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Skybound [PMD]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TikTok13, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    Hi, it's me again, back from the writing dead. While I may not frequently post in this part of the forums anymore, I've still be reading some of everyone's work. While I may not be as advanced as the rest of you (probably one of the youngest writers on the forum), I hope you all like this new Fic, that I'm going to try my best at running to the end. Of course, I've got mocks later this year, and big exams next year, so I may not be that frequent, but I'll try my best to deliver once a week or so.

    So, anyway, a few disclaimers and whatnot.
    - This Fic is probably around a PG-13 rating; death is a definite topic, and Pokémon will die in this Fic(as far as I've planned at least. Plans do change). As such, don't read if you don't want to see some dying 'mons.
    - This Fic will probably leave you with many questions, and probably parts won't make sense. Luckily, I plan on answering as many mysterious questions as possible in later chapters.


    And without further ado…

    [imgsize=700]https://i.imgur.com/dzAJl77.jpg[/imgsize]
    Skybound
    A Pokémon Mystery Dungeon FanFic



    Chapter 1

    Restlessness. The only emotion that knocked around my mind, buzzing in my head like some violent insect. I'd had enough of sleeping. Laying about like an under-sized log waiting for awareness to pull me out of the abyss we call sleep has become such a tedious process. I can hardly sleep most nights anyway, as the day crawls slowly forward, day after day, week after week, so on and so forth. To be honest, I'm surprised anyone can sleep when their moment is close. I've read enough old stories to know that too many of them begin with an over-sleeping protagonist. Such a dull cliché. Today's my big moment, I guess. The day that would be a cliché, if I weren't as organised as I obviously am. Today is the day when I finally catch a break. Today's the day I leave this cosy little village and enter the wide-open world.

    Yeah, I know, who would've thought that I would want to leave this place, what with it's nice neighbourhoods and trinket-filled stores. There's nothing bad about it, if I'm totally honest. But have you ever felt like you don't belong, like you need to be somewhere else? That itch, the itch to spread your metaphorical wings and jump off into the unknown that is life. Waiting peacefully in this bliss state of being half-dreaming, half-awake, I stare at the dark ceiling, the dull shadows of dawn creeping in past my curtains.

    I'm snapped out of the confines of my mind with the equally as annoying ring of my alarm clock. Self-built, of course. I needed to make a living somehow; selling themed clocks to the right buyers scrapes in just enough to keep me alive. Expecting the blare, I jam the button down, silencing the Magnemite-shaped clock with a satisfactory bang. Without a single pause, I carry out my movements methodically; combing my hair, brushing my teeth, dressing myself. Everything I do up until leaving the house is planned. I haven't slept, and the plan in my mind - the plan for the rest of my life - is permanently engraved in my brain.

    I un-make my bed and wrap up the quilt, tying it to my leather backpack with thick rope, the brown rectangle of a bag sat with its flap gaping open on my floor. I throw in my basic necessities: alarm clock, goggles, spare clothes, change of bedding, toothbrush. I'm overly prepared, and I know it. I don't necessarily care. Being prepared is vital. Without the security of an ordered plan, I'd just be running around, a guy who does not have 2 hours to spare. Funnily enough, I do have 2 hours to spare. It's 6.a.m right now. Who doesn't love an early start?

    A wave of sudden sadness sweeping through me, I take one last look around my room, making sure I've taken everything necessary and trying to accept that I will probably never set foot here again. Sighing, I pull on my trench coat, the soft leather feeling nice against my body. Leaning down, I swipe up my satchel and throw it across my shoulder, feeling my notebook and other items of sentiment rattle around. Adjusting my belt with one hand, I grab my backpack off the floor, now perfectly packed and probably weighing half as much as me. As the final step, I wrap my woollen scarf around my neck and push my door open.

    I'm hit by the familiar warm wind that everyone associates with Covedrift Town. My hair flutters and tickles my face, but I'm not overly bothered, expecting it. The wind itself, which most residents welcome, is created by the massive steel propellers keeping our lovely home up in the air. That's right. The air. Covedrift is one of twenty floating islands, all of them dotted across our world. While Covedrift is only a small community, there are eight large cities in the Broken Kingdom, as our floating world is called. The largest is Cormeum City, home to millions, including Lord Steele, the ruler of our Kingdom.

    Some islands aren't as good off as others; ever since the war, some have been avoided, and have fallen into disrepair. Luckily, Covedrift remained the same as it's always been. The war wasn't fun. Our previous ruler, King Eredon, was a tyrant. He killed mercilessly, without reason or provocation. A rebellion rose up, led by Steele himself. Thousands, millions died. I wasn't around for it - the war doesn't concern my whatsoever. It was two, maybe three decades ago; I've been 21 for a while now.

    I start to walk from my home, shutting the door behind me. The light of dawn casts disfigured shadows to the ground, turning the cobbled floor into a window to terror. Most people stay in during the dark, traditionalists who believe in the tales of old, passed down through the generations, but I can see the usual early birds rising. The baker - a nice fellow - gives me a smile and tosses me a small roll as a morning gift, just like he has done for almost as long as I can remember. The tailor and the herbalist call my name and wave kindly. This little town runs like clockwork, day after day. A well oiled machine that only functions if everyone pitches in. Hopefully they'll still work well when my part's missing. I know all these people rather well. It's a shame I won't see them again.

    I stop by the Blacksmith Shop, handing in some scrap metal that I have no use of. He gives me a grim look as I fish around in my satchel for the old steel, but he smiles reassuringly and pats me on the back as I hand it over. Then he turns away, preoccupied with his work. Without any pause, I turn and leave, forgetting about the blacksmith and his shop. I need to focus on my task for today - getting to the docks.

    I continue walking through the town as the sun rises. The wind is fiercer now that I'm closer to the edge; I can see the glint of sunlight on metal in the distance. Luckily, the structure of Covedrift is remarkably linear, and it's pretty much a straight walk now to get to the docks. Now, being a floating island, its obviously not a normal dock. There's no water for ships, of course. That why the advances in technology are more useful than ever. Large galleon ships with a balloon keeping it afloat. Most people call them zeppelins, nowadays, but there are much larger ships that carry even more people, also called zeppelins. It's confusing, granted, but for convenience sake I just call them zeppelins and mega-zeppelins. Crude, but effective.

    Pretty soon, my ears are filled with the familiar bustle of Covedrift docks. Cargo pilots, low-level pirates, and so many more other people wander the docks. The diversity always makes me smile. The people of Covedrift consider themselves out of the reach of the law, which we're not, but because we're the second-furthest island from Covedrift, we do get shifty folk dropping by. Normally, pirates would be arrested on sight, but here, they're welcomed with open arms, selling their goods to the curious people of Covedrift.

    I stand in the center of the crowds and admire the sights. Here, there are even more market stalls set-up, taverns that are already serving up big breakfasts to the travellers and tourists, shop-owners spiffing up their windows and re-stocking the shelves. Even here, where community is less strong and business is the leading factor, everyone has a place, and everything is the same. It's no wonder that I've become such a logical drone.

    Eventually I tear my eyes from the sights that I've seen so many times before but I'll never see again. I make my way towards the docking bays; the small areas where zeppelins can drop anchor and rest. Four ships float along the side of the docks, each one a different shape, colour, and style. I examine them all, one by one. Then I see it - the Liquid Lugia. My ship, with it's bright white balloon, decorated with blue strips in the design of the Legendary Pokémon itself. Well, technically it isn't mine - but it's where I'm going. That ship is going to take me away from here. That ship is going to give me my future and introduce me to the world. And I can't wait.

    I tighten my coat and smooth my hair as I consider my future. Black, the hero. Black, the pirate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  2. Well this was unexpected! I had no idea you were writing a new work, so this is a welcome surprise. Kinda makes me want to get off my lazy *ss and do some more Pokemon-themed writing after all this time. Also, you're definitely not the youngest here - that title's most likely mine.

    Ookie dookie, onto the fic! Now, I didn't get that far into my PMD game (the repetitiveness of doing the dungeon quests got on my nerves but I may pick it up again soon), so I don't know whether the things you mentioned are actual PMD lore or are just here for this fic, but I still like the start a ton. Going past the stuff I've repeated multiple times in your works (aka I freakin love your writing style), the picture you've painted of Covedrift is very fascinating. Since one of my favourite video games involves floating islands as a key plot point, I've grown pretty fond of them, so them having a feature here is great. I'm also a fan of the whole zeppelin concept (and I'm now headcanoning that "Mega zeppelins" was inspired by Mega Evolution in-universe), and just the idea of a boat with a massive balloon holding it up is certainly a fun one.

    Now, onto our MC - Black. Now, I may be mistaken, but does this Black have anything to do with our beloved BW protag, and if so, I can't wait to see why! As for his characterisation, he seems to be a very proffesional and organised guy - something, I will admit, I've seen quite a lot across a good few of your RP characters in that subforum, but isn't something that brings down Black since they're unrelated projects. Either way, I'm also a fan of him being a clockmaker, since you don't normally see that profession in fics both fan and original, and I hope that his clock skills will help him in future!

    Also, pirates. Yesssss, pirates.

    Overall, a strong start, and I'm looking forward to what's next!
     
  3. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    @Nerdy McNerdface
    Talk about a quick reply!
    Yeah, I dropped a few hints here and there, but the overall idea for this was pretty top-secret, if I do say so myself.

    Aww, thanks Nerdy! Love your writing too! Fascinating, eh? This was supposed to be the low-level stuff, so that's a great start.

    Unfortunately, that was my inspiration and I am ashamed of it, thank you for noticing XD

    Ah, I expected you, of all people, to pick up on this. There is a link, but not in such a way that you may expect. I don't want to spoil it, but we'll GE more info on Black soon enough.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. To be honest, I find it easier to write characters like that, but a lot of the characters in this will be so different that the shifts in personality (and the possible growth) will be so blatantly obvious that it might as well slap you in the face. It's a weakness my dominant protagonists have, and I'm trying to stray from it.

    No, no we do not see clockmakers that often. This is going to be a large theme throughout the fic, something I'm not bothered about saying, and pretty soon, we'll see if these skills are useful or not. Again, I don't want to spoil anything.

    Bring on the pirates! This is yet another dominant theme that will play a major part in the story, so, more pirates are in store. Thanks! I hope you'll enjoy following Black on his journey!
     
  4. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Trouble with the trolley, eh?

    A PMD fic? And in first person, no less. I must read! ^^

    First thing that stands out is Black's internal monologue. He's pretty descriptive, but breaks up those descriptions with a bit of commentary (like calling the waking up late bit cliché) that gives the impression he's a bit on the snarky side. At the moment, I'm not seeing him ramble on anything too long and everything seems pretty appropriate given his age (i.e. he's not a little kid making vivid metaphors like "the abyss we call sleep"). While things about Black are left on the vague side, it doesn't bog things down at all. And it gets me interested as to what his reasons are for ditching clock-making for piracy.

    Onto the setting, which is the big focus of this introductory chapter. I'm always interested in landscapes and lore built around a set of floating islands. Though with the strong pirate element showing up early, I must confess my memories of Skies of Arcadia are very foggy. But the backstory with the toppled monarchy and currently-ruling Lord Steele has got me intrigued. There's a sort of Dark/Middle Ages vibe to the descriptions you give, but at the same time there's a technical, slight steampunk element with the zeppelins. I found myself wondering a few things: Is Steele a just ruler? Is he well-liked now that he's in power? Do pirates come in contact with his regime? I'm looking forward to hopefully finding out.

    I must confess, though, that I'm not entirely sure if the Broken Kingdom is our main setting and, thus, Black and all the townsfolk are Pokémon or humans. I'm assuming Pokémon, but things were a bit vague and I couldn't be absolutely sure.

    Mechanics seemed solid as well. Though I did spot this:
    Pretty sure that 2nd Covedrift should be a different name, right?

    Overall, seems like we're in for a fantasy-laded, high-flying adventure. Should be fun!
     
  5. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    @Ambyssin
    Hey! Thanks for the review! Now I shall analyse and reply myself.
    That's exactly what I wanted to present; someone who can actually see deeper meaning in the world around him but all in all is kind of disappointed in it and just loves to make snide remarks.

    I didn't want to reveal too much about Black in Chapter 1. The fact that I'm writing in first person gets rid of the need to essentially describe myself, so I'm happy that it works. As for why he left clock-making, you'll find out soon enough, but there might be some waiting involved!

    All very good questions. Unfortunately, I can't answer them yet! They will be answered, however. I actually can't wait to introduce Steele, and I'm sure you'll find him intriguing.

    I wasn't actually sure how people would take that. The lack of physical description of, well, anyone, was something I really wanted to try. In regards to the inhabitants of Covedrift, we'll find out what they are in the next chapter.

    Argh, yup. That should be Cormeum, actually. Missed it while proofreading.

    That should be the description for this Fic! Describes it pretty well. Hope it will be fun, looking forward to sharing Black's journey!
     
  6. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    Sooooo, I know this is a quick update and all, but I'm going away for a while and will miss the time when I was supposed to update. Besides, I'm sure that those of you that're actually reading this want to find out some more details, like who or what Black actually is, and what the lovely Broken Kingdom is inhabited by. Get ready for a small character building chapter that helps set the foundations for some fun stuff in the future. As always, enjoy, and thanks for reading!

    Chapter 2


    I regret waking up so early. Constantly pacing back and forth along the docks waiting for the Captain to appear is the most tedious thing I've ever done in my life. Not that I've been up to many tedious things. Unfortunately, I've still got another hour left of prowling the docks until it's the time I should've arrived. Even better, the cruel claws of sleep threaten to pull me under, and I can't risk falling asleep and not being ready when the Captain arrives. Not exactly the best impression to leave. Sun has risen now, and the shadows of Wingull and Swellow dot the sky. Eventually, I stop walking, the burning lactic acid in my legs becoming too much. My feet hurt, and I don't think that it's wise to be tired before even starting work. In the meanwhile, I decide to fiddle with my bags, double-checking for the umpteenth time that I have everything.

    Clock? Check! Spare clothes? Check! Toothbrush? Check! Comb? I pause as I realise that I can't find my comb, but instead of panicking and rushing home, I just sigh and shrug my shoulders. I'm leaving this methodical lifestyle behind; there's no point in running back for a comb. Releasing a long, drawn-out breath, I drop the the ground and lean again the steel railings that line the docks, feeling the curved steel press against my back through the supple leather of my coat. It's an odd, somewhat soothing sensation that up until now, I have not had the pleasure of experiencing.

    The wind howls in my ears as the clouds fly by beside me. It's only now that I realise that the docks were built to be level with the average cloud-line. For stealth or for fun, I have no clue, but it's is indupitably enjoyable to wave your arms around in large wisps of nothingness for extended periods of time.

    After about 40 minutes of burying my head in my satchel and cuddling clouds, I hear unfamiliar footsteps penetrate the usual drone of the feet I've come to familiarise with. Someone, something, is approaching me. I don't have a weapon. I never needed one in Covedrift. Of course, seeing as I'm terrified of the sound of footsteps, maybe I should reconsider some things. Like my entire life plan of becoming a pirate, perhaps?

    I look up slowly to see a dark figure strolling towards me, a midnight-black cloak hanging from its broad shoulders. The size of this figure astounds me; whoever they are, they're much larger than me and could probably kill me in a single punch. Multiple scars and still-fresh wounds cover the figure's exposed chest, and even the edges of its hands, poking through the sleeves of the cloak, are scratched and scarred. I instantly feel the intimidation that this nice chap undoubtedly wants me to feel. With a sarcastic grin, I raise my hand in a salute. Towering above me is the bulk of a Rhydon.

    "You Black?" He asks with a deep voice that grates like stone on stone. This must be the Captain. Or some creepy Rhydon I've never met that just happens to know my name. Either way, it's welcome company.

    "Yes sir," I reply confidently, looking the Captain (at this point I am 79% sure it is the Captain) in the eyes. They shine like dark coals, but then they shift in an expression I can only define as a smile, albeit one that doesn't actually stretch all the way to his face.

    "Good," He says with a tone of odd indifference, as if he were expecting some other Pokémon to show up outside his ship at 7:23 in the morning. "Ghost-Type, huh? Don' get many of 'em round these parts anymore." Without waiting for any kind of reply, the Rhydon strides toward the boat, leaving me quite confused in his wake. He raises his hand slowly, pulling a handle that only he must be able to reach.

    With a whirring of cogs and mechanisms that are far more advanced than my crude clockwork, platforms start to push themselves out of the Liquid Lugia's hull, forming a row of stairs staggered evenly. Casting a sideways glance at me with the same expression as earlier, the Rhydon clambers up the stairs three at a time. I raise my eyebrows, and quickly scramble to my feet, chasing after the Captain. I leap up the stairs quickly, one-by-one, feeling all of my bags shake and sway as I speed up the stairs. At this point I am torn between the conclusion that this man is the Captain, or has just hired me as a co-thief. What joy.

    I come to a halt upon the deck and instantly take in the splendour of it all. Crew members are rushing backwards and forwards, ropes and boxes flying everywhere in the chaos that is a pirate ship. A Machamp dashes past me; a Galvantula shoves me to the side. Nobody cares that I'm here. It's home already. Despite my eagerness to leave Covedrift, I can't believe I'm actually here, on a ship with bags fully packed. It just doesn't seem real, shouldn't be real. Stains of what I hope is water line the wooden boards of the floor, and the paint along the sides of the Captain's Quarters is chipped and faded. I guess pirates don't hire painters all that often.

    The shadow of the balloon above me conceals most of the deck, but the light of day provides enough visibility to walk around normally, without bumping into every possible obstacle and screaming in frustration. The wood feels rough on my feet, and the smell of gunpowder and smoke assails my nostrils and makes my body tingle with an odd sensation, one that I can only call satisfaction. Cannons line the sides of the ship at regular intervals, each one a shining, dark dealer of destruction that must have brought balls of terror flying towards the enemies. There's an odd sense of beauty to it all, really; despite all the chaos and the shouting, everyone knows their place upon this ship. It's like a little community itself. Unable to help myself, I let a small smile erupt onto my lips. I turn and see that Rhydon is looking at me with expectant eyes, the rest of his body a stoical statue.

    "Welcome aboard sailor," he grunts, holding out a gargantuan hand. I frown, confused. I'm a pirate? Just like that? Seems awfully easy.

    "What?" I ask skeptically, raising an eyebrow.

    "You expectin' an Arceus damned interview? We don' choose people based on skill. We let 'em prove 'emselves to me, to the crew. That way we know who's loyal. Who's worth it."

    I frown. That's an awfully ineffective way of recruitment. However, it has a remarkable quality of equality about it; everyone has the same chance. Without any more hesitation, I take Rhydon's hand and wince and his stone fingers crush my small, clawed hand. There's definitely a broken bone somewhere in there now. Oh well,I'm a pirate. Why should something like a broken bone stop me? I let the blaring pain in my hand remind me as I trigger a Recover, smiling with relief as the minor injury rectifies itself.

    "Well then," The Captain grunts, pulling away and sweeping his cloak over his shoulder. "You, Black, are now under the command of Captain Crux of the Liquid Lugia, the finest ship this side of the Broken Kingdom." Smiling proudly, he gives me that odd smile-like expression and continues. "Now, for your first assignment. We've got some cargo back on the dock. I migh' send a helper for ya if you struggle. Get goin'!" Without waiting, I turn and run down the stairs, still wearing my bags and wondering if should ask for a codename.

    The boxes are about half my size, and a perfect cube, packed with things ranging from food to metal buffers to fertiliser. I try to carry multiple boxes at once, but I obviously can't manage it. I'm too small, too physically inept. I manage to carry three or four crates before exhaustion starts to kick in. My back hurts, and the weight of my backpack hardly improves matters. Tensing up my arms and reaching up, I grab a box. A very, very heavy box. I release a puff of air and heave, and what's behind the box triggers three very unpleasant events.
    1. I drop the box.
    2. The box lands on my foot.
    3. The reason I dropped the box is staring right at me with a toothy grin and wide eyes and loops as creepy as I don't know what.

    "Hello there," I gasp, biting the inside of my cheek to stop myself from screaming in agony.

    "Hey," She grins. It's obviously a she. The playful way she twists her hair, the carefree look in her eyes, the teasing tone and pitch of her voice. "What's up?" She nods at my leg without a single care in the world.

    "Box. On my toe," I whisper, managing to get out those few words. The girl looking at me raises her eyebrows and gasps, a look of worry on her face.

    "Oh my Arceus! Did I scare you?" Concern is in her voice, but her sympathy doesn't stop her from cackling madly at the end of her sentence. Grinning, she leaps from her perch with a light thump. That's when I notice something that previously escaped my attention. Somehow. This Pokémon is a Mawile. Why do I know this? Because she managed to lift the box from my toe with her massive spare set of steel jaws. How did I not notice the massive mouth sticking out of this Pokémon's head? Oddly, I'm not actually taken aback by this. I've seen stranger Pokémon in the Café. Smirking with her non-massive mouth, she props the box up behind her before examining me.

    "You're a Ghost-Type." The statement is so matter-of-fact that I can't help but smile.

    "How perceptive of you," I roll my eyes, triggering the second Recover in less than 15 minutes. I hold out a clawed hand. "The name's Black." She looks at me with an odd expression, as if she wants to say something but doesn't know how. After a moment's hesitation, she fits her hand to mine and shakes it violently.

    "Rose. Great to meet you," Despite the sarcasm that seems to lace her voice, she appears genuinely happy. "I hear you're one of the crew now. Welcome aboard the Liquid Lugia! Crux sent me to help you out." She gives me a joking salute and pulls an odd face, and I smile in turn. Before replying, I take in the appearance of the Mawile before me. Pale green eyes, like seafoam, accompanied by dark hair atop her head, framing a pale face and smooth muzzle. Around her waist is a thick belt, and she wears a dark coat, frayed and tattered at the end.

    "Great," I sigh, with a sarcastic grin of my own, before re-grabbing the box. I'm trying my best to appear nonchalant, but really, this girl, this Rose, is intriguing me more than people usually do. She seems so oblivious to the troubles of the world - as if there's nothing wrong whatsoever. Whatever she's doing, I need it too. In silence, we carry a few more boxes onto the deck, our arms burning and legs aching. The silence is bliss; Rose seems to respect my privacy and doesn't pelt me with questions like I expected her to. A sweet relief. We actually smile at each other on more than one occasion during our work. Eventually, Captain Crux lets the two of us off, and we sit against the main mast, holding the balloon in the air.

    I watch the chaos around me with a sense of bewildered detachment; I've been wanting to reach this point for years, and now that I'm finally here, I just can't believe it. Somehow it all seems so… underwhelming. Of course, we haven't even set sail yet, so it's not like I can complain, really. So I just lean back and decide to revel in my rest, staring into the sky. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice Rose shifting.

    "So," She begins, resting casually with her arms behind her head. "What's it like being a Ghost-Type? How does it actually work?" An exasperated sigh escapes my lips as it always does whenever I get asked that. Surprisingly, I get asked it very frequently.

    "It's nothing, really," I say with a frown, but Rose just looks at me skeptically.

    "Nothing? Don't be modest, Black. Ghost-Types are rare and you know it," There's a bluntness mixed with curiosity to her speech that makes me grin. This girl knows how to make me grin. "Enlighten me."

    "Okay, yeah, we're quite rare, big deal!" I say with a sigh, rolling my eyes. She doesn't notice; her eyes are closed. "I'm not just a Ghost-Type, y'know, but I'll explain it anyway. Ghost-Types can't just vanish and fly as most people think; we still have our moves, our powers, whatever in Arceus' name you want to call 'em."

    "Yeah, I know that much," She interrupts. "Not just Ghost-Types use Shadow Sneak."

    "Precisely. Ghosts can sort of phase through some moves, predominantly those used by Fighting and Normal-Type Pokémon. It doesn't make much sense, but it also does, when you think about it more. Those two types are all about utilising raw power, something Ghosts tend to avoid, if they can help it. They usually can." My voice has become that logical drone, which it becomes whenever I'm reeling off facts. "Of course, we can't just phase through walls and other Pokémon; certain moves and abilities allow us to do those things. We can make our bodies considerably lighter and less visible to the naked eye, meaning we have increased speed, improved stealth, yada yada yada." I continue speaking in this manner for sometime, until Rose gets up during a pause for breath.

    Rose looks at me with a sparkle of wonder in her seafoam green eyes, transfixing me. A small smile shows as a crack in her muzzle, and I can see the white flash of teeth.

    "Pretty cool," She beams, trying to appear nonchalant but failing miserably

    "You don't say," I reply with a sarcastic grin and jabbing her in the side of the arm. In return, her monstrous jaw snaps at me. Dodging it with relative ease, I climb to my feet to see Captain Crux stood on the poop deck. He stands still for a moment as all heads turn towards him, and the ship becomes deathly silent.

    "Alrighty lads, let's get goin'!" He yells, raising a fist. The crew follow suit, and I end up cheering alongside them. I'm actually one of the crew now. I'm a pirate! I feel a grin crack wide in my face, and I assume my eyes are sparkling with amazement. Throwing a look at Rose, I sprint towards the front of the zeppelin and watch as we pull away from Coalrathen, from my home. I wave wildly, calling out goodbyes, but no-one notices. As far as they're concerned, we're already gone.

    I turn in a three-sixty and see Rose beside me one more, a half-grin on her face. Excitement bubbles up inside me as I realise that this is now my life and future. With a final jerk, the Liquid Lugia pulls away from the docks of Covedrift, leaving my old home and life behind. It's a strange thing, going away; after so long of desperately wanting to escape, it doesn't seem right that it's all finally over.

    "One more thing?" Rose asks, snapping me out of my wonder.

    "M'kay," I mumble, only half listening as we sail past the propellers now.

    "Why are you called Black?" I sigh, wanting to make this question pass quickly.

    "I guess my parents weren't so creative. You see, Sable means Black." That's right. I'm a Sableye. Crystal eyes, purple fur and all that other cool stuff.

    Sableye aren't actually that common. It comes with the steady decline of Ghost and Dark Pokémon over the past few decades. You see, there's always been prejudice against the darker Pokémon, less so now, however. I don't know what it is, but in most large cities, we were hated. Here in Covedrift, there's practically none now, and with me being the only Ghost-Type resident, I've left a good impression. Despite people hating us, we're greatly welcomed into high-risk jobs, be it guards, assassins, pirates. Our abilities make us unique; we have a knack for hiding and sneaking.

    Luckily, since the war, the prejudice has been a much lower level that before. Lord Steele is a Dark-Type, and campaigns for Dark and Ghost rights. He's constantly fighting for equality, I guess, although those in Government aren't as universally accepting. I'm not that bothered. People aren't going to like me. But some people will. I turn and smile at Rose.

    I'm going on an adventure, and I'll be lucky if I ever return as the same Sableye.
     
  7. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Trouble with the trolley, eh?

    The first few paragraphs give me the impression that Black is a bit on the neurotic side. The signs are all there; the pacing, the checking to make sure he has all his stuff, and the reaction to footsteps. It even extends to his initial impressions of the ship, as he seems focused on minutia like the chipping paint. His "analysis" of the Captain's recruiting standards also speaks to that. At the same time, Black clearly has a lot of restraint, since he didn't say anything about it.

    He also has a very analytical approach to looking at the boxes. Though, he's clearly on the wimpy side, if the initial contact with Rose is any indication. I don't exactly have a solid opinion of her yet, and I'm not sure I agree at this point with Blacks "ignorant of the world's troubles" analysis. If anything, she just struck me as a bit of a smart-alek. I found Black's explanation for ghost-type corporeal forms more convincing than his opinions on Rose. Though, maybe that's the point, since he's a biased narrator.

    Lastly, he's a Sableye, huh? Interesting choice for a main character. I went to Serebii's dex to see what ghost-types learn Recover and was going to guess Sableye before Black outright said it. Though, admittedly, a part of me initially though he was a Marshadow because, y'know, thievery and stuff. I'm quite interested in the fact that Lord Steele is a dark-type too (with a name like I'd be astonished if he's not a Bisharp). I want to think he's going to be a nice guy, but I can't. Maybe it's just all the fics I've read here with double-crossing giving me bias, but I expect he's not quite the dark/ghost-type champion Black makes him out to be. I'll be happy to be proven wrong, though! ^^

    Couple of mechanistic things to point out:
    Dialogue attributions are supposed to be lower case (i.e. "he says"). This popped up quite a few times in the chapter, I believe.

    Also
    That bit of dialogue should end with a period, since what follows is not an attribution, but an entirely separate action. So, it needs to be a separate sentence. Again, I spotted a few of these in the chapter.
     
  8. Sooo, chapter update yeee-

    Now, this isn't a criticism, but the moment you actually said that the inhabitants of this world were Pokemon and that Black is a Ghost type with claws, I instantly called that it'd be a Sableye just out of your Pokemon preferences. I like the name origin of why he's called black though. Also, here's a thing - I never interpreted Sableye as having fur before reading this (I imagined it to have smoother skin like its gems), so that's a neat interpretation of it!

    Now onto the two important other characters - Captain Rhydon and Rose. Firstly, the cap seems pretty nice all around, a bit typical pirate-ish but there's nothing really wrong with that. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him. As for Rose, I assume she's the love interest? If she isn't then that's fine, but the way you're setting her up really hints at her gaining romantic feelings for Black in the future. Not that there's anything wrong with that either. I'm just having fun speculating.

    Overall, keep on going strong!
     
  9. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    @ Ambyssin
    He is rather over-prepared and methodical, I'm not sure if I would say neurotic though, but if that's what his behaviour is leaning towards then so be it, I guess.

    Ah yes, we'll end up seeing a bit more of this as the Fic progresses, and I'm happy to see that you picked up on it.

    Black thinks that he can understand the world in its greatest detail and know everything about everyone on their first meeting. Luckily, Rose will be the one to change that, due to that very line you picked up on.

    Well, it wouldn't have been me if Sableye didn't crop up somewhere! But to be honest, it wasn't actually my first choice, but then I thought of all the troubles and problems that could haunt a Ghost-Type, and remembered just how much I love Sableye, so yeah.

    We'll see what he is soon enough. Few more Chapters to go.

    Yes you can! I'm not giving anything away, but Lord Steele might not be what he seems, or maybe you're just overthinking it all. Is it so wrong to have a Dark-Type ruler?

    Ah, alright, I'll make sure to be careful of those in the future. Thanks!

    @Nerdy McNerdface
    I would have been disappointed if it wasn't your first choice!

    Yeah, I realised that while writing. People seem to think that Sableye is just covered with smooth purple skin, making him more like an alien (what his design is based on). But I thought, "Hey, what if he had fur?", so I picture it as really short, bristle-like fur around most of his body, but thicker in places like his elbows, head, and feet.

    We'll see. The only thing I'm saying is that your opinion might change soon enough.
     
  10. ChloboShoka

    ChloboShoka Writer

    A sableye as a pirate is a wonderful image. I think Sableye would be perfect as a pirate as it can steal stuff and cause of it's gem-shaped eyes and we all know how pirates love their treasure! I like the mention of prejudice against dark pokemon, cause it's something I can see. Because dark =/= evil. Really chapters that really got me thinking and caring about the characters and it sparked a newfound appreciation for sableye.
     
  11. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Heyyy, I'm glad to see you writing again! And a PMD fic no less! I might already be reading five PMD fics, but the forum can never have too many, imo. ;)

    Like all of your previous fics, my favorite part about this is the narration style. You have a real knack for injecting a character's voice into every aspect of the description. I do think that the first chapter got a little bit infodumpy at times, although the amount of personality in the narration did help keep things entertaining to read in spite of it.

    I was quite fond of the way you slowly dropped hints about what sort of town Covedrift is, including the fact that it's welcoming toward pirates, before revealing that our MC was setting off to become a pirate. That kind of subtlety is a lot more interesting to read than if you'd just come right out and said it.

    Black and Rose are fun characters so far, and I like the way his snide, methodical nature plays off her blunt, excitable one. I think they're both gonna be a lot of fun to read about, especially if they wind up doing missions together.

    Anyway, that's all for now--this fic's off to a fun start and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes!

    ~Chibi~;249;;448;
     
  12. DreamSayer

    DreamSayer Dreamzone Trainer

    Okay, I like this story. It has an interesting premise with a sableye and the group of sky flying pirates. I must say, the whole concept of flying cities reminds me of Skyloft a bit, could be you took some inspiration from that. Alas, this story isn’t without its flaws.

    It’s certainly description heavy, but the descriptions can feel too much in some parts for instance. Some parts are unnecessarily over described which makes it feel like you’re just trying to bump up the word length. Regardless, that’s the only issue I personally find with it other than a few minor typos.

    So, this story also has a mawile, and she’s a love interest (I think). I also like the rhydon captain, and making the mc a sableye is fairly intriguing. Overall, I’m thrilled to see how you’re going to expand this cast.
     
  13. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    @ChloboShoka
    Thanks! I thought it was something quite different from normal, and I'm happy you think it's good!

    Happy to see you picked up of that - it's going to be an important part in the plot!

    YAY! That's one thing I wanted to create, a new acceptance for possibly less-liked Pokémon.

    @Chibi Pika
    Heya! Great, thanks for the review! Yeah, PMD is a bit of a step away from the canon characters I usually work with, and it lets me create a range of personality-filled OCs.

    Thanks! That's why I enjoy writing in first-person, and I'm really happy you find it good!

    Ooh, fun characters, eh? Well then, you'll find the future of this Fic a real blast if you're a fan of their interactions already! As for missions, well, we'll see...

    @DreamSayer
    To be totally honest, I had no knowledge of Skyloft before you mentioned it and I gave it a Google, so there's no links there!

    Oh, alright. Thanks! Any feedback is appreciated, so I'll try my best to slim it down. Pretty soon, we'll be seeing less over-description, and more action, so hopefully that'll be good!

    Why does everyone think Rose is the love interest?! We'll have to see how the story progresses, eh? Also, I didn't expect people to like Crux all that much either. He's more of a side-character, but we'll be seeing a bit more of him. As for extra characters...

    * * * * *​

    Chapter 3 time! Shorter, but better things are coming soon. New character shipment coming in, hope you like this chapter!

    Chapter 3​

    For once, I'm not the first one awake. Damn it, my title's been broken. I tumble lazily out of my hammock, and slowly open my crystalline eyes, seeing that people are already milling about the quarters. Pokémon of all shapes, types, and sizes, from small Castform to the hulking Machamp in the corner. But everyone smiles, nods happily towards others, and even shouts a few good mornings. It feels oddly like a close-knit community, just one with ruthless battle-scarred pirates instead of bingo-playing old women. As I scratch my cheek and wipe the sleep from my eye, a young-looking Luxio walks by and beams.

    "Morning, Newbie." The Electric-Type winks at me with bright blue eyes and a white flash of a smile in his face, strolling away with a towel draped over the fur on its back. I grin, too, but obviously, the Luxio doesn't notice, already ahead of me, so I call out my own morning greeting. There's no acknowledgement, but the Luxio does pause for a brief moment when I speak before continuing across the quarters.

    Now that I'm awake, more or less, I take in my current bedroom. I was so tired last night; I didn't even pay any notice to my surroundings, throwing on pyjamas and literally falling into the nearest hammock. As a result, I ended up with a small hammock on the bottom section and slap bang in the middle of the room.

    My nose wrinkles slightly as I get a whiff of my surroundings. An unidentifiable stench of something dusky, mingled with sweat and fish hangs in the room, and the smell gets me wondering how often the beds get cleaned. When I ask a fellow crew member this, she just smirks and tells me that the cleaner, a Grimer, takes care of it. I make a mental note to do my own laundry from now on.

    At the other side of the room, I can see Rose, surrounded by a group of other Pokémon, all of them already dressed and munching on their (rather bland-looking) breakfast. Rose catches my eye and waves, and I politely wave back before turning away. I need to get changed. Then I can go see Rose; right now I'm wearing pyjamas in an a sickly muted green.

    Still quite weary and each step feeling like moving a dead weight, I make my way towards the showers, which I assume were in the direction that the Luxio was walking. Sure enough, there's a pristine steel door - one of the only clean things on this ship, funnily enough - with a sign on it that reads "Shower". I put a clawed handle on the door and swing it open, before quickly clambering in and shutting it behind me. My eyes are instantly fogged up by the amount of steam; one of the many downsides to have crystals for eyes is that they can be impacted by the weather, be it fog, snow, rain. It's rather annoying.

    I wipe my eyes and let out a gasp, before feeling my purple face turn a shade of crimson. Or maybe a more pinkish-purple. I can't really tell, because I'm busy scrabbling at the door like a madman. I walked into the wrong shower room. The Female shower room. Just my luck; the first day and I'm already making trouble. Perfectly peachy. A Lilligant holds her arms over her body; an Ariados is glaring at me. Looks of horror, anger, and disgust are shot toward me from literally every direction but the one I want to go. The door seems to have misplaced its own handle, and I'm trying my utmost hardest not to stare - I mean, glare - at them. After a very embarrassing few seconds, I tumble out of the showers with steam on my eyes and and face as red as the Scizor across the room.

    Staring at the floor, I mentally kick myself. Hard. How in Arceus' name did I manage that? I turn to look at the sign, and notice that the text is written in luminous pink, which I can only assume means "women's". Not very efficient, now, is it? I need a talk with Crux about how he runs this place. Of course, that talk will never happen. I'm frowning, disappointed in myself, when I feel a hand on my shoulder, shuddering slightly with obvious suppressed laughter. I turn my head solemnly to see the Luxio, stood on his hind legs with a paw on my shoulder, grinning like a demented maniac.

    "Hey, Newbie, little boy's room's thataway." Despite the fact that he's laughing, I feel like he's trying to help me, but I can't bring myself to smile back. "Come on, might as well show ya the buggin' way," he says lightly, still with a crazed grin on his face. Lowering himself down to all fours, he walks a few meters to the left, before sitting down and looking at me with a slightly mocking, yet mostly accepting, look, his head cocked to the left. "Ta-da."

    Still feeling embarrassed, I follow after the Luxio and open the door to the showers, barely glancing at him. I know I should be grateful, but surely someone should have stopped me going in there. I feel like a fool. Separating from the other Pokémon, I stand under a shower head and press a button on the wall. A rush of hot water pelts my head and slips through my fur, and I instantly feel my eyes fog up again. Some Pokémon are already in there, but they don't bother us.

    "Why do I feel like such an idiot?" I groan aloud, not really looking for an answer. Nonetheless, my new buddy gives me one.

    "Perhaps it the fact that you walked into the girls' showers? Although it could be the fact that you're still dressed?" Luxio calls, and I hear him laugh.

    "Thank you for perfectly summing that up. You're such a help," I call back, not trying to mask the thick sarcasm that laces my voice, and realising that my pyjamas are still on. As if my day couldn't be off to a better start. I yank the water-clogged clothes off, throwing them along the floor. "I just feel terrible. What if I get in trouble?"

    "Don't worry your little head about it. Way I see it, we'll all be laughing about it tonight, after a couple of drinks, and who knows, maybe some of the girls thought you were flirtin'. You migh' even get lucky," Luxio says at what appears to be is his best attempt at reassurance. When I don't laugh at what must have been a joke, he clears his throat and continues. "I'm kiddin'! You won't get in trouble for that, really. Just remember next time. Good?"

    "Good," I reply, a ghost of a smile forming. Maybe he's not the best at advice, but this Luxio sure knows how to cheer me up, in his own, not actually all that helpful way. We finish getting showered and then dry ourselves down; I have to wipe my eyes at regular intervals. We then leave the shower room itself, and see that the quarters are empty, save a few heavy sleepers. Gathering our things, I throw on my jacket and fasten my belt, before Luxio and I head above deck.

    The sun beams down on us, and it's excessively warm. I can see nothing but blue sky in all directions; an endless expanse of nothingness, interrupted only by the wisps of clouds. It's beautiful, really. I welcome the fresh air. After spending most of the morning with a hot face in an equally as hot shower room, just a moment of cool air is a god-send.

    "Having fun with the wind after your suarez with the showerin' babes, Newbie?" Luxio asks, nudging me. The tuft of obsidian fur atop his head flickers like a flame in the wind.

    "Yeah, I am. And stop calling me that," I snap, but there's a playful tone in my voice.

    "What, showering babes?" I let out a small laugh at this. His genuinely confused expression only adds to fuel to the fire.

    "No. My name's Black, not Newbie. And you are?" I manage to mutter through the chuckles.

    "Cyrus Wolfe, at your service," he grins, coupled with a fake salute and crossed eyes, a hilarious expression in itself. Just after spending the morning with this Luxio, I feel like I've already made a new friend. That adds my grand total up to… two. He's mad, but he's cheering me up pretty well, even though I should really be crying in a corner after my adventure. I smile back at him, realising that he doesn't plan on going separate ways any time soon. Unfortunately, I most likely have work to do, and I need to tell Rose about my little escapade before someone else does. I pat Cyrus on the back and start walking away. "Where you going, Black?" He asks, thankfully using my name.

    "I need to go see if I've got any work, and I need to find a friend," Stepping away, I smile and turn, making my way towards where I can see Crux, stood erect like some ancient statue.

    "Don't forget to check the showers!" He calls after me, and I feel yet another smile creeping onto my face.
     
  14. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Trouble with the trolley, eh?

    I think I like it that little tidbits of Black's habits slip into the narration. Like, how he considers himself an unnaturally early riser. It also makes the colorful, snarky moments fun. The quip about laundry made me laugh. Then again, having a Grimer as a cleaner is pretty weird (unless it's Alolan Grimer?). Another neat little bit is the incorporation of aspects of Sableye anatomy (the gem eyes). I've seen it get brought up in another fic or two, but it's mostly just left alone.

    Black apparently does this world's equivalent of walking into the wrong locker room. Though that mostly seems like a set-up to introduce Cyrus. He seems a big similar to Rose at the moment. The one distinction is he seems to like poking fun at Black. But I only have that one experience to judge him. That could very well change. And I'm curious to see if this means Black, Rose, and Cyrus are going to be an adventurous trio of sorts. Seems like that's what the setup is, but I could be wrong.

    I did notice one quick grammatical tidbit:

    First off, the dialogue should end with a period, since you're not following it with an attribution. Then, I think it should read "making my way towards where I can Crux, standing erect like some ancient statue."
     
  15. DeliriousAbsol

    DeliriousAbsol Call me Del

    Chapter 1

    Interesting setting! Floating islands give it a bit of a steam punk or future dystopian kind of feel. I'm not sure if the protagonist is human or not, off the bat, given it's a PMD. It feels like it could be the precursor with the human entering PMD in some kind of way?

    Also, gotta love pirate settings. Totally not a biased opinion at all =x


    Chapter 2

    Nice little introduction to the ship, and confirms for me that we're already in PMD and the protagonist is not a human. I went through several ghost types until 'recover' was mentioned and assumed his was a sableye until it was confirmed. Pretty neat, having a less common pokemon protagonist.

    And his friend is a mawile =D yay!! More mawile 'fics! (Again... totally not biased at all =x ) For some reason, she has a sort of southern/Texan accent in my head, a bit like Bunny Rabbot (Archie Sonic) although milder, which is really cute!

    The premise of dark types being persecuted is interesting, although not surprising when you think about it. Poor absol being a prime example here. Nice to see a story where they're not shown as enemies (says the girl who wrote an entire 'fic where they mostly were enemies).

    Gotta admit, part of me wonders why a pokemon would need a comb. But... it's a rather adorable thought, I gotta say.

    Onto the setting, having a Mystery Dungeon 'fic based around airship pirates is rather unique. And I do love my unique PMD settings. I'm wondering now what else you're going to do with this world.

    Couple of corrections I noticed

    'It is' or 'it's as'. Not sure which one, but trying to be helpful XD

    'than' before


    Chapter 3

    First of all... Pokemon in pyjamas?! Faints from cuteness

    I was wondering about how you were going to reference sableye's eyes. I really like this. Not something I would have considered. Like permanently wearing glasses and not being able to wipe the fog off them. Poor Black.

    I stand corrected...

    Oh boy XD

    This chapter really was something. I already love Cyrus. Nice little introduction to him there. Also, nice someone's looking out for Black. He certainly needed picking back up after a really rough morning.

    Wonder how Rose is gonna take all that?

    Some corrections:

    Think you have an unneeded 'an' here.

    'hand'?

    Picking this out as an example. I used to do this myself. Speech, if followed by 'he said' or 'said (name)' should continue on in lower case:

    “Don't forget to check the showers!” he calls after me.

    Actions don't follow this rule.

    This is correct.

    Hope this helps =D

    So far, I'm really enjoying this story. I look forward to more!
     
  16. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    @Ambyssin
    I'm really happy to see that you're a fan! I want to try and make all the characters' personalities as believable as possible, so hopefully I'm achieving that.

    Basically just that, although Cyrus was originally not going to be introduced here, but I found it to be an opportune moment.

    Dialogue errors are probably my biggest weakness; I really need to work on this. Thanks!

    @Delirious Absol
    Hey, good to see you here! Thought you'd like it, what with System:Reboot and all.

    Yeah, Sableye is my favourite, after all, and I felt like he needed a little more love.

    Woo, more Mawile! Hmm, I've never really thought of that, but being English, I've never considered a Southern accent. Maybe I'll set her voice in stone soon enough.

    Both of those were just typos, I think, so thanks for pointing them out. I'll be more careful in future.

    ^basically my mental reaction when I had the idea.

    This little bit came from personal experience - glasses are both a blessing and a curse.

    Cyrus is quite the fun guy. I'm going to love writing more on him! As for Rose, well, we'll see...
     
  17. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    Okay then, here's a longer chapter this time around, which introduces a new major character, and mentions another, so you should all enjoy it! Maybe you'll laugh a bit, but be warned, there is our first death in this chapter (this early? Yes, I'm a very morbid person). Without further ado...

    Chapter 4


    Cormeum City. Who'd have thought that I'd ever get here? Definitely not me. I doubt that the baker believed in me either. But I'm here, and that's all that matters. Granted, I'm not even inside the city walls, but the docks are the next best thing. After a long, painful week of sky-sailing, we finally arrived. The journey wasn't all bad; the days were spent with Rose mostly, the nights with Cyrus. Fortunately, I managed to make a few other friends, but none that matched the odd closeness I have with the Luxio and Mawile.

    One by one, we all leave the Liquid Lugia, relieved to be finally setting foot on another island. Most of the crew wander off, including Cyrus and his other companions, but I make the decision of waiting for Rose and Crux. The young Mawile jogs down the stairs of the zeppelin to greet me, followed by the thumping footsteps of our Captain.

    "Well, I got some papers to fill 'fore we can drop off this cargo, an' then I gotta pick up our next assignment, so you kids might as well run along. You'll get a few hours outta this place before I'm done." Crux stares at us with his stony eyes before grinning and turning away, already making his way back onto the ship, presumably getting his papers. I shrug, looking towards Rose.

    "Are we going or what?" Despite my best efforts, I can't hide the surge of excitement bubbling inside of me. It's the first time I've ever left Covedrift, and now I'm in the largest city of them all. She doesn't reply, but Rose just starts to make her way away from the docks, an air of indifference floating around the young Mawile. I assume she's been here before; that must be the only reason why she's not in awe with the great city.

    I speedwalk after her, my bag banging against my hip. Surprisingly, she's already quite far down the docks, so I have to break into a brisk jog to keep by her side. Her mouth-ponytail swings eerily behind her, the sharp teeth glittering in the harsh sunlight of Cormeum.

    "Having fun there?" A smile is on her face when I catch up to her, and I can already feel one stretching out onto mine. Without uttering a word, I shove her to the side playfully, and break into a run. I soon hear her footsteps behind me, gaining quickly. We eventually come to a stop beside a large white building, which appears to be the entrance. Slightly confused at this, I walk in, Rose right behind me now.

    ~~~~~

    The building seems to be a check-in gate, of sorts; people are queued up waiting to enter room, barricaded by glass. Through the window-wall, I can see that each entrant has to stand before a white screen, before a flash emanates from the opposite side, and they are handed a small something that I cannot see. We must have to register who we are, for identification. An effective method to keep out illegal workers, and the like, I guess. Standard run of the mill procedure.

    But why are my palms so sweaty? Perspiration beads on my forehead, and I have to loosen my scarf. A fear is gnawing at my chest, and I suddenly don't feel as though I can do this, as if this single picture will have horrendous consequences. I become aware of all the guards that patrol the building, and the security cameras that dot the roof. Cormeum may be the most lawful city of the Broken Kingdom, but peace must come with a price.

    To calm my nerves, I begin to run my claws along the smooth ruby that grows upon my sternum, directly in the center of my chest. It emanates a light click with each tap, and the familiar regularity of the sound soothes me. The queue shuffles forward and my apprehension grows. I assume it shows, because Rose looks at me with a look of first irritation, and then concern.

    "Nervous much?" A wry grin stretches across her muzzle, and I give her a weak flash of white in what I hope is a reassuring reply.

    "Bloody terrified." The statement is so true that it sounds sarcastic, coming from me, and coupled with my nervous laugh and awkward movements, Rose doesn't press the matter further. Although, as we approach the doors to the glass chamber, she squeezes my shoulder and shuffles in front of me. It's good to know I have a friend here. Especially since the only other company I seem to have is the professional drummer that is my heart.

    "See you on the other side," says Rose, without so much of a second glance. But unlike most of the people before me, Rose doesn't get her picture taken. Instead, she whips out a card and looks at the attendant with an expression of utter boredom. After receiving what I assume is the all clear, she leaves both the glass room and. my view. The door swings open, and I take a deep breath as my turn begins.

    The attendant, a squat, acne-covered Ludicolo who looks utterly depressed, points at a stool in front of a pristine screen. Stifling a laugh at the thought of a sad Ludicolo - they're usually so upbeat - I walk towards the seat and plonk my purple behind down.

    "Please state your name, age, and island of origin for the card," squeaks the attendant in a shrill statement punctuated with the breaking of a voice. His body has obviously matured before the rest of him managed; that's why you should stay in school and not do Water Stone, kids!

    "Black, 21, Covedrift," I state with a stiff tone, wiping my palms on my legs. The attendant doesn't seem surprised at my lack of a surname - whatever it is, I have no clue, and I fail to see the importance of it. Besides, how many Sableye do you meet called Black? A bright flash suddenly erupts and I feel temporarily blinded; I sure hope the flash didn't reflect on my crystal eyes. When my vision (barely) comes back, I raise my eyebrows as the happy chappy attendant cha-cha-chas towards me with my ID card in his hand.

    "This card will be used if you wish to purchase anything in Cormeum City. As such, you will be required to present it at any business you wish to invoke the service of, and may be asked by authorities for your identification for security checks." If it wasn't for the constant cracks and ear-splitting shrieks in this Ludicolo's speech, then I would have taken all of that in. What I got instead was more like hold onto that card like your bloody life depends on it because if you lose it you're screwed. Pretty sure that was the gist of the conversation. Without so much as a goodbye, the Ludicolo shows me the way out of the torture booth and out into the sunny city of Cormeum.

    I'm instantaneously wowed by the sight. The golden light shines off the bronze buildings and polished steel that accents every doorway. Despite being such a civilised and advanced city, there is a sort of broken, rustic charm to it, as if it has already passed its golden age and is falling into decline, the mismatch of metal panels across some walls doing nothing to contradict the opinion. Nonetheless, I find a kind of beauty in it. I'm a clockmaker, after all. Anything that looks remotely rusty or aged is right up my alley.

    The floor, made of carefully patterned stone slabs, feels oddly warm beneath my feet, and spindly black streetlamps tower above me at each intersection. The hustle and bustle, though, is unlike anything we ever had at Covedrift, even in the docks. Business workers charge backwards and forwards with briefcases tucked under their arms, tourists laden down with souvenirs look desperately for a way out. A shifty looking Ditto is selling his… something. Whatever I see in this city, it both astounds and shocks me. It's all so diverse, yet it has a sense of real traditionalism about it that I just can't seem to mistake.

    "You like it?" Rose asks beside me, pulling me out of my awed stupor.

    "I don't even have words to…" I just stop mid-sentence. That's how amazed I am.

    ~~~~~

    Grinning like maniacs, we stroll out of Popplio's Poffins with sugar on our lips and food in our bellies. We've spent the whole day running around, Rose showing me everything there is to know about Cormeum. The only place we haven't been yet is the city square. Dusk is starting to creep up on us, so I suggest that we start to make our way back to the Liquid Lugia, but Rose is distracted by something. She's reading a notice board, one of the many we've seen throughout the city.

    "Read this," she says quietly, pointing at something on the board. I scan it quickly until I find what she's looking out. A wanted poster. I read it out, a frown creasing my brow.

    "Wanted: Dead or Alive - The Notorious Silver Shadow. Wanted for the following crimes: treason, arson, murder, piracy, kidnapping, and robbery. Offering 100 Poké reward for any information regarding the pirate, and a 10,000 Poké reward for the identity or apprehension of said criminal. Signed - Lord Edward Steele." I pause for a moment, taking it all in. "Piracy is a serious crime? Does that mean we're criminals?"

    Rose looks at me with a shocked, if somewhat annoyed, expression, but answers me anyway.

    "Of course it's illegal - we're not exactly what you'd call the most moral trade. I like to see Crux's crew as more of a transportation of important objects and/or persons company, though. Therefore, not illegal." She winks before continuing. "But yeah, technically speaking, we're criminals. But good criminals, if that makes sense. Nobody on the crew has ever murdered someone, so we're not all bad. Not like this guy." She gestures towards the poster, which I notice is, of course, picture-less.

    "Who is the Silver Shadow then?" I ask, narrowing my eyes. Rose smiles, resting her chin in her hand.

    "Nobody really knows much, except that it's a pirate, and loots everyone, everyone, even other pirates. Nobody is safe when the infamous ship, the Misfortune attacks; there hasn't been a single survivor. The worst part is, the Silver Shadow rarely takes the lead; there's usually a highly interconnected web of criminals, so only the big boss knows all the secrets. Heck, we don't even know what type it could be. There's speculation that Silver is a Dark or Ghost-Type, taking advantage of Steele's campaigns for equality, but who knows?" She shrugs her shoulders dismissively, but the cogs in my brain have got working. A mystery, and a big criminal. Something worth thinking about, and discussing, when I get back on the ship. Perhaps Cyrus has some ideas?

    I notice that, yet again, Rose is distracted. She's quite a go-with-the-flow kind of person. But when I see what has caught her attention, I don't blame her.

    A massive crowd of people has gathered around a wooden pavilion in the city square, upon which stands a reedy-looking Nuzleaf, who keeps shifting his weight about. Rose beckons me before rushing to join in with the crowd, before I reluctantly follow. Although others fascinate me, crowds aren't really my thing. I stand beside Rose amongst the constant drone and feel that same wave of apprehension I had this morning. Then the crowd goes silent.

    Loud, booming footsteps, that sound like metal-on-wood, echo through the city square. In order to see, I have to stretch on my tiptoes, but Rose, who's taller than me, lets me clamber onto her ponytail for better coverage. That's when I see him. Flanked by two Magmortars dressed in fine suits, is a figure draped in a black cloak from shoulder to toe. Upon his brow sits a bronze ring - a mark of his power and strength. Lord Edward Steele.

    He pauses three paces away from the Nuzleaf, who is now visibly shaking, and raises a bladed hand. One of the Magmortars passes him a roll of parchment from behind, and Steele unravels it, before clearing his throat.

    "Jacob Lloyd Fines, three weeks ago, you were found guilty of treason and piracy, as well as conspiring against the Lord of the Broken Kingdoms with malicious intent. Furthermore, you were also found guilty of association with the Silver Shadow, and have failed to provide evidence against the criminal or to deny these claims." His voice is surprisingly deep, with a sense of utter mental control and confidence, but is also the kind of voice that could stop a war but create a raging army. A powerful voice of a Pokémon to be feared.

    "That's a lie! All lies!" The Nuzleaf - Jacob - cries out, his eyes wild.

    "Silence. Due to the severity of your crimes, you were sentenced to death, and had three days to prepare a final statement. Do you have anything you wish to say?" By now Jacob had broken down, and he was constantly repeating that it was All lies!. But he remained in place, his entire body now rocking side to side. I realise that this is an execution, and I want so desperately to turn away, but at the same time, I'm afraid that looking away is the wrong thing to do somehow. "Jacob Fines, I relieve you of your duty to this world. May Arceus treat you kindly." Then, folding up the parchment and stuffing it in his cloak, Steele waits a moment.

    Then he pulls out the gun and puts a bullet between Jacob's eyes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  18. DeliriousAbsol

    DeliriousAbsol Call me Del

    So excited for a new chapter! =D

    I'd have thought it would be much more comfortable than plane flying, to be honest. Given there's more space and all. But I do get pretty restless on a plane, gotta say.

    This sentence is amazing!

    Firstly, I was gonna imagine the ludicolo talking like Dave the Intern from Sonic Boom since he kinda reminded me of him. I think it fits with your description, too, the more I think about it XD Also... Water Stone is a pokemon drug? D= That's dark!


    You painted a real picture with the description of the city. Totally captured Black's fascination. And he's a clock maker? Cool!

    I love the world building here, too. The idea that pirates are both criminals and not is pretty cool. So Crux's crew is, to some degree, living life on the edge.

    I get the impression Steele is a bisharp, especially with the bladed hands. Not sure if I've guessed right. But I was expecting him to use his blades for the execution, not a gun! D= I've had pokemon use weapons in my own 'fic, so I'm not sure why this surprised me so. What an ending to the chapter!

    Couple of things I noticed:

    Is that a random ninja full-stop jumping in towards the end of the sentence? Or maybe a break to express his nerves? It's in the perfect place, so it does kinda come across as a gulp XD But if it is to express his nerves, may I suggest an ellipses? '…' It would be a little less jarring.

    Although jarring does kinda suit a sableye, with their jerky erratic movements and all XD

    'Looking at'?

    This story just blows me away! Please keep it up! =D
     
  19. TikTok13

    TikTok13 Lost in a desert

    @DeliriousAbsol
    Glad to know you're excited; chapter 5 is currently in the works, but I'm busy juggling mock exams and a part-time job as a therapist, apparently.

    Really? Wow, thanks, that means a lot! It was just something I whipped up randomly while banging out to some tunes.

    Heheh, well, that's actually a bit of an inside joke I have with one of my friends outside the forums that I thought would be cool to add, I guess. I envisioned it that Black's saying that you shouldn't take your evolution stones early, I guess? But that's a pretty cool spin you put on it, and I might actually consider expanding on that idea.

    Oh, this is only a smidgen of the world and lore that's waiting in store. And yeah, the fact that there a pirates on opposite ends of the spectrum will play a part in this story.

    Well, everyone is rather fond of the idea that Steele is a Bisharp. Luckily, you'll find out in the next chapter. Maybe I need to drop my hints more subtly? Ah, guns, yet another item on the agenda. Something that will play on the characters, and I hope you'll enjoy how I spin it.

    Why, yes, I do believe it is...

    Ideas brewing... :D

    Yep.

    Aw, thanks! Don't worry, I don't plan on abandoning Skybound anytime soon!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  20. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Trouble with the trolley, eh?

    Okay, let's play a little catch up here, because I've been distracted as of late.

    Right off the bat I'm just going to throw out what drives Black to describe his sailing experience as painful? An example might've been nice, unless that's supposed to reference him walking into the female showers. Not really sure. Anyway, the bit that follows in the security terminal is interesting, although I'm not sure if it's for the reason you intended. I guess that there was some level of tech seeing as there are flying ships, but that scene suggested that this play is way more technical than you'd expect your average world of Pokémon. But that's not a bad thing, by any means.

    At the same time we have, what I guess passes for this world's equivalent of a notorious outlaw. Silver Shadow honestly sounds more like a dorky superhero name than an alias for a murderous pirate, but the ship name's spot on. On the other hand, we have a Victorian Era-esque public execution, offering our first glimpse of Lord Steele. I don't really have much of an impression of him from that other than he seems big and imposing and rather strict. The gun thing threw me off though, especially considering there are perfectly serviceable OHKO moves that could probably do the job (Guillotine comes to mind). ^^;

    Overall, it still seems like we're in the introductory stages, and the number of characters introduced here now makes me curious as to what direction things are heading. Because I don't have a clue. Not that that's a bad thing; just makes me excited to see what happens.
     

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