest due to his earlier tears. Nuzleaf was seated next to Golduck and Growlithe was busy investigating something under the sofa. With a sigh Dorian walked to the kitchen and banged on the refrigerator. Shuppet phased herself through the door of the appliance and smiled at Dorian.

    “Did Nuzleaf tell you to go to the living room?”

    She nodded.

    “But you decided not to?”

    She nodded again.

    “Go to the living room,” Dorian commanded, hazel eyes widening.

    After nodding once more, Shuppet drifted through the wall to the living room and vanished from his view. He was going to have to lay this out the right way. His idea was still forming. It was no longer soft clay in his mind, but it had not yet been fired in a kiln yet either. Too hard of a nudge would make it lose its shape, and if it happened, his friends out there would be the finger. This was the right thing to do. An eye for an eye…Right?

    “So, apparently we have an issue,” Dorian said as he crossed the floor back to the living room. “I have an idea for what may be a little, well, adventure?”

    Nuzleaf perked up immediately, and Shelton uncrossed and re-crossed her legs.

    “All of you know what happened to Ronnie a few days ago, and that it was a person that did it to him.”

    Kecleon stiffened at the mention of Ronnie’s name.

    “I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this before, but we may have a solid chance to get the man responsible for this. It’s kind of a long shot but personally I don’t care. I want to know what all of you think. Shelton and I are somewhat divided on the appropriate action to take. But we have a chance to make him pay, so think about that.”

    “What Dorian meant by divided is that he wants to kill him,” Shelton clarified. “I have no reservations about hurting the man; I don’t think we’re the kind of people to outright kill someone. So basically this is what it comes down to. Dorian wants to kill him, and I want to give him a beating and make sure he spends the rest of his life in prison. To be honest I’m not even sure it’s the best idea to even go after the man, but at the same time, he does need to pay. And by that he needs to go to jail.”

    Looks were exchanged between their Pokemon.

    “I thought you weren’t even open to the idea,” Dorian said.

    “I’m not open to the idea of committing the same crime he did, but he needs to face the consequences of what he’s done,” Shelton replied. “He was my father too, Dorian. And while I hope he’ll get what he deserves, you know damn well that Ronnie would not approve of what you’re suggesting.”

    “Fine, whatever.”

    Nuzleaf came over to stand by Dorian, and Vibrava followed suit and landed on his shoulder. After a glare from Nuzleaf, Growlithe trotted over as well. Golduck reached out with his remaining arm and squeezed Shelton’s hand as Shuppet floated down next to her. Machoke sat still with his legs crossed and his mouth speaking inaudible words. After a moment though, he slid closer to Shelton as well. Everyone in the room exchanged glances with one another and then turned in unison to look at Kecleon.

    The lizard Pokemon was staring at Dorian with a mix of what looked to be admiration and disgust. He spoke in a small voice that Dorian wasn’t accustomed to.

    “Kecleon, leon kec, cleon, Kecleon Kecleon kec.”

    The lizard Pokemon grabbed Dorian’s hand and nuzzled it lightly. After repeating the same gesture with Shelton, he pointed towards the door with one hand and drew one scaled finger across his throat with the other. His intentions clear, Kecleon retreated back upstairs and closed the door to Ronnie’s room behind him.

    “Well I guess that settles it,” Dorian started. “I think Orre is probably our best bet. What do you think?”

    “About what?” Shelton asked.

    “About where we should go first,” Dorian answered.

    “We’re not going anywhere. I’m going to Sarvine’s office and signing all the paperwork. You go wherever you want, but I’m not going to Orre and neither are Golduck, Machoke, or Shuppet.”

    “You just agreed to go a second ago.”

    “No I didn’t. I agreed that Ethan Bernard needs to face justice for what he did to Ronnie, but I did not agree to help you try and kill him.”

    “I can’t believe you’re being like this.”

    “Like what?”

    “You said that Ronnie was like a father to you, and now that we actually have a shot to get to the man that killed him, you’re not going?”

    “I’m not going because I’m not going to help you murder him. If you want to track him down and turn him into the police, I’ll be there with bells on; but I’m not going to risk spending the rest of my life in prison just to satisfy my want to have him dead. You know what, I’ll even go to the police and help you convince them about the shards again, but I’m not going to help you kill him. And don’t even think about trying to convince any of my Pokemon to go with you either.”

    “I’m sorry, but all I heard from all that is that you don’t care enough about what that man did to us to bother.”

    Shelton glared at him and turned to Golduck.

    “Why don’t you go back upstairs and rest, I have to go out for a bit.”

    “Duduck, Golduck?” he asked.

    “Machoke and Shuppet will come with me,” Shelton assured him.

    “Golduck,” the avian nodded.

    “Seeing as how I’m the only responsible adult in this house, I’m going to Sarvine’s office to sign all the paperwork. Do try and grow up while I’m gone.”

    Dorian coughed as she walked by him, a cough that sounded suspiciously like the word, ‘jackass’.

    “Fuck you, Dorian,” Shelton hissed, slamming the door behind her as she left.

    Dorian stood in place, fuming. Golduck sighed to his left which caused him to look down at the bird. The avian was looking at him with glossy eyes and a sour expression. Dorian shrugged at him and the bird followed suit. After a moment, Golduck started examining the stump of his left arm and wincing as he stroked the tender flesh.

    “That sucks, buddy,” Dorian offered, unable to think of something more sentimental.

    “Duck, Golduck,” Golduck countered, rolling his eyes. The Pokemon pushed off the sofa and headed back up the stairs in the direction of Shelton’s old room.

    “Guess I’m just an asshole,” Dorian said to himself.

    “Nuzleaf nunuz,” Nuzleaf said, holding out a hand and tipping it from left to right.

    “Oh shut up,” Dorian said with a grimace as he plopped down on the sofa next to his Pokemon.

    Dorian knew he wasn’t being childish, Shelton was. She was being so, herself. They wouldn’t go to prison. Granted, he didn’t know all the in’s and out’s of murdering someone; it wasn’t like he could walk into the local bookstore and buy an instruction manual. Ethan had tried to kill him before, and Dorian figured he would do so again if given the chance. With his Pokemon taking care of the Scyther and Alakazam, Dorian was sure he could provoke the man into attacking him again so he could claim self defense. The training he had received over the last few years had not molded him into the steel hardened weapon that Shelton was, but he was still relatively confident in his abilities.

    Shelton really was being unreasonable though; how could she not want this. When he wasn’t thinking of the rage building inside him, he knew she had brought up some valid points. But still, Ronnie had taken her in at just two days old after both sets of their parents had been killed in the car accident. Ronnie obviously wouldn’t approve of his course of action, but he was dead now so his opinion was of no consequence. Well it was, but he was going to do this for him.

    No you’re not,” a voice said in his head. “You’re doing this for you. This infantile half-plan you’ve formulated is so YOU can have revenge on Ethan Bernard. That’s it.

    Dorian grinded his teeth.

    Killing that man won’t bring Ronnie back; you do know that, don’t you?

    Dorian did know that. He always hated when people asked that question in books and movies. Of course it wouldn’t bring him back, but it would however give him peace. He didn’t save Ronnie, but he could avenge him, and make sure that no one else would be hurt by that monster.

    With that last thought, Dorian pulled out his phone and started looking up flights to Orre.


    ***********


    “What an ass,” Shelton thought bitterly.

    As she walked towards Sarvine’s office in the center of town, she noticed that the ground below refused to crack no matter how hard she stomped. She knew that the anger she was feeling was mostly Dorian’s fault; but it was enhanced by the fact that she had begun to loathe this town since Ronnie died. The warmth of the brick houses and quaint fields had taken on an almost visible aura of unpleasantness. After she finished the paperwork she was going straight back to Johto and away from this feeling.

    As she neared the red wooden door to Sarvine’s office, Machoke rushed forward to open the door for her. He quickly pulled the door open, which was followed by the shriek of splintering wood as the door was pulled off its hinges. Shelton gasped at the same time a shriek came from the now visible receptionist inside the office. Embarrassed, Machoke tried to force the door back onto the demolished frame. His efforts were in vain however and he only managed to smash the thick door in half. He dropped the pieces to the ground and turned to Shelton, who was trying her best to figure out how to handle this.

    “Really?” Shelton asked.

    Tears formed in Machoke’s eyes and he dropped the pieces of door from his hands.

    “Don’t cry, don’t cry,” Shelton begged. “You just have to get a grasp on the fact that you’re stronger now. You guys just wait out here while I go sign some paperwork and write a damn check.”

    She walked inside with a breath and came face-to-face with the shocked receptionist.

    “I’m really so sorry about that. He just evolved and he’s not used to his strength. I’ll make arrangements with Mr. Sarvine to pay for the damage. Sorry if he frightened you.”

    The elderly woman didn’t reply but nodded in an exhausted sort of way before pointing down the hall. Shelton followed the suggested direction and found Ronnie’s executor. After a few minutes of explaining the situation and writing a blank check for the damage to his office, she sat down and began the long arduous process of signing every line he provided. The man was pleasant enough and didn’t act too upset about what had happened to his door, which was probably because he figured she was under enough stress. After the papers were signed and electronically filed, she received a text message showing her new account balance. She thanked Mr. Sarvine profusely for his help and left as quickly as possible.

    “Let’s go,” Shelton said to Machoke and Shuppet. They took up positions on either side of her and kept pace. A shadow above had drawn her attention and she found a flock of Pidgey passing by overhead. The sight of their creamy bodies against the bright sunlight made her mind flash back to the incident she had with the species back when she was eight. The memory was still crisp in her mind. She smiled at the thought.

    She and Dorian always walked to school when they were younger. It was only a quarter of a mile from home and since Dorian was two years older and Pewter was such a safe town, Ronnie had never thought much of escorting them. One day though, Dorian had left her halfway to catch up with some of his friends up the road. He had hung back at first because of Shelton but after she had assured him she was big enough to do it, he had run up ahead. It went fine except for the fact that she stopped along the way to examine something rustling in the tree line.

    In the bushes near the edge was a nest of infant Pidgey that had apparently fallen from a branch overhead. They had been so cute and fuzzy that she couldn’t help but pick them up. She had realized too late that that was a mistake because suddenly the mother Pidgey had flown in and snatched the babies from her arms. The Pidgey had then turned on her and pecked and clawed her all the way to school. Ronnie was called when she got to school and informed of the incident, and she earned a day off. He had lectured her on the local Pokemon behavior and future precautions to take. He gave her a big smile after it was over though, and she was finally able to relax.

    She walked with Dorian to school the next day feeling completely calm; only to have that calm shattered by the same Pidgey careening out of the forest to bite and scratch her yet again. Dorian tried to fight it off but in the end they ended up running as fast as they could back to school. Ronnie had to pick both of them up from school that day because of Shelton’s refusal to walk back home. The next day, she didn’t want to walk to school again, and made Ronnie drive her for the next three weeks. After seeing her tense up every day that they had to drive past that spot in the forest he had taken her aside one day after they got back home.

    “Listen sweetheart,” Ronnie had said. “You have to start facing your fear again. You have to stand up and face it head on. To me, that Pidgey sounds like it was just protecting its young. I could call Pokemon Control and have her taken care of, but I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.”

    “But Ronnie, if I go back that way she’ll bite me again,” Shelton had explained.

    “Possibly, but you can’t let one little Pidgey affect how you live your life, sweetie.”

    “But Ronnie, she’ll hurt me!”

    “Well, I thought about that and I think I have an idea,” Ronnie said with a smile.

    He had driven her to the outskirts of Pewter City to the martial arts studio and introduced her to the instructor there. The next three months were a blur of confidence building talks and defense techniques. After she succeeded in taking down four people in her age group, Ronnie had sent Dorian off to school early one morning and shooed her away to walk to school. The familiar fear had taken hold of her as she neared the spot with the Pidgey, and she flirted with the idea of running back home. The Pidgey appeared as she walked past where the next used to be. The bird Pokemon flew in low and came right for her. She shrieked and automatically went into a defensive stance that she had been taught. Shelton had lashed out with her right foot like she was taught and caught the bird directly on the beak. The Pidgey had whimpered and retreated back to the forest after giving her a hateful look. She had done it, she had faced it and she had won.

    Shelton smiled as Shuppet landed on her shoulder and started gabbing away. Her old house came into view, and she knew without being inside that Dorian was still fuming. Ronnie would have wanted her to patch things up with him. Shelton was beyond furious with Dorian for his willingness to take a life, but at the same time Shelton had no reservation to watching that Ethan Bernard publicly executed. She just couldn’t be a part of it though. Ronnie would have been disappointed in her. As angry as she was she knew she wasn’t capable of murder; and as much as Dorian claimed he was, she knew he wasn’t either.

    As she entered the house she saw Dorian on the sofa with his eyes staring intently at the phone in his hand. He looked up as they entered and glared at her. After a moment he looked back at his phone with his face wrinkled in concentration.

    “May I ask what you’re doing?” Shelton said softly.

    “No,” he retorted.

    “Oh come on grumpy bears, I’m sorry for being mean.”

    “Well you were.”

    “Hence why I’m apologizing. Now what are you doing?”

    “Trying to book a flight, but I forgot the password to my savings account.”

    “It’s Nuzleafmachop.”

    “That’s right,” Dorian said with a smile. “Wait, how did you know that?”

    “Because you’re an idiot?”

    “Valid point I suppose.”

    “Dorian,” Shelton started.

    “Don’t try and talk me out of this, Shelton. If you don’t want to go, that’s fine. But I’m going whether you like it or not.”

    “Look, just listen to me,” Shelton responded, taking a seat next to him. “We can’t kill this man, neither of us are made that way and you know it. We’d be dishonoring Ronnie’s memory by doing it. He didn’t raise us that way.”

    Dorian slapped the phone down onto the coffee table and put his head in his hands.

    “However, I do have a counterproposal. You need me for this. That Scyther and Alakazam are going to be hard to take down, not to mention any other Pokemon he has that we don’t know about. Like I said, I won’t kill him and neither will you, but I’ll go with you to find that shard so that we can use it to find him. And if we are able to find him, we’ll hurt him. Then we’ll turn him into the police. He can spend the rest of his life behind bars thinking about what he did to us and to Kecleon.”

    Dorian looked at her then.

    “That’s one way to do it I suppose,” he managed.

    “It’s the only way we can do it. And we don’t even know if this will work, so I think this is the best plan we have at the moment. If we find him we’ll make sure he goes to jail with a few scars, but that’s it. If you can agree to that, I’ll go.”

    “I want him dead, Shelton,” Dorian explained. “But this is justice too, I guess.”

    “Damn straight it is,” Shelton assured him. “He deserves to live with this for the rest of his life.

    “Okay then, let’s do it.”

    “Go get my laptop and I’ll see what I can do.”

    Moments later her laptop was open in front of her and she linked both their newly sizeable accounts to an airline company’s website. After about twenty minutes of searching, and fifteen minutes of Dorian noisily taping his feet on the floor, it was done. She sent a command to print off their boarding passes on the printer upstairs. Dorian was looking at her like an infant waiting for a lollipop, and after watching him squirm for a minute she relented.

    “Alright, it’s done,” Shelton said.

    “I love you, Shelton. You know I couldn’t have done this without you.”

    “I love you too, dummy.”

    “So when’s this happening?”

    “We leave tomorrow.”
     
  16. Glover

    Glover Pain in Rocket side

    yay! Shelton's speaking sense again! That's the dynamic I love between them!

    The problem with an eye for an eye is that everyone ends up blind...

    I'm sure Shelton would love to tape his feet to the floor, although I think a staple gun is more her style, but the word you want is tapping.

    That transition felt a little too smooth going into the flashback, and the flashback needed a little more buffing up. Good summary of Shelton's character, but a summary it should not be.


    ground.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  17. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → follow your fire.

    Grinned isn't a speech tag, so put period instead of comma.

    LOL, Dorian and Shelton's conversations always crack me up. Makes me wonder what her internal monologue really is. Does she want him dead, too? Does she support Dorian deep down, or is she really afraid of what he wants? Hmm.

    Guess that answers my question. Also, it seems sort of surprising that Shelton would mention somethng spiritual here and then be skeptical of Dorian's shard journey.

    Up to this point there's almost been nothing but dialogue. I'd go back and add some actions to help show emotions or give a better picture as to what's going on. Shelton crossing her arms? Golduck walking up beside her and nodding? Little things like that can help.

    Lol, this actually got me thinking whether or not I could actually walk in and find one... Or at least a mystery novel would help. Just ignore me.

    Would put question mark at end there

    LMAO. Love this entire part right here. Machoke is adorable.

    Overall, the chapter was good, though there was some balance issues when it came to writing both description and dialogue. I think my favorite part was the Pidgey flashback--it was sweet and creative and really helped to show what kind of person Ronnie was. It also helps to know that Shelton isn't afraid of remembering him like Dorian seems to be. You've done a good job at showing their different reactions to grief and death, and I look forward to seeing more, especially now that they should be moving along and trying to find Ethan. Keep it up!
     
  18. SilentMemento

    SilentMemento Lone Wolf

    Here is the review for the last two chapters, as I should've done earlier:

    Hmm...I actually like the use of the will and the funeral. It makes the fic seem more grounded, more real to the viewer after the etheral view that Ethan had. It's a very nice contrast, and it was also a nice touch to show how Pokemon are handled in the event that their owner dies: almost like children, but with a lot of property values as well.

    The reactions from the Pokemon are very touching, with Golduck and Kecleon being the more memorable out of all of them. I also noticed that Golduck has a lot of empathy toward others, particularly Shelton. He had every right to wallow in self-pity after his traumatic injuries, but he chose to comfort Shelton instead. That's very big of him, and, in my opinion, it adds even more to his character than there was before.

    In contrast, what Dorian did was extremely careless and more than a bit selfish as well. He had no right to endanger others like he did, and I'm quite shocked that Shelton let him go on his motorcycle when he was clearly intoxicated. To me, it's a bit out of character for her to just let him go out and break the law like that, especially after looking at the last chapter and how she felt about his plan. She strikes me as a responsible person who follows the rules and laws of society, so I was quite surprised that she didn't protest or at least ask him to take a walk instead of go on his motorcycle.

    I'm also quite surprised that Garrett is so open about what his father did to him, especially since that had been going on for more than eight years. A lot of people would rather bury those memories for good, and I'm shocked that he's open about it, even if he thinks it would cheer Dorian up.

    Grammatically:

    There should be a comma between the bolded words, and the bolded apostrophe has no place in the last sentence; the word "Gyms" is the correct use.

    Normally, I would be shocked at Dorian listening to someone he had just met, even if it's just an impersonation of their voice. Still, he has proven that he's impulsive at the best of times and careless at the worst.

    And now the polar opposite personalities of Dorian and Shelton are clashing. This is the part in the story where I've seen their character shine through the most. Clearly, they both want justice, but they want it in separate ways.

    The scene with Machoke at the office was rather sweet, I must admit, and while "sweet" isn't the word I think of when I look at a Pokemon like Machoke, I can't think of another word that adequately describes the scene. Great job.

    More grammar nitpicking:

    Minor typo. You want "your".

    I'm a bit confused at this part. Either way, there's absolutely no incentive for Dorian to let Spoink out of its ball. What this says is that Spoink not only wants to cause him severe harm, but also has more than enough capability to do so. I'd suggest that the word "and" should replace the bolded part, but it's your choice. Also, the word "seriously" should be "serious".

    The first bolded word should be cut out entirely, and the next two bolded words should have a comma between them. I think that a dash would work instead of a semi-colon. For instance:

    "As angry as she was, she knew she wasn't capable of murder - and as much as Dorian claimed he was, she knew he wasn't either."

    Overall, I quite loved these two chapters. I just wonder when Scyther and Marco are going to show up and try to derail their plans...

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  19. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    Ouch. Good line, even if vicious and a little insensitive. It seems like Dorian forgot that he isn't the only one who lost someone.

    I'm glad she said that. My initial reaction was "Saying you don't have anything else going on is rationale for buying some bananas...not killing someone". Dorian seems kind of loopy.

    I don't love the argument Dorian presents here. It seems weird to say "obviously killing is wrong" while presenting an argument to kill someone. I would imagine he should instead say something right "Maybe murder is sometimes justified..." Something that backs up his point rather than fly in the face of it.

    This might have been mentioned, and maybe I just forgot it, but why is Dorian so much closer to Nuzleaf than any of the others? There's obviously a tight relationship there (and, oh yeah, he's in your banner for the story, lol).

    I don't get the finger line, but besides that, this was a very nice metaphorically paragraph. Kudos.

    Should be "And by that, I MEAN he needs..." Reads better.

    Great Shelton moment. I thought "Wooo!" when I read that. :)

    I get that Dorian is clearly in the wrong here, but this seems a bit immature from him given how serious the discussion is.

    No need for that comma. Maybe quotations or half-quotations. "She was being so...'herself'."

    I like this, it's like the Spider-Man/Batman argument. Spider-Man and Batman both have strict vows against killing. So morally, they are right, but how much blame do they shoulder when they won't kill The Joker or Green Goblin and then the villain continues to escape justice and murder more people? This would be a fantastic internal struggle to see Dorian dwell on. Although Shelton and Dorian already had an external struggle over it.

    THIS. I've always loved the concept that having super strtength would make day-to-day life near impossible. Excellent work detailing that.

    You used the "like she was/had been taught" back to back. I would just combine those. "She went into her defensive stance before lashing out with her right foot as she had been taught".

    It's weird that she is unwilling to kill this guy, partially because she doesn't want to go to prison, but she just assumes they won't go to prison for premeditated assault. ;)



    -All in all...it's really hard to follow up as gorgeous of a chapter as your last one was, so I feel like my misgivings about this one are based mostly on comparing it to the one that preceded it. And that's not fair. It just feels less weighty to me than Chapter 13 was.

    I did love, as I pointed out, the moral obligation of murder-revenge. It's a decent argument that can be made equally well for either side, and I thought it was well-handled here. I like the pokemon divying up sides, but I wish we could have seen rationale for why they each chose what they did (unless it was just strictly personal trainer loyalty).
     
  20. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    Alrighty~! Comments span from the prologue to chapter one, the rest is coming later - very very soon, I was going to post after chapter 4 but there's a lot here. Will be editing it in, though. Here's to the hope that I haven't repeated what others have said, although I think I'm alright. :3

    Prologue:

    He followed behind the other students, dimly aware of the tour guide spouting off facts and dates about the cave they were touring.

    - Wouldn't start with a 'he', unless it was an intended effect?

    Generally, I quite liked the beginning of this – you placed the reader directly into the events and your writing style without preamble, which was quite refreshing, while concurrently providing the crucial introductory details. X3 Nice. The only qualm I have with it really, beyond a few grammatical issues, is your word choice which occasionally is a little bit... odd. For example:

    “Before the impact struck, the boy felt a motherly warm hand grasp the back of his shirt and guide them through the wall, passing through solid granite like it was air.”

    'Motherly' seems a little out of place here, considering the situation – the mysterious attack, the inexplicable fear... Even in the new room a tense, sinister atmosphere continues (in your description of the floor), and so this seems all the more odd. If you're trying to convey that the hand, in contrast to this atmosphere, is intrinsically comforting, then you'll want to set this across a little more in his thoughts, otherwise I'd have a rethink of the word choice.

    'His parents were long dead, twisted and spirited away by the ghostly hand of death.”

    - 'twisted', while a lovely descriptive that I'm also all too fond of using, just seems superfluous here. The majority of your writing is wonderfully succinct, and engages with description in a lovely, integrative manner, but sections like this occasionally crop up and are all the more jarring for their gratuity. The quality of your writing is clear regardless, in your word choice throughout: these bits of extra fancy wordplay do nothing to add to it.

    Easy trap to fall into – I'm a victim myself. XD You just got to keep an eye out for it...

    Personally, additionally, the use of 'ghostly' to describe the 'hand of death' seems a little immature, simply because it's such a basic link?

    The floor was black as death, black as night, it seemed to reach up and absorb the light hovering above the two of them.

    - Comma splice, I do believe, although I can see it's stylistic: Comma splices are the linking of two complete clauses, sentences, with a comma. It's a quite common grammatical error. An easy way to keep out for them, however, is to make sure that both of the clauses (sentence segments) on either side of a comma are complete sentences: if they are, you're splicing. Possible solutions: divide the two clauses into independent sentences, rewrite one of the clauses to make it dependent or (depending on how related the sentences are) use a semi-colon. I'd use a semi-colon here?

    Also I'm not too fond of the initial description of the floor due to its unoriginality – I'm not normally an adviser against cliches, but in this case it seems a little cheesy?

    A bright neon green light shone from the flake, so bright in its intensity that the boy flung his arm up to shield himself.

    - Another splice here, although you're just missing a 'that' this time to connect the clauses. x3

    He needed to touch the flake or they would go away, they would leave him and Abra in this darkness forever.

    - Another splice – even though it's his thoughts, you still need to maintain your grammar. If it was completely his thoughts (italicised and all that jazz)/his speech, there's a little more leniency, but otherwise... I'd use a hyphen here.

    I quite liked it though. x33

    Chapter One

    Your 'pokeflect' idea is intriguing, I quite like it! Once more, as well, I quite like both your writing style and the way you introduce the scene – very immersive, fresh. x3

    “the pain shooting beautiful colors across his vision, which raced towards his cranium with abundant purpose.”

    - Again, the choice of 'cranium' seems quite unnatural and is really unneeded – particularly considering what you are describing: the movement of the pain-spurred colours (as that's still subject of the sentence). I know you were trying to find a substitute for 'head' and 'skull', but in these situations a reworking of the image is probably needed? Describing subjects as 'beautiful' is also frowned upon generally in third person fiction, even third person limited- too subjective.

    “he rolled over to see what had lovingly kissed his skull”

    This description seems a little awkward as well considering the normal tone of the protagonist, a little too wordy.

    “He switched back to Shelton, taking in her glowing, shoulder length blond hair, the slight curves of her shoulder and hips, and her ivory skin that was barely visible beneath the waves of red igniting in anger across her face.”

    - I do really like this description, though – very sensual. Captures both the personality of the protagonist (details a guy would certainly notice) as well as being an appealing bit of word play. X33 You have a lovely writing style~!

    “One was arguably a human, judging from the shape. While the other had what appeared to be the antenna of an insect Pokemon.”

    As the 'while' implies a continuation between the two sentences, the full stop feels a little odd here- a comma would be more suitable. X3

    End of chapter one! Really enjoying this so far, I'm quite fond of your writing style. :) The plot is intriguing, and I quite like the characters so far, you've introduced them well, particularly with that gem of a description up there. Posting this now as I've been midway through this for a while, and the grammar point that I identified is something that's easy to fix once you know what it is, and better to catch as early as possible. :) I'm not certain I've picked out every example, either, but at least you know what to look for? Semi-colons are a nice fix. x3 If you have identified it/sorted it out in later chapters, I therefore apologise for the useless advice, but it's a good thing to know anyway? x3

    A few decent websites for it:

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/comma-splice.aspx

    http://grammartips.homestead.com/splice.html

    Nice exercises that help you consolidate your understanding:

    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/page_47.htm

    What I'd advise, additionally, is that if you still have an english teacher/professor you feel comfortable talking to, having a quick conversation with them about any grammar points if you feel uncertain? They'd probably be much better than me at explaining it. :)

    Chapter Two

    “He crossed the living room, spying two leaves lying near the bottom edge of the chipped coffee table.”

    The second half of the sentence, while technically not incorrect, feels as if it needs to be related to the first half a little more? The way you've written it implies a causal link between the second claus and the first one – that he spied the leaves and that's why he walked. As you're going for more of a series of events feel, you'd need to indicate it a little more – such as adding a 'as he did so' to the end.

    “The sofa, loveseat, and matching recliner were a royal violet, the latter having Shelton perched on it, seething at him like a predator.”

    x3 Lovely comparison at the end! I really like how you approached the setting of their house, as well, it really fit the tone of the piece and the main protagonist. The banter between the roommates was lovely as well. x3

    “His father’s older brother worked as a curator at the Pewter City museum, which was a profession he excelled at naturally. Owing to his near genius IQ and love of all things made hundreds to thousands of years before he was born.”

    The full stop seems a little odd here, as the 'owing' sentence comes as a further explanation of something from the previous sentence – it isn't independent, as you need the previous sentence to understand it, but a dependent one. In this case, therefore, a comma would join them. Cropped up a few times before with cases of 'while', but it just about got away with it as a potential stylistic piece – this one needs to be joined, though.

    Perhaps expand this bit a little, to encompass a little more of his realisation past the throat catch? As Dorian draws together the clues, he would wonder about it a little, wouldn't he? It just seems a little thin here. :) More of a personal thing here, so your choice.

    ““Were coming,” the man called. “Ready?””

    - We're

    “By the time the sound waves of the two Pokemon were processed by the sensitive ears of the line of Diglett’s,”

    The sound waves, again, seems an awkward way to phrase it, and a little needlessly partially-technical?

    This scene, otherwise, is delightfully exciting, I quite like the relationship you've insinuated between this character and his pokemon, and the almost drug like effects of the shards are awfully intriguing...! The plots shaping up wonderfully. :3

    I would avoid using exclamation points like this, I'm afraid, it's unneeded emphasis. With the description, as well, I'd avoid listing actions such as Rhydon lifting each foot and try and keep the pace fast instead, focussing therefore not so much on what they did but instead on the interaction of act and impact, keeping the details quick to keep the pace up? This way the entire action speeds up, is more engaging and all the more exciting. For good examples... ahh check out how your favourite authors handle action? An alternate solution for the above, for example, could be...

    The Rhydon slammed his feet down, the ensuing crack of earth muffling its triumphant growl as a fissure webbed out beneath it towards the rumbling diglets. It branched around...

    (I'm not the best example though :x) Occurs again in your description of Alakazam's part.

    Despite these nitpicks – a lovely chapter! X3

    Chapter 3

    ““Alright out with it,” she commanded.”

    - I'd have a comma after alright...

    There are a few other typos, but pretty certain others already got them. :3 Will focus on catching up now...! Still love Shelton and Dorian :D

    Chapter four's ending was perfect. X33 You really have the little comedic situations like that down, m'dear! No more splices, that I could see, or description issues, just pleasant :3

    Chapter 5:

    “The Pokemon collided with a loud bang, the energy discharge between the two being thrown straight up in a cascade of heavenly white. Both Pokemon hit the ground hard, stirring up clouds of dust where they landed. Panting hard, Growlithe struggled to remain upright. Beedrill was of the same persuasion, its wings struggling to keep itself it up the air. With a mutual groan, both Pokemon collapsed. Neither would be able to finish, their wounds too draining to continue.”

    Much better on the battle description front – guess you've been building it up? X3 Particularly the first sentence. Still a little slow paced, but it's perfect for this moment as it sets across the exhaustion and steady conclusion of the end of the battle. :3

    'Golduck took Machop by its right hand, leading it ahead of the group in an attempt to break the fighting type out of its comfort zone.”

    X3 Adorable detail. <3

    The detail you went into with the life of the gravellers, as well, was wonderfully crafted. X3 Particularly their mode of speech – lovely m'dear. x3

    Am actually caught up to Chapter 11, now- the earlier problems are pretty much smoothed out, particularly in regards to grammar and description, and the developments with Golduck and Machop/Machoke were heart wrenching, well done...! No more in-depth comments on those sections due to the fact that I was reading it on a little mobile screen for a lot of it, but will make notes on the final chapters. :3

    And all caught up! :D

    On final word choice comment...

    “He whimpered slightly at a particularly loud clap of thunder, snot being excreted from his nose between sobs.”

    - excreted is a bit of an awkward word choice again, I'm afraid.

    I've really enjoyed catching up on this, though! The traumatic situations you confront the characters with and your handling of the emotional consequences has been truly lovely, particularly the release of Golduck and Dorian's reaction to Ronnie's death. x3 Your exploration of their experiences has been both intimate and touching, well done! Leading from this, your characterisation has been wonderful, m'dear, and I continue to adore the relationship between Shelton and Dorian - although considering the brotherly-sisterly way they treat each other, I'm in two minds over whether they will eventually get together...! x3 Lovely. The plot is developing unexpectedly which is always nice; while there haven't been many sudden shifts, the direction is original and breaking away from the whole 'prophecy' story-line, which I'm really enjoying. I'm actually scared for Shelton and Dorian - they have no idea who they are really dealing with, and at their current level, and particularly with the other assassin coming after them, their chances seem all too bleak! You developed your pokemon characters wonderfully, as well - particularly Machoke, although the personalities and life of the other pokemon (Golduck <3) are emerging delightfully. x3 And I'm all too fond of Megalomaniacs, so Ethan's right down my street. x3 His Alakazam... I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens when he is released again (I would say 'whether', but the bond between him and Ethan still seems to shine through despite his master's poisoning) - the whole notion that Pokemon can lose considerable periods of time in stasis in the poke ball and their reactions/impressions of the experience is a fascinating possibility to look into that arose during the scene of Alakazam's temporary 'banishment'/recalling... How would they feel, transitioning from freedom to losing chunks of time at another's whim, to their very real vulnerability within that state to the ball becoming destroyed/lost, and them unknowing with it... Just a thought that struck me. x3

    Let's see... A possible thing that could be bulked up a little more in the later chapters (which otherwise cleared the earlier problems I'd been noticing x3) was, I felt, a few of the emotional transitions? Basically that small scene when Shelton and Dorian met up with Ronnie. The first scene, in particular, feels like it could do with a little more bulk between the lines of dialogue to reveal the continued impact of Golduck's crippling on Shelton, at least, as it was a death-scare that resulted in permanent injury, and the memory would subdue her? Perhaps, as well, you could expand on her subdued nature in her dialogue as they left the pokemon centre, too, but it's only a minor thing. :)

    Yeah - really enjoyed it, 'twas a great read. :3 Put me on the PM list? Will be following this further. <3
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

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