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The Phantom Project

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Sireath, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Sireath

    Sireath The world's a stage

    Hello there! Any comments or critiques are welcomed with open arms. This story is a heavily revamped version of my original fanfiction which I wrote about four years ago on another forum. Much of the plot and character work has been altered from the original, but it is still the same essential story.

    There are action, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and even some humorous elements in the story. It is rated PG-13 due to certain thematic elements, language, and violence that will take place down the road, but, for the most part, it sits around the PG level.

    Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

    The Phantom Project


    ◊ ◦ ◊ ◦ ◊

    PM List:

    ◊ ◦ ◊ ◦ ◊

    ◦ Prologue ◦

    Matheson was screaming, his cries of pain echoing off of the gray stone walls in the Rustboro alleyway. He clenched his head between his hands, pulling at his straight black hair, and stumbled to the ground, wrenching violently in the shadow of a large garbage bin.

    Alexander Mason was shocked at his partner’s seemingly unprovoked outburst, but wasted no time in rushing to the paler man’s side.

    “Charlie!” he called urgently. “Charlie, what the hell is going on?!”

    Charles Matheson gasped and gritted his teeth between outbursts of shrieking.

    “We’re dead!” he cried, trembling. His eyes shot open, wide with terror. “All of us – doomed! The beast shall consume us all!”

    Mason backed up and pulled out his phone, hitting the speed dial. As his call was being put through, he looked down at his partner, brow clenched in confusion. He heard the click as his phone connected.

    “This is OCU, what—”

    He cut the man off and spoke hurriedly into the microphone port. “This is OCU Agent Alexander Mason. Psych-agent Matheson is suffering some sort of paranormal assault and is in need of immediate attention! I repeat, we need aid now!”

    “Agent, if you can please explain the situation a little better—”

    At that moment, Matheson let out an ear-splitting cry, doubling over onto the concrete. Mason pointed the phone towards his partner and immediately brought the phone back to his head.

    “Is that explanation enough for you?! Now lock onto my position and send Vates – this is an emergency! Have the medical team prepped to receive us.” With that, he pulled the phone down to his side and knelt back down by his partner, whose face was now flushing red in agony, large veins protruding from his strained neck and temples.

    “It’s okay, Charlie,” Mason told him, grasping the other man’s hand. Matheson seemed not to even notice his presence. “Help is on the way.”

    Mason could see the man was worsening fast, but he knew not how or why. Matheson shivered and whispered something very quickly, almost so quickly that Mason couldn’t hear.

    “Phantom… phantom rise.”

    Before Mason had time to think about this new rambling, a bright blue light filled the alleyway, and an Alakazam materialized at Mason’s side.

    “Vates!” Mason cried, looking to the Pokemon earnestly as he slipped his phone back into his pocket. “Thank God!”

    Vates looked down at the psychic man before him and then to Mason.

    Explain,” he said, his voice echoing in the agent’s head.

    Mason took a deep breath and spoke quickly. “We were here on a routine patrol for Magma thugs when Agent Matheson said he sensed something here in the alley – he called it a pocket of psychic energy.”

    The Alakazam’s eyes darted around at the stone walls on either side, and his whiskers twitched as he began to feel into his surroundings. Mason continued:

    “It was powerful, he said he could sense that much, but he couldn’t discern what it was without connecting with it on a deeper level. He’d only been trying to link with it for a second when he went off like this.”

    Vates’s eyes narrowed and he let out a short, angry hiss to the air. “We need to get him away from this place.”

    “The medical team should be ready for us,” Mason said.

    Vates’s eyes began to glow, as did both of the men in the alley. “Hold on!

    As he felt himself slipping away, Mason shouted out in frustration, “To what!?”

    There was a jerk, a short floating sensation, and then Mason felt as though he was hit by a train and pushed in front of it at a hundred miles per hour, a dazzling array of blue light whizzing past his field of vision. He’d only just remembered to breathe when he suddenly felt a chill, a rush of air, and – wham! – he was thrown against the floor of an OCU medical ward.

    Matheson’s body landed directly on the medical cot, causing it to creak with the sudden addition of weight. The shock of the journey compounded his already deteriorating mental state, and he thrashed about, yelling like a madman.

    “Restrain him!”

    “Someone get a sedative!”

    Mason, his head still spinning from the teleportation, grasped the rail on a neighboring cot and clambered to his feet to bring into his view a team of OCU medical staff in white coats rushing to hold down his friend.

    Stand back!” said the Alakazam, his voice resounding with authority. He held up a single arm with spoon in hand, causing Matheson’s body to seize suddenly and straighten out, arms at his sides.

    “What are you doing?” Mason said, fear for his partner’s life pushing through to the forefront of his mind with its full weight.

    This man has absorbed a great deal of Psychic energy, far more than what he has the capacity to process.” As the Alakazam spoke, he held his arms over the man on the bed, feeling around for energy signals from his body. “I believe the pocket you found was an imprint, left at the point of origin of a powerful premonition – a future sight. If I can channel that same premonition through Agent Matheson, then it should expel the energy from his system.

    “What do you mean ‘should’?” Mason snapped. The Alakazam looked to him, and their eyes locked with simmering intensity.

    Channeling the source of the energy might overload his body and kill him, but if I do not try, he will be dead within the next two minutes.

    Mason backed away from the table in disbelief, not taking his eyes from Vates.

    “No,” he muttered. “There’s something you’ve missed. If you just—”

    Matheson cried out, his body lurching upward. Mason’s attention snapped to his friend, then back to the Pokemon.

    We must do it now, Agent Mason.

    Mason grimaced and ran both hands through his hair. Glancing at his partner, he knew the right decision. They had no alternative. He looked to Vates and nodded.

    The Alakazam leaned over the Psychic’s body, bringing his own enormous head very close to that of the man. For a few moments, Matheson continued to shake like a man struck with chills. Then, as if falling asleep, he ceased moving. The Alakazam backed away, and the room seemed to hold its breath, anticipating whatever came next.

    Just as Mason was about to ask if he was okay, Matheson’s eyes flew open, but his eyes weren’t even visible in the fiery blue glow emanating from them. A dull roar erupted in the head of each individual in the room, even causing Vates to cringe.

    Matheson opened his mouth and began to speak, but along with his voice, Mason heard a second man speaking in his head. Both chanted along in time with the other:

    Let fire burn all to ashes,
    Let water wash it away.
    Give life to the light in the darkness,
    The demon with power at bay.

    The beast that long lay confined,
    The being that life to it gave,
    With body and soul realigned,
    The phantom shall rise from the grave.

    Both voices seemed to burst into laughter and dissipate. Matheson’s face slowly relaxed, the blue light fading from his eyes. He did not move.

    The head doctor checked for his pulse, and Mason held his breath.

    “I’ve got something, but not much.” He grabbed a small light and checked his eyes for pupil dilation. “I’m getting no response though.”

    Vates looked across the cot to Mason. “His body has survived, but his mind is gone.

    Mason stared at the Alakazam for a moment, his nostrils flaring. Even in the placid face of the Psychic Pokemon, he could sense the Alakazam’s pity. With one final look to his partner, he walked out of the room and pulled out his phone, dialing quickly.

    As he walked down the cold, dark hallway, a nasally voice responded on the other end, “Yeah, Mason?”

    “Johnny,” Mason replied. “I’m on my way to you right now, but I need you to pull some data for me.”

    “Name it, boss man.”

    Mason stopped to lean against the wall. He closed his eyes and let out a deep breath, trying to counteract the adrenaline that was surging through him. “Get me everything we have on Thomas Argan. And, Johnny…”

    “Yeah?” the younger man replied.

    “Grab absolutely every file you can find concerning the Phantom Project.”


    If you wish to receive notifications when new chapters are posted, please let me know, and I will add you to the PM list.

    Good Fortune! ;206;
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  2. .Bright Side.

    .Bright Side. ~(._.~)

    Why does he jump to such a bold conclusion? For all he knows Matheson could just be having a nervous breakdown.

    It's a little nit-picky, but you don't "pull" down a cellphone, you put it down.

    Not really. How is the medical team supposed to be "prepared" if all they have to go on is a scream? I mean that could literally be anything.

    Don't capitalize "psychic".

    Then why did Vates just toss Mason on the floor? He's going to have to vacate the operating area anyway.

    I don't get it; isn't knowing when a pocket of energy is malicious or not part of training for an OCU agent? Wouldn't it be considered rash and unusual to just run recklessly into a known pocket of energy? Has this just never happened and every pocket of energy before this has been benign?

    Sorry, but I couldn't take this "entity" seriously. Your entire presentation of being possesed is way too over-the-top and cliched to hold any kind of severity of dramatic presence.

    Why? His name never came up and he hasn't even been introduced or even referenced.

    My biggest issue about this intro is Matheson: I didn't care at all that Matheson died, nor did have any emotional response when he was dieing and trying to be saved. His death would have been much more fufilling if you slowed down the pacing of your fic and expanded on these characters so the reader actually cares if they die. Matheson just seemed like fodder to bring in scary-apparation-obvious-bad-guy-man and nothing like an actual person.

    Overall, it currently reads as a lone agent seeking vegeance using the resources of agency, which isn't always a bad thing, yet your fic offers nothing new thus far. It also appears to be very formulaic. Still, it's probably to early to judge, and I'll read the next chapter to see what comes next.
  3. Breezy

    Breezy Well-Known Member

    I'm going to second .bright side.'s comments about the pacing. I'd hate to make assumptions, but are you trying to create a dramatic, high-speed, heart-racing tone? We have quick action with a tense situation (someone having spasms and screaming, and his colleague doesn't know the exact reason why) before we are literally teleported to a medical ward, where the "insane" character starts babbling a poem, with an ending dialogue line of: "Get me everything on the Phantom Project", which I horribly mutated, but you get the point. Regardless, because the pacing is so fast, because you try to squeeze in a lot of information in a small space of time, because we're jumping around so much, everything kind of gets lost in translation, or the reader doesn't really pick up on the seriousness of the situation.

    For example, what was the point of the first scene where we're in an alley in Rustboro? All of the information the reader picked up there (the characters, one character is under some sort of ... spell) could have easily been transferred over to the scene at the hospital. We didn't see Matheson physical get attacked or walk through the psychic energy (or whatever happened) or anything that happened in "real time" that required the reader to actually be in the alley. All the important stuff seemed to have happened at the medical ward. If you started the prologue at the medical ward, you could have focused more on the characters, like Matheson's agony/pain, Mason's confusion. In its current state, it seems like your focus is getting from point A (the alley) to point B (the medical ward), with everything secondary (the characters and the introduction of the featured plot point), and it doesn't--dare I say shouldn't?--need to be like that.

    This is ... really random. Like we went through a semi-dramatic experience with Mason and his colleague, and then we suddenly go off into an unrelated direction. I think. Maybe there's a connection. In its current state it just seems random. Like why did we spend a good portion of the time reading about a guy freaking out if we're going down a different path?

    I guess my real point is while you have a promising premise and a solid foundation, it seems untamed and sometimes random. Take your time to focus. Develop your scenes fully -- this might mean cutting out less important scenes so you can spend more time on important ones. Make your characters more than just tools to develop a plot. Mason had no real reaction to his partner's convlusions, or to Vates's news about Matheson's state. Doing so will make your story's tone seem more dramatic/heart-pounding instead of using formulaic action.
  4. xmikeyxlikesitx

    xmikeyxlikesitx Pokémon Coordinator

    I'm not going to make this a long post, as .Bright Side. and Breezy pretty much covered everything.

    I think you need to work on one simple thing: making people care

    A lot of writers tend to skip over this core idea, but making people care why the events are happening is key.

    You need to go through and make changes, all the while asking yourself "Now, how can I make the readers feel like they want to read?" (Not, just because you're "awesome" and whatnot.)

    I'm not talking about emotional appeals, I'm just talking about the "interesting" factor. Yes, this is a bit interesting, but the whirlwind of events just...makes everything just look thrown around.
  5. Saffire Persian

    Saffire Persian Now you see me...

    I come back to check to see if there's been any responses, and I notice the server didn't even process my reply the first time around. So this won't be exactly like my old one, but I'll go over what I had initially typed up.

    I think you have what looks to be an interesting beginning so far. This is a tiny prologue, so I'll be curious to see how big of a part (if at all) this prologue is going to play in future chapters. I do honestly like how you try to capture the reader's interest in the beginning using in media res. I can understand why the other reviewers have asked you to slow down and develop the characters you've introduced, but I think I'll reserve my judgment on that until I see your later installments. This is a rather short prologue, and I'm not expecting you to get a ton done in such a small amount of time. I wouldn't mind seeing the background of Matheson, Mason, and Vates later on, though whether or not we'll actually see them again, really, is up for debate. (With prologues you never really know.) I think they have the potential to become very interesting characters.

    I honestly like Vates best out of all the characters introduced here. He seems to have the most personality. And I like how they include these pokémon in the OCU. I like the idea of Vates being an agent. (I do want to know what OCU stands for, by the way, so sue me.)

    I also do like the very ending dialogue. The "get me everything you can about the Phantom Project" bit, and I think it makes for a nice hook ending. I'll say it once, and I'll say it again, but it reminds me of the way CSI does things. However, I still would've liked to see how Mason connected what happened to Matheson with the Phantom Project you seem to be alluding to at this moment.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  6. PsychicChampion

    PsychicChampion Well-Known Member

    I like it but like the others have pointed out, there is some tweaking that is definatly needed.

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