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Chibi Pika

Stay positive
The story of an inevitable war, the humans that tried to stop it,
and all the reasons their failure was written into the universe itself.


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Notes:
- Hello everyone, and welcome to LC, a trainer fic that's been around way too long for its own good because I just can't let it go. After twelve revisions, four rewrites, and multiple hiatuses, I'm finally on track to actually finish this ridiculous, over-the-top story about Rockets, Legendaries, betrayal, conspiracy, war, ‘destiny’, timespace, and infinity.
- LC is rated PG-13 for violence, blood/gore, death, language, and dark subjects including torture, trauma, emotional abuse, and suicide. Individual chapters with an elevated rating will be given content warnings.
- The first six or so chapters of the fic are absolutely loaded with clichés. I’m not unaware of this, I just humbly ask that you stick with it. This definitely isn’t a normal trainer fic, and I’ve done my absolute best to realistically explore the repercussions of the tropes that I’m using. If you like seeing characters pushed to their breaking point in increasingly bad situations, then this is the fic for you.
- This is gonna be a long ride. Eighty chapters when it’s done. So strap yourselves in and get ready, because I’ve reached the point where the plot don’t stop.

Table of Contents:
~Book 1: Rebellion~
Prologue
Chapter 1: Ravaged Mountainside
Chapter 2: Reinforcements
Chapter 3: Clash of the Experiments
Chapter 4: Ace from the Past
Chapter 5: Deliberation
Chapter 6: Aboard the S.S. Anne
Chapter 7: Into the Fire
Chapter 8: Midnight Island
Chapter 9: The Rebellion Begins
Chapter 10: Welcome to Team Rocket
Chapter 11: Undercover
Chapter 12: The Incarnation of Thunder
Chapter 13: Encounter in the Hideout
Chapter 14: Double Agents
Chapter 15: Mewtwo
Chapter 16: Reunion
Chapter 17: The Ruins
Chapter 18: The Titans of the Elements
Chapter 19: Fury and Lightning
Chapter 20: Ultimatum
Chapter 21: Scars
Chapter 22: Desperate Hour
Chapter 23: Betrayal
Chapter 24: Old Friends and New Enemies
Chapter 25: The Heart of a Rocket
Chapter 26: The Johto Force
Chapter 27: The Revolt
Chapter 28: Legendary Revenge
Chapter 29: Aftermath
Chapter 30: To a New Tomorrow

~Book 2: Resistance~
Chapter 31: Eight Months Later
Chapter 32: The Kanto League
Chapter 33: Family Reunion
Chapter 34: Flames of War
Chapter 35: The Indigo Rangers
Chapter 36: The Guardian of the Waters
Chapter 37: Combined Strength
Chapter 38: Counterattack
Chapter 39: Burning Spirit
Chapter 40: Crisis in Hoenn
Chapter 41: Team Magma
Chapter 42: Team Aqua
Chapter 43: Dance of the Ancients
Chapter 44: Messenger from the Heavens
Chapter 45: Deluge and Desolation
Chapter 46: Meeting with the Commander
Chapter 47: Sebastian Shepard
Chapter 48: Choice and Consequence
Chapter 49: Human and Legend
Chapter 50: Invites and Warnings
Chapter 51: Overwhelmed
Chapter 52: The Heart of a Guardian
Chapter 53: Storm Clouds

Extras:


This story began with the human who rejected infinity.
It will end with the human who accepted it.


~PROLOGUE~

There was no light in the depths of the sea. No disturbances, no strife. Nothing but calm, sweet silence and solitude, and that was how the guardian of the seas liked it. The ancient creature spent most of its time in the heart of its domain, deep in meditation. Taking in the whispers and wanderings of a thousand sea currents. Guiding them with its wings. This was how things were meant to be. This was ideal.

At least, until a jolt of awareness in the back of its mind suddenly woke it from its slumber.

Piercing blue eyes snapped open, glowing within the pitch-darkness. The eyes narrowed as their owner contemplated the intrusion. Some kind of psychic signal. Perhaps the creature could ignore it. Pretend it had felt nothing, and sleep for several more months. It knew that signature, and therefore who must have sent it. The guardian knew what they wished to discuss and wanted no part in it.

The future was full of many uncertainties. Not so in the deep. The deep was always dark and always would be. The deep was always calm—not like the surface. The deep could always hide those who wished to be hidden.

Another psychic signal prodded at the back of the creature’s mind, and it let out a sigh. It wasn’t going to be getting back to sleep, was it. Apparently, solitude was too much to ask for.

Something was approaching. Another mind had brushed against the guardian’s psychic field. A deep-sea fish of some kind—Relicanth, perhaps. Not that there was any question who it truly was. They weren’t even bothering to hide their psychic presence, after all.

<Are you awake?> came a cool, clear psychic voice, light as an afternoon breeze.

<I am now.>

Relicanth airily drifted around the much larger guardian, their movements playful. Rather unbecoming for that form.

<Are you coming?>

<Must I?>

Relicanth lightly headbutted the creature’s wing with a giggle. <I can teleport you if you like.>

<No. I’ll fly by my own wings.>

<Suit yourself.>

With a flash of light that felt disturbingly out of place for the deep, Relicanth vanished.

Alone once again. The sea guardian would have liked nothing more than to return to its meditation. But the Order no doubt wished to discuss the state of things. It couldn’t be helped.

With a single flap of its wings, the creature shot up from the ocean floor like a silver torpedo. The crushing depths released their hold as it flew through the water, countless fish scattering in its wake. Closer, closer… the waters grew lighter. There—the inviting glimmer of the surface.

The legend rocketed out of the sea. Cool, salty air swept over its body, a sharp contrast to the water’s embrace. The sensation prickled like needles against its feathers, but still, there was something freeing about beating its wings through currents of wind and taking gulps of air that burned sweetly in its unused lungs

The sky was so different from the deep, but felt just as right. Flying was, indeed, one of the simplest joys in the world. The legend effortlessly soared higher and higher, its wings stealing bits of silvery cloud to shield it from view. One could never be too careful, especially these days.

Each passing day brought them closer to the one when the balance would fall, just as it had so long ago. The sea guardian had not witnessed that time itself, but every legend knew the tale. Even the humans had stories from the cataclysmic era. And soon the conflict would resurface. No one had wanted to believe it, but recent events had confirmed those fears.

It was a strange thought, knowing that the balance of the world would soon unravel again. Would they be ready? It wasn’t as if the Order had no course of action before them. They all knew what was required. They’d known for ages. The search would have to begin soon.

Even as the fires of the Revolution subside, the balance that the Order fought so hard to preserve is already on the inevitable path to being torn apart once again. Seven among them—the ones who dedicated both mind, body, and spirit toward ending the war—shall be empowered to forge an alliance with humankind so that both might endure.

Such a strange course of action, joining the two sides together. But the legend knew just as well as the others that it couldn’t refuse. It had seen the threads of fate with its own eyes, much as it hated to admit it. The real question was… when would the conflict reach a point that the interlopers would be forged?

Lugia gazed down over the mainland, its mind swimming with doubts. The next seven years would be interesting, that much was certain.

~~~~~~~~~~

The school bell’s loud ring filled the air—and it was about time, too. I quickly stuffed my books into my backpack before following after my classmates and pretending I hadn’t heard the last-minute assignment that we’d been given. It would have been just a normal afternoon, except my head was still filled with rumors from that morning.

I stood on my toes as I glanced back and forth down the hallway, hoping I’d spot Starr somewhere in the crowd. She wasn’t anywhere to be seen, but I did manage to spot my friend Ajia, a small fifth-grader with dark hair and eyes. At least I’d get to talk to her before the end of the day.

“Hey Ajia!” I called out, waving to her from the crowd of fourth-graders before quickly running over to her.

“Heya, how was class?” she asked.

“Eh… failed a Pokéspeech quiz—you know, as always,” I replied with a shrug.

Ajia laughed. “Yeah, that class is a whole lot of confusing doom when you first start out. It gets better later on, though,” she said.

“Mm,” I replied. This was my third semester at it, so I wasn’t really just starting out. I didn’t feel like saying that, though. And my mind kept wandering back to what had been bothering me most of the day. “So, uh… have you seen Starr? I didn’t even see her at lunch.” I fidgeted a bit, unsure how to ask what I wanted to know. “Is it really true that she’s…?” My words trailed off and died.

Ajia sighed. “She… told me she didn’t want to talk about it with you ‘cause she knew you’d take it the hardest.”

“What? What does that even—ugh, I’ve got to talk to her before she leaves.”

“I think she’s waiting for a ride out front right now. If you hurry, you might catch her.”

My heart skipped a beat. “Okay, I’ll see you on Monday!” I yelled, immediately taking off through the double doors behind me.

The bright afternoon sun stung my eyes as I raced down the sidewalk. I quickly glanced at each of the kids sitting on the ledge by the parking lot… and then spotted Starr sitting off to the side, head bent low so that her short brown hair hid her face. My footsteps slowed. I hesitated for a bit before walking up to her.

“Hey Jade,” Starr mumbled as I neared, without looking up at me.

I sat down next to her, but didn’t say anything at first. She had only vaguely hinted at what was going on, and I had no idea what I was supposed to think.

“So… this is really your last day at school here?” I finally asked.

Starr nodded slowly without looking up.

“Where are you moving to?” I asked cautiously. She obviously didn’t want to talk about it… and I almost didn’t want to know.

In a low voice she muttered, “Cianwood.” I didn’t even know where that was supposed to be.

It was like nothing around us existed. I couldn’t get my thoughts straight—all of this had come up too fast. Sure, I’d known that she was going to leave at the end of the school year, to start her Pokémon training journey. And I’d been trying not to think about it. But I’d thought we’d have three more months together. Not… this.

“It’s not fair!” I cried, burying my face in my arms. “Why’d this have to come out of nowhere? And moving on your birthday? What’s up with that?”

“I don’t know,” Starr replied with a huff. “It’s all my mom’s idea, and she didn’t tell me anything. And Dad’s not even coming with us.”

I slowly uncovered my face. “You never really see your dad much anymore… do you?”

She shook her head.

“Still… it’s dumb that your mom won’t tell you why all of this is happening,” I added.

“Yeah, she just keeps saying that she wants me and my brother to have a better life that we couldn’t have gotten here. Or something like that,” Starr grumbled.

“Hey, that’s right—what does your brother think about all of this? Isn’t he friends with Ajia?”

Starr sighed. “I don’t know, Lexx has been acting weird and not talking to me much lately,” she said with a scowl.

Neither of us said anything else for a while. I just stared at the ground, feeling sort of lost.

“Why didn’t you want to talk to me before you left?” I finally asked.

She sighed again. “I didn’t want you to make a big deal out of it, okay?”

“Who says I was gonna?”

Starr laughed. “What do you think you’re doing right now?”

I opened my mouth to say something, but then realized that she’d got me with that, so I just glared at her.

“Pfft, see what I mean? You’re such a little kid,” Starr said, smirking.

“Don’t call me that!” I yelled, punching her in the shoulder, but she just laughed even harder. Yeah, I was annoyed, but I was also glad to see her smiling. Anything to make things feel normal.

“So… were you planning to get a starter Pokémon, or is it just gonna be you and Ponyta?” I asked.

“Of course I’m getting a starter,” Starr said with a scoff, like there was no way she wouldn’t. “I’m gonna see if they have any water-types. I’d love to train a Totodile.”

I smiled. “Yeah? That’s cool. It just sucks that I won’t be able to start my journey for three more years. Then I could meet up with you and…” My voice trailed off as the realization hit me.

“Hey—hey, wait! If you’re gonna be a Pokémon trainer, that means you can travel anywhere you want, right? So then you can come visit Viridian way before I start my journey!”

Starr paused, blinking in surprise. “I… hadn’t thought of that.”

My face fell. Why wasn’t she more excited about it? She was just kind of… staring into space, distracted.

“You… will visit, right?” I asked quietly.

Starr blinked, snapping out of her thoughts. “Huh? Yeah, of course. It might be a while, but I will. Promise.”

Something in her face told me that she wanted to say more. I kept waiting, expecting her to turn towards me and finally say it, whatever it was. But she never did. And I was too afraid to ask.

We sat there for some time. It was probably only a few minutes, but I wanted it to last forever. Eventually, Starr glanced up at a blue car that had just parked along the curb. She stared at it for a few seconds, then stood up and threw her backpack over her shoulder before walking towards the car, feet dragging a bit. She had only taken a few steps when she paused, turning back towards me one last time.

“Bye.”

Just hearing that one word made me feel weirdly numb. I forced a smile—it felt fake, and I could tell from her face that she wasn’t fooled.

I didn’t watch as she got in the car.






~END PROLOGUE~

And with that, the stage is set for things to come. The first half of the Prologue is mostly comprised of hints towards future events, but don’t worry—the plot kick-starts itself right away in Chapter 1. Please comment to let me know what you think!

~Chibi~
 
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Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Notes~

If this is your first time ever reading this fic, you can ignore this post, as it will likely be rather confusing. I hope you enjoy this fic, as I’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. :)


But on the other hand, some of you are probably going, “Wait a minute! I remember this fic! I thought it died. Wtf, why is Chibi reposing it?!” This post is for you.

This is Revision 11 of The Legendarian Chronicles. It is Rewrite number 4. The previous thread contained every revision that took place during the third rewrite (Revisions 6-10).


I had finally completely outlined the rest of the fic and figured out how to make the plot actually make sense, but by that point, the earlier chapters were nigh-unrecognizable from their previous versions and the chapter splits had been moved around (the early chapters had become way too long). Because it would have been extremely confusing to edit the new content into the old thread, and would likely prevent any new readers from ever reading the fic, I decided that it was a better idea to repost it.

But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re probably wondering why you should bother sticking around.


1. THIS IS NOT LIKE ALL THOSE OTHER REVISIONS. In the old days, I would constantly post all sorts of tl;dr garbage where I’d nitpick endlessly over the stupidest things, and then announce my changes to everyone, (mostly involving plans for future events, and readers obviously would have no idea why that was so significant since it hadn’t even come up yet) even though no one cared, then erase these changes mere months later. This time is different. I’ve basically rewritten the entire first half of the fic.

2. New Content. It goes without saying. There is a LOT of new content in every way, shape, and form. Description fixed up, more characterization added, TONS of random illogical events and plot holes fixed up, interesting scenes added here and there, boring chapters made way more engaging, massive plot thread revamping…the list goes on and on.

…Really, it cannot be understated just how much new content there is.

3. Extras! I plan on doing all sorts of ‘em. From anime-style artwork of all the characters, to special breakdowns of the fic’s history, character analyses, chapter commentaries and comparisons, backstories of events and characters that don’t ever get fully explained in the main fic, and maybe even manga of some of the more pivotal scenes (if I get better at drawing). Basically, I’ve been brainstorming ways to keep readers interested.


And with that, I am going to humbly ask that no one scare off the new readers with horror stories of my dismal chapter rate from the old thread. I know I was terrible at updating. I’m going to be posting a chapter every 1-2 weeks and I have made damn sure that I wouldn’t get writer’s block this time around by actually figuring out, once and for all, the proper course of the story, from start to finish. None of that “I’ve planned out 160 chapters except not really because most of them are comprised of old stuff that is stupid” nonsense like in the last thread.

If you are curious, the current plan is a trilogy of story arcs (Rebellion, Resistance, Revolution) comprising ~25 chapters each. That may change though, because right now Part 2 is kind of stuffed with content.)

And yes, I know, I double posted. Come on, it obviously wasn’t for PostCount++; I wanted to separate all this stuff from the main page, since I don’t like cluttering my chapters with author’s notes. I don’t think it’s the end of the worl—*struck down by super deadly mod death.*

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 
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Dragonfree

Just me
I did read it! See, I'm not completely hopeless at reading things!

It couldn’t help feeling caught up in the simple joy of flight, for it had not experienced the feeling it quite some time.
This should presumably be "in quite some time".

You seem to overuse ellipses just a tad in the prologue. An ellipsis can be effective when used to end a thought or line of dialogue that is actually trailing off, but in lines like this one...

The deep was always dark and always would be…the deep was always calm, not like the surface…the deep could always hide those who wished to be hidden…
...there doesn't really seem to be any meaningful trailing off; the ellipses are just used to make the sentence seem more dramatic, and the ultimate effect of such attempts to create drama with ellipses is generally just a sense of cheesiness. In one of the reviews I wrote for the Perspective contest, I described it as feeling like the author is looking up at you and going "DUN DUN DUUUN!": it doesn't really make things seem more dramatic and intriguing, just calls attention to the fact that's what the author wants you to think. So I think this sentence, and more in the first part of the prologue, would be much better off without all the ellipses. A few work - like the last one, for instance, where it really does seem to be a thought trailing off - but a lot don't. In general, use ellipses very sparingly.

Why is the trainer starting age suddenly twelve? o_O

The first person bit doesn't feel especially first-person-y to me, especially given Jade is apparently nine; I can't really picture a nine-year-old's inner monologue wording stuff like "I felt my spirits lift slightly" or "The full effect of it all was weighing over my head" or "I suddenly exclaimed, unable to contain myself" or "Silence fell over us again; I stared at the floor blankly as time passed, still unable to grasp everything that was going on". It probably won't be as noticeable when Jade is older (as I presume she'll be in the main body of the fic), but you might still want to watch out for that a bit.

Aaand that's it for the nitpicking. Not much has happened so far so there isn't a lot to say on the plot, but things could turn out quite intriguing. I'll do my very best to follow this faithfully as you continue. :3
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
You seem to overuse ellipses just a tad in the prologue. An ellipsis can be effective when used to end a thought or line of dialogue that is actually trailing off, but in lines like this one...there doesn't really seem to be any meaningful trailing off; the ellipses are just used to make the sentence seem more dramatic, and the ultimate effect of such attempts to create drama with ellipses is generally just a sense of cheesiness. In one of the reviews I wrote for the Perspective contest, I described it as feeling like the author is looking up at you and going "DUN DUN DUUUN!": it doesn't really make things seem more dramatic and intriguing, just calls attention to the fact that's what the author wants you to think. So I think this sentence, and more in the first part of the prologue, would be much better off without all the ellipses. A few work - like the last one, for instance, where it really does seem to be a thought trailing off - but a lot don't. In general, use ellipses very sparingly.
Bwah, you're right. And I don't think I do that too much during the main body of the fic (on the other hand, I horribly abuse dashes there...) so I think it was indeed a case of le drama. xP
Why is the trainer starting age suddenly twelve? o_O
Oh yeah... I forgot that I wasn't going to explain that until Chapter 1. And unfortunately...by "explain" I mean leave an author's note that it's one of those things I'm stuck with and unable to change for reasons somewhat outside my control, and that I am aware that I'm breaking canon. x.X;
The first person bit doesn't feel especially first-person-y to me, especially given Jade is apparently nine; I can't really picture a nine-year-old's inner monologue wording stuff like "I felt my spirits lift slightly" or "The full effect of it all was weighing over my head" or "I suddenly exclaimed, unable to contain myself" or "Silence fell over us again; I stared at the floor blankly as time passed, still unable to grasp everything that was going on". It probably won't be as noticeable when Jade is older (as I presume she'll be in the main body of the fic), but you might still want to watch out for that a bit.
Egh, I'll try to improve that. x.X Can you believe that it was even worse before? *_*

Eee, thanks so much for reviewing! :D

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Ha ha, I remember this story. I read it before, but it was so long ago (and I was too young to understand everything going on, lol), I can't remember what happened in the story at ALL. I do, however, remember the names, for the most part. So yay?

So to hear you've been re-writing this is rather nice to hear. I can now experience this the way it should be experienced, and I look forward to future chapters. Dragonfree already pointed out what needed to be pointed out, so you got lucky you're off the hook no Grammar Nazi mode today! But if what you say is true, that you have gotten WAY much better, especially since you've been through college (unless you're still in college, so that would actually read 'are in college'), so you may not see that from me a lot, if at all.

Glad to see you've returned, Chibi Pika. I once thought to myself about a couple of years ago, "Gee, I wonder where Chibi Pika went, she sounds like a really swell member, shame I can't contact her." Now, here you are, having returned from lands afar to bring us a revisioned story of old. It makes staying here longer all the more worth it.

Please add me to the PM list, I can't bear to forget about this story any further now that it has returned.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Ha ha, I remember this story. I read it before, but it was so long ago (and I was too young to understand everything going on, lol), I can't remember what happened in the story at ALL. I do, however, remember the names, for the most part. So yay?
Hallo there! I remember you too! :)
So to hear you've been re-writing this is rather nice to hear. I can now experience this the way it should be experienced, and I look forward to future chapters. Dragonfree already pointed out what needed to be pointed out, so you got lucky you're off the hook no Grammar Nazi mode today! But if what you say is true, that you have gotten WAY much better, especially since you've been through college (unless you're still in college, so that would actually read 'are in college'), so you may not see that from me a lot, if at all.
Yeah, I'm still in college (though I'm on my fifth year, so it wouldn't be weird to assume I had already graduated.) It's not even so much that my writing got better during college, just that I'm older and I notice more when characters did things that made no sense. Also I had no sense of purpose before. I wrote scenes "just because," and so I missed lots of crucial character development, and just plain didn't make a lot of parts entertaining enough. There's still probably going to be a lot of patchy logic in the early parts though, so you reviewers will have your work cut out for you. ^^;
Glad to see you've returned, Chibi Pika. I once thought to myself about a couple of years ago, "Gee, I wonder where Chibi Pika went, she sounds like a really swell member, shame I can't contact her." Now, here you are, having returned from lands afar to bring us a revisioned story of old. It makes staying here longer all the more worth it.
Heh, it's been ages, hasn't it? It's really weird posting my fic again after three years, but it's gonna be fun. =D I can't wait to get into the meat of the story.

Aaaand, I'll add ya to the PM list. Thanks for posting!

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Note: In this fic, most kids start their Pokémon journey around age 12. It used to be a hard age limit, but recently I decided to remove that in favor of a softer “take two years of Pokémon handling classes and then pass the training exam.” Most kids leave at the start of summer with the intent of challenging the Pokémon League the following year.

And with that out of the way…here we go. Get ready to dive into the plot straight away. No looking back.



~Chapter 1: Ravaged Mountainside~

IpylRfu.png

June 1

Summer days were made for this—made for feeling the wind in my face and the rush of adrenaline as my bike flew down the hill. My eyes focused, teeth clenched, fists tightening on the handlebars as I closed in on my target, dead ahead. Just a few more seconds and my front wheel would hit the ramp and I’d pull back on the handlebars and then—!

“Aw yeaahh!” I yelled, throwing a fist towards the sky as my bike flew through the air. No matter how many times I jumped the same ramp, those few seconds of being airborne were the best thing in the world. My bike landed several yards away with a thud, and I immediately doubled back the way I came, waving toward the top of the hill.

“Did you see how much air I got?!” I yelled.

“Big deal, I can beat that!” Rudy called out, racing down the hill. A broad grin covered most of his tan face, and his dark eyes held a wild, confident energy. I wasn’t too sure how far I’d jumped, but I was pretty sure there was no way he could beat it.

I slowly pedaled back up the hill, still watching him speed downward. Which is why I didn’t see it until the last second.

A flash of black out of the corner of my eye. I swerved instantly to avoid it—too far! My front wheel skidded on the dirt and pitched sideways, and I just barely had enough time to throw my arms out before I toppled over into a sprawled heap in the dirt.

Well, that was random. Not that I had any doubts as to who was responsible.

I coughed hard, wiping my long hair out of my face as I attempted to sit up. Not a second later, I was forced back down by a pair of heavy paws colliding with my chest as black fur filled my entire field of vision.

“Ow, c’mon… lemme up, Ebony!” I yelled, shoving a hand against the Houndour sitting triumphantly on my stomach. She finally jumped off, looking way too pleased with herself as she trotted over to her owner… who was now standing next to his bike, cracking up.

“Pfft—shut up, Rudy,” I said, climbing to my feet and wiping the dirt from my baggy clothes.

“You gotta admit that’s hilarious,” Rudy laughed, wiping his eyes. He then gave the Houndour a bewildered look and added, “Okay, but seriously Ebony, how the heck did you get out?”

The firedog barked out a reply that had something to do with the gate. Had we… left it open? We weren’t that dumb, were we?

From the triumphant grin on her face, I suspected we were.

“Aw c’mon… you know I’m the one who gets in trouble when you wander off, right?” Rudy said, rubbing the back of his head. Judging by the cheerful barks she let out next, I didn’t think she cared.

Rudy sighed. “Oh well, maybe it’s a good thing that you followed us.” His face split into a mischievous grin. “Gotta keep practicing, after all. Now where was it…” He spun around, looking in all directions for a few seconds until his eyes fell on a dry log. “Perfect!”

An uneasy feeling came over me. “Do you really think that’s a good idea?”

“It’ll be fiiiine,” Rudy said dismissively, waving a hand. “There’s no grass nearby, look.”

“Mm,” I replied vaguely. I guess that was true. It would probably be okay.

Rudy took up a fighting stance, like he was facing down a serious opponent and not just a dead log. He planted his feet, thrust his arm forward, and yelled, “Alright, go! Ember!”

Ebony’s eyes flashed. She stamped her paws, took a deep breath, and—!

—breathed out a half-dozen red flares that fizzled into nothing before reaching the target.

Rudy’s face fell. “Lame. Oh well, there’ll be plenty of time to practice fire breathing out on the trail.”

“Out on the trail…?” I asked.

“Yeah, when I start my journey, duh.”

And there it was. The reminder that he’d be leaving soon. Just like everyone else. I’d been trying to ignore it, to pretend it wasn’t really happening. But there was no avoiding it forever.

“So, you’re leaving soon,” I said in a low voice.

“Well, yeah! Why wouldn’t I!” Rudy replied cheerfully, oblivious to my tone. “And Ebony’s coming with!” The Houndour let out a bark of approval.

“You realize you’re pretty much the only person I know who hasn’t left on a journey yet?” The words were out of my mouth before I’d had time to fully think them through.

He shrugged. “I guess? But that’s only because I’m starting late.”

“Getting your license at thirteen isn’t that late. Me not having a license at fourteen? That’s late,” I grumbled.

“Oh, come on,” Rudy said, looking kind of bored with my complaints after having heard them a dozen times. “I still say you should just take Swift and leave, license or not.”

I stared at him. “I’m not gonna train Pokémon illegally. I’m not that stupid.”

“Alright, alright, it was just an idea,” he said, waving a hand impatiently. “I’m just saying if I failed the exam twice, that’s what I’d do—just take Ebony and leave. Though it would kinda suck not getting to challenge any gyms.”

“Yeah, that’s definitely the worst part about training illegally,” I said with an eyeroll. Then again, this was a nice place to change the subject. “So, is Ebony going to be your starter?”

Rudy shook his head. “Nah. Dad said we’re not responsible enough to keep each other in line. Wanted me to get a ‘proper starter’ who’s trained in that sort of thing,” Rudy said, with a mocking tone added for good measure. “Just wants me to have a babysitter, more like.”

I shrugged. “I figure it can’t be all bad having a Pokémon by your side who knows what they’re doing.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. And they’ll be all-in for the League, obviously.” He put a hand to his chin. “Wonder what kind of Pokémon they’ll have. I know everyone says we’re not s’posed to care about that, but like, come on. What if I get a Charmander? That’d be so frickin’ awesome.”

Wait, but then… if Ebony was coming along, and he was planning on getting a Charmander, then…

“Is Chloe coming too?”

Rudy shook his head. “Nah, she’s not really into battling, so she’s staying home.”

Ebony’s face fell, and she mumbled something disapproving under her breath.

Rudy gave her a look. “Hey, I’m upset too, but Dad said we can’t bug her about it, okay?”

I shoved my hands in my pockets. “I guess it’s probably for the best that she’s not coming. Then you’d have three fire-types.”

Rudy raised an eyebrow. “That supposed to be a problem?”

I shrugged. “I just thought you wanted to go competitive.”

“There are monotype trainers,” he said defensively.

“Well, I guess if you feel like losing to one Blastoise…”

That earned me a shoulder punch. Worth it, though.

We ended up heading back home soon after that since Rudy’s dad would flip if he got home and saw that we left the gate open. Rudy and I each held onto one end of the ramp and carried it between us as we walked our bikes home. Ebony made a game of running in a figure-eight around us and under the ramp. When we got back to Rudy’s house, Chloe was waiting patiently by the open gate, wagging her tail.

“See, she follows the rules,” Rudy pointed out, and Ebony let out an indifferent snort before bolting forward to tackle the Growlithe. The two firedogs collided in a heap of black and orange fur.

Rudy glanced around the backyard. “Huh, I guess now that we’re back, I should prooobably do my chores before my dad gets home.”

“I thought you said you did them before we left,” I said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, uh… might’ve exaggerated a little,” he said, rubbing the back of his head. “I did like, one.”

“Wow, one entire chore.”

“Oh, shut up,” Rudy replied, jabbing my arm. “Help me get the ramp inside and then I gotta get to work.”

We dragged the bike ramp into the garage and then waved each other goodbye. I rode my bike across the street to my house, folding my arms behind my head and debating what to do with the rest of the afternoon. It seemed like a nice day to go for a ride around town, at least… just to take my mind off things.

I grabbed my wallet from my room, quickly scribbled a note to my mom on the first piece of scrap paper I could find, and was about to head outside when I noticed the sound of the TV playing in the other room. Most likely Swift; he always liked watching TV when no one was home. I paused to listen to the audio—some kind of documentary? Yep, definitely Swift.

“I’m heading out!” I called.

The TV abruptly shut off. I heard the fluttering of wings behind me and turned to see Swift perched atop the bookshelf, preening his wing like he’d been there the whole time.

“You wanna come with?” I asked.

The Pidgey glanced away shyly, but then nodded.

“You know you don’t have to ask, right?” I said, smiling as I held the door open. He didn’t waste a second before fluttering through the doorway and out into the open air.

The afternoon stretched by as I wandered the streets of Viridian City, glancing at various storefronts as I passed, half-tempted to stop by the card shop or the gas station or the library, but deciding against it. I mostly just wanted to ride aimlessly under the shade of the trees, enjoying the cool breeze and the empty sidewalks that came with it still being early in the day. Every so often, I glanced up at the sky through the trees, catching glimpses of Swift following overhead. My hands idly drifted from the handlebars as my mind wandered back to the earlier conversation.

Rudy was leaving. Going on a Pokémon journey, like everyone else. And as much as I hated to admit it… I was glad when he didn’t have the credits to take the training exam last year.

I’d never had all that many friends, but it seemed like for each one that left, I always had someone still here. Starr had been the first to leave, five years ago. Then Ajia three years ago, then all the aspiring trainers in my year, and then everyone I knew in the year below me.

I didn’t even want to be a competitive battler; I just wanted to go with them.

First I screwed up by failing Pokéspeech so many times that I didn’t have enough credits the summer after I turned twelve. Then failing the test the summer after I turned thirteen. And now this year. The crushing feeling of seeing that failing score… for the second time.

I hated to think about it, and yet I didn’t want to do anything but think about it.

I was nearing the edge of Viridian city; the trees and buildings on either side of the road had grown further apart, replaced with open stretches of tall grass. I’d just reached the point where the road merged with the highway to Johto, with trails leading north branching off into the forest. This was usually where I turned around. I glanced up at the sky and called for Swift, but he wasn’t there.

“Swift…?” I asked hesitantly, half expecting him to hear me and suddenly fly into view. But the sky was completely open. Where had he gone? He had never done this before.

“Swift!” I yelled, pedaling harder. Unease crept into the back of my mind. This wasn’t like him. Did something happen to him? I didn’t want to believe that, but I couldn’t see any sign of him in the entire…

Sky. The sky was empty. No birds within sight, and these fields were usually full of Spearow.

“That’s… weird…” I muttered to myself. My eyes traced the horizon, hunting for any possible clue, when I spotted a plume of smoke over the trees to the north. What was that?

Feeling almost compelled to head that way, I turned and rode along a trail leading north—towards the forest. I reached the treeline within minutes and kept going, unsure of whether I’d be any nearer to finding Swift when I could barely see the sky anymore.

The terrain here was rougher. I had to work to keep my bike moving over the uneven path studded with rocks and tree roots. The deeper into the forest I went, the dumber I felt. Obviously heading toward smoke was a bad idea. What was I thinking? Well, obviously I wasn’t thinking. I just wanted to find Swift and get out of here.

I was just about to turn around when a winged figure passing overhead caught my eye.

“Swift?!” I yelled, daring to let my hope rise.

The figure banked around to swoop down through the trees, and I felt a surge of relief.

“Swift!” I cried, holding out my arm for him to perch. “Why’d you fly off like that?”

His expression was reserved but noticeably troubled. He pointed a claw in the direction I’d been heading.

“Did you check out the smoke? Is there a fire?” I asked.

The Pidgey nodded. I glanced upward, but now that a thick canopy of trees covered us, I couldn’t make out the smoke anymore. Then again… weren’t there a lot of fire-types living in the area? Fires had to be pretty common.

Swift gave a low string of chirps. This time they had meaning, and I knew enough Pokéspeech to catch the words, “*It’s bad… come see.*”

He took flight again, circling overhead. I hesitated. Wasn’t this a job for the rangers? What could I possibly do to help? Still, part of me had to know. So I pushed onward through the trees, unsure of what I’d find. After several minutes, the air grew thick and hazy, and my nose burned. The feeling of unease intensified. Still, we continued on until the trees abruptly ended.

One moment we were within the thick of the forest, and the next, there was nothing but the charred remnants of tree trunks and scorched bits of grass and leaves. Flurries of ash saturated the air, stinging my eyes. And that foul smell just wouldn’t go away.

I stopped dead when it hit me. The odor saturating the air was burning flesh. These woods had been filled with Pokémon—and some of them must have been caught in the blaze.

My brain couldn’t process any of it. Who on earth expected to see something like this on an ordinary day?

“C’mon…” I muttered to Swift. “We don’t need to be here. We shouldn’t be here.”

But Swift just landed at the base of a nearby tree, looking up at me imploringly. I was about to ask why, but then a glimmer of orange caught my eye. A small ember, still clinging to life at the edge of a dark mass. I leaned my bike against a tree and approached it hesitantly, eyes widening once I got a good look at it.

It was breathing. The mound was alive. It was a Charmander.

The lizard’s scales were charred black and covered in ash. Every few seconds, it took a shuddering breath. The flame on the tip of its tail was just a tiny ember, flickering weakly.

What could have done this? To burn a fire-type…?

It was like my arm was moving on its own. I held my breath as my hand hovered right over the Charmander’s back, feeling the residual heat emanating from its body. I couldn’t possibly move it in this condition, could I? No. No, it would only do more harm than good, carrying it. But what else could I do?

“I wouldn’t stay here if I were you.”

I jolted at the sudden voice and threw a glance over my shoulder to see a tall figure slowly approaching through the haze. A young man, judging by the voice. Once he was close enough, I could see him more clearly—roughly college-aged, with a sharp face framed by wavy brown hair. A long, gray trench coat covered most of his lanky frame. His thick boots left clear footprints in the ash.

“What did you say?” I asked.

He examined me with icy blue eyes that seemed to stare right through me. “It’s dangerous. The disaster isn’t far from here, and they wouldn’t want any witnesses.”

Witnesses?” I blurted out. “Who caused this, do you know?”

“I can show you if you follow me,” he said, tilting his head in the direction I’d been walking.

I was about to stand up, but then I glanced back down at the Charmander, a sinking feeling settling into my gut.

“What do I do?” I said miserably, staring at the helpless fire lizard. “It’s gonna die, and I don’t know if it’s safe to move, and I don’t know what to do.”

“Put it in a Pokéball,” he replied, as though this were obvious.

I stared blankly at him. “I don’t have any.”

He reached into a belt pouch, retrieved one, and held it out to me. I flinched.

“I can’t... put it in a ball,” I said quietly, avoiding his eye. “I’m not a trainer. It didn’t challenge me.”

“Desperate times,” he said simply. “The pact allows for life-or-death scenarios.”

Right. I should have known that. But it still felt wrong.

Hesitantly, I reached out a hand and fought to keep it steady. I took the ball from him and gently tapped it against the lizard’s unconscious form. It immediately transformed into bright red energy before being sucked into the ball. The button on the front flashed red, then only a second later went white. Capture successful.

The trainer nodded approvingly. Then he turned and walked off into the haze. Half of me still wanted to leave. The smoky air was thick and uncomfortable to breathe. But… I had to know.

I glanced back at Swift to see if he had any objections, and he just fluttered up to perch on my shoulder. Guess we were in this together.

The trainer was already a hazy figure in the distance, and I had to walk quickly to catch up with him. He gave me a sideways glance as I approached.

“You’re not a trainer?” he asked. “You look old enough to be one.”

“No, I’m not.” I didn’t feel like elaborating. Instead, I asked, “What happened here? And how recently?”

“So recently that it’s still happening,” was the only response.

I exhaled sharply through my nose. The whole situation was only getting more unnerving. Part of me wanted to turn around, but my legs kept carrying me forward.

By now I could see a red glow through the haze. My pulse quickened. We reached the edge of a ridge that overlooked an open valley between the forested hills. And that’s where I saw it.

A brilliant fireball tore across the clearing, setting everything in its path ablaze. It stopped suddenly in the center of the valley and unleashed a heat wave outward, and when the flames cleared, there it was. Silhouetted against the flames, a fantastically bizarre beast like nothing I’d ever seen before, with a wild mane and a billowing, cloudlike tail and jagged spikes running down its sides. The beast whipped its head around in a weirdly anxious manner, almost like it was on the lookout for something. Then it turned in our direction, and I stared into that brilliantly colored face that I’d seen only in books, like a red star with a golden crown. There was no mistaking it.

Entei. The Beast of the Volcano. A Legendary Pokémon of Johto. Right here, right in front of us, for real. I couldn’t help feeling the urge to... avert my eyes or bow or something.

And then another sound caught my ears, even above the roaring flames. It was almost like… engines?

Over a dozen jeeps and trucks burst into the clearing at once, closing in on Entei from multiple directions. Entei recoiled backward, pelted by bullets—they were shooting it? The volcano beast slammed its heavy paws to the ground and unleashed a heat wave, turning the valley into a sea of fire. But when the flames died down, the jeeps were unharmed, surrounded by shimmering energy shields. Several dozen Pokémon appeared from Pokéballs, immediately unleashing torrents of water at their target. Entei stood its ground with a furious roar, but it still winced in pain as steam poured from its body. And the next time it tried to run, a ghostly aura kept it from straying too far.

I was frozen, staring at the scene in a stupefied shock. “What? What are they… why?” I stammered. “Why would anyone attack—?” Didn’t they realize what they were doing?

There was a pause. Then came the reply, “Have you ever heard of Team Rocket?”

I tilted my head. “I mean, everyone’s heard of them, right?” They were only the biggest crime gang in the region for as long as anyone could remember. Everyone had heard stories and rumors about them. Although… how many of those rumors were true was another story.

“To the general public,” he continued, without acknowledging I’d said anything, “Team Rocket is nothing more than a widespread criminal gang. What the public doesn’t know is that for the past twenty years, the team has been making a slow push for total control over all of Kanto and Johto. On the surface, they’re still the same thieves, smugglers, and traffickers they’ve always been. But that just hides the fact that there’s another side to the team that no one knows about.” He motioned to the ongoing struggle down in the valley.

Team Rocket. They were the ones responsible for this. A gang of thieves was going after gods? Words failed me. Everything he had said was overloading my brain, and the only thing I could manage was, “How do you know about this?”

The corners of his mouth turned up slightly. “Not all Rockets are satisfied with the direction the team is headed. Some of them have their own plans. Some of them are working against Giovanni from within the team.”

“Giovanni?” He couldn’t mean… the Giovanni? Leader of the Viridian Pokémon Gym?

“The current boss,” he clarified.

I shook my head. “Hang on, hang on. You’re telling me those crazy rumors that he’s involved with Rockets—they’re not just true, but he’s the boss?!

He nodded.

I couldn’t help staring. “You’re serious? That’s supposed to be, like… tabloid fodder for conspiracy nuts. If it’s actually true… shouldn’t more people know?”

“You underestimate the team’s influence,” he replied with a slight laugh. “They have agents working all over. Turning him in wouldn’t do anything.”

Well, that was… unnerving. Really, what was I supposed to say to that? With a glance back at the blazing valley, I asked, “Shouldn’t we do something? I mean, if we don’t—”

“We?” he asked with just the slightest hint of amusement. “I thought you said you weren’t a trainer.”

“I… I’m not,” I mumbled, lowering my eyes to the ground. Then I looked up at him hopefully and said, “Can’t you?”

The trainer closed his eyes. “I know my limits. My team is strong. But not strong enough to stop them alone.”

I wasn’t sure why I’d said it. I didn’t know anything about this guy. Of course it was stupid to imply that he could take out an entire squad of armed Rockets alone.

I glanced down at the Pokéball in my hand, feeling rather miserable about everything. Why did he even bother explaining anything only to flat-out tell me I was useless?

“What would you say,” he began slowly with a curious tone, “if I told you that a regional takeover might soon be within their grasp?”

I whirled around to face him, gaping in shock. “What?”

“That’s why they’re aiming to capture Legendary Pokémon. If the combat unit had legends at their disposal, there would be no stopping them.” His tone was perfectly casual, as though Team Rocket being on the verge of a regional conquest was normal, everyday conversation.

I was frozen, unable to process all of this. “…What do we do about that? Why are you telling me this?”

He gave me a very serious look. “Are you interested in helping stop Team Rocket’s Legendary project? Would you be willing to fight them?”

I stared. How exactly was I supposed to fight them, and how did he expect me to? Didn’t he just say there was no way I could help? I kept waiting for him to say something like “it would be nice if it were possible,” but his expression was cold and unflinching.

“How… what do you mean?” I asked.

“If you were able to stop Team Rocket from catching Legendaries, would you?”

I wanted to say, “well, who wouldn’t?” but that didn’t seem like a very good answer. I simply nodded.

He considered me for a while before reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a small card. “I’ve been handing these out to people just starting their journey,” he said, handing it to me. “This is your formal invitation to join a team against the Rockets. If you want to know more, meet me at the specified location after you become a trainer.”

“But how—?” I began.

“What’s on that card is all I can say for now,” he said firmly. “Don’t lose it, and don’t reveal it.”

He unclipped a Pokéball from his belt and opened it. The flash of white light from inside took the form of a tall dragon with glossy orange scales and huge wings—a Charizard, the final evolution of Charmander. I’d never seen one in person.

He replaced the Pokéball on his belt and climbed onto the dragon’s back. It stretched its wings, flapping hard and sending flurries of soot into my face. I shielded my eyes reflexively until the fire lizard had lifted off.

“I’ll see you there,” the trainer said before the two soared off into the sky.

“Later…?” I said, more to myself than him. The whole conversation had felt very bizarre and surreal, and part of me half-expected to wake from a dream any moment. But I knew that was too much to hope for. So I looked down at the small card he had given me and read:

If you have received this card, it is because you have been recognized as either a beginning trainer with high potential, or an ambitious young trainer willing to face danger for the sake of stopping Team Rocket. If you are serious about joining a rebellion against the Rockets, then meet at pier 3 in Vermilion harbor prior to June 16 for further instruction.

Well, that sure was vague. Still, it made sense, just in case Team Rocket got their hands on a card. But was he really just giving them out to random trainers? Why was he doing this? And how on earth had I gotten myself mixed up in all of it?

My eyes drifted back to the ongoing battle, no matter how badly I didn’t want to look. Everything about it was completely mind-boggling. Entei was still keeping its attackers at bay, but even its incredible strength was waning. It wasn’t invincible, no matter what the stories said.

“C’mon… you can beat ‘em. You have to…” I whispered.

Most of the fire in the valley had been put out by torrential waterspouts. Entei’s fur was waterlogged. Its movements had grown sluggish. Was I seriously about to watch a Legendary get captured? And not be able to do anything about it?

No. I couldn’t watch this. I didn’t want to be able to say that I saw a legend get captured.

“We shouldn’t be here,” I muttered to Swift. He glanced between me and the Rockets, then looked down, conflicted.

Coming here was a mistake. I couldn’t do anything about all this. I was just a kid; I wasn’t even a trainer. Why had the Charizard guy even given me a card?

I glanced at the Pokéball still in my hand. At least I could save the Charmander. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

But before I could turn to leave, movement caught my eye. One of the jeeps had broken from the rest of the group, driving away from them at breakneck speed. Up the hill. In our direction. I stared stupidly at it, unable to process what I was seeing.

“Don’t… don’t tell me they…” I took a step backward, eyes wide.

I’d been spotted. And they were coming for me.





~End Chapter 1~

I'm not overly fond of that cliffhanger, but it was the only place to end the chapter that semi-worked. That, or end up with my first chapter being 16 pages long. That's definitely a way to draw readers in.[/not]

Anyways...due to the nature of this revision having a very choppy, cut-and-paste nature, where I rewrote scenes completely out of order and sewed them together with old material, the thing I’m most concerned with is making sure that all the material feels coherent. The last thing I want is for some scenes to feel like they were done in a completely different writing style. x.X;

~Chibi~
 
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Diddy

Renegade
Finally posted it eh?

I've been waiting for over a month for this! :p

What I've read so far was enjoyable, nice and flowing, the conversations were natural and the narrative was great. The premise is awesome and I can't wait for the plot to unfold.

Thing is, I don't know whether I've read this (or at least a chapter of this) before. The only thing I remember is a battle in one of the Regi's caves and there are a few people trying to catch it, one for evil, others to stop the evil guy. Details are fuzzy but I remember it being awesome.
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
;025; - Charizard can't learn Fly.

*smacks* Ignore him.

;025; - You were thinking it!

Anyway, I giggled when I got your PM, and was excited to read another chapter. Then I got this idea to open the other thread and compare this revision to the last one you did.

You sure improved and cut out and changed a lot of things, even cutting the chapter down for easy reading. You sure are more serious this time around, and I say kudos to you.

Well, this is sure a nice start to kick off the story quickly. Get to the action almost immediately, that works wonders. And I must say, there was a perfect amount of detail, I am finding myself enjoying the story in such a short amount of time. And we get our second first look at a Legendary, nice.

Question that came to mind: is this similar to the Pokémon Special manga by any chance? I got that feeling when Jade was talking to the stranger whom I swear is Lance, but most likely isn't.

And how come the chapter is called "Death on the Mountainside"? I'm sure it's reference to the forest fires and/or Team Rocket showing up, but there didn't seem to be anything that was dead. The closest dead thing we have is the Charmander, and it's still alive. Meh, I'm sure I'm just looking too hard into it.

Anyhoo, looking forward to more! Is this gonna be some weekly thing or something?
 

Sike Saner

Peace to the Mountain
Eeee, I finally get to read this version. :D And I get to follow it from the start this time, too. Or, well, almost the start. CLOSE ENOUGH. XP Point is, this is gonna be fun. :3

ANYWAY. Regarding the prologue... I really liked the nice, majestic image of Lugia emerging from the sea that the opening scene provided. :D And the scene that followed had the curious side effect of making me nostalgic for elementary school. Elementary school was freaking awesome. Except for fourth grade. Bleah.

But back to the fic. Regarding the first chapter, well, first of all:

“How’d she get out this time?” I said with a glance back at the energetic young dog Pokémon, who was still wagging her short, stubby tail with the apparent hope that she could play with us.
Apparently I had been in need of some sort of reminder that oh yeah, houndour are DOGGIES, because upon reading that, my mind's reaction was, OH MY GOSH THAT IS SO FREAKING DOGGY OF HER, HOW ADORABLE... as if houndour displaying any even remotely canine qualities was a genuine surprise to me. Which maybe it was. Houndour's a pokémon about which I generally don't find myself doing a lot of thinking.

But damnit, I'm rambling again. Point is, Ebony was being really cute there. ^^

On a related note:

We stepped onto the grass and over to the fence where Rudy opened a gate and let her in with Chloe, another puppy Pokémon of his. Chloe wagged her fluffy, cream-colored tail and rubbed her orange-furred nose against the fence, but to no avail. The Growlithe then blinked her large eyes at us before deciding to roughhouse with Ebony.
The dogginess! It's just freaking adorable. ^^

And on an unrelated note:

I was hit by a pang of nausea as I realized that the odor saturating the air was burning flesh.
Oh creepy. o~o; Thought that was a nice bit of detail. Well, nice as in it gave the scene a bit more impact, not nice as in pleasant.

You can put me on the PM list if you want; I'll definitely be back for more, but I can't guarantee for sure that I'll always be able to pop in and respond to chapters while they're still new, so it might be more convenient to just kinda consider me an honorary list member rather than possibly having to keep taking me off and putting me back on. So yeah, feel free to just do whatever seems most convenient where that's concerned. :3
 

Dragonfree

Just me
It didn’t matter how many times I had jumped that same ramp, that feeling of being airborne was always amazing.
Since these are two full sentences, you can't use just a comma to separate them.

“Big deal, I can beat that!!”
More than one exclamation mark is never necessary.

“Seriously, Ebony? Come on, you know who I am, and you sure as heck know you don’t actually need to protect your idiot owner,” I said, jerking a thumb at Rudy, who was now standing next to his bike, cracking up.
This is a bit "As you know, Bob" - the phrasing here feels like something you put in for the reader's benefit to inform us that Ebony is Rudy's Pokémon (which, of course, it is), rather than something she'd actually say to her friend's Pokémon that she's known for years, and that makes it come off as kind of fake.

although her reluctance showed with how slowly she dragged her jet-black paws.
Kind of an awkward description. You've already told us she's a Houndour; in fact, you've already described her as black, so squeezing in a reference to the color of her paws here feels wildly unnecessary.

“Wait, so you passed the test?” Rudy asked eagerly.

“I already told you when I got my results yesterday, didn’t I? What does it really matter if I can’t leave to go on a Pokémon Journey?” I muttered.
Wait, huh? She already told him she passed the test and he still asks her about it? Also, she seems to be implying she isn't going out on a journey even though she just made a reference to how she's getting a license now. I'm confused. o.o

There is a lot more "As you know, Bob" as the chapter goes on - all the characters seem to have caught a serious case of let's-explain-things-we-both-know-to-each-other-itis. You really don't need to have the characters talk about any of these things, because one of them is your narrator - she can simply think it. It's a lot easier to excuse having characters think things for the reader's benefit than say those things to other characters, provided those things are relevant enough for the character to plausibly be thinking about them, which they are.

I glanced over to see a small, tawny bird Pokémon flapping his wings from atop a wooden perch.
This doesn't feel like Jade seeing her own Pidgey; it feels like Jade seeing some Pidgey. Surely from her point of view seeing her pet Pokémon shouldn't just register as "a small, tawny bird Pokémon flapping his wings from atop a wooden perch". It sounds like she's familiar with neither the bird nor the perch, making the reader start to imagine Jade looking over there at this random Pidgey and get confused when she starts talking to it as if nothing were more natural.

Right…it would’ve been illegal for him to use Poké balls if he weren’t a licensed trainer.
I'd think you should either capitalize both words of "Poké Balls" or neither - this doesn't make much sense.

When the flames cleared, I saw it, and it was unlike anything I had ever seen.
This sentence bugs me - "and it was unlike anything I had ever seen" seems kind of a weird and rather wimpy way to describe seeing a legendary Pokémon, and it's unnecessary anyway since you go on to spend a good long paragraph describing her amazement.

Entei recoiled backwards, pelted by bullets—they were shooting it???
As with exclamation marks, you never need more than one question mark in a row.

Is there a real reason Mr. Mystery Man just cheerfully told her everything? She only saw anything because he got her to follow him, so it's not that she was already involved, and she wasn't exactly brimming with enthusiasm about stopping Team Rocket once they'd witnessed Entei there - all she did was go "Um, shouldn't we maybe do something?", which is pretty much the expected human reaction, so it doesn't exactly justify his bizarre decision to trust her. At least one would expect him to be very careful with the information that he is part of Team Rocket but working against them - that's a recipe for getting oneself murdered if there ever was one, and volunteering it to a strange girl who could be a Rocket member's daughter for all he knows is a pretty humongous risk for the very small benefit of being able to answer her when she asks how he got his info on Team Rocket. And then, of course, there's the bit where he's recruiting a girl who he knows isn't a trainer yet before he starts to involve her, and the card makes it sound like he's making a habit of recruiting beginning trainers, which doesn't make much sense unless he has good reason to believe established trainers are very likely to be tied to Team Rocket somehow.

Anyway, it's nice to see the plot jumping into action immediately (unlike *cough* some fics). Looking forward to more.
 
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Chibi Pika

Stay positive
@Diddy

Heh, believe me, I wanted to post it earlier, but there were still a bunch of things I hadn’t yet worked out. The battle that you remember involving the Regis wasn’t from this fic though. Sounds like it’s from a fic with a similar premise, though I wouldn’t be surprised, as originality is not one of my fic’s strong points (but that’s going to be a given with a fic that tries to take a bunch of clichés and attempt to make them good.)


@Kutie Pie

Kehe, your Pikachu needs to play Yellow version! Charizard can totally learn Fly!

Heh, I was actually wondering if anyone would ever try to compare the two. The next chapter (which is comprised of the second half of the old Chapter 1) is insanely different.
Question that came to mind: is this similar to the Pokémon Special manga by any chance? I got that feeling when Jade was talking to the stranger whom I swear is Lance, but most likely isn't.
Oh man. In the old days (like…really old days) I used to rip off the Pokémon Special manga so hard it is not even funny. And not even in the interesting sort of way, with themes or the like. Funnily enough, you’re not the first person to compare him to Lance, though he’s too young to be (and has significantly less spiky of hair. xD)
And how come the chapter is called "Death on the Mountainside"? I'm sure it's reference to the forest fires and/or Team Rocket showing up, but there didn't seem to be anything that was dead. The closest dead thing we have is the Charmander, and it's still alive. Meh, I'm sure I'm just looking too hard into it.
*Snicker* An artifact of the past. The first incarnation of this chapter as we know it (Revision 6) was so completely melodramatic and over-the-top and loved to shout at you, “Hey Jade is walking through this area filled with death! And there are dead things everywhere! Dead death DEAD DEATH.” (…I was 14 and had this complex about proving that my fic was cool and mature.) The title is kept mostly out of nostalgia because even for all its silliness, it was still the first version of the fic that began with Jade not getting a starter and going on a journey.
Anyhoo, looking forward to more! Is this gonna be some weekly thing or something?
I’m thinking about doing a new chappie every ten days or so. There are still a buttload of edits to be made to future chapters and I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I might get impatient and post Chapter 2 before that though, because it’s actually semi-final right now. Chapter 3 is still a weird mess though.


@Sike Saner

Hello Sike!! =D I can guarantee a 100% more awesome reading experience this time around! (Even though you already know all the plot twists, but oh well.) And hey, remember that silly/weird PM I sent you about all the logic fails I was trying to sort through about the plane incident? I actually somehow magically fixed them!



@Dragonfree

Alrighty, any of the various nitpicks I don’t respond to here are the ones that I’m gonna go and edit, no questions asked. Thanks for the thoroughness by the way (even if I whine or seem ungrateful.)
This is a bit "As you know, Bob" - the phrasing here feels like something you put in for the reader's benefit to inform us that Ebony is Rudy's Pokémon (which, of course, it is), rather than something she'd actually say to her friend's Pokémon that she's known for years, and that makes it come off as kind of fake.
Egh, that was me trying to grapple against the urge to just throw all of that info into the narration (where it originally was) since I’ve been trying to wage a war against my old tendency to have Jade infodump at the readers. And now I realize that all I needed to do was just use my newly improved author powers to make the narration *gasp* less infodump-ish! (Why do I always realize these things too late?)

Also, maybe it’s just a symptom of the fact that I do “As you know Bob”s all the time in real life. X.x
Wait, huh? She already told him she passed the test and he still asks her about it? Also, she seems to be implying she isn't going out on a journey even though she just made a reference to how she's getting a license now. I'm confused. o.o
Alright, this is why I’m glad I’m posting this darned thing again! I’ve read it so many times that idiotic lines like that slip by. I think added that line of Rudy’s in like…Revision 7 (the stupid revision, for future reference.) That or…maybe I was trying to characterize Rudy as the sort of person who would forget/not really pay attention to things his friend told him (and while that is perfectly in-character for him, I could certainly think of less dumb ways to include that.)

The part about Jade, though…that’s a bit more involved. And now that I look at it, I think it was my attempt to make something more convenient 20 chapters later, which I hadn’t planned on at the time of writing it (what.)

Okay, to attempt to sort through this… basically, I think my train of thought was that Jade had finally been allowed to take the Pokémon training test, but was still not allowed to go on a journey (yes, that that is more brilliance brought to you by 2004.) Well, the obvious response to that would be: “Lol, just change it. You’re obviously not opposed to revising things.” The problem is…Jade does in fact get a license eventually (very eventually), and it’s without her parents’ approval. So I set it up that she had begged and pleaded to at least take the test, even though she wasn’t allowed to go on a journey. So in that way, she is in the league registry as having passed the exam and being cleared to receive a license. I’m not sure how realistic it would be for her to just be allowed to waltz into a random League building and be allowed to take the exam.

Hm…I just realized…maybe all of this could have been avoided if I just scrapped the whole “not allowed to go on journey” thing (yet another thing I shoved into an old revision without putting much thought into it.) Except…that would have extremely drastic effects on a ton of future events…oof.
There is a lot more "As you know, Bob" as the chapter goes on - all the characters seem to have caught a serious case of let's-explain-things-we-both-know-to-each-other-itis. You really don't need to have the characters talk about any of these things, because one of them is your narrator - she can simply think it. It's a lot easier to excuse having characters think things for the reader's benefit than say those things to other characters, provided those things are relevant enough for the character to plausibly be thinking about them, which they are.
Hmm. I’m almost curious what your opinion would be on the way I had it in revision 10 (even though it suffered from the aforementioned infodump syndrome.) Looks like the best thing I can do here is edit it back to the way it used to be. xP
More than one exclamation mark is never necessary.

As with exclamation marks, you never need more than one question mark in a row.
Yeeaaahh…this is one of those things where…I know that in all technicality it’s wrong, but…

Alright, you’ve sold me on the question mark thing. I know I got into the habit of using more than one punctuation mark because I’m so picky that my sentences sound exactly the way I intended them, and that it didn’t matter because it was an informal narrator. But I can see how multiple question marks might be kind of silly (though I do want to be able to distinguish the tone between mild confusion and complete bafflement, but oh well.) However, when it comes to exclamation points…I just, I don’t know. I know they say it weakens sentences, but there are so many instances that just wouldn’t sound right without… *goes off to ponder.*
Is there a real reason Mr. Mystery Man just cheerfully told her everything? She only saw anything because he got her to follow him, so it's not that she was already involved, and she wasn't exactly brimming with enthusiasm about stopping Team Rocket once they'd witnessed Entei there - all she did was go "Um, shouldn't we maybe do something?", which is pretty much the expected human reaction, so it doesn't exactly justify his bizarre decision to trust her. At least one would expect him to be very careful with the information that he is part of Team Rocket but working against them - that's a recipe for getting oneself murdered if there ever was one, and volunteering it to a strange girl who could be a Rocket member's daughter for all he knows is a pretty humongous risk for the very small benefit of being able to answer her when she asks how he got his info on Team Rocket. And then, of course, there's the bit where he's recruiting a girl who he knows isn't a trainer yet before he starts to involve her, and the card makes it sound like he's making a habit of recruiting beginning trainers, which doesn't make much sense unless he has good reason to believe established trainers are very likely to be tied to Team Rocket somehow.
Lesse…where do I start… I have spent a very long time trying to work out the logistics of all this (though I won’t pretend there aren’t still kinks that need to be ironed out.) I’m just gonna say that…I wouldn’t say he trusts her yet…at all. Given that, however…the line about the fact that he’s on Team Rocket is one of those outdated ones I really should have caught and deleted, so I’ll get rid of that, because there’s no reason for that to be revealed here. Basically…he’s not being too choosy because…urk…dang, I…don’t think I can say why, and not even in the typical-misleading-author kind of way. (And hey, unlike 2005 Chibi, I’m not just being vague and mysterious to seem like I have more things figured out than I really do.)

But this brings up an important thing that had been bothering me because it’s a plot device I use way too often: what is the best way to go about including obvious logical flaws in a character’s actions, with the intent to explain them later, without frustrating readers in the meantime? In later chapters I try to gloss over it by having Jade go, “Wtf, none of this makes sense, but maybe I just don’t know enough.”

But yeah, this just kind of gives some insight into what a logistical NIGHTMARE this revision has been and why it’s taken me three years to do it. In Rewrite three, I just cheerfully plowed ahead into a retardedly complicated web of character actions, and it’s taken me this long to try to make them semi-plausible. Actually…the entire fic is basically me trying to logic through all these dumb ideas from when I was—
Silverwing;249;: Pretty sure she already knows that, Chibs.




Whew! *deep breath* Long post! So many things to edit! T_T Man, I’m dreading some of the later chapters now. Why am I still trying to make this big logic fail of a fic actually make sense after ten years? Right. Insanity. Gotcha.


Thanks so very much to everyone for reviewing! Oh yeah, and I’m currently working on a bunch of character artwork, so hopefully I can have one up with each chapter.

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 

Dragonfree

Just me
Chibi Pika said:
The part about Jade, though…that’s a bit more involved. And now that I look at it, I think it was my attempt to make something more convenient 20 chapters later, which I hadn’t planned on at the time of writing it (what.)

Okay, to attempt to sort through this… basically, I think my train of thought was that Jade had finally been allowed to take the Pokémon training test, but was still not allowed to go on a journey (yes, that that is more brilliance brought to you by 2004.) Well, the obvious response to that would be: “Lol, just change it. You’re obviously not opposed to revising things.” The problem is…Jade does in fact get a license eventually (very eventually), and it’s without her parents’ approval. So I set it up that she had begged and pleaded to at least take the test, even though she wasn’t allowed to go on a journey. So in that way, she is in the league registry as having passed the exam and being cleared to receive a license. I’m not sure how realistic it would be for her to just be allowed to waltz into a random League building and be allowed to take the exam.

Hm…I just realized…maybe all of this could have been avoided if I just scrapped the whole “not allowed to go on journey” thing (yet another thing I shoved into an old revision without putting much thought into it.) Except…that would have extremely drastic effects on a ton of future events…oof.
Oh, I wasn't really complaining about the fact it happens that way - I was just confused by it and couldn't figure out what you were actually implying. If you'd just gotten across what's going on in the narration better I wouldn't have tripped over it like that, but because I lacked the background information I couldn't quite piece it together. It's just a clarity issue.

Chibi Pika said:
However, when it comes to exclamation points…I just, I don’t know. I know they say it weakens sentences, but there are so many instances that just wouldn’t sound right without… *goes off to ponder.*
Well. When I say you don't need multiple exclamation marks, I don't mean the stock complaint that it weakens sentences or something - I've never really gotten how that is supposed to work, and there are a lot of similar stock complaints that I'd argue are actually just wrong. But when I see two exclamation marks in a row, I think of particularly immature YouTube commenters. No matter how not-right you feel like it would sound with only one exclamation mark, it cannot possibly be worse than how it sounds with two exclamation marks to me and (I'd wager) many other readers. Hell, the moment I see the second exclamation mark I can't even imagine the character speaking it aloud anymore, because in my head it just transforms itself into a YouTube comment. It's easy for nonstandard word usage or punctuation to take on some nuanced meaning when you're used to writing that way - but ultimately, when a wider audience comes into the picture, you have to consider whether it is actually communicating that nuance to them.

Chibi Pika said:
But this brings up an important thing that had been bothering me because it’s a plot device I use way too often: what is the best way to go about including obvious logical flaws in a character’s actions, with the intent to explain them later, without frustrating readers in the meantime? In later chapters I try to gloss over it by having Jade go, “Wtf, none of this makes sense, but maybe I just don’t know enough.”
That would depend on what the actual reason for the character's seemingly illogical actions is, but I'd say the main character being confused specifically by the illogicality of it is reasonably reassuring that the character's behaviour is intentionally strange. (Here Jade only questioned a couple of aspects of it - she was confused by why he was handing out cards to beginning trainers, but not by why he'd want to involve her when she wasn't a trainer at all or why he was telling her all that stuff.) There are also ways of actively making somebody's actions seem deliberately illogical as opposed to just illogical, e.g. by making them react very defensively when asked about it, make up a blatantly flimsy excuse, etc., but that depends on the characterization and the precise nature of what they're doing.

Sorry for all the nitpicking. It's just what I do.
 
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Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Oh, I wasn't really complaining about the fact it happens that way - I was just confused by it and couldn't figure out what you were actually implying. If you'd just gotten across what's going on in the narration better I wouldn't have tripped over it like that, but because I lacked the background information I couldn't quite piece it together. It's just a clarity issue.
Ohhhhh-kay, that makes sense. ^^; Well, that's a relief. Yeah, I can definitely make it more clear.
Well. When I say you don't need multiple exclamation marks, I don't mean the stock complaint that it weakens sentences or something - I've never really gotten how that is supposed to work, and there are a lot of similar stock complaints that I'd argue are actually just wrong. But when I see two exclamation marks in a row, I think of particularly immature YouTube commenters. No matter how not-right you feel like it would sound with only one exclamation mark, it cannot possibly be worse than how it sounds with two exclamation marks to me and (I'd wager) many other readers. Hell, the moment I see the second exclamation mark I can't even imagine the character speaking it aloud anymore, because in my head it just transforms itself into a YouTube comment. It's easy for nonstandard word usage or punctuation to take on some nuanced meaning when you're used to writing that way - but ultimately, when a wider audience comes into the picture, you have to consider whether it is actually communicating that nuance to them.
Aw dangit. Yet another way that Youtube commenters ruin everything. I'm not totally sure if I'll abstain from it entirely, but I've looked at the future chapters and I could definitely stand to tone it down quite a bit, in any case. And the double question mark thing must have been a recent habit because I never used to do it. :S

While on the subject, what are your thoughts on all caps? (I only use them veeerrrrry sparingly.) I know some people find them annoying, but I think they can be effective. :/
Sorry for all the nitpicking. It's just what I do.
It's alright, and actually, it's helped me out in more ways than just fixing the things you've pointed out. I'm starting to think about the future chapters more critically because I don't want things pointed out there too. xP For example, in Chapter 4, there was a really contrived coincidence. It did have an explanation, but it was kind of a flimsy one. I was thinking to myself, "Dang, I'm gonna get grilled for this, I know it," and then all of a sudden the solution hit me. I realized the real reason why that coincidence happened, and that it was not a coincidence at all. In fact, it fit together perfectly with like three other things and happened to foreshadow something later on, which was lacking in the foreshadowing department. It's like my fic has been trolling me all along.




Anywho, slightly delayed response due to trying to finish up the first piece of fic art!
_lc__jade_by_chibi_pika-d4c86rz.png

Ugh, took forever. I'm not sure whether she looks the right age though. I used to always draw people looking too young, and now I draw them too old. Oh, and uh...I don't think it's too much of a spoiler that she keeps the Charmander? Would've drawn her with Swift too, but I'm bad at drawing Pidgey, and I was impatient. =P

Next chapter will be followed by Rudy art. Should be up soon. I wanna finish doing the edits to Chapter 1 and fully revise Chapter 3 first.

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 
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Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
Anywho, slightly delayed response due to trying to finish up the first piece of fic art!
[img139]http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/281/9/0/_lc__jade_by_chibi_pika-d4c86rz.png[/img139]
Ugh, took forever. I'm not sure whether she looks the right age though. I used to always draw people looking too young, and now I draw them too old. Oh, and uh...I don't think it's too much of a spoiler that she keeps the Charmander? Would've drawn her with Swift too, but I'm bad at drawing Pidgey, and I was impatient. =P

Next chapter will be followed by Rudy art. Should be up soon.

O_____O

Oh my gosh! That's... that's amazing! I love it! From what I can remember of your old comic, you have gotten LOADS better! Your style is so mature, it's breath-taking! Well, actually... I don't know why, but it looks like Full Metal Alchemist style for some reason XD. But that doesn't matter, you draw people better than I do! And fabric. The fabrics awesome.

*jealousy gauge rises*

I'm going to be more jealous if you did this all on a mouse.

I look forward to more drawings! And chapters.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Well, I’d been hoping to have more of Chapter 3 finalized before posting this chapter, but it’s been a busy week, what with friends visiting and the zombie apocalypse starting. At least I worked out most of its more serious logic fails so just writing all the replacement scenes shouldn’t take too long.

This chapter in particular has diverged immensely from previous revisions. The course of events before was extremely unbelievable, so I hope it works better now!



~Chapter 2: Reinforcements~

wsfFZqS.png

I immediately bolted in the opposite direction, mind racing. They were coming for me—why were they coming for me? Swift flew by my side as I sprinted though the woods, ash burning my eyes, my throat. Couldn’t think, had to run. One foot in front of the other, pumping my arms as hard as I could. My heart pounded and my lungs ached, but the smothering wave of fear pushed me forward. I threw a glance over my shoulder, and—

I shouldn’t have done that; they were too close. The jeep was bowling over the uneven ground and fallen trees like they were nothing. The forest wasn’t dense enough to slow them down, not after the fire. Dammit.

My bike, had to reach my bike. Nothing was more important than that. I could make it to town before they caught me and then lose them on the side streets. Just that tiny shred of hope was enough to keep me going, but was I too far away? I couldn’t help glancing over my shoulder again and—oh god. They were right behind me. I wasn’t going to make it!

The jeep sped past me and swerved abruptly into my path. I skidded to a stop just before I would have slammed into the side and spun around as fast as I could. Too late—the driver threw open the door, and a fist locked around the back of my shirt collar.

“No! No, stop, let go!!” I screamed, flailing as hard as I could, but I couldn’t get free. The Rocket dragged me toward the jeep, flung open the back hatch, and threw me inside. Then he climbed back into the front seat and drove off.

I lay there in a crumpled heap, my heart racing and my breathing shallow and my brain still trying to work through what the hell had just happened. Why was this happening to me? Why, why, why? I tried to get my mouth to form the words, “what do you want with me?” but the sentence died in my throat.

The Rockets were talking. One of them said something and laughed, but their words seemed to bounce off my ears. Nothing felt real.

I wasn’t sure how much time had passed before I finally attempted to sit up. My heart was still pounding so hard I thought it would burst. First a shuddering breath while I tried to clear the dizzying panic from my head. Then my arms pushed against the floor and lifted my upper body from the mud-caked surface. Okay, that made my head feel lighter at least. Another deep breath and I managed to sit up fully.

I found myself peering over the back seat without meaning to, glancing between the four Rockets in the jeep. The man who’d grabbed me was driving. He was tall, burly, and looked older than the others. My eyes slid to his reflection in the rearview mirror—he had thick black hair and dark eyes surrounded by a stern and commanding face. Just looking at him made me shiver; I couldn’t help ducking behind the seat.

My eyes wandered to the window and caught sight of… buildings? We were nearing Viridian, but why? Why hadn’t we rejoined the group going after Entei? If we drove through Viridian instead, would it be possible to yell for help?

No. The windows were up, and the Rockets were likely armed. There was no way out of this.

I sank back against the seat, staring numbly out the window. And then I saw him—Swift was following us, flapping his wings rapidly to keep up. My heart leapt for a moment… until reality caught up with the simple truth that he couldn’t do anything either.

“Just go,” I whispered, though he couldn’t hear me. “There’s nothing you can do…”

But he kept following. He trailed us all through Viridian City, even as we passed the outskirts and headed into the forests east of town. I kept my eyes on him the whole time. It was comforting… but also made my heart ache.

Eventually, the jeep turned off the road we’d been following and into an empty parking lot surrounded by trees. We slowed to a stop in front of a large warehouse, where the driver rolled down his window and reached out to tap a card key to a scanner. The oversized garage door began to slide open, revealing a wide ramp descending into darkness.

As the driver took us inside, I turned to look behind us one last time. Swift was gone. Even if he’d still been there, it would obviously be a bad idea for him to follow us inside, where he could get trapped. It was better that he’d left. And yet… I couldn’t help feeling more alone than ever.

At the bottom of the ramp, we emerged into a massive underground hangar filled with trucks, small aircraft, and even a jet plane. I stared around at it all, utterly floored. Team Rocket was really this huge? The Charizard trainer had said as much, but… I hadn’t wanted to believe him. Seeing all this, right in front of me, it was pretty hard to ignore.

The jeep finally came to a stop, and the engine shut off. Doors swung open; the Rockets all exited the vehicle. I watched the driver walk over to an office door and scan his card key to unlock it before walking inside. And so, I was left alone. The only person who even knew I’d been taken was Swift. And what could he do about it, really? I found myself idly reaching into my pocket and grabbing the Pokéball with the Charmander, rolling it in my palm. I couldn’t let it out, not in its condition. And now it was in Team Rocket’s grasp just as much as I was. Some help I’d been.

I jolted at the loud slam of a door flying open. A man stormed out wearing an irritated expression, closely followed by the driver, who had a much smaller, more defensive air than earlier. It looked like the two were arguing. Maybe… maybe I could listen to them? I had to know if I was dead. The suspense was eating me alive. And so, acting more on impulse than anything, I slowly edged myself over the back seat and cracked open the car door.

“Of course no one ever feels like telling me a damn thing about the mission status,” the new (higher-ranked?) Rocket snapped. “And what the hell made you think it would be a good idea to grab some random kid who happened to see it? Sure, she reports someone attacking a legend, big deal. No one would have any idea that it was us. But now she sure as hell knows too much. Honestly, Tyson, I don’t even know why I—”

“That’s not all,” the driver cut in. “I saw him. The one we’ve heard rumors about from the new recruits. Of course, he was far off so I didn’t see what he looked like, but I know she did.”

A very heavy pause followed.

“Don’t tell me you’re taking that crap seriously?” his superior asked. “I don’t know what you’ve heard, but all I’ve heard is that some dumbass is going around gathering a bunch of kids to fight us.”

“I heard he was a part of the revolt.”

Yet another pause. “So he might know more about us than we thought,” the other Rocket said, sounding at least somewhat intrigued. “But how many others left us that day? Have any of them accomplished much? I don’t see how this is any—”

He was interrupted by the ring of a cell phone. Tyson answered it and proceeded to listen for nearly a minute while his superior watched, still irritated. After some time, Tyson gave a short, curt response and hung up.

“Well?” the higher-rank snapped.

Tyson straightened. “It was a mission update. Entei was just about to escape, but then—you’re not gonna believe this—the Johto combat unit showed up.” His superior made an exaggerated sound of disgust.

“They took control of the situation,” Tyson went on, “and of course one of their agents was the one who caught Entei. But now he’s refusing to hand it over; he’s waiting for orders from the Johto commander.”

I went rigid with shock. They had actually caught it? They’d caught Entei? A Legendary Pokémon had been captured, and these two were talking about it like it was as normal as homework.

“The idiot. Boss’s word isn’t enough for him?” the higher-rank muttered, folding his arms.

Tyson shrugged. “It’s the Johto force. You know how they are.”

“Tch… always making their own terms for everything…” He scoffed. “Anyway, we’re almost ready to ship the experiments to Celadon for testing, along with the supplies and machinery.” The higher-rank jerked a thumb toward the far side of the hangar. “Since you’re back, and you have a… vested interest in that program, I want you on board.” At this point, he let out a sigh. “Now, about the kid…”

“Should I just dispose of her?” Tyson cut in, and my heart stopped.

“Well, if you’re convinced that she knows anything, it could be useful,” the higher-rank said. “But I don’t have time to question her, and I know none of the admins do.” Unexpectedly, he laughed. “I know, this is perfect—most of the department heads are at Celadon HQ right now. Stick the girl on the transport jet; let them deal with what to do with her.” With that, he walked off to discuss things with some of the other Rockets.

I collapsed into the seat, letting out a huge sigh of relief. My situation hadn’t improved, but just knowing that I wasn’t dead yet was enough to make me feel slightly better. But then a few seconds later, Tyson started walking back toward the jeep, and my heart jumped into my throat. I threw myself over the back seat and tried my best to look like I hadn’t moved.

“Well, it’s your lucky day,” Tyson said with a sneer as the back hatch opened. “If you keep your head down and answer the executives’ questions, they might not mind letting you live, though I’m not offering any guarantees.” He grabbed me by the wrist and dragged me out of the jeep. I wanted to resist, I wanted to run, I wanted to do something, but I was paralyzed. Where could I run? I’d be shot if they decided I was more trouble than I was worth.

“Here,” Tyson said, handing me off to one of his subordinates. “Tie her up and put her on the transport jet. Don’t forget the standard procedures.”

Tyson walked off, and the grunt dragged me toward the large, black airplane on the opposite side of the hangar. Several mechanics were checking the plane over while other Rockets loaded crates into the cargo hold. That’s where Tyson’s subordinate was taking me. We reached the front of the cargo hold, where the Rocket opened a door that led into a small, dimly-lit space with a stairwell leading upward. He proceeded to pat down my pockets and immediately found the Charmander’s Pokéball, which he took.

My heart crumpled inward. “What do you want with Charmander—it’s badly hurt!”

“I’m sure they’ll heal it before it’s sold,” the Rocket drawled, pocketing it. I wanted to reach out, make him give it back, anything. But my arm wouldn’t move.

The only thing else I had on me was my wallet, so the Rocket took that as well, flipping through its contents.

“So…” he said, pulling out my school ID, “Jade Arens, fourteen years old. I’ll be sure to get that on file. And… what do we have here?” I felt like kicking myself when he pulled out the wad of cash I had stuffed in there. It was my birthday savings, which I’d intended to use on a journey someday. Part of me had known that it was a stupid idea to carry it around like that, but… there wasn’t much I could do about it now.

After finding the money, the Rocket didn’t bother looking at anything else I had in there and simply tossed the wallet into a bin. He then zip-tied me to a metal railing with my wrists behind my back, then shut the door.

I was alone. For how long, I had no idea. I couldn’t see my watch. The only sound was the occasional clunk of more cargo being loaded onto the plane. It was nerve-wracking just sitting there drenched in sweat mixed with soot, not knowing how much longer until something happened, or even what would happen. Struggling against my bindings only made them dig into my wrists even more.

After what felt like hours, I heard another door shut and then the heavy thud of what must have been the cargo hatch closing. The air filled with the steadily growing hum of engines. The plane was moving now, slanting backwards as it traveled up the long ramp that led outside the hangar. Once we were outside, the plane turned, and I felt a sudden rush of acceleration until the moment we lifted off. And with that, we were airborne, and I was heading off toward an unknown fate.

Thoughts wouldn’t stop buzzing in my head, no matter how badly I wanted them to stop. What would I have done differently if I had the chance to redo today? Going into the forest was probably my biggest mistake. Or maybe following the mysterious trainer I’d met. But if what he’d said about Team Rocket’s goals was true…

The Rockets had caught Entei. That was just… wrong. My brain didn’t know how to process it. I still found myself wishing I could have done something. Even if…

A sudden thud jarred me from my thoughts. I strained my ears to hear more, but the hum of the engines was too loud. At least, until another clang rang out a minute later, much closer to the door this time. I tensed up immediately. What did they want now?

…Wait. That door led into the cargo hold. Why on earth would anyone be in there?

I had no idea what I expected to see when the metal door swung open. …But I definitely wasn’t expecting what I did see.

A teenage boy about a year or two older than me stood in the doorway. He had a messy look about him, with thick, dirty-blond hair and way-too baggy clothes and a Pokéball belt hanging low on one side. And he was currently looking rather pleased with himself.

“Hello there,” he said. “It looks like I’m rescuing you. My name’s Spencer—I think we’re gonna be good friends.”

I blinked. I had about a million questions, but about the only thing I could say was, “What?”

He frowned. “That’s all the response I get? Boring.” He stood aside, allowing a sleek, tan and black-furred beast to step in front of him. “Alright Typhlosion, go ahead and cut those ties.”

Typhlosion’s claws lit up with white light, and a few well-placed slashes later, I was free. I stood up, rubbing my wrists and clenching my hands to get the blood moving again.

Still trying to make sense out of this random turn of events, I asked, “What are you doing here? And how did you know I was here? Who are you?”

“I already told you my name,” Spencer said matter-of-factly, folding his arms. “And, uh, I guess if you wanna know how I got here, you’ll have to ask him.” He motioned a thumb over his shoulder.

A voice behind him said, “Yeah, Jade, I hope you’re happy, because I hadn’t planned on getting stuck on some stupid plane like this.”

What? That voice… it couldn’t be…

Spencer stepped aside, revealing a rather disgruntled Rudy standing in the entrance to the cargo hold.

“How did you get here?” I asked, completely floored.

He groaned slightly, putting a hand to his face. “Well, Spencer needed to find his Pokémon, and luckily it was the same place they had taken you, so we snuck on board.”

I clapped a hand to my forehead. “Okay, just… what? That doesn’t answer my—how about you actually start at the beginning? How did you know I was here?”

“Alright, alright,” Rudy said impatiently, as though the details didn’t matter and he wanted to get them out of the way as quickly as possible. “It’s because of Swift. I walked to your house to show off my starter, and I saw him pecking the windows in a fuss, and—what’s with that look?” My jaw had dropped upon hearing the word “starter.”

“You got a starter?” I blurted out. “Already?”

“Hey, uh, not to break up the reunion or anything, but aren’t there Rockets upstairs?” Spencer asked.

I glanced up the stairwell. We were down by the cargo hold, which meant that the upper level probably led to the cockpit.

“Riiight. We should probably move out of here,” I said. Luckily, the engines were loud enough that it didn’t seem like anyone had overheard us. The Rockets probably would have come barging down here by now if they had.

We made our way inside the cargo hold. It was colder in here and barely had any lighting, so Spencer gave Typhlosion a pat, and the Pokémon’s neck lit up. The firelight was comforting somehow. Really, just them being there was enough to make the entire situation feel better. I wasn’t alone anymore; with four of us here, we had to find some way out.

“So… Swift was the one who led you to the Rocket base?” I asked Rudy.

He nodded. “Yep. Saw him flying around like crazy, and from what I could tell, he was saying you were in trouble? So I followed him to the edge of town and that’s when I ran into Spencer.”

“Yeah, my Pokémon were stolen from me a few days ago,” Spencer added. “I’d been scoping out the entrance to the hideout for a while, but I had no idea how I was ever gonna get inside. Then Rudy showed up in the area, and about an hour later, a bunch of jeeps were returning to the base, so we took the chance to sneak in behind ‘em.”

I stared at him, impressed. “You guys snuck into a Rocket base? What was your plan?”

“No plan, really. Just kind of improvising, y’know?” Spencer said, laughing awkwardly. My face fell slightly. Okay, so maybe my new ally wasn’t the most capable.

“We hung out by the cargo area where we could keep out of sight and eavesdrop on the passing Rockets,” he went on. “Then I overheard stuff about transporting Pokémon and supplies and a prisoner.”

“And just look at this awesome mess it’s gotten us all into,” Rudy added. His tone was somewhere between a joke and an accusation.

“You didn’t have to come and get me,” I muttered, a bit defensive.

“Ah, don’t be stupid,” he said, waving a hand dismissively. “Anyway, we’re here now. This Team Rocket crew sounds like bad news, so we’ve gotta find a way off this plane.”

“I doubt that’ll be happening until it lands,” Spencer piped up. “I didn’t pack a parachute.”

“Well…” I said, “I guess we’re not in any danger right now, so we’ve got time to plan.”

“Exactly,” Rudy said. “Anyway, why don’t we start by screwing up as much of the crap on this plane as possible.”

With a glance around at the crates surrounding us, I replied, “Screw up things how? I don’t think we can just go around destroying random crap while flying.”

“Well, for one thing… what do we do about the rest of the stolen Pokémon?” Spencer asked, motioning towards an open crate. “I already got mine back, but—”

“Wait, those are stolen Pokémon?” I asked, running over to see the box full of stacked Pokéball trays. “I had a Charmander with me before I was captured. It might be in here.”

Now it was Rudy’s turn to gape at me. “You have a Charmander? What in the… how?”

“I found it out on Route 22, where I got captured. It’s… kind of a long story.” I shifted through some of the Pokéballs in dismay. “How am I ever gonna figure out which one it’s in?”

“Here,” Spencer said, pulling out his Pokédex and opening it. I watched curiously as he held the Pokéballs up one by one to the device’s scanning lens. After about twenty or so of them, he announced, “Here we go. Low-level, unregistered Charmander. Uh… its energy is reeaally low. I know they always say you gotta defeat the Pokémon before they’ll let you train them, but come on now.”

“I didn’t catch it,” I said, a bit defensive despite his joking tone. “It was half-dead when I found it. I’ve got to get it healed.” I turned to gaze vaguely around all the boxes in the cargo hold. Maybe one of them had healing supplies?

“Alright you fix your Charmander, and I’ll go see if I can find anything useful,” Rudy said, taking the opportunity to wander off. I could have sworn I heard him mumble, “We should totally set some of this junk on fire at least.”

I stuck closer to the front of the plane, prying open boxes and scanning their contents as I went. I had wondered what the jet was intended to transport, but now it seemed like the answer was almost anything. Most of the crates were filled with machine parts and computerized devices, but then others were packed with battle enhancements or stronger types of Pokéball. Finally, I scored—a box packed with healing supplies. I picked up the first thing I could find and read the label.

“‘Full Restore—effective on all types of surface damage or injuries, including burns, frost, poison, paralysis’… sounds great.” I noticed the rather unappealing price tag of 3000p—good thing I wasn’t buying it.

I held out the Charmander’s Pokéball and carefully pressed the button, splitting it open and letting out a burst of light that condensed into the fire lizard’s unconscious form. It shivered a bit, but otherwise didn’t move. Still in the same condition as earlier.

I kneeled down and sprayed the liquid all over the Charmander’s skin. The lizard flinched, but soon enough, the charred flesh slowly regained its normal color, leaving only patches of scabs on some parts of its back. It was honestly amazing how quickly Pokémon could heal when given a bit of help. Now I just needed something to wake it up.

“Hey Spencer!” I called out. “Do you know the name of the stuff that can revive Pokémon?”

“You mean like a revive?”

Oh. Duh.

I dug through the box some more. “Got it,” I said, pulling out a small yellow crystal. After skimming the instruction label, I cracked the shell of the crystal to activate it and then gently held it against the fire-type’s forehead. After about 20 seconds, I noticed that the tiny flare on its tail had grown into a full flame. Finally, it opened its bright blue eyes and stumbled to its feet.

“How are you feeling?” I asked.

The lizard spun around, eyes wide with alarm. It clutched its tail and glanced cautiously around at the strange environment.

“This has got to be a pretty big shock. And, uh… you’re probably wondering how you got here. I didn’t mean to take you from your home. It’s just that you were sort of… dying,” I finished lamely.

The Charmander relaxed slightly, but didn’t give much of a reaction to my words. Could it even understand me? As a wild Pokémon, it might never have heard human speech before.

“Can you understand me?” I asked.

It stared, apparently confused at my confusion. “*Yes…*” it said slowly, in a tone suggesting that it found the question very strange.

“Well, uh, okay—so you’ve been around humans before. Do you have a human name?”

The fire lizard gave me a long, quiet stare, something shifting in its eyes. “*Firestorm,*” it eventually said.

“Alright then. So, uh, are you male or female?” I wasn’t quite sure if that was an offensive question or not, but I couldn’t really tell. And it hadn’t referred to itself yet, which would’ve made the answer obvious, given how Pokéspeech worked.

“*Male,*” he replied simply.

I nodded, not really sure what else to ask him. After having gotten over his initial shock, Firestorm was curiously sniffing some of the storage crates, seemingly unconcerned with the whole ‘kidnapped by strange human’ thing.

The Charmander turned to me and said, “Mander char charmander char’charrman?” But it was longer than the previous one-word statements, and I didn’t catch most of it. It sounded like a question—something to do with a Pokémon trainer? I was about to ask him to repeat it, but then I heard Rudy call out, “Hey Jade, come check this out!”

I stood to my feet and motioned for the Charmander to follow if he wanted. After making my way down the center aisle, I found Rudy, Spencer, and Typhlosion, the former sitting on the floor and undoing the latches on a long metal case.

“Oh hey,” Spencer said, giving a small wave. “Normally I’d say that warnings are meant to be ignored, but I don’t know about this.” He flashed a skeptical look toward Rudy.

I stared blankly. “Huh?”

“Check it out,” Rudy said, holding up the case. Engraved on the top in sleek lettering were the words: “Pokéball Containment Unit.” Beneath that, a label read, “Caution: Experimental Pokémon are extremely unstable and must be kept in the containment unit at all times unless removed by an experiment handler.”

“Experimental Pokémon?” I said incredulously. Then again, Tyson’s superior had mentioned something like that…

“Yeah, yeah! Just think—these could be like, super-powerful mutant Pokémon. If we used them to fight the Rockets, we’d be able to get out of this for sure!” Rudy said excitedly.

I hesitated. “That… does seem like our best chance to escape, but… we don’t even know if they’ll listen to—hey, don’t let them out now!” I yelled frantically. He had opened the case, revealing several black Poke Balls encased in holders, each labeled with info on the experiment within.

“I’m just looking,” Rudy countered. “I’m not gonna let them out. Huh… these are weird looking, aren’t they?” He pulled one of the black spheres out of its holder and rotated it in his palm.

“Okay, okay, just wait. We’re not gonna have to fight until this plane lands, wherever it’s going. Spencer, how many Pokémon have you got?”

“Six,” he replied, posing importantly. “Typhlosion here is the strongest, but the rest are also pretty tough.” At his words, Typhlosion struck a pose along with him.

“Alright, that’s good since, uh… Rudy and I will be pretty useless in a fight.” It felt rather awkward to admit.

“Hey, what do you mean?! I’ve got two Pokémon,” Rudy shot back.

I clapped a hand to my forehead. “Don’t be stupid, these Rockets are dangerous.”

“How about when the plane lands, we confuse the experiments into attacking the Rockets, and then we run away during the commotion?” Spencer cut in.

“How do we do that—?”

An explosion of lightning erupted from within our circle, knocking the four of us backward into a wall of boxes. I sat up shakily, completely stunned. What on earth had just happened?

Spencer looked about as flustered as I felt. “Okay, what the heck was that?

I glanced around rapidly, my eyes falling on Rudy, toppled over in a heap with his eyes wide, clutching an opened Pokéball.

“What did you…?” I gasped.

“I didn’t open it, I swear!” he yelled back. “It—it let itself out!”

“Wait, where’s the experiment?!” Spencer cut in frantically.

The three of us whirled around in a panic, all eyes falling on the Pokémon that had appeared behind us. A jagged, lightning bolt-shaped tail twitched. Four paws slowly lifted a small, golden-furred mouse off the floor. It couldn’t be…

“It’s… it’s a Pikachu?” Spencer blurted out, stifling a laugh. “A Pikachu?

Except something looked… off about it. It was missing the familiar red cheek markings. And the fur on its head was long and stiffly pointed, almost like feathers. And then its eyes snapped open, revealing a pair of piercing, birdlike eyes.

I hesitated. “Guys… I don’t think—”

A burst of sparks shot from the rodent’s body at once! I jumped backward and tripped over a box as a lightning bolt flew dangerously close to where I’d been standing. With a vicious cry, the experiment shot past us in a flash, bolting up to the highest point and sending waves of electricity through the air.

“Let me see that!” I shouted, practically shoving Rudy out of the way so I could get a look at the label on the Pokéball slot.

Experimental Pokémon 009: Hybrid series - Pikachu / Zapdos. Possesses abnormally high power level and untamable disposition. Experiment classified as failure due to undersized power capacity, unstable energy signature, and immunity to standard experiment control procedures.​

My face fell with dread. “This thing was mixed with the Legendary Zapdos.”

“What? No way… That is awesome!” Rudy exclaimed.

“Hey, focus! If we don’t stop it, it could end up taking down the plane!”

“Er, right, I’ll put it back in the ball—”

The Pikachu turned sharply and shot a string of lightning at us, shattering the black Pokéball before we could do anything. I gaped in horror—what were we supposed to do now? Firestorm clutched at my leg in fear. Typhlosion leapt in front of us and snarled defensively, its neck blaze flaring to full height.

And then, in the midst of all this, the overhead lights suddenly flipped on, followed by the sound of a metal door creaking open.

“WHAT. THE. EVER. LIVING. HELL?!!”

My stomach sank even lower as I turned to see Tyson standing in the doorway to the cargo hold, his eyes wide with shock.

“Uhh, hey,” Spencer said, waving awkwardly. “Could you leave for a bit? We kind of have a situation here.”

Tyson stared at us in a sort of stupefied rage for several seconds until his eyes slid over to the experimental Pikachu. He clenched his teeth and grabbed one of the black Pokéballs from his belt, opening it. The flash of light took the form of a huge green mantis with armor plating. Blank, pupil-less eyes flared mindlessly from a reptilian face. Wings twitched, ready to strike at any moment. Light glimmered off a pair of scythe-lined forearms that looked sharp enough to cut the air. From its perch atop the mountain of supplies, the Pikachu stared at the Scyther, eyes wide with what looked like anger and dread.

“Thought you’d play with the hybrids, did you?” Tyson asked with a sneer. “Then have fun facing the strongest of them. Kill them, Razors!”

The three of us couldn’t do anything but sit there, frozen in horror as the blade-armed nightmare shot toward us, too fast to even see.






~End Chapter 2~

Anyone who knows how things went in the old version might be surprised that I added Rudy and Spencer’s arrival in this chapter (it used to be in the next one.) It kind of takes away from the suspense a bit, but it makes the chapter more entertaining overall, and also makes a lot more sense, because the fact that Jade was able to free herself was something that always bugged me a lot in the old one.

Now then, I do realize that Spencer being in the area at the time all this goes down is a bit of a lucky break for the other characters. Normally I don’t like giving my characters lucky breaks. However, I ultimately decided it was a necessity, for several reasons that actually took a few months to work out. I could explain the thought process behind it all, but I don’t think I want to bore us all with that right now.

Next chapter is filled with lots of Experiment 009! I’ve had a lot of fun writing him this time around, so please look forward to it (though we don’t get to know him as a person until a few chapters from now.)

~Chibi~
 
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Agent Tectonic

From Ashes, I Come
Ya know, I actually read your previous version a few months ago when you posted in Dragonfree's fic. Since then and a few signature changes on your part announcing the updated version, I have been awaiting the return of this. Anyways, here is a rather short review of the few things that I had a qualm with in this chapter.

“You got a license. When? How?!” I pressed, my voice probably way more excited than it should have been. Sure, he had gotten it because he was gonna be leaving soon, but still…the fact that he had one was undeniably cool somehow.

I have a problem with this exclamation. In the previous chapter, Jade and Rudy already discussed about Rudy being pretty sure he was getting his license and leaving. Here, you make it out that Jade is hearing this for the first time.

“Well, if you’re convinced that she knows anything, it could be useful…but I don’t have time to question her, and I know none of the other Admins do.” Rather unexpectedly, he laughed, “I know, this is perfect—most of the head Executives are at the secondary headquarters right now. Stick the girl on the transport jet; let them deal with what to do with her.” With that, he walked off to discuss things with some of the other Rockets.

*double take* Whoa, whoa. Mercy. From Team Rocket. We are talking about a notorious crime syndicate here. You speculate later that Jade is convinced that she is going to die no matter what, but in my opinion, a heartless statement from Tyson's superior indicating that she can die there after questioning may have had a more dramatic approach.

Other than those two things, great chapter. Introducing a new character, Bringing in one of my favorite Pokemon, just awesome. So... can I be on the PM list?

Oh, just remembered something. I also have a slight problem with the Pokespeak you use, meaning the grammatical part. To me, quotations and asterisks seem a bit cluttered. Just a thought. I can live with it, but again, seems a bit cluttered when reading it.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
I have a problem with this exclamation. In the previous chapter, Jade and Rudy already discussed about Rudy being pretty sure he was getting his license and leaving. Here, you make it out that Jade is hearing this for the first time.
Ahh. I guess my intent was that she was surprised that he had gotten it so soon after, but on second thought, their earlier conversation got edited to indicate he was planning to get it right that day anyway (in the old version, it was just implied that he'd get it within the next few days.) So yeah, I'll fix that up then.
*double take* Whoa, whoa. Mercy. From Team Rocket. We are talking about a notorious crime syndicate here. You speculate later that Jade is convinced that she is going to die no matter what, but in my opinion, a heartless statement from Tyson's superior indicating that she can die there after questioning may have had a more dramatic approach.
Was his statement particularly merciful? I'm a bit interested in how the whole scene came off overall, because in the old version there was no reason whatsoever why Tyson didn't kill her out on the mountain, or why his superior sent her to the Executives. So I tried to be more careful this time around and make sure everyone had clear motivations. Is it just that Jade's reactions seemed off-balanced?
Oh, just remembered something. I also have a slight problem with the Pokespeak you use, meaning the grammatical part. To me, quotations and asterisks seem a bit cluttered. Just a thought. I can live with it, but again, seems a bit cluttered when reading it.
Mmmm...dang. That is something that's crossed my mind several times over the course of the fic's (far too long) lifespan, and I did ask readers about it several times in the last thread. I know that it's not necessary to distinguish the Pokespeech, and that some authors don't, but I've always preferred to keep it distinguished (and in a way that doesn't require forum tagging.) Everything else I tried (like say, brackets) didn't register as dialogue when I was doing read-overs, so I decided to go the opposite route and overmark it. Well, I don't want to come off as ignoring crits, so I hope it doesn't make it difficult to read. :S

Well, thank you very much for reviewing and I'll add you to the PM list. =)

~Chibi~;249;;448;
 

Agent Tectonic

From Ashes, I Come
Was his statement particularly merciful? I'm a bit interested in how the whole scene came off overall, because in the old version there was no reason whatsoever why Tyson didn't kill her out on the mountain, or why his superior sent her to the Executives. So I tried to be more careful this time around and make sure everyone had clear motivations. Is it just that Jade's reactions seemed off-balanced?

Alright, I will attempt to clarify. Team Rocket is typically trying to keep their plans secret. Your older version hinted at this quite a lot. My point is the fact that Tyson's superior seemed too... nonchalant about it.

Also, I have no problem with people separating Pokespeak and human speak. It's the double symbols that throw me off.

Hope that clarifies my meanings.
 

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
;025; - I’ve totally played Pokémon Yellow, until it died. I just never bothered to teach the Charizard Fly.

…are you saying you broke my game, Cheeky? I always knew you could destroy everything you touch, which is why I never let you touch anything out of my sight.

;025; - Not while you’re at school.

*angrish*I was THIS CLOSE to doing the Mew Glitch myself*angrish*

*long, deep breath* Anyway…

“Hello there,” he said. “It looks like I’m rescuing you. My name is Spencer—I think we’re gonna be good friends.”

He’s so blunt about it too, I can already tell he’s gonna be the funny guy of the group.

I could have sworn I heard him mumble, “We should totally set some of this junk on fire at least.”

Wait, is Rudy a pyromaniac o_O? I’m sure we’ll get more characterization later (well duh, he’s a main character), but that right there gets me thinking he just loves setting things on fire.

“WHAT. THE. EVER. LIVING. HELL?!!”

My stomach sank even lower than it had been before as I turned to see an extremely pissed-off Tyson standing in the doorway to the cargo area, his jaw hanging open from shock.

“Uhh, hey…” Spencer said awkwardly. “Could you just leave for a bit? We kind of have a situation here.”

I rest my case: Spencer is the Funny Guy. I honestly hope we get more crackpot moments from him. He might even be the glue that keeps the group together x3.

Anyway, this is notably longer than chapter one, which I’m totally cool with. I’m pretty sure that if I remember correctly, both this and the first chapter used to be all one chapter back in the day, they both easily flowed together. Though that’s expected, since chapter one ended on some form of cliff hanger.

Ah ha, was this Experiment 009 in your little comic? I remember seeing some kind of Pikachu in it, but couldn’t tell because it didn’t have the cheek marks. So is this Pikachu a main character, then :3?

Looking forward to chapter three, since you’re so engrossed in it X3.
 
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