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The Quest for the Legends, now with its ILCOETH revision!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Dragonfree, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Mawile XD

    Mawile XD ello thar

    Talk about insensitive... I wonder what May will get. A Sharpedo, perhaps, or a Kingler?

    Guilt trip, much? At least she didn't bring it up and make a scene...

    Letal seems pretty bitter. She actually reminds me of Scyther a little here. The personality change hit me, along with Mark, and I wonder whether she'll try too hard again. I think she'd probably start, but I think she has enough sense to stop.

    Heheh, Molzapart's clueless about this. It reminds me of when somebody enters a conversation and has no clue of what everyone else is talking about.

    I liked this chapter, and it was one of the necessary parts that prevents plot holes. I look forward to the next chapter, and I'll keep reading. Sorry for the short-ish review, but my dad's kinda ticked off, so I need to cut this short.
     
  2. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly

    So um, about two months after my last review and after much prodding, I'm finally back...again.

    Interesting things have happened, for sure. Maybe not mind-bending, but finding out the extent of Mitch's "abilities" and realizing how little he actually knows, seeing the damage Letal may have taken and her thirst for killing her father and watching her siblings fight to the death...well, that's certainly interesting. And I was amused by the book Mark was reading, but kind of wishes you had made it into something about a Mary-Sue that both Mark and the readers could laugh at. But that's just me. :p

    Anyhow, after reading the past three chapters, I thought back to that review I'd given you in January. Well, I should have looked back at it before reading, and I was too lazy to look at anything again, but I'm not sure how much of it you actually really payed attention to. Again, I didn't look back so I can't say for certain, but I'd mentioned trying to describe the general mood or atmosphere of a place, which I think you could have done for Merville, considering all you described were the trainers hanging about and the single shop. What about the rest of the town? Were the trainers chatting eagerly, making it loud and making the group feel ager or excited? As they were walking from Scorpio City, was the sky clear, was there a soft breeze, did they see small Pokémon scampering in the grass?

    And I still say that it would help to instead of saying "Vibrava screamed" to actually say ""Raaaa!" Vibrava screamed" for the onomatopoeia to make it more vivid and such. I'd recommend having another look at my old review, really.


    Anyway, on to the general errors.


    Imo, sounds better as “May said, stopping.”


    Seems a bit weird to add the “out of his throat” at the end; it’s putting a random emphasis on the neck, so I’d suggest either putting it in a bit earlier and adding “shooting” before “out of his throat,” or just taking it out completely.


    I think it ought to be “The Houndoom got up shakily.”


    Ugly repetition of “body.”


    Might look better as “towards it, causing it to stagger backwards and shake its head,” mainly because of the “it” repetition and just to mix it up a bit.


    Sounds kind of awkward, to be honest - “both girls yelled at the same time” would probably be better here.


    xD I immediately imagined her reaching down the front of her dress. I mean, personally I keep my cell phone in my bra, so Diana…er, seriously, where does she keep it? I can’t imagine a box fitting in her bra, and somehow I doubt that such an act would go over well with some of the younger trainers who might then contact the authorities…

    How very scandalous. xD


    Eh, you may want to consider evading the filter here, since the asterisks don’t look very nice. Though I don't think you've been putting that rating thing at the beginning of your posts like you used to...lol, I remember that you would always put “Nudity: none” and I wondered if there would ever be cause for nudity in a fic like this. XD


    Again, a bit awkward. “It’s been my dream to own a Dark Gym since I was little” might be preferable.


    I think it should be “appearing.”



    I could be wrong, but I don’t think you need the comma here.


    You can probably take out the last “there” because it sounds a bit clunky and you have the repetition.


    I notice elyvorg pointing this out, but it’s still not fixed. D:



    I think you should either remove the comma or put an “and” right after it.


    You’re missing the punctuation here and “Molzapart” should also be in italics, far as I can tell.


    So, far as I can tell, that’s about it. Personally, I didn’t think there was really much of a change in Letal since she always seemed really determined, and I think most people think she’s changed because we didn’t previously know her exact plans, though it makes her seem a bit more bitter than before, I suppose. And Kaizer, apparently Chaletwo is somewhat embarrassed about having created the three dragons (if I remember right), which might be a bit silly considering that the information might be helpful. Might be, at least. To be honest, I’m still a little weirded out at how unprofessional and almost immature Chaletwo and Molzapart are considering what deity-like roles they have, if you want to think of them that way. *shrugs*

    Anyway, good job overall, as usual. *realizes how much she needs to get back onto the reviewing scene*

    ~Psychic
     
  3. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Okay, I might as well respond to the reviews now.

    That would be because Chaletwo created the dragons. While Chaletwo can tell some random humans that there are legendaries they never knew about and they won't think much of it, Molzapart knows that Thunderyu, Volcaryu and Polaryu aren't supposed to exist and would immediately become suspicious. Chaletwo avoids mentioning them and tells Alan to fill Molzapart in later simply because when Molzapart finds out, he does not want to be there to have to answer the inevitable questions that would follow.

    Of course, he hadn't really realized this inconvenience before they actually sent Molzapart out, so this was just a temporary solution to buy himself more time; as soon as Alan starts explaining it all to Molzapart, they will most likely figure out collectively that the dragons are Chaletwo's own creations (especially combined with Chaletwo's peculiar attachment to the dragons which Alan has definitely noticed), and they will end up having that conversation anyway. It's just that now he has some time to prepare his answers, and by the time they find this out, all the dragons will (hopefully) already be taken care of, giving him a perfect excuse to say, "Look, who cares now? We've captured them. We have more important things to do than yell at me for something I did a thousand years ago."

    Of course, this is all in chapter 43, but there's no particular reason not to explain it now, I suppose.

    Why is that OOC? It doesn't have to do with culture, even. Ever since Letal first appeared in the fic, she has thought about nothing but battling and winning. She fights dirty. She stops at nothing to win. She's been quiet, yes, but if you look at her actions and her little dialogue throughout, she's had some blatant issues all along - she's just never voiced them before, and Mark pretty much just assumed by default (as you most likely did) that she was just determined in battle.

    About the culture thing, the Leta family isn't obsessed with death like the Scyther are, but they have an almost religious regard for shinies that has evolved a whole set of beliefs surrounding them. Primarily, they always have a shiny leader in a herd, and there must never be more than one shiny Letaligon in a herd, giving those shinies who evolve the choice of leaving forever or fighting the previous shiny leader (hence why she expects to watch her siblings slaughter one another). In other respects, they are quite sane compared to Scyther. Mark's Letal herself? She just has some serious inferiority complex thanks to having grown up an ordinary while knowing she was supposed to have been a shiny, a rank above the rest, and blames her father for rejecting her.

    Obviously, her patricidal intentions are just words right now. Whether she would ever actually go through with it is a different matter altogether.

    It's mostly the comfort issue. Looking at a Gyarados, I'm having a hard time imagining it could ever be reasonably pleasant to travel over long distances on the back of one (those fins don't look very comfy at all, and Gyarados usually seem to have the following segments of their bodies bent downwards, which would make them impossible to sit on).

    :p Mark isn't the type to be picky about literature. It probably is something like a really clichéd Mary-Sue-fic, but he's an eleven-year-old kid whose primary interest is in drawing and nonfiction; how likely is he to start snarking it in the narration?

    I'm still trying to figure how how I can improve on most of the stuff you mentioned in the last review, pretty much. You make a good point about trying to get the atmosphere of each place down; I really didn't like the Merville scene very much and I think that's probably why.

    That's the point. :D

    So, chapter 43... has not been started. Sorry. D: I've been too busy with math training and obsessing over Phoenix Wright. Which I know is not an excuse. I really should whip that thing up soon, if only I weren't currently trying to write a Phoenix Wright fic (which is also not working out the way I want it). Ugh.
     
  4. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    Letal learning that she might never evolve was interesting to read about, indeed. o.o The scene in which she did was my favorite part of the chapter—though it was actually something other than her reaction to learning that she might not be able to evolve that made the scene really stand out for me the way it did. What it was that specifically made that happen was this:

    That right there was, in my opinion, the most memorable moment in that chapter—not to mention a moment that got that nice Holy crap... o.o reaction out of me. X3

    On a related note, here's something else that I thought was done particularly well:

    The matters that provide headaches for characters can also provide good reading, in my opinion. X3 I was particularly impressed with the fact that the potential sort of “damned if you do, damned if you don't” dilemma that Mark might be facing (release her with the knowledge that someone will die because he released her, or choose not to release her and thus break a promise to her?) was addressed there.

    And on another note entirely, I thought it was funny when Mark was... shall we say, doing a less-than-stellar job of waking up. X3

    Other highlights and et cetera:

    I'll admit, that made me laugh. XP

    I'll also admit that the first thing that crossed my mind when I read that was along the lines of, I hope for her sake that no one in the Pokémon Center who sees that wet spot draws the mistaken conclusion that she made a piddle-puddle there... o.o; XD;

    X3

    Interesting dream. o.o Especially since it really does seem authentically dreamlike to me somehow--I'm not sure how to explain it, but it really does. o.o

    I loved that phrase. X3

    Nice detail, there. ^^

    XD
     
  5. vareki

    vareki Psycotic with RAGE

    i just finished reading the new chapters from when i left of and i must say that it is very impressive so far. one of my favorite parts of the last 6 or 7 chapter is definitly when tyranitar crawls out of the lava and suddenly ends the volcaryu battle but of course the rest was great as well. the current chapter was good for a filler and opens up many directions that i can see but i am not saying what i think those directions might be because whatever you end up doing i can say i predicted it:D

    p.s. can you put me back on the pm list please
     
  6. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Sike Saner: I'm glad you enjoyed the Letal developments, and for some reason I'm also really glad you liked the dream. I'm always trying to get dream sequences right.

    vareki: Good to see you back as a reader! You're on the PM list again. I wouldn't exactly call chapter 42 a filler since a reader who missed that chapter would immediately realize they missed something (them splitting up, the deal with Molzapart and the revelation with Letal), but of course it wasn't the most interesting chapter around. Chapter 44 should be fun, though, since it has the Polaryu fight and stuff. :D And then there's the League chapters, which are all action-packed and plotty and interesting because I've been looking forward to writing them for at least three or four years.

    Okay, it's chapter 43 time. It might surprise you (in a non-plotty way), but it's nothing overly remarkable. Eight pages.



    Chapter 43: To Champion Island

    Alan will fill him in, huh?

    The start of their journey across the calm sea was none too interesting, and it was all too quickly dawning onto Mark that this would be a long, long day, especially since May still seemed to be in a bad mood and hadn’t said a word to him since they’d set off. Lapras occasionally glanced over her shoulder at them, but never spoke. There was little to do other than staring at the sunny hills behind them or out at the endless stretch of deep blue ocean ahead – that and talking to Chaletwo.

    “I know,” the legendary Pokémon replied in his head, the voice pained. “What could I do? I didn’t really realize how little he knew until he was out there.”

    I noticed you seemed really bent on not mentioning the dragons, Mark mused. Why is that? I mean, you had no problems telling May and Alan about them or letting me tell everybody in Crater Town, even if leaving out where they came from.

    “You can tell a human there are legendary Pokémon they don’t know about,” was the frustrated reply. “But Molzapart knows there aren’t supposed to be any Dragons of Ouen. He’d start asking questions.”

    Right. That made sense. And if Alan is going to discuss it with him, they’ll put two and two together, since he has definitely noticed how much more you seem to care about them than about somebody like Suicune. Gotcha.

    And now he’d brought up the memory of Suicune again. He hated himself sometimes.

    “It’s not that I don’t care about Suicune,” Chaletwo responded grudgingly. “But now that he’s dead, what can we do but go on? Of course I’d try to prevent it if I knew he was in danger, but…”

    But if you happen to accidentally allow somebody to kill him, it’s no big deal, right? Mark was getting angrier than he had intended; the last thing the sensible part of him wanted was to get into another argument about Suicune’s fate.

    “Please just drop it, Mark,” Chaletwo replied, and the pain in the creature’s voice made him abruptly much more sympathetic. “It won’t get us anywhere to dwell on it. Suicune died. It was terrible, but none of us could have predicted it. We can’t change anything now. We have to think about all that’s yet to be done.”

    Mark nodded decisively. “So,” he said out loud, “where in Champion Cave is Polaryu precisely?”

    May looked over her shoulder at him as Chaletwo replied. “He’s in an underground chamber. Pretty deep. When he breaks out, it’ll be in that icy valley.”

    Mark nodded; the interior of Champ Mountain was a cold place, and supposedly one path that could be taken to the League included a stretch of going from one cave exit to another through a frozen valley, home to a number of Ice Pokémon.

    Something clicked into place in his head.

    “Wait,” May said, voicing his thoughts, “don’t tell me that thing’s the reason Champion Cave is icy.”

    Chaletwo hesitated in a way that did not bode well. “I can’t claim to know for certain, but it would make sense.”

    May raised her eyebrows. “I wonder how long it will take us to set a world record as causes of natural disasters.”

    “If this all works out, we can make a deal with Articuno to drop by on occasion or something.”

    Articuno. Mark felt another painful sting in his stomach. “Provided he’s not the one draining your energy and trying to destroy the world.”

    “Whether he is or isn’t, he presumably won’t be anymore by that time.”

    Articuno, the Destroyer. Mark couldn’t get it to make sense in his head. It seemed so wrong, somehow. And, he reminded himself sternly, they weren’t at all sure yet. Maybe Articuno wasn’t the Destroyer at all.

    “Hey, wait,” May suddenly said. “Isn’t that a Floatzel?”

    Mark looked where she was pointing and saw the orange head of the otterlike Pokémon looking at them from a short distance away. As it realized it had been noticed, it dived momentarily under the surface before emerging again, now swimming rapidly in their direction.

    “I think it’s going to attack,” Mark said; May was a step ahead of him and had already gotten out a Pokéball.

    “Butterfree, go! Hit it with a Bug Buzz!”

    The butterfly Pokémon emerged in mid-air and immediately began to flap her wings powerfully, producing a high-pitched sound aimed towards the Floatzel. It shuddered, stopping momentarily, but then sprang out of the water, baring its fangs, and chomped down on Butterfree’s foot. The Bug Pokémon let out a cry of alarm as she was pulled into the water.

    “Butterfree, Giga Drain!” May called, clinging to Lapras’s neck as she leaned towards the water to watch her Pokémon. Under the surface, Mark could see the Floatzel twitch as orbs of energy tore themselves away from its body and were absorbed into the Butterfree’s. This caused it to momentarily release its hostage, and Butterfree floated to the surface, where she managed after some desperate fluttering to get herself airborne again. She flew up high as the Floatzel rocketed upwards and jumped out of the water again with a splash; it snapped its jaws in her direction, but couldn’t reach and fell back into the water.

    “Sleep Powder!” May ordered, and Mark was momentarily surprised.

    “Wait, you’re going to try to catch it?” he asked as the butterfly fluttered her wings and sparkly, green dust filled the air below her.

    “Well, I need a new Water-type, don’t I?” May looked at the Floatzel, swimming in circles under the surface while watching them, and frowned. “Butterfree, get it out of the water with Psychic so it will inhale some of the stuff.”

    The butterfly nodded and began to glow with a purple aura as the same happened to the Floatzel. Realizing what was happening, it began to struggle madly, but slowly Butterfree’s psychic powers raised it helplessly out of the water to hover in mid-air. The otter was still flailing around when the butterfly flapped her wings once more and it was forced to breathe in a noseful of green powder. It was only seconds after that before the struggling became sluggish and half-hearted and the Pokémon’s eyes closed as it fell limp.

    “Okay, great.” May already had an Ultra Ball ready, which she threw lazily at the sleeping Pokémon. “Catch the ball, Butterfree.”

    The ball sucked the Floatzel in and began to fall, but Butterfree quickly wrapped it in a purple glow and kept it hovering in the air. The ball shook fiercely for a few seconds, but then stilled with a ping.

    May reached out and grabbed the ball from the air as Butterfree released her psychic hold on it. “Good job,” she said, recalling the Bug Pokémon before taking out her Pokédex and pointing it at the new ball.

    “Floatzel – sea weasel Pokémon,” said the electronic voice of the device. “This Pokémon has evolved an external gas bladder resembling an inner tube, giving it fine control over its buoyancy. It swims using its two tails as a propeller.”

    Mark saw Lapras giving the ball a bitter look and could imagine that watching May so casually capture what was to be her own replacement wasn’t the most pleasant feeling in the world, but he wasn’t the type to challenge her over it.

    “Oh, hey, she’s level 47,” May said nonchalantly. “Nice.”

    “It’s a she?” Mark asked, a bit surprised; the creature’s aggressiveness had made him deduce it was male, which on second thought had been rather stupid, particularly considering who was sitting in front of him.

    “Yup,” May replied while presumably switching another Pokémon to the PC in order to keep the Floatzel. “Didn’t you see she had only one spot on her back?”

    She threw the Pokéball back out, releasing the Floatzel into the water beside them in a burst of white light; she floated at the surface, still sleeping. May took an Awakening spray out of her bag along with some sort of a Potion and sprayed both on the creature’s body.

    The Floatzel snapped awake and began to struggle again, but upon finding she was back in the water and no longer being held helplessly in mid-air, she stopped and looked around. The Pokémon found May’s face and grinned widely, revealing the rows of sharp teeth in her mouth.

    “Hi,” May said. “I just caught you, so I’m your new trainer. We’re going to the League, so I’m only interested if you can take some intense training and are any good as a fighter. If you’re just lonely or something or are going to complain, you can go now.”

    Mark could only imagine what Alan’s face would look like if he were there, but the Floatzel just laughed a cackling laugh.

    “What I attacked you for, isn’t it? You defeated me, so you can make me better. That’s how it goes, yes?”

    May nodded, her expression still warily sceptical. “Well, that’s nice, but I still don’t know if you’re good enough. Why don’t you stay out of your ball and show me what you can do on the way if we find any wild Pokémon?”

    The Floatzel laughed again with a glint of glee in her eyes. “Of course! Showing off. I can do that. Yes.”

    The otter quickly deflated her floating tube and dived down under the surface before taking a spiralling leap back out of the water, seemingly for the sheer fun of it, and then disappearing underwater again. May watched with passive interest while scanning their immediate surroundings for any signs of wild Pokémon.

    Mark looked at Lapras again; she was now staring straight forward and if he wasn’t much mistaken she was swimming faster than before. The Floatzel was still swimming in wide circles around them, occasionally taking a leap that made Lapras eye her with resentment. May either didn’t notice or pretended not to.

    Floatzel suddenly stuck her head back out of the water and looked back at them. “A Tentacruel! A Tentacruel!” she said excitedly, waving her arm in the direction of where she’d seen it while looking expectantly at May.

    The girl nodded. “Use Quick Attack and then Crunch.”

    Mark could see the Tentacruel now; the jellyfish Pokémon was lurking in the water several yards away, only its dome-shaped head and the dark eyes beneath it showing above the surface. The Floatzel zoomed forward at a high speed, took a leap out of the water and smashed her body into the Tentacruel’s. It let out a disgruntled sound of surprise as it was hit, followed by a high-pitched screeching sound that made the otter Pokémon wince as she disappeared under the surface again. The Tentacruel then screamed in pain, swung two of its tentacles out of the water with Floatzel still hanging on to them by her teeth, and smashed the otter into a nearby rock.

    “Trap it with Whirlpool,” May called as the Tentacruel motioned to leave. Floatzel shook her head, crawling into an upright position on the rock, and snarled as the water around the jellyfish Pokémon began to swirl downwards, sucking it in so that it had to struggle to stay in the same place. It let out another disgruntled sound and then whipped one tentacle out of the water, flexing the end of it into an arrowhead shape before stabbing it into the Floatzel’s body. The otter cried out in pain as a purple liquid squirted out of the edges of the wound; she bit into the tentacle in retaliation and the Tentacruel withdrew it with another grunt.

    “Floatzel, another Crunch,” May ordered, and her new Pokémon wasted no time in taking a calculated leap in the Tentacruel’s direction, landing on its soft head and sinking her fangs into one of the red, eye-like bulges that decorated it.

    The Tentacruel let out a crashing roar and flailed around in pain; it was evident that this was dramatically more effective than biting its tentacles, and the Floatzel grinned like a maniac upon realizing this. While the jellyfish Pokémon shook itself violently to try to throw her off, she let out her claws and tightened her bite. The Tentacruel raised a few tentacles out of the water, wrapped them around the otter and started to squeeze. At the same time, the whirlpool underneath them was beginning to lose its force.

    “Agility!” May shouted. Floatzel quickly deflated her floating tube and slipped out of the Tentacruel’s grasp in the split second that followed before it had managed to tighten its grip. She darted up into the air at a high speed and then shot back down into the water while the Tentacruel motioned to swim away.

    “Pursuit!”

    Floatzel shot back towards the jellyfish and tackled it, dark purple wisps of energy releasing from the point of impact. The Tentacruel let out a garbled sound and then sank into the water; Mark wasn’t sure if it had fainted or had just had enough and was getting away. Floatzel looked back at them with a grin.

    “Not bad,” May said. “Well, you need a few levels to catch up with my team anyway, so why don’t you just stay there and handle the wild Pokémon we find?”

    “Yes. Fight. I’ll do it!” And the Floatzel returned to swimming in circles around them while Lapras gave her a dark look.

    -------

    It really was a long day.

    But now, at last, as the sun was setting, they were nearing their destination. This side of Champion Island was relatively flat above the cliffs at the base of the island, but the mountain loomed ominously ahead to remind them of the undoubtedly difficult journey through Champion Cave that awaited them. The translucent shape of a dome-shaped force field that protected the island from unauthorized access shimmered above it all in the evening sun.

    “There’s a little slab of rock there near the waterfall,” May said, pointing to the left side of the roaring wall of water and foam that crashed down from the cliff in front of them. “Lapras can let us off there.”

    Mark squinted at the gently sloping stone, reaching just far enough out of the water nearest to the cliff for the waves not to wash over it and just far enough away from the waterfall to avoid most of the spray, and nodded. It was getting cold, probably both thanks to Polaryu’s influence and the nightfall, and Mark looked forward to getting to the warmth of the small Pokémon Center he knew was located at the base of the mountain, near the entrance to the cave.

    Floatzel was already darting towards the slab of rock, leaving a spray of water in her wake. Lapras gave the Pokémon yet another glare of resentment, but sped up the rhythm of her flipper movements now that they were nearly there. She still hadn’t said a word on the entire journey, but with each wild Pokémon that Floatzel had enthusiastically beaten to a pulp on the way, her expression had darkened, and Mark was beginning to worry she’d have some sort of an outburst. As she aligned her side with the rock and the kids stepped off her back, however, she just looked at May in silence, throwing Floatzel an occasional glance as the otter Pokémon climbed up behind her trainer.

    “So,” May said at last and opened her mouth to continue, but then apparently changed her mind and closed it again.

    “Goodbye,” Lapras said quietly.

    “I’m… not sure whether to hope we see each other again.”

    Lapras looked briefly at Floatzel and said, “I hope we won’t.”

    The otter Pokémon tilted her head. “What? What is happening? Tell me.”

    “I’m releasing Lapras,” May replied, her tone and expression remarkably emotionless as ever.

    “Ah. She was not good enough, yes?” Floatzel suggested cheerfully.

    “I asked to be released,” Lapras responded fiercely, with heat that Mark would not have expected from her. “We are not all fighting-obsessed drones like you.”

    Floatzel just grinned in a way that could have been oblivious or condescending. That Pokémon was already creeping Mark out a bit.

    “Goodbye,” Lapras said again, this time spitefully, and turned away to swim north.

    “Goodbye, Lapras,” Mark said, feeling he should at least say something. “Have a… nice life.”

    Lapras looked at him over her shoulder but didn’t respond.

    “Lapras,” May suddenly called, and the Pokémon turned around to look at her.

    “I…” She glanced at the otter Pokémon standing by her side. “Goodbye.”

    The sea turtle jerked her head back forward and swam on, eventually disappearing behind the island.

    “So do we continue now?” Floatzel asked expectantly. “We go up the waterfall, yes?”

    “Mark, where’s the Waterfall HM?” May had snapped back into her ordinary self and Mark had the fleeting odd feeling they had all just made some sort of a silent agreement to never speak of Lapras again. He took off his backpack and found the CD case with the Hidden Machine move.

    May looked at the otter Pokémon by her side. “Do you mind if we teach it to both Floatzel and Gyarados? Floatzel are a lot better with physical moves, and…”

    “Well, it’s reusable, isn’t it?” He shrugged and handed her the HM while taking out Gyarados’s ball. He sent out the sea monster in silence while May opened the case and held the CD to Floatzel’s head.

    Gyarados emerged in the water and looked around, eying the waterfall and sizing it up. “So this is Champion Island,” he just said, and the soft blue glow that was enveloping Floatzel’s head disappeared completely as she jerked her head in his direction.

    “It speaks human!” she shrieked, looking up at May. “Why does it speak human? Why are those stones on his neck?”

    “He’s just that special. Be still; I’m trying to teach you a move here.”

    Mark had to stifle a laugh as May pressed the CD down on Floatzel’s forehead again to complete the learning process that had been interrupted. The otter glanced suspiciously at Gyarados for a second but then gave him an indifferent shrug and closed her eyes to concentrate.

    “She was quick to find a replacement,” Gyarados said.

    “Yeah.”

    “We’re going up the waterfall, I assume?”

    “Yeah.”

    May handed Mark the HM and Gyarados lowered his head to the rock they were standing on so that Mark could hold the CD to his forehead as well. The shining blue hue of the CD itself spread out around Gyarados’s head for a moment and then sank in. The sea monster blinked and shook his head.

    “Get on.”

    Mark climbed onto Gyarados’s back and couldn’t help imagining the monster suddenly diving and dragging him into the depths to drown. He shivered and realized with pain wasn’t sure he would ever be able to get himself to properly trust Gyarados again.

    But they needed him, and the last thing he wanted was to start thinking about Suicune again, so he just fixed his gaze and mind on the top of the waterfall and the hundreds of liters of water crashing off the edge every second and said, “Okay, up we go.”

    On second thought, he really should have closed his eyes. As soon as he gave the command, Gyarados lurched forward, and he only barely managed to hold on to the fin sticking out of the Pokémon’s back in front of him as he suddenly shot straight upwards. It only got worse when Mark felt their connection to the surface of the planet disappear altogether, and for a very sickening moment they were hovering in the air just above the waterfall; then Gyarados plunged down into the river again and let Mark slide off his back at the bank.

    Mark had never liked rollercoasters. He spent a few moments just lying on his back in the grass, breathing and listening to the roar of the waterfall while assuring himself the ground was solid again. He heard Floatzel shriek in joy as she also shot up the waterfall with May on her back and looked up to see them climb onto the bank near him.

    “Ugh,” May said, looking down at her soaked clothes, and Mark felt some grim satisfaction in the shaken tone of her voice that indicated she hadn’t found the ride up there any more pleasant than he had. He sat up and recalled Gyarados, who had wrapped himself around a rock in the middle of the river to avoid having to swim against the current, and looked around as he shook some water out of his sleeves.

    Just a few meters ahead of them was where the force field dome touched the ground; there was a small rotating gate on it of the kind that made it impossible for more than one person to pass through at the same time. Behind the whitish-translucent wall, he glimpsed a few Squirtle playing in the river, and a simple trodden path led leftward to the mountain, past a smallish house half built into the rock that proclaimed itself to be a Pokémon Center, and up towards a large, dark crack that was clearly the entrance to the cave. The other side of the path led along the mountainside on the right and disappeared from view behind the rock.

    The mountain itself was humongous enough that Mark preferred not to think about it.

    “Well, this will be fun,” May said with mock cheerfulness in her voice, squeezing some water out of her hair. “Let’s see how that gate works.”

    Mark walked to the gate and pushed the rotating door; it didn’t budge. On the right side was a metallic panel with eight shallow, disc-shaped holes in it, and it took Mark a second to realize that this was where he had to verify his badges. He took them out of his pocket and placed them in the holes in the right order, although he wasn’t sure if it mattered. The machine sprang to life, a small black screen below the holes flashing with green letters saying ‘PLEASE REMOVE YOUR BADGES’.

    He took them out one by one and put them back into his pocket, and as he removed the last one, the resistance preventing the door from rotating abruptly disappeared, causing him to almost fall through the gate before it locked in place once again with him safely on the other side.

    The Squirtle had noticed him and watched him curiously from the other side of the river. He momentarily considered trying to catch one, but then realized that capturing a low-level Pokémon now would require him to either sacrifice a lot of time training it to be able to participate in the League or basically never use it at all, and he needed enough training as it was without adding a low-level new member into the mix – besides, he reminded himself, Gyarados would do just fine as a Water-type no matter how little he trusted him anymore.

    He waited for May to get through the gate and they headed silently towards the Pokémon Center. He eyed the silhouette of a big turtle-like Pokémon watching the sunset from the sea to the north, but said nothing and wasn’t sure if May noticed it at all.
     
  7. elyvorg

    elyvorg somewhat backwards.

    So here's my review to elaborate on my declaration of Floatzel's awesomeness that I felt the need to post in your blog last night (it was late D: ) and mention other stuff too. Yay.

    Aww. It only takes that tiny mention of pain in his voice to tell us that Chaletwo really does care about Suicune but is just reacting to his death in a different way to Mark. :3

    xD. I love the way those dragons turn out to be responsible for supposed natural phenomenons around Ouen. I don't suppose the volcano at Crater Town will stop being a volcano now that Volcaryu's gone?

    I have to say that after quite a bit of experience with plot-twist-mentality in my own fic and having read the way you wrote this, I am now completely convinced that Articuno is not the Destroyer. It just has too much of the "trying to trick us by slowly turning wild guess into established fact" vibe.

    And this was the point from which Floatzel started being awesome. =D

    To elaborate, I really like her eagerness to show off her fighting skills and the sheer amount of glee she took in beating up that poor Tentacruel. It makes a nice change to see a Pokémon who, rather than just being okay with May's training style as it's what they expected, is actually really enthusiastic about it. And wow, did I love the sheer insensitivity of her casual, cheery suggestion that Lapras was being released because she wasn't good enough. Floatzel's got this streak of innocent curiosity, and enough competetive drive to simply not care if it offends anyone or not. And she also has an unusual speech pattern, yes?

    I love her already. :3

    Good old May, trying to say something sensitive and understanding but apparently not knowing how.

    xDDDD and there's that curiosity I spoke of. Love May's reply there, too. Damn, are there going to be some delightfully awkward questions from Floatzel when she realises they're going around battling legendaries. =D

    I found this sentence here hard to follow, possibly because of the ambiguity with the "he"s as to whether they were referring to Mark or Gyarados. "Only" repetition made it a little bit blah, too.

    The way this is worded almost gives the impression that the machine is the small black screen and nothing else.

    I was a little surprised that the chapter ended where it did. It didn't feel like much happened in it at all; it was all just getting from A to B with May happening to catch one Pokémon and release another along the way. It's like there wasn't really enough of an event to make it a chapter, if you see what I mean. I think it might have worked better with the journey through Champion Cave as well, so that you could end it on the note of the looming Polaryu battle which would just help to make it feel like the chapter has done something significant.

    Now for some speculation: I have this sneaking feeling that May will be the one capturing Polaryu. Not quite sure why, but it just seems like you'd have a little more interest and potential if each of the dragons ended up being owned by someone different.

    I also recently had this thought about the Destroyer: if the first Pokémon created by the Creator is the Preserver, then what about the first one created by the Preserver being the Destroyer? What makes me less inclined to go all "Polaryu are destroyer!!!" is the fact that you haven't mentioned any plottiness surrounding Chapter 44; you seem to be implying it'll be a fairly routine legendary capture, as routine as those things ever are. I'm expecting Polaryu will have some kind of uber Ice move to turn the tides of battle in a similar vein to Thunderyu's thing with the vortex of storm clouds and Volcaryu's thing with the great ball of flames surrounding him. Whoo.
     
  8. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Your post in the blog made me smile. x3 It reminded me of me going on about Velotus. Which is nice, because if I've made you love a character as much as I love Velotus, I can only take that as a compliment.

    It is a real volcano, but it's pretty much extinct. Chaletwo essentially shut it down when he put Volcaryu in there, making any possible eruptions dependent upon the dragon's power, and now that Volcaryu is gone, it will probably never erupt again.

    *evil grin*

    Believe it or not, I did not at all intend to have May catch another Pokémon yet, but then Floatzel just sort of was there and had such a delicious personality to throw into the mix. :3 Not to mention that May being at sea should make her think about the fact she needs a Water Pokémon, and Floatzel was just the sort of Pokémon she would like. So yeah, this spontaneously adds yet another one to the way-too-long list of Pokémon May will own at some point in the fic. But I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun writing Floatzel, and I'm glad you think you'll have as much fun reading about her. :3

    Thanks for the corrections about both of those sentences; I didn't really like them but wasn't sure how. I'll fix them.

    I originally intended to have this chapter cover the journey through Champion Cave, actually, but then I realized that they'd have to do that the next day, and then my OCDish tendency to make chapter breaks coincide with day breaks kicked in - it irks me a bit every time I'm forced to make the characters go to sleep and get up again in the same chapter, and it was just too tempting to cut this chapter short here and then pick it up again the next morning in the next chapter. The journey through Champion Cave up to Polaryu isn't that long or remarkable anyway, so I thought it would feel a bit out of the blue at the end of this chapter. It was mostly a get-characters-to-Champion-Island chapter, plus Floatzel's capture and Lapras's release.

    The first dragon he created was Thunderyu, actually. And Volcaryu's thing with the great ball of flames was just Overheat - incidentally, nobody noticed, but Overheat lowers Special Attack, and after Overheat, Volcaryu stuck mostly to physical attacks. :p But Polaryu has fun stuff like Sheer Cold, so...
     
  9. Mawile XD

    Mawile XD ello thar

    And why shouldn't Molzapart know? *narrows eyes* Eh, I probably forgot the reason, but I don't trust Chaletwo.

    I'm not sure if I like Floatzel. I like the strange speech pattern, but she's so... Unnatural comes to mind. She's a mix of awesomeness and the sort of stuff that creeps you out.

    Floatzel is a maniac. Is she sane? O.O; I hope Lapras has a nice life.

    I had to quote that. It was priceless. Floatzel has a lot of catching up to to, y'know, to get the picture of what's happening.

    Foreshadowing? I wonder what Lapras is thinking right now...


    All in all, nice chapter. Nothing really happened, but then again, what can you really do while traveling. Floatzel's introduction made things a lot more interesting, and it suits May. It's the one pokemon that probably at least likes her.
     
  10. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Chaletwo thinks of the creation of the dragons as the pinnacle of his youthful stupidity, hence why even though he's told May and Alan about their existence, he has been trying to avoid telling anyone other than Mark that he created them. Telling Molzapart would be even worse because the existence of the three dragons means three more legendaries to capture, which could mean the difference between success and failure at preventing the War of the Legends; he would undoubtedly not be happy to hear of it.

    You can interpret Floatzel however you like. Since her character was so spontaneously added to the cast, I don't have a lot planned for her at the moment, but she will be fun in the chapters to come.
     
  11. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    I'm already finding Floatzel to be a really interesting and entertaining character, one who sort of disturbs and amuses me at the same time. X3 It looks as though she's a darned good match for her new trainer, seemingly very compatible with May's training philosophy.

    Speaking of Floatzel, I thought that you did a nice job on Lapras's reactions to her. ^^

    Other highlights:

    XD

    Floatzel's reaction there is just... damn, especially if it indeed was condescending. X3;

    Again, that Floatzel amuses me. XD

    Heh, yeah, I'd reckoned that the Waterfall ride would be... less than pleasant. X3
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  12. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    I'm glad you like Floatzel. :3 Thanks for reviewing.

    Phew, chapter 44! I like some things about it and dislike others; I like how it's shaken off some of my tendency to overexplain everything out of fear that readers won't get it otherwise, for instance, but the battle seems too short. Oh, well. I hope you enjoy it. It's just over nine pages long.

    What's really great is that now we're getting to some very interesting chapters that I am going to love writing. :3 Well, there are a bunch of battles, and we all know what they tend to do to me, but the plotty parts are fuuun.



    Chapter 44: Polaryu

    It was early morning when Mark and May stood in front of the cave, looking in. The entrance was a humongous diagonal crack that widened on the way down, splitting the impenetrable wall of rock in two and inviting travelers inside for their final challenge on the way to the League. Irregular crystal growths that dotted the walls glowed dimly with a ghostly blue color, illuminating the cave just enough to see around. The cave didn’t look icy at all.

    “Well, what are we waiting for?” May said matter-of-factly as her Ninetales peered in. “Let’s go find Polaryu.”

    Mark felt a cold gust of wind blow sharply out of the mouth of the cave and shivered. He’d never liked being cold. But the last of Chaletwo’s dragons was in there somewhere, and if nothing else, that at least felt like it would be a milestone on their quest – the first indication that they really were getting somewhere with this, even if logic told him there were still uncomfortably many legendaries left. He nodded numbly and May led the way into the darkness.

    Their breath crystallized into a fine mist in front of their mouths as they followed the tunnel. Mark looked around at the rough cave walls and the luminescent crystals here and there. He was just thinking that it was a fairly straightforward cave so far when they turned a corner and entered a spacious room with several other tunnels exiting from it in various directions.

    “Chaletwo, you know where you put him,” Mark said in exasperation. “Where do we go?”

    “Second tunnel on the right seems to be just about the right direction.”

    Mark blinked, not really having expected Chaletwo to have a plain answer. “Right.”

    They headed towards that tunnel, feeling the temperature lowering a bit with each step. There were icicles in the ceiling now and Mark was starting to notice a fine layer of frost on the rocks, which in this context had to be considered a good thing. He shivered, pulling his jacket on tighter.

    “I don’t like this place,” Spirit commented in a murmur. “Something feels… wrong.”

    “You’re just cold,” her trainer replied.

    The Ninetales let out a ‘hmph’ sound, a flame flickering briefly in front of her nostrils, but didn’t deny it.

    “Hey, what was that?” Mark pointed to a rock a few meters away from them that he could make out in the murky lighting of the cave. “I think I saw something moving over there.”

    “Huh.” May peered at the spot. “Spirit, give us better light.”

    The Ninetales inhaled and then blasted a full-powered Flamethrower at the rock, immediately prompting a shriek of agony. A small, yellow, cone-shaped Pokémon scuttled out from behind it and then turned towards them, staring at the Ninetales with a permanently paranoid-looking expression etched on its dark face for a split second before drawing the tent-like structure that covered its body a bit further in front of its face. It stood perfectly still, as if it thought that made it invisible.

    “A Snorunt,” May muttered, her hand fiddling with her Pokéball necklace. “I’m not sure I’ll need it.”

    Mark looked at the thing; it was starting to shiver uncontrollably where it stood, with the sound of chattering teeth making its way out from underneath the tent in a muffled form. It did not look like it would go very well with May’s team, and she seemed to conclude this at the same time as he did.

    “Want a go at it?” she asked. Spirit looked with annoyance at the Snorunt and then back up at May as if waiting for permission to fry it with another Flamethrower.

    Mark shrugged and figured he hadn’t really caught any Pokémon in a while. “Eh, go, Letal.”

    The moment he’d thrown the ball, he regretted it, because seeing her emerge brought all the problems with Letal back into his mind and he wasn’t even sure she would be ready to fight for him now, but the moment she had materialized, she charged at the Snorunt with a snarl, the blade on her head almost immediately beginning to glow. The Snorunt peeked out of its disguise and let out a terrified shriek as she slashed across its vulnerable body.

    “No!” Mark could make out of the Pokémon’s screams. “No trainer – no – don’t want…”

    “Wait a minute, Letal,” Mark said unsurely, and she grudgingly obeyed, stepping away from the Snorunt. She had thrown it on its back and it flailed helplessly around, unable to get back to its feet.

    “No trainer! Don’t want!” it screamed as he took a step closer.

    “Then why are you in this section of the cave?” Mark asked stupidly.

    “Trainers normally come later!” it said frantically, its teeth still chattering. “Much later! Just looking for food! No trainer!”

    “Oh.” Mark felt incredibly awkward now. “Eh, I guess I should help you up, then?” He could see May in the corner of his eye; she was looking rather amused.

    He picked the Snorunt gently up and put it down on its feet, and the moment they touched the ground, the Pokémon struggled wildly out of his arms, scuttled down a tunnel to their right and disappeared into the shadows.

    Mark sighed and recalled Letal. “That was kind of… anticlimatic.”

    May shrugged. “Well, it’s not like your team desperately needs an Ice Pokémon in particular.”

    “That’s not what I was thinking about, but I guess not.”

    “Chaletwo, which way is Polaryu?”

    “The left tunnel.”

    Mark couldn’t help noticing as they headed into it that this tunnel had a significantly larger number of crystals than the one the Snorunt had taken: was it another bit of Polaryu’s influence?

    “Probably,” Chaletwo answered the thought. “These crystals grow in here naturally, but they form more easily under lower temperatures, so it’s definitely at least an indirect influence.”

    Mark nodded, reaching towards a large piece of crystal on the wall on the right and touching it. It had a very smooth, faceted surface and seemed to glow a little brighter when he touched it, but it was cold as ice – no, much colder. He shivered as he removed his hand and watched the light fade slowly back to normal.

    “Oh, hey,” said May, walking up to where Mark was. “Are those pure Nevermeltice?”

    “Huh?” Mark asked, looking up at her as she gave one of the crystals a light touch with her index finger.

    “Yeah, they are,” she said. “Nevermeltice crystals. They absorb warmth from the environment and produce light. Too much will break them. That’s why they only grow in cold places.”

    “I thought Nevermeltice was supposed to, well, never melt.” Mark looked at the crystal again. “And that it was ice.”

    “Well, people don’t use them pure,” May said and shrugged. “It needs to be really dry for them to grow this big. Usually all moisture will build up around them into a clump of ice and stop the growth. In the right amount, the crystal keeps the ice cold, and the ice keeps the crystal from being overloaded and broken. People didn’t discover the crystal until long after they’d noticed that some ice shards never melted and started using it.” She looked thoughtfully at the luminescent crystals. “Hang on, I'm going to get one. This big, it’ll be great to power up Floatzel’s Ice Fang.”

    She pulled a pair of thick, blue winter gloves out of the pocket of her coat, put them on and prodded a sizable clump of crystals experimentally. “Spirit, get some heat here. Be careful not to break the whole thing.”

    The Ninetales, still seeming a little grumpy, walked up to her side. There was a flicker of concentrated flame and the crystal glowed with a bright tealish light; May grabbed it tightly and yanked a clump the size of maybe two maximized Pokéballs from the wall with a cracking sound as the light faded back to normal.

    “Great,” she said, turning the crystal over in her hands before putting it into her backpack along with the gloves. “Let’s move on. Unless you want one.”

    Mark shook his head; although Gyarados also knew Ice Fang, he wasn’t sure how much he’d ever be using it in the League, and he couldn’t help hating the idea of breaking any more crystals; it seemed like it was desecrating the place.

    He took a lingering look of regret at the ugly, charred remains of the crystal that May had broken a piece of before he followed her on into the tunnel.

    -------

    They’d been walking through the tunnel in silence for quite a while now, and the cave was becoming both notably colder and more visibly icy: the floor rapidly became slippery and the walls coated in a sheet of ice through which the Nevermeltice crystals were only barely visible. They had to watch their steps now, and since the darkness was becoming deeper – both because the crystals produced less light in the colder environment and because they were covered with ice – Mark had sent Charizard out in order for his tail flame to light the way somewhat. Now the dragon was walking carefully just in front of them, holding his tail by his side. Mark had hoped it would also help combat the cold, but didn’t feel much of a change, possibly because the crystals still absorbed some of the heat.

    “So uh,” Mark began just to make some sort of a conversation, “when were you planning to fill Floatzel in on what we’re doing?”

    “Right.” May stopped, reaching for her Pokéballs. “I guess we should do that before we confront Polaryu.”

    They all stopped as she dropped the Ultra Ball and Floatzel emerged out of it. The Pokémon slipped on the ice as she materialized, falling over on all fours and shaking her head before looking up at May with a grin.

    “Okay, Floatzel,” she said. “We’re not just trainers. We’re on this mission to save the world.”

    The otter looked remarkably unfazed by that declaration; she seemed for a second like she was waiting for May to continue, but then tilted her head, the grin vanishing abruptly. “We are still going to the League, yes?”

    “Yes, we’re still going to the League.”

    The grin reappeared as if nothing were more natural. “Then what’s the problem?”

    “Well, we sort of need to battle a bunch of legendary Pokémon,” Mark said.

    The grin widened. “Great!”

    Mark had a great urge to slap his forehead. “I don’t think you’re getting it.”

    “Fighting powerful Pokémon makes us powerful,” Floatzel said. “That’s good, yes?”

    “It can also kill us,” Mark replied in frustration, some part of him managing to feel offended at the suggestion that this was no big deal even despite how much he’d have liked to be able to think of it that way himself.

    “So can I,” Floatzel pointed out. “But then you will not be around to complain, yes?”

    Mark decided trying to understand her thinking was not worth it and just sighed in frustration and gave May a vague gesture to deal with it.

    “Ah,” Floatzel added. “Why does the Gyarados speak human?”

    “He’s not the only one,” Spirit said, giving the otter a glare. Floatzel looked at the Ninetales in intrigued surprise and then back up at May.

    “We were chosen by Entei and Suicune,” Spirit answered for her, her voice still annoyed. “The gems mark us as their…”

    “Chosen what for?” Floatzel piped up.

    Spirit took a deep breath. “We don’t know. It will all be clear when the time comes.”

    “So being chosen is no good, yes?” Floatzel grinned innocently, and without warning, Spirit let out a threatening howl, her eyes momentarily flashing red before both Pokémon burst into black flames.

    “It’s good for that!” the Ninetales said, her voice echoing eerily while Floatzel screamed in pain at the dark flames still licking her fur. “You think Entei and Suicune would toy with us? You think we have no purpose? You think…”

    Floatzel dissolved into a beam of red light and was absorbed back into the Pokéball. “What was that?” May asked angrily, Spirit looking reluctantly at her. “Floatzel is my Pokémon! We’re about to battle a legendary! What’s wrong with…”

    The ball in her hand burst open again mid-rant, and Floatzel threw herself into Spirit’s body with a splash of cold water before darting on along the tunnel on all fours. The Ninetales growled angrily, dark energy swirling around her before she dashed after the otter in hot pursuit.

    “Hey!” May sprinted after them, nearly slipping a few times on the icy floor but quickly regaining her speed. Mark quickly recalled Charizard and then followed, figuring Charizard wasn’t the best runner around and it was pointless to make him try to keep up.

    He’d been trying to catch up with May for a few seconds when he realized that the cave wasn’t that dark anymore, even though Charizard was gone and the crystals in the walls were now completely covered with a sheet of ice. They had to be getting close to the exit, he thought even as he scanned the ceiling for holes or cracks for safety – and then he ran straight into May’s back, both of them falling painfully onto the ice.

    “Ow,” Mark groaned, hurting all over as he tried to stand up.

    “Mark?” May said in a squeaky voice that sounded suspiciously unlike her. He turned around to look at her and then a bit further to see where she was pointing.

    Floatzel and Spirit were lying stiffly on the ground in front of them, hopefully only fainted. Behind them, silhouetted against the cave exit that could be seen at the end of the tunnel, stood a huge, bluish-white dragon with blue crystals – not just any crystals, he realized numbly, but Nevermeltice crystals – embedded into its scales in various places. It watched them with a threatening growl.

    “Wasn’t he supposed to be asleep?” Mark hissed under his breath.

    “I thought he was!” Chaletwo responded, his voice all too panicky. “I stopped feeling him struggling against his sleep after we got the other two, since now there is nothing driving him, and I guess that’s why I didn’t notice – just send out some Pokémon already, damn it! What are you waiting for?”

    May had already taken out Spirit and Floatzel’s Pokéballs. She jerked her head in Mark’s direction, indicating she wanted him to start; he frantically grabbed all of his and tossed them out in front of him. While Charizard, Jolteon, Sandslash, Dragonair, Scyther and Letal materialized, May recalled Spirit and Floatzel, and Polaryu let out a cry of surprise. He recoiled backwards into a rearing stance as he flapped his wings once – and cold wind, ice and snowflakes came rushing in their direction.

    “Charizard, do something!” Mark yelled. His first Pokémon flapped his wings as well, creating a wave of hazy, hot air that filled the tunnel to counter the Blizzard, but Polaryu’s attack was much more powerful and the Heat Wave only weakened it. Biting cold engulfed Mark’s body and he closed his eyes to avoid the tiny needles of ice; then in a matter of seconds, it was over and he could look up again.

    “Okay, guys, we have to drive it out of the cave!” May shouted. “We can’t gang up on it well in this tunnel!”

    “Charizard, Flamethrower!” Mark ordered quickly. “Everybody else, wait a bit!”

    Charizard was already inhaling and blasted a bright cone of flames from his mouth, melting part of the ice on the walls as it rushed towards Polaryu. The ice dragon let out another high-pitched cry as the flames engulfed him and his crystals shone with intense white light; there was an audible crack as the ones on its left forelimb shattered. Rather than ceasing to glow after the flames cleared, the crystals brightened still, and Polaryu roared as Charizard’s body suddenly stiffened and he collapsed on the ground like a statue, just like Floatzel and Spirit had.

    “Return,” Mark called worriedly and was thankful when the beam successfully recalled the dragon, indicating he was still all right. His other Pokémon were already rushing to attack the legendary now that they would no longer be in the way; Sandslash, who had turned himself metallic, was just smashing his curled-up body into the side of Polaryu’s head, only to be blasted with a countering Ice Beam, while Dragonair used the opportunity to cloak himself in blue dragon flames and smack into the legendary’s side. Letal’s mask was already glowing as she charged along the tunnel with her claws extended for a better grip, while Jolteon and Scyther sped ahead of her and hit the dragon simultaneously from both sides. Polaryu was clearly in pain, but more importantly, he was skidding and recoiling a little backwards towards the entrance with each hit. Mark ran a bit forward and then looked quickly at May; she had apparently been using her Pokédex to switch Floatzel and Spirit to the PC, but now she was replacing it on her belt.

    “I don’t think I could get all my Pokémon out here yet without risking friendly fire,” she said as she caught up with him. “Besides, it’s better to keep them for when one Blizzard won’t hurt all of them at once. They’ll participate once we’re out of this cave.”

    Polaryu blasted another Blizzard along the tunnel, and the freezing wind sent Mark’s Pokémon skidding backwards on the wet ice floor, aside from Dragonair, who had pressed himself up against the ceiling behind a stalactite that protected him from the worst of the attack. While they were recovering, the legendary turned around, got down on all fours and began to make his way out towards the exit. Mark saw that Sandslash was unconscious and recalled him.

    “Quick, he’s going to escape!” Chaletwo said frantically as Polaryu spread his wings on the outside of the tunnel and took off. “Stop him!”

    Scyther zoomed out and after the ice dragon, and while Mark, May and the Pokémon were all running towards the tunnel, they could hear Polaryu’s cry of pain, followed by Scyther’s. Mark reached the entrance just as the mantis crashed into the snow-covered ground of the valley they were now in and recalled him absent-mindedly as he looked up at Polaryu with worry. The dragon’s left wing was slightly torn, but he was making up for it by just flapping it that much faster, which allowed him to keep ascending, if a bit unsteadily.

    “Jolteon, Thunder Wave it!” May ordered as she came up behind Mark. The Electric Pokémon crouched down, his fur crackling with electricity, and sent a wave of sparks up towards Polaryu; he looked around too late to try to avoid it, and as the paralysis settled into his muscles, he could no longer keep himself aloft. The dragon cried out in frustration as he began to descend and then stopped trying; he fell down into the mountainside, rolled uncomfortably down it through the snow and then landed on all fours at the bottom, facing the Pokémon and letting out an angry roar.

    He flapped his wings to produce yet another Blizzard – this time it included a flurry of snow from the ground – and it rushed towards Mark’s Pokémon. The kids had moved out of the line of fire and Mark was very grateful for that as he watched Jolteon cower in the middle of the blast; Dragonair had darted up into the air to dodge the attack, and Letal was already running in a half-circle towards Polaryu, her mask glowing again before she smashed it into the dragon’s side. Polaryu let out a cry of pain and smashed her into the mountainside with his long tail, but she stood up again.

    “Go!” Mark heard May shout beside him; she had taken out five Pokéballs and threw them, her Butterfree, Raichu, Skarmory, Tyranitar and Flygon materializing from the balls. “Send out Gyarados, Mark!”

    Above them, Dragonair flared up in blue flames and dived down at Polaryu. The legendary opened his mouth and fired a beam of ice his way, but Dragonair managed to dodge it by a hair and smack into Polaryu’s body before quickly ascending again. Mark tore his eyes from him to look quickly around and realized that they were on the bank of a frozen lake; he threw Gyarados’s ball out over the lake and watched the sea monster burst out of it, land on the ice and break it easily. He shook his head and then focused on Polaryu, closing his eyes for a Dragon Beam. Mark realized with a spark of hope that it would be an extremely powerful, super effective attack; it might just make the battle.

    He looked back up and realized that Dragonair was glowing with a bright white light in mid-air, his form growing rapidly.

    “He’s evolving!” he shouted in disbelief. “Dragonair is evolving!”

    May looked up from ordering her Pokémon, who were already rushing towards the legendary. “What? Dragonair, this is not the best time to grow a double weakness to Ice attacks!” she shouted and then looked back at Polaryu. “Flygon, another Dragon Claw! Steel Wing it, Skarmory! Tyranitar, Stone Edge!”

    Mark was still looking in awe at Dragonair – no, Dragonite – as the glow faded away to reveal a huge, bulky, beige-colored dragon instead of the blue, snakelike creature he had been before. He took an experimental swoop in the air on his tiny wings and focused on Polaryu…

    Then an Ice Beam came his way, and being bigger meant he was a lot harder to miss.

    “No!” Mark shouted desperately as Dragonite crashed unceremoniously into the ground and did not get up again. He recalled him sadly just as a red beam of energy shot from Gyarados’s eyes into Polaryu’s body. The legendary roared in pain, but recovered quickly, his crystals – save for the one Charizard’s Flamethrower had destroyed – glowing brightly before Gyarados stiffened uselessly in place.

    Mark recalled him, looking quickly around at the other Pokémon. Jolteon and Raichu were firing Thunderbolts from both sides, but Polaryu barely seemed to feel them; May’s Butterfree was trying rather unsuccessfully to confuse the dragon with Psychic attacks and her Flygon was just slashing at his wing with flaring claws. As sharp rocks tore themselves out of the ground under Polaryu’s feet, his crystals glowed yet again and Tyranitar collapsed on the spot just as Letal smashed her head into Polaryu’s side again, followed by May’s Skarmory. Polaryu shook his head and fired a beam of ice at Flygon, which made him collapse pretty much immediately, before conjuring up yet another rather weak-looking Blizzard, which sent Butterfree flying into the rock wall and apparently knocked her unconscious. May recalled her three fainted Pokémon just as Polaryu’s Nevermeltice crystals slowly began to glow again.

    “Wait!” Mark shouted. “The crystals! Destroy the crystals! Jolteon and Raichu, Thunderbolt them!”

    Letal froze just as she was running back towards her target and crashed into the ground, but meanwhile the two Electric Pokémon charged up, and they simultaneously fired bolts of electricity straight at the crystal growths on either side of Polaryu’s head.

    The legendary had cried out in pain before, but this cry was unnaturally high-pitched, torturous and chilling to the bone. Polaryu threw his head around, wings flailing, as pulse after pulse of draconic energy spread out from his body; Raichu and Skarmory were blasted into the mountainside, Jolteon pushed into the hole that Gyarados had created into the sheet of ice over the lake. Mark recalled him, but May’s Raichu had the strength to fire one more Thunderbolt into the crystal on Polaryu’s right hind leg before another pulse sent him flying. The dragon was still flailing around in agony and screaming those horrible screams as May quickly recalled her two remaining Pokémon.

    “Just throw the ball already,” Chaletwo said quietly in Mark’s head, and he grabbed an Ultra Ball out of his pocket, running towards the legendary before he threw it.

    The ball hit Polaryu’s wing, sucked him in, fell to the ground and wobbled once, twice…

    In a flash of white light, the dragon burst out of the ball, fixing his tortured gaze on Mark even as he twitched in pain, opening his mouth as ice crystals formed between his jaws and Mark was rooted to the spot in terror…

    “Oh, no, you don’t,” May hissed and threw another ball – and no ordinary ball, Mark realized in disbelief as he saw it fly through the air: it was the Master Ball she had received at the Pokémon Festival.

    It hit the dragon, sucked him in and wobbled pointlessly for a few seconds before it stilled.

    “There we go,” May muttered as she walked over to the ball and picked it up, just before it dissolved and was sent safely to the PC.

    “Fourth legendary caught!” she said cheerfully as if to counter Mark’s blank stare. “Shame it took a Master Ball after all the trouble.”

    It was finally beginning to sink in, and Mark grinned in spite of not feeling the elation of the previous legendary captures: using a Master Ball seemed to cheapen it all, and the dragon’s cries of pain were still echoing in his head. “We did it,” he said, prodding at Chaletwo in his mind.

    “Yeah,” Chaletwo responded monotonously. “You did.”

    “Oh, come on,” May said irritably. “Using the Master Ball isn’t that big of a deal. We caught him; isn’t that what matters? We’ve still got Mark’s for another emergency, remember?”

    “I don’t care about the Master Ball,” Chaletwo responded distractedly. “I just… attacking the crystals…”

    I know, and I’m sorry, Mark thought, but aloud he said, “A bit of a dirty trick, but it got the job done.”

    May rolled her eyes, took off her backpack and searched through its contents before bringing out a Revive. “I wish I’d had the time to find this and use it before the battle,” she muttered as she sent out Spirit’s frozen body and touched it with the star-shaped item. The Ninetales shuddered and then stood weakly up to be sprayed with a Hyper Potion.

    “I’m sorry,” she muttered. “I shouldn’t have let the Floatzel get to me.”

    “No, you shouldn’t have,” May said shortly. “Now let’s get through the second section of this blasted cave and get to the League.”

    They slowly made their way over towards the cave entrance on the other side of the snowy valley, and Mark realized with an empty feeling of dread that while they had now caught all of Chaletwo’s dragons, they now had zero leads on where to find the rest of the legendary Pokémon. This was where the true challenge of their mission began.

    He zipped his jacket a bit farther up and shivered as they reentered the cave with its dim Nevermeltice lighting. Seeing the crystals now gave him uncomfortable flashbacks to the battle and to Polaryu’s screams of agony, and he looked forward to the moment they were out on the other side and would never have to go through this cave again.

    He’d never liked being cold.
     
  13. Mawile XD

    Mawile XD ello thar

    LOL, I liked that Snorunt. You always wonder in the games whether you knock out or capture pokemon against their will.

    I take it back about Floatzel creeping me out, though I liked it. I LOVE FLOATZEL! Especially her lines.

    Well, I'd freak out if I saw Polaryu looking at me when I thought it was asleep. I can see why Chaletwo's panicked. I loved that segment.

    ;-; I've always liked Dragonite, so I feel bad that he wasn't the hero of the battle like Tyranitar was before. I really liked this chapter, and I'm eagerly anticipating the Pokemon League. Hopefully we'll see some meaty goodness from Floatzel, since she's such an amusing character, and she's perfectly suited for the league.
     
  14. Razor Shiftry

    Razor Shiftry Cynthia = Porn Star

    lol, Snorunt anticlimax.

    i liked this chapter - i was really feeling mark's dislike of the cold...i was getting a weird claustrophobic feeling as i read this chapter...

    Floatzel is amazing. it makes me want to run away from that way it talks and beat it over the head but also laugh at its curiousity... XD

    the Polaryu battle seemed to be pretty interesting. i'm assuming Charizard...froze o_O? poor dragonite though. she evolves and then surcomes to an ice beam instantly...

    Master ball anticlimax though (jk) XD i'm surprised Tyranitar didn't do as much this time though - it IS May's strongest poke i guess...
     
  15. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    A Snorunt appeared. Therefore, I squeed. X3 The little thing was so cute! ^^ And it made me laugh, too. XD

    I liked the way that Nevermeltice was depicted there. I found the information about it and the way it works (and why it glows) to be pretty interesting, and I thought that the way it was described was rather lovely. ^^

    Speaking of Nevermeltice, I thought it was neat that Polaryu actually had Nevermeltice crystals embedded in its scales. o_o

    One thing in particular that I thought was cool in the battle against Polaryu was Dragonair's evolution and the consequences thereof. ^^ Quite a few times, in quite a few fics, I've seen battles turn in favor of a Pokémon that evolves during a battle--I think this was the first time (or at least the first time that I seem able to remember at the moment) that I've seen a mid-battle evolution occur in a fic under circumstances that make it a disadvantage.

    Once again, Floatzel was frelling great. :D And the bit of drama between her and Spirit was both interesting and entertaining, I thought. X3

    Other highlights:

    Cute! ^^ I liked the way you described it, especially the "permanently paranoid-looking expression" part. And the bolded part has resulted in my mind associating Snorunt with Kenny from South Park, possibly permanently. X3

    XD Maybe I shouldn't laugh at the poor little thing. But dangit, I can't help it. X3

    XD Again, I think that Floatzel's frelling great.

    Another thing I particularly liked in that excerpt: the bolded part. That was great, too. XD

    ...WOW. XD

    Damn! A memorable moment, I'd say. Again, I liked the drama between those two in that chapter. X3

    Oh damn, that sounds really creepy... o___o;

    Nice, suspenseful moment there. o.o

    May's line there near the end of that excerpt and the way she delivered it were priceless, I thought. XDDDD
     
  16. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Chapter 45 time already! That was quick.

    Well, that's the thing about being weak to both of the legendary's types. :p I wouldn't have made him evolve except specifically to play with the cliché of evolution that saves the day.

    Polaryu's attack-of-doom with the glowing crystals and the Pokémon immediately freezing stiff was Sheer Cold - which always succeeded because Polaryu is so much higher-leveled than Mark and May's Pokémon.

    Tyranitar did do some significant damage with that Stone Edge, but Polaryu's primary strategy was to Sheer Cold everything the moment it showed itself to be a significant threat, hence why Jolteon and Raichu (who had barely done any good for the battle) survived until the end.

    As I said, that was a deliberate subversion of that trope. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :3

    That was one of those things that pretty much just sprang up out of nowhere while I was writing it but seemed very right. I think Spirit is getting pretty frustrated and starting to doubt, hence why she reacted so badly to the whole chosenhood deal being openly questioned. :p I'll have more fun with that.

    Thanks for reading, you guys. :D


    So. Chapter 45. It's five and a half pages; not very long or exciting, but it's got two whole scenes that I've had planned for way too long to be healthy. :D

    Chapter 45: The Ouen League HQ

    Mark sighed in relief as they finally exited Champion Cave for what was hopefully to be the last time. He shuddered as the sudden warmth of the afternoon sun enveloped his body, only to have his breath taken away as he looked around.

    They were halfway up the mountainside now, on a nice, slanted outcropping of rock positioned neatly in front of the cave exit. A path zigzagged down the mountain on their right. When he had taken a couple of steps forward, however, he saw what was below them – a humongous state-of-the-art Pokémon battle stadium, one that must house tens of thousands of spectators with dozens of cameras capable of following the battlers’ every move, surrounded by various buildings that ranged from a couple of smaller stadiums to a small but decorative League office building to several long, multi-storeyed wooden trainer lodges. Here and there around the whole complex stood giant raised screens and speakers, presumably to be used for announcements and to display the details of the next matches; now they were all blank, and there didn’t appear to be any people about. Around it all was a tall wire fence with one guarded gate in it, lying at the end of the path that now seemed laughably short.

    Mark looked at May with a grin; he could see her eyes shine with excitement as she looked down at the main League arena, and even Spirit seemed impressed. The trainer journey, it was finally sinking in, was soon to be formally over. And as insignificant as it ought to have been, somehow Mark felt ready to put all thoughts of legendary Pokémon aside now, just while the League was going on. He hadn’t felt truly excited about being a trainer since one of his first days as one, he realized with bemusement, but now it all seemed to come rushing back. Training might not precisely have been his thing, but now that he was there, the entire journey was beginning to seem worth it, and he resolved to enjoy this and do his best, no matter what it took.

    “Come on,” he said. “What are we waiting for? Let’s get down there.”

    The path downwards was short and simple; they spotted some Graveler a short distance away and May even said she caught a glimpse of a Larvitar scuttling between some rocks above them, but they left them alone, too eager to get to the League HQ to waste their time fighting random wild Pokémon. They reached the gate within minutes; a bored-looking lavender-haired woman with red glasses sat back in an office chair inside the guard station on the left, moderately immersed in what looked like a cheap paperback romance novel. She looked up as
    they approached, put the book on the desk and leaned towards the window. “Oh, early trainers,” she said. “Hello. Are you registering for the League this year?”

    “Yeah,” Mark said, curious to know how the process worked. May just nodded.

    “Okay. Give me your Pokédexes, please. One at a time.”

    Mark handed her his Pokédex and she briefly scanned his eye with it. She entered some information into the computer by her left side and was in the middle of handing the device back to him when she narrowed her eyes at the screen.

    “Huh,” she said. “It says here you’re dead.”

    Mark let out a burst of nervous laughter at the realization that he had completely forgotten about that in the excitement of getting to the League; he hoped that it could be interpreted as a natural reaction to the absurdity of the suggestion. “Well, I’m not,” he said lamely. “Obviously. I mean, I’m here, and you scanned my eye and everything.”

    The woman gave him a suspicious glance, seeming to consider it for a second, but then just shrugged and allowed him to take his Pokédex back. “Must be some mistake in the system,” she muttered. “I’ll fix it.”

    Mark blinked as she turned back to the computer. That was it? That was all it took to wipe out all the potential problems with being officially dead? He’d been mentally preparing for being denied participation or worse; they might have looked into why he was dead in their records, which would surely have tugged at the corners of some memories that Molzapart had buried. He glanced at May, who raised her eyebrows at him as she gave her own Pokédex to the woman.

    Then again, he reasoned, it was logical of her to assume that a mistake in the system was the most plausible explanation; how likely was a twelve-year-old to deliberately fake his death, much less to do so with criminal intent that might warrant an investigation? The thought calmed him down a little; he’d been half-expecting her to change her mind, but now it didn’t seem as likely anymore. He looked back up at the guard station window; the woman had gone into a room at the back. She returned a moment later, holding something Mark couldn’t quite see at first.

    “Here are your nametags,” she said, handing them one each; to Mark’s horror, his had that awful school photo on it. “You must wear them around your necks at all times, with the photo facing forward, and will not be allowed to exit the League grounds without them. Yes, put them on now, please.”

    Mark reluctantly pulled the red ribbon the tag was attached to over his head; he considered turning it backwards to hide the photo, but saw the woman in the guard booth lean forward to watch and figured he probably wouldn’t get away with it. May didn’t seem any happier with hers, but she put it on with no objection.

    “Okay, now please hand me your Pokémon.”

    May looked suspiciously at her. “Why?”

    “They have to be inspected for illegal power-ups or signs of abuse. You will be able to retrieve them at the League offices tomorrow morning by showing your nametags.”

    May recalled Spirit, and then they both took all their Pokéballs handed them to the woman; Mark felt oddly exposed and vulnerable at the idea of walking off without the familiar weight at his belt, and couldn’t shake off a paranoid feeling that he might somehow never get them back. Nurse Joy never seemed like a stranger – perhaps that was why they all strived to look identical, he mused to himself.

    “Your rooms are 309 and 310,” the woman went on. “This is also on your nametags, and you will need to use the tags to unlock the rooms. You are in the third trainer lodge, the one just left of the main arena. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on the bottom floor of your lodge. Maps of the area are on the backs of your nametags; you can also ask the staff for directions. Enjoy your stay and good luck.” She smiled thinly, pressing a button so that the gate opened with a creak and motioned to pick up her book again.

    “Thanks,” Mark said to the woman before following May through the gate.

    -------

    After leaving their bags in their rooms – they were small and simple, but reasonably neat – they took a nice tour of the area, peering at the tiny maps on their nametags and eventually managing to make sense of them and locate and examine every place of interest. They ran into a couple of trainers – Mark thought he recognized a girl he had briefly talked to at the Cleanwater City Pokémon Center way back at the beginning of his journey – but it was clear that they were still among the earlier arrivals. May suggested that some of the people who were there already were probably out training, which made sense. Just around the time they had explored to their satisfaction, there was an announcement over the PA that dinner was being served in the trainer lodges, and they headed to the long building by the left side of the main stadium.

    The bottom floor of the trainer lodge mostly consisted of the dining hall, lined with long tables that were almost eerily empty now, with a buffet on the right side of the room; a boy and a girl had already arrived and were sitting at a table pretty far away. Mark and May ended up seating themselves at the table nearest to the buffet and ate there in relative silence (the food was nothing special, but not bad either) while the television in the nearest corner of the room provided a steady background noise of news anchors’ voices.

    The word ‘Suicune’ snapped Mark away from his food. He quickly concluded the source could only be the TV and jerked his head towards the screen while mentally blocking out all other sound.

    “…the legendary Pokémon. The cause of its death is currently unknown, but investigators say that it bore battle wounds of varying, but not fatal, severity. Many inhabitants of Cleanwater City have expressed worry about the fauna of the Lake of Purity, supposedly purified daily by Suicune, and Water Pokémon around the world have been very upset at the news…”

    Some footage of the dirt that was already collecting in the water of the Lake of Purity and interviews with some people followed; Mark was too numb to register them properly. The programme had caught May’s attention as well, and she looked at him, biting her lip.

    They’d found Suicune.

    Thinking about it, it was always inevitable that the corpse would eventually be found; they hadn’t exactly hidden it well, and once it started to decompose, the smell…

    Mark forced his mind away from that train of thought, though not in time to save his appetite; of course, he would probably have felt physically ill even without the unpleasant image of rotting Suicune-shaped flesh in his head. He pushed his plate a bit farther away and then, after a moment, laid his cutlery side by side on it.

    “This is bad,” Chaletwo muttered inside his mind. “If the other legendaries hear about this, they’ll become suspicious immediately.”

    “There’s nothing that can trace it back to us, is there?” May asked quietly.

    “No,” Chaletwo replied. “Shouldn’t be. But if the legendaries hear of it, they’ll be more careful, especially with all the other legendaries disappearing in the past years.”

    Mark hadn’t really thought about that before; of course the other kids were working on capturing the legendaries too, and the other legendaries couldn’t be presumed not to have noticed their disappearance. In fact… “Why haven’t they put together two and two and figured people are out systematically catching them already?” he asked, keeping his voice down.

    “For all I know, they might have,” Chaletwo said. “Could explain why the others have been having such a difficult time of finding the ones that remain.”

    Mark didn’t reply, his mind drifting back to Suicune with a horrible pang of guilt. While he shouldn’t reasonably have felt any better about it while nobody knew, this still made it worse. A dead legendary Pokémon – he could only imagine his own reaction a year ago if he had heard the news. He’d have been shocked and horrified, wondering who would ever do such a dreadful, blasphemous thing and why. He’d have pictured criminal organizations wanting to upset the balance of the world, madmen like Rick or the Mew Hunter – and, he realized with resentment, he’d most likely have suspected the Gyarados from the lake, acting in revenge. He’d just not have imagined somebody with the full power to prevent it would also be present and not do anything – much less that this person could be someone like him.

    His eyes drifted back to his plate, and he knew he couldn’t finish eating. “I’m not hungry,” he said with a sigh, stood up and walked towards the stairs. He wasn’t sure if he wanted May to follow him or try to convince him to come back, but she didn’t.

    Mark walked up to the second floor, found room 309 and slid the side of his nametag into the electronic lock to open it. The first thing he did when he entered was to pull the nametag off and throw it on the stool beside his bed; then he threw himself onto the mattress with a deep sigh.

    Suicune. Why did they have to find Suicune just as he was beginning to manage to push the entire legendary deal momentarily out of his mind so that he could participate in the League like he’d always wanted to?

    “I don’t like the idea of you forgetting about it entirely, you know,” Chaletwo commented after a short silence.

    “Who asked you?” Mark muttered and turned onto his side.

    He lay there for a little while, letting his thoughts wander, and was dozing off when there was a knock on his door.

    “What?” he called.

    “Can we just go for a short walk or something?”

    The speaker being May of course didn’t surprise him; it was the suggestion itself that made him blink and sit up. “What? With you? Why?”

    “Come on.”

    He stood up, walked hesitantly to the door and opened it.

    “Don’t forget your nametag,” was all May said. He hurried to the stool to retrieve it and reluctantly put it back around his neck. He followed her cluelessly down the stairs and out the door.

    “So uh, what are we doing?” he asked finally as May continued onwards in a straight line; all that was ahead of them was empty ground and then the fence.

    “Mark,” May said, slowing a bit down but not looking at him, “when will you stop angsting about Suicune?”

    “Huh?” Mark stopped, taken aback, and she wheeled around to face him.

    “You need to get over that already. What use do you think it will be to go to your room and brood about it? Gyarados killed Suicune, yeah; Pokémon kill each other all the time, and if he hadn’t done that we’d have been in a load of trouble. I’m not saying it wasn’t shocking or anything, but there’s no need to have a breakdown every time Suicune is mentioned. They can’t trace it back to us, okay? The news doesn’t change anything that we can control. Just get over it and focus on what we’re doing now, which is training for the League. And for future legendary battles.”

    Mark took a deep breath. She had a point, of course, about it not being any use to brood about it, and it was not as if he didn’t hate thinking about it in general. “Okay.”

    May nodded. “Great. So next time you get all worked up about Suicune, just try to keep it in, okay?”

    Mark closed his eyes, feeling uncomfortably like he was being lectured by his mother. “Okay.”

    “Great. Let’s get back; it’s cold out here.”

    They walked back to the lodge in silence. May was about to open the door when a boy’s voice called out, “Hey!”

    They turned around. Before Mark had even identified the red-haired boy who was hurrying around them, May’s knuckles had tightened around the doorknob and her expression contorted into disgust.

    “Here,” Taylor said, thrusting his clenched hand towards May. “Take it.”

    She looked blankly at him, her surprise momentarily repressing her hatred. “What?”

    “Take it,” Taylor repeated, inclining his hand towards her again. “I don’t want it.”

    “What is it?” May asked, staring at Taylor’s fist.

    “It’s that Quilava of yours,” Taylor said, unclenching his fingers slightly from the minimized Pokéball he was holding. He looked briefly down and then back up at May. “Look, I’m sorry I tricked it out of you, all right? You can have it back.”

    May just stared at him, her expression extremely skeptical, and Taylor sighed, looking briefly away but not moving his hand. “Look,” he finally said, “I’ve got six Pokémon. That Quilava is weak. My brother won’t send me another decent Pokémon because he says I’ve got six already. If I give it to you and tell him it escaped or something, I can get a full team, right? So just take it – please.”

    May just stood there in befuddlement for a second; then she snatched the ball from his hand. Taylor turned around without words and walked nonchalantly towards one of the trainer lodges on the other side of the main stadium.

    “That… that lazy, cheating, spoiled brat,” May said as she stared after him, but her voice had none of the ferocity that usually characterized it when she talked about Taylor. “I can’t believe it.”

    “Well, he gave you her back.” Mark shrugged. “That’s a good thing, right?”

    Taylor disappeared through the door of his own lodge and May spent a second with her eyes still fixated on the same spot. “Yeah,” she said absent-mindedly as she turned away and opened the door to their lodge.

    They ended up just saying goodnight and going straight to their rooms so that they could wake up early.
     
  17. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Isn't this nice? The weekend I decide to read this whole thing, it gets a new update. Yay!

    I really like it, but I wonder how much longer it's going to go with all the other uncaptured legendaries, the unicornish herd and the color dragons, and others, and then with whatever the Destroyer is going to do in the meantime, and whatever the Johto legends were plotting. It does seem overwhelming. I also wonder about the other kids chosen by Chaletwo. Any chance we could get word of how they're managing in any form?

    I love the characters, nice plot idea, and stunning battles. The return (again) of May's starter has some intriguing potential. I think a conversation between Scyther and Floatzel would be very disturbing... and oddly engrossing. I also like the original Pokemon and am particularly curious about how the Mutark will turn out. Of course, I have a soft spot for felines.

    Could I be added to be PM list? Thanks for a great story.
     
  18. Mawile XD

    Mawile XD ello thar

    Heh, that was a bit awkward. I'm sure for a split second Mark expected to be found out, panicking.

    Again, a panicky moment.

    So May has Quilava back. I wonder if she'll ever have a good chunk of peace without one of her pokemon hating her. Well, it'll be interesting to see that, I'll have to concur. I liked this chapter, even though it was short, and I'll be back for more chocolatey goodness. :)
     
  19. Sike Saner

    Sike Saner Peace to the Mountain

    Heh, I liked the way that Mark's being officially dead turned out to pose no trouble to him in registering for the League. :D What I thought was especially great about it was that it just seemed so plausible--I think that it really does make sense that someone in that woman's position would simply assume that Mark being listed as dead was just the result of some error in the system.

    Other highlights:

    XD

    Oh wow... o~o What a lovely picture that put in my mind. X3 That's definitely a powerful image, I'd say, and I think that the mention of the smell of Suicune's decomposing corpse helped to make that image all the stronger by reinforcing it with how another sense would perceive it.

    I really liked that particular look into his head, and also really liked the particular potency of that last line. ^^
     
  20. vareki

    vareki Psycotic with RAGE

    wow isn't taylor a brat. the last few chapters have been a bit short but they gave me a lot to think about, especially chapter 45. the polyaru battle wasn't as detailed as the last few legendary battles and i think chaletwos reacted strangely to mark attacking the crystals(maybe its motherly love for his creations)

    “Huh,” she said. “It says here you’re dead.” thats a brilliant line. i applaud you for this line and everything else in this fan fic

    P.S. the reason i haven't posted since last time is that i was spending some time dead fo tax reasons :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008

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