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Under One

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by coalthedragon, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. coalthedragon

    coalthedragon <---- Me

    Hello all. I'm fairly new to Serebii.com, though I'm not new to forums in general, so you may have seen/will see me around other places, though probably not since I'm not fond of posting things (which means I'm rather nervous about doing this post).

    I haven't written anything in quite some time, and I've never really written a Fanfic to completion, but I've got a feeling about this one (especially since I've already spent a few weeks planning it all out, writing bits and pieces). I'm not a writer, but occasionally I get in the mood to do some, well, writing.

    Also, note that I'm just writing this out of my own boredom, so don't expect the highest quality writing skills, but I refuse to write crap either, and I do bother to edit andproofread, though I obviously still make plenty of mistakes and will correct them if they're pointed out to me (unless done on purpose :p). One should never be ashamed to better oneself in a hobby, especially in a hobby that is actually fairly useful. That being said, I'm not exactly the best at accepting criticism personally, though I still appreciate it. I just have to learn to deal with it.

    As a warning, there WILL most likely be hardenshipping (Archie x Maxie) in future chapters, though it will most likely stay rated T. That is, unless I get frisky, in which case I will seek mod approval and provide a clear warning in the chapter before and in the chapter that has such content.

    Chapter links will appear as soon as they become useful.

    Without further ado- let's just get this done and over with, shall we?

    Team Aqua and Team Magma- Two regional superpowers both running headlong to their goals that will change the world. All they need to accomplish their aim and leave their legacies are two orbs, one each. The only thing in their way? One devout child set on keeping the orbs safe. But, perhaps the gears of change have already started to turn, within and without.
    (Summary will undergo a facelift once I have time to edit)
    Under One

    Chapter One:
    Nicknames and Footprints

    A wooden pole jabbed into the water of the cove, hooking onto a large rock that barely poked above the surface. Using the leverage, a young girl pushed herself and the water Pokémon she stood upon away from the submerged obstacle. She moved the pole to another rock and did the same.

    Sighing peacefully, she took her gaze from the ocean rocks to look at the sky. The sun was just beginning to come overhead, and the endless blue sky was decorated with patches of white.

    Pushing away from the last of the rocks, the girl sat down on her seaking and allowed the walking stick to trail in the water along with her legs. She enjoyed the calm waves of the cove much more than traditional beaches.

    "Good thing I packed some shorts, right Elvis?" Brianna patted the fish Pokémon's side.

    His glazed eye flicked up to his trainer and he released a stream of bubbles from his mouth in response.

    The girl praised her seaking with another gentle pat before concentrating on the path in front of them. They had almost reached the other side of the cove, and the water was starting to become a bit shallower.

    Once she could see the pale sand below the crystal clear water, Brianna slid off her Pokémon with less grace than she had hoped and splashed into the shallow water. The dismount left part of her shorts soaked, but that didn't really catch her attention.

    "Wow, what a view!" The girl was focused on the swaying branches of the trees over the worn dirt path. By the side of the trail, an old wooden sign with chipped green paint read Route 103.

    Pulling her attention back to Elvis, she thanked him and returned the Pokémon back to his ball in a flash of red light. She used her stick to haul herself out of the water and onto the trail, where the dirt promptly caked her bare feet as she strolled slowly to take in the scenery.

    All around, tall trees stood lined up against the road; they grew up and out to cover the whole ground in a mosaic of shadows that kept things cool from the midday sun. The underbrush would shudder from time to time as creatures passed through.

    Brianna came to a stop at a small clearing where the trail ended and where patches of waist-tall grass grew. A warm breeze swept across her face and tugged at her long hair; she breathed in deeply.

    The thrill of this new adventure suddenly bubbled up in her throat again like it had every day for the past few days. She let lose a brief cry of joy and did a small jig in her place by shuffling her feet and rocking her hips, just to get out all the sudden energy.

    "Uh… you okay or something?" came a concerned voice from nearby.

    Brianna paused. She glanced up to see a boy around her age giving her a curious look with strange ruby eyes. He was carrying a stout blue Pokémon with a fin on its head in his arms. The creature wriggled in his grasp and squeaked in annoyance.

    Slightly embarrassed, the girl straightened out her back and cleared her throat. "Yeah, no. I'm alright, just a little excited, that's all."

    "A little, huh?" The boy sounded as unconvinced as he looked. He briefly scolded the Pokémon as it continued to squirm before he examined the girl up and down. "You're from the eastern part of Hoenn, I think?"

    "I'm from around Lilycove! How can you tell?" Brianna looked at the boy with amazement, dumbfounded at the guess.

    "The tank-top and jean shorts mostly; eastern Hoenner's usually dress kinda beach-y. Also, most people around here don't take that way thanks to all the rocks, so since you came from the east, I figured," the kid stated matter-of-factly and cast the brunette a superior look.

    A thoughtful look crossed Brianna’s face. “What’s your name, Mr. Perceptive?”

    “It’s Brendan; Brendan Birch. It’s like an analogy. Er- alliteration, I mean.” As the boy was speaking, the blue Pokémon writhed in his arms once more before giving up and going limp.

    “Huh. So you know this area well, then? I’ve never been around here.” The girl said, glancing around. “Seems nice enough, though I was wondering if you could-”

    “Actually, I’ve gotta get back to Littleroot. Mudkip’s being a real pain today.” Brendan cut into the stranger’s question.

    Brianna blinked in confusion, and then frowned “I just wanted to know if you’ve seen anything relating to Team Magma or Team Aqua. No need to be rude.”

    “Sorry,” the boy said sheepishly, “People usually ask me stuff about my dad and his research. But no, thank Arceus; I haven’t seen anything with those guys around here. This place is pretty quiet most days. Why are you asking, though?”

    “Oh just… family stuff, really,” the girl adjusted the bag on her shoulder. “Well, name’s Brianna,” she said, redirecting the topic.

    “Right…” Brendan said with a touch of suspicion. As far as he knew, anyone associating with either of those teams was probably someone to stay away from. “I’ve gotta go now; my dad’s waiting for me at the lab. Nice meeting you, Brianna.” With that, the boy turned and began to walk towards Oldale Town, only to notice that Brianna was still staring at him.

    When Brendan turned to look at her, Brianna smiled awkwardly and asked, “Do you mind if I come? You said you’re related to Professor Birch, right? I’d like to get a look at his lab, if that’s not too much trouble for him.”

    “I guess you can tag along; my dad usually likes visitors,” the professor’s son stated with hesitation. “Just no photos or anything, for lab privacy purposes.”

    “Great, then let’s go!” The brunette bounded ahead, eager to meet a well-known professor, though she honestly didn’t know much about him. She didn’t even know he had a son, until now.

    Brendan sighed.

    For part of the trip to Littleroot, Brianna attempted to convince her new acquaintance that she’d come up with a clever nickname for him.

    Brendan resisted for a few minutes since he didn’t really understand why people liked pet names (he didn’t even bother to give his Pokémon names), but he eventually accepted the name just to get the girl to drop the subject.

    Now, he was officially stuck with the nickname 'Dan' and all its reiterations. It was certainly a step up from 'Bran Muffin'; the new one, while not as clever, was at least less degrading.

    “We’re here.” The boy declared and gestured to the small sign that read Littleroot Town in flowery letters.

    The whole town was densely surrounded by trees; the smaller plants had crept into the clearing to grow on and around the few houses that made up the settlement. The town looked as if it were on the brink of being overrun by the flora, yet somehow it still seemed well-maintained; a nice balance of human and nature.

    "You live here? It's so… pretty with all the plants and everything!" Brianna exclaimed, her eyes flicking around so she could take in the all green hues.

    Brendan couldn't repress a smug smile. "Well, my parents are all about the environment, so they coordinate the townspeople to keep the town like this." He walked along the grassy path that separated the houses into distinct lots; it was the only part of the town where plants seemed to be restricted from growing wildly.

    As the duo approached a large brown building that had its share of vines growing on the walls, the mudkip that Brendan had been carrying suddenly leapt from his arms and raced to the front of the building where it waited for dull green door to be opened.

    It looked back at the pair and cheeped at them to hurry up.

    "Coming, jeez…" Brendan muttered and he quickly went up to the wooden door to push it open. The finned Pokémon slipped through the entrance at soon as it was wide enough and disappeared inside. Brianna and Brendan followed shortly behind it.

    The visitors squinted under the bright fluorescent lights, which were made even brighter by the fact that the whole room was whitewashed. The slight alcohol and bleach smell gave the room an antiseptic feel that made Brianna slightly uncomfortable.

    That feeling didn't bother her for long, though, as she quickly turned her attention to a table covered in fancy lab equipment. She reached out to grab a tube from a plastic stand when a gloved hand swooped out from nowhere and removed the tube rack from her reach.

    From the other side of the table, a man swathed in a lab coat gave her a perturbed look. "Please don't touch anything without any gloves, you might contaminate it. Or break it." He turned to look at Brendan. "Who is this?"

    "I'm Brianna." The girl replied before Brendan could.

    "She's just someone I met after I took Mudkip for a swim and she wanted to see the lab. That fine with you, Joel?" Brendan explained to the lab employee.

    The scientist gave Brianna a cautious glance before placing the stand back on the table. "Alright. Just make sure she doesn't touch anything important."

    The brunette clasped her hands behind her back to keep them from wandering off. "How's this?"

    Joel blinked, and returned his attention to the items on the counter. He paused and looked back up at Brendan. "Your dad's not here right now. He got a call that the mass Lairon movement near Dewford started earlier than expected, so he left as soon as he got the message." The man briefly smiled. "But he does have something in the back for you. He told me that they've made up their minds."

    Surprise crossed Brendan's face. "That's what he wanted me back early for? If I'd know, I wouldn't even have gone!"

    "He had to talk it over with your mom again and get everything prepared for you. It was much easier with you away."

    The boy looked as if he had more to say, but he hurried to the back of the lab instead to see just what his dad had left him with. Naturally, Brianna followed behind him.

    At the rear of the lab, there was a collection of computers and large machines that hummed and made the air comfortably warm. The mudkip from earlier had curled up on one of the machines and was fast asleep.

    To the far left behind a bookshelf that faced the front of the lab, there was a work desk tucked away in the corner with an old computer and some papers. On top of the desk, there was a worn green backpack that looked moderately full, a small red device, and a new pair of sneakers. A bright orange piece of notepad paper was attached to the rectangular gadget.

    Brendan picked up the device first and inspected the sticky note.

    It read:

    To our son Brendan:

    Fifteen years of hard work and love, that's all it took. All it took for us to get a son that any parent, especially these parents, should rightfully be proud of. And it only took us two years to finally decide that we're willing to let you go, just for a while, to enjoy your young life just like we did when we were young! We know we've made you wait for a while now (we still can't believe you've had your trainer card for two years!), but we did it for a good reason. We contacted Professor Oak and got an extra Pokédex, just for you. It's uploaded with all the Pokémon information collected so far, and it has places for you to add your own notes while you're adventuring. Everything else you need we packed in your old school bag.

    We know that you don't like when we fuss over you, so we forced ourselves to keep this letter short by putting it on a tiny piece of paper. Don't lose it!


    Ma and Pop

    Pulling off the note, Brendan noticed that there was something written on the back in his father's handwriting:

    P.S. The shoes were your mom's idea!

    The boy rolled his eyes but smiled lightheartedly. He folded up the note and placed it in his pocket for safekeeping before taking a look at the Pokédex.

    It appeared to be an older model that had been upgraded, since the outer casing had some damage and old sticker outlines. There were a few buttons and a camera lens on the right and left side of the screen, respectively. It looked simpler than the one his dad used when on the field.

    Picking up his bag, he slipped the strap over his head, and stuck the small device into a pocket on the front of the strap that was across his chest. He looked at the sneakers and then down at his own shoes. His shoes were just fine, so he left the sneakers on the table.

    Finally turning his attention away from the desk, he looked up to see Brianna sitting on a counter and watching him inquisitively. He was surprised that she'd been quiet the whole time.

    "If you're not going to use those shoes, could I have them?" The girl asked, leaning over to glance at the sneakers behind Brendan.

    Just now, the boy noticed that Brianna wasn't wearing any shoes at all. And that there were footprints all around the laboratory floor.

    "Sure, just put them on real quick." Brendan whispered, sending a glance at Joel who was busy at work.

    The brunette obeyed and slipped the sneakers on in a moment. “Thanks, but do you have any socks? The shoes are a bit big…”

    “No, just- forget the socks.” the boy stated in a low voice. “Come on, we’d better go before Joel notices the footprints. He’ll probably keep us here ‘til my dad gets back if he sees what we’ve done to the floor that he just cleaned this morning.”

    Walking over to a tube-shaped apparatus, Brendan grabbed the third Pokéball and pressed the button. The mudkip that had been sleeping placidly on a nearby machine was whisked up into the capsule in a flash, and the boy put the ball on his belt. Taking a moment to breathe, Brendan walked back to the front of the lab with Brianna trailing behind him.

    Joel was still at the counter mixing things and using pieces of equipment. He was so engrossed in his work, he didn't notice the two children until they had made it to the front entrance.

    "So, how'd-" The scientist was unable to finish his question as the duo had already fled out the door. "Huh... I wonder what that was about."

    Then he noticed the dirt tracks on the floor.

    Ending notes:

    Edited: Such grammar, need fix. Edited to make the characters less obnoxious.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  2. coalthedragon

    coalthedragon <---- Me

    Chapter Two:
    In the Woods

    “Can we… stop now?” Brianna's words escaped through her labored breathing. The two of them had run clear out of the town onto Route 101, and were about halfway to Oldale when Brianna felt like her lungs might just give out if they continued running.

    Brendan nodded and they came to a halt by the side of a patch of grass. The two panted for some time before looking at one another. First they smiled, and then they started giggling.

    “He’s not going to be all that mad, right?” Brianna asked. She had already caught her breath but her heart continued to race.

    “Nah, it’s just fun to mess with him.” The boy said, laughing. “He’ll probably bug my dad about it later.” He chuckled softly before a bothered look overcame his face. He glanced down at the strap across his chest and fidgeted with it for a moment.

    Brianna leaned in a bit closer to her new friend. “What’s the matter, Dan?”

    “It’s just…. I’m a little worried. About my dad, that is. I wanted to go on a journey since I got my license, but every time I think about it, I get anxious.” Seeing Brianna gaze at him with a puzzled expression made him continue. “My dad’s all about studying Pokémon, right? He loves getting as close as he can so he can study them in their natural habitat. He doesn’t even really care too much about catching Pokémon, really. Just watching them.

    “He doesn’t know too much about training Pokémon, so he never has usable Pokémon on him when he’s on the field. I can’t even tell you how many times he’s been attacked, especially by Mightyena! Then I think that if I were to go out, travel, and train some Pokémon, my dad will have some to protect him and assist him in his studies. But what if something happens to him while I’m gone? What if I could have been there to help him or something since I usually go with him?”

    Brendan, in his sudden frenzy of thoughts, put a hand to his head and sat down in the grass. “I try not to think about it most of the time when he’s doing stuff, like the Lairon movement he’s at today. Whenever I consider going off and doing the whole ‘coming-of-age’ thing, I have to wonder if this is a good idea. It feels right, but…” he sighed and placed his chin on his knees. “Maybe I could just stay around here and train.”

    Brianna stood nearby, nodding her head as she listened to the boy’s afflictions. She placed her walking stick on the ground and sat down beside Brendan. She leaned back on the palms of her hands and looked up at the sky.

    “Yeah, I get whatcha mean. I’m… kinda supposed to be helping out my grandparents at Mount Pyre so I can learn everything there is to being a Pokémon mortician.” She couldn’t help but chuckle awkwardly when she noticed the strange look Brendan was giving her. “I honestly don’t find the job unappealing, but I just wanted to get to know the world a bit better before responsibility hits me like a brick and I’ve got to be the keeper of a graveyard for the rest of my life.”

    “Besides,” Brianna sent her friend a sidelong glance, “if deep down in your gut you feel that this is what you were meant to do, why not give it a shot? Even for a little while, just to get a taste of it. It’s not like your parents won’t welcome you back if you change your mind.”

    Brendan gained a pensive gaze, and stared a patch of dirt where a sapling was just beginning to grow. He bit his bottom lip and chewed it for a long while before sighing and getting up from the ground. “I guess… maybe you’re a bit right. Still, I hope my dad will be alright with me gone. Just for a little bit, though. Maybe a couple of weeks?” His voice still held a tone of reservation.

    The girl grabbed her stick and used it to stand up. She cracked a crooked smile and patted Brendan on the back reassuringly. “Don’t worry so much! He’s a Pokémon professor. He knows what he’s doing.” Or so she thought; she really didn’t know enough about him to be sure. At least she sounded certain.

    “Heh, yeah…” He giggled uncertainly, but he stood up a bit straighter now. “We should get a move on then; I want us to get to Rustboro before it gets dark.”

    Brianna almost began to follow Brendan as he started to walk, but she stopped mid-step to look at her friend thoughtfully. “Don’t you want to wait for your dad to get back to say bye? Or leave a note, at least?”

    The boy sighed and ran his hand over his hat. “I do. But… I think it would easier if we don’t drag it out for now. I’ll definitely contact him tonight, though.” He gave a small smile. “Thanks for asking.”

    Brianna smiled back and followed behind him as they headed for Oldale, taking the time to indulge in her thoughts.

    It was pretty interesting how much he seemed to care about his dad, and the fact that he seemed a little bit paranoid about leaving him, though perhaps it was a bit more than just leaving his father with his work. Maybe he was also worried about their relationship if he left for too long.

    Funny. He didn’t even mention his mom.

    Brianna hummed to herself. People sure were interesting.
    It took them only a few minutes to reach the next town, and they passed though Oldale quickly enough, since the only thing there was a Pokémart, a few houses, and a small food market that was empty at the moment.

    Route 102 was a bit more of a chore thanks to all the grass that hid roots and other objects that were there solely to trip anyone passing through. Brianna used her stick to maneuver around obstacles, laughing as her friend floundered about every few steps. Eventually, Brendan took to just following the trail the girl made in the grass and they managed to get through with only a few scrapes.

    In Petalburg City (though it wasn’t so much a city; more like a larger version of Oldale), they had some snacks that Brianna had conveniently packed in the bag she carried on her shoulder while they sat beside a small pond.

    Noticing that the ‘city’ had a gym, Brianna had asked why Brendan didn’t try battling the gym leader to test his skills.

    ‘Can’t,’ he had said plainly through a mouthful of bread, ‘Norman won’t battle anybody who doesn’t have at least four badges.’

    The girl hadn’t really liked that response; she wasn’t sure if the laziness fell on Brendan not willing to try or Norman not wanting to support rising trainers. It was probably both.

    While Brianna was finishing, Brendan had rummaged through his bag and had taken note of all the items his parents had packed. It was mostly some foodstuffs, but there was also a few Pokéballs and potions, among other things.

    They exited the city through the western route, Route 104. There, the coastline ran parallel to a raised, narrow path that was located between the forest and the edge of a steep incline. The slope was not very tall, but enough where sliding down the face to the shore wouldn’t be a good idea.

    A sudden ocean breeze nearly blew the three-pointed hat clear off Brendan’s head. He quickly grabbed it and held it down with an irritated huff. Brianna struggled to repress a laugh while Brendan shot her an unamused look.

    The duo wandered down the thin dirt trail that eventually levelled out and merged with the sandy beach. Brendan informed his companion that the small house nested in the upper length of the shore was owned by an old man, Mr. Briney, who had a particular obsession with the sea and his wingull.

    “Weird,” Brendan murmured as they passed the house, “he’s usually out on the ocean around this time.” By the small dock built into the side of the house, there was a white and blue boat gently tugging at the rope keeping it tied to port.

    “Maybe he just wasn’t feeling it today.” Brianna offered, gazing at the sleek vessel with curiosity.

    The boy grunted in response.

    They walked up a small incline where the dirt path began once more, the wind dying down as they approached the mass of trees. A small sign, barely noticeable beneath a layer of creeping plants, marked the entrance of the Petalburg Woods.

    Brendan and Brianna stopped in front of the thick jungle ahead of them. Even though the dirt path was wider there thanks to the number of people and Pokémon who hiked the route daily, the plant life grew much thicker there than in other areas of the forest; very little light filtered down from above, so the majority of the path shrouded with shadows. The trees groaned and rattled as the low wind swept through, causing the shadows to dance chaotically under the canopy.

    The duo exchanged uneasy glances.

    “It’s fine. I used to walk through here all the time when I was younger to get to school,” Brendan tried to reassure them, and almost managed to until he swallowed nervously. “I mean, I would go with my dad, other kids and their parents, but… we’re older, and we’ve got our Pokémon. And it’s usually just filled with bugs. Nothing too intimidating.”

    Brianna murmured an agreement, though she seemed more absorbed with the environment that with her friend’s words.

    The two of them eventually rid themselves of the lead in their feet and began to wander through the woods, making sure to stick to the winding, unpaved path. There were occasional breaks in the trees where large patches of low-lying plants grew without being covered in shadows.

    Every now and again, there would be a bug Pokémon crossing the path or in the treetops. The unevolved ones tended to quickly crawl away from the humans, while the others would take little notice. Brianna started to detect this, so she began chatting to her friend about it to mitigate some of the unease that still remained.

    “People don’t really train here,” Brendan stated, lightly running his feet through the layers of leaves, “since the bugs tend to poison Pokémon near the beginning of battle. It’s just really annoying to have to bring tons of antidotes or to rush to the Pokémon Center every hour. The older bugs know that, so people passing through don’t bother them anymore.”

    Brianna thought it over for a moment before suggesting, “Why don’t you try catching one, then? They must be easy to catch if they don’t train, and you’ve only got one Pokémon.”

    The boy made a face that said, ‘I really couldn’t be bothered’.

    “Well, how do you expect to raise some Pokémon if you won’t catch any? I haven’t even seen you take out your mudkip to train him once since we left.”

    Brendan tilted his head back and groaned. “Fine, I’ll keep my eye out for one to catch. But only if it poses a challenge for Mudkip!”

    The duo scanned the trees and the underbrush for any Pokémon that caught their eyes. Brianna walked ahead of Brendan and began to propose different bug types as she saw them, including a dustox that happened to be resting in the crook of a tree.

    The boy casually refused each option, giving an excuse for each based on strength, appearance, and behavior.

    Eventually, the brunette ran out of options and began to gripe about Brendan’s pickiness. “Even if we ran into a legendary that was outright willing to join your team, you’d probably say ‘Eh, I don’t like the color’.”

    Scoffing, Brendan crossed his arm. “I would not, assuming that legendaries even exist. People always talk about them, but has anyone you know seen--"

    Brendan gasped as Brianna grabbed him and pulled him to crouch behind a tree at a point where the road turned. She shushed him when the boy angrily tried to ask her what she was doing. Brianna leaned out of the hiding spot to look around the bend, and her friend mimicked her.

    It was a bit lighter now that the forest had begun to thin out, allowing them to see two men confronting each other just down the road. The one closest wore a suit and had his back turned to them; he held a metal suitcase behind him with one arm. He appeared to be shaking slightly while he slowly backed away from a man clad in red who was continuing to advance on him.

    Brianna leaned further out of the place where they had hid. She whispered, “There’s someone in a business suit and a guy with a red hoodie.” She looked back at Brendan. “That’s a Team Magma guy, isn’t he?”

    The boy nodded slowly. “I think so. Wonder what he’s doing-”

    “We should go find out.” With that, the girl took a few steps out from behind the tree and went to walk around the corner when Brendan grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

    “What? No! Magma is a team of bad guys that steal and do what they want because they’re too strong for any one group to deal with. We shouldn’t mess with stuff like that.” Brendan pleaded, holding on to her arm. “Besides, what are we gonna do? Neither of us is well-trained enough to fight a criminal!”

    Brianna frowned, mulling over what he said. Then, she turned to him with a smile that made Brendan oddly uncomfortable. “This can be your first trainer battle on our journey! Wouldn’t it be cool to be like, ‘I took out a Magma guy my first day with just one Pokémon. It went like,’” she paused to throw a few fake punches in Brendan’s direction. “‘And it was over.’? That would be a story to tell!”

    The boy grinned and rolled his eyes. “I don’t think it would go over anything like that.” Brendan let go of his friend as he leaned to glance around the corner. He cringed sat what he saw. “He’s got a poochyena out now. I think he’s going to attack that guy with the briefcase.”

    Brianna leap back onto the path and looked at the professor’s son with determination. “Come on, then! We’ve got to at least keep that poor guy from getting beaten over there.”

    Brendan blinked, surprised by the girl’s sudden resolve. He hesitated. As much as he knew he should, he wasn’t sure if he could.

    “Come on, don’t be such a wet noodle. Stop thinking, and just do!”

    He stood up with a dignified huff. He liked to think; it kept him from doing stupid things, like blindly rushing to help a man when he didn’t even know if he could help himself. But seeing the resolute face of his companion and knowing that the two men blocked the way to the exit, he agreed tentatively with Brianna and got up to follow her, though he still questioned whether this would end well.

    The girl ran down the trail towards the people with Brendan closely behind, intent on reaching them before anything happened. The leaves kicked up behind them and a few bugs had to skitter out of the way. The noise they made as they barreled down the path caused the men to look up and see the children coming their way, much to the relief of the man in the suit.

    “Oh, thank Arceus that someone was actually here at this time! Please, this man already has my Pokémon beat and I can’t afford to lose this. If this were to fall into their hands, I can’t imagine what they’d do with it!” The man babbled as the children approached, clutching the briefcase to his chest.

    The Magma grunt scowled at the children that were now standing between him and his objective. “Really? I’ve got to battle a couple of kids who don’t know better? Just hand over the case and I won’t have to waste any more of your time.”

    Brianna stood up straighter and looked the crook in the eyes. “Your poochyena doesn’t look like it can take any more fighting.” She gestured to the small gray and black dog that stood at the feet of his master, baring his fangs at the enemies even though he had one paw off the ground and tucked under him.

    “The bone healed funny, so Yena doesn’t like to stand on it. No doubt he would still be able to take out the two of you.”

    “We’ll see about that.” The girl jabbed the back of Brendan’s legs lightly with her pole, causing him to stumble forward a bit. “Well, go ahead and give him something to worry about!”

    The boy reached for his only Pokéball, his heart pounding with a mix of fear and excitement as he grabbed it and released his small, blue Pokémon. The mudkip was summoned from the ball and appeared on the ground between his trainer and the poochyena.

    The stout finned creature looked up at Brendan with an annoyed squeak, voicing his dislike for being crammed into a Pokéball without a heads-up.

    “I know, I know, but I really need you to focus on the guy in front of us, ‘cause we’ve got to battle!” Brendan soothed the blue Pokémon before pointing at the man and poochyena.

    The poochyena howled, the hairs of its tail standing up. It placed its crippled-looking leg on the ground and began to clear away leaves.

    “Go in close and use water gun.” Brendan kept his voice low and gave his Pokémon an encouraging nod.

    Obeying, the short Pokémon raced forward and closed the distance between him and his opponent. Mudkip dodged to the side of the dark type, sliding over the leaves and readying his attack.

    “Now!” Brendan shouted.

    His Pokémon leaped within range of the poochyena. Just as the mudkip opened his mouth to fire the attack, the dog rounded on him and kicked up a cloud of dirt into the eyes and mouth of the finned Pokémon.

    Mudkip cried out, eyes blurry and his mouth filled with dirt. He recoiled, and rubbed his face into the leaves to get the grains out of his eyes and mouth.

    As the mudkip did so, Yena pounced on the blinded water type, his canines sinking into the fin of the mudkip’s head. The dog Pokémon pushed Mudkip into the ground, keeping the smaller opponent pinned.

    Brianna's stomach flipped, and Brendan gasped, "Mudkip!"

    The water Pokémon flailed in the leaves, sending them scattering about. Turning his body, he managed to deliver a kick to his attacker’s stomach and got out from under the poochyena. Unable to see much or sense his surroundings thanks to the wound on his head fin, Mudkip ran towards Brendan’s legs and hid behind them.

    Yena gave chase as the water type fled, tongue lolling out of his mouth.

    “Stop, it’s over.” The poochyena came to a standstill at his trainer’s commands; he sat on the ground and glowered at the smaller Pokémon.

    Brendan picked up his injured Pokémon and held him close to his body. “It’s ok. You don’t have to battle if you don’t want to…” The boy eased as cradled his Pokémon. He wiped the dirt off Mudkip’s face before reaching in his bag for a potion.

    Brianna watched the two for a moment with an apologetic gaze. “I… I’m sorry for convincing you to make him fight. I thought that this would be a good exercise…”

    The boy gave his friend a sad smile. “Don’t worry about it, we’ve hardly done any training; I’m actually not really sure how to train him other than teaching him moves.”

    While they were having their moment, the Magma grunt folded his arms and growled, “I haven’t got all day.”

    The brunette patted Brendan on the back, ignoring the comment. “We’ve got something to work at, then. But for now…” Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a blue Pokéball and pressed its button.

    From out of the capsule, a black humanoid Pokémon appeared. The waist-tall creature glanced back at the two children, flashing its golden zipper smile at Brendan. It’s looked at him with beaming white irises framed with red and held up a finger to its mouth, shushing him without a sound. Brendan shivered.

    “Okay, Dolores, a good old sucker punch should do it,” Brianna said, sending a sideways smile to her friend at his surprise.

    A look of dread overtook the Magma grunt. “Yena, bite!”

    The small dark type jumped to its feet and snarled. He sprinted to his new opponent, jaws agape as he neared the ghost, and the dog Pokémon leaped into the air at the banette. His jaws snapped shut on thin air.

    The Pokémon skidded on the leaves. Puzzled, Yena quickly turned around, sniffing the air in search of his enemy. His back bristled as he shuffled around on his feet.

    The ghost had evaporated.

    The girl, meanwhile, was chuckling and shaking her head. “I think that’s enough, Dolores.”

    It hardly took a moment for the humanoid ghost to materialize beside the poochyena, causing the Pokémon to yelp in surprise. Dolores delivered two blows to dark type’s side before darting backwards.

    The poochyena toppled backwards from the attack before he toppled onto the ground. He was out cold.

    The ghost Pokémon’s trainer cheered, and Brendan muttered a ‘wow’; the girl returned her Pokémon to her ball after thanking Dolores.

    The Team Magma member clenched his fists and lowered his face. He released an audible sigh before retracting his fallen Pokémon. “Right… should’ve figured this would happen to me.” He shook his head and turned away from the three other people. “Ruin my life, why don’t you? Yeah, guess I was just a pawn anyways,” he murmured as he began to trudge back to Rustboro, still shaking his head.

    The two kids and the other man stood in awkward silence as the Magma grunt walked away, casting glances at each other at his sudden dejected state.

    “Well,” the man with the briefcase said after the other man had long since left, “I’d like to thank the two of you on behalf of the Devon Corporation for your assistance with this- err, inconvenience. I’ll be heading back to the Devon headquarters since it’s better if I get some professional guards if this package is to get to Slateport safely, or to reroute the delivery since it’s got Team Magma’s attention.”

    “If you need something, or would like a tour of Devon, please just visit the building in Rustboro. I’ll make sure to let them know what you’ve done, miss…” The man trailed off, waiting to be filled in.

    “Bri. Just Bri. And that’s Dan,” Brianna chirped, gesturing with her thumb at Brendan, “But you can call him ‘miss’, if you want!”

    “Actually it’s Brendan,” the boy corrected, “And don’t call me ‘miss’, thanks.”

    The man made a strange face, half between confusion and a smile. “Ah, alright. I’ll… make note of that. My name’s Edison, for reference.”

    They exchanged pleasantries for a little while; Edison continued to thank them and the children smiled and enjoyed the happy, bubbly feeling in their stomachs each time they were thanked. They eventually decided it was time to get going since it was already well past 4 o’ clock.

    The three of them continued chatting all the way to the exit of the Petalburg Woods, and down to the pier that crossed over a lake from one side of Route 104 to the side with Rustboro City. Edison was particularly interested in the work Brendan did with his father, and they managed to rule the conversation while Brianna often interjected with questions.

    As they approached the city, the trio exchanged goodbyes, and Edison quickly strode down the street and out of their view. The two kids began to stroll along the sidewalk and view the city.

    At the gate of the city, the dirt path had become paved with large slabs of stone; and the forest that had been prevalent in all the other communities was kept at a distance from the perimeter of the city. The buildings seemed to sprout from the concrete ground, and all of them seemed to be made out of the same stone as the pavement, giving the city a light gray monotone, with the occasional splash of brown. The only buildings that really stood out were the inviting orange and blue roofed structures that were the Pokémon Center and Pokémart, respectively.

    Beaming, the brunette suddenly squealed with excitement and did a small jump. “Wasn’t that exciting? We really did it! We took on that guy and we showed him what’s what!”

    “A little bit more excitement that I would have liked for a first day. Hopefully, tomorrow is more… serene.” Brendan responded with half of his friend’s enthusiasm. He was still holding his mudkip, who had fallen asleep during the long walk. “I think he’s tuckered out, too.”

    Brianna rolled her eyes good-naturedly. “You two are no fun,” she said as she began weave side to side as they walked. “But you know, I wonder what Team Magma wants with stuff from Devon. Actually, I wonder what Devon would be delivering that they’d want.” She stopped walking and turned on her heels to look at Brendan. “What if- just hear me out- we go find that Magma grunt and try to get some information out of him? He already knows not to mess with us, so maybe he’ll give us some info.”

    The boy couldn’t quell a skeptical look. “What? How would we even be able to find him? It’s not like he’d just be walking around in a terrorist uniform in broad daylight.”

    “Easy,” the girl said, her eyes burning with delight, “We just go around and ask people if they’ve seen anybody suspicious.”

    Brendan sighed. “I honestly don’t think that’ll work, but I guess we don’t have anything better to do besides- oh, I don’t know- getting some food, renting a room for the night, calling my dad, or letting Mudkip sleep in peace. But none of that’s important; let’s just follow your instincts.” He regretted the negative tone of his comment, but he was getting tired of following his friend’s directions for the day.

    “Well, you can go do those things, but I think this is time better spent.” She said, just barely keeping the offense out of her voice.

    “No, I’d rather go with you. I don’t want you going around looking for felons on your own. I just wish maybe we could do stuff that doesn’t get us involved with Team Magma. I’d like to stay away from those guys when I can.”

    “But that’s what so many people do!” Brianna suddenly blurted out, her frustration bursting though. “Nobody did anything to try to stop these guys when they were just starting up, and now look. Team Aqua and Magma are pretty much the biggest threats in Hoenn and people still just turn their heads! Normally, I’d do the same thing, but after learning a bit more about those teams, I just… can’t sit around anymore! That’s why I’m here, to learn some more about them.” The words spilled out of Brianna in a torrent of emotion that caused her to raise her voice and her face to grow red.

    Brendan blinked; he was taken aback by the vigor of her words. He still disagreed, but he wasn’t sure how to put it without fueling the confrontation. He averted his eyes and shifted on his feet.

    “That’s it, then?” The girl huffed. “Sorry for making you do stuff, but you could’ve just stayed home like you originally wanted to.”

    “No- I…” Brendan trailed off, his mind grabbing for words. “Okay, fine! We’ll do this one thing. If he doesn’t tell you something you can work with, then can we forget about this whole ‘messing with criminals’ business?”

    Brianna sighed, her bows knitted together as she thought. “I don’t think I can make a promise like that. I left Mount Pyre with this in mind, so I’m intent on getting somewhere with it.”

    “But why?” Brendan asked, exasperated. “I don’t get it! Do you have some personal vendetta with them?”

    The girl chewed her bottom lip for a moment. “Yeah, guess you could call it that. Not really a vendetta, more like a… heritage thing.”

    “What does that mean, though?” The boy frowned intensely, really not understanding what she meant.

    “It means that I’ve got a duty to uphold, and those teams might just get in the way of that.” Brianna stated, looking past her friend.

    Brendan nodded slowly. “And that ‘duty’ involves talking to a grunt?”

    The girl smiled and nodded. “Yeah, you’re getting it.”

    “So we’re going to go find him then?”

    “Yeah!” Brianna bounced on her feet. “Come on, I think I know just where to check!” She grabbed the boy’s arm and began to lead him down the street.


    Ending notes:

    And it's over... for now. This chapter was much longer than expected and I still didn't even get to where I thought I would. Because of the length and my want to get to the next scene, I feel like some of the parts are a bit crammed into this chapter.

    Edited: Stupid grammar mistakes is stupid. And Arceus was the ending of this chapter horrid. Fixed so now it's not so crap-tastic.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  3. coalthedragon

    coalthedragon <---- Me

    Chapter Three:
    The Diner​

    When Brianna said that she knew just where to check, she really meant was that they would spend a couple of hours meandering around town and asking people they met if they’d seen anyone suspicious in a red hoodie.

    The most common response was a polite, ‘No, I haven’t’, though occasionally they were given a look of disdain as they walked away. Two teenagers seeking out Team Magma were bound to be looking for trouble.

    Eventually, the duo came across an old man on a second floor balcony of an apartment building who had overheard the question and called down to them. He told them that he’d seen such a man heading down the street and to the left earlier that day.

    “I’d seen him for a few days now passing up and down the street. He didn’t seem to be bothering nobody, but you can’t tell with those Magma buggers.” The old man stated, watering his plants.

    He attempted to strike up a conversation by asking why they wanted to find the man. Brianna seemed tempted to respond, but Brendan blurted a ‘thank you’ before she could, pulled her arm, and they scurried down the street.

    Turning the corner, they saw that the street was a dead-end that had a few buildings lined on each side, including a diner that was tucked away towards the end of the road. One of the edifices appeared to be an abandoned office building, decorated with graffiti and broken windows.

    Brianna and Brendan wandered down the street, unsure of where to ask next since the road was ominously void of people compared to the main boulevard they’d come off of.

    The professor’s son had recalled his mudkip a while ago; the tired creature had been whining and nipping Brendan’s arms until they showed dull bruises. The blue Pokémon ultimately settled for being put back in his ball were he could escape all the hustle and bustle. With his arms freed, the boy fidgeted with the strap of his bag.

    “So what should we do now?” Brendan asked without enthusiasm.

    “Oh, now you want me to tell you what to do?” Brianna said, raising an eyebrow.

    The boy sighed. “It’s easier than resisting.” Seeing Brianna’s face, he huffed and gave her a light shove. “Promise you it won’t be like this always!”

    The girl laughed, regaining her balance. “Sure it won’t,” she said with enough mocking doubt to earn another shove from Brendan, this time nearly causing her to fall. She laughed even harder.

    “Seriously though, what’s next? We can’t search all these places since most of them are apartment buildings and that’d take way too long.”

    “Well,” Brianna mused, “we could check the abandoned building, since it seems like a good place for a base. Or, we could go to that restaurant over there. There’re probably people in there who could give us some information. I’ll let you pick, Dan, if you’re so keen on taking the lead.”

    “Oh, umm… the vacant lot seems good, but the diner would give us a higher likelihood of finding info if there are people.”

    Brianna gave him a light pat on the back. “Diner it is!”
    The duo pushed open the glass door to the restaurant. While the place seemed cozy from a distance, closer inspection revealed peeling paint and the scent of old cooking oil. Stepping inside, the smell caused Brendan to gag a little. Though the inside appeared less shabby, the off-colored white and red kitchen tiles paired with the plain, rickety tables gave the restaurant a cheap atmosphere.

    The few patrons there paid them no attention as the two teens wandered to the back of the restaurant where there was a bar with empty seats. They sat down on the red cushioned stools and spun around to face the counter.

    "I don’t think anyone here’s all that friendly." Brendan remarked, looking around and noticing how people sitting alone made no eye contact with anyone around them.

    "That's 'cause people don't come here to talk. They come here to get a warm meal after work and then head home to their apartments across the street. They're too tired or just not interested enough for gossip." The bartender answered, drawing in the duo's attention. He was a burly man with a thick dark beard, and he wore a white smock that he was using it to dry glasses.

    "Drinkin' encourages talkin'. ’Cause of that, most people don't tend to sit here at the bar. Most people except that guy there," the bearded man said, and then pointed to a guy in a black t-shirt slouched over on the counter with a drink in hand.

    "Yep, he's been here for hours now, griping about being fired over some mishap. But guess that’s none of your business, I just don’t get too many people to talk to!” The bartender laughter boomed from his chest. “Now, could I get you kids a couple of drinks? Non-alcoholic, of course."

    Brianna smiled up at the bartender before staring at the man slumped on counter intently. "Actually," she said without moving her eyes, "We were looking for a guy in a red hoodie. Sound familiar?"

    The man at the other end of the bar visibly tensed. He raised his head to cast a blearily gaze at Brendan and Brianna. Bringing his glass to his mouth, he took a swig before slamming the drink on the bar counter. "Can't a guy drink away his worries without a couple of kids sticking their noses around?" Taking another mouthful of golden liquor, the man squinted at the teens.

    "Wait a sec; you're the brats from earlier!" The man snarled. He glared at them before sighing and bitterly hissing, "Great. Come to rub in your success? I mean, you two really out did yourselves. Not only did you save that delivery, but guess what? You got me fired, too! Two pidgy with one stone." The former grunt scoffed.

    "Only had one more year of service to that freaking team and my contract would’ve been up; I'd be home free with a nice pension for a few years while I found work.” He looked down into his empty glass and waved at the bearded man. “Hey, another glass, would you?”

    The bartender gave the man a contemptuous look. “Normally, I wouldn’t stand the likes of you, but guess your money’s as good as anyone else’s.” He said as he filled the former Team Magma member’s glass. The bartender leaned towards the two teens and whispered, “I wouldn’t bother with this scum if I was you. I’ll be around if he starts causin’ trouble.” He nodded at them before walking from behind the counter to clean tables at the manager’s request.

    With the barman gone, the man from across the counter watched the kids keenly. “So, what do you bugs want? Haven’t you ruined me enough for a day?”

    “We just want to ask you some questions.” Brianna replied strongly. “First, what’s your name?”

    The man’s face twisted in disbelief, followed by a smile and an airy chuckle. “Don’t sh*t me, kid. You didn’t come looking for me to put a name to a face. Just get to the point or buzz off.”

    Brianna exchanged a glance with Brendan. The boy shrugged.

    “Ok. So grunt-guy, what exactly is Team Magma’s plan? Does it involve the thing you were trying to steal today, and what was in the briefcase? What is Team Magma going to do next since they don’t have it?” Brianna fired of her questions without a breath in between, her eyes bright with the desire for answers.

    The man stared down into his glass as he responded, “They’re probably gonna be going to Slateport since there’s some plans there or something, I don’t know the details. Also, I don’t really have an answer to any of those other questions. I mean, I worked for both teams for a couple of years each, but they never told me much outside of what I absolutely needed to know. I was mercenary, after all.”

    “Mercenary?” the girl questioned.

    “Yeah, someone who’s paid to serve a team, so they stay with whichever one pays more. About a third of Team Magma’s made up of mercenaries, and about a fourth of Team Aqua. Not a very well-paying job; it’s more of a last resort.”

    “What else?” Brianna was propped up on her arms and nearly out of her seat.

    “Not much, really. I jumped sides whenever either one offered to take up my contract with a bigger payout. I used to be one of the top battlers in my position! But after a few misplaced defeats, they demoted me, and gave the Pokémon that I’d been training with for years to someone they felt was more qualified,” the man said angrily, clenching his drink.

    “They gave me one more chance. One more. And you two know how that turned out.” He chugged down half his mug of beer and sighed. “Got fired right after I turned in my report, so I came back here to get some drinks. This is my hometown, after all.”

    Brianna plopped back down in her seat, disappointed that she couldn’t learn more. “So they just fired you, then? Without paying you or anything?”

    “They’re only gonna pay me about half of what I really earned. Still something, I guess.”

    “But why? It’s not like they have to; they’re basically gangs!” Brendan butted in.

    The former grunt sputtered with laughter at the comment. “That’s just how the public paints them! You know, they’re not really all that bad. The Team Aqua leader’s actually a great guy. He takes the time to talk with everyone and really cares about our input on things. The other guy, Maxie, is a bit colder about things, but neither of them is evil. It’s just some of the people who work for them that give the teams a bad rap, and they really try to address that as an issue.”

    “The only thing is that sometimes they’ve got to make questionable decisions to keep their teams afloat, and to reach their goals. But that’s nowhere near as bad as every man in a business suit I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting. Can’t pay the rent? He’ll just kick you off the lot! Need a job? Sorry, but he doesn’t like your face, so the perky teenage girl who doesn’t need it gets it! That’s what a crook looks like to me, a business man,” the former Team Magma mercenary began to rant, his face and ears glowing red. He hiccupped, and drank the rest of his alcohol.

    “Alright, thanks for your… participation, but we should get going; it’s getting late,” Brendan said, lightly poking his friend with his elbow. He whispered close to Brianna’s ear, “Seriously, we should go. He’s getting drunker by the minute and he won’t tell us anything else.”

    Brianna looked at the man who was still going on about the corruption of business he’s experienced. She breathed out slowly, “At least we learned about Slateport. Let’s go.” She stood from her seat and the two of them began to head for the door.

    The former grunt looked up from the bar to see the kids leaving. “Hey!” The duo turned around at his shout. “The name’s Jack if you happen to see me around again. Not that I’ll be remembering much tomorrow!” He chuckled and returned to slouching over the counter.
    The two teenagers walked in silence down the dead-end street back towards the main boulevard. Their feet trudged and Brendan walked with his arms folded across his stomach.

    Looking up from the ground, the boy saw that his friend was in deep thought. “So are you planning to go to Slateport or…?” He trailed off. The only respond he got was the sound of shoes scuffing the sidewalk and a poochyena barking in the distance. He cleared his throat, “If that’s what you want to do, fine, but I’m just gonna stay around here and train. Chasing down Team Magma seems risky, and you’re team seems good enough to handle them without me tagging along.”

    Brianna snapped from her thoughts and turned her attention to Brendan. “Come on, it’s only been a day. And I’m not planning on heading to Slateport right away, maybe in a week. And after that battle today, I was thinking...” She paused to give her friend a smile. “I could be an instructor for you!”

    “I don’t know. I still don’t like the idea of tackling Team Magma or Team Aqua. I think I'll pass on the offer.”

    “Just give me the week, please? How about this: if I can get Mudkip strong enough to beat Roxanne by the end of this week, you’ll join me to Slateport. You don’t have to help me fight or anything, just keep me company. If I can’t train him in time, then I’ll give you a dawn stone and I’ll leave you alone.”

    “Brianna, that’s impossible! Nobody can make a Pokémon that good in a week.”

    The girl stuck out her hand, “Then make the bet!”

    Brendan looked at the commitment with the slightest bit of hesitation. “Alright,” he said as he grasped her hand, “There’s no way you can do this.”

    “Watch me!” Brianna laughed, striding ahead of her friend.

    She would make sure that this worked. No matter what.

    Ending notes:
    Hmm... a little bit short, but it got everything I was hoping to get in there. Felt better about this chapter, but there might have been a bit too much dialogue. Ah well, I knew that would happen given the information I wanted to have in this chapter.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  4. Starlight Aurate

    Starlight Aurate Just a fallen star

    Hey there! I decided to come review your fic, and I've got to tell you, at the mention of "Team Magma/Aqua," I was hooked. I'm gonna go ahead and leave a (n admittedly nitpicky) review, just to hopefully clear some things up :)

    Chapter 1
    The 'C' in 'Came' ought to be lower-cased.

    There should be a comma instead of a period after "figured," and similarly to the part above, the "T" in "The" ought to be lower-cased since it's technically all one sentence.

    Just a nitpick, but I usually find that once I go inside after being out in the sun, it always seems dark compared to sunlight. This isn't a huge deal, I just find it hard to believe that they'd be squinting from electric light after being out in sunlight.

    That is a great ending :)

    As for our ending notes, I'd say there's no need to be so worried or say that ou need a prologue to better set the direction. Sure, we're not really sure where at all this story is going yet, but it is the first chapter, which is usually used to establish characters or settings. And I've already got a pretty good feel for the bubbly and energetic Brianna as well as the smart and somewhat stuck-up Brendan. And you did mention that this fic is about Team Aqua and Magma, and they are mentioned in the first chapter--we can even guess that they'll be quite significant since Brianna mentioned "family stuff," with them. So while you do need to fix some grammar, I feel like this isn't a bad chapter at all. The guessing is fun, and I rather enjoyed the parts with Joel.

    Chapter 2
    Should be "Brianna's," not "Brianna" ;)

    Since it's still Brendan speaking, you should take away the quotations marks after 'them.'

    Pretty sure it's supposed to be 'liked' instead. It also brings about an interesting note, since we get Brianna's perspective about her naivety on how this gym works as well as how she feels about leaders requiring a certain number of badges to be willing to fight trainers.

    Another nitpick--this sentence reads awkwardly, mostly because you use the word 'down' twice and each is very close to each other. I think if you just eliminate the second 'down,' you'll be fine.

    The period after 'leaves' ought to be a comma and the 's' in 'since' ought to be lower-cased, so it should read as:

    “People don’t really train here,” Brendan stated, lightly running his feet through the layers of leaves, “since the bugs tend to poison Pokémon near the beginning of battle."

    This is because 'Since the bugs tend to poison Pokemon near the beginning of battle.' isn't really its own sentence.

    You ought to have a dash (made of two hyphens) at the end of the sentence. Also, 'legendaries,' not 'legendries.' ;)

    Missing 'the' between 'around' and 'bend.'

    Aww! Poor Poochyena :(

    Like you had before, it's awkward to read this sentence due to you using 'ground' twice. I'd say you could erase the second part of the sentence and just end at 'leaves,' or modify the end to say something like 'to reveal a patch of dirt' or something like that.

    The period after 'it' should be a comma.

    You want to use 'past' here, since 'passed' is a verb. And don't forget to change that period into a comma!

    I liked this chapter. You said the pacing was off, and I somewhat agree with that--the fact that cities/towns are able to be reached on foot within a day seems a little close to me, and I felt like Brianna and Brendan made it through this area REALLY quick. I understand that you wanted to get to more of the pot-oriented stuff, and that's fine, and I know that the Pokemon world is different than ours, so I don't know what I would expect you to do about this (or if you were to leave it if you feel that it's fine as it is), but just thought I'd point that out.

    And I don't quite agree with your end notes, as I said before. I think it's good to work on characters and give them a decent amount of focus, and I thought that chapters one and two did that just fine. After all, the audience does want to know who they're rooting for and what kind of people we're dealing with here. I do like the characterization you gave to the bit characters in this chapter--the scene with the Magma grunt is definitely my favorite, since he shows care and love for Yena and also alludes to how he feels a bit worthless on Team Magma with the whole "I'm just a pawn" line.

    I also think you're doing a good job of showing Brendan and Brianna, especially where Brendan is thinking about whether or not to fight against the Team Magma grunt and how he's obviously upset about Poochyena getting injured later on. Brianna's all right too--usually girls this hyperactive annoy me, but I'm fine with her and haven't really had any problems with her yet.
    Also, I totally knew she'd be able to take down the Magma member. She has a Seaking, after all ;)

    I'm not sure how you fixed the ending so that it's not so 'crap-tastic,' but right now I feel like it's all right. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, and that's fine since I feel like this chapter helped set up more plot and more character (Brianna's being awfully evasive about her business with the Hoenn teams...). Also, Pokemon mortician? COOL!

    That said, you do have some grammar issues, mostly about recognizing when a dialogue tag is connected to the sentence. You also have an excess of commas like here:

    You really don't need a comma after 'him,' since 'and' is already connecting the two parts of the sentence.

    Chapter 3
    Remember they're, their and there. You used 'their,' when the one you want to use is 'they're.'

    "The" ought to have a lower-case t.

    Should be a comma instead of a period after 'late.'

    Need a space between the period and "If."

    I liked this chapter quite a bit (and I saw that you did too!). Learning about Jack and how he worked for Teams Aqua and Magma was interesting--and it sounds like Team Magma offers better pay, since they have more mercenaries ;P I thought it seemed to go by a little fast, though. These kids beat a Magma grunt, and in the same day, he handed in his report to his boss, got fired, handed in his uniform, and went to a diner to drink away his sorrows. Since these teams aren't very established as of yet, I suppose it's all right, but it seems to go by a little too quickly for me. I also found it odd how the bartender was willing to just accept that a former Team Magma member was sitting in the diner, but he just let it slip by because he wanted money. That said, it's a bit odd that no one else decided to do anything about it, since you said it was quiet and I'd expect people to overhear their conversation.

    Other than the aforementioned, I like this fic. Hoenn teams for the win! And the characters seem likeable enough--Brendan really shouldn't be doubting Brianna, especially at this stage :p So while you do need to proofread a little more carefully and think about the pacing, I do think this is turning out to be a pretty good fic. Welcome to Serebii, and best of luck!
  5. coalthedragon

    coalthedragon <---- Me

    Thank you so much for the review! I'm glad you disagreed with me, really. This is the first time I'm writing anything that focuses pretty much entirely on the characters and their interactions with each other. I'm more use to doing short stories, so I feel like I've got way too much dialogue when it's actually fine. So in short, I don't really know what I'm doing, other than I'm trying something new.

    As for all those grammar mistakes... that's what happens when you only proofread 2-3 times >>' I'll make sure to fix all those mistakes when I get the time. And I should probably stop writing this fic at 1 am.

    And yeah, my pacing kind of sucks because I don't really have much of a grasp on it sometimes. I just feel like certain scenes are dragging out too long, so I end up cutting them short. That, and I get impatient when writing. I started this fic to work on dedicating myself to something that isn't just a few pages long.

    With the people not reacting so much to Jake... I was attempting to elude to the fact that though people have a disdain for the teams, they're too busy with their own priorities to do something about the teams. I'll be going into more of that later, though.

    The original ending for chapter 2 was just plain awful. It was something along the lines of Brendan getting annoyed with Brianna and them making up in the span of three paragraphs. I basically just threw character and pacing out the window just the wrap up the chapter. I was ashamed of that, so I fixed it pretty much the next day.

    And just to clarify, Jake sent in his report via a PokeNav and was fired by a superior. Maxie would be too busy to deal with such a mundane thing as firing a grunt, considering there are lots of them. Jake took off his uniform since there really wasn't a point to wearing it anymore and he also just wanted to forget about the whole thing. (I wish I could go into the specifics of each and every character, but then I feel like I'm rambling)

    Thank you again for taking the time to make a review! I'll keep that stuff in mind as I edit those three chapters and as I write new ones.
  6. Starlight Aurate

    Starlight Aurate Just a fallen star

    And that's perfectly all right; posting your first chapter fic can be really nerve-wracking, so the fact that you've managed to get this far says some pretty good things. And you're doing a great job, so you've got no need to worry :)

    I know that feel. There have been times when I've read over my chapter a dozen times before posting, and I still have a plethora of grammar errors. Maybe writing at 1 am is a problem, but hey, if that's the time when your creative juices are flowing, I see no need to stop them.

    And I understand that pacing is difficult, and since I'm one for notoriously-slow pacing (took 5 chapters for me to reach the plot >_>) it just stuck out to me more. Pacing can be more of a personal thing, since everyone will have different opinions about it, so I guess you've just got to see what works.

    I totally understand the direction you're going in with this, especially as the Pokemon world is well-known for apathetic citizens. I always thought of it as "the people don't care about anything unless it's right under their nose," so it just struck me as odd that there was an ex-criminal right in front of these people and they still didn't do anything.

    If that's how you did it, that's okay. I really didn't like one of my chapters so I re-wrote the entire thing a month later, so one scene at the end isn't so bad :)

    I understand with the whole deal that Maxie wouldn't want to deal with him personally. It just felt a bit fast when I read it.

    No problem; reviewing is fun! I can't wait to see more of what you have :)

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