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The Legendarian Chronicles [Revision 11]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Chibi Pika, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Chibi Pika

    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.


    - 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:


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


    A pair of eyes snapped open, radiating a cobalt aura and piercing the inky blackness within the depth of the sea. The true blessing of light had never reached the ocean floor, and even the rare glow of life could not break its concealment. The creature to which the eyes belonged knew this better than any other. 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. But the time for hiding was at its end.

    At once, the creature shot up from the ocean trench like a silver torpedo. The crushing depths released their hold as it flew through the water, scattering countless tiny water Pokémon in its wake. Piercing eyes adjusted to the rapid increase of light just in time to be met with the inviting glimmer of the surface right above. And then the beast rocketed out of the sea. Cool, salty air washed over its body, a sharp contrast to the water’s embrace. The sensation prickled like needles against its feathers, but still… there was something almost freeing about being able to beat its wings through the currents of wind and take gulps of sweet air that burned its unused lungs yet felt so good.

    It was so wildly different than the deep, but somehow felt just as right. Flying was, indeed, one of the simplest joys in this world. The creature effortlessly sailed through the skies, its wings stealing bits of silvery cloud from all around to shield it from the view of any onlookers, had there been any. One could never be too careful, especially these days.

    The ancient creature had spent much time within the realm of its dominion, reflecting upon the state of the world. The Order had been empowered to protect the balance, and protect it they had. For so long they had kept watch over its course. Caring for it. Guiding it. But there was a time when the balance had fallen, and the flames of war consumed the world. The creature had not witnessed that time itself, but the tale was well known amongst the Order. Even the humans had their stories from that era.

    The time for careful observance was at its end. That cataclysmic era had left its mark on the world—one that had lain dormant for nearly 3000 years. Soon the conflict would resurface, and the Order would face its greatest challenge yet. The creature had not wanted to believe it, but the events of the past few years 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. And now the search had been set into motion.

    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 could not refuse to follow that path. 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 conflicted feelings. The next seven years would be interesting, that much was certain.


    A loud ringing filled the air, which meant the end of class for the day—and it was about time, too. I quickly stuffed my books into my backpack, following after my classmates and pretending I hadn’t heard the last-minute assignment that we’d been given. It would have been just as normal as any other afternoon, except my head was still filled with rumors from earlier that morning.

    I glanced down the other end of the hallway just in time to spot my friend Ajia, a small fifth-grader with dark hair and eyes. Well, that was good—at least I’d get to talk to someone before the end of the day.

    “Hey Ajia!” I called out, waving to her from the crowd of my fourth-grade classmates before quickly making my way over to where she was standing.

    “Heya, how was class?” she asked.

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

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

    “Yeah…” I replied, my mind 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—how was I supposed to bring up the topic? “Is it really true, that…?” My words sort of died before the end.

    Ajia sighed. “I think 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.”

    “She’s right outside, actually,” Ajia pointed out.

    I blinked. “Huh? She’s not taking the bus home?”

    “No, her mom’s picking her up. If you hurry, you might catch her.”

    “Okay. See you on Monday!” I yelled, immediately taking off through a pair of double doors behind me.

    The bright afternoon light stung my eyes as I raced past the areas where the younger kids would get picked up by their parents. I quickly glanced over all of the groups sitting along the ledges by the parking lot… and then spotted a girl dressed in a purple shirt and jean skirt sitting by herself off to the side. My footsteps slowed. I paused, hesitating for a bit before walking up to her.

    “Hey Jade,” Starr mumbled as I neared. She was leaning forward so that her short brown hair fell across her face—probably to keep from looking me in the eye.

    I sat down next to her, but didn’t say anything at first. She had only 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’re you moving to?” I asked cautiously. She obviously didn’t want to talk about it… and I almost didn’t want to know.

    With a blank voice she replied, “Cianwood.” I had no idea where that was supposed to be.

    Everything fell silent after that. It was like nothing around us even 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 yelled, 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… it’s all my mom’s idea, and she didn’t tell me anything. But my dad’s staying here in Viridian.”

    I slowly uncovered my face, turning toward her. “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 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… she never really explains,” Starr mumbled.

    “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 bit of a scowl.

    Neither of us said anything else for a while. I stared at the floor as the time went on, feeling sort of lost.

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

    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 realized she’d got me with that, so I glared and didn’t say anything.

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

    “Don’t call me that!” I exclaimed, punching her in the shoulder, but then she just laughed even harder. Yeah, I was annoyed, but I was also glad to see her smiling.

    “So… since you’ll be in Johto when you get your trainer’s license, what starter are you gonna choose?” I asked.

    “Probably Totodile. You know how much I like water Pokémon.”

    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—” The realization hit me out of nowhere. “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 way before I become a trainer!”

    She paused, blinking in surprise. “I… hadn’t thought of that,” she said slowly. “It’ll have to wait until I get strong Pokémon to protect me while traveling so far. But… yeah. I’ll do that.”

    My face fell. Why wasn’t she more excited about it? Starr was just kind of… staring into the distance, like she was thinking about something. She looked like she wanted to tell me something else, but didn’t say anything.

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


    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.


    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!

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  2. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive


    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.*

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  3. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

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

    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...

    ...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
  4. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    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
    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;
    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

  5. Kutie Pie

    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.
  6. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Hallo there! I remember you too! :)
    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. ^^;
    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!

  7. Chibi Pika

    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~


    June 5

    Summer days were made for this—made for the blast of wind in my face and the rush of exhilaration as my bike flew down the street. The slightest twinge of fear pricked at the back of my head, but it was easy to shove aside. My eyes focused straight ahead, blocking out everything else. Teeth clenched. Fists tightened on the handlebars as I closed in on my target. Just a few more seconds and I’d pull back on the handlebars at just the right moment and—

    “Aw yeah!” I yelled, throwing a fist towards the sky as my bike flew through the air. No matter how many times I jumped that same ramp, those precious few seconds of being airborne were the greatest thing in the world. I landed several feet away with a thud and immediately veered my handlebars to double back in a wide arc, 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 to me while speeding downward on his bike. The usual determined grin covered his tan face; his dark eyes were wide and full of confidence as he raced downward. Neither of us were really experts at this whole biking thing, but who cared? It was by far the best way to spend the after-school hours, and summer offered the promise of biking every day.

    I sluggishly pedaled upward, still watching him race toward the ramp. Which is why I never saw it coming.

    Out of nowhere, a black blur shot into the street, skidding to a halt right in front of me. I swerved instantly to avoid hitting it, but then—crap, I was heading for a parked car—had to turn! I spun way too far, my front wheel hit the curb sideways, and then I found myself toppling over into a sprawled heap on the grass.

    Well, that was random. But there was really only one thing that could have done that. Sure enough, only a few seconds passed before I felt heavy paws on my chest. Black fur covered my entire field of vision, and the air was filled with musty, hot breath and uneven panting.

    “Ow… get off, Ebony!” I yelled, shoving the Houndour away. She lumbered off, but sat down less than two feet from me, apparently fighting the urge to jump on me again.

    I sighed exasperatedly. “You’re never gonna get tired of this game, are you?” Sure, she knew me, but still felt determined as ever to ‘protect’ her home and her owner—who was now standing next to his bike, cracking up.

    “Pfft—shut up, Rudy,” I laughed, climbing to my feet and wiping the grass from my baggy shirt and jeans. “How’d Ebony get out this time?” I glanced back at the energetic puppy, who was now wagging her stubby tail with the hope that she could play with us.

    “Dunno,” Rudy said, shrugging. “I guess I didn’t close the backyard up good enough. At least Chloe didn’t follow her.” He grabbed Ebony’s collar and led her toward his backyard. The Houndour followed without struggle, though she made an exaggerated show of dragging her paws as heavily as possible.

    “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you—I get to bring Ebony with me when I leave,” Rudy spoke up casually, like I already knew what he was talking about.

    “Huh?” I said, not really sure what he was getting at. And then my brain clicked into place. “Wait, wait… You’re leaving on a training journey?”

    “Yeah, didn’t I tell you?” he asked.

    “No. You didn’t,” I said flatly, a sinking feeling growing in my stomach. Really, he waited until now to tell me something like this?

    “Yeah? Er, sorry… but you can’t be surprised. I mean, school just got out, I passed the exam—why would I wait? It’s like the most perfect time to start training.”

    Unfortunately, he was right. Summer really was the best time to start a training journey, even though you could apply to take the exam at any time after passing the required two years of Pokémon handling courses beforehand.

    “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. My 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 no license.”

    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 a starter.”

    “Yeah, that’s definitely the worst part about training illegally,” I said. Then again, this was a nice place to change the subject. “So… which starter are you gonna pick, anyway?”

    Rudy gave me a look like I was the dumbest person in the world. “Do you seriously think I would pick anything other than Charmander?”

    “Right,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Because already having one fire Pokémon just isn’t enough. This way you can light even more random crap on fire.” I guess the flame-tailed Charmander would be a perfect match for him, in that case.

    “I just hope they don’t run out of starters at the League registration building…” Rudy mumbled to himself as we led Ebony along a rock path to a fenced-off area of his backyard. “Maybe if Dad takes me there today—it is Friday—but so many trainers have already started…”

    “Heyy, that’s right—Charmander is the most popular Kanto starter. You might get stuck with Bulbasaur,” I said tauntingly.

    “Shut up,” he laughed. “I don’t like grass-types.”

    Really? I had no idea.”

    We stepped onto the grass and over to the fence where Rudy opened a gate and let Ebony in with Chloe. The latter wagged her fluffy tail nonstop as she nosed up against the fence, obviously hoping for a chance to play with us. When neither of us responded, the Growlithe turned around and immediately decided roughhouse with Ebony instead. Rudy threw a glance around the rest of the backyard before suddenly clapping a hand to his forehead.

    “Oh crud! I forgot to do my chores—my dad’s gonna kill me!” he exclaimed.

    “I could help,” I said, shrugging.

    He considered the offer for a bit, running a hand through his spiky black hair. “No, if my dad gets home and sees that you’re here… I wasn’t even supposed to be playing in the first place. Help me get the ramp in and then I gotta get to work.”

    I groaned mentally as we ran back to the front yard—figures that something like this would come up. We grabbed opposite ends of the ramp and carried it to his garage, setting it in a corner next to the large pile of boxes that took up most of the space. He wheeled his bike in and slammed the garage shut.

    “I’ll see ya, Jade,” Rudy said, running to the backyard.

    “Later,” I said, swinging a leg over my bike and riding down the street to my house. Well, a perfectly good day of biking had been cut short. The only thing I could think of to pass the time was… bike some more. It seemed like a nice day to go riding around town for a little bit, in any case… 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 a fluttering noise from the other room made me stop. The source of the noise was the Pidgey sitting atop his wooden perch in the corner, flapping his wings lightly. He gave a few chirps, not saying anything in particular but hoping to get my attention in the smallest way possible.

    “You don’t have to be so shy, Swift—you know you can come with me whenever I go for a ride,” I said, smiling and holding out my arm as the tawny bird flew over to perch on my shoulder. With that, I walked outside and mounted my bike once again, and the Pidgey took flight overhead, chirping contentedly.

    I wandered the streets of Viridian City, glancing around at the various storefronts that I passed, half tempted to stop by the card shop or the c-store, 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 afternoon. Every so I glanced up at the sky through the trees, hands drifting from the handlebars as my mind wandered back to the previous conversation.

    Rudy was leaving. Going on a training 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 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 professional trainer; 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 now 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 was about to call Swift, but he wasn’t there.

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

    “Swift!” I yelled, pedaling hard to power my bike along the route. A feeling of unease was spreading through the back of my mind. This wasn’t like him. Had something happened to him? There was no way, but I couldn’t see any sign of him in the entire… sky. I’d just realized. The sky was empty. No birds anywhere 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 within 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. Still, I kept getting a vague feeling of significance, like this was important somehow. I couldn’t explain it, and the more time passed, the more stupid I felt.

    I was just about to turn around when I caught sight of a winged figure passing over the trees above me.

    “Swift?!” I yelled, not expecting much. It could have been any bird.

    Except it wasn’t. It was him.

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

    His expression was reserved like usual, but distinctly troubled. He motioned a wing in the direction I’d been heading.

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

    The Pidgey nodded. I glanced over my shoulder, but now that there was a thick canopy of trees above 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 at least enough Pokéspeech to catch the words, “*It’s bad… come see.*”

    He took flight again towards the ridge north of us, and I followed in silence for several minutes. In time, the air was filled with a thick haze, and a horrible stench burned my nose. And still we continued on until we reached the edge of the destruction. One moment we were within the thick of the forest, and the next, there was nothing but the charred remains of tree trunks and blackened bits of what had once been grass and leaves. Flurries of ash saturated the air, stinging my eyes. And that noxious odor just wouldn’t go away.

    I stopped dead. For whatever reason, I realized that the odor saturating the air was burning flesh. These woods had been filled with Pokémon, all of them now dead. My brain really had no idea how to 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 then I caught a glimpse of flame amongst the ashes, burning feebly at the edge of a dark mass. I leaned my bike against a tree before approaching it hesitantly, my eyes widening once I got a good look at it.

    It was breathing.

    The mound was alive. It was a Charmander.

    I stared, unable to believe it. The lizard’s orange scales were burnt black, and with each breath its body shuddered, almost as if it were cold. The flame that should have burned bright yellow on its tail was little more than a tiny scarlet ember that flickered constantly.

    Shaking slightly, I reached a hand towards it. I didn’t know why—it was like my arm was moving on its own. So far, the Charmander hadn’t reacted to my presence. I took a deep breath before awkwardly attempting to pull the blackened scraps of wood and leaves away from it. The lizard jerked suddenly upon having its skin exposed to the air, and I snapped my hand back. Okay, so trying to clean its wounds was a bad idea; what was I thinking. It wasn’t like I had any water or bandages anyway. In fact, water probably would have made things worse.

    The fire-type didn’t move again after that. It was still breathing though, so I could only guess that it was out cold.

    “I wouldn’t stay here much longer if I were you.”

    I jolted at the sudden voice. Someone else was here? I threw a glance over my shoulder and sure enough, a figure was approaching me. The smoke obscured him at first, but eventually he came into view. He was several years older than me—at least eighteen or so—and quite a bit taller than me, with wavy brown hair and icy blue eyes. He was dressed in a black shirt with a long gray coat, navy blue cargo pants, and thick, gray boots. And he was currently examining me with a reserved expression that made me feel like I was being x-rayed. Somehow, his overall air was that of someone much older.

    “What did you say?” I asked.

    “You shouldn’t be here,” he repeated. “They wouldn’t want any witnesses, and”—he paused mid-sentence and suddenly asked, “Are you a Pokémon trainer? You look old enough to be one.”

    “Um, no… not yet,” I admitted. After a few seconds of awkward silence, I asked, “Are you?”

    “I’d have to be if I wanted to carry these around,” he replied, pointing to the small red and white spheres clipped onto his belt. Right—only licensed trainers were allowed to use Pokéballs.

    Now gazing at the ravaged landscape, he muttered, “Amazing how much damage humans can cause. The fire’s spread too far, though… how do they plan to keep it unnoticed?” I wasn’t entirely sure whether he was talking to me or just commenting to himself.

    “Who did this, do you know—?”

    “There’s no point trying to explain it,” he interrupted, walking further in the direction I had originally been going. “Just follow me.”

    I glanced back down at the pitiful form of the unconscious Charmander. I didn’t want to risk hurting it by moving it, but what choice did I really have? Was I supposed to just leave it here to die? I hesitated as long as possible, but then finally wrapped my arms around the lizard’s limp body, taking care to avoid its tail flame, tiny though it was. Its skin felt raw and sticky against mine and gave off a radiating heat.

    The trainer was now just a hazy figure in the distance with all of the soot clouding the air, and I had to walk quickly to catch up with him. “How recently did all of this happen?”

    “So recently that it’s still happening,” was the only response. We reached the edge of a ridge that overlooked an open valley between the forested hills. It was there that I saw what he was talking about.

    A brilliant flash of fire tore across the mountainside before stopping suddenly in the middle of the clearing and unleashing a blazing heat wave outward. When the flames cleared, I saw it. A fantastically bizarre beast stood before us, shaking its head and ruffling its long brown mane. Jagged spikes framed its back, and a silky, cloud-like tail billowed constantly. The creature whipped its head around to take in its surroundings, and when it turned in our direction, I couldn’t help but stare openmouthed. Its face was, in short, amazing—rimmed by brightly colored crests of red along the side, blue over the muzzle, and a crown of yellow over its eyes.

    Entei. The Beast of the Volcano. A Legendary Pokémon of Johto. Right here, right in front of us, for real.

    Suddenly, I heard a roar of engines to the right. A huge group of jeeps and trucks burst into the clearing, filled with countless armed adults. Entei recoiled backward, pelted by bullets—they were shooting it? The auburn beast slammed its shackled paws to the ground and let loose a wave of fire, incinerating everything within the valley. But then the flames cleared, revealing the vehicles’ protective energy shields. Around two dozen Pokémon charged forward from behind the jeeps, unleashing torrents of water at their target. Entei stood its ground with a determined glare, but I could still see it wincing in pain as steam poured off its body. I could still hear the fury in its roar as it tried to flee, gripped by the glow of something preventing its escape.

    “What… how can they…? Why…?” I stammered.

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

    I tilted my head. “Well… pretty much everyone has heard of Team Rocket, right?” The notorious organization that had run this region’s criminal underworld for as long as anyone could remember. But knowing anything about them—that was a different story.

    “To the general public,” he continued, without acknowledging I’d said anything, “Team Rocket is nothing more than a widespread group of criminal gangsters. 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.

    Words failed me. Everything he had said was kind of overloading my brain, and the only thing I could manage was, “How did you find out 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 hillside, I asked, “Shouldn’t we do something? I mean, if we don’t—”

    “We?” he said, his voice tinged with amusement. “You have a pet bird and a half-dead lizard; I’d be the one doing everything. And I know my limits. I can’t stop them alone.”

    I glanced down at the dying Charmander in my arms, feeling rather miserable about all of this. Really, why did he even bother explaining anything only to flat-out tell me I was useless?

    “What would you say,” he began slowly, with an unusual tone, “if I told you that a large-scale takeover might soon be within their grasp?”

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

    “That’s why they’ve taken to capturing Legendary Pokémon. If the heads of the combat unit had Legendaries 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 that 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 found myself simply nodding.

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

    “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 ball from his belt and pushed a button on it, causing it to enlarge and open. A flash of white light burst from inside and took the form of a tall dragon. Shiny, flaming orange-colored scales covered most of its thickly muscled body, save for a massive pair of blue wings. My eyes widened—it was a Charizard, the fully evolved form of Charmander. I’d never seen one in person.

    He replaced the Pokéball and climbed onto the dragon’s back. It flexed its wings and outstretched them, flapping against the air and sending flurries of soot into my face. I shielded my eyes reflexively until the reptile had lifted off.

    “I’ll see you,” the trainer said before soaring out of sight.

    “Later…?” I said, more to myself than him. How and why I’d see him later was beyond me. I looked 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 the potential for skill, 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 in Vermilion harbor prior to July 3 for further instruction.

    Talk about vague. Still, it made sense, just in case Team Rocket got a hold of one of the cards. 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 this?

    I turned back to the battle that was still continuing. Everything about it was completely mind-boggling. The ridiculously powerful fire beast was still struggling to ward off its attackers, but its strength was waning. I still wanted to help it somehow, even though I knew I couldn’t do anything. It was frustrating, and I felt stupid about it. With a sigh, I sat down and continued to watch.

    And then it happened. The Rockets and Entei were now only about a hundred yards away from where I was sitting. One of the jeeps near the front of the formation suddenly broke from the group and began speeding up the hill in my direction. I stared stupidly at the vehicle racing towards me, unable to work though what it meant.

    “Don’t… don’t tell me they…” My eyes widened as the realization hit me like a brick.

    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;

    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  8. Diddy

    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.
  9. Kutie Pie

    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?
  10. Sike Saner

    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:

    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:

    The dogginess! It's just freaking adorable. ^^

    And on an unrelated note:

    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
  11. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Since these are two full sentences, you can't use just a comma to separate them.

    More than one exclamation mark is never necessary.

    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.

    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, 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.

    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.

    I'd think you should either capitalize both words of "Poké Balls" or neither - this doesn't make much sense.

    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.

    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.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  12. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive


    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.
    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)
    *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.
    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!


    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.)
    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
    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.
    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
    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.*
    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.

  13. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    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.

    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.

    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.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  14. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Ohhhhh-kay, that makes sense. ^^; Well, that's a relief. Yeah, I can definitely make it more clear.
    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. :/
    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!
    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.

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  15. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie "It is my destiny."


    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.
  16. Chibi Pika

    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~


    I immediately took off back the way I came, mind racing. They were coming for me—why were they coming for me? Swift flew nearby as I sprinted though the woods, still completely floored by everything. I could feel my heart pounding and my lungs burning as I choked on ash, but the sudden burst of fear kept me running onward. I threw a glance over my shoulder—I wasn’t running nearly fast enough. They were gaining on me.

    My only hope was to reach my bike—nothing was more important than that. If I managed to, then I could make it to town before they caught me and then lose them on the side streets. Just that tiny bit of hope was enough, but was I too far away?

    I couldn’t help looking over my shoulder again, and—they were right behind me. What was I supposed to do now?! I wasn’t going to make it in time!

    The jeep sped past me and skidded to a stop in my path. I spun around and tried to run in the other direction, but the driver threw open the door and grabbed me by the back of my shirt.

    “No! No, stop, damn it—” I yelled, flailing as hard as I could, but it was no use. The Rocket flung open the back hatch and threw me into the rear of the jeep without saying a word. And then he climbed back into the front seat and drove off as though nothing had happened.

    I lay there in a crumpled heap, my heart racing and my breath shallow and my brain still trying to work through what the hell had just happened. I hadn’t meant to be there—I had just… been there. I willed myself as hard as I could to at least sit up and figure out my situation. But nothing in my body would respond. Not for the longest time. Until finally, clenching my teeth as hard as I could, I managed to force everything out of my mind for one moment and look over the back seat without drawing attention to myself.

    Four… there were four Rockets in the jeep. The driver was tall, burly, and looked older than most of the others—probably more experienced too, judging by a number of badges pinned to his vest. 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 was intimidating; I couldn’t help ducking behind the seat.

    For some reason, my brain finally registered that my arms felt warm. Right, I was still holding the wounded Charmander. It was still unconscious, but also still alive. Then 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 for me to yell for help?

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

    I sank back against the seat, still numb with shock. How on earth had I managed to get myself into this? It was the sort of thing you always imagined would happen to someone else. I still couldn’t help trying to come up with something, anything that I could do, even though there was nothing. Nothing—that fact alone was the most paralyzing.

    After some time, I pulled myself up to look out the window again. We’d just passed the outskirts of Viridian, now heading into the forests to the east of the city. And then I saw him. Swift was still flapping his wings quickly to follow the jeep, struggling to keep up—it was almost a painful sight. Upon seeing that I was watching him, he soared downward to fly alongside the window, his eyes meeting mine.

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

    I jumped suddenly at the sound of a gunshot and whirled around. My stomach melted into nothing—one of the Rockets pulled out a small handgun and began shooting at Swift. But then just as quickly, the driver held a hand up to stop him.

    “Don’t waste your bullets on a Pidgey,” he said.

    I quickly turned to look out the back window and saw Swift flying high up in the sky. When he was sure that the Rockets weren’t paying attention, he swooped low again and waved his wing at me. And I could’ve sworn I saw him nod to me before taking off to the north. I stared after him; part of me couldn’t help feeling more alone now. But what was he planning to do?

    Upon reaching a small clearing that had been stripped of tress, the jeep suddenly skidded to a halt. I couldn’t see anything more from the back window, and the Rockets in the front seats were blocking my view in front of the car. The driver got out and slammed the door.

    I leaned forward to peer out the backseat window and watched as he kneeled and lifted up a small hatch in the grass. Underneath were a keypad and a small screen. He punched in a long passcode and pressed his hand against a scanner before closing the hatch.

    And then, amazingly, the ground starting to sink, revealing a wide ramp that descended into darkness. He walked back and got into the car again before driving downward. As we neared the end of the tunnel, the entrance behind us closed, and I could see lights far ahead in the distance. And then we emerged into a massive, dimly lit underground hangar, filled with trucks, small aircraft, and on the far end, a huge jet. I stared around at it all, the realization slowly dawning on me—Team Rocket was every bit as huge as the Charizard trainer had implied.

    The driver parked the jeep in an area to the side, and the Rockets all exited the vehicle. I watched as the driver walked off toward one side of the hangar, where a heavy computerized door stood. He pulled a card out of his pocked and touched it to the scanner, unlocking it before entering what looked like an office hallway.

    And so, I was left alone in the jeep. Well, not quite alone—the Charmander was still here, after all. I looked down at where I had set it. A tiny flare flickered at the end of its tail, so it was still alive, at least. It probably wouldn’t survive much longer though. That fact made the already bleak situation feel even more crushing.

    I jolted at the loud bang of a door being thrown open. A young man stormed out wearing an irritated expression, closely followed by the driver, who was looking weirdly submissive. The former Rocket had to be higher rank or something. If they were arguing, then this would probably be a chance to find out more about my situation, at the very least. Acting more on impulse than anything, I threw myself over the back seats so I could open the back door a crack and hear them.

    “Of course no one ever feels like telling me a damn thing about the mission status,” the 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 poaching a Legendary, 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 continued defensively. “I saw him. The one we’ve heard rumors about from the new recruits. 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 twelve-year-olds against us.”

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

    Yet another pause. This time the other Rocket seemed at least slightly intrigued. “So he might know more about us than we figured. 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 looking a bit irritated. After some time, Tyson gave a short response quietly and hung up.

    “Well?” the other Rocket snapped.

    “Shortly after I left, it was looking like Entei was going to escape into the Tohjo Mountains. And then—you’re not gonna believe this—the Johto combat unit showed up,” Tyson reported while his superior made an exaggerated sound of disgust. “They took control of the situation, and of course one of their agents was the one who threw the ball that caught Entei. Only now he’s refusing to hand over; he’s waiting for orders from the Johto commander.”

    I felt myself go rigid with shock. They had actually caught it? They’d caught Entei?

    “The idiot. Boss’s word isn’t enough for him?” his superior 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 the secondary headquarters for testing, along with the supplies and machinery.” The higher-ranking Rocket jerked a thumb toward the black plane on 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 kill her?” Tyson cut in, and my heart stopped.

    “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 admins do.” Rather 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 let 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 better. But then a few seconds later, I spotted Tyson walked back toward the jeep. I immediately climbed into the trunk and pretended like I hadn’t moved at all.

    “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 after all, though I’m not offering any guarantees.” He grabbed me by the wrist and jerked me out of the jeep. I racked my brain for something to do—some sort of resistance to show that I wasn’t just some helpless kid. I couldn’t think of anything.

    “Here,” Tyson said, handing me off to one of his subordinates. “Throw her in one of the containment cells on the transport jet. Don’t forget all the standard procedures.”

    “What about the kid’s Charmander?” the Rocket asked with a glance back in the jeep.

    “That thing isn’t dead?” Tyson said, raising an eyebrow. “I don’t know… we’ve got tons of Pokéballs—I’ll have someone else put it with the stolen Pokémon.”

    Tyson walked off in another direction, and the Rocket holding me started heading for the large, black airplane in the opposite corner of the hangar. Several mechanics looked to be making sure everything was in order, and other Rockets were loading supplies into the cargo hold; Tyson’s subordinate escorted me in that direction. Large crates of machinery and boxes of various supplies filled the area, and more were being loaded in. The Rocket paused to unlock a panel along the side, and then I was thrown into a small metal room. He proceeded to check that I didn’t have any weapons or Pokéballs on me—pretty much the only thing I did have was my wallet.

    “So…” he said, flipping through it and 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 training journey someday, though I had never quite figured out how exactly. A part of me had known all along that it was a stupid idea to carry it around like that, but… there wasn’t much I could do about it now.

    After having found the money, the Rocket didn’t bother looking anything else I had in there and simply tossed the wallet into a bin with what I assumed were other stolen items. He then chained my hands and feet to the wall before shutting the door.

    I was alone. For how long, I had no idea. I couldn’t see my watch. I had no way of knowing how long I spent in that cell with the only sound being the occasional clunk of more cargo being loaded onto the plane. It was nerve-wracking just standing there drenched in sweat mixed with soot and not knowing how much longer until something happened, or even what would happen. I almost just wanted to get it over with… but then immediately drove the thought from my head when I realized what it meant. Couldn’t afford to think like that—I wasn’t going to die. I was going to figure a way out of this. Except… there was no way out. What was I supposed to do?

    After what felt like hours, I heard another door shut and then the heavy thud of what must have been the cargo hatch closing. My body tensed up; the air was now filled with the steadily growing roar of engines. I felt movement—the plane accelerated suddenly, and I felt myself slant backward as it sped up the long ramp that exited the hangar. And with that, we were airborne, and I was heading off to an unknown fate.

    I wanted to clear my head, but the thoughts wouldn’t leave. What would I have done differently if I had the chance to redo this day? Going into the forest… that was probably my biggest mistake. Or maybe following the mysterious trainer I’d met. But if what he said about Team Rocket’s imminent takeover was true…

    A sudden clang jarred me from my thoughts. Footsteps neared my cell, and I tensed up instinctively. What did they want now? I had no idea what I expected to see when the cell door handle turned and opened.

    …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 was about my height, with thick, dirty-blond hair, baggy clothes, and 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. The final form of Johto’s fire-type starter, if I recalled correctly. “Alright Typhlosion, I need you to melt these chains, so we’re gonna need it hot.”

    The Typhlosion leaned down and grasped a bundle of the chains, holding them behind its head. Suddenly, a blazing ring of fire burst out from the red burners around its neck, torching through the metal with a wave of sparks. The room instantly filled with sweltering heat.

    Still trying to make sense out of this seemingly 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’m 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 Rocket jet like this.”

    What. That voice… it couldn’t be…

    Spencer stepped aside, revealing a rather disgruntled Rudy standing in the cargo bay.

    “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 first, and luckily it was the same place they’d taken you, so we snuck on board and then we came here for you.”

    I would have clapped a hand to my forehead if it hadn’t been chained up. “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 details like that didn’t matter and he wanted to get them out of the way as quickly as possible. “It’s because of Swift. I’d walked to your house to show off my license, and I saw him pecking the windows in a fuss, and—what’s with that look?!” My jaw had dropped upon hearing the word “license.”

    “You got a license. Already?!”

    “Oh, come on. Enough questions already,” he said, waving a hand aside. He wasn’t totally paying attention, though, and was now preoccupied with staring at the ongoing blaze. The heat was getting a bit overwhelming.

    “Hey, uh, is Typhlosion almost done?” I asked.

    Almost right after I said that, the fire beast extinguished its blaze and pulled the chains apart with a snap, which was a relief. I took a few steps to stretch out my legs, the chains clattering around as I walked.

    “Guess you’ll have to deal with those for a while,” Spencer said as I stepped out of the cell. “Any closer and he’d have melted your hands and feet off.”

    I didn’t really mind—just being free was enough. Really, just them being there was enough to make the entire situation feel better somehow. I wasn’t alone in this; with three of us there was no way we wouldn’t find some way out.

    “So…” I said turning towards Rudy. “Am I even gonna get the full story as to how you got here? And how the heck do you already have a license for that matter?”

    “Oh, er… right. See, my dad got home right after you left. He would’ve been upset with me for not finishing my chores, except my test results had come in the mail and I passed everything,” Rudy said, beaming. “So, my dad took me to the place and he signed the form and I got my license and a Pokémon and everything.” He stopped there, but then realized that I was looking at him expectantly, wanting to hear the actually important part of the story. “But yeah, uh, I went over to your house, and no one was home, and Swift was flying around like crazy. From what little I could make out, he was saying you were in trouble? So I followed him out into the forest and that’s when I ran into Spencer here.”

    “Yeah, my Pokémon were stolen from me a few days ago,” Spencer explained. “I’d been scoping out the entrance to the hideout for a few days, but I had no idea how I was ever gonna get inside. Rudy showed up in the area, and then 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, 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 somewhat. Okay, so maybe my newfound ally wasn’t the most capable.

    “We hung out by a cargo area where we could avoid being seen, but still hear what all the passing Rockets were talking about,” he explained. “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, half-jokingly, half-accusingly.

    “You didn’t have to come and get me,” I said, a little bit insulted, even if it was true that he wouldn’t have been in this mess had it not been for me.

    He sighed. “I didn’t know any of this would happen, so that doesn’t matter now. We’re here now. This Team Rocket crew sounds like bad news, so we’ve gotta do something.”

    Easy for him to say. He hadn’t seen how dangerous they could be.

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

    “Exactly. Anyway, why don’t we start by screwing up as much of the crap on this plane as possible.” It struck me that Rudy had almost exactly the attitude that the Charizard trainer had been looking for in his anti-Rocket recruits.

    With a glance around at the crates surrounding us, I replied, “Screw up things how? I don’t think we can just go around blowing up 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 box filled with Pokéballs. “I already got mine back, and—”

    “Hey wait, that’s right!” I exclaimed, running over to the box. “I had a Charmander with me before I was captured. It should be in there!”

    Now it was Rudy’s turn to gape incredulously. “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 stared in fascination 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. Heh, it’s asking if I want to register it to myself. And, uh… its energy is reeaally low. I know they always say you have to defeat the Pokémon before it’ll let you train it, but come on now.”

    “I didn’t catch it,” I said a bit defensively, despite his joking tone. “It was half-dead when I found it. I’ve gotta like… find some healing items or something.” I turned to gaze vaguely around all the supply boxes in the cargo hold.

    “Alright. You fix your Charmander, 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 headed in the opposite direction, opening boxes and scanning their contents as I went. I’d wondered what jet was intended to transport, but now it seemed like the answer was almost anything. Most of the crates were filled with heavy machinery and old computerized devices, but then others were packed with battle enhancements for Pokémon or stronger variations of the Pokéball. Finally, I scored—a box near the front of the plane was packed with medical supplies. I picked up the first thing I could find and read the label.

    “‘Full Restore: Guaranteed to soothe burns, frostbite, poison, rashes, close open wounds, and heal any other damage done to your Pokémon’… 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 on its center, making it split open down the middle and let loose a burst of white light that condensed into the fire lizard’s unconscious form. It shivered, but looked to be in the same condition it had been 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. Still, it wasn’t enough that the Charmander’s injuries were gone. It was likely still exhausted and drained of power.

    “Hey Spencer!” I called out. “Do you know the name of the stuff that fully restores energy?”

    “Hyper Potion?” he said, in a tone that sounded more like he was asking me.

    “Not injuries. Energy.”

    “Oh right… uh, I think it’s called Elixir? Never used one before—not a lot of stores carry ‘em.”

    I dug through the box some more. “Got it,” I said, pulling out a yellow bottle labeled “Max Elixir.” I flipped the cap open and poured a small amount into the fire-type’s mouth. Within seconds, the tiny flare on its tail burst into full flame. Slowly, it opened its bright blue eyes and stumbled to its feet.

    “Hey, how’re ya feeling?” I asked.

    The lizard spun around, eyes wide with alarm. It gave a light whimper, clutching its tail tightly and glancing around at the strange surrounding.

    “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. Have you ever been named?”

    The fire lizard gave me a long, quiet stare, something shifting in its eyes. After several seconds’ hesitation it replied, “*Firestorm.*”

    “Alright then,” I said. “So, are you male or female?” I wasn’t quite sure if this was an offensive question or not, but I wasn’t used to Pokéspeech enough to tell a Pokémon’s gender by its voice.

    “*Male,*” he answered simply.

    I nodded, not really sure what else to ask him. After having gotten over his initial shock, Firestorm was calmly glancing around at his surrounding, seemingly unconcerned with having been taken from his home and not even very curious about his situation.

    The Charmander then said, “Mander char charmander char’charrman?” But it was longer than the previous one-word statements, and I didn’t quite catch most of it. It sounded like a question—something to do with a Pokémon trainer? I was about to ask him if he could 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, although on second thought he didn’t really have to—it wasn’t like he belonged to me or anything. After navigating back through the maze of boxes, I found Rudy and Spencer, the former sitting on the ground 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 get out of here, 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 pretty powerful too.”

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

    “How do we do that—?”

    Out of nowhere, an explosion of black light shot out from within our circle, knocking the three of us backward into a pile of boxes. I sat up shakily, completely stunned. What on earth had just happened?

    Spencer looked about as flustered as I felt. “Okay, just… what 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. No… 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—”

    At once, a flood of lightning poured out of the rodent’s body. I jumped backward without thinking and tripped over a box as a bolt flew dangerously close to where I’d been standing. Right after that, the experiment shot past me in an instant, bolting up to the highest point it could find before unleashing waves of electricity all around.

    “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 suddenly at the sound of our voices and sent a string of lightning flying toward 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 our group and snarled defensively, igniting its neck blaze.

    And then, in the midst of all this, I heard the sound of a door opening.


    My stomach sank even lower 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 leave for a bit? We kind of have a situation here.”

    Tyson stared at us in a sort of stupefied rage before turning his gaze on the experimental Pikachu and clenching his teeth. He then pulled one of the black Pokéballs from his belt and opened it. The flash of light from within took the form of a huge green mantis with an armor-plated exoskeleton. Blank, pupil-less eyes flared mindlessly from a vaguely reptilian head. Light glimmered off a pair of scythe-lined forearms that looked sharp enough to cut the air. Wings twitched, ready to strike at any moment. And from its perch atop the mountain of supplies, the Pikachu stared at the Scyther, eyes wide with what looked like both 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.)

    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  17. Agent Tectonic

    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.

    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.

    *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.
  18. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    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.
    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?
    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. =)

  19. Agent Tectonic

    Agent Tectonic From Ashes, I Come

    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.
  20. Kutie Pie

    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…

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

    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.

    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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