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Your Memories Are Not Enough (PG to PG-13 rating)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Apotheosis, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Notes: This is my fanfic from Nsider that I'm bringing here. Violence isn't too overly descriptive, and although there is some attraction and other hinted activities between characters, nothing is ever shown. As such, it probably has a PG to PG-13 rating depending on how vivid your imagination is. Now on to the story!


    Prologue: The Faded and the Foundation


    Is this what has become of me? I, who once consumed the painful memories of a world with delight, am now next to nothing? Curse that Mio and her interference. But even now, I will find a way. I will return to my glory.

    Raem retread his old familiar thoughts. For now, he was next to nothing, merely an ephemeral black cloud, barely existing and unable to do anything. He once had been the master of a world, laying claim to all but known by almost none. Now, he was reduced to staying in his realm, a black abyss of nothing.

    I could go back, but that means I would have to accept her plan. Harmony? No, I could not stand such an existence. Living off the pathetic dribbles given off by the people when they are done would not sustain me. I hunger. I hunger for the exquisite memories of pain and suffering that I once consumed. I must have control. Only then can I get such things again. But Mio, she would never allow me to regain anything. She would see any move I made back on that world. But is there somewhere else? I’ve searched before and found nothing.

    Raem waited for many years, looking for a way to escape Mio and find a new world. Eventually, Raem noticed a disturbance in his realm of memories. An unknown pathway opened. Raem eagerly traveled through this gate, and once through, he immediately felt a new triumph and vigor.

    What is this? I sense two worlds, but one is collapsing into the other. The last of the power separating them has faded. The energy released by this collapse must have opened the way for me. Soon, there will be only one world, so I shall observe for a time. The confusion caused by this collapse will be the perfect place to begin. The sorrow and chaos will make them easy prey. At last, I restore my power, my glory!

    Raem made preparations for moving to this new realm. He made sure Mio would not notice his absence, not that she cared unless he tried to return to the other world. Raem slowly shifted his influence over this new world and began watching. There was much more people here than the other world. There was also some other creatures with intelligence.

    Are there monsters here already? I thought I created them from the painful and faded memories that I consumed. No, these are different. These creatures are natural, but perhaps I could find a way to use some of them. I’ll need more time to understand.

    Raem began to watch the collapsing world combine with the other. Luckily, he was not a being tied to any physical dimension, so he could easily watch both worlds in their separate realities. The collapse would take some time to finish, but Raem could wait.

    * * *

    The world was collapsing. The foundation had known it for a short time now. They worked feverishly in their attempts to try and stop it. The natural disasters in both the world of Arrol and the world of Geonne had steadily grown worse as the convergence neared.

    Arrol was merging with the world of Geonne, and in a short time only one world would be left. The terrible disasters and chaos would be sure to reduce the technology and civilization of the humans to almost nothing. The foundation, also known as Exaccus, tried their best, but nothing could restore the energy that kept both worlds separate.

    With this failure, the foundation had only one choice. They would make something to survive the calamity with all the knowledge of their world. It would have to be able to protect itself and slowly reveal the knowledge to build up the human civilization once again. From these efforts, Project Forde was born.

    As the project was finished, Forde opened his eyes. He went over his system data, which flashed up in his optical channels, covering some of what he saw. Everything was normal, so he hid the data so that he could see his creators. After a quick look around, he already knew about all the grey-haired scientists in the laboratory. Their profiles were all in his internal databases since they all were part of the project staff.

    The head of the project, with his long grey beard, took a step closer. “Forde, you are completed. It is a great achievement for us, but now I must ask you some questions to make certain your programming is functioning as planned. Are you ready?”

    “All data shows I am functioning normally, but I shall answer your questions.”

    “Very well. What is your purpose, Forde?”

    “My purpose is to follow the rules for my existence. The first rule is to complete the Forde plan. The second rule is to protect human life and pokemon life. I am never to harm anything unless its existence is a direct threat to the plan, but I am to protect myself, since I am the one to carry out the plan.”

    “Good. Now, let’s make sure you have the plan properly placed in your systems. Tell us about the plan.”

    “The plan, or the Forde plan, involves restoring technology and civilization to the world. Something to contain information, guide humans, and bring stability was needed, so I was created. The plan was made since the catastrophic convergence of both worlds is only a short time away, and the splintering effects of the disasters are already becoming apparent. The fracturing and isolation of different parts of human civilization will only worsen until after the convergence ends, and then I must slowly work to bring the plan about.”

    “Everything checks out, so why don’t you come along. There isn’t much time left, and the disasters become worse every day.”

    Forde smoothly lifted himself from the table. He cautiously took his first steps and then walked at the pace of the others. In some glass on wall, he caught a glimpse of his reflection. He looked just like a human in their prime would look, strong, lean, and healthy. He had short brown hair, leaving his thin face and green eyes easily seen. Underneath his perfectly human exterior lay the many circuits, systems, and computers that ran the most complex robot ever created. A robot designed to be like a human, but that was stronger, smarter, and faster than any human could hope to be.

    They arrived at another laboratory, where several items sat on a table. The project director thrust two at him. “Here put these on. Just examine your databases and you’ll know what to do.” His databases quickly told him that they were a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, so he put the blue pants and grey shirt on over the underclothes he already had on. The databases showed that these clothes were considered normal, and would make so he would easily blend in with normal people, just like he was meant to do.

    Next, the project manager handed him two red and white balls. Without explanation, Forde knew what these were. Drawing from his databases on the latest experimental technologies, Forde knew they were pokeballs. Such technology was as new as he was, and these pokeballs must some of the very few that had been made so far.

    “A pity that you will be one of the only ones to get to use the pokeball technology we just developed,” the director commented. “It had such promise to bring humans and pokemon together as friends. Why don’t you try them both out, so that I might see my friends one last time?”

    Forde activated the pokeballs, releasing the inhabitants onto the table. From the first came Eevee, a small fox-like pokemon with mostly brown fur, except for some almost white fur on the tip of its tail or the mane around its neck. From the second came Pachirisu, a small squirrel that was mostly white except for the light blue stripe running down the middle of its back and tail. The blue coloring also covered its small pointed ears. It also had small yellow circles on its cheeks.

    Forde had the Opal translator, a program made centuries ago by one of the heroes that allowed humans and pokemon to understand each other. The director also had one on the computer, so he smiled as he spoke to the two pokemon. “My friends, it’s good to see you again. How was the stay in the pokeballs?”

    The Pachirisu hopped up and down in excitement, generating a few sparks from his body. “It was great! Just like taking a nap where you suddenly wake up and it’s later!”

    “You’re as energetic as always, Chiro,” The director chuckled. “How about you, Kita?”

    Kita, the Eevee, stretched and yawned. “Since I felt nothing, I’ll have to say it was neither good nor bad.”

    The director patted both the pokemon on their heads. “As practical as ever Kita. Now, since you two will both be traveling with him, I’d like you both to meet Forde.”

    Forde stepped towards the table to examine the pokemon. Chiro jumped onto his arm, and climbed up to his shoulder, the soft fur of the squirrel pokemon brushing against Forde. Kita sniffed Forde curiously, easily noticing the absence of the normal smells humans had.

    Chiro climbed on top of Forde’s hair, and then hopped back down to the table. “He seems like a human to me, but I thought you were making a machine.”

    “At least he doesn’t smell like a human,” Kita added. “They don’t always smell the best.”

    Forde smiled at the two. “Pleased to meet you both. I was designed to be like humans, so telling me apart by looks alone would be impossible.”

    A minor tremor shook the lab, and the lights dimmed for a second. The director urged them to hurry. “Are you all ready to go? The safest place possible is where the worlds are already the closest. That is why we are sending you all to the Relic Academy, since it was the point from which this world was split off from the original one. We’ll have to use the jets, since our other methods aren’t as reliable with the unstable energies caused by this world collapsing.”

    Kita groaned. “Not the jets. I can’t stand them. Put me back in the pokeball until we arrive.”

    Forde returned Kita to her pokeball, while Chiro climbed on his shoulder. He then followed the director to the jet that was readied for their trip. It was a small jet, but among the fastest in the world.

    Before Forde climbed into the aircraft, the director gave them a few last words of advice. “Farewell and good luck. I have to stay here to help. Not that there is much we can do to stop the end of the world. We’ve already tried. Forde, you’re our only hope for the future. Also, Chiro, be sure to keep Forde’s battery charged. That’s why we needed an electric pokemon like you to volunteer for this.”
    Forde waved goodbye as the hatch began to shut. Chiro shouted as loud as his small voice could manage. “Don’t worry! I’ll take care of him!”

    The hatch closed and the jet took off. Chiro scurried up and down the few seats in the jet, looking out the different windows. Eventually, he returned to Forde’s shoulder. “Forde, I’m so excited to be going back to Relic Academy! That’s where me and Kita were at when we met the director. I know they gave you all the human knowledge, but you should spend some time at the academy and learn about all the pokemon knowledge.”

    “According to the plan, I must wait for five years after this world converges with the other, so that will be a good way to spend my time. After the five years, I’m supposed to meet with the legendary pokemon and learn of their purposes and stories.”

    “I’ve never met a legendary pokemon either! I’ll get to do the most exciting things with you, Forde.”

    The jet landed, and Forde released Kita once again. The three were taken to the portal between the worlds of Arrol and Geonne, and soon they arrived in the world of Geonne, the world of the pokemon.

    As predicted, Relic Academy remained mostly untouched by the disasters caused by the world of Arrol converging with the world of Geonne. The two worlds in the separate dimensions became one world once again. Elsewhere in the world, the convergence caused much greater problems. As predicted, the cities of the humans were destroyed, leaving humans to build up from nothing once more, except now, they had pokemon to live with, unlike the last time. Last time, the world of Arrol had been created for humans to live separate from pokemon, but now they would have to live in the same world once more. The plan accounted for all of this, and almost nothing could change the world enough for the plan to fail.

    --------------------------------------------



    There you go, the prologue. It feels quite different from the rest of the story, and if I wrote it now it would probably be quite different. I'll see how you like/don't like it. Also, I think I'll probably post 2 or 3 chapters for this a week until I catch up to the point I'm at in writing the story, chapter 19. Also, since this story is partially a sequel, but mostly its own story, I could provide a link to the prequel, if anyone requests it.
     
  2. duncan

    duncan Well-Known Member

    Interesting, to say the least. And it's definitely original. There are very few fics that star a robot (Pokemon fics, anyway), but there's not much more I can comment on, seeing as it's just the prologue. I'll keep an eye on this, for sure.
     
  3. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 1

    Notes: Chapter 1 takes place quite a few years after the prologue. It also begins part 1 of the story which lasts from chapters 1 to 19.

    Part 1: The Road of Chaos

    Chapter 1: Setting Out

    Draconis sat sunning on a rock. He was the son of Draconis, as were all his forefathers, since it was the tradition in his family to name the first male in each generation Draconis. As a name, it helped remind him of the heroic deeds of his ancestors, but at the moment, Draconis the Charmander sat sunning on a large rock just outside of Relic Academy. His smooth orange scales soaked up the sun, while the white scales of his belly sat on the cool rock. On the tip of his tail, his flame flickered merrily. He yawned, and scraped his claws against the rock as he stretched.

    Near a shaded pond, Draconis‘s friend, Annox was napping. Annox the Turtwig always loved to sleep, and today was no different. The light green turtle with yellow feet and yellow jaw, sat curled in the shade near his favorite pond. His legs were curled up beneath his brown shell, and his head rested on the ground. The brown stalk on the top of Annox’s head pointed to the side, where the two leaves that grew on it swayed in the breeze.

    Draconis approached, and since his friend was asleep decided to play his favorite trick on him. Draconis held his tail and placed the flaming tip of it near Annox’s shell.

    Annox mumbled as he started to roll over in his sleep. “Too hot, must get back into shade.”

    Annox rolled straight into the pond, and splashed about as he climbed out of the water. “Draconis! Why do you always do that? Can’t you just let me sleep?”

    Draconis sat down as he laughed and laughed. “How could I not do that? It’s so funny! It works every time, too.”

    “Why did you come and wake me up anyway? If it isn’t important, I might just go find somewhere else to sleep.”

    “Well, Annox, I was bored and wanted to see if you knew of anything to do.”

    “We could always go see what Hurdy is doing, but he probably is just in class.”

    “Yep, Hurdy always studies hard and goes to class, but he might have something fun to do. Or maybe Forde could come back, but he only comes a few times a year.”

    “Yeah, Forde is pretty interesting. I heard he came here 25 years ago, and stayed for a few years before setting out. He journeys the world, doing only what others can guess at. I also heard that he is the only human who can talk to pokemon anymore.”

    “That is interesting, Annox, and maybe Hurdy knows more about it. Let’s go see if he’s done with class.”

    Draconis and Annox set off to the center of Relic Academy to find their friend, Hurdy. They passed the small buildings and dwellings of the town and arrived at the large building in the center. The academy itself was the largest building, made of wood from the jungle that surrounded the town. Several classrooms and a large library filled up the academy.

    Once, humans had visited the academy, but only Forde came after the disasters of 25 years ago. The disasters also made so no humans could speak with pokemon. The pokemon still learned and gathered their own knowledge, and the family of Swampert still headed the academy, as they had since the hero, Ben, had founded the academy.

    Draconis and Annox entered the quiet hallway of the academy, looking for their friend Hurdy. Peeking into the first classroom, they saw him sitting near the door. Hurdy was a Mudkip, and was also the son of the headmaster of the academy. He had attended classes and studied the books of the library for the several years of his young life. As a Mudkip, he had moist blue skin, darker on the top and lighter on the bottom. He had a large fin on his head and another on his posterior. He also had spiky orange gills on his cheeks.

    Hurdy was paying close attention to the lecture. The teacher, a Kadabra, droned on about the recent history. “…and so, when Aureolus, the one who provided the power that kept the worlds separate was killed, the power began to fade. After centuries, all the power was gone, and so the worlds combined into one. Remember this, and we will pick it up tomorrow.”

    Kadabra finished his lecture for the day, and the students filed out. Hurdy stepped out into the hall, and felt a cold claw tapping him on the shoulder. Spinning around, he saw both of his friends, Draconis and Annox.

    “Hello, what a fascinating lecture that was,” Hurdy explained. “Interesting how the events of the heroes had such repercussions. We can never be too certain about how our choices will affect the future.”

    “If you ask me it seemed pretty boring,” Draconis replied. “We came to see if you have anything fun to do, since we’re bored out of our minds at the moment. Annox is going to fall asleep any moment if we don’t find anything to do.”

    Hurdy smiled. “Annox would fall asleep anyway, even if there was something to do.”

    “I would not,” Annox argued. “I don’t sleep all the time. I tend to my garden, but that only takes a small part of the day. I even tried to come listen to the lectures here once, but that put me to sleep.”

    Hurdy started walking down the hallway and the others followed. “Well at least you tried once, unlike Draconis. I think my father had some interesting news, so we should go see what it is.”

    The three walked down the hallway to the rooms where Hurdy and his family lived. Hurdy’s father, a large and intelligent Swampert, was there having lunch, and invited the three to join him.

    Hurdy’s father finished his meal. “So, I suppose you three are here to get the news? Well I’ll tell it to you while you finish eating. Pelipper just brought me a message from Forde, and it said he will be here today. He said he has much to discuss and tell us.”

    Hurdy finished off the last few bites of an orange. “Forde is always an interesting person, especially since he is the only human around here any more. I find it odd that he never seems to age. The Espeon and Pachirisu that are with him also don’t seem to age very much over the years that I’ve seen them.”

    “Yes, those are very good observations, and I’ve noticed them myself,” Hurdy’s father added. “When your grandfather ran the academy, there used to be other humans that would come, but now they no longer can understand us. I once asked Forde why he never ages, but he just said it was a complicated matter. Why don’t you go look and see if he has come yet?”

    Draconis, Hurdy, and Annox all went outside in anticipation of Forde’s arrival. They climbed a large pile of stone that was part of the ruins around Relic Academy. At the top, they surveyed the surrounding ruins, and saw a man approaching. He had on a green cloak, a large pack, and held a large wooden staff. He deftly jumped over any stones or small walls in his way, and arrived in a few minutes.

    Forde walked up to the outskirts of Relic Academy and released both Chiro and Kita from their pokeballs. Chiro, showing his usual energy, scurried up to Forde’s shoulder. Kita, who was now an Espeon, walked beside him. As an Espeon, Kita had smooth purple fur, a red gem in the center of her forehead, and tufts of fur protruding from her cheeks. She had long ears that could hear excellently, and her thin tail split into two rounded ends.

    Kita stretched a little like she always did when being released from her pokeball. “So, we’re back here, Forde? At least the pokemon are pleasant and intelligent here. The usual wild ones are ignorant of the world and everything on it.”

    Chiro scurried from shoulder to shoulder, surveying the town. “Hurray! We’re back here. Always a bit of fun to see this place again. Forde, do you need your battery recharged?”

    Forde checked his statistics. “It has been quite a while since our last recharge, and I’m down to 63% of battery capacity, so you should recharge it.”

    Chiro charged up his thundershock and gently zapped the area where Forde’s internal battery was located.

    “That’s enough, Chiro,” Forde announced. “Hey, look, those young ones are coming to greet us. I stored their names, so I’d better access that data. They are Draconis the Charmander, age 8, Hurdy the Mudkip, age 7, and Annox the Turtwig, age 9.”

    Draconis approached Forde first. “I was hoping you would come and share some more interesting stories! It is great to see you, Forde! How have your travels been?”

    Kita blocked Draconis from getting any closer to Forde. “Back off! He’ll tell you all later.”

    “Now Kita, don’t be so harsh,” Forde suggested. “These young pokemon are happy to see me. Draconis, it is good to see you again. My travels were fruitful, as always, and I will tell you more later. Come along, and I’ll tell my news once we gather everyone at the academy.”

    Forde, Chiro, and Kita headed towards the academy, and Draconis, Hurdy, and Annox followed closely behind them.

    Hurdy ran ahead as they neared the academy. “I’ll go get my father to round up everyone!”

    Forde sat down on a fallen pillar as the pokemon of the academy gathered. Soon, everyone was there.

    Hurdy’s father walked up beside Forde. “Forde, it is our honor to have you visit us again. Please, tell us of your travels and the news of the world.”

    Forde set his pack, cloak, and staff down, his brown hair and green eyes looking the same age as before. “Greetings, kind pokemon. It is an honor to share my knowledge with you. In my recent travels, I have seen some troubling things. As you all know, some pokemon help humans who befriend them, but more recently some people have began to capture pokemon and train them to fight for them. They usually capture pokemon that are young and train them to obey. These trained pokemon are now being used in contests between the human kingdoms. Battles both large and small have began to break out, and I have been trying to stop this practice from being used. If any of you are interested, I have a job for any pokemon willing to help me. I need someone to deliver a message to Mewtwo and Mew while I go to continue my attempts to stop the humans from capturing pokemon.”

    In the audience, Draconis turned to Annox and Hurdy. “Hey, we should help Forde. I’ve always wanted to see the world, and this could be our chance. What do you guys think?”

    Annox seemed fine with the idea. “As I sleep I sometimes dream of the places I’ve heard about in stories. I want to see the plains, deserts, and mountains, instead of just being in this jungle my whole life.”

    Hurdy seemed to come to a conclusion. “Traveling the world will surely increase my knowledge in a way that staying here never would. Meeting with Mewtwo and Mew, who knew the heroes, will also be a chance to hear about that tale from those who saw it firsthand. A journey of discovery would be the perfect thing for me.”

    “Forde, we will take up your mission!” Draconis announced.

    Forde looked at them with his steady green eyes. “You may be young, but you have a lot of potential. You will be fine for the journey. I’ll draw you some maps, and give you some supplies, and you should be ready to go tomorrow.”

    The rest of the day passed in preparation. The parents of Draconis, Annox, and Hurdy all agreed that a journey would do each of them good. Early the next morning, the three met with Forde, Kita, and Chiro.

    Forde handed them a small pouch of supplies and two pieces of paper. “Here are some supplies for you, as well as the message and a map. I’ll be traveling shortly as well, but I have other places to be. Just follow the map and you should be fine. I thank you for accepting this mission, and if you finish it, I’ll try to get something good for each of you.”

    Hurdy took the map and message, while Draconis shouldered the pouch. “I’m so excited to see the world, thank you for giving us this chance. I hope to see you soon when we are done.”

    Forde waved farewell as the trio walked away. “Have a safe journey. I would avoid most humans if I were you, especially if they look like they are trying to capture pokemon.”

    As Draconis, Annox, and Hurdy entered the jungle, Hurdy looked at the map. “It is simple enough. If we just follow the old path to where Pokemon Square once was, we should end up close to the cave were Mewtwo and Mew live. I wonder what the message is.”

    “Are you sure we should read the message?” Annox questioned.

    “Well, he never said we couldn’t read it,” Draconis stated. “Don’t you want to see what it says?”

    Hurdy unfurled the paper. “Mewtwo and Mew,” it began. “I am sending this message since over the past few months I have seen several things that are concerning me. The plan is not going as it should, and the recent practice of humans capturing pokemon is evidence of this. Something is leading the humans in a different direction than mine, and I was hoping you might have some information on this. Sincerely, Forde.”

    For Hurdy, the paper raised tons of new questions, which he voiced to Draconis and Annox. “Hmm, interesting. I wonder what this plan is. Mewtwo and Mew seem to be very old friends of Forde. I wonder just how old he is, and why he is trying to lead the humans in a certain direction. What could be stopping Forde and changing the humans?”

    “I knew we shouldn’t have read it,” Annox stated. “It didn’t help us at all.”

    Draconis started walking down the path. “Annox is right. The message isn’t meant to be understood by us. Let’s just do our job and deliver it.”

    The three continued down the path through the shady jungle. The cries and sounds of many pokemon echoed through the steamy jungle. The thick trees and vines grew above the path, but the way was clear, so the three walked away from Relic Academy, each step taking them further from home than they had ever been before.

    ---------------------------------------------


    Chapter 1 is quite a good beginning. If I had written it more recently, I'd probably develop the characters and their families a little more. As the chapter is, it has them starting their adventure quickly, but failed to mention much about the families of the characters or much of their pasts. Expect chapter 2 sometime tomorrow.
     
  4. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 2

    Notes: Chapter 2 focuses on two other new characters. The chapters from now on will focus on one group or the other for some time.

    Chapter 2: Blind Eye

    Prince Leon awoke and began his customary morning ritual. Arising from his elegant bed, he washed his thin face, but didn’t bother to change his unkempt green hair. He put on his usual brown leather armor and green cape over his lean frame, which helped him feel a bit warmer in the drafty stone castle in which he lived. The castle itself was the center of the small kingdom of Alagarde, which his father, King Desmond had established shortly after the collapse.

    The kingdom had first just been a small village of survivors banding together in the new world where they no longer had the technology that once made their lives easy. Leon was too young to have lived in the old world, but people of his father’s generation always spoke of it with a painful longing. The small village, which was first crude huts, had slowly became better over the years, more people had came to it, and several years ago the people had managed to build a small castle and walls around the town for protection. During that time, Leon’s mother had fell ill, and passed away.

    Leon grabbed his trusted bow, slung his quiver over his shoulder, and turned to wake Elomir. Elomir was a Flygon, a dragon pokemon who now sat sleeping peacefully on a pile of pillows in the corner of the room. His smooth green scales glimmered in the morning light that streamed in through the small window. His wings, outlined with red, lay curled up on his back.

    Leon remembered when he first found Elomir, a small and frightened Trapinch that had wondered into the fields of the town. That was 11 years ago, when he was 5 years old.

    Leon gently placed a hand on one of the two dark green tips that rose from Elomir’s head. The tips were also the same color as the top of Elomir’s back legs and several bands on his tail. The end of his tail was three flat diamond-shaped areas outlined in red, which now flicked as the first sign of Elomir’s awakening. Beneath the red circular lenses that covered them, Elomir’s eyes flickered open. Elomir stretched out his thin front arms and his thick back legs and took a step, his claws clicking on the stone floor.

    Leon patted Elomir on his side. “Well, look like it's time to be up for another day. Let’s go get something to eat.”

    Elomir let out a sleepy, but approving growl, and so the two went to get breakfast.

    After a quick meal, Leon hopped on Elomir’s back and the two flew to their training course they had set up on the outskirts of town, beyond the houses of the villagers and the fields. On a tree in the center of a field were many targets Leon had set up, and around the field, large stones marked from Elomir’s attacks were scattered about.

    Elomir began circling above the field and swooped down at one of the rocks, unleashing his dragonbreath attack. At the same time, Leon had strung and shot an arrow from his bow from the back of Elomir. The arrow sank into the center of the target, and Elomir’s attack left black marks all over the rock. The pair continued their training for some time, but stopped as a small group of troops approached.

    At the head of the troops was General Berose and his Metagross. General Berose was Leon’s mentor in battle techniques, and had led the forces of Alagarde in all their minor battles over the years. These battles mostly consisted of driving off powerful wild pokemon and small skirmishes with bandits. Berose was an older man in his 50s with grey hair, and a large moustache. Even though he was quite old, his large frame and muscles were a bit daunting underneath the silver armor that he wore. He carried a lance, which was his main weapon.

    The troops halted and General Berose approached. “Greetings Prince, I see you’re training as usual. His majesty, the king, wanted to see you.”

    Leon turned from his thoughts to give Berose a reply. “Thank you for bringing me the message, Berose. Are these some of the new recruits that you’ve been training? Do you know why the king has been increasing troop numbers so much these past few months?”

    “Yes, these are some of the newer soldiers that I’m training. I don’t yet know why the king wants more troops, but if it is what the king wants, then it is my duty to fulfill his commands. He has seemed a bit different over the past few months, but he is still an excellent king.”

    Leon retrieved his arrows from the targets and headed back to the castle. Outside, a large group of rough-looking men were waiting. They had several pokemon in cages and on chains, and they all held whips at their sides. Leon and Elomir flew over them and entered the castle.

    Inside the throne room, King Desmond sat on his throne. It was made of the same gray stone of the castle. Contrasting to the gray stone, the king wore luxurious clothes of red and purple, stretched a little by the king‘s round belly. His small gold crown sat on his green hair. At the side of the throne sat the Armaldo that Desmond had befriended a long time ago. Around 40 years old, the king had seen the collapse. He led a small group and founded the kingdom of Alagarde. He had always a kind and great leader, but recently he had been behaving a little strange. He no longer seemed to know Leon, his son who he had been so close to before. He also no longer talked or joked like he used to.

    Beside King Desmond stood a person unfamiliar to Leon. He wore a similar outfit to those outside, which consisted of chainmail, leather gloves, and brown pants. The man had greasy black hair, and a scarred face. At his side was a whip. His body held quite a bit of fat, but beneath it, Leon could tell there was some muscle.

    The king turned to Leon. “Greetings. I would like you to meet Lasrev. He is the leader of the Crows, who will be joining the forces of our kingdom as we prepare to invade the kingdom of Farna. I trust you will also help lead the forces as they begin the war.”

    His father’s words seemed like utter madness to Leon. “Father, you are a fool! Allying with these bandits and attacking Farna, which has done nothing but provide us with trade, shows that something has gone wrong. What happened to the great and wise leader, who I was proud to have as my father?”

    Lasrev walked up to him, followed by a Grumpig and Camerupt. “Listen boy, you should obey your father. He is wise to choose the Crows, since we don’t follow the foolish old concept of befriending pokemon. Instead we capture them when they are young, and through a bit of conditioning, make so they obey all orders and are excellent at fighting.”

    The king also seemed annoyed. “You will listen to me! If you want to have any place in this kingdom, then you will obey. Lasrev, why don’t you convince him of your potential to help our kingdom.?”

    Lasrev bowed to the king. “As you wish, your majesty. Go, Camerupt! Show them what the power of training pokemon as weapons can achieve!”

    “You think you can beat my friend, Elomir the Flygon?” laughed Leon. “I’ll show you what a pokemon raised as a friend is capable of!”

    Elomir let out a roar and landed facing the Camerupt. Camerupt led the battle, unleashing a flamethrower at Elomir. Elomir gracefully dodged to the side, and the flames hit the stone wall. Elomir followed up with a sand tomb attack. The sand surrounded Camerupt, making so it couldn’t move. The sand continued building around Camerupt filling the two volcano-like openings on its back.

    “That’s enough Elomir, we’ve shown these fools what we can do,” commanded Leon.

    Elomir landed with a flourish, showing off a little after winning.

    Lasrev was furious. “You, you brat! You may have beat one of my pokemon, but by capturing them, I can get many pokemon, while you only have one. If it came down to it, I would win by numbers alone, even if mine aren’t as strong.”

    The king interrupted Lasrev. “Silence. I still command you to obey me, prince, or suffer the consequences. You will join the war efforts!”

    “No, I won’t join this insane war that you’ve decided to wage!” replied Leon. “I’ll accept the consequences rather than attack the kingdom of Farna, who we have been at peace with for so long. These recent decisions of yours just show me that you are crazy. You are no longer the man who was my father!”

    The king slammed his fist onto the arm of his throne. “Do you think I need you for this war? You would be useful, but if you are deciding to rebel against me there is only one option for you! Leave the kingdom at once! You are banished!”

    Lasrev grinned and went back to the king‘s side. “See, you can’t defy the king! My forces, the Crows, will continue to capture and train pokemon to fight, and we shall fight where the king desires! The plunder, glory, and lands will certainly fall partially to us! You are the fool for not joining!”

    Leon stormed out of the castle with Elomir close behind.

    Just as Leon finished climbing onto Elomir’s back, General Berose approached. “So, did you hear about the war? It saddens me to have to fight our neighboring kingdom, but if it is the king’s will, I obey.”

    “Perhaps it is your job to obey, but I will not follow my father’s will in this matter! I have been banished for defying him, and so I bid you farewell, General. Something is terribly wrong with my father, and so I’m leaving to try and find the truth. Perhaps someone out there knows what is going on, and I’ll look for them. I seem to remember a man in a green cloak visiting my father occasionally, so I’m going to seek him out.”

    Elomir took off, and he and Leon flew to the South, to go warn Farna. Below them stretched the forest between the kingdoms of Alagarde and Farna. From above, Leon could see plenty of pokemon in the forest, but a small group of humans sneaking about in the center of the forest attracted his attention.

    As Leon and Elomir flew closer, they could tell with certainty that it was a small group of the Crows, out hunting for pokemon to capture. At the moment they surrounded something which had been caught in their trap.

    “Elomir, head down. Looks like we need to show them that pokemon are more than just things to be captured and used for battle and plundering. The Crows are despicable. They are still bandits like always, and they are just joining my father to get some loot. Let’s show them a thing or two!”

    * * *

    Back at the castle, King Desmond sat silently on his throne, but inside his mind the strange voice spoke to him.

    “Good work, you didn’t need that boy anyway,” the voice stated. “As a reward I shall give you a few memories back.”

    A few memories of his wife returned to King Desmond, and he went over them several times in his mind. He couldn’t remember when, but some time ago, he had somehow lost all his memories. Then a voice that no one else could hear came to him, offering to give him back his memories if he would fulfill all of its orders. So far it had told him to prepare for and begin this war. He could only hope its demands didn’t go much further, but the voice was all he had now. It guided and led him in the world that made no sense without his memories.

    Over the months, the king also believed that he sometimes saw the being that the voice belonged to. It seemed to be an indistinct black mist at first, but it seemed to slowly be gaining a form. It still was too intangible to tell what it was, but every time the king heard the voice, he always looked for the being that it belonged to.

    The king thought he saw the being for a moment, and it began speaking. “We’re finally beginning the war. My plans are coming much closer to being fulfilled. Oh, how long I’ve waited! To no longer be a pathetic, faded being! Nothing must stop us, and nothing shall! After all, nothing in this world knows what I am. Not even you, King Desmond.”

    ------------------------------------


    I cut some pointless thinking to self dialog from my earlier version of this chapter. I don't think it needed it at all. Next chapter should come around Saturday.
     
  5. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 3

    Chapter 3: Dangers of the Trail

    Annox, Draconis, and Hurdy began the day as they had the past several days of their journey. After getting some breakfast, they would set out along their path. Draconis lead the way, slowly getting ahead. Hurdy walked alongside Draconis, but stopped from time to time to examine an interesting rock, tree, animal, or pokemon. Annox was the slowest of the three and would slowly fall behind.

    Draconis turned around, glaring at his two friends. “Why are you two so slow? I have to stop every few minutes just to tell you to catch up!”

    Hurdy, just a short ways behind, caught up with Draconis. “Come now, Draconis, there is nothing to be upset about. Annox is just naturally slower than you, so you should take some time, like me, and learn from the world that we get to see. So far I think I’ve seen several rare plants, new kinds of rocks, and…”

    Annox finally caught up and interrupted Hurdy. “Hey, it looks like I’ve caught up now, but why have you guys stopped? Are we going to take a break?”

    Draconis let out a sigh, and continued on at a slow pace. “Oh, it’s nothing Annox. Just come along.”

    During the days of their travels, Draconis, Annox, and Hurdy had left the jungle after the first day. They moved across some grasslands, the wind blowing gently through the grasses as they passed. Now they found themselves in a forest. Leafy trees and many bushes grew around them, and to the side of the forest was the mountain range that they were supposed to follow until it ended.

    Hurdy had the map out again, making sure they were following the route. “Interesting, it says that there are several human kingdoms up ahead, but it also shows that if we continue going through this forest, we will go between the two nearest ones. The southernmost kingdom is called Farna, and it appears to be a small kingdom near the coast. To the north is the larger kingdom of Alagarde. Forde also has drawn many other kingdoms to the north and the west, so it looks like we’ll be in human lands for quite some time.”

    Annox froze up for a brief moment. “Wait, human lands? Didn’t the message say they capture pokemon? It sounds a little scary to me.”

    The flame on the tip of Draconis’s tail seemed to flare up. “I’m ready to face anything. Bring it on! Humans will never be able to capture us with me around!”

    Hurdy continued examining their route. “We shouldn’t even see any humans as long as we keep going the way we are. I’ve learned that humans usually stay near their homes, and none of those will be in the forest.”

    As they continued on, Annox still had some fears, but felt better after remembering all that Hurdy had studied on many subjects. Soon enough, it was time for lunch. As they moved along, they had just been gathering berries and other food from their surroundings. Draconis sat down on the mossy ground near a stream. “Well, it is time for lunch. I think it is time for Annox to get the food, since me and Hurdy have gotten it every time before this.”

    “I agree,” Hurdy stated. “Annox should also do his part, and since he has more experience and skill with plants than either of us, Annox is the perfect person to search for berries or fruit.”

    Annox had known that he would have to get the food eventually. “Okay, I guess it is my turn, but if I get the food can we have a longer break than usual before starting after lunch? I always like to take a small nap after lunch, but you two haven’t let me as we’ve been traveling.”

    Draconis finished getting a drink from the stream. “If you find good food, we’ll take a longer break just for you. And by good food, I mean lots of it, so you’d better get searching.”

    Annox did exactly as told and took a small pouch from their supplies to gather food with. He followed the stream, where he knew plants usually would be found. Unfortunately, only moss and large trees seemed to grow near the stream. Eventually the stream meandered through a small clearing, and Annox could see many berry-laden bushes ahead.

    Annox entered the clearing and started loading the delicious berries off of a bush into his pouch. As he grabbed the last of the berries from this particular bush, he looked around to decide which bush to go to next. Suddenly, he smelled the scent of many fruit coming from the center of the clearing. In the center was a pile of what looked to be the juiciest and best fruit Annox had ever saw on a patch of dirt.

    Annox’s mouth began to water as he happily bounded over to the pile of fruit, but as soon as he jumped on the patch of dirt, an odd cracking sound came from below him. The patch of dirt with the fruit collapsed into a pit in the ground. Annox shook the dirt from the leaves growing from the top of his head, confused at what had just happened.

    Annox had fallen into some trap, and realized that the fruit wasn’t natural. Annox still wanted the fruit, and put it in his pouch as he yelled out for help. The pit was too deep for him to get out of, with steep dirt walls that crumbled when he tried to climb them. Annox yelled all the louder, hoping that Hurdy would have a plan to get him out.

    To Annox’s dismay, his calls for help brought the dreaded humans. They wore thick brown clothes, and had on thick leather gloves. At first two gazed down into the pit, but a third one who seemed to be the leader approached. The leader had brown beard and dirty face.

    “Well, look here! A young Turtwig,” the boss began. “Lasrev will be pleased when we bring in this one. You two put him in a cage.”

    Meanwhile, Draconis and Hurdy had heard Annox’s calls for help. At the edge of the clearing they watched as the three humans surrounded the trap. The humans had a Houndour, an Exeggcute, and a Stantler with them.

    “Come on, let’s go help Annox,” Draconis whispered.

    “I don’t think we can take on all of them, especially the Stantler,” replied Hurdy.

    “Come on, I’ll take out the Exeggcute, you take out the Houdour, and then we can both fight the Stantler.”

    “I’m still not so certain. We should just wait and free him later when they aren’t looking.”

    Just at that moment, the humans tried to get Annox. One reached down into the pit, but Annox fiercely bit down on his hand. Annox then unleashed a razor leaf, which cut the man’s arm which he had blocked his face with.

    “Looks like it will put up a bit of a fight after all!” laughed the boss. “Use your Houndour to weaken it.”

    One of the two lackeys cracked his whip while ordering the Houndour to attack. Just then, Draconis ran from the bushes and hit the Exeggcute with a flamethrower, which knocked it out.

    “Oh, our lucky day, another one for us to get!” The boss shouted as he cast a net over Draconis.

    As Draconis tried to get free of the net, the Stantler tackled him. Houndour also fulfilled its orders and used a flamethrower on Annox. The attacks stunned both of them, and before they could recover, the men quickly shoved them into small cages.

    “I told him not to go, but he did anyway,” Hurdy whispered to himself in the bushes. “I’ll just have to wait and free them when I get the chance.”

    The boss and two lackeys started carrying the two cages holding Draconis and Annox away from the clearing, but suddenly a Flygon carrying a young man landed, blocking their path.

    Prince Leon aimed his bow at the boss. “My father may have added your group to his kingdom, but I’m no longer a part of that. Release those pokemon or you die!”

    “Even if you are prince, you talk big for a boy,” the boss taunted. “We’ll show you!”

    Leon released his arrow, which hit the leader in his shoulder. Elomir unleashed his dragonbreath attack, which hit the charging Stantler. Only Houndour was left, and as it prepared to use a flamethrower on the two, a blast of water took it out from behind.

    The boss clutched the arrow sticking out of his shoulder. “If any of the Crows see you again, you’re dead meat. You’re lucky we’re just a small hunting group, or else you would have lost.”

    The Crows released Draconis and Annox from the cages and took off quickly after their defeat. Hurdy came out of the bush that he had used water gun from, and ran to his friends.

    “Well, that turned out alright, thanks to whoever they are. Next time we should follow my plan,” Hurdy stated to Draconis.

    Annox seemed filled with joy to be free. “Those terrible humans would have had me if you hadn’t come. This new one also doesn’t seem so bad. Oh, I also got lots of food.”

    “We would have been happy just to have you back safely,” Draconis answered. “But if you managed to find food, that’s even better!”

    Hurdy had turned his attention to the prince and the Flygon. “I wonder who they are. They did help us, so we should go thank them.”

    The three approached Elomir and Leon and bowed in gratitude.

    “Hello, young pokemon of the forest,” Elomir stated. “Your gratitude is appreciated. I didn’t think wild pokemon like you had any manners, but you’ve proven otherwise. I am Elomir, a royal pokemon. I serve the great Prince Leon who is currently riding on my back.”

    Hurdy couldn’t resist this opportunity to ask some questions. “Hello, Elomir. I’m Hurdy, and these two are Draconis and Annox. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?”

    “No, that would be fine. I can spare a little time for wild pokemon like you.”

    “Great! Now, do humans generally live in peace and happiness with pokemon?”

    “Yes, only the villainous group known as the Crows tries to capture pokemon.”

    “The books were right, then! Okay, I have just one more question. Do any of the humans understand you?”

    “Prince Leon understands my feelings, but not my words. There was a strange man in a green cloak that seemed to be able to hear what I said, but he only would pass through the kingdom from time to time. Now, I’ve had enough of your questions, little Mudkip. How about you answer mine?”

    “I suppose it is only fair. Ask away.”

    “You three don’t seem like usual wild pokemon. You have some small pouches made by humans. Where are you from and where did you get those pouches?”

    “We’re from Relic Academy. We got these pouches from a man named Forde, who is probably the man with the green cloak that you saw before. We are currently delivering a message for him.”

    “Relic Academy? You aren’t just the simple wild pokemon I took you for. Well, I must be off now, but I wish you luck on your journey.”

    Elomir launched himself and Prince Leon into the sky. “Well, I hope you warned those pokemon to avoid such traps in the future, Elomir,” Leon stated. “I wish I knew what you pokemon were saying. I’ve heard that there once was devices that translated between humans and pokemon, but now they are some of the most rare and valuable devices in the world. Perhaps we might find one, but we need to head to Farna, first.”

    Back on the ground, the three had moved into the safety of the forest as they ate their lunch. The fruit used in the trap was some of the best they had ever had, and so they all ate until they could eat no longer.

    “Did you notice how that Flygon said wild pokemon?” Draconis commented. “It was as if we weren’t as good as a royal pokemon like him, since we don’t serve some human.”

    “He seems to have lot of pride in his friendship with that human,” explained Hurdy. “Royalty among humans also is important in their society, so that Flygon must have picked up some of their attitude by being among them.”

    Just as promised, the three took a longer break than usual, and Annox got to take his nap. Draconis and Hurdy chatted about their journey, and what precautions to take to avoid traps in the future. They were about half-way there, but with all the humans around, they would have to take their time and be more cautious.

    --------------------------------------------


    Okay, another chapter for everyone that is reading this. Am I releasing them too fast? I was thinking of putting up another one Sunday. I also should be able to write chapter 20 sometime soon, but it will be a while before the story catches up to my writing.
     
  6. Chareon

    Chareon -blinkblink-

    So. To start off with, hello! I'm Chareon. xP


    So far, you have a wonderful and intriguing plot, with lots of small mysteries, a nice-sized conflict, and many characters with so far well-developed personalities. Oh, and your descriptions of characters are great, too. ^.^

    Your descriptions are beautiful, good job on those. One thing that seems to grate on me as I read, however, is that your dialogue is missing something. It gets the point across - but that's it.

    Example:

    That line made me read it twice before I was sure if what I was reading is what you meant to be saying. If I interpret correctly, you are trying to give Hurdy a feel of almost nerdy-ness by making him speak in perfect and correct grammar and such? Perhaps this could still be better worded, however.
    Maybe that's not the best wording, and sorry if that looks like it went through a meatgrinder, but do you see what I mean? A lot of the characters seem to speak very formally, and it gives the fic an overall choppy feel, especially when people are talking.

    Ooh! Any fic involving those two gets an extra brownie point from me. (brownie points can be exchanged at any time for brownies) xP
    I can't wait to see how it turns out for the young ones, and what Mew's and Mewtwo's personalities are like.

    Ooooh, gotcha! I was beginning to wonder why the heck Prince-boy's father was so quick to banish him for a simple disagreement. I'd given Leon a bit of credit for disagreeing to begin with - Pokemon are friends, not slaves - but I was quite confused until here. Nice plot twist. ^^


    One more bit of advice / crit / whatnot, though. I realize you want to catch up to where you are in regards to writing your fanfiction, but I highly caution you against posting chapters so fast. It's daunting to think of reading three chapters at once, let alone all nineteen, so if you want any more reviewer, perhaps wait a few weeks in between?
    But for now, you've got me! (or are stuck with me, whichever seems most fitting. xP)

    And... That's all I've got for now. xD
    If you have a PM list, could you please add me? I'd love to keep reading.
    Great job!

    ;196; ~Chareon
     
  7. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 4: Voyage

    Prince Leon held tight to Elomir as they prepared to land. The thatched roofs and cobblestone paths of the village grew larger as they descended. They came to the ground right in front of the castle, startling a few of the townspeople.

    “Hault!” shouted a guard.

    A few guards surrounded Leon and Elomir, but remembered who they were. They placed their spears at ease.

    “Greetings, Prince Leon of Alagarde!” the captain greeted. “What brings you to Farna?”

    Leon dismounted from Elomir. “I’m afraid I have some bad news, and I wish to speak with King Willis.”

    “Very well, come with me. Food and water for your pokemon can be found at the stables, if you so desire.”

    Leon followed the captain, and Elomir went to the stables. The stables held a few horses, but also housed the pokemon of the Farna’s army. The pokemon were all healthy and some of them seemed to be well trained, much like Alagarde’s own army. Elomir sat down on a soft pile of hay, but soon one of the workers came by with the food and water that was promised.

    Elomir eagerly drained the bucket of water, and began eating the meat, apples, and oats that had been brought for him. Elomir finished off the rough food, which certainly wasn’t what he would have got back home, and then headed out to the castle courtyard to wait for Leon. After a few minutes, the courtyard seemed uneventful, so Elomir flew up to the castle wall. The wind changed direction, bringing in the salty sea air from Farna’s port which was a few miles to the south. Between the castle and the port was the homes of the commoners, who mostly were all out in the fields at the time. Down at the port, a few ships were docked, and one looked like it was being loaded with cargo.

    “Elomir, are you ready to go?” Leon shouted from below.

    Elomir turned and jumped down from the wall and glided down to the courtyard. Leon seemed anxious to go, and jumped up on his back.

    King Willis came out to bid them both farewell. King Willis was a young king, in his twenties. He had recently taken the throne, and wore black vest over his white shirt. His blonde hair caught the sunlight as he walked towards the two.

    “A final farewell to you both,” he began. “I thank you for this news, and have already sent word that you will be going with the departing ship. It will be leaving shortly, so you had best fly quickly.”

    Leon said his farewell, and then urged Elomir to take off.

    Leon steadied himself before telling Elomir of his plans. “I told King Willis about my father’s plans, so he won’t be unprepared. King Willis also told me a bit about the man we are looking for. His name is Forde, and acts as an informant and advisor to kings. Willis has spoken to him a few times and followed his advice, and so far it has helped trade and peace prosper. Willis also told me that Forde had recently went on a ship heading to Rockport, so we’ll be heading that way as well. The ship is almost to leave port, so let’s go.”

    Elomir beat his wings to head down to the port as quickly as possible. He landed on the docks, with his claws digging into the wood. They found the ship quickly enough. It was a weathered old merchant ship, filled with cargo. The captain welcomed Leon aboard, since he had received the kings message. The captain was an old sea dog, and had plenty of scars and a large black beard. Perched beside him was his Wingull.

    As he began speaking, it was obvious the captain was missing a few teeth. “Ahoy, Prince Leon, I‘m Captain Tark! We just got the word that you’d be joining us. My employer would like to see ya. He’s in his quarters.”

    The captain took his place at the helm and began yelling orders at the other sailors. The ship began the first steps on its voyage. Prince Leon and Elomir entered the door that the captain had pointed to, and found a thin man pouring over maps, charts, and papers. The man had blue hair, and wore a collared blue shirt with silver buttons. In the corner, on a golden colored pillow, slept a Jigglypuff.

    The man extended a hand, and Leon shook it. “Pleased to meet you, I’m Mellano, a merchant. I own this ship, which is called the Windcatcher. I travel the world, trading goods and making quite large amounts of profit. King Willis paid nicely for your passage, so I’ll show you to your quarters.”

    Mellano led Leon and Elomir below deck to a room near the head of the ship. It was small, but had enough room for the two to be comfortable. Mellano headed back to his own room, while Leon put their supplies in the room. Elomir disliked the close confines of the ship, and also headed back up to the deck. He perched at the head of the ship, and Captain Tark’s Wingull soon flew up.

    “’Ello mate! Pleasure to meet a strong pokemon like you. You’re friends with that prince on board, right?”

    Elomir kept looking out over the waves. “Yes, Prince Leon and I have known each other a long time. He is the greatest human I’ve ever met. Now do you have anything important to say, or are you just here for small talk?”

    “I was just was being friendly. You don’t need to be so uptight. Talking helps pass the time, and you’ll soon see that you have a lot of that while we sail. You look like you never sailed before.”

    “You’re right, but it doesn’t matter. Don’t you have something you are supposed to do?”

    “I see that you don’t want to be friendly, and I should get to my scouting duties. I’m always on the lookout for problems like storms and pirates.”

    Later on Leon came and looked out over the sea next to Elomir. Before long, the sun sank and the stars filled the sky. Both of them headed down to their quarters, and turned in for the night.

    The next morning, fog covered the sea. The ship slowly moved along, and a strange stillness filled the air. Suddenly, a ship appeared out of the fog, and the alarm was shouted.

    “Pirates!” was the alert yelled by the sailors, back and forth.

    The ship came up next to the Windcatcher, and the pirates began boarding. Captain Tark stood with a large axe in his hands, ready to fight off the enemies. Prince Leon readied his bow, and stood beside him.

    The captain chuckled. “I didn’t expect a noble like you to dirty his hands in battle, but you hold your bow well.”

    Prince Leon picked off a few pirates with his bow. The captain also traded blows with a few, but was far stronger than them. A Tentacruel that belonged to the pirates climbed up the side of the ship. Wingull hit it with a wing attack, but was swatted to the deck by its tentacles.

    The captain ran to check on his injured pokemon. Wingull was not seriously hurt, but it was obvious that the Tentacruel was much stronger than Wingull.

    The pirates saw the defeat of the Wingull, and were pleased. “Give up, and we’ll spare your lives!” shouted the pirates. “You have nothing that can defeat our Tentacruel!”

    At that moment, Elomir swooped down and hit the Tentacruel with a dragonbreath attack. The Tentacruel moaned a little from the attack, and shot a water gun at Elomir. The water pushed him to the deck, but Elomir recovered and used sand tomb. The wind started blowing, clearing the fog away, and sand started to cover the Tentacruel. As it lost the ability to move, it unleashed a hydro pump in desperation at Elomir. The sand tomb finished and defeated the Tentacruel, but the hydro pump had knocked Elomir overboard into the water.

    With their Tentacruel defeated, the pirates retreated. Leon rushed over to the other side of the ship, looking for Elomir.

    “Elomir! Where are you?” Leon shouted.

    After receiving no reply, Leon spotted Elomir, sputtering and struggling to keep afloat in the waves. Leon was about to dive in, but a strong hand on his shoulder stopped him.

    Captain Tark handed him a rope. “Take this, else we won’t be able to haul you back onboard.”

    Leon tied the rope around his waist, and then dived in the ocean. He quickly swam over to Elomir, and grabbed him. The captain and the other sailors pulled the two back onboard, and Elomir shook the water off.

    Prince Leon went to change into something dry, and Elomir stretched out in the sun to warm up. Elomir closed his eyes, but soon heard a familiar flapping.

    Wingull perched on the railing near Elomir. “At least you fight a lot better than you swim!”

    Elomir growled. “Do I look like the type to swim? Pokemon like me live in the desert, where water is hard to find.”

    “You’d better not fall in again, then. We still have quite a few more days before we get there.”

    Wingull flew away, while Elomir recovered from the fear of almost drowning. The sun was warm, and soon Elomir was asleep. Leon had come back on deck, and sat next to Elomir.

    “I’ve never been so worried,” Leon whispered. “When I saw you struggling in the water, I never have felt the fear and urgency as then. I’ll have to protect you, even though it is you who protects me most of the time.”

    A few more days passed on the boat, but they avoided any more pirates. The weather stayed calm, and soon the city of Rockport was before them.
     
  8. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth


    I agree that the dialog in these early chapters isn't as good as it could be. Dialog is probably still my weak point, but I think I improved it over time. I still do want to catch up, but I do agree that I probably went a bit fast. How about this rule: you get one chapter a week and a bonus one whenever I write a new chapter (which probably means two per week). Chapter 4 is the bonus one you all get because I finished writing chapter 20.

    I probably should also do a PM list, so I'll make one and add you as the first one. Maybe I should add anyone else who posts unless they say otherwise.
     
  9. Chareon

    Chareon -blinkblink-

    o_O
    This was the only fault I could find. This seems a little bit obscure, for a man and a huge Flygon, big enough to be flown on, to just be hauled up like that? Maybe you could elaborate on how the Captain got all the hands to haul on the rope after Leon tied it around Elomir's stomach? That way it would seem more realistic?

    Other than that, nice chapter. The action was a little bit hurried-seeming, and the transitions between scene could use a bit of work, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. ^.^

    Hehehe, that's what I do, I feel so diabolical about it, too. xP

    Anyways, keep it up!
    ;196; ~Chareon
     
  10. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 5

    Chapter 5: God of Thunder

    The sun had barely arose, and the chill of night lingered in the air. Already Draconis and Hurdy were up, but Annox slept soundly. Ahead were the first large mountains they would have to cross, and around the tallest one, a dark cloud that shot out lightning continuously remained.

    “You’re holding up better than I thought you would,” complimented Draconis.

    “Having a fit body makes for a sharp mind, so I didn’t neglect my training while I studied,” Hurdy replied.

    “I’m not sure if Annox can hold up so well. He‘s sturdy enough, but he‘s lacking motivation.”

    “If his motivation is to see new lands as he said, then there should be no problem, Draconis. He doesn’t really seem the type to just want to leave to see new things, though. Perhaps he really has a deeper reason. Do you think we should try and find out more?”

    “If there is something else, it isn’t something he mentions, even to us. We’ll need to be careful. I think it’s time to wake him up now, anyway. Do you think some cold water would do the trick?”

    Hurdy grinned in agreement and shot a small amount of water into the air so that it fell, ice cold, on Annox. Annox slowly opened his eyes while a displeased look came over his face.

    “Morning already?” he yawned. “Guess I’ll eat quickly so we can be off.”

    The group was once again ready to head out. Today, they would be crossing the grasslands and then reach the mountains. After their usual small talk over the weather, the terrain, and such, Hurdy walked closer to Annox.

    “So, how are you feeling today, Annox?”

    “Good, I think I’m getting used to travel. I think I liked the forest a bit more, since we had more cover.”

    “But didn’t the forest work both ways? It gave both us and our enemies places to hide and ambush. Here on the plains it is a bit simpler. With all the open ground, we’ll know who’s coming, and they’ll know we’re coming.”

    “If you put it that way, then I guess I like this place, too.”

    “Annox, are enjoying seeing the new lands? Wasn’t that why you wanted to travel in the first place?”

    “I suppose that was more of an excuse. I really just didn’t want to be all alone when you guys left.”

    “Why? Has someone left you before?”

    “Um, well, isn’t that mount thunder ahead?”

    “That one with all the lightning? That is Mt. Thunder. I wonder if we’ll get to see Zapdos as we go by it.”

    Later, the group had stopped for lunch, and once again Hurdy and Draconis allowed Annox to doze off.

    “I tried to get him to open up,” Hurdy stated. “You heard. All that we know now is that seeing new things is just a small part of his reason. I think someone left him in the past, someone he looked up to or cared about. But who could that be?”

    Draconis shrugged. “Beats me. There have been too many pokemon that come and go from the academy to know. We’ve both known Annox the same amount of time, and whoever left Annox must have done it before we met him. I’ll try later, but I think we should just focus on moving forward with our mission.”

    Draconis went to wake up Annox, this time doing it a bit more gently than his usual style. Annox figured it was because Draconis was in his usual hurry to get moving. Soon they neared the mountains. Many bushes grew on the rocky ledges in the path they would be taking, and a small human village was near the base of Mt. Thunder.

    As the path narrowed, a slight rustle disturbed one of the bushes. Suspicious, the three went over to check it out.

    “Whoever you are,” Draconis began, “You can come out before I burn the bush down. You have 10 seconds to act.”

    Draconis began to count down, but just as he was about to reach zero, all the nearby bushes rustled a bit, and then both Draconis and Annox found themselves paralyzed.

    “Ah, Thunder Wave!” Hurdy gasped. “But who would be attacking us?”

    Hurdy wasted no more time and used mud sport, covering the narrow path in sticky mud. The attackers revealed themselves with their next move, as a few humans stood up. The humans wore white and black robes with lightning patterns and symbols on them. Alongside the humans were electric pokemon of all types. The electric pokemon surrounded the three, and an impressive Manectric stepped forward, his fur rippling slightly in the breeze.

    “Surrender, you three. The Charmander and Turtwig won’t be able to avoid our thunder wave attacks, and so with only one Mudkip, you can’t win.”

    Hurdy pondered the situation. “I guess I have no choice, but will you give me an explanation?”

    The Manectric obliged his request. “The god of thunder desires to meet with you before you continue. Why he wants to see such young and weak pokemon like yourself is beyond me, but you should consider yourselves lucky to get to be in his presence. Just follow along and don’t try to escape.”

    “Wait, I have one more question. What do you think of the humans you serve?”

    “We serve them out of friendship and loyalty, and also at the request of the god of thunder. He was the one who brought them here, and told us to look after them. Now come along.”

    Both Draconis and Annox recovered from their paralysis, and the three were then lead towards the mountain. The noise of thunder got louder and the flashes of lightning grew closer. Soon, they had reached the human village. There was a brief rest as the elder of the humans came to join the procession. He was balding with small amounts of grey hair on the sides of his head, but the robes he wore were the most notable thing about him. They were entirely white with lightning patterns made of pure gold and silver. He took the head of the group, and as they started up the mountain it transformed into a procession.

    Several of the humans carried baskets of food, which were probably going to be given to the god of thunder. Soon, the sun was gone, and still the group walked solemnly up the mountain paths, their way lit by the frequent flashes of lightning. Draconis tried to speak once, but received a warning shock from the Manectric, and was told to be silent.

    As they neared the top, the humans and electric pokemon began chanting.

    “Oh, great Zapdos, who guides us, let your knowledge light our way like your lightning brightens the night.”

    Once at the top, all were silent. The humans placed the baskets of food in a circle, and then proceeded to light six torches that were placed in a circular pattern as well. Suddenly, a massive lightning bolt hit the already blackened center of the circle, blinding everyone. Once they could see again, Zapdos, in all his splendor, was standing where the lightning had struck. His pointed yellow feathers matched the lightning, and his black feathers matched the dark sky. He gazed down at the group over his sharp orange beak.

    When Zapdos spoke, it was in both the speech of pokemon and of humans. “Kneel, humans and pokemon!” After this command was obeyed, Zapdos continued his speech. “Your sacrifice is pleasing to me. You may return to the village, but leave those three with me.”

    As they all stopped bowing, and looked up, Hurdy noticed that Zapdos had a small device strapped around one of his legs. It looked like some of the lost technology of the humans. Zapdos examined Draconis, Hurdy, and Annox, who were all too afraid to move. Zapdos examined the baskets, eating a few pieces of fruit and meat from one.

    “With supplies like yours, you must be working for Forde,” Zapdos began.

    “That is right,” Hurdy stated.

    “I saw you coming ever since you left the forest, and since I knew you are working with Forde, I’d see what the electronic man was up to. Now tell me your names.”

    Draconis was the first to introduce himself, but before anyone else could, Zapdos spoke once more. “Draconis, such a familiar name. It has been a long time since I met your ancestor, but you seem almost exactly like him. Luckily, you won’t have to fight me like he did. If I’m right, this Mudkip is also the descendant of Ben.”

    “Yes, you are right. My name is Hurdy.”

    “Well, your ancestor was one of the most interesting pokemon and humans around. Saving two worlds was no small feat, and perhaps you might get the chance to have a similar legacy, if the recent events are any indication. Now, what is your name, Turtwig?”

    “I’m Annox.”

    “Well, now that introductions are out of the way, I’ll let you each pick one fruit from the offerings while I explain what I want from you.”

    The three were happy to get some food after the long trip up the mountain, and thanked Zapdos for his hospitality. Zapdos wasted no time, and got straight to his demands.

    “Okay, here is what I want from you. The first is to explain what you are doing for Forde. The second is for you to deliver a message to Forde. Simple enough, right?”

    “Wait, I have a question,” Hurdy stated. “Well, actually two. First, what is the device on your leg? Second, why did you call Forde an electronic man? Isn’t electronic a word used to describe the lost technologies?”

    “If you had been questioning my demands, you would be a fool, but I can see you are sharp. You must have noticed how I can speak to the humans, and the device on my leg lets me do so. And the second question? I don’t think I’m going to answer that one. I really should have been more careful with my words.”

    Hurdy gave up on pressing the issue. “Now that you’ve answered my questions, I’ll answer your demands. Here is what we are delivering for Forde to Mewtwo.”

    Hurdy handed the letter to Zapdos, who quickly read it. “Mewtwo and Mew, I am sending this message since over the past few months I have seen several things that are concerning me. The plan is not going as it should, and the recent practice of humans capturing pokemon is evidence of this. Something is leading the humans in a different direction than mine, and I was hoping you might have some information on this. Sincerely, Forde.”

    Zapdos thought for a bit, but then continued speaking. “The letter seems to fit right in with my second request, since it is exactly the type of information Forde will be seeking. In fact, I think I’ll write him a letter of my own, so you three wait here, unless you want to incur my wrath.”

    Zapdos flew off for a few minutes, but soon returned with his letter for Forde. “Here is my letter. You can read it if you want.”

    Hurdy read the letter aloud. “Dear Forde, I found a group of humans without any memories, and so I decided to protect them and observe them. The device you gave me proved most helpful in this. None of them seemed to know anything, except an old man, who only remembered a short phrase. I think it the first two lines of a poem. Anyway, here it is:

    Lightning brings the cactus pain
    Now it all begins again

    Perhaps these lines hold some meaning to the mystery that has come up. Sincerely, The God of Thunder, Zapdos.”

    “Luckily, I have followers who can write well,” Zapdos explained. “If I tried to write it myself it would look like chicken-scratch. If you are wondering, I do take good care of my followers, but for a price. They bring me food, and in exchange, I direct them. Both they and I don’t have any clue to where they came from or what happened to them. By becoming their guidance and protection, I’ve taken on the role of a God to them. Just don’t tell Arceus, if you happen to meet him. He probably already knows, but just in case he doesn’t, don’t tell him.”

    “You don’t think we’ll actually meet Arceus, do you?” Hurdy asked in amazement.

    “When you’re working with Forde, it’s hard to tell where you will end up. He is more than a normal human.”

    “Has Forde met with every legendary pokemon? You all seem to know him,” Hurdy continued.

    “I would bet he has, but I’ve never asked him. Now, it is getting rather late, so if you continue down the path, there should be a cave after 5 or so switchbacks. You can stay there for the night.”

    The three went down the trail, weary from their long day. They arrived at the cave, which had some soft pillows that Zapdos must have got from the humans. With something as soft as pillows to sleep on, the three quickly were asleep, dreaming deeply.

    -----------------------------------------------


    Okay, there is the chapter of the week. I don't know when I'll post the next one, but I'm trying to spread them out a bit more. These early chapters are all pretty short.
     
  11. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 6

    Chapter 6: The Road Ahead

    The waves near Rockport were as rough as they usually were. This meant even a large boat such as the merchant vessel began to rock up and down in the turbulent sea.

    “Ha!” bellowed Captain Tark. “The sea here is as it always has been! Keep her steady men!”

    Prince Leon had adjusted to the rough sea after a few hours, and was now watching over Elomir. Elomir did not seem to be taking the rocking of the boat well, and he looked a bit greener than usual. Wingull seemed to notice the droop in both Elomir’s wings and his demeanor, because he flew up, being his usual peppy self.

    “I see the churning waves have you feeling down,” Wingull chirped.

    Elomir let off a moan. “I don’t think I can take this much longer. How does everyone else get used to it?”

    “Some of us are just born to be of the sea, while others are not.”

    At that moment, the captain whistled and Wingull flew back to him. The captain relayed a few short orders to Wingull, who then returned to Elomir’s side.

    “The Captain says we are almost to the port, and I am to take a message to secure us a dock ahead of time. If you want, you could come along.”

    Unfortunately, Wingull was a little to late to make Elomir feel better, and Elomir threw up bits of the raw fish he had been given for breakfast into the sea. Leon gave a look that asked if Elomir needed help. Elomir made a few motions until he conveyed that he was going to shore, and Leon nodded in agreement.

    Once in the sky, Elomir was feeling much better, and Wingull lazily glided ahead. Ahead, like clouds in the sky, billowed the many sails of the other boats that were docked at Rockport. Just beyond were marketplaces full of people, as well as several taverns. It seemed to be a beautiful city, until Elomir got a bit closer. The large bustling marketplaces had their fair share of shady characters and thieves, and Elomir could only guess what the taverns would be like. The air itself was dry and a bit dusty, and further from the coastline, past the other side of the city, a large desert spread to the horizon.

    Wingull flew down to the harbormaster, presenting the captain’s message to him. The harbormaster, who was the bureaucratic type, sent the orders for the reservations, and was relieved that the message had been sent in advance. He immediately got back to supervising the Machoke that were unloading a recent arrival.

    “Now that that’s done, I think it’s time to get back to the ship,” Wingull announced. Wingull rose into the sky a short ways, but looked back at Elomir, who remained on the ground.

    Wingull flew back down and perched next to Elomir. “I’m guessing that you don’t want to go back to the boat.”

    “I can see that this town isn’t perfect, but I think it is better than any boat. I’ve never been so glad to be on solid land.”

    “I think you just didn’t have enough time to get used to the beauty of the sea. I always want to return to the open ocean after a few days at even the best of ports.”

    “That’s why you’re a water type, and I’m ground. Almost complete opposites.”

    “I can see you’re much better, now that you’re on land. At least not as snappy anymore.”

    “The ocean was making me a bit nervous, so don’t take my past actions too seriously. Anyway, the boat is almost in, so why don’t we just wait?”

    “Okay, the view from the lighthouse should be great.”

    Elomir and Wingull both landed on the large stone lighthouse, and watched the ship slowly make its way into port. Elomir seemed to be empowered by the hot, sandy winds from the desert.

    Back on the ship, Prince Leon was packing. As he finished, he brought his bags up on deck, and went to thank Mellano, the owner of the ship. Mellano was in his quarters, planning what to trade in port. His Jigglypuff seemed to chasing after a ball that rolled around the room with the rocking of the boat.

    Mellano looked up from his work. “It was a pleasure to have you on board. If you see us again, you’re welcome on board for free, if you promise to defend us like you did.“

    “That is most gracious of you Mellano, and if our paths cross again, I just might take up that offer. Hopefully I’ll find what I’m looking for in Rockport.”

    “If you don’t find what you need in Rockport, I have some advice for you that I’ve heard from fellow travelers and merchants. If you are heading West from Rockport, then the only route is through the desert. The desert is harsh and caravans must go from oasis to oasis, and bandits are plentiful. Try to make sure you find a good caravan if you are going that route.”

    Just as Leon was about to say a final farewell, the captain strode through the door. “Mellano, we’re almost in port and will be docked shortly.” Captain Tark noticed that Leon was ready to leave, and so he shook Leon’s hand vigorously. “You’re a good lad, and you and your Flygon were amazing. Glad to have ya on board.”

    Leon gathered his things as the boat finished docking. “It was a comfortable voyage, thanks to your smooth sailing. I’m not sure Elomir would have the same opinion, though.”

    The three of them laughed, and Leon headed down into the town of Rockport. Elomir soon landed beside him, looking refreshed. Leon patted Elomir’s side and they set off to explore Rockport. The first place they went to was the central square. A bulletin board with various announcements was placed there, but nothing was there about Forde. They were about to move on, when a man in a ragged brown cloak approached. His clothes looked dirty, and it looked as if he hadn’t shaved in a few days.

    “If it’s information you want, then I’m your man, but it will cost you.”

    Leon sized up this dubious character, and turned to Elomir. After a brief moment, he decided that it would be the quickest way to find Forde.

    “Okay, I’m looking for someone. His name is Forde, and he would have arrived on a boat not too long ago. Will this be enough?”

    Leon handed several gold coins over to the man, and after seeing a greedy gleam in his eye, realized that he had probably paid too much.

    “Yes, it will certainly be enough. For this amount, I’ll try to get it in two hours, so meet me back here by then.”

    The man scurried off into a nearby alley, and Leon hoped that he hadn’t been scammed.

    “Elomir, try to keep a lookout from the skies to make sure he does his job. I’m going to go see what the marketplace has to offer. Meet me back here ten minutes before we are supposed to meet the man again.”

    Elomir took to the skies and rooftops, and quickly found the man. He visited the taverns, the barracks for the town guard, and the city hall. Along the way, Elomir noticed a few cutpurses, thieves, and other characters in the allies as well, but decided it was best to leave them alone. Soon, it was time to meet again, and the man started heading back to the town square, but Elomir had already gone ahead to meet Leon.

    Meanwhile, Leon looked around the marketplace to see what they had to offer. The normal trinkets and jewelry were there, and many a merchant begged him to see there wares. As he was passing through the food market, Leon noticed a man selling some spicy treats, so he bought one for himself and for Elomir. The spices here were much stronger than anything he had back home, and so he also had to stop for some water to soothe his burning tongue.

    At the bulletin board, Elomir was waiting and seemed to be a bit relieved after seeing that Leon was back.

    Leon handed Elomir the spicy food. “Here try this! I know that you like spicy food, so I got an extra one.”

    Elomir munched it down quickly, but the flame of it lingered long after in his mouth. He sniffed around to see if Leon had more, but did not sense anymore of it. A few minutes later, the scruffy man was back.

    “I’ve got your information. The man named Forde passed through here about 10 days ago. He went on through the desert, but the guards said that he went without any caravan, which either means he is crazy or very confident in his power. The desert is a dangerous place, even in a group. That’s all I have, and I thank you for your business, my wealthy friend.”

    The man quickly disappeared, and it was getting late in the afternoon. The hot wind from the desert blew over the city. Since they would be going through the desert, Leon bought the necessary supplies and checked on the caravan schedule. No caravans would be leaving this late in the afternoon, so Leon found a place for them to stay in a small, but well kept, inn.

    After a cheap but hearty meal, both Elomir and Leon went to sleep early to try and catch one of the early caravans. Meanwhile, the man from earlier had been watching them from the shadows. He knew that this young man had to have a good amount of money with him to be so free with it, so he gathered his friends and made a plan for that night.

    In the middle of the night, the faint creak of the door opening awakened Elomir. Several men came through in the shadows, and Elomir sprung at them. A Seviper lunged at him, but he dodged the attack, and slammed it into the wall with his dragon claw attack. He turned to see if Leon was awake. Leon had gotten up from his bed to face the men, but his bow was stored safely with his travel supplies. Elomir moved to defend him, but both were hit by a sleep powder from a Breloom.

    The man in the tattered brown cloak had little time to act after the commotion. “All this noise will have the guards here before too long. Quick, take the Flygon outside, and we’ll take this boy and his belonging out to the desert to see what valuables he has.”

    A few hours later, near dawn, Elomir awoke in the street outside the inn with a guard prodding at him.

    “The nerve of some people!” the guard muttered. “Leaving their pokemon sleeping in the middle of the street! Wake up, and get back to your owner.”

    Elomir rose to his feet, but was still groggy. An instant later, he remembered the night’s events. Looking around, he realized that he had just been dragged out the back door, and so he peered through the window. Nothing was in there, driving Elomir into panic. He launched into the sky, crying out for Leon, but heard and saw nothing. Leon and the men that had broken in were nowhere to be found. After a few hours of circling above the city, Elomir heard the faint sound of the whistle that Leon carried with him in case of trouble. Elomir listened for it again, but it seemed to be coming from far out in the desert. Elomir beat his wings ferociously, and the sound slowly grew louder as he flew over the first few miles of desert. Suddenly, the whistle grew silent, but Elomir had come close to its source, and continued onward as fast as his wings could carry him.

    -----------------------------------------------------
     
  12. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    If anyone feels so inclined, they can read the precursor story to this one at:

    http://www.fanfiction.net/secure/live_preview.php?storyid=3359777&chapter=1/

    Here's some info:
    Title: Darkness and Light: Between Two Worlds
    Synopsis: A story that continues a year after the PMD world was saved from destruction. It is the tale of the travels of Ben, Draconis, and the other companions they meet as they try to save the world from a new threat. The ancient past and the connections between the long separated worlds of humans and pokemon must be understood if this evil taking over the minds of pokemon is to be stopped.


    Reading this story is not required to understand anything in this story, but it does provide a little more background. I just thought I'd provide this information for any interested.

    Also, this story was my first fanfic and first attempt at more serious writing, so don't expect the quality to be as good as my story here.

    Posting here at Serebii is beginning to sound a little like talking to myself, so I would enjoy a shout out from any readers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2007
  13. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 7

    Chapter 7: Desperate Times

    After several more miles, Elomir was burning from flying at a frantic pace. Adrenaline and desperation drove him beyond his usual limits. The desert landscape seemed a blur, but Elomir began to slow down. Something on the horizon looked out of place, and it seemed like a group was gathered. Panting in exhaustion, Elomir pushed himself for this final stretch.

    The group seemed to be several green figures. They had to be pokemon. What they were gathered around Elomir still couldn’t see. As he prepared to land, Elomir noticed, with some relief, that the figures were other Flygon. The closest one turned to face him.

    “What has you in such a huff? It can’t be this human’s whistle, can it?” The Flygon asked. After a brief moment, Elomir could tell that this was a female Flygon, by both her scent and appearance. She and two out of the other four Flygon were larger than Elomir.

    “I’m looking for someone,” Elomir stated as he was catching his breath. “Could you kindly let me see who it is your group is surrounding.”

    “I might, but it would be rude if you didn’t introduce yourself, especially since I‘ve never seen you before.”

    “Fine. I’m Elomir.”

    “Oh, I wanted to hear a bit more than your name, but mine’s Allia. I’ll move aside now, but don’t think you’re done with introducing yourself yet!”

    Allia moved aside, and in the center of the circle the Flygon had made was Leon! Leon had been sitting on the ground with a surprised look on his face, but as he saw Elomir, he jumped up and hugged Elomir.

    “Elomir! I knew you would come, but I didn’t expect any other Flygon like this! Maybe they could give you directions or advice.”

    The other Flygon were all staring at Elomir now.

    Allia gave a strange look to Elomir. “Are you sure you should let it touch you like that? We don’t really like humans that much around here.”

    “This human is my lifelong friend, Leon. We’ve been friends for almost all of our lives. Now…”

    “Wait!” Allia interrupted. “I don’t care who your human friend is, but you never finished your introduction! We don’t allow fellow Flygon to remain strangers for long.”

    “I don’t remember where I am from exactly, since I think I was somehow separated from my parents. When I was a young Trapinch, I wandered around searching for someplace to call home, when Leon found me. After that I stayed in the Kingdom of Alagarde for 11 years, until Leon was exiled and I went with him.”

    “That’s better! Although I already told you my name, I am Allia, the leader of the desert Flygon.”

    “She appointed herself to that position,” grumbled one of the other Flygon.

    “Shut up, Yarlo!” shouted Allia. “Since you already interrupted, why don’t the rest of you introduce yourselves.”

    “I’m Yarlo,” stated the large Flygon.

    “I’m Urro,” stated the other large Flygon.

    “And we’re Palak and Malak,” stated the two smaller Flygon.

    “Those two are brothers,” Allia added.

    “I’ve never met another Flygon before now, so it is a pleasure to meet you all,” Elomir greeted.

    “Yeah, a pleasure, but I’m off,” Yarlo said.

    As Yarlo took off, Allia yelled after him. “Hey! I didn’t say you could go! Come back here!”

    Yarlo didn’t even turn his head back as he replied. “You may think you are the leader, but I don’t think so. I’m going back to my lair.”

    Allia yelled a bit more, but stopped as her efforts failed. As she had been focusing on Yarlo, both Palak and Malak had slipped away quickly.

    Urro gave a chuckle. “It seems as if the fun here is just about over. I think I’ll be off too, so long as the human doesn’t blow that annoying noisemaker again.”

    “I’ll take care of it, Urro, but you had better warn those three that they are going to get it the next time I see them,” Allia stated.

    Urro took off in a different direction than the others had gone, leaving only Elomir and Allia to talk, while Leon just sat next to Elomir, watching the whole situation.

    Allia let out a sigh. “They are all gone now, so now it is only you and me.”

    Allia seemed to take time to size up Elomir a bit more than before. “You look a bit younger than me, but you look like you can hold your own in battle. I also like your scales. They are much more smooth and shiny than anyone around here.”

    Elomir was confused for a second because of the shift in Allia’s attitude. “Uh, thank you. Leon takes good care of me. I used to train every day before this journey.”

    Allia started pacing slowly around Elomir, drawing a bit closer with each step. “Without those others, I can relax a bit more. Unlike them, you won’t try encroaching on my hunting territory if I don’t show a strong face, will you?”

    A new scent seemed to be in the air, making Elomir seem both a slight amount more excited and happy than he just was. “Um, no, but Allia, do you know a place where my human can get some water? Perhaps you could help us find the caravan route.”

    “I’ll do whatever I can to help a Flygon like you, but first we’ll need to go back to my lair. We can drop the human off at an oasis that is a short distance away from my home.”

    “It seems that you have found at least one friend,” Leon stated as they flew to the oasis. “Too bad we have to keep going if we are going to find answers. The journey is going to be pretty tough from now on. Those thieves took all my money, and then dumped me out here. They left me a warning that if they see me again in Rockport, they will kill me. I guess they don’t want to be reported. Fortunately, the money was enough for them, so I still have supplies and my bow. I guess we’ll just have to earn some money once we get to the next city.”

    Elomir listened and was relieved that Leon still wasn’t too bad off after the incident. After all, they could survive without money. Pokemon never needed it. Elomir and Allia landed, and Leon dismounted, and they all drank some of the cool water.

    “I wouldn’t want a human in my lair, so try to tell your friend that we’ll be leaving for a while, and that he should stay here,” Allia suggested.

    Leon got the meaning of it quickly, as Elomir tried to communicate with him. As Elomir turned to go, Leon studied Allia intently. It had taken him a bit longer than Elomir, but Leon had finally realized that Allia was a female Flygon. Leon easily noticed the intense, almost hungry looks Allia was giving to Elomir.

    “Elomir, you could just leave that human behind, and start a new life in the desert, living the rest of us Flygon,” Allia suggested.

    “If he hadn’t been such a good friend, I might be tempted by that offer, especially by one such as beautiful as you, Allia. Now, let’s go to your lair.”

    “Yes, my lair is just up in those cliffs. I’m sure you’ll love it.”

    The two Flygon were off, leaving Leon alone. Leon noticed the faint scent of pheromone and musk the two had started giving off once the other Flygon had left. To pass the time, he inventoried his remaining supplies. If they both had to eat the food, they would only last 4 days. If Elomir found his own food, then the supplies might last 8 to 10 days. To keep enough water between the scarce springs and oases, they would travel in the very early morning and evening.

    The inventory and planning only took up a short time, so Leon polished his bow, and then began skipping rocks. The shade near the water was nice, and so as after a small lunch, Leon relaxed there, but had soon dozed off.

    When the sun was nearing the final stretch of sky before touching the horizon, Leon awoke once again to the sound of Elomir landing. Elomir had a vacant and happy expression, and the smells that Leon had noticed earlier were much stronger on Elomir now.

    “I take it that you got plenty of advice and direction from that female Flygon?” Leon inquired. “You seem a bit distracted, though, and we may need our focus out here. You might also want to wash up a bit, since you smell.”

    Elomir splashed some water over himself, and after drying a bit, the two were off. They started to follow the caravan path, and after several hours, the temperature was dropping quickly after the sun had set.

    “We had better find a good place to rest,” Leon began. “Cacturne and a few other desert pokemon can be quite dangerous if they spot travelers that they think they can get. Let’s try and find somewhere safe, like the top of a rock formation or something.”

    Elomir quickly found such a spot, and landed in the middle of a bowl-shaped area at the top of some cliffs. Elomir quickly curled up and was asleep, even before Leon had unpacked the blankets.

    “After you went off with that Flygon, you seem a little different, Elomir. Is there anything you need from me?”

    Leon’s words went unheard, since Elomir was already asleep. Leon soon joined him.

    Over the next few days, the pair made their way along the caravan path. Unfortunately, they did not find any of the caravans, but had made due with their supplies. Food was scarce in the desert, so Elomir could not find anything to hunt or eat, so with only one day left of food if they ate full meals, they prepared for final stretch of desert.

    Leon studied the map as the sun began to rise. “There is one more oasis, so water won’t be a problem. We might have to eat less, though. This last part of the desert is supposed to take 4 days, and we only have 1 day of food left without severely rationing it, which we are going to have to do. I guess we will try to move swiftly, but that means it is all up to you.”

    Elomir was also worried. The constant flying each day was tiring, and with less food, it would be even worse. It was too late to turn back, so they would have to make it.

    The first day, they made steady progress. They ate one-third of their remaining food, which left both of them feeling hungry the next morning. The second day, they ate another third, and arrived at the oasis, and settled there for the night. Their rest was interrupted when a massive sandstorm caught them asleep. The sand pelted Leon, and the wind stopped Elomir from flying. The storm kept up for three days, leaving them with no food. When it finally cleared, they both were starving, and knew it was still at least two days to go.

    “Elomir, this looks bad. We still are far from Eltanah, and our food is gone. Will you be able to continue flying on an empty stomach?”

    Elomir nodded a yes, and after being stuck in one place from the sandstorm, he was ready to fly again. They made good progress, but fell short of the distance Leon expected. As they went to sleep, Elomir’s wings burned, and he hoped that morning would renew their strength. The next day, Elomir continued flying, but needed breaks with increasing frequency. More and more strength seemed to drain from his wings each time, until he could barely hold up himself and Leon.

    After two days of no food, they had also ran out of the water they carried from the oasis.

    “Elomir, I know you will keep on trying to fly me until you can no longer lift yourself, but I think we both need to walk now. We should be to Eltanah soon, so even with the slow speed of walking, we can make it.”

    Elomir agreed, and the two continued. Without water, moving was even harder, and it was a struggle to move each foot. They stopped to rest during the hottest time of the day, and a short time later, the city of Eltanah was in sight. To the desperate Leon and Elomir, the city was more precious than the gold that had been stolen from them. Water and food were only on the horizon, and so, not thinking clearly, they picked up their pace, despite the hot sun. Soon both were exhausted and light-headed, but the city was only a mile ahead. They pushed themselves to the last bit, but soon Leon had passed out. Elomir placed Leon on his back, and moved forward. At last, they were near the gates, and the last of Elomir’s strength finally gave out. It would be up to the guards of Eltanah to save the two fainted travelers now.
     
  14. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 8

    Notes: I think this may be the shortest chapter in the entire story.

    Chapter 8: Out of the Mountains and Into the Fire

    Hurdy pointed to where they were on the map. “According to this, we should be out of the mountains either today or tomorrow.”

    “And when has the mapped helped us as we were lost for two weeks?” Draconis asked as his tail flicked back and forth, as it does when he is perturbed. “And it didn’t point out the territories of wild pokemon that we keep running into and having to fight. I think I still have a bruise from those Geodude we fought two days ago.”

    Unlike Draconis, Annox perked up a bit from the news. “Does that mean we are almost to the plains?”

    “Yes, the great western plains,” Hurdy answered, folding up the map. “If we just follow this stream downwards, it will eventually lead us to the river, and then to our destination. I’m glad at least you are happy about it, Annox.”

    “Whatever, let’s go,” Draconis suggested.

    The three followed the clear mountain stream through the narrow canyon. The group ran into some wild pokemon from time to time, but these were just the passive kind, just stopping by the stream for a drink. Near the end of the day, the group finally saw what they were hoping for: Grasslands as far as the eye could see.

    “Next time, I’m asking for a better map,” teased Draconis.

    “It isn’t that bad, just too general for areas like these mountains,” Hurdy explained.

    Annox continued forward at a fast pace, surprising both Draconis and Hurdy. “Come on. We don’t have time for arguments now. We need to get to the grasslands.”

    “I haven’t seen you move this fast since I last made you really angry,” Draconis joked. “I guess I shouldn’t have put that sweet honey on your back, but it sure attracted a lot of unusual visitors.”

    “There is nothing funny about being chased by every Beedrill and Combee within a few miles! I never even got to get you back for that prank.”


    Draconis laughed at the memory. “You never get me back for half the things I’ve pulled on you. Perhaps you should be more alert, and then you wouldn’t be such an easy target for jokes.”

    The three now were in a joyful mood from remembering the antics between Draconis and Annox. This helped pass the time as the ground they passed over grew less steep and had less trees. Unfortunately, it also made them a little careless, or they would have spotted the trouble on the plains earlier.

    “Do you hear that?” Hurdy asked. “It sounds like a battle. We had better keep low until it ends.”

    “But we aren’t on either side, so why would they bother us?” Annox questioned.

    “War can do strange things to men and pokemon. Better not to get drawn into it.”

    The group moved carefully, staying in the tall grass near the stream, rather than the shorter grass that was covering most the plain. Their attempts to be stealthy were soon destroyed, when Draconis’s tail accidently burned some of the grass they were walking through, leaving a small wisp of smoke.

    Immediately, howls could be heard, and two Mightyena, followed by a human in black armor with red markings on it. The two Mightyena paused for a moment, seeing that the three pokemon did not belong to the enemy.

    Seeing the hesitancy of the pokemon, the human began to yell orders. “You two, attack them. We are supposed to attack anyone here that is not on our side. Remember the orders. We take no prisoners today.”

    The Mightyena ran at Hurdy, Draconis, and Annox, who now readied to defend themselves.

    “At least getting lost in the mountains made us stronger,” Hurdy mentioned to Draconis.

    “Focus on the battle, Hurdy!” Draconis snapped as he prepared to launch a flamethrower.

    The Mightyena were in range now, but managed to dodge the flamethrower, as well as a water gun and razor leaf. Draconis slashed at them when they got close enough, but the one Draconis attacked just pranced backwards as the other moved to get Draconis from behind. Hurdy was not going to let such a thing happen, and so he blasted the second with a water gun. Both Mightyena changed tactics to frontal assault, both of them pouncing at Draconis.

    Draconis let one have it with his sharp claws, but the other bit into his arm, and began to shake him viciously. Hurdy and Annox soon freed their friend by attacking the Mightyena, but this turned them into the next targets, since Draconis was less of a threat now. The two enemies circled Hurdy, and attacked simultaneously. Hurdy temporarily blinded one with a mud-shot, but the other bit him on the back leg and flung him up into the sky.

    Hurdy landed hard on his head and passed out, which enraged Draconis enough that he tried to battle again, despite his hurt arm. One of the Mightyena tackled him, leaving him sprawled out in the grass, unconscious. Now only Annox was left. He shot a leech seed onto one of the two before withdrawing into his shell. Unfortunately, the shell did not protect him all the way, so the Mightyena nipped the ends of his legs, until he had to try to drive them off. This left him open, and the Mightyena both tackled him.

    He skidded a ways, but managed to stay upright. He shot another razor leaf at the Mightyena. The leech seed gave Annox strength enough to defeat the one weakened by its effects with another razor leaf, but the other looked ready to kill as it charged Annox again. This time it caught Annox’s front leg in its sharp teeth, and began slamming the smaller Annox against the ground.

    With each blow everything seemed to go out of focus more, until Annox was knocked out. The Mightyena readied to finish off these three opponents for good, but a powerful vine whip knocked it down on its side. Growling, it got up, and saw that a Bayleef and one of the soldiers, in the green and blue armor of the enemy, had come from the main battle.

    The Bayleef launched another vine whip, which defeated the Mightyena. The two soldiers battled, and the one in green and blue struck a fatal blow with his spear. At this moment, Draconis had recovered enough to stand. He found both Hurdy and Annox unconscious, but they had no serious wounds. Before he could attend to his friends further, Draconis was interrupted by the Bayleef.

    The Bayleef looked like it had trained hard, and had a lean body. The emerald-green leaves around its neck and on top of its head looked razor sharp.

    “You don‘t look like you are with the enemy, the Rinn army, so what are you three doing here?” the female Bayleef demanded.

    “We were just passing through, and got caught up in this battle,” Draconis explained. “I’m Draconis, and my two friends, Hurdy and Annox, are still unconscious. Do you think you could help us?”

    The Bayleef had been scanning the area for more enemies, but had suddenly turned and given full attention near the end of Draconis’s request. “Did I just hear you say Annox?”

    “Yeah, he’s a Turtwig I’ve known for a few years.”

    The Bayleef seemed to get a wistful smile, and the soldier she came with noticed Draconis, Hurdy, and Annox. Bayleef did a few motions to signal that she wanted the fainted Hurdy and Annox to be taken back to the base. Draconis seemed a bit indignant when the human slung his two friends over his shoulders, but Bayleef blocked him with a vine.

    “You’ll be much safer back at our fort,” she explained. “At these borderlands, Rinn sends frequent groups to test our strength. They never remain in Midern for long, though, with our army around. With us you’ll be safe to recover from the battle.”

    Draconis followed the Bayleef and the soldier closely. They soon joined up with the rest of the company which consisted of a few other pokemon and soldiers. They all wore the blue and green colors of what Draconis guessed was the colors of the Midern army. All the pokemon looked like they had seen quite a few battles, and had the same leanness about them that Bayleef had. Soon, they were back at the fort, which was just a small fortification made of wood that provided a little bit of shelter and defense to those inside.

    At the fort, Bayleef approached a human female in a white uniform. She turned out to be a medic, and, after taking them to the infirmary, applied some medicine to the bites on Draconis, Hurdy, and Annox. She then laid the two fainted pokemon on some soft mats, and then left the room. She returned a moment later with bowls of food for the all the pokemon, and then left them to recover in peace.

    Draconis and the Bayleef ate their food, and as soon as they finished, Annox began to awaken. He slowly opened his eyes, but blinked a few times upon seeing Bayleef.

    “I don’t believe it!” Annox gasped in surprise. “Peoria!”

    Peoria, the Bayleef, responded with a knowing smile. “Yes, but I’ve evolved now, so I’m surprised you recognized me.”

    “I can’t believe that I found you! That was one of the reasons I came on this journey.”

    “So you three are on a journey? You’ll have to tell me about it.”
     
  15. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 9

    Chapter 9: Wanted

    Elomir awakened and opened his eyes. The room was dark, but below him he could feel a soft bed. He listened intently, and could hear the familiar sound of Leon’s breathing. It was calm and stable, and so Elomir knew that he was alright. Elomir felt hungry and thirsty, and yawned quietly as he sniffed around for food.

    His yawn brought a small girl into the room, carrying a candle. She looked to be about 10 years old, and had on the outfit of a nurse. She saw that the Flygon was up, and ran to tell her master.

    A few more minutes passed, and Elomir decided to remain on the bed, but now his head slumped over the side near the door, watching for the people to return. The girl returned, carrying a bucket of water and some food, while a lady accompanied her, also in medical attire. The woman seemed to be the head nurse of wherever they were, and held a lamp that lit the dark room.

    With the light, Elomir could see that he was in a small hospital, lined with several clean white beds. Leon was asleep and recovering in one of them. Elomir was given the food and water, and started to devour it.

    “Slow down!” came the sharp command of the woman. “You’ll make yourself sick if you go too fast.”

    Elomir obediently slowed down, and the nurse gave him a single pat on the head. “There, that’s better. You’re lucky that you got all the way to Eltanah. Some travelers are not so lucky. You seem to be fine, since you are a Flygon, after all, but your friend might take a day or two to recover. You still should get plenty of rest, so finish up, and we’ll check on you two in the morning.”

    Elomir ate and drank all they had brought him, and they left, leaving him to sleep in the darkness. Elomir still could not sleep immediately, like many recent nights. Instead, his thoughts turned to Allia and her offer, several days ago.

    * * *

    Elomir and Allia had just taken off into the warm desert wind, and reached Allia’s cave. It was a simple lair, with a sandy floor and bits of whatever treasures or items Allia had collected over the years on some shelf-like cavities in the rock.

    “Do you like it?” Allia asked.

    It wasn’t as nice as the castle, but it had a certain wild elegance to it in Elomir’s eyes. “Yes, it does seem like a perfect home for a Flygon.”

    Allia walked by, her tail brushing Elomir‘s as she did. “Actually with only one Flygon, it’s a bit large, and sometimes a bit cold. I‘m looking for someone to share it with.”

    “So you are alone then? What about the other Flygon?”

    “They all have their families and mates, but I don’t have either.”

    “It’s a shame a Flygon like you should be so lonely.”

    Allia had drawn close to Elomir, and was tickling him gently with her tail. “Elomir, you don’t have to go. Stay here with me and forget the silly humans. I need you more than they do.”

    Elomir felt like his mind was a bit fuzzy. He couldn’t think straight, and tried to stammer out a reply. “I w-would love to, b-but…”

    “Don’t make excuses, please just stay here with me. I love you. Please stay.”

    Maybe it was her scent or her offer, but Elomir was feeling like he had the brain of a Magikarp at the moment. It was all so sudden, and Elomir felt faint-hearted. He needed time to think, and so he left the cave without even a goodbye.

    “No, don’t go!” Allia cried after him.

    Elomir flew higher and higher as he tried to calm down. At first he was trembling and his heart was racing, but it slowly returned to normal. He also decided firmly against staying here as long as Leon needed him, but he also didn’t want to leave Allia hurt and bitter. By the time he had thought it all through, he was up in the clouds, but dived back down to the cave.

    “Thanks goodness you‘re back! Sorry for putting such pressure on you,” Allia apologized.

    “Allia, this was difficult, but I’ve made my choice.”

    “Are you staying here?”

    “I may come back someday, but for now I have to stick with my friend. Leaving him would be leaving most of my heart. You may accompany me as I leave, if you wish, and I shall look for any way to return again someday.”

    Allia seemed a bit crestfallen, but didn’t press the matter anymore. “Farewell, then. You’d better be quick about returning, if you want the spot to still be open. I‘ll be waiting here until then.”

    “I understand, and am sorry that I can’t stay.”

    Allia remained in her cave as Elomir went to rejoin Leon.

    * * *

    Elomir had been replaying the scene in his head many times since it had happened. Elomir now had a growing desire to return to Allia, which was deflating his resolve to be on this journey with Leon. He struggled with these thoughts a bit more, but soon it all faded into his dreams.

    Leon woke up early the next morning, and found the food that had been laid out for him. He ate slowly and sipped at the water, and when he was done with the meal, he felt like himself again. Elomir was still asleep, and looked like he was having a pleasant dream.

    Not wanting to wake his friend quite yet, Leon got up slowly from the bed and stretched. He refilled his water from a bucket, but a middle-aged lady entered the room.

    “Did I make it to Eltanah?” Leon asked in a whisper. “Who are you and where am I?”

    “You are in the small hospital in Eltanah where we take care of travelers. The desert takes a lot out of them, and many end up like you or worse when they aren’t prepared.”

    “Thank you for taking care of me and my Flygon. Has he woken up yet?”

    “Yeah, he woke up last night, and we gave him some food and water.”

    “I’d better wake him up and then we’ll be off.”

    “That’s fine, but I would advise against heavy traveling until you’ve both rested another day. You should stay and see Eltanah.”

    “I think I’ll do that. The person I’m looking for might be around here anyway.”

    Leon prodded Elomir, who stirred, and upon seeing Leon awake, gave him a lick on the hand. Elomir then ate his food as quickly as the nurse would allow, and then the two set off after thanking their caretakers.

    Stepping outside, Elomir and Leon were astonished. The city of Eltanah, far larger than any town they had been in, surrounded them. Many people walked down the streets. The guards and their pokemon looked like they would be a match for most the soldiers back at Alagarde. The soldiers all wore the orange and yellow colors of the Eltanah empire.

    “I wonder how they get enough water for all these people,” Leon stated to Elomir.

    They walked down to the market district, but as soon as they got there, Leon remembered that all his money had been stolen.

    Leon shared his trouble with Elomir. “It looks like we’ll have to get a job or run errands or something, because we have no money. We really need more food and supplies.”

    They both headed to the message board, where they might find a job that someone had posted there. Before they could even look, the large and recent wanted poster in the center of the board stole all their attention.

    On the wanted poster was the sketch of a man with brown hair and a green cloak. To the side were pictures of an Espeon and Pachirisu that had been seen with him. On the bottom it read: “Wanted: Forde. Reward: 50,000” There was also a brief description of the man, and his crimes. The crime he was wanted for was treason.

    Leon took a minute to take this in. “Elomir, how are we going to find Forde if he’s a criminal?”

    A man who had been leaning on a wall nearby took interest in Leon. He had a black, wide-brimmed hat on over his medium-length black hair. His clothes were either black or dark blue. Sitting on the wall above him was a Lucario. The blue, black, and white fox-like pokemon hopped to the ground and landed on his two feet and stayed by the man’s side.

    The man spoke in a smooth voice that immediately got Leon’s attention. “It’s dangerous to mention the name of Forde here, especially around the guards. Why are you looking for him?”

    “I need his help.”

    “Help with what?”

    “It’s a complicated matter, but it has to do with my father.”

    “And who is your father?”

    Leon now whispered to Elomir. “Do you think we should trust him? Last time we talked with a shady man near the message board we got robbed. Why not ask his pokemon about him?”

    Elomir turned to the Lucario. “Hello, might I ask if your friend here is a good man?”

    Lucario turned his nose up at such a question. “Of course he’s a good man. A Lucario will never work with anyone who is unjust.”

    Elomir gave Leon a nod to signal that he should trust this man, and so Leon revealed his secret. “My father is King Desmond of Alagarde. Unfortunately, I was banished from the kingdom and then robbed in the desert, so I need to get some money before I search for Forde again.”

    “Money and supplies, we can get you. If you want to find Forde, come with me.”

    “But who are you?”

    “I’ll tell you once we get to the hideout. Just follow along.”

    Leon and Elomir followed the man and the Lucario down the street packed with small houses. Soon, they were back near the city center, where stone buildings took the place of smaller, wooden ones. It was here that Leon finally got to see where the town got its water. Around the plaza were several springs, and all the water flowed West, away from the desert. Some of the springs had hot steam billowing from them, while others looked cool and clear.

    The man led them into a dead end where a boiling spring was contained by three stone walls. The man glanced behind them, making sure no one was watching closely, and started to shuffle carefully across a narrow ledge that went over the boiling water. The man pressed something on the side of the wall, and a small opening appeared that he stepped into.

    “Quickly, in here,” the man commanded.

    The Lucario went next, showing off a bit as he calmly walked along the six-inch wide ledge, as if it were a sidewalk. Elomir flew through the steam, but yelped in pain as the tip of his foot dipped briefly into the water. He squeezed quickly through the opening. Leon was the last, and he edged his way to the others. From the heat the water was giving off, Leon could tell it was burning hot, and felt sorry for Elomir, and made his way across safely.

    The man closed the opening, but the lit torches revealed a hallway that led downwards. Elomir was sucking on his burned foot, and the Lucario seemed to be chuckling at the Flygon’s misfortune.

    The man extended his hand, and Leon shook it. “Sorry about your Flygon, but he’ll be all right. I’m Corvon.”

    “Why did we have to come to such a secret place?”

    “You wanted to meet Forde, right? Then you’ll see why I brought you here as soon as we get to the end of this hallway.”

    They walked down the dim stone hallway, but for Elomir it was more of a limp to avoid using the burnt part of his foot. At the end of the hallway was a brightly lit room, despite there being no windows. Glowing glass orbs lit the room, powered by some unseen source.

    Leon was amazed. “Is this electricity? My father used to talk about it, but I didn’t pay much attention.”

    A new voice answered. “It seems that Corvon has brought me an observant young man. I got word that someone was following me from my informants, and so I wanted to meet him. Now, will you tell me your story?”

    Leon turned to the speaker, and couldn’t believe what he saw. The same man from the wanted poster, the one he had been looking for, was sitting in a chair at the end of the table. A Pachirisu sat on his shoulder, and an Espeon was laying on the table next to the man in the green cloak, confirming the man’s identity.

    Leon suddenly felt nervous. “Are you Forde?”

    “I am.”
     
  16. FocusPresenceEndurance

    FocusPresenceEndurance Aspiring Author

    Hey! I remember reading that chapter! It really got me excited when Leon finally met up with Forde. And I really appreciated the Sir Aaron cameo you had too.

    I'm looking forward to when you finally catch up and start posting new chapters.
     
  17. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Yeah, it is fairly obvious that Corvon is based on Sir Aaron. And you are right that Leon meeting Forde is quite a significant event.

    Perhaps you could be a beta reader for my latest chapters? It might be nice to have a person that reads and gives me their thoughts on the future chapters, even if they won't be posted here for some time. I'll PM you to see if you are interested.
     
  18. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 10

    Chapter 10: Annox’s Decision​


    Draconis thought for a moment about where to begin the story. “Well, Peoria, the three of us are on a journey for a man named Forde. Forde isn’t like most humans. He understands pokemon and can talk to us.”

    “Wait, I’ll tell the story,” Annox interrupted.

    Draconis thought this seemed more assertive than Annox normally was, but let him have his way, since he seemed to know Peoria.

    Annox continued the tale. “The three of us were living at the Ruins Academy, and Forde would visit from time to time. This last time, he said that the humans had begun to capture pokemon for their battles, and that he needed a message delivered to Mewtwo and Mew.”

    “I heard rumors about people in the Eastern kingdoms using such methods, but the armies here all use the old way of befriending pokemon,” Peoria added. “Still, battles are frequent, and the kingdom of Rinn to the Northeast has been sending more forces here than usual. Anyways, get back to the story.”

    “Okay. After the three of us accepted this mission, we set off using a map that Forde gave us. We traveled North between two of the human kingdoms, but ran into a trap. Some humans, known as the Crows, tried to capture us, but a prince and his Flygon came to rescue us.”

    “Do you know which kingdom the prince was from?” Peoria asked.

    “I don’t remember.”

    “His name was Leon, and I think he was from Alagarde,” Hurdy stated as he opened his eyes. From his answer, it was apparent that he had been awake at least a little while.

    “Alagarde? That’s one of the small Eastern kingdoms. By the way, I’m Peoria.”

    Hurdy noticed the food and began to eat, which made Annox realize that he hadn’t eaten yet.

    “Draconis, you can tell the rest,” Annox stated as he examined his bowl of food.

    Draconis scratched his neck before beginning. “Our journey got even more exciting after that. The next thing that happened was that we found ourselves surrounded by electric pokemon, and then were taken to see Zapdos! Zapdos was massive and powerful, but proved to be kind. He also gave us a message to deliver to Forde. After that, we were lost in the mountains for a while, but then managed to find our way here.”

    “It sounds like you all have had an exciting adventure,” Peoria said.

    Annox paused from eating the food. “Why don’t you join us?”

    “Come now, Annox, you know why I didn’t go along to Relic Academy with your family.”

    “Yes. You wanted to become a warrior. Back then it seemed silly for such a cute Chikorita, but now that you are a Bayleef, you look the part. But it seems to me like you’ve already accomplished that goal, so why not come?”

    “I’ve become a powerful warrior, but along the way, I’ve learned things that keep me fighting for the Kingdom of Midern. Loyalty, honor, and the friendships I have with the people and pokemon here is what I fight for now, and what makes me gain more strength than I would have otherwise. I’m not leaving here, but you three can stay as long as you like.”

    “How long have you two known each other?” Hurdy inquired.

    “Me and Annox go back quite a ways,” Peoria replied. “In some forests to the north of here are some woods where many grass pokemon live. Mine and Annox’s families lived there, and that was where we were born. I’m a year older than Annox, but the two of us spent five years together, playing among the streams of the forest. Unfortunately, more humans started coming to the area, so some of the pokemon wanted to leave. Annox’s family was some of those that left to Relic Academy, but I decided to stay in the area and follow my own goal. In curiosity, I watched the humans and one day I saw them training with pokemon. The pokemon all looked fit and powerful, so I decided to join.”

    Draconis yawned and stretched. “Well, I’ve had enough stories for now. Is there anything to do around here?”

    “We train hard, but also have fun when there is time for that,” Peoria explained. “Right now most the people will be resting from the battle, and I think you three should take some time to recover.”

    “I’m feeling fine,” Draconis stated. “I want to see what it’s like around here.”

    “Fine, I’ll show you around.”

    Peoria led them out of the infirmary, which was built against the side of the fort, like all the other buildings. Above them some guards watched for enemies from the top of the walls. In the center of the fort was an area of dusty ground for drills, and to the side was some targets and equipment for training. The other buildings of the fort consisted of several barracks, two buildings where the pokemon were kept, and the mess hall. The barracks had basic cots for the soldiers, but few soldiers were resting on these at the moment. The pokemon stables had soft piles of grass for sleeping on, but not much else.

    The mess hall was the center of fort life, and was packed with both people and pokemon at the moment. It had wooden tables, and a large kitchen in the back. At the moment, stew was being given out for dinner to the humans, and a pile of meat, fruit, and grain was laid out for the pokemon. At the tables the humans were laughing, and a few were playing cards. After the victory, everyone seemed in high spirits.

    Peoria walked over to where the pokemon were gathered around the bowls of food on the floor. She grabbed some fruit, and beckoned Annox, Hurdy, and Draconis over. The three glanced around awkwardly for a second, since the other pokemon were watching them curiously. They each took some food and sat down next to Peoria.

    “Who have you brought along with you Peoria?” a female Leafeon asked.

    “Hello, Petal. The Turtwig is an old friend of mine, and the other two are his companions. They’ve traveled all the way from Relic Academy.”

    Peoria introduced them to the other pokemon. The army pokemon were all friendly with one another, but Petal the Leafeon was the one that Peoria knew the best.

    “They seem injured, and don’t look too tough,” A Gabite stated.

    Draconis’s tail flared at this comment, but an ice cold stare from Hurdy kept him from saying anything rash.

    “They got caught up in the battle,” explained Peoria. “Some Mightyena from Rinn tore them up a little bit.”

    “Mightyena can bite pretty hard, so it’s best to take them out from a distance,” a Raichu stated.

    “If they want to become stronger, they could always join us,” Gabite suggested.

    “I think that their mission is more important, so don’t try to push them into staying,” Peoria firmly told off the Gabite.

    The rest of the evening passed with small talk with Peoria and the other pokemon. Several of them asked about Relic Academy, since they had friends or families that had set off to live there. Soon, it was late, and the mess hall emptied slowly.

    The next day, the three decided to stay at the fort another day. Draconis and Hurdy went to go see how the pokemon and humans trained together, and Annox wanted to talk with Peoria alone, so the two headed up to the top of the walls.

    Peoria looked out over the grassland, a flat expanse of green to the horizon. “I always enjoy the view up here. Now what did you want to talk about?”

    Annox seemed a bit reluctant. “I never really had as solid a reason as Draconis or Hurdy for going on this trip. They both are the sons of the village’s leaders and are the scions of the legendary heroes. They are expected to be great, and so it comes natural to them to want an adventure like this. For me, I’m just a Turtwig. The travels have been hard at times, and one of my hopes was to meet you again. Now that I have, I’m not sure I want to continue with them. I want to stay here with you.”

    “That means a lot that you want to stay here with me, but you seem close to your other friends. Have you told them about this decision yet?”

    “No, I wanted to talk to you first.”

    “Staying here won’t be easy. You’ll have to train hard, and battle even harder. I’ll be here to help, but you need a better attitude. You say you’re just a Turtwig, but with an attitude like that, you won’t get anywhere! You need to see what you can be, and push yourself! That’s how I became this powerful, and if you decide to stay, I’ll push you to be your best. Now, why don’t we go tell your friends this?”

    Down in the center of the fort, Draconis and Hurdy were taking part in some training battles. The pokemon didn’t use their full strength, and the first to knock the other down or hit the other five times was declared the winner.

    Hurdy went first, squaring off against the Raichu. Hurdy led off with a mud slap, which hit the Raichu. The Raichu used double team and agility, making it seem to be everywhere at once. Raichu flashed in front of Hurdy, who jumped backwards and unleashed a water gun. The Raichu vanished as the water gun got near, and suddenly was behind Hurdy. As Hurdy turned, the Raichu hit with an iron tail attack, which knocked Hurdy down. Hurdy landed on his side, and Raichu was declared the winner.

    “Well, that was a good fight, Mudkip,” the Raichu complimented. “Your basics are good, and with some training, you could be powerful.”

    The two headed off to get some water, and Draconis was up next, facing Gabite. Draconis remembered the comment Gabite had said last night, and his tail flame flared in anger.

    “Now I’ll get to see how weak you really are,” the Gabite taunted.

    “Just shut up and face me,” Draconis answered coldly.

    Gabite rushed in, unleashing his slash attack. Draconis also used his, and the two attacks cancelled each other out. Draconis then unleashed a flamethrower, but Gabite shook the flames off and used dragon rage. The attack hit Draconis, but didn’t knock him down, so he attacked with metal claw. The attack hit Gabite, who countered with a take down. Gabite slammed headfirst in Draconis, who rolled until he was face down on the ground.

    “Looks like I win,” Gabite gloated. “You weren’t as weak as I thought, but you still are weak.”

    Draconis got up and dusted himself off. “It was a good match,” he said half-heartedly.

    Draconis joined Hurdy at the trough of water, and that was where Peoria and Annox found them.

    Annox stood in silence, staring uneasily at the ground. Peoria took the initiative to get this difficult topic started. “Annox has something to tell you two.”

    Annox started talking very quietly. “Um, well, you see, I’m staying here with Peoria.”

    “What was that? Speak up,” Draconis stated.

    This time Annox said it firmly and loudly. “I’m staying here with Peoria.”

    “What?” Draconis said in surprise.

    Hurdy was more understanding. “If that is your choice, I’m fine with it. At times on our trip, you have seemed a bit depressed, so if staying here will make you happy, then do it.”

    “Although it will be hard without you, I also respect your decision,” Draconis stated. “We’ll miss you, and will come see you on the way back. But without you, who will I play my jokes on?”

    Annox grinned. “Now that’s one thing I won’t miss.”

    The coming farewell cast a bit of a shadow over the rest of the day, but everyone still enjoyed themselves. Soon it was the next morning, and Hurdy and Draconis were ready to set off.

    “You’ve been one of my best friends, Annox,” Hurdy began. “I’ll miss you and maybe in a week or two, when we’ll be coming back along the same route, we’ll get to see you again.”

    “Well, see you later!” Draconis stated. “I’ve never been one for long or thoughtful goodbyes, so take care.”

    “I’ll miss you two as well, remember to tell my family back home where I am when you go back there.”

    Draconis and Hurdy began to walk off into the grass of the plains, but Peoria yelled some advice after them. “If you head West, then the capital, Midern, shouldn’t be too many days away. It is near where Pokemon Square once was!”

    “Thanks, we’ll keep that in mind!” Draconis shouted back. “Oh, one more thing! Show up that Gabite for me!”

    Annox and Peoria watched the two go off until they were small figures in the distance.

    “Since you’re staying here, we’d better go introduce you to the humans and start your training,” Peoria suggested.

    “I’ll gladly do whatever you say, Peoria.”
     
  19. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    Chapter 11

    Chapter 11: It’s a Deal​


    “It seems that your exile hasn’t been easy,” Forde said, after hearing Leon’s tale. “But hardships can help each of us grow. King Willis of Farna is still on our side, unlike the Queen Iridia of Eltanah or your father. Unfortunately, our side seems to be under the attack of whatever the other side is.”

    “Wait, what exactly is our side?” Leon asked.

    “It isn’t really an organized group. It includes any who want to work towards the same goals as I do. Peace, prosperity, and technology are what I seek for the world, and until recently, all the leaders of this world were following my advice. So far it seems that only Farna and Midern are still trying to follow my plan. If everyone does not follow it, then my plan begins to go astray. Technology needs stability to develop, and war slows its advance.”

    “Do you know why these leaders suddenly turned against the plan? My father seemed to have lost part of himself before he prepared planning for war on Farna.”

    “Unfortunately, I do not know the exact cause for this. It seems that only those of the older generation are affected, while younger people, such as yourself or King Willis, remain immune to whatever is causing this. I know you want your father back, and I do, too. Why not help me, so that we can find whatever is causing this?”

    “It doesn’t look like I have that many other options. With my money and supplies gone, I need work, and working for you helps me get my father back. I accept your offer.”

    “Good. With that settled, Corvon will take you to get some supplies, as well as teach you the basics of my group.”

    Lucario got up and went through a door that led into another narrow hallway. Corvon beckoned to Leon. “This way.”

    Both Leon and Elomir got up to follow, but paused as Forde began to speak once again. “You can leave your Flygon here. I’ll get him some food while you go with Corvon.”

    Elomir returned to the table, while Leon and Corvon followed Lucario into the hallway. Forde got a large bowl with a mix of fruits and meat, and Elomir began to eat with vigor.

    As Elomir ate, the Espeon and Pachirisu approached him. First the small squirrel spoke. “Hi, I’m Chiro. A pleasure to meet you!”

    “I’m Kita,” the Espeon added, as she seemed to have a new focus in her eyes.

    “It’s a good day, isn’t it?” Chiro began speaking at a rapid pace. “Now that your friend joined us, you’ll be working with us as well! I always love to meet new pokemon. How do you feel about all this?”

    Elomir swallowed a mouthful of food. “It’s good that we found you, else I’d probably have to deliver messages or some meaningless work until we got enough money to move on. I support Leon in all his decisions, although that means some sacrifices on my part.”

    “You look like you’ve trained hard,” Kita complimented before walking off towards Forde.

    Chiro continued with some small talk. “The weather is nice today, but that sandstorm a few days ago was rough. It must have been bad for you in the desert. You know, I don’t really like the desert much, I prefer the forests near Mt. Thunder…”

    Elomir paid little attention to Chiro’s chattering as he finished his food. Kita and Forde were conversing quietly, while Forde searched through his pack for something. Soon, Forde pulled out a Lum Berry, and walked over to Elomir.

    “Here, eat this. It will help the burn”

    Elomir chewed on the berry slowly, enjoying its flavor and allowing it to heal the burn on his foot. Forde continued speaking to Elomir once the berry was finished.

    “As a pokemon, this may seem strange, but I’m going to speak with you. It seems you trust Leon, and are willing to fight for him, but Kita also sensed that there is something you’ve been hiding from him.”

    “You read my mind?” Elomir growled at Kita.

    “So what? It‘s part of my job as Forde‘s partner,” Kita responded. “Just trust us.”

    “I do apologize for having Kita look into your thoughts, but I find it necessary to know if all the humans and pokemon I work with are really committed to what they say they are,” Forde added. “It is clear that you trust and love Leon, but from what Kita saw, a new passion is eating away at this old friendship. You can tell me anything, and I’ll not reveal it to Leon unless you want me to.”

    “Well, it’s amazing that you understand me at all.”

    “I have ways to translate what pokemon say. There are devices that do this, left over from the old world, and if you tell me the truth, I’ll let you and Leon borrow one of these translators for a moment, so that you can speak to each other.”

    “I could actually talk with Leon?! Then of course I’ll tell you. It might do me some good to talk about it, anyway. To tell you the truth, I met several Flygon in the desert. A wonderful female Flygon named Allia offered to be my mate if I left Leon to live with her. I had to turn her down, but I can’t stop thinking of her. It’s driving me crazy. As much as I enjoy being with Leon, I really want to go back to her.”

    Forde took all this in with an amused silence. “I see. It is natural for a Flygon of your age to want such things. These urges will only grow until you either learn to control your thoughts or fulfill your desire. I really think you should talk with Leon about this. I’m sure he’ll understand. Kita, you can tell Lucario to send Leon back now.”

    Kita concentrated and the gem on her forehead glowed a bit. A moment later, Leon, Corvon, and Lucario returned. Leon’s pack seemed full now, and he looked more at ease.

    “Corvon, I trust you’ve told him what he’ll need to know?” Forde inquired.

    “Yes, I’ve gone over our contacts, locations, and plans. I’m going to go prepare for our departure.”

    “Good. I needed to speak with him alone anyway.”

    Corvon and Lucario left once again. Leon still had a lot of questions, even after what Corvon had told him. Leon decided to ask the one that bothered him the most. “Forde, why are you wanted for treason?”

    “That goes back to the sides I discussed earlier. Queen Iridia seems to be on whatever the other side is. She used to be a wise and caring ruler, but recently she seems bent on expanding her empire. I used to be able to suggest which actions would be good for her kingdom, but when I opposed her preparations for war, she declared me a traitor. With some help from Kita and Chiro, we escaped the guards, and have been hiding here ever since.”

    “That does seem very similar to what happened with my father. What country is Eltanah going to go to war with?”

    “Midern. Midern’s ruler, King Verault, is only a few years older than King Willis, and he still remains on our side. It seems those who side with me are being attacked, but what or who is making leaders of nations change is beyond what I’ve discovered thus far. That is why we are going to aid Midern, since Eltanah’s forces will be leaving within a few days. Also, I have a powerful friend who lives close to Midern, who should have gathered some information for me by the time we arrive, if my messengers didn‘t run into many delays.”

    “Okay, that’s good. Now should Elomir and I prepare to leave as well?”

    “Not yet. I have something special for you first.”

    Forde pulled out a small electronic device and set it on the table. “Leon, this is a translator. I’ll let you and Elomir speak to one another while I go make preparations of my own. Just bring me the translator after you are done speaking to each other. Don’t worry about taking too long, we’ll be leaving after nightfall, so you have a few hours.”

    “Thank you!” Leon stammered. “I don’t know how to repay you for this unexpected surprise. I’ll do my best to help you from now on!”

    “I’m sure you two have much to discuss, so just go to the end of the hallway when you’re done.”

    Chiro climbed to his favorite spot on Forde’s shoulder, and Kita walked in front as the three left the room. For a brief moment, all Leon and Elomir could manage to do was stare at one another.

    Leon broke the silence. “The first thing I want you to know is how that you are my best friend, but I bet you already knew that.”

    The translator smoothly interpreted Elomir’s words into a deep and powerful voice. “You are also my best friend. You’ve always been by my side.”

    “Yes, I try to protect you as much as you protect me. Elomir, I’ve noticed that you’ve been a bit distant lately. Did something happen with you and than other Flygon?”

    “Forde said I should talk openly about this, even if it is a bit difficult. Leon, I think I’m in love with Allia, the Flygon I spent some time with. I can’t seem to stop thinking about her, and sometimes I even wish I had taken her offer to leave you and stay with her. I feel guilty every time I think such things, but the thought is still there in my heart.”

    Leon paused nervously for a minute. “Hmm, I knew that something like this might happen eventually if we ever met other Flygon. I know that it is natural for pokemon to want to raise a family with a mate once they mature, like you have, but I never wanted that time to come. How about we make a deal? Let’s find a way to return my father to his old self, and then, if you still want to go to Allia, I won’t complain about it. Right now, I need you more than ever, and if you left, I‘m not sure if I could go on…”

    “That is a good plan. With such wisdom, I’m sure you’ll be a great king. It’s a deal. I’ll go with you until you can return to Alagarde, and then I will go to the desert and find Allia again.”

    “I’m glad that’s settled, now what else do you want to talk about?”

    Leon and Elomir talked about their years, mishaps, and adventures together. After about two hours, they decided that it was time to go join Forde.

    Forde watched the two entering the stables, and saw that they now shared even more of a bond than before. Leon held the translator, and him and Elomir were engaged in playful conversation as they approached Forde.

    Leon grasped the translator, and sighed as he offered it back to Forde. Forde pushed his hand back. “I’ve decided that you can keep this translator. I have a few of them, and I think that you two are better off having it than me. Take this and you can wear it around your neck.”

    Forde handed Leon a strap for the translator. Leon strung the device around his neck carefully. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay you for this, Forde. Many people would give all they own to have one, and even a king or queen would use most their treasury to get one of these.”

    “They used to be commonplace, and if you know where to look, you can find them. That’s how I got so many. Teaching electric pokemon how to charge electronics makes so useless relics from the old world become useful once again.”

    “I also thank you,” Elomir added.

    “Okay, then you two need to get ready to go.”

    “I can carry Leon as long as I have enough food to keep my strength up,” Elomir said.

    “I got plenty of good trail food in my new supplies, so we’ll be fine,” Leon added. “I even got a few spicy ones, since that is your favorite type of food.”

    “Then I’m ready to fly,”

    “Okay, we’ll be leaving in about an hour, after the gates close for night,” Forde explained. “Our secret exit leads us out of the walls by the main gate, so we leave late to avoid any people entering or leaving the city.”

    The hour passed slowly, with each person checking their supplies several times. Corvon and Lucario opened up a doorway hidden in the stone, and peered out.

    “Okay, it looks clear, let’s move,” whispered Corvon.

    Unfortunately, as soon as they got on the open road, the gate opened and a patrol of soldiers in orange and yellow uniforms stepped out. Among the skeletal vegetation and smooth sand, there was no hiding spot.

    “Halt!” the guards shouted upon seeing their figures in the darkness.

    “I’ll take care of this,” Forde whispered. “Leon, Corvon, escape quickly on the road.”

    They both did as commanded, and Lucario and Elomir followed. Forde, Kita, and Chiro stopped into the center of the road, ready to face the soldiers. In only a moment, the soldiers had closed in and surrounded the three, with their spears and pokemon ready to strike at the command.

    The commander looked upon the man he had found. “You’re Forde! Capture him!”

    Forde looked from Kita to Chiro. “You two know what to do.”

    Chiro jumped from Forde’s shoulder into the air above them. He unleashed a massive discharge of electricity. The searing bolts arced from soldier to soldier and pokemon to pokemon, leaving the enemy stunned and paralyzed. Kita then used flash, blinding all the soldiers for an instant.

    Forde recalled Chiro and Kita into the pokeballs, and by the time the soldiers had recovered he was far down the road, out of sight and out of danger.

    Leon, Corvon, and Lucario went at a fast jog down the road, and Elomir flew above them. Flying at night made Elomir a bit nervous, since he could not make out much, so he remained above the height where any trees or rock formations would be. After about a minute of this, they heard Forde behind them.

    “You can slow down now, I took care of the soldiers!” he yelled from afar.

    They paused while Forde caught up, but Kita and Chiro didn’t seem to be with him.

    “Where did your Espeon and Pachirisu go?” Leon asked.

    “Oh, they were right behind me. Let me go see.”

    After walking a short distance away, Forde returned with Chiro and Kita. “Sorry, but I don’t think we’ll be able to get much sleep tonight. Once they alert the city, they might have more patrols out after me. We should keep moving for a few more hours. It’s still at least a week’s travel to Midern, but once we get out of Eltanah, we won’t have to worry about being caught by soldiers as much.”
     
  20. Apotheosis

    Apotheosis Seeker of Truth

    I'm going to take a one or two week break from posting chapters. This will be a great chance for people to catch up. Also, you do not have to post in depth review for most of these early chapters unless you really want to. Chapter 19 and later are the more current ones that reflect the things I've learned in writing more accurately, so I'd rather be judged by those. If anyone really has to have the next chapter, then send me a PM and I'll get it up before too long.
     

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