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School Of Champions (PG)


Well-Known Member
Hey guys. Just posting to say that Chapter 6 has been written, and Bay is going over it as I type. Think I'll mention a few things about it to whet your appetites...

-Sam will catch a new Pokemon
-Interschool tournaments will be explained
-You'll get to see the rest of Sam's classes
-The detention room will make a reappearance
-An important part of Jack's past will be revealed

Speculation (including in-topic) is welcome.


Well-Known Member
Well folks, it's Chapter 6! Some information here, plot advancements, blah blah blah. Oh, and probably the most shocking plot twist thus far makes an appearance. Enjoy!

Chapter Six: The New School Tournaments! Jack’s Hidden Past!

The loud ringing bell jolted Sam out of his slumber. He groggily sat up and rubbed his eyes, the rest of the boys in his dorm doing the same. They got dressed quickly, chatting excitedly among themselves.

“Our first full day, huh,” remarked Matt. “Wonder what the rest of the teachers will be like.”

“Yeah, me too,” said Sam. “Not sure if I’m nervous or excited to be honest…”

“Definitely!” Matt chuckled. “Now let’s go to breakfast. Hope there’s something good!”

A bit later Matt and Sam stood in front of the doors leading into the cafeteria. “Wow…” said Sam. The large tables at the back of the room had been piled high with every breakfast food you could possibly think of, from waffles to pancakes to muffins. Already there were many students in the cafeteria, eating at the tables and talking among themselves. Sam glanced at Matt. “What are you waiting for?” Asked Sam. “Let’s eat!”

Several minutes later, Sam and Matt sat down at a table with two plates piled high with food. They tucked in eagerly. When Sam was in the middle of his third pancake, Sara came over.

“Hi, Sam,” she said. “Mind if I sit here?”

“Go ahead,” he replied.

“Who’s your friend?” Matt asked, obviously staring at Sara and trying not to be noticed doing it.

“Oh, I forgot to introduce you,” Sam said. “This is Sara. This is Matt. Matt-Sara. Sara-Matt.” Sara sat down, and they kept eating.

“So,” Matt asked between bites. “What do you guys have now? I’ve got…uhhh…Pokemon Battling Theory, then Free Training Area Time, then Pokemon Catching.”

“Well, I’ve also got theory first,” remarked Sam, “But I have the other two classes in the opposite order…”

“Sam, I have the same schedule as you!” put in Sara excitedly. “And that means we’re all in theory together!”

Just then the bell rang. The three friends finished off their last pancakes, and set off to find the Pokemon Battling Theory classroom.

They got there a few minutes later and grabbed three chairs close to each other. Then they settled in and listened to the teacher speak. He was a stereotypical short, graying professor you might find at any high-class university.

“Hello, class,” he said in short, clipped tones. His voice seemed to come in bursts, hitting the listening students over and over.

“In this class you will learn the technical side of battling. You will learn what types Pokemon are, what different moves do, and enough other information to fill several textbooks. And speaking of textbooks, here are yours; Encyclopedia Pokemonia. You will be studying out of this textbook for most of my class. Now, I would like you to read the Preface. Once you finish, read Chapter 1: Typing and Effectiveness. Finish this for homework if you can’t finish it here.”

All the students got to work, opening up their new textbooks and peering at the pages. Sam tentatively opened the textbook, flipping past the rather extensive Table of Contents and to the beginning of the Preface.

Sam didn’t like what he saw. The text was very small, although there were many pictures illustrating Pokemon battling. With a sigh, Sam started to read.

Welcome to the art of Pokemon battling. This book will teach you everything you need to know to become a successful battler. From moves, to detailed data on each Pokemon, it’s all in here.​

The Preface went on in that self-important way for a while. Then it ended.

Sam turned to the beginning of Chapter One. The chapter was dominated by a massive chart that took up an entire two-page spread. The rest of it was a series of paragraphs describing each type’s matchups against other types in detail. Sam started to read as fast as he could, but only got halfway through the chapter before the harsh Brrrrring! of the bell sent all the students hurrying to their next classes.

As Matt headed off down a side hallway, Sam caught up to Sara. “How much of the reading do you have left?” he asked anxiously.

“Oh, I finished it during class,” she said casually. Seeing the surprised look on Sam’s face, she said, “Don’t worry. It won’t take long.”

“If you say so…” Sam muttered to himself, unconvinced. But he didn’t have much time to ponder over his new homework, as Sara and he had arrived at their next classroom, the Pokemon Catching classroom. Stepping into the classroom, Sam and Sara sat down to listen to the teacher, who if she had been male could have been an identical twin of their previous teacher. That is to say; she belonged in a sterile laboratory more than a class full of teenagers.

“What’s with the teachers here?” whispered Sam to Sara. “A few of them fly into a rage at the sight of an A-, and the rest look they were grown in test tubes in a lab!”

“Hello, class!” said the teacher. “My name is Mrs. Catlett. In my class, you’ll be learning how to catch Pokemon. You won’t be raising your Pokemon here-just catching them. After all, in order to raise Pokemon you have to have them first. In addition, you’ll need a full party of six Pokemon for most major school tournaments. Now, come out to the forest and you’ll be able to capture your first Pokemon.” She led them out the door and into the forest where the entrance test had taken place.

She then handed out a Poke Ball to each student. “These are your Poke Balls,” she said. “You’ll be using these to capture your Pokemon. Simply throw the Poke Ball at your target, and the automated mechanism will do the rest. Just make sure you battle it first-otherwise it won’t stay in the ball! Now, your assignment for today is to capture one Pokemon from anywhere in the forest. It doesn’t matter what. Now…go!”

Sam cautiously headed into the forest. He spotted several Rattata, but whenever he tried to approach them they would run away. Then he saw a Starly sitting on a branch. “That’s mine,” he muttered. “Beldum, go!”

The little Steel-type popped out of his Poke Ball with a small cry. His eye swiveled to face the Starly, ready to go. “Beldum, Take Down!” cried Sam. Beldum levitated into the air and flew towards Starly, smashing into it head-on and knocking it off the branch. The two Pokemon tumbled to the forest floor, quickly getting up.

“Take Down again!” yelled Sam. Beldum flew towards Starly…who flew upwards quickly, making Beldum shoot under it. Starly then dived downward and pecked Beldum, not doing much but enough to make it flinch in pain a bit.

“Beldum, wait until it dives at you and hit it point-blank with a Take Down!” Sam called. Starly hovered in midair for a second, before diving towards Beldum once more. But as it did so, the Iron Ball Pokemon shot up towards the Starly, ramming into it dead-on and knocking it out of the air.

Sam cheered mentally. He’d knocked out Starly! Now all that was left was to catch it. He pulled the Poke Ball out of his belt and hurled it at Starly. The ball shook once, twice, three times…and stopped.

Sam had done it. He’d captured his third Pokemon! He dashed out of the forest, afraid that he’d taken too long.

He had. It looked like he was the last one back, and the students were standing around and chatting with their new Pokemon by their sides. Sam trotted over to Matt and Sara, who were chatting off to the side of the main group. Sara was stroking a timid-looking Caterpie.

“All right class,” announced Mrs. Catlett. “Now that you’ve all got yourselves a new Pokemon, we’ll be heading back inside. Follow me.”

The class followed her back into the classroom. Almost as soon as they got there, the bell rang. “All right,” said Sara. “Only Free Training Area Time left, then Lunch! Let’s go!”

Two minutes and forty-seven seconds later, Sam and Sara dashed into the training area, which was apparently where Free Training Area Time took place. The teacher, a short Asian woman, didn’t waste any time.

“In order for skills to flourish they must be allowed to be practiced freely,” she rattled off, almost like she was giving a speech. “In this class you will simply be permitted to use the training area for your own purposes. Now go!” The students scattered, some sending their Pokemon through the obstacle course, some attacking the sandbags viciously, and some typing various settings into the practice battle computers.

Sam decided to see what his new Starly could do. He ran over to an empty sandbag and tossed the Poke Ball in the air. “Go, Starly!” he yelled as the little bird popped out of the Poke Ball with a small cry. “Um…use Drill Peck!”

Starly merely stared at Sam. He groaned inwardly, remembering that Starly couldn’t learn Drill Peck. “All right Starly…use Tackle!”

This time Starly responded. It flew towards the sandbag and rammed into it, barely rocking it.

“All right Starly! Again!” yelled Sam. Starly dove down again, tackling the sandbag with more force than last time. Still, it wasn’t enough to rock the bag any more than a slight tilt.

“And again!” called Sam. Once more Starly smashed into the target. “All right Starly,” Sam said. “Next time, try to streamline your body a bit-you’ll get more acceleration that way.”

Starly dove at the target again. This time Sam was sure he saw it move back a bit more. “Good!” he said. “Now, try to keep your head down a bit more. And again!”

So for a whole hour, Sam and Starly practiced the move Tackle. They ceaselessly worked on Starly’s form so that by the time the bell finally rang, Starly could move the sandbag a whole foot backwards with one Tackle.

“Good job, Starly!” cheered Sam. “Now come back to your Poke Ball and let’s have some lunch!”

Sam and Sara met up with Matt in the dining room, now sporting a wide variety of common lunch choices such as hot dogs and hamburgers.

“How was your morning?” asked Sam between bites of a grilled cheese sandwich.

“Not bad,” Matt said. “A bit boring, but not too bad. I caught a Spearow during Pokemon Catching, and now I'm trying to teach it Drill Peck!!”

At this, Starly’s Poke Ball rattled on Sam’s belt. Sam glanced at the miniaturized bird, and saw it glaring across at the Spearow on Sam’s belt. He realized that it was frustrated over its failure to execute the move earlier; despite the fact Sam had since realized Starly couldn’t learn Drill Peck.

Sam’s train of thought was interrupted by Mr. Menlo’s voice booming over the loudspeaker. “Attention all students! We are having an assembly in the gym to educate you about interschool tournaments! You are to report there immediately instead of your afternoon classes! NOW!“

“Interschool tournaments?” Sam asked. “What are those?”

“Good question,” Matt replied. “I guess we’ll find out!”

Ten minutes later Sara, Matt and Sam stood in the auditorium, listening to Mr. DeVood speak.

“Hello, students,” he said. “Once a week, we will be having an interschool tournament that the entire school will participate in. Since there are 32 students in all, the tournaments will be bracket-style. All battles will be two-on-two; finals will be three-on-three. Our first tournament will be three days from now on Friday, so start training!”

“Well, this sounds cool,” Sam remarked. But in his head, he was freaking out. I can’t battle in front of the entire school! They’ll find out how bad a battler I am, and I’ll get kicked out! Dad will KILL me!

On the surface, Sam tried to remain calm. “So what now?” he wondered allowed. “Do we go to our afternoon classes, or what?”

Suddenly Sam realized that several students around him were giving him dirty looks. He glanced up at the stage and saw Mr. DeVood was still speaking. …oops.

“We’ve decided to let you guys go early for the day,” he was saying. “Remember you have a tournament coming up soon-don’t waste this time!” he stepped away from the mic, but before anyone could move Mr. Menlo stepped up to it.

“Just a quick reminder-all those that have detentions should go to them now! Now go ahead!”

Sam shrank into himself. You didn’t need to point that out…he thought. But even so, Sara and he headed off to the detention room.

When they got there, Mr. Menlo was nowhere to be found. They got to work.

As Sam sorted through cards mindlessly, his thoughts wandered to the upcoming tournament. He thought again about how he couldn't battle for his life. For all his fighting to keep Mudkip and Beldum, Mudkip was still having major accuracy issues and Beldum still only knew one move. He wondered how he could possibly match up against the amazing battlers at the school such as Jack, Sara, and Matt. Come to think of it, Sam had never seen Matt battle. Well, he would find out in three days.

Suddenly, Sara started. “It’s Jack’s card!” she exclaimed. “It says on the bottom of this card that he used to have another Pokemon!” She craned her neck to read the tiny print. “It says, ‘run over by disabled grandfather…’ oh my God!"

Sam’s thoughts raced. Jack’s coldness…his hatred of disabilities…it all made sense. But there was one more thing Sam needed to know.

“Sara,” he said. “What was the Pokemon?”

But she simply stood there, shaking a bit.

Suddenly, a thought hit Sam like a bullet. “It can’t be…it wasn’t…”

Sara nodded. “Yes. It was…”

“A Mudkip.”
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Nice fanfiction.


Winning Smile
Staff member
Super Mod
Nice fanfiction.
I'll just point out the following from the fanfic rules:
11) The following posts are considered SPAM and will get you into trouble with the Mods:
–Posts that say nothing about the fic itself such as: “I like this fic!” “That was awesome!” “You’re a great writer!” These kinds of posts can be posted for ANY fic and doesn’t show that the person even read the story at all. If a writer put in the effort to write a fic, the least you can do it type up a few lines’ reply.
So basically - extend the review! Say why you liked it or thought it nice and so forth, so it doesn't come off as a generic review.

Anyways now that I have time, here's my thoughts. I liked the end of the chapter with the reveal on Jack's hate of disabilities and mudkips there - I was wondering if something useful or plot-related would come out of their detention work. I like the addition of the Starly as well and how its first training session went with Peck (as an aside it apparently cannot officially learn the move Peck... but given it has a beak and is a bird and all I cannot see why it couldn't use that move anyway). I wonder how the competition will go as well, heh. I also laughed at the small mention of Matt looking at Sara while trying not to be noticed when he was introduced. XD

“What are you waiting for?” Asked Sam.
That 'Asked' should be 'asked' - no need for the capital there.
Several minutes later Matt and Sam stood in front of the doors
Several minutes later, Sam and Matt sat down at a table
A few minutes later Sara came over.
They got there several minutes later and grabbed three chairs
These were all in the opening part of the story and hence seemed to be rather repetitive - you could try changing one or two of them, I suggest.
Then they settled in and listened to the teacher, a graying, stereotypical scientist-professor, speak.
This sounded a little bit odd given the structure of the sentence (mainly with the interruption to tell us he was 'a graying stereotypical scientist-professor' before going back to the sentence - it seems a bit oddly worded too). Maybe remove the bit mentioned and make a new sentence out of it to describe some more about this professor so we have more of an idea what made him look so stereotypical?
only got halfway through the chapter before the harsh Brrrrring! Of the bell sent all the students hurrying to their next classes.
'Of' doesn't need the capitalisation there.

All in all another neat chapter with some enjoyable plot progression - keep it up!


Well-Known Member

Chapter 7: Lead-Up to the School Tournament! Steven’s Advice!

Sam simply stood there with his mouth wide open. “Jack…Mudkip…Grandpa…what?” he rambled incoherently.

Sara nodded. “Yeah…well, this explains a lot…”

“Should we tell Jack we know?” Sam queried.

“Probably not,” answered Sara. “What’s the point?”

Sam thought about it. It was true; if they told Jack, who knew what he’d do? Jack seemed grudgingly content with life, and Sam didn’t want to unbalance him.

“Fine,” he eventually said. They worked in silence for the rest of their allotted hour, only speaking briefly when they couldn’t locate a card they needed.

At the end of their hour, Sam and Sara headed back to the dorms. Finding them abandoned, they decided to head to the training area, figuring that maybe the students were training for the tournament.

They were. The training area reverberated with shouts and Pokemon cries. Sam looked around at all the Pokemon-attacking sandbags ferociously, making their way through the obstacle course or squaring off against computer-generated opponents.

“…Wow,” remarked Sam. “Imposing, isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” replied Sara. “Look at all the people…I think the whole school’s here…”

“Probably,” agreed Sam. “Do you see Matt anywhere?”

Sara scanned the crowds of students. “No,” she said, “But I wouldn’t worry. I’m sure he’s somewhere here.”

“True enough,” remarked Sam. “Now let’s go train!”

Sara and Sam found two unoccupied sandbags next to each other and pulled out two Poke Balls. Sara brought out her Cyndaquil, while Sam released Mudkip.

Sam thought about how he could train Mudkip as he looked at his Pokemon for a brief moment. Once a few ideas came to mind, a slight smile pulled on his lips.

“All right Mudkip. See the target?” The Mud Fish nodded in response, and pointed several feet to the left of it with a small front foot.

“Good,” he said encouragingly. “Now, I want you to look several feet to the right of the target.” Mudkip’s foot moved until it directly pointed at the target. “Good. Now, hit that spot with a Water Gun!” Mudkip spat a stream of water from its mouth, hitting the target directly.

“Good job!” he said. “Now, try it again!”

“Kip!” Mudkip shouted as it blasted the target again.

“All right,” Sam said encouragingly. “Now, go stand in between those two sandbags.” Mudkip complied, glancing back and forth between the two targets.

“Okay,” Sam instructed, “Look a bit to the left of the target in front of you and hit it with Water Gun!” Mudkip did so, hitting the target dead-on.

“Now turn around and hit a couple feet to the left of the other target!” Mudkip followed its orders again, successfully landing a hit on the other target.

“Now, the other target!” Sam yelled. “The other one! Turn around, again! Again! Again!”

Mudkip kept turning back and forth, hitting both targets quickly and accurately. Finally, it flopped onto the ground, too exhausted to move. Sam picked it up and carried it back to his room, not wanting to return the little Mud Fish to its Poke Ball just yet. As he walked in, he looked around and suddenly realized the training area was deserted. He’d been training for a long time! As Sam walked in, he felt a sudden sense of accomplishment. Anybody that had thought Mudkip couldn’t battle would be proven dead wrong.

Sam flopped into bed and drifted off to sleep..


Sam sat up and rubbed his eyes. He glanced out the window. It couldn’t have been more than three in the morning, but Beldum was floating at the foot of his bed, nudging him softly.

“What is it?” Sam muttered sleepily.

Beldum floated to the door and spun around. “Dum! Dum!”

“All right, all right, I’m coming,” yawned Sam. He quickly pulled on a pair of sweatpants and followed Beldum outside.

As Sam followed Beldum through the hallways of the school, he gradually realized that they were heading toward the training area. But when they saw when they got there exceeded all of Sam’s expectations.

A massive Metagross sat in front of one of the sandbags. As Sam watched from the doorway, a sharp, clear voice yelled out “Meteor Mash!” The Metagross’s right arm began to glow silver, and the massive Steel-type turned a full circle and slammed the sandbag with so much force that it flew what must have been fifty feet into the air.

Sam couldn’t help but let out a small gasp of astonishment. Then he clapped his hand over his mouth in horror.

The voice called out, “Who’s there?” Sam stayed where he was, petrified by fear.

Suddenly, Steven stepped out from behind the Metagross. He looked normal in every way-except one. His eyes were completely indigo. As Steven saw his son they returned to their normal color, and Sam was almost able to convince himself that he’d been imagining it.

“Dad!” he yelled, running up to Steven.

“Sam!” said Steven. “I’m sorry I haven’t talked to you, I’ve been busy. How’s school? Are you learning new things? Let me see your Pokemon.”

“Good, yes, and sure,” replied Sam, reaching for the Poke Balls on his belt, “respectively, I think.”

Mudkip and Starly appeared from their Poke Balls in twin flashes of light, and Steven studied them and Beldum intently. “Hmmmm…quite an interesting team,” he muttered. “That Beldum…it feels helpless and wants to change that. You should help it. And that Mudkip…ah,” he said, his eyes widening. “Well, well…let’s see it hit that sandbag,” Steven instructed, pointing at a target close to them.

“Mudkip, use Water Gun on that target!” Sam yelled. Mudkip looked slightly to the left of the sandbag, then swiveled its head to the right and drenched the sandbag with a jet of water.

Steven’s eyebrows shot up. “Well. Certainly an interesting solution…I like it,” he proclaimed with a grin. “Now, about that Starly…there’s something it wants to be able to do but it knows it can’t. Maybe you can help it. Now, don’t you think it’s time you were going to sleep?”

“Probably,” Sam muttered. Then he plucked up his courage and asked, “What was that thing where your eyes changed color?”

“Ah, so you noticed,” Steven replied. “I suppose I shouldn’t keep that secret from a fellow Trainer. It’s called the Soul Link.”

“Soul Link?”

“Yeah. It’s a special technique where a Trainer essentially fuses his soul with that of his Pokemon. It can raise the power of a Pokemon’s attacks tremendously and enables the Trainer and Pokemon to communicate without saying a word.”

Sam let out an ecstatic sound. “Wow! Can you teach me that?”

Steven’s eyes suddenly flashed dangerously. “No! I never want you trying this, for two reasons. First, it probably wouldn’t work anyway. You need to be perfectly in synch with your Pokemon for the link to succeed, and you haven’t had any of your Pokemon for long enough. But much more importantly, the Soul Link joins all of your physical feelings with your Pokemon’s. That means whatever damage they take…you will too.”

Sam gulped. “Yeah. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Steven patted Sam on the back. “Good. You must be exhausted. Remember what I said about your Pokemon and good luck in the tournament!”

With a muttered “Thanks,” Sam went back into his room before crawling once more into bed and passed out.

The next morning, Sam rolled out of bed almost unconsciously and headed off to breakfast. Over bites of French toast, Sam told Sara and Matt about his meeting with Steven early that morning.

“Soul Link, huh…” Matt mused. “Sounds interesting…”

“Dangerous, though,” remarked Sara. “I mean, get hit in the wrong place and you could break bones. That’s a little extreme for a Pokemon battle.”

“Don’t worry,” said Sam. “I have no plans to try it. Not like I could anyway…”

“Cheer up,” said Matt as the students began to leave for their first classes. “I mean, we’ve got a real exciting morning. I heard we get to learn about Pokemon Moves in battling theory today.”

Sam’s eyes bugged out. “Oh god…I forgot to finish the reading from last night…”

Matt gulped. “That’s not good. Sit down and I’ll see what I can do…”

“See what you can do?”

“Yeah. If I wink at you, get out your textbook and read like a maniac.”


“Just do it! We’re almost here anyway.”

Sam and Sara took their normal seats upon arrival, but Matt headed up to the teacher’s desk. “Hi…uhh…”

“Mr. Smith,” said the teacher in a voice that clearly hinted Matt should be in his seat.

“Right, so I have a question about the reading last night…” As Matt began to talk, he looked in Sam’s direction and winked.

Sam had no idea what was going on, but there was no time to lose. He pulled out his textbook and started to read frantically, skimming parts he didn’t understand and altogether skipping several paragraphs.

As he finished the assignment from the night before, Sam felt a soft hand on his arm. “If you’re done reading, look up there!” whispered Sara. Sam hurriedly closed his book and looked up at Mr. Smith as Matt came back to his seat.

“Genius!” muttered Sam. “How’d you do that?”

“I’ve had practice. And hey-that’s what friends do, right?”

“Whatever. I owe you a million,” Sam said.

Mr. Smith was talking again. “Now, your assignment for today is to read ‘Chapter Two: Pokemon Attacks’. This information should prove helpful to you in the upcoming tournament, so make sure you take in all of it in!”

With a quiet sigh, Sam opened up his textbook. He had never really realized how much he didn’t know about Pokemon; it was such a huge topic.

”Each Pokemon can learn a certain set of attacks. While a Pokemon can occasionally learn a move it won’t normally learn, unless this move is very, very simple for the Pokemon to perform the chances of success are very low and generally will only happen when a new region is discovered.”

The rest of the period passed quickly, although Sam did manage to finish the entire chapter. Afterwards, Sam and Sara headed off to Pokemon Catching.

Once again, Mrs. Catlett got straight to the point. “How many in here have less than three Pokemon?” A few hands went up.

“Get in the forest and catch yourself another Pokemon! The finals of the school tournament will be three-on-three, and while only two of you thirteen-year-olds will get there I expect all of you to try.”

Sara already had three Pokemon, so she and Sam hung around and waited for the rest of the students to catch another Pokemon. Suddenly, a question occurred to Sam. “Hey, wait a second. She said only two thirteen-year-olds would get there…but isn’t the tournament for everybody in the school?”

Sara shook her head. “Nope, there’s a separate tournament for each age group. Were you listening during the assembly at all?”

Sam blushed. “Well...” Although this did come as a surprise, it was a mostly pleasant one. At the very least, it meant he wouldn’t have to battle Jack.

Sam and Sara chatted about unimportant things until the bell for the next class rang. When they got to Free Training Area Time, the teacher didn’t even have to say a word for everyone to start training harder than ever.

“You know,” Sam remarked, “Say what you will about the school tournaments, but everybody’s really motivated.”

“Yeah,” said Sara. “We should get training too!”

Without any further conversation, Sam headed over to the sandbags and sat down to think for a bit. He’d been focusing a lot on Mudkip and Starly lately, so he figured he should work with Beldum. Steven’s words flashed through his mind; “That Beldum…it feels helpless and wants to change that. You should help it.” Well, Beldum only knew Take Down…but Sam suddenly realized that wasn’t the only move it could learn. He knew Beldum could learn Zen Headbutt…that would be a good place to start.

Sam called Beldum out. “Beldum, do you want to learn a new move?” he asked it. Beldum said nothing, but floated up and down in a manner that could only be described as excitement.

Sam thought back to what he had read earlier. “So, you need to try to focus all your willpower to your head...or at least the front of your body. I think the willpower should increase the force of your headbutt.” Beldum hovered around uncertainly for a few seconds, so Sam thought he should try to help; granted, he didn’t really understand the concept of the attack much more than Beldum. “Uhhh…try to imagine that the sandbag is an enemy. Focus your desire to hit it really hard into your head, and ram the sandbag with it!”

“Dum……” A small globe of pink energy collected near the front of Beldum’s head as the Steel-type quivered with concentration. Then Beldum sagged, and it fizzled out, only to reappear again as it reasserted control over its will.

“Focus, Beldum! You can do it!” Under Sam’s cheering, Beldum focused a little harder and managed to slam the target head-on with the sphere of energy.

As Beldum struggled to learn its new technique, a sequence of memories flashed through Sam’s mind…

Beldum getting fried by the Charmander in the entrance exam…

Struggling to power up its Take Down…

Ramming into Starly with perfect aim…

Beldum was Sam’s first Pokemon. No matter how many moves it could learn, he’d never give up on it. Come on, Beldum, Sam though. You can do it!

Almost at that very instant, Beldum slammed into the sandbag and knocked it back much farther than it ever had before. It must have been a coincidence-Sam hadn’t said anything. But still, he could swear he saw Beldum’s one eye wink.

At lunch, nearly all the students were caught up in chatter about the upcoming school tournament. It struck Sam how dedicated they were to Pokemon-and how much better than him they probably were.

“How are you guys doing?” asked Matt. “My Spearow’s trying to learn Drill Peck-it’s tough though.”

“Not bad,” remarked Sara. “I’m trying to train Cyndaquil to learn Flame Wheel. What about you, Sam?”

“Umm…good,” he muttered. “Beldum’s training for Zen Headbutt…”

“Cool beans,” said Matt. “Beldum might not look like much now, but when it’s a Metagross nobody’s going to dare battle it!”

Sam grinned. “Thanks!”

Unfortunately, Sam’s good mood evaporated quickly. Battling Theory was his next class, and he wasn’t sure he’d gotten anything right on the quiz he’d taken two days ago.

His fears turned out to be well-founded. When the quizzes were passed back, Sam had gotten only 12% of the questions right. That was almost definitely the lowest score in the class, but Sam had no plans to find out for sure.

Thankfully, it seemed like Mr. Chau had moved onto another topic. “Today, we will be discussing the two basic elements of a battle. These are the Pokemon and the trainer. The best trainer in the world couldn’t win a battle with a weak Pokemon, and the strongest Pokemon there is couldn’t win a battle if its trainer was inept. Making sense so far?”

All around the class, heads were nodding-including Sam’s. However, Mr. Chau wasn’t done yet.

“There’s a third factor in battles-and that’s the connection between the first two. A strong connection between the Pokemon and the trainer can increase the battling strength of the pair exponentially. That’s why you always train with the same Pokemon-to strengthen the bond between you.”

Frank rolled his eyes again. “Connection, huh? I don’t buy it. Give me a strong Pokemon and I’ll make stuff happen.”

This time, Mr. Chau was unperturbed. “Wait and see, Frank. Wait and see.”

Class ended shortly after, and Sam, Sara, and Matt headed off to Pokemon Training. Today, however, it appeared Mrs. Barker had a special lesson on the agenda. And the agenda came in the form of Steven Stone, Sam’s father.

“Hello, students,” Steven said, his piercing gaze sweeping the room. “In light of the upcoming school tournament, Mrs. Barker has asked me to give you a special seminar on Pokemon training. Today, we’ll be focusing on two things. First of all, we will concentrate on how to train for learning a new move. Does anybody have a Pokemon that they’re trying to teach a new move right now?” Almost every hand in the room went up, eager to receive instruction from Steven Stone himself.

Steven pointed to Jeremy. “You there. What’s your name?”

Jeremy seemed almost overwhelmed. “Je-Jeremy, sir.”

Steven gave a half smile. “No need to call me ‘sir’. Now Jeremy, why don’t you send out your Pokemon and tell us what move you’re trying to teach it?”

Jeremy cautiously stood up and tossed a Poke Ball into the air. “Numel, come on out!”

A small camel-shaped Pokemon landed heavily on the floor. When it snorted, small tongues of flame shot out of its nostrils.

“So…this is my Numel,” said Jeremy. “I’m trying to teach it Earth Power, but it’s not going too well…”

“Hmmm…” said Steven. “Tell you what-everybody outside to the training grounds. I don’t think anyone’s using them right now and I don’t want to set the classroom on fire.”

Ten minutes later, Numel, Jeremy, and Steven stood in front of a sandbag with the rest of the class looking on. “So, Jeremy,” queried Steven, “When you want to teach a Pokemon a move, what’s the first thing you do?”

“Uhhh…well, I usually try to give it a brief overview of the move…just so we have a goal,” said Jeremy.

“Very good. Your Pokemon should always know what the complete form of the move it, just so you have something to shoot for. Now, what next?”

Now Jeremy looked hesitant. “Uhhhhh…you…ummm…”

Steven didn’t miss a beat. “Next, you should work on breaking the move down into individual components. For instance, for the move Earth Power; the main parts of the move are when Numel sends the bolt of energy into the ground and when it surfaces to attack its opponent. One helpful tip to keep in mind here is that many moves are similar to each other, and if your Pokemon already knows a move that’s similar to what it’s trying to learn that can serve as a great jumping-off point. For instance, if you’re trying to teach a Pokemon Flamethrower, think of it as a concentrated stream of Ember. Everybody keeping up?”

Everyone nodded. Sam was impressed-keeping a group like this silent took real oratory skill.

“The last part of teaching a Pokemon a move is practice,” Steven was saying. “Once you’ve got the basic components down, all that’s left is to repeat them over and over until it flows together into a single, continuous whole. And well…I think I’m just about done with this section of my presentation…”

This section? Sam wondered.

“…so, I have one more thing to talk about. I’ve heard that some of you guys found the idea of the bond between a trainer and its Pokemon somewhat superfluous, yes? Well, that’s what I was going to talk about anyway. So…who wants to volunteer for a little test?”

Once again, everybody’s hands shot up. Sam had never seen the class this motivated before-surely being instructed by one of the greatest living Pokemon trainers was a good motivator.

Steven pointed to someone. “Yes, come up here, why don’t you?”

Sam glanced around. Why wasn’t anybody going up? Then he realized…Steven was pointing at him. Sam had been raising his hand, but he didn’t expect to be chosen.

Well, there was nothing for it now. Sam nervously made his way to the front of the class and waited for further instructions.

Steven threw a Poke Ball into the air. In a blinding flash of light, his titanic Metagross appeared and slammed into the ground with the force of an earthquake. Sam had always known Metagross was his father’s first and most powerful Pokemon, but up close it seemed the massive Steel-type could knock Sam out just by looking at him too hard.

“Now, I’ll show you how my bond with Metagross can help us in combat. Sam, send out one of your Pokemon with a projectile attack please?”

Sam almost went into shock right then and there. Steven knew his only projectile attacker was Mudkip, who could barely aim straight.

Then Steven winked. And suddenly Sam knew what he was thinking: Trust yourself and your Pokemon. You can do it!

Well, here goes nothing, he thought. Tossing one of his Poke Balls into the air, he cried “Mudkip, let’s go!” The mud fish landed on the ground steadily, if not confidently. Still, Sam trusted the training they’d done together. He could do this.

Steven placed his hand on Metagross, and turned the Pokemon so Steven was facing Sam and Metagross was facing away. “Right, so what I want you to do is fire a projectile attack at me. I don’t care what-just don’t make it too fast. When it gets near me, Metagross will use Teleport to block it. And don’t worry-he can’t see or hear your attack. Only I can.

Sam hesitated. “What are you waiting for?” said Steven. “Go for it!”

Sam made up his mind. “Alright, Mudkip,” he said. “Hit Steven with Water Gun!”

It was one of those moments where time just seemed to stop. Mudkip glanced to the left of Steven-then turned its head to the right and fired with perfect accuracy at him.

As the jet of pressured water raced toward Steven, he didn’t move. Didn’t move. Didn’t-

Suddenly, Metagross stood there. The jet of water splashed onto the Steel-type and dissipated harmlessly.

The whole class clapped like crazy. Steven took a small bow and said, “I think I’ve just proved that a strong bond with your Pokemon can be an invaluable asset in battle. If you and your battler have a strong bond, you can cover for each other’s blind spots instead of just fighting with two separate units. And with that, I think your class time is just about up. I’m happy I could talk to you guys. You’re the next generation of Champions, and I’ll be watching your upcoming tournament eagerly!”

Everyone headed off to their next classes, eagerly chatting about the amazing demonstration they’d just seen. “You’re so lucky he’s your father!” remarked Matt.
“Yeah, thanks,” said Sam with an embarrassed grin. Then his thoughts turned to the final class of the day-Free Battling Time. Sam had to avoid actually battling at all costs; he didn’t want to make a fool of himself with the school tournament so close.

As soon as he entered the class, Sam asked Mr. Devood if he could go train on the sandbags for a bit. After his teacher consented, Sam went over to the sandbags and fingered the three Pokemon on his belt. Thinking about his dad’s presentation, he realized it might be a good idea to teach Starly a new move. As far as he knew, the only move it could use was Tackle. Not to mention that Matt had talked about teaching his Spearow Drill Peck.

Sam heard loud bird screeches from a nearby battling field and turned to watch a battle between a Torkoal belonging to Sean and Tucker’s Pidgeotto. As he watched, Pidgeotto dived toward Torkoal, encased in a blue aura. It rammed into the fire turtle head-on, easily knocking it out. Suddenly, Pidgeotto crackled with what looked like electricity and dropped to the ground, unconscious. Hmmmm…

Sam opened his textbook and paged to the move index. The only Flying-type move he found with recoil was Brave Bird. It appeared to be a very powerful technique, but also caused a lot of recoil. Sam studied the helpful diagrams the book provided. It appeared the user would dive toward the target at a high enough velocity that their wings would practically burst into flames, and then ram the target head-on. However, the user would take severe recoil damage from the aftereffect of the blue aura.

Sam studied the diagrams for a few more seconds. The move was basically a focused Tackle with a much higher velocity. Sam called Starly over. “All right Starly, we’re going to work on teaching you a new move now. Do you think you can do it?”

“Starly! Star!” Starly flapped its wings eagerly, appeared to be not just accepting, but positively eager, at training for a new move.

At the sandbags, Sam considered how to best approach teaching Starly Brave Bird. “Okay, so we need to focus on increasing the speed of your Tackle and concentrating the impact into one spot. Remember we worked on streamlining to increase your velocity? You’re going to need to crank that up as much as you can. So let’s see what you can do.”

Starly fluttered up a few feet, streamlined as much as it could, and slammed into the sandbag head-on. Not a hint of blue aura. “Starly, don’t give up! Try again!”

Sam and Starly worked for the whole class period with relatively little progress. Brave Bird was a highly advanced move, after all. But Sam was sure that at the end he’d seen a little flare of blue…

The next two days passed in a haze of training. Everyone in the school was working as hard as they could to prepare for the school tournament. New moves were flying, apparently inspired by Steven’s speech.

The night before the school tournament, Sam couldn’t sleep. He lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. He’d worked as hard as he could…but what if it wasn’t enough? His Pokemon might be stronger, but his battling skills hadn’t improved. How could he do this?

“Dum…” Sam sat up and saw Beldum floating at the foot of his bed. He reached out for it and saw Mudkip on the floor and Starly fluttering in the air. Warmth flooded through him. That’s right…I’m not alone. It’s not just me. This is for my Pokemon, too.

Sam grinned. All right, guys. Let’s do this!

Shadow Lucario

Lone Vanguard
Alright, I just read the entire fic up until now. It reminds me of my first completed fan fiction Dedication through Light and Darkness. It is an academy fic as well. I usually would go through and find all the grammar errors, but it looks as if the other reviewers picked that up and there weren't many! The writing is generally good, but not too great. The description could use a fine tuning so that I can actually see what everything looks like. Is there a uniform for the school? Do girls have to wear skirts? Those little things help a whole lot.

The story seems to be moving really fast. A lot has already happened in what appears to only be a week in the story. I'm not exactly sure what the plot is yet, but I expect it to start showing up sometime soon. It's interesting that Sam is Steven's son, but has no confidence in his battling abilities when his father is the former Champion of the Hoenn region. It would be expected that he should be a genius, receiving special training from his father. Also, I found it odd that Steven stuck around. He's portrayed as not being able to stay in one spot and always going off to look for rocks and such.

Moving on to characters, they are nearly all the same. There's not much background given on any of them barring Jack and Sam. Sam is almost two dimensional to me. He always says he's not good at battling and that's it. Even that's a stretch since he battled Starly fine. Since he claims to be horrible at battling I think it would apply to every type of battling, not just trainer vs trainer. It appears more like stage fright than being horrible at battling. Jack's character is the standard rival. He hates weak Pokemon, he hates the main character, and he thinks he's hot stuff. If anything you can just take his name out and replace it with Silver. Sara and Matt are the two sidekicks that always help out the main character. They don't appear to have any flaws. Some of the teachers seemed unrealistic as they flew off the handle when something very minuscule happened such as getting a detention for not knowing what was said.

All in all it's a decent fic so far. I'd work on character development because there appears to be none so far. The plot hasn't started so I can't really say work on that, unless the plot is being at the school. The characters need to be fleshed out and description can be tuned up a bit. I'll check back when a new chapter is posted so you can VM or PM me when you post it. If you need any help on anything then PM me and I will give you my thoughts. Until then, Shadow Lucario out.