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Scyther's Story (Death is not to be feared), NaNoWriMo 2006

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by Dragonfree, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Dragonfree productions presents...

    With motivation from NaNoWriMo 2006...

    Scyther's Story
    Death is not to be feared

    So yay. :D Yeah, this is my NaNo. It never became 50,000 words (finished it before midnight, though - it just wasn't material enough for more than 31,026 words), but what the heck. I love it to bits anyway.

    It is composed of forty numbered but untitled "chapters", but as those "chapters" tend to be awfully short (the shortest is about half a page), are not really proper chapters in that they do not always contain a story of their own, and posting them one at a time would take ages, I will not do that. The story is also divided into seven "parts", each of which constitutes a number of chapters, and they are both longer and much more suitable units for posting in general, so it is those that I will be posting.

    It is a backstory of Scyther from The Quest for the Legends, but you don't need to read The Quest for the Legends before reading this (although it contains spoilers), nor do you need to read this before reading The Quest for the Legends.

    However, there are some notes to make.

    First off, please note that this is NaNoWriMo, the epitome of rushed writing. I do edit the parts before posting them, but they are not to be expected to be awfully well-written nonetheless.

    Secondly, this fic often hardly describes Pokémon at all. Unfortunately this includes a couple of fake Pokémon as well. I will probably try to insert a little when I edit those parts, but to go into any extensive detail would wreck the style, sorry.

    Thirdly, it is not entirely consistent with The Quest for the Legends version ILCOE. This is most prominent near the end where it is actually telling events from that fic from a different point of view and there are notable differences in what happens, but there are also minor insignificant ones before that point. You do not need to point them out unless there is something that falls into neither category which I appear to have missed. It should, on the other hand, be entirely consistent with the one-shot/extra Guilty, and, once I write the relevant chapters of that version, the IALCOTN (not posted here).

    Fourthly, this is an entirely character-driven work. It does not really have a continuous plot structure, and leaves a whole bunch of things unexplained. Those are up for The Quest for the Legends to tie up.

    Fifthly and lastly, this fic is rated R (or, if you prefer Fiction Ratings, M) for containing various things that could disturb sheltered children such as violence, blood, gore, disturbing imagery, self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts, extremely vague sexual implications, consumption of alcoholic drinks, and the F-word.

    Now, time for the actual fic. Moving on to Part I. Sorry about the rather abrupt ending.



    The young parents were clearly not much troubled by caring for their egg, as they were fast asleep when it began to make quiet clicking sounds.

    The egg wobbled slightly, the sounds growing louder. A small crack formed in its surface, bright white light shining through it.

    The father, sleeping close by, opened one reptilian eye.

    “Wake up, Silver,” he muttered and lightly prodded the female by his side. “The egg is hatching.”

    The male crawled to his clawed feet, watching the egg. There was no visible affection in his expression, though perhaps there was a hint of fondness in the depths of his black eyes.

    “Sharp?” the female asked, a rift finally opening between her eyelids. “The egg... what?”

    Her gaze traveled slowly over to the oval shape that was now rolling on the ground. Quickly she stood up to watch her egg by the side of her mate.

    The eggshell was green with fine streaks of yellow, although the colors were difficult to see in the dusk and tinted by the red glow of the approaching sunrise. Grass blades coated with morning dew stuck to the shell here and there as the egg rolled over and hit a small rock in the grass.

    Cracks spread rapidly around the egg’s surface, each one opening a way out for the blinding light within. Silver shielded her eyes with the curved blade on her arm, which was perhaps just as well because now the eggshell exploded, hurling sharp pieces in all directions and leaving a small glowing white shape sitting on the ground instead.

    Sharp brushed a shard of shell off his rounded shoulder, his face still showing only calm dutifulness as the white light of the small body on the ground faded away to reveal its true colors.

    “Welcome to the world, young Descith,” the father muttered, a hint of a smile crossing his face for a second.

    “He looks adorable,” the mother said softly, betraying more emotion than her mate. “Come, little one. Try to get up,” she added encouragingly to her newborn son.

    The small creature looked up at her with large, attentive eyes. The small Descith had a head similar to that of his parents, but much bigger in proportion to his body. He looked hesitantly at his nearly cone-shaped feet and at the useless arms, already with the precise curved shape of the adults’ scythes, but the blade itself missing.

    He shifted around in an unsuccessful attempt to rise to his feet. He opened his mouth and let out a miserable wail.

    “Go on,” Silver said softly. “Stand up.”

    The hatchling looked at his arms, one at a time, and carefully poked the grass with them. Discovering its solidness with curiosity, he managed to push himself a little upwards.

    It took a few attempts, but eventually he managed to stand up.

    The Descith swayed unsteadily on his feet, his sense of balance still underdeveloped for the precision of the biped. After keeping himself upright for a few seconds, he collapsed forwards, shrieking with fear and instinctively moving his arms in front of him to absorb the fall.

    His eyes opened again after being squeezed shut in preparation for impact. The impact had never come.

    His deformed arms sank into the ground precisely where they gave him balance.

    Catching on, the little Descith yanked both of his undeveloped scythes out of the soil. He took a deep breath and let himself fall again – and again, sharp instincts saw to that his arms came down in precisely the right place.

    He smiled widely at his new discovery, laughing childishly as he let himself fall again.

    “He’ll never learn to walk like this,” Sharp said, amused in spite of himself. His mate just chuckled.

    “He acts just like you,” she said adoringly.

    “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

    They watched their son experiment with letting himself fall backwards. His arms automatically took the fall, always. It didn’t matter what he did. The instinct was extraordinarily powerful.

    This seemed to eventually take the fun out of it for him and the young Descith began to attempt to stay steady on his feet, using his arms for slight support.

    It would be a while before he managed that. It always was. And indeed, his story started out in such a way that it could have been any Scyther’s story.

    But this was only one particular Scyther, and his story, though beginning like any other, was decidedly unique.

    But no one in the swarm would know until many years later.


    “A new member of our swarm was hatched this morning,” announced the Leader to the swarm late in the evening. Every eye was fixed on his illuminated form, except, ironically enough, those of the subject of his speech, which were darting curiously between the different members of the swarm, oblivious to the importance of the ritual that their owner was now unknowingly taking part in.

    The Leader looked at the small Descith sitting on the flat rock below him. He hated performing the acceptance ritual. To devote such attention and in fact weaken himself to someone who did not recognize him as Leader – indeed, someone to whom the concept of a Leader in itself was decidedly alien – caused his sense of potential threat to tingle uncomfortably.

    But it was a necessary evil, and after all, if no new members were taken into the swarm, he would have no swarm to be Leader over, which would, for obvious reasons, completely defeat the point. And more importantly, the ritual was tradition, and breaking it would be sacrilege. Such said the Code.

    He looked back up and continued. “Let this young Descith be a member of our swarm to the day of his eventual return to the soil. Let him grow and flourish, become a Scyther and develop scythes and wings as the rest of us. Let him follow the Code and respect his duties. Let him be honored tonight!”

    He raised his right scythe to the soft joint on his left arm and made a clean, sharp cut across it.

    “By the blood of the Leader…” he began, feeling only a light trickle as dark Scyther blood dripped onto the hatchling’s head. The Descith twitched and shrieked in surprise, raising his right arm to his eyes to observe the blotch of bluish-black liquid on it.

    “…the Father…” he continued, looking towards the Scyther standing by his left side. The father stretched his arm slowly outwards, and the Leader raised his scythe for a second cut. Sharp winced slightly as his blood trickled down on his son as well.

    “…and the Fresh Prey,” the Leader finished as he looked to his right at the newborn’s mother and the struggling female Nidoran she was holding in her mouth. As the little rabbit eyed him raising his scythe again, she struggled even harder and let out a piercing scream, but he silenced it with a quick cut across her throat.

    The Nidoran’s body went limp. Crimson blood was sprayed onto the rock, almost covering the squirming Descith, who was already beginning to lick the liquid off his exoskeleton. The little one was already gaining a taste for blood, the Leader thought.

    Sometimes he daydreamed about the ability to cripple the young ones before they could challenge his leadership. But it was against the very most sacred section of the Code, the Moral Code. It explicitly stated the immorality of inflicting unnecessary torture on another being. And whenever he found himself in such thoughts, he became afraid.

    Occasionally, when he was feeling more rebellious, he wondered just what it was that he was afraid of. Nobody knew what was going on inside his head and nobody ever would. He could think all the immoral thoughts he wanted, and the other Scyther would never know. While the implication was that a godly being of some sort had originally created the Code, there was no such being seeing to that the Code was followed in thought as well as action. He could as well, he realized. He could as well think it.

    Sometimes, thanks to this rebellious train of thought, he became afraid that one day he would in fact be tempted to act upon it.

    But that day was not today.


    The young Descith sat in the grass. His parents were out hunting, although he did not know what it was they were doing. He did not know, either, that many species obsessively protected their young. It never crossed his instinct-driven mind to miss them while they were gone. Indeed, he would have felt discomfort if he had found himself alone, but evolution had never needed to give Scyther and Descith a parental bond when it came to protection.

    No one attacked a Scyther swarm. That was just the way it was.

    Therefore, he did not for a moment wonder whether or when his parents would be back. He simply looked around curiously, still taking the world in through his senses and experimenting with what his own body could do. For example, he had already discovered the undeveloped muscles connected to the knobs on his back that would one day become wings. Of course, he did not know that, either. He just knew he could contract some tiny muscles in his back, and that it didn’t seem to do anything so he quickly lost interest in it.

    The buzz of a fly caught his attention. His eyes scanned the air with natural skill and found their tiny target a few meters off. He stood up carefully, something telling him he should not make any sound.

    The young Pokémon’s eyes followed the fly as he became tenser with every passing moment: the fly was approaching. Using his arms for support, he stood deathly still except for his flickering eyes, following their target.

    Just as the fly was at the closest point it would be, he pounced.

    Had he been a fully-grown Scyther, the precision of his aim would have been enough to make his blade cut the fly in half. Instead, he clumsily missed it by an inch and it bonked into his forehead before flying frantically off.

    He made a sad sound as he landed on his arms and legs on the ground, looking longingly at the fly. He wasn’t sure why he wanted to catch the fly. He just did. And in his young mind, he didn’t need any more logical reason than that before doing things.

    He looked around again and saw a short tree. He wondered if he could get up into it.

    Slowly and carefully, he made his way towards the tree, again using his arms for support. He looked it up and down as he arrived next to it, not sure how to get up it. He poked the tree with the tip of his arm to see if it was solid. It was.

    He brought his foot onto the trunk, but hesitated. Something told him he would fall if he just tried to walk up it like he walked on the ground.

    He walked around the tree, observing how the trunk also had another side that he couldn’t see from each particular point of view, no matter how he tried. When one bit came into view, another always disappeared off the other side. Strange.

    After experimenting with this for a few minutes and realizing that this rule appeared impossible to trick, he noticed that there was a low branch only inches above his head. He poked the branch. It was solid too.

    He raised his curved arm shape above the branch and pulled it back down so that it hooked onto the branch. He pulled it experimentally down a few times before coming to the conclusion that this might be the way up.

    He whipped his other arm over the branch and began to try to pull himself up, but it was difficult and his arms were not curved enough. He tried it again a few more times with little further success.

    “Scith,” he sighed in disappointment. It had no particular meaning at this time, neither to him nor to anybody else. It was simply a random sound that his vocal chords could handle.

    But he was too stubborn to give up. After a couple of boring minutes, he turned back to the tree and examined the bark of it better. He prodded it harder than before with his scythe. It was somewhat soft.

    He drew back and swung the sharp end of his undeveloped right scythe straight towards the tree trunk. It sank ever so slightly into the tree.

    Happily, the little Descith hooked his left scythe onto the branch and began to scratch himself upwards with his clawed feet. At first he made no progress, but eventually he figured out how to get a good grip with his claws.

    After an exhausting climb, he finally got onto the lowest branch. Hugging the tree to keep his balance, he rested for a short while to gather his breath. He looked up, and he looked down.

    He felt very proud of himself.

    It was only seconds before he eagerly resumed the climb up to the next branch, and to the next. At one point he nearly fell down, but narrowly pulled himself up again.

    From the branch above him hung a sleeping green pupa, immobile as its inner body was going through the final steps of transformation into a beautiful Butterfree. Of course the young Descith had no idea that it was called a Metapod or that it was metamorphosing. In fact, he did not initially assume it was alive. He poked it curiously with his scythe and watched it with glee as it swung back and forth. He prodded it more powerfully to make it swing farther.

    The Metapod, awoken from its sleep, opened its eyes sluggishly. Not that it could do anything about the situation it was in. It couldn’t. Except for hardening its shell.

    Which, in an interesting twist, did turn out useful, since just then the Descith managed to cut it off the branch it was hanging from.

    The cocoon dropped to the ground, bounced off it once and then rolled in a semicircle before finally coming to a halt.

    The Descith was about ready to get down from the tree when he saw the cocoon begin to shake. Curiously, he watched it as it twitched for a few seconds and then suddenly ripped in the middle, revealing shining white light.

    He flinched, but was still curious; he squinted at the cocoon from the safety of the tree as a dark, crumpled shape crawled out of it and spread its thin white wings for the first time. Its two fine black antennae quivered as the newly-evolved Butterfree flapped its wings experimentally, finally taking off with a high-pitched cry of “Fweeee!”

    The young mantis watched, fascinated, as the Butterfree practiced its flight with a few circles and loops, and finally fluttered off over the plains.

    The Descith watched it until it was too far away for him to see it. He looked sadly back at the tree he was standing in. He wanted to go down now.

    But nature had already instilled in him a fear of heights.

    He whimpered, clutching the tree trunk tightly with what would later become his scythes. The sight of the few meters down made him feel dizzy and discomforted. He turned his head quickly towards the trunk, where he couldn’t see the ground, and closed his eyes, unable to think of anything to do other than wait for someone else to save him.


    It was nearing sunset when his mother returned from the hunt, carrying a dead Pidgeotto in her mouth.

    At first she did not regard the small green shape in the tree as anything out of the ordinary; in fact, the last time she had looked at that particular tree, there had been a Metapod hanging from one of the branches, and she just assumed that was it. The absence of her son did not seem worrisome. There were always guarding Scyther who would make sure that no hatchling would walk away on his own, and after all, no one ever attacked a Scyther swarm.

    However, just while she was trying to cut the skin and feathers off her prey to make it easier to eat, she heard a quiet moan coming from the tree.


    She stopped what she was doing, turning her eyes towards the direction of the sound.


    She rose up and walked over to the tree. “Somebody there?”

    The Descith looked quickly at his mother with big, scared eyes that begged her to help him down. She sighed and walked up to the tree, raising her scythes into the air so that her son could use them to climb down.

    He hesitated at first, but then carefully turned away from the tree trunk, crouched down, hooked his arms around the branch he was on and let himself descend a little. He unhooked one of his premature scythes and placed it onto his mother’s scythe instead, reaching for the other one with his foot. Finally he let go and allowed his mother to gently put him down.

    Unlike some other species’ babies, the young Descith did not need to be comforted. As soon as he was down from the tree and out of all danger, he did no longer need or particularly desire his mother’s company. But she stayed with him anyway, affectionately feeding him some of the softer bits of the Pidgeotto and attempting to make him realize some of the complicated principles of the Pokémon language.

    It is, after all, beneficial to help furthering one’s genes, and while natural selection did not care whether one’s genes were furthered with the help of a parent, it did indeed care whether one’s own offspring survived. And thus, she felt more affectionate towards him than he would ever feel towards her in the Scyther’s family-less community and individualistic mindset.

    She was what the norms of her kind would call ‘weak’. To love someone meant fear of death, the inevitable end to one’s time knowing them, and fear of death was the number one sin. Ideally, a Scyther was without social bonds, above them, and it would indeed have been frowned upon had, say, the Leader shown personal affection towards another being. But in the end, the Scyther were social creatures, and in spite of the unfortunate implications of their moral code, most of them formed bonds of family and friendship in some form anyway.

    Such was simply the way of nature.
  2. Imperial_Furret

    Imperial_Furret Absurdity

    Yay! Syther story thing. I haven't read The Quest For The Legends, but I do plan too. So... yeah, yay!
  3. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    ...um, when you review, it's generally a good idea to give the impression you actually read the story in question... <_<
  4. Imperial_Furret

    Imperial_Furret Absurdity

    Er... Yeah, that would probably be a good idea, huh? [/embarresed]

    Well... er... um... eh... SASSPARELLA! (has absolutely no idea how too express opion)

  5. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Better. Some more detail of why you liked that part would be a lot less spamish. But hey, it's a start.

    And haha, I've been Phantom-of-the-Monostarred! :D W00t.
  6. Souku

    Souku Well-Known Member

    Wonderful spin-off you have going there. I actually read this before your revised QotL story, which I was just reading.

    I really like how short your paragraphs are, and how they get to the point but also describe well. Long paragraphs with huge descriptions tend to get a little tedious to read (I'm guilty of doing that sometimes, haha), so it's good that you are straightforward in presenting ideas.

    The way you portrayed the little Scyther is adorable. How you described the way the little dear finds out about the world he lives in, the way a little commentary from the narrator blends neatly in and ties the story together. Gives it a childish appeal, doesn't it?

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing you finish this little story. I'm very interested in its outcome.

    EDIT: Oh, and can I ask what NaNoWriMo means? (Sorry to sound so noobish). I'm guessing Wri = Writing, and Mo MAY be Moment? I'm not that well informed.
  7. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Thanks for the reply. :) Yes, that's the style I was going for. It does get noticeably more rushed and stylistically worse in the later parts (when I'm being all "MUST WRITE 4000 WORDS TODAY"), but hopefully I'll be able to fix that somewhat when I edit.

    NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it's a thingy where people attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in November. The official site for it is http://www.nanowrimo.org; it's really fun as motivation to write something and finish it.

    Um, since I already proofread Part II, I guess I might as well post it now. Part II is the shortest part after Part VII both in word count and number of chapters, and in general it's not really my favorite, but meh.

    This part contains references to my fanmade Pokémon naming conventions, and doesn't explain them in a lot of detail, so this is the basic idea for those curious or confused:

    Pokémon don't have names as we know them, but nicknames of a sort given to them by other individuals who feel that they need a word to address them by. Thus, giving someone a name is generally a sign of respect and friendship. Because of the way Pokémon speech works, the names are always simply words (sometimes two or more stuck together) that the namer associates in some way with the namee. When they do have a name, they don't introduce themselves by that name or expect anyone other than that particular person to call them by it, except that in tight intimate groups of two or more, they like to all agree on using the same name for each member of the group, at least when more than two of them are together, to avoid confusion. Otherwise Pokémon are perfectly content with being referred to by the name of their species only, and that is how they address strangers.

    Now, on to Part II.



    The young Descith was a year old. He had now learned many things about the world. He could communicate with the other Scyther in the Pokémon language. He knew the difference between a Scyther and a Descith. And his scythes had begun to grow – they were still made of the same soft yellow stuff as his joints and would be until he evolved, but it was a start.

    But he was still young, and this was the first time that he experienced an acceptance ritual at an old enough age to realize what was going on and what was being said.

    The process had not been described to him. His parents had only told him that he would be seeing the acceptance ritual and that the same had been done to him when he was accepted into the swarm. He was both excited and curious, with little to even hint to him what he would be seeing.

    The Leader walked up to the rock and all the Scyther and Descith fell silent.

    “A new member of our swarm was hatched this morning,” the Leader said. He was illuminated by the pale moonlight so that he looked more intimidating than he was during the day. A short distance behind him loomed the forest of Ruxido, every tree seeming like a sturdy soldier in his personal army.

    It was no wonder that times like these made the Scyther’s hearts fill with fearful respect and obedience towards their Leader.

    While the Leader said his traditional speech of acceptance, the Descith that was its subject shrieked innocently, receiving disapproving glares from the swarm. The one-year-old didn’t yet fully understand the Code or why the newborn must be so quiet, but he imitated the adult Scyther anyway.

    His expression betraying disgust for a fraction of a second, the Leader raised his left arm. “By the blood of the Leader, the Father and the Fresh Prey,” he finished as blood from two Scyther and a Rattata showered over the small Descith on the rock. He let out a piercing cry of fear, attempting to crawl away from the blood to more disapproving looks from the swarm.

    He did not yet understand this either, neither the young one’s fearful reaction nor the adults’ disapproval, but what could he do but ignore it?

    The ritual was finished awkwardly by forcing the newborn’s face into the puddle of blood, and then it was over.

    The year-old Descith watching it would never know that this was what would later be one of his best friends.

    His other best friend he would meet the next day.


    It was a rainy morning.

    The Descith knew all about rain. He knew that it was the blood of the clouds. The clouds were a species of Pokémon that lived all of its life high up in the sky. Ordinarily they were white and shifted their shapes into various different ones depending on what they were thinking, but sometimes they died, and then they turned gray. And after they had turned gray, their blood rained down onto the ground to provide necessary water to the Pokémon down below in the endless circle of life.

    Sometimes the clouds had great wars and so many of them died that the entire sky turned gray. And every morning, the clouds attacked the sun so that the sky turned red with the sun’s blood, but the sun climbed further up than the clouds ever went so that in the middle of the day they couldn’t reach her anymore. And when she descended in the evening, the clouds attacked her again, but then she buried deep underground where they could not reach her either.

    One day the clouds would wear the sun down, she would be unable to climb or dig away from them in time, and they would shed all of her blood and kill her like any other Fire Pokémon.

    And then there would be no more sunlight, and the moon would stay still in the sky at all times because he would no longer have to chase the sun always. Some of the older Scyther told of how once the moon had caught up with the sun and nearly extinguished her fire, but she had gotten away narrowly and the eternal race had continued.

    And the sun had once had children with the moon, the stars. And the stars came out in the night because they wanted to distract the moon so that he wouldn’t catch the sun.

    He knew this because that was what his parents had told him, and what their parents had told them, and what their parents had told them, and so on. And the Leader confirmed it.

    It had to be true.

    Of course, it wasn’t. Scyther’s wings weren’t built for high flight, and no Scyther had ever flown high enough to prove the worth of even the easiest to verify of these stories, namely the one about the clouds being Pokémon that became gray when they died. They would have realized that the clouds were just vapor.

    But they could not fly that high, and as such they never felt any need to question those stories. What did it matter to them, anyway, whether they were true or not? As long as the sun rose in the morning and the clouds did rain, who cared whether all the specific details were true?

    The funny thing was that they did not especially need those stories. Humans were curious creatures who could never be satisfied with a “We don’t know.” They needed something to believe, truth or not. But the Scyther were not that way, nor were any other Pokémon. They were perfectly content with knowing something could be relied on to happen, and didn’t need to know why it was.

    It simply happened to be so that certain individuals had more of this tendency than others did.

    The humans called it ‘creativity’. The Scyther called it ‘unnecessary wondering about trivial things’.

    The only reason those stories began to be passed on was that some Scyther long ago, instead of speaking of these stories as the made-up speculation they were, decided to pretend they were fact in order to avoid being shunned.

    And thus, the evolution of the species slowly ground to a halt, because they had grown intelligent enough to cheat natural selection for their own views, which mostly involved being the same as they had always been or pretending to be the same.

    The older Descith that he was talking to was one of those who did unnecessary wondering about trivial things. His exoskeleton was a particularly light green, which had immediately caught the younger one’s attention. Having nothing else to do, they had engaged in conversation under a large tree that shielded them somewhat from the pouring rain, and currently the older one was managing to thoroughly confuse his conversational partner with his alien views.

    “Why do you think it rains?” he had begun this topic, staring out at the falling raindrops.

    “I know,” the younger Descith had said. “The clouds are Pokémon high up in the sky who turn gray when they die and then their blood…”

    “I don’t think rain is the blood of the clouds,” the other had interrupted. “I don’t think they’re Pokémon at all. How do you know they are?”

    The younger had looked at him in puzzlement. “All the Scyther say so, so it must be true.”

    “But how do they know?” the older had countered. “Scyther can’t fly up there. Once I saw a flock of Pidgey flying, and they flew through a cloud. Like it wasn’t even solid.”

    “The others are older and know it better than you,” the younger Descith had stubbornly said. The other had sighed and stopped talking about it. Now they were sitting in silence and watching the rainfall.

    “You know how to evolve faster?” asked the older suddenly.


    “Mock duels.”

    The younger Descith looked at the older. “You can’t do mock duels until you’ve already evolved and your scythes have hardened.”

    “You can,” insisted the other one. “You just have to be careful not to break them. It won’t really be a problem for you, since they’re still so small. I’ll have to watch out, though.” He looked at his own scythes, about half the area that they would finally have, but still yellow and vulnerable.

    “You want a mock duel with me?” the younger asked, puzzled. The older nodded.

    “I’ve never done it before,” the younger Descith said hesitantly. “I don’t know how to…”

    “You don’t need to know it,” the older interrupted with a smile. “It’s all there already.”

    And with that, he stood up, motioning for the younger one to do the same, which he did.

    It was all very sudden when he leapt menacingly at the other. He instinctively ducked and slashed away with his premature scythe.

    “See?” the older one said. “It’s not too hard.”

    “It isn’t,” the younger agreed, astonished. He suddenly leapt at the other Descith with his blades aloft, to have them blocked by the green edge of the older one’s left scythe. The older laughed and kicked him off.

    “Can I make a name for you?” he asked.

    The younger Descith looked at him in disbelief. To make a name for someone meant respect – something not too common for a one-year-old Descith to have.

    “You can,” he replied in excitement. This would be his first real name. His parents only referred to him as Son.

    “I call you…” The older Descith paused. “Razor.”

    And the younger Descith grinned from ear to ear. “Can I make a name for you as well?”

    “Of course,” the older replied, his eyes twinkling with glee.

    “I call you…”

    The newly-named Razor looked out at the rain and then at the other Descith.

    “Stormblade,” he finished with conviction. “That is your name.”

    Stormblade laughed. “Thank you.”

    And then he leapt at Razor with raised scythes.


    Another year passed.

    Stormblade and Razor continued to be friends. They dueled at every opportunity, excited to trigger each other’s evolution. Both of their scythes grew, Stormblade’s to full size and Razor’s to what Stormblade’s had been when they had first met.

    And one day they met a tiny year-old Descith with a particularly dark armor.

    This was the subject of some amused staring, as dark armor generally indicated that its owner was a female.

    “What are you looking at?” asked the young Descith defensively, raising his scythes up in front of him. He had large, paranoid eyes, but a strangely powerful voice for his size.

    “You,” Razor replied honestly.

    “What is so interesting about me?” the little one asked coldly.

    “Your armor is darker than average, isn’t it?” Stormblade answered.

    “And so?” the little Descith asked stubbornly.

    Stormblade laughed. “Should we settle this in a duel?”

    Whatever reaction he expected, it was not what really happened, namely that the tiny little Descith growled and leapt straight at Stormblade with his barely-existent scythes ready to slash.

    Stormblade recoiled in surprise, but quickly raised his own blades against the attack, throwing the much smaller Pokémon a few meters away in one swing. The newcomer took a few tumbles in the grass, but rose immediately back up and attacked Stormblade fiercely again.

    Stormblade fought back with all his might, and indeed his size and age gave him the advantage. In the end, the small Descith lay in the grass, defeated, under Stormblade’s entire weight.

    “Damn, you’re good,” Stormblade panted. “Can I give you a name?”

    It was difficult to see which was more astonished, the beaten Descith or Razor.

    “Y-yes, I suppose…” the Descith stammered, assuming this had to be some kind of trick, perhaps to give him an offensive name – uncommon, but not unknown – but not in any situation to say no.

    “Shadowdart shall be your name,” Stormblade said with satisfaction, rising up and nodding. “This is Razor, and I am Stormblade.”

    The only situation in which Pokémon ever introduced themselves and each other by name was when the one being spoken to was being invited into a tight-knit group of mutual respect, and the hesitant Shadowdart was well aware of this.

    It would be difficult to make it into a joke from there on.

    Shadowdart nodded and stood up. “Thank you.”

    He looked between his two new apparent friends, and still did not understand it any more than Razor did.

    “You have potential, kid…” Stormblade said faintly before his eyes rolled backwards into his head. Shadowdart stared wide-eyed at him, wondering if he had killed him or something, but then Stormblade’s body was taken over by a bright white glow.

    “He’s evolving!” Razor gasped, and indeed he was. Stormblade’s pure white shape began to grow. His height doubled in just a few moments, more spikes appeared on his head, his upper body appeared to split in the middle and the halves to bulge apart, his leg joints morphing into round segments…

    When the glow faded away, Stormblade was a full-grown Scyther with shiny, metallic scythes.

    He grinned.

    “You two are next.”
  8. Saffire Persian

    Saffire Persian Now you see me...

    Well, felt like dropping in and reviewing. Just as a note before I go on, short as the chapters are, I can't help but feel a little intimidated already that you posted a new chapter after the first one has barely been up a day. Slow down maybe? Like.. by a week or something? It's up to you, but I think that posting so quickly intimidates not just me.


    Interesting little detail.


    Bluish black blood.. another interesting detail. *imagines*

    For some reason, I think the bolded part could be omitted entirely, and have greater impact on the sentence. I don't know why o.o Just sounds better to me, though nothing's wrong with it as it is now. Though the bolded part does help to lead into the next sentence, though reconfiguration could be done, I suppose. And the Scyther ritual was just cool.

    Not the most friendly of leaders, is he? o.o''

    I would be fleeing quickly too. XD

    Climbing trees seem a tempting thing in the children of all kinds of species. XD


    Though the Metapod was likely there for some time, that seemed like a fast evolution. XD And 'Fweee' is just a fun word to imagine. THough in this case, I'm also tempted to think that this particularly Butterfree has his species version of a speech impediment. XDXDXD And it amuses me, if you couldn't tell.

    I don't get the 'above them' part in this paragraphs context; it seems out of place. I do, however, especially like the bolded part.

    Congrats on finishing 30k words of Nanowrimo. XD It always is a heck of a lot of work. I enjoyed reading about the intricacies of the Scyther species, and found their culture quite interesting, and especially liked the portrayal of language learning. As in, having the 'scithhhe' dialogue for the baby Scyther, while having his parents speak perfect - for lack of a better word -- English.

    Right now, I really haven't found anything worth bringing up that I didn't like, as it was pretty well written and had a good pace. I'll come back for the second part of my review later.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  9. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Hmm, you may be right about being intimidated by having the chapters up so soon. I just felt Part II was so short I might as well. Part III is a very great deal longer (six chapters or twelve pages), so it will wait a bit longer. (A week seems like a little too much, though - I don't think I have the patience to wait more than just a few days. XD)

    Thanks for all the comments. :)
  10. Malachite Treecko

    Malachite Treecko Well-Known Member

    wow.... I like it. Much. You're just as great as always, Dragonfree! I like the way you place in some "information about the species's culture", like about the clouds. And Descith, can't you make a sprite or something for it, I find it hard to imagine how it looks like. For the moment, I think Descith like a mix between Weedle and Megayanma XD
  11. Razor Shiftry

    Razor Shiftry Cynthia = Porn Star

    WOW. i've read the quest of legends and this spin off is amazing, and i can't wait for when Razor will meet his love and the clashes begin. i liked how your decribed the rituals and the culture, it soo realistic and i could actually see myself there, watching this happen...
    Keep it going!

  12. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Thanks to both of you. :)

    I drew two Descith near the beginning of November:

    Front view
    Back view

    They're really just scribbles so they're not very good, but they should give a basic idea. As you can see, they look very similar to adult Scyther, but lack scythes and wings.
  13. sandos

    sandos Don't Blink

    Hey, this is cool stuff. I just need to say now, I love Descith. Dunno why, just do.

    I've read The Quest for the Legends, and so I already knew about Stormblade and Shadowdart, but the way you introduced them was cool. I rather like the style you're using...I especially like the developement of Descith and blueish-black blood. The Pokémon names idea is original. The ritual and the theory of the sun was an awesome addition, and shows original Pokémon culture which I've hardly seen elsewhere. My favourite bit so far. I'll be interested to see how this young Descith developes into the Scyther I know and love...

    EDIT: And that's a cool image of Descith-even cooler than I had envisioned it.
  14. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    Pokécentric fics > the world. :D

    Loving that Scyther as I do (…that sounded a little odd. o.o; ), I was quite happy to see him get the spotlight, let me tell you. One thing that struck me in The Quest for the Legends is how well-realized the Scyther culture is, but having read this, I see that you’ve put even more thought into their ways than I’d imagined. And that right there is what I love most about this—such an in-depth focus on Pokémon is something I love to see most in Pokémon fanfiction.

    Descith are ADORABLE; I might have mentioned this in one of your other threads, in the art section. After all, mantises are cute to begin with—so of course, a BABY MANTIS is just going to be just adorable as all frell. <3

    Speaking of which, I’m curious as to the origins of the name Descith for the pre-evo of Scyther. How’d you come up with it?

    One thing I must mention is the acceptance ritual—frell, that was cool. *_* Creative, and bloody—two of my favorite qualities for something to have. X3 Also, I thought the little glimpse into the dark thoughts and daydreams of the Leader that was given after the acceptance ritual was shown for the first time was pulled off particularly well. o.o

    Another part that I really liked was the one that detailed the beliefs Scyther have about the sky. Especially with regards to rain as the blood of the clouds, and the transition from night to day and back again being the result of the clouds’ neverending campaign against the sun…rememebr what I said about things that are both creative and bloody? Yeah. :D Very cool stuff.

    Here are two other little highlgihts that I particularly enjoyed. Note that they’re both chosen due to being examples of Descith being REALLY, REALLY CUTE:

    Yep. Cute. As. Frell. ^^

    This is one of the most enjoyable stories I’ve read lately, possessing those qualities I enjoy most in a Pokémon fic—I’m very eager to read more. :D
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  15. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly


    My parents are out of the house, so (after a good bit of prodding by Mistress Free's VERY long and convincing stick) I finished reading the whole like, two chapters' worth of Scyther backstory.

    And I am lovin' it.

    First off, allow me to run around squealing like a rabid fangirl over both the zomg backstory of Scyther and general cuteness of Descith. *does so* :3

    I really like this so far. Of course we knew of such interesting things as the Code and so on before (or at least those readers of your main fic) but there are some new things that I also find very...well, I can't say 'interesting' again, so let's go with...neat. No, neat won't do...cool? Stronger...awesome? Does that word fit? Maybe. 'Awesome' can certainly be used to describe the squeefulness this story provides...
    @_@ This review sucks, doesn't it?

    Okay, concepts like the clouds and sun being Pokémon, giving birth to the stars, that whole thing, I thought that was really neat. Also the whole reasoning behind this, aka 'Scyther thinks about why such-and-such happens, and to defend iyself, quickly states this as fact, which nobody questions because they just don't care' was really something that caught my eye. 'Creative' versus 'unnecessary wondering about trivial things' was one of those Philosophical Statements our English teacher made us look for in stories when analyzing them, and I found that it was an interesting way of looking at how humans think. Very thought-provoking.

    Grammar was good, didn't find much. One thing should have been in quotation marks or something, and once or twice there were confusing, overcomplicated sentences. A bit of improper (or strange) word usage, the only one I could remember being
    I'm pretty sure it should be 'You can't have mock duels'.
    But meh, maybe that's just their way of speaking.

    I found this a tad bit rushed at times. I know that this isn't a descriptive piece, and the style sits pretty good with me. Of course, me being me, I think a bit more description could be nice at some points.
    But I also mean that it's rushed in that some things seem to happen a bit too quickly. Like Stormblade seems to make friends quickly. Giving others names, in your fic 'verse, is something one does out of great respect and all. But how much respect did these Descith get for each other in the short time span they all had met. No more than half an hour, so it seems. Shadowdart especially. oO And is it just me, or did his name just seem to appear out of nowhere. Other than that having been his name in your fic- I just found it wasn't totally appropriate. :/

    Oh, but Stormblade's name was sooo awesome. Kudos on that, mucho credit on originality, all that. :3 Just...awesome.

    Characters are developing well, too. A bit hard to tell at this point, but I like what I see. Again, there's this whole 'let's become friends' happening a bit too quickly (funny, because that's what I was told for my first fic o_O). And it seemed at first like Stormblade was just the character who is always different. You know? Almost as if just for the sake of it. :/
    Still I liked how you were explaining the whole sun-moon-stars-clouds relationship and then had him questioning it. Although maybe a reason for questioning things, for thinking differently, would do some good. Like, how did he know about mock dueling? Did he overhear older Scyther talking about it, or did he just come up with it himself?

    But I still give you a thumbs-up for the character work. The whole development of young Scyther in a swarm will make for a very interesting read. Already I find it thought-provoking, and I do wonder and compare our own society to theirs.

    Meh, I can't think of anything else to add. This is a good, light read (so far o_O) and it's a nice reprieve from my current grounding. Thanks for pushing me to read it.
    Can't wait to read on. Best of luck,


    EDIT: Okay, I keep forgetting to mention this because every time I remembered, I forgot it again. ><

    I had just wanted to say that in the scene where Stormblade meets Razor, I kept getting confused as to who was saying what. I just think you could have said who was saying what a few more times, even though yes, it is awkward to always have to say 'the older Descith' and 'the younger Descith' all the time. ><
    Not much help, I know, but I've been wanting to mention that for awhile. :/
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  16. Chareon

    Chareon -blinkblink-

    Very nice, Dragonfree. I like seeing stories by you here, they're always wonderfully well - written and creative.

    Let's see. As everyone else has said before, I love the insight you've given into the culture of Scythers and their beliefs and myths. One thing I can't wait to see if you touch more on is their moral - does their system have extensive differences between right and wrong? Or no?

    I like the way you portayed the Razor's youth here. Nice touch. It seems like the way any young creature would react in such circumstances. Kudos!

    I have read Quest for the Legends, and I must say that I agree with Sike Saner about how cool it is that you've though out the Scyther culture so deeply.

    I must depart now, but I'll be back!

    -flies away-

    ;196; ~Chareon
  17. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    sandos: Thank you. :) I like the sun bit as well - I was just writing and started going on about that for no good reason, and suddenly realized I had written like a whole page of it. o_O It was neat. Just what NaNoWriMo should be like. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of those moments in this fic. :(

    Sike Saner: Don't ask me why, but your reviews are so awesomely fun to read somehow. o.o

    <3 Indeed. Frell, heh. Never heard that one before.

    Technically, it was my friend that came up with it - I asked a group of people in a chat what they thought I should name the Scyther pre-evolution I had just made up, and posted some ponderings about what I was thinking (i.e. that I wanted it to include "sc" and that I had therefore been thinking like some play on "descendant" or something). Then she suggested that, and I liked it, the basic idea then being descendant + misspelling of "scythe", although it is also reminiscent of "death" as well, which I thought fitted nicely with how the story continues.

    =3 Thanks. I liked that part as well, both the ritual and the Leader's thoughts - for some reason I really, really love writing the Leader, even though it was a really spur-of-the-moment decision to look into his mind like that.

    Just something random of interest to note: there is no female acceptance ritual in the fic, but if there were, you would note that she would be drenched in the blood of the Leader, the Mother and the Fresh Prey (caught by the father) - i.e. the blood comes from the same-sex parent, the prey comes from the opposite-sex parent, and then the Leader's blood is added as a symbol of strength, unity and the Code.

    Hehe, one of the reasons I liked that was that it was so bloody, which is so very iconic for the death-obsessed creatures that the Scyther are. (And yes, they're quite death-obsessed - see Part III.)

    Yes, isn't it? :3 I wanted to establish that bit of childish innocence before the fic turns the dark and mature that it is later, just as a twisted means of showing how society can taint people. Or something like that.

    Psychic: Mwahahahaha. Prodding really does work. >3


    *watches you run around squealing like a rabid fangirl over both the zomg backstory of Scyther and general cuteness of Descith*

    No. You know I love you.

    Their manner of speaking was what I was going for.

    Nah, it's just the way Stormblade is. He's the really open, nice, "Let's go ahead and be best friends now!" type... while he's a Descith, anyway. Before Part III. >3

    The "Shadow" bit was because of his dark color, but in general the names they make up is pretty random. They're kids, after all. They just make up random cool-sounding nicknames.

    Mmmh. It's a little difficult to say anybody is "always different" when all you've seen of him is wondering more than average and then deciding to suddenly make friends with someone he's just dueled, don't you think? You'd need to see more of him to know what he's "always" like. But hey.

    Not really, it's more just that a one-year-old isn't thinking about evolution that much yet, but at two he has heard stuff from those of his own age. Perhaps I should include that.

    Ack, yeah, I hated that part. That's actually why I made Stormblade give him a name as soon as possible; it made things so much less complicated when it came to conversations and duels.

    Thanks for reviewing, Sickie-Snookums. *runs*

    Chareon: Thanks. :3 Heh, funny you should mention their moral beliefs, because that plays in heavily in Part III.

    Speaking of which, I am thinking about posting Part III tomorrow. I have now edited the entire fic, so it's just waiting. :3 Stay tuned.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  18. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Okay, here is Part III. It is considerably longer than both of those before it, but pales in comparison with what is to come, heh. It is one of my favorite parts, although it probably comes after Parts IV and V, and this is where the fic starts to get a lot darker. Warning: not for sensitive people.



    Yet another year passed.

    After a Descith evolved, he had to spend until the spring after his evolution learning the Code by attending special lessons with the Leader and all the other newly-evolved Scyther who had never killed. Stormblade was no exception.

    The Leader was all the more fond of this ritual – if one could call a series of lessons a ritual – than of the acceptance ritual. This time he was not accepting potential threats into the swarm. On the contrary, he was taking all the potential threats and reducing them to obedient non-threats with months of beating laws into their heads, and he enjoyed it immensely.

    “The Code,” he had warned on the first lesson of that year, “is sacred. Nothing, nothing is more important than the Code. Choosing between anything and the Code, you should not hesitate before choosing the latter. Should you ever break it, you will be banished from Scyther society forever, your blood will be tainted and you will be forever worthless. If you break it, the only thing that will save your honor is immediate suicide - the ultimate realization of the wrong that you have done, and showing that you do not, after all, fear your own death. But if you fail to do that –” he had here glared over the group at this point to emphasize it, “you are disgusting failures, and your eventual death – because yes, you will all die at one point, whether you accept it or not and whether you face it fearless or not – will be forever the end of you. No one will speak of you or remember you again, except perhaps in a negative context. This life you have is your only chance to make a name for yourselves, and the only purpose in it is to be immortal in the memory of generations to come. This is something you do not want to fail at, but if you did want it – the quickest way would be breaking the Code.”

    The young Scyther had watched him in stunned silence, and he had looked at them with satisfaction. The more silently scared they became, the better.

    And thus the lessons had continued throughout the year, and it was made perfectly clear to every growing Scyther through rigorous repetition and conditioning that to disrespect the Code, the ancient rules of the Scyther, was a horrible, horrible thing.

    So now, after learning of its significance, Stormblade was preparing for his First Prey. It was, the Leader had told them, an essential ritual that would prove their Scytherhood and their respect for the first rule of the Moral Code. It would be the young Scyther’s first ever hunt, to be performed entirely on their own with two witnesses to follow.

    And it would be their first kill.

    The young Scyther had no reason to be nervous about it. No one told them it was a nerve-wrecking experience, and they would not tell anyone either after discovering the reality of it, for fear of being considered cowards.

    None of them were aware of the irony of it all.


    While Stormblade went out for his First Prey, Razor and Shadowdart had yet another one of their mock duels. Razor’s initial lack of respect for the younger Descith had slowly dissolved – for the most part, anyway – throughout the year, and now their focus was to work on evolution.

    The bad part was that Descith evolved through battling experience, almost always in the spring or early summer for unknown reasons most likely having to do with hormones. And their battling skills were quite pathetic for a very long time after their birth, majorly hindering their ability to trigger their evolution and slowing them down.

    The average age for evolution was around three years as Stormblade had been, so Razor was anticipating his own evolution any moment. Shadowdart, however, feeling dully impatient, was day by day growing less enthusiastic about the mock fights.

    “Come on,” Razor egged him on. “You need to try hard for your own evolution to happen as well.”

    “I won’t evolve until in a year,” Shadowdart said emptily.

    “Maybe you will,” Razor replied eagerly. “I heard that our Leader evolved in the middle of the winter.”

    Shadowdart’s interest seemed to be awakened. “He did?”

    “That’s what I heard.”

    The younger Descith leapt at Razor with an eager growl. Razor quickly jumped out of the way and brought his own scythes down towards Shadowdart’s back, but he also dodged it with a quick roll and slashed across Razor’s face.

    The older Descith growled in pain and retaliated with another slash which managed to hit Shadowdart right in the rift between the left and right parts of his upper body.

    Shadowdart did not scream in pain often, but this time he did.

    “I… are you okay?” Razor asked carefully, his eyes wide.

    “Yes,” Shadowdart growled and dealt Razor a slash to the middle cleft as well.

    Caught by surprise, Razor fell back into the grass. He couldn’t breathe. This was the Descith’s weak spot where any nasty cut would deal horrible pain. Evolution would expand the upper body to the sides at this rift, simultaneously strengthening the armor in it. Before evolution, however, the Descith were very vulnerable at that particular spot.

    But as Razor lay there, the hormones of fighting tension flowing through his body pushed him over the edge that they had been attempting to reach for so long.

    Shadowdart watched with incredulity as a white glow enveloped Razor.

    “No!” he exclaimed, realizing that what he had meant as revenge had actually turned into a great favor.

    But Razor was indeed evolving, and he felt exhilarated as his vision faded into pure white. His brain pumped out endorphins while his exoskeleton bulged out like an inflating balloon, which Razor had admittedly never seen or heard of in his life.

    Shadowdart punched his scythes into the ground as Razor’s growth came to a halt, the white light faded off his body and where a Descith had stood a moment before there was now a full-grown Scyther in his place.

    “Wow!” Razor said in astonishment, slightly surprised by his deepened voice. “Thanks, Shadowdart.”

    But Shadowdart turned his back to him and walked away.

    Razor sighed and sat down in the grass, hanging his head.

    But only for a few minutes – he had a swarm and a Leader to tell about his evolution.


    Stormblade returned later in the afternoon with a dead Pidgey. He was quick to find Razor again, but Shadowdart was nowhere to be seen anymore.

    They were not much bothered by it. It had happened before. Their general conclusion was that Shadowdart was just a bit of a sore loser, which was nothing to worry about – not while he was still a Descith having mock duels, anyway.

    “It was harder than I thought,” Stormblade admitted quietly to his newly-evolved friend, sitting under the very same tree as two years before when they had first discussed whether the clouds were really bleeding, although that particular fact had not yet crossed their minds. “I… I felt… I caught this Pikachu but… oh, it doesn’t matter,” he finished hopelessly. It was difficult to get any words around it without explicitly showing fear of death, one of the most horrible sins that a Scyther could commit.

    And even though Stormblade was the type who wondered unnecessarily about trivial things like whether the clouds were really bleeding or whether the Code really made sense, he had learned enough now from his four-year life in a Scyther swarm to know that generally it was not a good idea to voice such thoughts out loud.

    Razor didn’t ask, or even particularly wonder what it was that Stormblade had been trying to say. He would find out what it was like on his own in a year, after all.

    “So there’s going to be a ritual this evening,” Stormblade said.

    “I know.” Razor had witnessed the First Prey rituals before; every year had them and they had lost their novelty already. They had been going on for a few days that year, too. It would nonetheless be more interesting now, since now it was someone he knew who would be recognized as an adult.

    In the evening, the Scyther gathered by that familiar rock in front of the Leader. All except Stormblade, who stood behind him, and two other Scyther by the Leader’s sides, who Razor knew were the witnesses. Razor couldn’t make out Stormblade’s features in the dark, but he knew it was him, and with that confidence he felt proud of his friend.

    “Tonight,” the Leader announced, “we witness this Scyther join the ranks of the adults of our swarm. He has shown his ability to hunt and kill his prey without fear of death! Let him join the swarm with full privileges, be eligible for true duels of life and death, and hunt on his own!”

    The Leader took a deep breath and swallowed. “Let him be able to challenge my Leadership, should he be more fit for it than I. Let him now honor the Code, since he now understands it, and be a valuable member of the swarm. Step forward, Scyther.”

    Stormblade stepped forth, carrying his Pidgey in his mouth. He placed it on the rock.

    “I offer the meat of my First Prey to our Leader,” he said, bowing his head in the Leader’s direction. The older Scyther bowed back, stepped up to the rock and tore a bit of raw flesh off the little bird’s body, swallowing it.

    “To… to my friend Razor,” he continued. Razor had been half-expecting it and was thus not surprised when he stepped up to the rock himself, bowed to the Leader and Stormblade, and tore another piece of flesh from the Pidgey. It would not satisfy anyone’s hunger; it was just a ritualistic meal.

    “And… if he is here… to Shadowdart,” Stormblade said quietly. Razor looked at him. To offer the meat of a First Prey to an unevolved Descith was rather unconventional, although it was not expressly forbidden.

    Stormblade looked around the group of Scyther. For a few moments there was no movement, but then a small Descith stirred near the back and walked slowly up to the rock. Razor saw the Leader glance darkly at Stormblade, but he didn’t care; he just looked relieved as Shadowdart came up, ate a bit of the Pidgey’s flesh and nodded ever so slightly in his direction.

    “Then,” said the Leader after a short silence, “he is accepted.”

    All three of them bowed to the Leader and then walked down from the rock to blend in with the rest of the swarm again.


    Razor’s first lesson in Scytherhood was at the beginning of summer, when the wave of Descith evolutions that year finally ground to a halt.

    He left Shadowdart’s training to Stormblade and walked to the rock, where the Leader was already standing and watching the nervous young Scyther gather around. He waited patiently for all of them to arrive without saying a word. Razor sat down quietly, not sure what to expect from this.

    “So,” the Leader finally said as the last of the Scyther seemed to have settled down, “you’re becoming adults. With your evolution, you entered your adolescence. Right now you are in a very difficult stage of your lives, because you are physically capable of so many things that you weren’t before. You can duel. You can fly. You can mate. I understand that all of these things sound very exciting to you – mating especially so…” He stopped, silencing the nervous giggling that had ensued with a sharp glare. “But, unfortunately for you, that won’t happen for another year or so.”

    The Leader looked nastily over the group. “You may feel like adults, but you’re not. You still have very many things to learn, and those things are what you will be learning here. Do not miss these lessons, unless you plan to postpone all your ‘fun’ to two years from now.”

    He paused for some dramatic effect and looked over the group again. “Now, I hope that you are not such pathetic little worms that you don’t know what the Code is. You’ve all heard of it, right? You know what it is. However, I will still clarify it, because if one of you has forgotten, I think it would be best for my sanity never to find out.”

    The Scyther looked up at him, but none said anything.

    “The Code,” the Leader began, “is an ancient set of morals and laws passed down from Scyther to Scyther for generations that regulates how we should act, think and feel. Sometime in the murky past, the Scyther accessed these laws. We do not know where they came from, but they are sacred and more important than anything else.”

    “But,” muttered a nervous Scyther in the back, “if we don’t know where it came from, then how do we know it’s sacred?”

    The Leader glared at him. “This group is already not leaving me the slightest bit impressed. What does it matter where the Code came from? We know it is sacred because that is what we have always found it to be. What purpose is there in questioning it? Would it help anyone? The Code is right and all adult Scyther will be in agreement that all it says is absolutely justified. The Code is not to be questioned. Is that clear?”

    “Yes…” the questioner muttered, clearly not satisfied with the answer. Razor was distinctly reminded of Stormblade, but said nothing.

    “Now,” the Leader went on. “To other things. Death. To cease to exist forever. Think about it. Is it a frightening thought?” He paused to look around. “Is it a frightening thought?” he asked louder. None of the Scyther answered.

    “Judging from your silence, it is,” the Leader continued. “It shouldn’t be. We are predators. We kill. We tear families and friends apart – families and friends generally being a large part of our prey’s social structure. It is a nasty thing to do, but we have to do it anyway to survive. That’s life. We can’t treat death like the ultimate evil. We’ll die one way or another, and so will our prey. Death is not to be feared. And thus we come to the Moral Code, the most important section of the entire Code! There are five rules of the Moral Code, and you must know all of them. The first, do you know what the first is?”

    There were some quiet mutterings in the back.

    “Apparently not,” the Leader said with clear disdain. “Well, I told you only seconds ago! Death is not to be feared, for it is the only thing that we all have in common. That’s the rule. Death will come to us all one day. It is inevitable, and exactly for that reason, we should not fear it. Fear is a natural reaction to uncertain things that you wish will not happen; but death is not one of those uncertain things. It is the greatest certainty of all. You should find comfort in the thought, and until you do, you are failures as Scyther. This is why you need the First Prey: to kill, to inflict death, without a nagging conscience or uncomfortably drifting to the thought that at one time you, too, will cease to breathe: you must face death to understand it and at the same time become officially recognized as individuals who can survive on their own. Your First Prey is the most important event in your lives after your birth and your death. I hope I am making clear just how vital this particular ritual is.”

    The young Scyther looked nervously around.

    “No, don’t look nervous!” the Leader snapped. “You are fearing your First Prey! You are fearing death! Stop it or you will all be doomed to die in shame!”

    The pupils stared at him. Many of their eyes showed unquestionable fear.

    The Leader shook his head. “Is there no end to how pathetic you can be? Go. This lesson is discontinued. I shall continue tomorrow when you have hopefully overcome these unnatural feelings and are ready to learn.”

    The Scyther would not overcome the feelings. They would, however, learn to hide them.


    The lessons continued.

    Razor always felt a little uneasy at them, but wasn’t sure why. It was just a tradition, after all. It happened to everyone. There was nothing he should be uneasy about, should there?

    He still was.

    For obvious reasons, he did not speak of that.

    “So,” said the Leader sometimes, “how do you feel about your upcoming First Prey?”

    The Scyther would roar in unison, “We look forward to it!”

    With more power each time it happened.

    And sure, Razor believed it. All the others looked forward to it; it took just a little effort to convince himself that he did as well. Why would he be any different?

    “You have improved quite a lot since the first lesson,” the Leader announced one day. “I am very satisfied about that, because at that time I was afraid the next generation of Scyther would be composed of wimps and cowards. Things are looking better now. Now let me see if you remember the Moral Code! What is the first rule?”

    “Death is not to be feared, for it is the only thing that we all have in common,” the Scyther chanted in unison.

    They knew the rest by heart as well. Do not disgrace the swarm with your life if you are not worth it. If a Scyther is in danger, it is your duty to assist. Every individual to his own: do not manipulate or be manipulated, control or be controlled. Sharpen your scythes, for while death is inevitable, pain is unnecessary.

    Their conditioning had been successful thus far. They really did cringe at the thought of breaking the Code now. But there was much work to be done. They were, after all, not supposed to cringe. They were supposed to feel the urge to slit their own throats.

    “Stormblade is getting boring,” Shadowdart confessed to Razor one autumn day after the lesson. “He’s spending less and less time training with me, and more and more time hunting, sitting around or looking at females.” He cringed in disgust. “Why would anyone want to look at females?”

    Razor chuckled. “You’ll find out when you evolve.”

    “I want to evolve now,” Shadowdart said stubbornly.

    “Fine,” Razor said and rolled his eyes. “One nice training session now, okay?”

    And he swung his scythe.

    Shadowdart was always alert and immediately jumped out of the way, slashing back at Razor. The disadvantage of evolution was that being bigger meant being an easier target. On the other hand, a Scyther’s exoskeleton was quite a bit stronger than a Descith’s, so Razor hardly felt Shadowdart’s frail, not-so-sharp premature scythes scratch across his torso.

    “That was pretty pathetic, old friend,” he taunted, raising his scythe and slashing it at Shadowdart’s back. The Descith was thrown down onto the ground with his back bleeding, but rose quickly up again and countered by dashing behind Razor and slashing into his wing.

    “Ow!” Razor groaned, instinctively kicking into Shadowdart’s body with his foot before turning swiftly around to slash. He drove his scythe at the Descith lying on the ground in front of him, but instead chopped into the ground as Shadowdart darted out of the way.

    “Damn, you’re too small for this,” Razor grumbled, looking around for the Descith in the tall yellowing grass. Caught unawares, he yelped in surprise as Shadowdart leapt onto his back and brought his blunt premature blade to his throat.


    Razor sighed. “Yeah, yeah, all right, all right. Get off me.”

    Shadowdart didn’t get off him. Razor felt a strange exhilarating heat on his back and glanced at the scythe threatening to cut his neck, discovering it was being enveloped in a white glow.

    “Whoa, you’re evolving already!” he said in astonishment before realizing that the scythe was slowly expanding and sharpening.

    “Get off me! Get off me!” he screeched in panic before finally managing to push Shadowdart’s arm away from his neck with his own scythes and throwing his evolving friend off his back. He watched Shadowdart lie in the grass, his shape growing rapidly as he gained his adult form.

    “Congrats, mate,” he said and grinned as the glow faded away and left Shadowdart in his new body. “Too bad you still look like a girl,” he commented snidely, noticing Shadowdart’s still darker-than-usual color.

    The only reply was a nasty glare.


    It was no surprise that the Leader would not have Shadowdart catching his First Prey that spring. While he would most likely have been able to learn all the same things as the other Scyther that year, it would be against tradition to give him special lessons. He would have to be an adolescent Scyther, evolved but without the rights of an adult, for a year and a half.

    “Cheer up,” Razor told him one winter day. It was snowing and yet again they found themselves under that same tree for shelter against the falling frozen cloud-blood while the ground was slowly covered with a blanket of white. “For now you’re no worse off than I am.”

    “For now,” Shadowdart replied dully. “But your First Prey is coming up in the spring, and then I’ll be the only one who can’t mate and hunt and do everything.”

    Razor couldn’t deny it. And as much as he’d have liked to think otherwise, he knew that Stormblade at the very least found adult life so exciting that they hardly talked anymore at all. Razor had no reason to believe he wouldn’t be the same.

    “Well,” he finally said, “it’s only a year from then before you get to do everything with us again.”

    Shadowdart shook his head, stood up and walked off into the snow, leaving only depressing footprints behind.

    Razor just sighed.

    He thought back to that day in the spring when he woke up one beautiful morning and realized that this was the day of his coming of age.

    He got up and looked around. He knew how this was supposed to happen; they had all been lectured on that. However, he was the first Scyther scheduled to have his First Prey this spring, and this made him a little more nervous than otherwise.

    “Oh, so you are up?” the Leader asked as he reached the rock overlooking the plains.

    “Yes,” Razor just said.

    “Good,” the Leader replied shortly. “I despise Scyther who don’t take their First Prey seriously enough to wake up in time for it. Now, we should name witnesses, shouldn’t we? Better get this over with.”

    The Leader may have noticed the hints of nervousness in Razor’s posture or voice. In any case, the older Scyther repeatedly glanced suspiciously over his shoulder at his pupil as he walked aimlessly through the swarm with the soon-to-be adult on his heels. Finally stopping near a random sleeping Scyther, the Leader turned to Razor.

    “You don’t know him, do you?”

    Razor shook his head. The Leader touched the stranger with his clawed foot.

    “I name you witness to this Scyther’s journey to adulthood,” he said with his powerful voice as the Scyther sleepily opened an eye. “Come with us.”

    The Scyther yawned, but did not object. He stood up, blinked and greeted Razor briefly. It did not take them long to find a female witness to join in as well. Together the group of four walked back to the Leader’s rock.

    “All is ready,” the Leader declared, standing on top of the rock. “Scyther, you may proceed to find your First Prey. Do not pay attention to the witnesses, but do not shake them off. May you face death bravely and be ready to perform your first kill.”

    Razor nodded, feeling numb. After glancing nervously at the two expressionless witnesses, he dashed off deep into the forest, knowing they would follow.

    It was a fine morning, but perhaps a little early; the nocturnal Pokémon were already asleep, but the diurnal ones were not quite awake yet. For a nerve-wrecking while, he wandered around without finding anything at all to kill. Occasionally he thought he heard a twig break or the rustling of some leaves, but as soon as he glanced in that direction, whatever had been there was gone.

    Finally he saw a black shape move under a bush.

    His heart beating fast, he crouched down, watching the bush intensely. What would it be like to kill it? Was he afraid of death?

    He saw the shape move again. Something seemed to gleam momentarily in the morning sun. Razor peered at the shape. Now it moved again, out from underneath the bush…!

    But just as he prepared to jump out, he realized it was just a Sneasel that darted across the forest floor. He sighed. He should have figured that a Ruxido-Sneasel would be the only creature around at this time of day. Not good prey at all – too skinny to be worthwhile, too agile to chase, and fellow predators in any case.

    That was when he heard voices.

    He stood deathly still as only a Scyther could, his sharp eyes darting around to locate the source of the sound. There it was again. It was a language he had never heard spoken before and did not entirely recognize, but had heard about and understood.

    Human language.

    In perfect silence maintained by his hunter’s instinct, Razor crept in the direction of the voices. He could see where they came from – it was the Ruxido road, an area that the Scyther generally kept away from because of the danger of being captured by the many human trainers who passed by there.

    Coming closer, he could now see the humans that he had been hearing. There was a young boy with two girls by his side, chatting and laughing, blissfully oblivious of the danger they were in.

    Humans tended to be overconfident in the universality of Pokémon not attacking human trainers.

    Razor was struck with some doubt. Humans? He had never heard of any Scyther killing a human as his First Prey. For one thing the largest Pokémon he had witnessed any Scyther bring as his First Prey was a Nidorino, much smaller than even a human child. And for another, all of them had been Pokémon.

    But what was there to say he couldn’t kill a human? The thought excited him in a strange way. Large First Prey meant more hunting talent, didn’t it?

    He crept closer to the road. The humans were still talking, unaware of the Scyther watching them. He quickly picked out the boy as the easiest to take down (not least because according to what he had heard of humans, the females were more likely than the males to be struck with panic at the sight of a Scyther, meaning they would be less likely to attack him) and positioned himself behind a bush, waiting for the target to approach.

    The humans were just in front of it when Razor leapt out of the bush with a piercing hunter’s cry.

    The kids screamed, frozen in their footsteps for a fraction of a second before sprinting off as fast as they could.

    Which was not very fast on a Scyther’s scale.

    Razor chuckled at their pathetic running and zoomed after them, using his wings for additional speed. It was only seconds before he managed to knock the boy down to the ground. The girls looked over their shoulders with wide, fearful eyes before running away even faster, perhaps in some naïve hopes of being able to find help.

    The boy crawled desperately to his feet, never ceasing to scream for help at the top of his lungs. Razor quickly leapt on top of him to hold him down to the ground, knocking the wind out of him in the process. Now Razor was starting to feel slight panic; he was realizing just how many things could so easily go wrong.

    “No…” the boy panted weakly. “Gr-Growlithe, I choose…”

    And he reached for a Pokéball with his hand, but Razor noticed it in time. He had no time to do anything but the first thing he could think of – which was, predictably, to slash in the direction of the human’s arm. Razor closed his eyes as he did it.

    The boy screamed again, louder than before if anything. Razor opened his eyes. He had slashed roughly across the boy’s forearm below his wrist. He had not quite chopped it off, but through the oozing blood he could see that it was close. Of course, it looked rather ordinary to him. It just made him feel hungry.

    A just over fist-sized ball rolled out of the boy’s limp hand and stopped by the roadside before it popped open on its own accord, releasing an orange, furry puppy. He yelped at the sight of his trainer lying in a pool of blood, first backing away but then growling nervously at Razor, unsure if it would do any good to unleash a Fire attack when it would most likely hit his trainer as well.

    Finally the puppy went with jumping onto his trainer’s chest to defend him, sinking his small fangs into Razor’s arm, but the Scyther simply flung the Growlithe to the ground where he, with another yelp, fell unconscious.

    He turned back to his prey.

    “No… please, n-no…” the boy’s broken voice sobbed between irregular breaths. Razor looked at his face. The strange human features, smudged with tears and blood, were distorted into an expression of pure terror.

    “P-please let me go…”

    The horrified human opened his wide, tearful eyes and looked into Razor’s cold, empty ones.

    “Please…” he whispered.

    Razor felt his stomach coiling into a knot. The boy’s terror almost made him feel bad about killing him.


    He raised his scythe as the boy closed his eyes again with uncontrollable sobs. Razor looked at the boy one more time with a twinge of guilt before making the final sharp cut across his quivering throat.
  19. Zephyr Soul

    Zephyr Soul <is awesome

    That was creepily beautiful. :D

    ...I loved it. :p

    It seems that Razor really doesn't fear death. Which is creepy. Especially the human pleading... nevermind, now you're making me think of it. o.o

    The Leader doesn't really like everyone else, does he? He apparently just wants to get it over with, and make them obedient for him while he's at it. o_O Well, it is understandable, seeing that everyone is a candidate for taking over his leadership...

    Shadowdart seems to be a rather unhappy character. :p He got his revenge on Razor, who evolved because of his anger. XD Then he nearly killed Razor when he evolved. (I like Shadowdart already. :p)

    ...well, overall, this part is awesome. XD I'll be waiting for the next part!
  20. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Hehehe, if you like Shadowdart, you're going to LOVE Part IV. :D I love Shadowdart too, which is the main reason Part IV is one of my favorites. Mweeheehee. Thanks.

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