View Full Version : A New World
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 8:08 PM
This is the fanfic I've been working on for a little while. It takes place in anentirely different setting than the pokemon games and anime, with original characters and stories. Rather than taking place in a specific region with it's local pokemon, just about any pokemon can show up at any time here.
Note: If you find that you don't like the prologue, feel free to skip it. It is not vitally important yet and the characters that show up in it are not present in the other 5 chapters. That is not to say it no bearing on the plot, just not where I am right now.
Rated PG-13 for occasionally gory violence and mild language.
Chapter I: Dust (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14072751&postcount=3)
Chapter II: Eggs (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14072758&postcount=4)
Chapter III: Ashton (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14072763&postcount=5)
Chapter IV: Hatchling (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14072766&postcount=6)
Chapter V: A Hasty Decision (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14072770&postcount=7)
Chapter VI: Early Attempts (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14148669&postcount=13)
Chapter VII: Fly in a Web (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14214877&postcount=14)
Chapter VIII: Rumination (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=14232317&postcount=15)
And the Prologue is right here.
Here we go.
The strange artificial lights flickered on as the world's greatest trainer slowly stepped his way down the metal corridor.
Of course he was the greatest Pokémon trainer to have ever lived. He was the one who had discovered this place, who had found the ancient map leading to mysterious, almost otherworldly underground structure. He was the one who would capture the ancient monster within its walls.
No one would ever doubt his power again.
In his shaking hand, he held a small, orange sized sphere of some unknown metal alloy with red and white halves. The pokeball contained a Pokémon, held in stasis. He had two identical pokeballs on his belt, each with their own creatures, and another one in his bag. That one was empty.
The legendary beast he hunted for would be that ball's inhabitant.
The lights lining the ceiling began gain brightness, becoming almost blinding. One at a time, they exploded, showering the floor with sparks which all fizzled out, plunging the hallway into darkness.
The trainer's reflexes were automatic. Before he even had time to think about it, the Pokeball was already thrown on the floor, producing a brilliant flash of white light that materialized into Scyther.
The man sized insectoid flexed its powerful arms ending in the vicious scythes that were its namesake. It screeched threateningly, eager for battle.
The trainer's head filled with thoughts of absolute dread. Whatever was at the end of this corridor terrified him beyond all belief. He should not have come to this place. He must get out of here. He must…
No, the horror he felt was not his own, he realized. Those thoughts were coming from outside. Something was making him think that.
The fear disappeared, replaced by a burning hot rage. This too, was not of his own making, whatever was watching him was seething with anger so deep, it almost hurt. He was not supposed to be here. He must be gotten rid of. He must be disposed of…
Something moved in the darkness.
In a flash, Scyther's blades struck out.
A moment passed, the only sound the faint buzz of Scyther's wings. Finally, a small object rolled to the trainer's feet. It was the bird head of a Xatu, blood pouring from the slashed off neck and beak hanging limply open.
The trainer smiled faintly. Was this the best defense that could be offered by this ancient place? Scyther hadn't even broken a sweat. If bugs could sweat that is.
Surely there was no Pokémon trainer greater than he!
He followed down the pitch black hallway, Scyther leading the way. His eyes had adjusted to the dark, but he could still barely see a thing. If only he had a fire Pokémon to light the way, this would be no problem at all!
The hallway ended in a large metal door, far too strong for Scyther or any of his other pokemon to break through. His eyes spotted a small square on the right of the door, divided into into other squares, each with a number on it. He had no idea what the purpose of such a thing, but for some reason, he knew that it was important.
He examined the small pad, eying it quizzically. Without thinking about why, he reached out and touched the number three. The pad made a quiet beep.
The trainer knew what to do. Fingers guided by a source he didn't know or even realize was there, he pressed the numbers eight, two, nine, four, eight, seven, four, five, nine in quick succession, each stroke eliciting a hopeful little beep.
The door opened with an earsplitting screech that showed its age.
The room inside was filled with large glass tubes, reaching from the floor to the ceiling. Many of the tubes were smashed; shards of broken glass carpeted the floor, crunching under the trainer's feet. The remaining tubes were filled with an almost opaque green fluid.
Two dim lights in the ceiling came on, their feeble beams focused on the tube in the center of the chamber. Through the green murk, the trainer could just make out the shape of a figure inside.
His heart soared. So this was the legendary pokemon hidden in the underground labyrinth. The stories had been true.
He pointed at the glass tube. "Scyther, smash it open."
Scyther did not respond.
"Scyther, smash it open!"
For the first time, he noticed that his pokemon had been keeping its distance. Its wing buzzed excitedly, and the giant bug looked like it was using all of its concentration and self-control to simply stand still.
Scyther was terrified. It looked desperate to turn and run.
This was foolish, the trainer thought. Whatever was in that tube would certainly be unconscious. It would be caught without even a battle.
But still, Scyther showed no signs that it would follow his command. The trainer found this extremely annoying. When he had captured the prisoner of this place, he would no longer need inferior pokemon like that overgrown bug. Scyther was about to become obsolete.
The trainer found a heavy chair lying upturned among the room's wreckage and flung it against the tube. It failed to break through. Angry at the setback, he struck the glass again, and again, and again, until a small crack appeared.
As if by magic, the tiny crack grew longer, spreading out into more breaks along the tube, forming a vast system of fissures in the glass.
The tube exploded, showering the trainer with sharp, jagged pieces of glass and the foul smelling green liquid.
When he looked up, he saw the legendary pokemon standing utterly motionless in the center of where it's transparent prison had been, like the statue of an ancient and terrible god.
It was almost humanlike, but far too tall, and with a long tail behind it's legs. It's pale white skin stretched over it's emaciated, almost skeletal form. It's head had no hair, no ears, and no nose, only a tiny, seemingly lipless mouth and two closed eyes.
Scyther was absolutely hysterical , it spun frantically around, seeming to want to flee in every direction at once, loyalty to its master the only thing stopping it from running away.
Very slowly, the creature began to raise its head. It was not asleep. Panic rose in the trainer's gut.
The creature opened its cobalt eyes.
Scyther exploded, spraying its former master with its stinking bug guts.
The creature regarded him with a look of cold disdain.
Human. Why have you come to this place? The pokemon's lips did not move in the slightest, but the trainer could hear its voice in his head clear as day. The pokemon did not sound angry, only agitated.
He finally found his voice. "My name is-"
Your identity is irrelevant. Why are you here?
"I… I came to see if the legends about you were true."
You came to capture me in your little ball. A wasted effort. It would take far more than one of your miserable little pokeballs to catch me.
It stepped down from the broken tube.
Still, your audacity in thinking a being like you could ever control a being like me is… amusing. There was no humor its "voice" It has been a long time since I have laid eyes on a human. I had almost forgotten how highly your kind places itself.
Memories came up unbidden in the trainer's mind: his ninth birthday, the first pokemon he had ever caught, the first woman he had ever been with. The creature was pulling out images of everything he had ever done, ever experienced. He felt strangely violated.
Interesting. I have been here for far too long. Where are all the cities? All the technology you humans were so proud of?
The trainer began to see memories of lives he had never known. Giant buildings rose up into the sky, larger than anything he had ever seen, seeming almost to touch the clouds. People dressed in fashions completely foreign to him walked the streets. Strange metal carriages rolled along with no pokemon to pull them. It was like an alien world.
"What is this I'm seeing?" The trainer asked.
The skeletal pokemon ignored him.
The world of my former master is no more. Intriguing. They must have been destroyed long ago for this human to have no knowledge of that world. I seem to have been here even longer than I had anticipated. It turned its eyes once more on the helpless trainer. You have heard of me, which means the memory of me has remained long after the destruction of the old world.
Scyther's old pokeball floated slowly into the air. The ancient pokemon reached out and touched it.
I will deign to reside in this flimsy device until the appropriate time. I have much work to do, and you will be my servant. Serve me well and you will be rewarded. Fail me, and death will be a welcome respite from the punishment you will receive. You and your pokemon will be the instruments of my will until I no longer need to be hidden.
The creature vanished into the red and white ball. It's central button lighting up for a few brief seconds before dimming.
The trainer picked up the ball. He didn't know how he did it, but he had caught the legendary pokemon. He tried to remember the last few minutes, but could recall nothing past the point of his Scyther exploding.
No matter. With his new acquisition, he no longer needed Scyther anyway.
He turned around and tried to find his way out of the underground labyrinth. It was strange. In all the tales he had ever heard of the ancient creature no actual name had ever been mentioned, but as he made his way above ground, a single name was burned into the surface of his mind; a name that he for some reason knew for a fact was the name of the beast.
27th January 2012, 8:46 PM
You have to actually post your story here. You can't just link to it.
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 9:04 PM
Chapter I: Dust
Dust groaned as he rolled out of bed. Three days. Three days after being rammed by that Tauros and his leg still hurt. The village doctor had said he'd be alright, but that didn't make him feel any better.
He brushed away the loose straw from the bed that still clung to him, and pulled on his trousers, grimacing as the sharp pain raced up his shin.
Dust's family was not rich, but their house as least had two rooms. As a child, he had slept in the same bed as his parents, and still did on the occasional cold winter night, huddling with them and his two year old sister Mona for warmth. Now though, he was grateful to have a space of his own. That was a luxury not everyone his age had.
He would be turning eighteen in a few months, and would soon be old enough to have a family of his own, still living in the same home he had grown up in. Being an adult didn't mean he didn't still have obligation to family, and one day he would be grateful to have grown up children of his own to tend the farm when he inherited it from his father.
Dust opened the door and stepped into what for lack of a better word, would be called the living room. His mother was trying, without much success, to coax Mona into eating her breakfast.
His father glanced up at him as he entered.
"I thought you were going to sleep all day" he said, not angrily.
"I couldn't sleep. There was a Noctowl outside who wouldn't stop hooting. I wanted to throw a rock at it."
"Nocdow!" Mona chimed in.
His father laughed. "How's the leg holding up?" he asked.
Dust put a little pressure on it, and was rewarded with a stab of pain. "Feels great." He lied, "I feel good enough to do all my work."
"Not today. As soon as you're done eating, take a bath."
Dust was perplexed. Neither of his parents looked washed, and Mona was always filthy no matter if she bathed or not.
"A bath?" he said, "Is it Sunday already?"
"It's the day of the Egg Festival." His mother said, "Have you forgotten?"
Indeed Dust had forgotten. The Egg Festival was perhaps the most important moment in a boy's life, the final rite of passage before he truly becomes a man. Every year, a caravan from beyond the mountains would come into the collection of villages tucked into the secluded valley, bringing all sorts of goods from the outside world for trade. The local baron would organize a festival to welcome the annual guests, and people from all the villages gathered to visit and see all the exotic Pokémon the caravan brought and basically have a good time.
Dust always enjoyed the Festival, but this year was special. Every year, the caravan would bring a supply of eggs with them, and each seventeen year old boy would be given one. What pokemon would eventually hatch from the egg was a mystery. Some boys received mundane, everyday creatures, while others got something truly exotic.
Without a Pokemon of his own, a man was not a man. He couldn't own his own home, or take part in the village meetings, or marry. Until you had your own pokemon, you were simply a child.
"Are you going?" He asked.
"I wish I could, Dust." His father answered. "But just because there is a festival doesn't mean the Tauros don't need feeding. It'll be just you and Mona this year."
Mona, hearing her name being mentioned, tried to join the conversation but was stopped when her mother seized the opportunity and shoved the spoon into her open mouth.
So after cleaning himself in the cold water of the river, he picked his sister up in his arms and began the two mile journey to Mahogany, the village where the festival was being held.
Things were in full swing by the time Dust arrived. The air was full of music, the stands were surrounded by groups of people clamoring to spend their hard earned money on items that were in all probability not worth even a fraction of their selling price, and a very exited looking man was showing off a large horned monster he informed the awed crowd of onlookers was something called a Nidoking.
Dust bought his little sister a sweet roll and shunted her off to one of the tents for small children. His interest lay in the Pokemon battles, and he didn't want Mona babbling to his mother about large creatures beating eachother to a pulp. Somehow, he didn't think his parents would see that as quality entertainment for a two year old girl.
As expected, the battles were the most crowded attraction. There were numerous circular arenas constructed out of wood and filled with spectators watching the fights. The small arenas were surrounded by groups of men passing around coins, betting on the fights. Dust climbed up the staircase into one with a sign that read, "Beartic versus Sealeo".
Dust pushed his way through the cheering crowd all the way to the front. Inside the ring, an enormous white bear with giant claws stood on its hind legs roaring at the also white four legged creature with a black head adorned with a vicious looking blade that circled around it. Their trainers stood at opposite ends of the arena, their pokeballs out and ready to recall their creatures in case the battle got out of hand.
"Fancy meeting you here." said a familiar voice behind Dust.
The voice belonged to Maddie, the seventeen year old barmaid from his village. Dust had known her since childhood and once he had caught his first Pokémon, had every intention of asking her to marry him.
Unlike Dust, Maddie had come looking her very best, wearing a silken yellow dress she saved for special occasions, her hair was done up, and she even had a dainty little fan with flower print on it. The outfit would be considered plain by the standards of the ladies' fashions of the cities, but out here, Dust thought she looked like a duchess. She looked debonair and delicate, but Dust had seen her throwing rowdy drunks out of her father's tavern and quaffing ale like a barbarian. The mountainous countryside was no place for a delicate lady, and Dust would have no use with a wife who could do nothing more than look pretty, but he loved the fact that Maddie was able to anyway.
Absol pounced on Beartic, trying to slash with its blade, but the giant bear grabbed it in midair and threw it into the wall, eliciting both cheering and loud groans, depending on who had bet on which beast.
"That's a very big Pokémon," Dust said "I don't the Absol has a chance."
"I wouldn't be so sure." Maddie said.
"No. He's small, but he's got fight in him."
Absol attempted to pounce again, but the great bear swatted it again, raking Absol with its claws. Absol hit the ground and stayed there.
Maddie frowned. "Then again, what do I know?"
Absol disappeared in a crimson flash as his trainer recalled it. There was a general mix of laughter and angry shouting as all over the fighting pit, money changed hands.
"That was fast." Dust said.
Beartic's trainer jumped into the ring and the Pokemon lifted him up and placed him on its mighty shoulders. He raised his arms in triumph, taking in the cheering and booing with a self-satisfied smirk.
One single clap seemed to rise above the din, and in a matter of seconds the noise died down into an empty, awkward silence. A man rose from the crowd, still clapping very slowly. Dust had only seen him a few times in his life, but everybody knew who he was.
If the Baron had a name, Dust didn't think anyone knew what it was. He very rarely came down to the villages from his stately manor house, preferring to send retainers on any official business. His son Ashton was a constant presence in the villages however, constantly giving people grief and raiding the tavern with his gang of cronies.
The Baron looked like his son: tall, blonde and with an athletic build. It was nearly impossible to make out his age. He seemed youthful in appearance, but his cold grey eyes and the way he walked suggested a man who had experienced much of life, not all of it pleasant.
The Baron was wearing plain clothes, which explained how he had gotten into the crowd unnoticed. He leapt into the sandy pit.
"What a spectacular fight!" he said. There was a nervous muttering of agreement.
The Baron stroked the Beartic's white fur, eliciting a sharp growl. The bear's trainer was quick to silence it.
"Such a fine beast. You must be very proud to own a Pokémon like this." The trainer began to answer, but was cut off by a raised finger. "I would love to see this Beartic in action against a real opponent, rather than the ones you people have pitted against it. I would relish the opportunity for one of my own Pokémon to face off against it."
The trainer climbed down from Beartic's shoulders. "You want to challenge me?" he asked.
"Unless you afraid, that is."
The trainer bristled at that. "Beartic can take anything you throw at him! We aren't afraid of anything!"
"Very well," chuckled the Baron, "Then let us get this battle underway."
The two men took their places along the ring. The Baron reached into his pocket and produced a pokeball, tossing it nonchalantly on the ground. There was a brilliant white flash, and a creature materialized in the air.
Rhyhorn were very rarely higher than four feet, but this one must have been seven feet tall at the very least and even longer from its stony armored haunches to its wicked horn. The Baron's Rhyhorn was a walking fortress.
Beartic roared at the new opponent, his mouth glowing white, ready to let loose a freezing blast of air. Rhyhorn simply charged, its massive rocky head pummeling Beartic into the ground. Its horn was coated red in the bear's tried to rise to its feet, but Rhyhorn wouldn't let up, slamming its bulk into Beartic over and over.
Beartic lay unmoving on the ground, the heaving of its massive body gasping for air the sign it was even still alive. Rhyhorn backed up,shaking its head angrily as it prepared for a final charge.
Maddie knelt down to look at the wounded Beartic. It had fallen right in front of where she and Dust stood.
"He's going to kill it!" she said, panic rising in her voice.
Rhyhorn charged, kicking up a cloud of dust in its wake. Just at the last second, Beartic rolled out of the way with surprising speed for its size.
"Maddie, look out!" Dust screamed as the giant stone rhino ran into the stands. He grabbed her and threw himself to the ground as Rhyhorn crashed through the wooden frame, completely destroying the space where they had just been standing. He wrapped his arms protectively around her smaller body.
Beartic was upright, roaring angrily, blood gushing from its many wounds. A wave of freezing breath washed over Rhyhorn, covering its armor in ice.
Dust helped Maddie to her feet. Her dress was rumbled and her hair had come undone, but apart from that she looked fine. Nobody else had been hurt by Rhyhorn's charge.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
Maddie looked morose. "I lost my fan. I dropped it when you grabbed me."
Dust looked in the fighting pit. Sure enough, the fan was lying in the sand below, remarkably unharmed.
"That fan belonged to my mother." She said, eyes starting to well up. "It's one of the only things I have left of her."
Dust began to clamber over the railing. Maddie immediately broke out of her state, and grabbed his arm.
"What are you doing?" she shouted, "You can't go in there!"
"And let you lose a family heirloom?" Dust said, "I can't do that."
"You'll be killed, Dust! Don't…"
Too late. Dust leapt into the pit.
Dust landed hard on his feet, sending a stab of agony up his hurt leg. He fell to the ground, doubled up in pain.
Beartic's giant body went flying past him as Dust rose to his feet, landing on the ground with a heavy thud. Dust turned around, coming face to face with Rhyhorn. The rhino snarled. A cold chill ran up Dust's spine. He very slowly reached down and picked up the paper fan, trying not to make any sudden movements.
Rhyhorn charged. Dust threw himself to the side, barely avoiding the giant horn. A terrified gasp came from the audience (and a few jeers that Dust resented a bit). Scrambling to his feet, he ran for the boundary, but his bum leg collapsed under him and he fell to the ground.
Rhyhorn charged again, its eyes filled with angry bloodlust. Dust could do nothing but hope it would be painless. He closed his eyed and brought his arms over his head.
When he wasn't pummeled into a bloody pulp, Dust dared to look up. Rhyhorn was less than a foot away, roaring with fury, its foul breath overwhelming Dust's nostrils.
Beartic was grabbing Rhyhorn around its haunches, straining with effort to keep it from killing Dust. With an agonized roar, it threw the rhino to the ground.
Dust scrambled into the stands, grateful to the giant bear.
Maddie had rushed over to his part of the small arena. He stood up and smiled at her, proffering the fan to her. She slapped him in the face. Maddie didn't look like much, but she could pack a wallop. Dust almost fell over.
"Dammit Dust!" She yelled at him. "Why did you have to do that?"
"I thought you wanted your fan." He answered.
"You're more important to me than a fan, Dust. What if you had died in there? What would I do then?"
Dust smirked. "I didn't."
This didn't help things in the slightest. "I really hate you sometimes." She said. Then, without warning, Maddie hugged him tightly. "But I'm glad you're alright. And you did get my mother's fan, so I guess I can't be too mad at you. Just never make me worry about you like that again."
"I promise." Dust said.
"You'd better be Dust. Because if you ever die on me, I'll make you regret it."
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 9:06 PM
Chapter II: Eggs
The effort of tossing the monster sized Rhyhorn had taken its toll on Beartic, and the big white ursine nearly fainted from exhaustion. It staggered to regain its footing as Rhyhorn got back up, possibly even madder than before, if that was possible.
Beartic roared in defiance, but could no longer fight. It began to lose its balance and fall.
But not before Rhyhorn lit into it, slamming its enormous bulk straight into Beartic's gut and blasting the bear to the ground. Beartic lay unmoving in the sand. The match was over.
But no one had told Rhyhorn this. The stony rhino reared up on its hind legs and brought the full force of its half-ton body down on the unconscious opponent. A collective gasp rose up from the audience. Trying to kill a boy in the ring was one thing: after all, the idiot had jumped in there willingly, but attacking a defeated enemy's Pokémon in a match was unheard of. There was no actual rule against such an action, but only because the very idea was ungentlemanly beyond all belief.
Yet the Baron did nothing to stop his beast's rampage. He simply looked on with an emotionless, almost fascinated expression as Rhyhorn pummeled the Beartic again and again and again and again.
The rhino's horn was blood red when the Baron finally recalled it into the pokeball in a crimson flash. Then, not even giving the customary bow to his opponent, walked out of the arena without a word.
Beartic's trainer leapt into the sandpit and rushed to his creature's side, softly stroking the Beartic's heaving form and whispering softly to it. His hands and clothes were soon covered in the great bear's blood. His shaking hand reached for his pokeball and he recalled Beartic into the safety of stasis. He stayed on his knees, staring blankly at his bloody hands.
The hastily erected arena silently emptied out, leaving the trainer alone.
Hours later, Dust and Maddie walked together through the noisy throng of the festival. The fight between Rhyhorn and Beartic was not the last fight they saw together: Skuntank vs. Ivyasaur, Staraptor vs. Mothim, Linoone vs. Manectric and Politoed vs. Lombre had each had their share of excitement, though nowhere near the drama of that first battle. Mightyena vs. Leafeon had also involved a boy jumping into the fight to prove his bravery, a fact Dust claimed proved he was not so stupid after all, and which Maddie corrected him by saying that it only proved that stupidity was inherent to his gender and not just him as an individual, although in slightly sharper words than that. Dust had long ago learned that the only way to win an argument with Maddie was to avoid it altogether.
He had by this time retrieved his sister from the children's tent, and carried her swinub-back over his shoulders. Mona babbled inanely at everything around her as Dust said to Maddie, "It's funny. I've never thought of it until now."
"What?" She replied.
"This caravan. They come around every year, and they have Pokémon that couldn't be from anywhere around here."
"How is that funny?" Maddie asked.
"It's just, here we are, in this valley, and they come here every year from far off and then leave to go who knows where, and we're all still here."
"I don't understand, Dust."
Dust pointed out at the big green mountains off in the distance, covered in a shroud of mist. "Every day of my life I've seen those mountains, and I never even thought about them. They were just always there, you know?"
Maddie looked confused now. "Well of course you've seen them every day, Dust. We live between them all."
"That's just it, though!" He pointed at Mount Selene, the largest of them. "I've lived in the shadow of that mountain my whole life, and not once have I ever seen the other side of it. And these traders, they see it every year. They go out beyond the mountains and catch all these exotic creatures and bring them here, and we al gawk and marvel and talk about how wonderful it must be in far off places, but none of us ever leave! Never!"
"This is our home, Dust." Maddie said. "Why would we ever leave it?"
Dust was not to be stopped though. "Don't you ever want to see what's on the other side of those mountains?"
"Dust, I don't understand."
"Don't you ever want to see what the world looks like, Maddie? Have you ever thought about going all the way to the ocean and putting your feet in the water and watching the Wingulls fly around?"
Dust ignored Mona and went on. "We could do it, you know. There's no reason anyone couldn't go out and see the world. These caravan people do it all the time."
"Dust!" Maddie said, "Are you suggesting that we just go out into the wild and try and live at the ocean?"
"Well, I'd have to wait until I've caught my first pokemon, but then we could go out and take the pass through the mountains-"
"- and we'll live off the land, just like the people who-"
"- found this valley hundreds of years ago, and then we can just go in whatever direction we-"
"Dust!" Maddie practically screamed at him this time. "Are you listening to yourself? I can't just wander off and leave the valley with you!"
"Why not?" Dust said.
"Because of my dad, Dust." Maddie said, "Am I just supposed to leave him alone with the tavern without my mother there to help him?"
"Your sisters are old enough to help him." Dust suggested
"They both already are, Dust." Maddie said, not to be deterred. "And if I'm gone, only Bianca will be able to do the work I'm already doing, and then we'll need someone to do her job, and Gwen's not old enough and my dad can't afford to hire anyone. He needs me."
Dust opened his mouth and was cut off again.
"And what about your family? Are you just going to leave your dad to take care of the Tauroses all by himself?"
Dust sighed. She was right of course, as much as he hated to admit it. It just didn't seem fair though, being born into this huge world and only ever getting to see a little piece of it.
"All right, you win." He said.
Maddie took his hand. "If it's any consolation, I want to see the other side of that mountain as much as you."
Mona started getting testy. "Sweewo" she yelled out.
"What is she saying?" Maddie laughed.
"She's saying sweet roll." Dust said. "She's nothing but a stomach with arms and legs."
Maddie reached up and took the little girl. "I think I'll just go and get me and her both one. You need to be going to the egg ceremony. I think it's starting soon."
Indeed it was. When Dust made his way to the large ring of tents that made up the center of the festival, there was already a large crowd of people there, milling into the makeshift amphitheater in the middle. All the boys Dust's age were being ushered into one of the tents by a man Dust recognized as the owner of the Nidoking.
Dust joined the throng of seventeen and eighteen year old boys going into the big purple tent. He took his place near the back and sat cross legged on the dirt floor.
The Nidoking owner walked in front of the group of boys and addressed them.
"Good evening, gentlemen. I presume you all know why we are gathered here today?"
There was a general murmur of agreement. The Nidoking man continued.
"As you all know, the Egg Festival is the day when a boy takes his first step into manhood. You will all receive your first Pokémon today."
The Nidoking man reached into the folds of his heavy robe and produced a red and white pokeball. "Do you all know what this is?"
"It's a pokeball, you daft old codger!" came a voice from the crowd. Dust recognized instantly as Ashton, the Baron's son. "We all know what the bloody thing is! My old man has a whole closet full of em."
"Really?" said the old man. "And tell me, what does it do?"
"It stuffs Pokémon inside it." Ashton said smugly.
"And how does it do that?"
There was an audible silence. Come to think of it, Dust had no idea how a pokeball worked. They just did.
"The truth is that nobody knows how a pokeball actually functions." Nidoman (as Dust was now thinking of him as) said. "I have traveled to many parts of the world, and everywhere I go, the people tell me that the pokeballs come from somewhere else. They are truly remarkable objects."
He threw his ball at the ground, and a little blue Squirtle appeared in a white flash. He then tossed another ball into the audience and beckoned to the boy who caught it. "Come up here."
Smiling like an idiot, the boy clambered up to the front, clearly very pleased with the attention he was getting.
"Catch the Squirtle." Nidoman said. "If you do, It will be yours along with whatever egg you pick."
The boy eagerly threw the pokeball at the Squirtle and then watched dejectedly as the ball simply bounced off the shell.
"First lesson about Pokémon:" Nidoman said, "A Pokémon can only belong to one pokeball. If you catch a Pokémon, it cannot be recaptured as long as the pokeball is still intact. When a Pokémon is first captured, whoever holds the ball first will be forever bonded with it. This bond is unbreakable. Your Pokemon will be loyal until either you or it dies."
Nidoman recalled Squirtle and put the pokeball away. "Lesson number two: When you're eggs hatch and you go off to catch your first wild creature, remember this. A wild Pokémon will fight to escape a pokeball. Make sure that you have beaten it up or tired it out before you throw the pokeball. You will most likely not get another chance to catch it."
Nidoman went on explaining about pokeballs and Pokemon and everything anyone would ever need to know about them. It was so informal, Dust reflected. He had expected some sort of ceremony, or something like that, but it was more like the school had gone to when he was younger, before he started working on the farm full time. It was just a teacher talking to students.
Finally, Nidoman finished and ushered the boys through the tent exit opposite the side Dust had come in. It seemed that the entire population of the valley was out there, cheering on the soon-to-be-men. Dust could see Maddie holding Mona's hand and a little farther off were his parents. That made him smile. They had showed up after all.
Nidoman had told them what to do, but every boy had seen this ceremony enough times to know how it worked. A line of drummers had set up in front of the crowd, ready to play as each boy made his way to the large pile of eggs, all different sizes and colors. Dust saw a bright red shiny one near the back, and decided right there that whatever Pokemon was inside of it, it was the one that he wanted.
Ashton of course was the first to go. Nobody was stupid enough to take his spot at the front of the line. He walked by the drum players and straight to the eggs, selecting a pale yellow one about half the size of his head. When the Eggmaster handed him his two pokeballs, he immediately left without even the traditional bow.
Dust waited near the back as boy after boy went up, took their egg and pokeballs, bowed to the Eggmaster, and received the cheers of their family and friends. How many seventeen-year-olds could possibly live in this valley? It seemed to be taking forever! Before long, Dust's shiny red prospect was taken, and the black one he decided he wanted after that, and then the green one after that. Finally, the boy in front of him went and took the big blue one had set his eye on.
Dust felt rather cheated, but all those negative feelings melted away as he stepped forward. This was the Egg Ceremony, the most important day of his life so far! What was there to be upset at, aside from being stuck for life with whatever lousy Pokémon was left?
The walk to the considerably diminished egg pile hadn't looked that far before, but as Dust made his way toward it with drummers beating their instruments in perfectly rehearsed rhythm and Maddie going wild in the crowd, the distance seemed to increase substantially. It was possibly the farthest thirty feet had ever had to go.
Lots of people were cheering for him now. He looked at the small, rather sad pile of eggs in front of him. There were only six left by this time, and none of them all that appealing. Dust reached for a small grey one, and stopped. What if this egg contained a creature he didn't want? Dust was about to make a life commitment, and he didn't even know what the creature would look like! He reached again for a dull purple egg, when something caught his eye.
Kneeling down, Dust moved aside some of the straw the eggs were sitting on. Underneath the bedding was an egg that had been accidently buried when the other boys had been moving the eggs around. Brushing away the rest of straw, Dust picked up the new egg.
The egg was the size of a small watermelon, and weighed about as much as one. It was bright orange and had thin blue streaks running across it. The shell felt soft and almost leathery compared to the hard shells of the other eggs. When he put his hand on it, Dust could swear that he felt the baby Pokémon moving inside.
Whatever was inside this egg, Dust felt it had been waiting for him and him alone.
He picked the egg and stood up. When the Eggmaster saw what egg Dust had chosen, he smiled knowingly at it. He reached into his box and produced two pokeballs.
"When your Pokémon hatches," he said, "Immediately use the ball on it. It won't yet have the strength to escape. Do not immediately go to catch a wild one. Feed and raise your Pokémon for a month beforehand. Love it, and it will be the closest friend you will ever have. Mistreat it, and it will try to subvert you at every opportunity. Go now, and enjoy the rest of your evening."
Dust left the dais and the next boy came up. His mother rushed out from the crowd and hugged him, his father close behind.
"What do you it will be?" she asked.
"I have no idea." Dust admitted, "But I think it'll be something special."
He looked at the egg, as if expecting it to give an answer. It didn't give any hint.
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 9:08 PM
Chapter III: Ashton
The egg proved to be very untalkative indeed.
Dust had gone home after spending the rest of the evening discussing what creature might be in it. Dust thought that the orange coloration meant it would be a fire Pokemon, like a Slugma (hopefully not) or a Charmander (slightly better). Maddie insisted that the egg's color had very little to do with whatever was inside. Mona thought it was an "Igaboo!" but Dust had long ago learned that Mona rarely said anything worth paying attention to.
And then life went back to normal. Dust worked on the farm, feeding the Tauroses, planting cabbage, fixing the fence after the Tauros broke it, corralling the Tauroses, cursing at the Tauroses after one of them almost impaled him, and generally just doing as he always did.
All except for that egg. Dust would watch it at night, laying on the floor of his room. It had been about two months since the egg ceremony and the damn thing hadn't so much as shaken lightly.
The more frustrating thing was that the other eggs were already hatching. On the rare nights that Dust was able to go into the village proper, he could see the other boys showing off their newly hatched Pokemon to anyone who cared to look. Some of them had already come back with the other one from the wild. Of course, they were no longer boys anymore after that. He had been unlucky enough to be there when Ashton had come down into the village with his brand new Pichu, having it shock people with weak little jolts of electricity. Dust's hair stood on end for almost an hour after that night.
And through it all, he could only look despondently at his unmoving egg and wonder if maybe he had been stupid to choose it. He certainly felt stupid having the only egg in the village that hadn't hatched yet.
A gnawing edge of worry was beginning to creep in on him. What if the Pokemon inside would never hatch? What if it had died inside the egg on the way to the valley. He had seen Tauros eggs that never hatched. What if this embryo was like one of them? What if it just laid there until it finally rotted? He would have to wait a whole other year before he could get a new one!
He stared at it.
It did nothing.
He continued to stare.
It continued to do nothing.
Dust was beginning to get angry. "Open up, you worthless sack of dried up yolk!" he shouted, and then realized he was talking to an inanimate object.
He reached out and grabbed it. He could vaguely feel whatever was inside stir slightly. Alright, so it wasn't dead, but that didn't mean it wasn't frustrating.
Dust flopped back on the bed. He hated that egg and he hated the unborn creature inside of it.
He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. In his dream, the egg hatched into a giant Gyarados and ate him. It wasn't encouraging.
When he opened his eyes, it was still dark. Dust had always been a light sleeper and he had heard something in the night that woke him up. He looked at the egg. It sat unmoving. It must have been something else, probably a Zigzagoon prowling around. He was about to go back to sleep when he heard it again. That wasn't the sound of a Zigzagoon at all.
Dust got out of bed and exited through the door to the outside, pausing to grab the club he used to fend off Poochyenas and other predators. The moon was down to a tiny sliver, but Dust's eyes were well enough adjusted to the dark that he didn't have too much trouble seeing. He was grateful it was late spring and the air wasn't cold.
The rustling was coming from the Tauros pasture. He climbed over the fence and dropped into the tall grass, staying low and trying to keep out of sight. He crept past the sleeping Tauroses until he could make out three decidedly non-bovine shapes. They definitely weren't Zigzagoons, unless the little raccoons had grown to almost six feet, stood upright and learned to talk. Somebody was sneaking around the cattle, but Dust couldn't think of anyone who would have any business here. They were whispering to each other with words too quiet for Dust to make out.
They were moving in on the inert hulk of Rampage, the very aptly named prize bull.
Dust crawled through the grass, taking care to make as little noise as possible. He was less than five feet away from the intruders. The smallest one, who appeared to be the leader, pulled a small round object out of his jacket. A pokeball. The bastard was going to steal his family's best Tauros.
Dust couldn't wait any longer. He lunged at the thief and tackled him to the ground. The guy was wearing a black mask over his face. Dust pulled it off and found himself staring into the heterochromatic green and purple eyes of Ashton. This night was steadily getting worse.
"'Ello, chummy." The Baron's son said. Four large hands grabbed Dust by the shoulders and pulled him off Ashton. They belonged to Burke and Durke, the two entirely interchangeable and mountainous thugs who accompanied Ashton everywhere. Dust suspected that those weren't their real names, but he wasn't sure. Durke (or maybe Burke, he forgot which one was which sometimes) slammed his fist into Dust's gut. Dust sank to his knees, the wind completely knocked out of him.
"Now, now, there's no need for that, Durke." Ashton said, picking himself up off the ground. "The poor boy is jus' tryin' to protect these 'ere Tauroses from rustlers an' whatnot. For all 'e knows, I could've been a dangerous criminal."
"What are you doing here?" Dust asked.
"Rites of passage, chum." Ashton answered. "Even us nobles got to observe tradition jus' like all you common muckdwellers. Noblesse oblige and whatnot. If we don't set a good example for all you filth mongers to follow, we got no business rulin' ya. That's what the old man says."
"And why are you obliging your noblesse in my pasture?" Dust had a feeling he had no idea what those words actually meant.
"Catchin' my very firs' Pokémon, old bean." Ashton tossed a pokeball on the ground and the little Pichu came chittering out. "I was all set to go out into the world, make a real man o' me self, when I suddenly thought, 'that Tauros out on that farm sure is a mighty fine beast'. Thought I'd pop in and take 'im off your hands, mate, seein' as you got a whole field o' the things. I'm sure you won't mind."
"You can't just take our bull, Ashton!" Dust said angrily.
Ashton smirked at him. "Actually, I can. This 'ere valley belongs to my family along with everythin' in it. In a way, this bull is already mine, an' your jus' borrowin' it." He cracked his knuckles loudly. "Now if you don't mind, I've got a noblesse to oblige."
Dust was thrown hard to the ground. While Ashton picked up the pokeball that had been knocked out of his hand.
"Pichu, use thunder wave on this galoot."
Pichu's cheeks began to crackle with electricity. A jolt of lighting surged out of its jagged tail and hit Rampage in the face.
In the space of a second, the massive Tauros changed from an unmoving mound to half a ton of red hot fury, kicking up dust and bellowing angrily. Its big dumb eyes focused on the first thing it saw and it charged.
That thing happened to be Dust. Burke and Durke dove out of the way as Dust ran for it, running as fast as he could through the tall grass. He jumped over the fence one step ahead of Rampage, who slammed into it, and nearly knocked the entire section of sturdy fence over. Another jolt zapped the bull in the flank and it turned to face the new annoyance.
Ashton stood in front of the angry Tauros, Pichu crackling with static on his shoulder and and a manic grin splitting his face ear to ear. He reached for another pokeball and released a seven foot tall humanoid Pokémon, nearly as wide as it was tall, with enormous three fingered hands and narrow, intelligent eyes. Under its thick layer of fat, Dust could tell that it had powerful muscles.
Ashton pointed at Rampage. "Hariyama, show this thing who's boss."
Rampage bellowed and charged at the enormous newcomer. Hariyama waited for it to come close and grabbed it by the horns. It lifted Rampage almost completely off his feet and threw him to the ground.
By this time, the other Tauroses had begun to wake up and were slowly surrounding the scene. None of them were as large as Rampage, but that comparison was like the difference between a volcano and a chain of slightly smaller volcano. They were all big, and if set off, could easily ruin the day of anybody in the vicinity. They surrounded the four humans, mooing loudly. For now they were just curious, but a Tauros was very easy to anger.
Rampage tried to get to his feet, but the Hariyama was stronger even than him, and held his struggling bulk down. Rampage was getting tired, and his throes were becoming weaker. That was the least of Hariyama's worries though. Some of the other Tauroses were starting to snort and shake their heads violently. There were very few places in the world worse than in the middle of a herd of enraged Tauroses, even for a seven-foot super-strong Fighting Pokémon.
A loud bark sounded out and many of the Tauroses began to back off. They knew from experience that that bark was bad news for misbehaving cattle. A big blue and yellow dog came bounding through the herd, its tall mane bursting with electric power. Dust immediately recognized it as his father's Manectric.
Manectric growled at the assembled Tauroses and they almost sheepishly went away. Dust's father came huffing and puffing up, a rifle in his hands.
"What the hell is going on out here!"
"They're stealing our Tauros!" Dust said pointing at the trio of intruders.
Dust's father took a moment to appraise the situation. He sighed deeply. "I'm sorry for any trouble my son caused you." He said to Ashton.
"What?" Dust said indignantly. "You're just going to let him walk off with our best bull?"
His father pulled him aside. "Dust, I want to go back to the house. I'll handle this."
"Dad, you can't be serious!"
"He's the Baron's son, Dust. If I try to stop him, we'll just get in trouble with his father. I don't like it any more than you do, but that's just the way it is."
"There's nothing either of us can do, son."
"You should listen to your old man." Ashton chimed in. "If either of you lay a finger on me, my dad'll 'ave you both thrown in prison!"
"Go back to the house, Dust." His father said again.
"It's not right." Dust said.
"I know it's not, but it's the way it is."
Dust trudged back to the house. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that he had to work and toil and sacrifice for everything he had and those nobles, those lousy, thieving rat-faced bastard nobles could just come and take whatever they wanted without so much as a thank you.
He entered his room and slumped down on the straw, cursing the unfairness of it all. He had a prize bull that he had helped raise from a calf and returned to a pile of straw in a two room shack, while that son of a ***** Ashton had stolen that bull and would be returning to a feather mattress in a stately mansion. If Dust had owned anything he didn't mind destroying, he would have kicked it. Since he barely owned a thing a thing in the world though, he contented himself with glaring at that damn egg as if it were the source of all his problems.
If looks could do physical harm, Dust's glare would have cracked the egg in half, which was why it came as such a shock when the egg actually did crack. Dust stared in surprise as a tear opened along the egg's top and grew along its leathery surface.
Dust could hardly believe his eyes. After all this time, the egg was finally hatching!
Dust peered over the large orange egg as its occupant ripped its way out. Dust arched his eyebrow when he saw what came crawling out.
"You are not what I was expecting." He said.
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 9:09 PM
Chapter IV: Hatchling
A little blue snout poked its way out of the eggshell, followed by a little blue head with big red slit-pupil eyes. The mouth opened wide, revealing a mouth already full of sharp teeth.
It tried to crawl out the top of the egg, and then toppled over, breaking the rest of the shell. The infant Pokémon was a little crocodilian creature with bright blue scales and tiny, flimsy looking orange spines growing out of its back. It looked imploringly up at Dust with wide, hopeful looking eyes.
Dust looked back.
It continued looking at him. Its head cocked to the side.
Dust broke the silence. "What?"
The baby let out a sort of mix between a coo and a hiss. It was cute, albeit in a reptilian sort of way.
Remembering what the Eggmaster had told him, Dust fumbled for the two pokeballs on the floor and picked one up. He aimed it at the little Pokémon and prepared to throw.
His arm hung in the air for a while. The hatchling opened its jaws and looked at the ball, as if hoping it would be edible.
Dust put his arm down. Everyone he had ever talked to told that the way to bond with your hatchling was to throw a ball at it. It just didn't seem right to throw something at an infant, scales or no.
He brought the ball down in front of the Pokémon's face. "Do you want me to put you inside this?"
The baby stared at the ball for a long moment, and then closed its jaws around it. That got a laugh out of Dust. "You really are a funny little brat, you know that?" he said.
He pulled the ball of his Pokémon's mouth. It continued to stare at him. Dust wasn't sure if reptiles could smile, but this one sure looked like it was trying to.
He softly pressed the pokeball to the Pokémon's forehead until he heard its button click. The ball opened and the Pokémon vanished. The little circle around the button flashed red three times and then turned bright blue.
Then something entirely unexpected happened. Dust's fingers involuntarily clamped down hard on the ball. The metal seemed to heat up and lose its hardness. Dust grabbed at his fingers with his other hand and futilely tried to pry them loose. The pokeball was getting hotter and hotter, Dust was starting to panic. A sudden surge of heat blasted through his arm and into his brain. Dust fell to the ground, his mind on fire. Sensations that he wouldn't be able to put words to later entered his head.
Ripping through the thick leather. Body covered in fluid. Taste and feel of a metal sphere in his mouth. A bright light, followed by darkness.
Images of more of the little crocodiles filled his inner vision, basking in the sun, hunting fish, swimming in the cool river water.
Three words came to the front of his mind.
Crocodylus Liberis. Totodile.
And then it was over. The pokeball fell out of Dust's hand. He felt like he was going to vomit, his body convulsed as he gagged at nothing.
So that was bonding. Nobody had ever told him it would anything even close to that.
Breathing heavily, Dust finally got his bearings back. The pokeball lay innocently on the ground, its central circle still glowing blue. He reached for it tentatively, and after a moment's hesitation, grabbed it.
No barrage of mental images came, no bodily convulsions, no words he had never heard of before; the ball wasn't even warm. He tossed it to the ground, and the baby Pokémon came out. It still had the same dopey look on its reptilian face as before, looking around the room as if it expected the walls to start talking.
Totodile. Was that its name? He sure hoped he wouldn't have to be calling it Crocodylus Liberis.
"Totodile. Is that what you are?" Its head turned around and stared right into his eyes. There was a look of comprehension that Dust hadn't seen there before.
Dust decided to experiment. "Totodile, open your mouth." The jaw slowly widened. "Close it." The jaw snapped shut. "Can you understand what I'm saying?" Blank stare. "Jump." Blank stare.
Why wasn't it doing what he said now? "Open your mouth." It continued to look at him funny.
A sudden idea struck Dust. "Totodile, open your mouth." Once again, the mouth opened wide.
So it only responded to its name then? His father's Manectric didn't need you to address it directly to understand what you were saying. Then again, his father's Manectric wasn't an infant. Maybe comprehension would come with time.
"Totodile, jump in the air." Dust said.
Totodile tried to leap as high as it could, but succeeded in only falling on its own face. Definitely still an infant. Dust couldn't imagine battling with this thing.
"Well, you might be worthless right now," Dust said, "but with those teeth, I think you'll be big and strong some day."
He sat back in the pile of straw that was his bed. "Time to sleep now, though. You've got the first day of your life coming up tomorrow. You don't want to be tired when it comes."
Dust lay back on the straw and closed his eyes.
Totodile watched his master for a moment, waiting for him to get up and play with it some more. Then, it crawled into the straw and curled next to Dust, and they fell asleep together.
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 9:10 PM
Chapter V: A Hasty Decision
Dust's family never got their bull back, and on top of being a stud bull, Rampage was also used for plowing the field. Now, they had no Pokémon trained with the plow, and it was almost time to begin planting the rabutas. Dust and his father were trying to train one of the other Tauroses, but they were too damn stupid to be of much use. The only Pokémon seemingly capable of following orders was Manectric, but he wasn't near big or strong enough to work a plow.
In the two weeks since Totodile had hatched, the little croc had grown considerably. While it had not even come up to Dust's knee standing at full height when it first arrived, it didn't even come to his knee standing at full height. Now, Totodile was two feet tall and could waddle along after him without falling over.
It had taken a particular liking to Mona. The two of them would sit on the floor, babbling and hissing back and forth at each other. Dust suspected that Totodile could understand Mona better than it did him. It still only responded to him when he directly stated its name, but it followed him around everywhere he went and always insisted on sleeping next to him every night.
Totodile's small stature and lack of real coordination made it very unhelpful at farm work, though it would often try to copy Manectric as it herded around the Tauroses, growling and snapping ineffectively at their legs. Dust had lost count of the number of times he had had to rescue it from an angry stomping.
There was one thing Totodile was good for though. The little bugger seemed to be able to spit out almost unlimited amounts of water. It would be useful for watering the rabutas, though Dust definitely wouldn't want to drink the water coming out of its mouth.
That was the way the days went by: working from dawn to dusk, and trying to train Totodile at night. Through it all though, Dust kept thinking of those big mountains he had spent his life in the shadow of, and what lay on the other side.
Dust was now the only boy left who had not gone and returned with a captured Pokémon from the wild. He mentally corrected that. He was now the only boy. The rest were all men now.
He sat in the grass and stared up at the large peak in the distance, barely visible in the moonlight. Totodile came wandering up from behind and placed its big head in his lap, cooing softly. The little thing was so harmless. Dust looked at his Pokémon with a feeling of sudden disdain. This thing was supposed to be his ticket to manhood? This lizard that played in the dirt with a two year old girl who could be frightened by a Rattata?
How was he supposed to prove himself? If Totodile couldn't fight, he couldn't catch a wild Pokémon. He couldn't build a house of his own, or join the village council or marry Maddie.
And why should she want to marry a boy who didn't have a wild Pokémon of his own? An even worse thought struck him. He couldn't be the only one with an eye for her. What if somebody else wanted her for himself? What if he was already making his move?
Dust looked down at his Pokémon. "Totodile, stand up."
The croc snapped to its feet.
Dust knelt down face to face with it. It flicked out its tongue and licked him.
"Totodile, growl at me. Be scary. Be mean."
Totodile let out a little high pitched gurgle that Dust supposed was intended to be a growl. It looked at him with its big dumb eyes.
Dust groaned. "Dammit Totodile! Why can't you be mean! Why can't you be tough! You're a crocodile for god's sake! Why are you so pathetic?"
Other than the word 'Totodile', the Pokémon didn't seem to understand a word.
One month, the Eggmaster had said. Wait one month before going to catch a second creature. Would Totodile be in fighting shape by then? Dust didn't have that long to find out. In two weeks, Maddie might be married to someone else.
He picked up Totodile and brought it face to face. "Tomorrow, we're going on a little trip."
27th January 2012, 9:10 PM
Protip for the record: The more you try to get onto TVTropes' rec page, the less likely you'll actually get there. The reason why is actually pretty understandable. If you consciously attempt to do something, then it'll be obvious that you're consciously attempting it. As in, your efforts will come out forced.
I do have to admit I can't particularly get into the fic anyway. I just found the writing style to be a little grating. For one, you do a lot of telling instead of showing. Example? You start off the piece by telling us that the lights are strange. Unfortunately, that doesn't give us a good picture of what we should be imagining. What about them are strange? What does this place look like? What exactly makes this place otherworldly? Is it because he doesn't recognize various devices or structures? Is it because the setting itself is an Eldritch Location?
Even more importantly, the trainer. Right off the bat, I'm inclined to say I'm not that into him. The first thing we're told (instead of shown) is the fact that he's the greatest trainer in the world. However, we're not shown either way much about his personality. If his claim is true, then the story doesn't really make any effort to go into detail about it. If he's just bragging, then we're not really shown any indication of him being as much of an egotistical jerk as one would expect from anyone who calls himself the greatest trainer in the world. At most, we just see him break into a laboratory, ignore Scyther's hesitations, and then just him reacting to Mewtwo. You don't really build his character on his own; he just reacts according to the plot. (Even his abandoning of Scyther just feels like it happened for convenience. If Scyther doesn't appear in other chapters, then that pretty much cements my suspicions there.)
Speaking about the convenience of the plot, Mewtwo. It starts out refusing to be captured by the trainer, but... then it randomly decides to be captured by the trainer? Why? Yes, you mention that Mewtwo wants a servant, but then what was the purpose of refusing to go with the trainer in the first place? (Yes, you could argue that it didn't realize that its master and the world it knew were long gone, but then why didn't it ask instead of asserting that the trainer was way too weak and ill-equipped to catch him?) If anything, that scene ends up being a little unintentionally funny because Mewtwo just calls the trainer's Poké Ball flimsy before deciding to commandeer one that probably wasn't that much better than the ball the trainer was planning on using. (Unless he kept his Scyther in a Master Ball or something like that.)
Also, why exactly does Mewtwo allow himself to be captured in order to score a servant? Being captured makes the captive a servant to whoever captured them. In other words, Mewtwo, by entering that Poké Ball, isn't the trainer's master; it's the other way around. That's why the ball is a capture device and why trainers have every right to order around whatever is contained in them. Besides, if Mewtwo wanted a servant, why didn't it just use its psychic abilities (one way or another) to control that trainer? It's fairly clear that it doesn't think that he's worthy enough to be considered its master, and it's not like Mewtwo doesn't have the ability to control the kid, even if it's just by scaring the pants off him with telekinesis. (And that's only one idea. If you go by anime canon, you can add mind control to the list too.)
Then, there's a number of issues with grammar, word choice, and minor details, including:
1. Why is "pokeball" not capitalized while everything else involving Pokémon is?
2. You have five paragraphs in a row beginning with the word "the." You really shouldn't do that unless you're attempting to emphasize something or make it feel like time has slowed down (during a suspenseful or action-packed scene) because beginning several paragraphs in a row with the same word creates a choppy, slower feel.
3. It's = contraction for "it is." Its = possessive form of "it." If it helps, just keep in mind that no pronoun uses an apostrophe when you're trying to say that something belongs to whatever it refers to. (In short, no pronoun uses an apostrophe unless it's forming a contraction.)
4. That last semicolon ( ; ) should actually be a colon. This guide (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon) should explain why.
5. Why was the Xatu bit necessary? It pretty much came out of left field, as if to tell us that the laboratory(?) was somewhat guarded. But if Mewtwo really wanted to be guarded, then the lampshade hanging you were doing (by having the character wonder if that's the best guard the laboratory had) is unfortunately appropriate. I say "unfortunately" because there really, really should have been more than that logically. I mean, think about it. In the games, Mewtwo goes dormant, but it does so in a cave full of extremely powerful Pokémon. In this fic, it goes dormant, but it does so in a laboratory that's apparently easily accessible if you know how to find it and is guarded only by a single Pokémon that doesn't actually put up a fight before it's easily decapitated?
6. Some of the writing just feels a little unnatural. For example, you describe a Poké Ball as: "he held a small, orange sized sphere of some unknown metal alloy with red and white halves." This seems like it's jamming a bunch of description into one phrase as possible. Just remember that most of the time, less is more. If you can just describe a Poké Ball as "an orange-sized, red-and-white (metal) sphere," then that's actually more powerful as a description because it's concise. You don't ramble on and use superfluous words to get your point across.
In short, I'm going to have to apologize. At its heart, you have an interesting concept going (Mewtwo breaking out and forcing a trainer to do its bidding), but there's a lot of plot holes and awkward wording going on here. I'm sure you'll tell me that I just read the prologue and that it gets better, but the problem is that your prologue is an advertisement for the rest of your fic. If you can't hook a reader completely with just the first installment, there's no reason to believe that the reader will want to continue. That isn't to say that your fic is terrible. It's just that you'll need to focus yourself more and work out all the minor details. What gets you labeled as a quality fic, after all, isn't creating an over-the-top one full of action, romance, and what-have-you. Those are important, yes. In fact, they're pretty important on the same level as muscles are important to your body. But the skeleton of it -- the part you should concern yourself at the very base -- is just creating a solid, well-thought-out story with enough detail to give us a good mental image of what's going on.
With that being said, like I just mentioned, it's not bad, but it's just not something I'd rec to TVTropes.
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 9:27 PM
You're not supposed to like him. He is an idiot.
Don't worry about him, he isn't the main character and won't be showing up for a long time.
To be honest, I'm not too pleased with the prologue anyway. I wrote it at about one in the morning and didn't really enjoy it that much.
I made "its" it's"? Dammit! That is one of the things I try really hard not to do, and it always seems like at least one misuse always makes it in.
27th January 2012, 9:42 PM
You're not supposed to like him. He is an idiot.
That's not the point. The point is that I'm not sure if I should like how he is as a character. As in, a person can like a villain if they're a well-built villain. The problem is that this character isn't that particularly well-built. He's just sort of flat (almost robotic, I would say), and unfortunately, if he's the servant of someone as important as Mewtwo, he's got to be something other than "that kid who hangs around Mewtwo."
So, yeah. Even if he is an idiot, I'm sorry to say he's just not that enjoyable to watch, and unfortunately, one of the signs of a particularly well-written fanfic is that the author pays particular attention to even the minor details and doesn't write off any part of it as unimportant. The reason why is because even the minor details affect how readers and potential readers get into the world you're trying to show them. For example, he may not be a main character, but he's the foremost element of this prologue and basically the introduction to your story. It's the first glimpse your readers have of what you can do with characters. So, actually, how you characterize him is probably just as important as how you characterize the actual main cast.
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 9:59 PM
Did I make it seem like he was allowing himself to be captured? I meant it to come across like he was putting himself in the ball as a way to remain inconspicuous while subtly making the guy think he was the real master through a bit of mind control, which was why the guy couldn't remember the details of catching it.
I guess if I had more talent than a blind pig, I would have gotten that across.
An Enemy Spy
27th January 2012, 10:35 PM
I have an extremely fragile ego, and it takes me a little while to get over honest opinions on my work. I think I'm feeling better now.
I once read a story someone put up full of spelling errors, no punctuation, seemingly ramdom places for paragraphs to end, etc...
I literally could not read it. So I gave the author mt opinion and he goes flying into a rage and writes a final chapter explaining that he is giving up writing forever.
I really do not want to be that guy.
An Enemy Spy
13th February 2012, 9:06 AM
Chapter VI: Early Attempts
The sun was already rising slowly over the mountain when Dust was read to head out. He had packed a burlap sack of all the essentials for an extended trip into the wild: food, bedroll, matches, tinder and of course, the empty pokeball. Two leather straps fastened it all to his back.
He also had a hunting rifle and a belt of bullets to go with it, along with an ivory handled hunting knife his father had given him. Hopefully Dust wouldn't have any use for them, but he felt secure knowing he could defend himself.
And so he hugged his mother, kissed his oblivious sister goodbye, and gave his father the sort of half handshake, half almost embrace that men give each other when trying to avoid open displays of affection.
"Dust, before you leave, there's something I wanted to give you." His father told him. He reached into his pocket and pulled out another pokeball. "I was saving this for you."
Dust's eyes went wide. "Where'd you get that from?" he asked excitedly.
His father put his arm around Dust's shoulder and pulled him aside. "When I was your age, I set out with Manectric to go catch my first pokemon, just like you are. Of course, back then he was just an Electrike. I wanted to go out and catch the rarest, most incredible Pokemon I could, so I could impress your mother." He smiled now. His eyes were looking far away to a distant time. "Back in those days, there was a Sawsbuck people would always tell stories of, but no one could ever prove was real. It was a pure white stag nearly twice as big as your normal Sawsbuck. I went out into the forest and swore that I wouldn't come back until it was mine."
"Did you catch it?" Dust asked.
"I'm telling the story, Dust." His father said. "I tracked down that stag for the longest time, and finally Electrike was able to chase it to where I was waiting with my net. When I returned home, oh, you better believe I was a hero. After all, no one else had ever been able to catch that Sawsbuck. There was a party thrown in my honor, and your mother married me almost on the spot."
"So where is the Sawsbuck?" Dust asked.
His father's seemed to lose their shine and turn sad. "I was so proud; so vain at the time. One year, the Egg Festival came and there was this ruthless trainer with a big Arbok challenging people to Pokemon fights. I figured I was unstoppable. After all, I was the famous hero who had captured the white Sawsbuck. How could I possibly lose? Well, I was stupid young man and he was an experienced battler, and once that Arbok got on Sawsbuck he wouldn't call it off. He just stood there smiling. Sawsbuck died in that ring, and his pokeball has been empty ever since."
He placed the ball in Dust's hand. "I want you to have this one, Dust. Maybe you'll put it to better use than I did. I made myself a hero, but I killed a legend. I want you to remember this, son. Our Pokemon are our partners, not our tools. Their wellbeing is worth more than your pride." He pulled Dust into an embrace. "I doesn't matter what Pokemon you bring back; if you remember that, I'll be proud of you. Now you should probably get going, before the day's over."
Dust shouldered his sack and started to leave.
"Oh, one more thing!" His father yelled after him. "Bring back something useful! No Weedles!"
Dust took off for the forest, Totodile toddling along after him. He had gone about three hundred feet before he turned around and walked back to where Totodile had stopped to chase a tiny little Rattata. He picked his ferocious crocodile and put it on his shoulders like a toddler.
For a brief moment, Dust considered just catching the Rattata and going back. These thoughts were very quickly squelched though. Not only would a Rattata be useless around the farm, but what kind of a man goes out and brings home a rat? No, Dust was going to catch a real Pokemon.
A couple hours had gone by before Dust reached the edge of the forest. It was almost as if an invisible line had been drawn in the earth, with grassland on one side and trees on the other. The forest just sort of sprung up. The trees were tall, thick, and imposing.
The woods were a dangerous place, dark and full of dangerous creatures. Going into the wild was a perilous venture without a Pokemon with you, and somehow Dust got the feeling that Totodile was going to be relying on him more than he would rely on Totodile.
Dust had been here a few times before with his father, but Manectric had always been with them and most wild Pokemon knew better than to attack a dog with lightning abilities.
For the first time on this journey, Dust felt apprehensive. Maybe two weeks wasn't such a long to wait for Totodile to grow a little. Maybe he should just go back now.
No. He'd already made the effort of coming here. A real man wouldn't back down because of a few scary trees. He was going to see this through.
He took a deep breath and plunged ahead into the trees.
The effect was immediate. It was a clear blue sunny morning outside, but in here it was a dark forbidding world. He looked back toward where he had come merely seconds ago. Already the sunlight seemed far away, like looking through a long tunnel of brush.
Something rustled in the brush off in the distance. Dust gripped the rifle tightly.
"We're gonna have to be on our toes, Totodile." He said. Totodile perked up at the sound of its name
The sense of bravado that Dust carried around with him at all times was beginning to fade away.
It was slow going. The deeper Dust got into the forest, the thicker the brush became. Dust found himself fighting through low hanging branches, thorny vines, and thick ferns.
This went on for hours. Dust's hands were getting scratched from all the thorny brush he was pushing through, and he was relatively certain that he had stepped in something nasty.
Totodile was having a wonderful time. The little blue croc was chasing after tiny little Butterfrees and doing its pitiful impression of a roar at nearly every shadow, as if it was capable of threatening anything scarier than a dust bunny.
Dust still had yet to encounter a wild Pokémon. This was no big surprise. After all, it was a large forest. It wasn't like he would be running into a wild creature every few steps. Still, every hour that he was out here searching was another hour he had to wait to propose to Maddie. And waiting for that was interminable.
At long last the heavy brush relented and Dust found himself in a clearing. He looked up. The sky was completely invisible through the canopy of dark green. He was close to the river now; he could hear it rushing in the distance. He was practically at the foot of the mountains by now.
Dust was standing on an island of dry ground in a sea of mud now. The forest had turned into a heavily wooded bog where the river came cascading down in waterfalls and collected into a small lake. Dust didn't relish the idea of wading through a swamp. He was about to turn around and go back when something rustled behind him.
Dust spun around. "Totodile, watch out!"
He couldn't see anything in the bushes behind him. Slowly, trying to make as little noise as possible, Dust unslung the rifle from across his back.
"Hoot!" Went something in the trees above. Dust looked up. Sitting on a branch, barely noticeable among the brown bark and leaves matching its feathers was a Hoothoot, balancing on its one leg and regarding Dust with its red eyes. "Hoothoot!" It went. Whoever had named this Pokémon clearly hadn't felt very creative that day. Still, the owl would make a useful ratter, and Dust seriously doubted it would be able to put up much of a fight against Totodile.
"Hoothoot yourself." Dust muttered back at it. "Totodile, be ready to use your water gun… Totodile?"
Dust realized that his Pokémon was nowhere in sight. Great. Just when Totodile could have been useful, the dumb little croc decided to wander off.
Maybe he wouldn't need Totodile for this anyway. The Hoothoot didn't look physically imposing, so maybe it wouldn't be strong enough to resist a pokeball anyway.
He reached into his bag and pulled out one of the pokeballs. The Hoothoot still hadn't moved. The owl probably had no fear of humans. Dust aimed carefully, took a deep breath, and threw the pokeball.
And watched it sail over the Hoothoot's head and land with a splash somewhere in the swamp. The owl hooted excitedly and flew off into the trees, disappearing from view.
Dust cursed his aim, took off his rucksack and waded into the filthy water. If the word 'water' could be applied to the green-brown viscous ooze this stuff was, that is. Dust was glad he had thought to pack his other pants.
The pokeball was floating at the top of the swamp, held up by the thick layer of filth at the water's surface. Dust picked it up.
That was when he saw the ripple moving toward him. Something big was in the water, and it was coming fast. Dust waded as quickly as he could toward the edge of the bog, but the mud was making it almost impossible to move. He tripped and fell face first into the swamp, filling his mouth with horrible water. The swamp monster didn't seem to be slowed at all. Two rubbery fins had risen out of the muck and were almost to him.
Finally, Dust reached the edge and threw himself onto dry ground. Behind him, a huge gaping mouth opened and closed around where he had been moments earlier, and the Swampert sank back into the water with a loud blub. A large bubble rose to the surface and burst.
Dust rose to his feet, panting and gasping. He spat out the water in his mouth, but the taste of mud and filth persisted. At least he had gotten the ball back. Dust made a mental note to aim more carefully next time he saw a wild Pokémon.
He didn't have to wait long. On the other side of the clearing, a little Mudkip was hopping around at the bog's edge. Dust readied the pokeball and grinned evilly. Were Swamperts highly protective of their young? Dust hoped not, because that Mudkip was going home with him. He wasn't sure what good the amphibian would be around the farm, but he knew that one look at its adorable face would be enough to melt Maddie's heart. And to Dust, that made it more valuable than the finest rat catching Hoothoot in the world.
Totodile was still nowhere to be seen, but Dust wouldn't need it for this. And besides, Dust figured it was probably more likely to try and befriend the Mudkip than subdue it.
Dust aimed carefully and readied himself to throw the ball when the water behind the Mudkip suddenly exploded outward and the little mud fish was dragged down by a mouth full of teeth. The water settled for a moment, and then Totodile climbed out of it, dragging the dead Mudkip in its mouth.
Dust was speechless. Totodile had finally started acting like a predator. And it had picked the worst possible moment to do it. If Totodile had waited literally one second, just one second, Dust would already be on his way back to the village. He flopped himself on the ground. All he could do now was try and wipe as much of the mud off as he could. Before he could stop it, Totodile fixed that problem with a blast of water. He spat out the water that gotten in his mouth. Now Dust was frustrated, filthy, tired, cold and sopping wet. On the bright side, the taste of mud had been washed of his mouth, being replaced now by the taste of whatever was in Totodile's stomach.
Dejected, he picked up the Mudkip and turned to go back into the brush. "Come on, Totodile." Everyone knew the closer you got to the mountains, the more likely it was to run into a good Pokémon, and Dust had no intention of going through the swamp to get there. Nasty water was bad enough without giant Swamperts trying to eat you.
Totodile may have inconvienced them, but at least it had provided dinner, meaning Dust wouldn't have to break into his supplies. That night, Dust roasted the Mudkip over a makeshift fire, alternatively pulling off one rubbery strip of meat for himself to eat, and then for Totodile until there was nothing left. Once he got past the texture, the meat still wasn't very good, but at least it was filling.
At least Totodile had showed it could be useful, Dust reflected as he flopped down in a sodden heap, hoping no predators would attack him in his sleep as the fire went out. As he was nodding off, Totodile curled up next to him.
Dust wrapped his arms around his Pokémon and held it tight, until morning found them.
An Enemy Spy
26th February 2012, 6:23 AM
Chapter VII: Fly in a Web
When Dust awoke, there were a pair of inch long Weedles crawling on his face. He swatted them off and bolted awake. These tiny Weedles weren’t as dangerous as the bigger versions but their poison stingers still could be dangerous.
He examined his body. Two arms, two legs and a torso, everything was
there. Clearly he hadn’t been devoured during the night. He looked at Totodile.
Totodile wasn’t there.
Dust sprang to his feet. “Totodile!” he yelled.
Totodile had been lying right next to him when he went to sleep, Dust was sure of it. The croc almost never woke up before him, and even then it always liked to stay next to him.
Dust was starting to panic. Nothing had attacked him in the night, but he was big. What if something had decided to after the smaller prey and… no, Dust struck that thought out of his head. He wasn’t even going to entertain that notion until he had proof. Totodile had probably just wandered off. It was its first time in the woods and it was curious.
Curious like a toddler, and only half as sensible.
Now Dust was really worried. He knew his Pokémon. He could see it now, wandering through the woods and trying to find out if a wild Ursaring wanted to be friends.
Totodile wasn’t ready to be in the wild. Killing an unsuspecting Mudkip was one thing, but there was no way it could ever defend itself from a hostile wild creature. It was Dust’s fault for bringing it here. He’d been so impatient to go make a man of himself; he’d brought a baby to do his fighting for him. Very manly indeed. Now Totodile could be gone. And for what? Because he was worried Maddie would marry someone else?
“I’m such an idiot.” Dust chastised himself. What had he been so worried about? Maddie loved him. She wasn’t going to marry someone else just because his egg had taken longer to hatch. He didn’t know why he had ever thought that.
What was it his father had told him? Put his Pokémon’s wellbeing in front of his own aspirations? Well he had certainly made hash of that, hadn’t he? If Totodile died in his quest to be a man, then he didn’t deserve that title.
He hurriedly began throwing everything back into his rucksack. Wallowing in misery wasn’t going to help anything. If Totodile was out there, he had to find it and fast, before it really was dead.
As Dust stuffed the sleeping bag into the sack, not even bothering to roll it up first, he heard something crashing through the brush. He whirled around, knife already drawn and ready.
A flash of brown fur shot between his legs, whining loudly and disappeared into the bushes. In an instant, the clearing was full of fuzzy little rodents with buck teeth running in panic. It sounded like a chorus of terrified infants. From behind them came a rather weak and pitiful roaring that Dust was all too familiar with.
Totodile came tearing through the bushes on all fours it stopped at Dust’s feet and stared up at him with its signature blank grin.
Well, so Totodile was okay, but Dust promised himself he would take better care of it from here on out.
“There you are, you little bastard. I was beginning to think you were going to make me stay here all day.”
He pulled out a strip of dried Swinub meat and dropped it into Totodile’s eager jaws. The croc snapped it up and looked at back at Dust expectantly.
“Oh no.” Dust said, “I’m not going to fatten you up and make you worthless to me, you little parasite.” He relented and dropped another strip. “Tastes better than a raw Bidoof, that’s for sure.” He waved an admonishing finger at his Pokémon. “Don’t go running off like that again. I want you to stay close to me.”
Dust sighed. “Totodile.” The croc suddenly focused at him at the sound of its name. Dust wondered if it was something about the pokeball that made it respond to that word. “Totodile, stay close to me from now on.”
He packed up more carefully and took off, Totodile sticking close.
The day went on without much incident. Occasionally, a group of Starlies would fly by, but they were too fast for Dust to have any chance at catching them. The brush was much more forgiving than before now. Dust didn’t have to fight for every single step, and the journey was much more pleasant than before.
They were going along the river now. In the open valley, the river was soft and slow, but here at the foot of the mountains it rushed along at a much faster pace. There were actually rapids now as the water rushed over the big rocks. More Bidoofs were chattering around here, along with the larger Bibarels watching over the dams. Dust considered catching one, but decided that it would little use on the farm.
The ground was getting steeper now. Dust had finally reached the edge of the mountain. Sometimes, the ground would be almost flat, and other times it would turn into an almost vertical climb. After a couple hours, Dust could have seen his village far below in the valley, except all the trees were in his way.
Dust seemed to be in a flat area here. He was on the edge of a sheer cliff with the river raging below. It was fierce this high up the mountain, nothing but wild white water. The misty spray coming up obscured it almost entirely, but the roar was almost deafening.
Dust let Totodile out of its ball (the cliffs were too steep for its short limbs) and looked around. The trees were thinner here. Dust could actually see the sky now. The weather had changed since he left. Clear blue skies and bright warm sunshine had given way to a stark grey curtain of cloud.
Dust stopped by a stream running that babbled along peacefully before turning into a waterfall that fed the river below. He put down his bag and took one of the smooth round river rocks and threw it over the edge of the cliff, watching it splash in the white water.
“Well Totodile, I don’t know about you, but I am bushed from all that climbing.” He sat down and began to rummage through his pack for more Swinub jerky. “I think we have enough food for three more days out here, so we’d better catch something before we have to resort to another Mudkip. That might have tasted good to you, but we humans like meat with a bit more flavor.” He looked up. “Totodile, get back here!”
The croc had wandered off into the trees. Dust got up and rushed after it. He picked Totodile up. “Don’t wander off. This isn’t like down near the village, Totodile. There’s a lot of dangerous-“
The ground under his feet gave way and Dust tumbled down a seven foot drop. He landed in an unceremonious heap. There was an entire underground tunnel down here. Totodile would have been too light to break through the ceiling of dirt ahead, but when he walked over it, it was too much weight.
Dust stood up. “Totodile, you okay? “ He got an annoyed squeal in response. He’d take that as a yes. He kneeled down and let Totodile clamber up onto his shoulders.
“How big do you think this tunnel is? It really stinks down here.” Dust took a cautious step forward, knife out and ready. He really wished he had his rifle right now, but he’d left it back with the bag. “Ah, it really is rank down here. What do you think that smell is?”
Suddenly, he tripped over something in the dark and fell face first to the ground. Instead of the hard dirt he was expecting, Dust landed in something soft and stringy that stuck like honey. He tried to get up, but his arms and legs were covered in the stuff. He struggled through the string and found himself face to face with a dead Deerling. It was wrapped almost entirely in the silk, its head being one of the only things still visible. One dull glassy eye stared back at him. The other eye was missing entirely.
As Dust’s eyes adjusted to the dark, he could see now that he was in the middle of a Pokémon mausoleum. Dead birds hung from the ceiling, the flesh entirely gone from their faces. Dust was lying in a sea of web, on a floor of rotten corpses, all wrapped up like presents.
Dust did what any rational human being would have done at that moment. He panicked. Flailing his arms and legs, he fought to get back up, but only succeeded in entrapping himself further. The Deerling rolled over on top of him. He could see its empty eye socket closely now. Six tiny legs appeared from the hole, and a Spinarak scuttled out. Dust screamed and batted the Deerling away. He could hear the sound of faint skittering all around him.
Spinaraks were appearing from everywhere, crawling out of every tiny hole and crevasse in the walls and ceiling and from the empty body cavities of all the unfortunate creatures around him. Hundreds of spiders were swarming around the cave, shrilling and skittering with their horrible little legs.
Dust flailed his arms frantically until where he found where the knife was. He cut wildly at the threads holding him to the ground and bolted to his feet. A foot long Spinarak handed on his shoulders and he threw it off with a shriek.
“Totodile!” Dust could barely hear himself over the shrieking Spinaraks. He swatted at the tiny inch long ones as they tried to scurry up his legs. “Totodile!”
He heard a terrified reptilian cry. Totodile was wrapped up in string with two of the larger Spinaraks clawing at it. Totodile tried to snap at them with its big jaws but it was so entangled that it couldn’t move them enough to be of any use.
Dust fell on the spiders, slashing with the knife. He stabbed one through the abdomen and sliced the other one’s head off. He cut the webbing off Totodile and rushed to down the tunnel to the hole in the ceiling.
It wasn’t a long way to climb, but even a few seconds was a long time with the scurrying mass of deadly spiders rushing after him.
“Totodile, use your Water Gun!”
Totodile shot the nearest Spinarak with a jet of water and blasted it back, but more just crawled over it, poison fangs gleaming in the faint sunlight. The Spinaraks stopped when they came into the sunlight, as if it hurt their eyes to leave the dark. One or two would venture out and be knocked back by Totodile.
Dust scrabbled at the dirt up top, his fingers slipping through the weak soil. “Keep hitting them!”
From deep down the tunnel, there was a loud and horrible shriek, too big to have been from one of the Spinaraks. The sound of quick but heavy footsteps was coming down the tunnel, growing closer and closer with every second. The Spinaraks seemed to find their courage and rushed at Dust and Totodile with force.
Finally, Dust found purchase on the ground above and dug the knife into the dirt. Using it as an anchor, he pulled himself up. He took Totodile’s pokeball and aimed it down the hole, recalling Totodile in a red stream of light just as the spidery mess closed around it.
He reached under his shirt and grabbed at the tiny Spinaraks trying to bite him under it and threw them into the underbrush. Nothing was coming out of the hole now. Dust didn’t know if the Spinaraks were too afraid to come out of their tunnel and he had no intention to wait and find out. He started back toward where he had left the bag and the rifle.
When the ground suddenly exploded in front of him. A giant Ariados the size of a large man burst through the ground, showering Dust with dirt and pebbles. He nearly fell back into the hole from shock.
“SKREEEEEEEEE!” The Ariados was dark red with black stripes running across its abdomen. Its enormous fangs dripped with black venom as it charged Dust.
“Holy ****!” Dust leaped over the spider hole and broke into a dead run toward the rifle. The ground began to break under his feet but he had to keep on sprinting or else he would fall to the Spinaraks below. He reached the gun and whirled around to see the Ariados in his face. The spider slammed into him and the rifle fired harmlessly into the trees.
Dust fell to the ground with the Ariados on top of him, its sharp mandibles gnashing at him. A poison stinger shot out of its mouth, just barely missing Dust’s throat. He brought the shaft of the rifle up to block them, but the spider was too strong. There was no way Dust could keep it at bay for long. He slammed the gun into the Ariados’s face, causing it to rear up in surprise, and rolled out from under it. He ran the only way he could, along the Cliffside, with the spider hot on his heels. Thinking quickly, he took a bullet from his belt and tried to load it into the rifle, when he felt something wrap around his feet. It jerked him back and he fell forward, dropping the gun. The Ariados had shot a gooey line of web from its spinnerets and was dragging him back
Dust grabbed a tree root overhanging the cliff and held on. His arms were strained from the effort and he felt as though his body would tear in half.
The Ariados let out a “SKREEEEEEEEEEEE!” and lunged at its prey, but Dust brought up the knife and plunged it into the spider’s mouth. It shrieked in agony and backed off, dark blue blood and black venom streaming from its wounded mouth.
Dust could tell he hadn’t seriously hurt the Ariados, just made it angrier. He on the other hand was barely standing. If the Ariados attacked again, he didn’t think he would have the energy to keep it off long.
The Ariados charged, blood shooting from its jaws and murder in its eyes. It leapt into the air and prepared to sink its fangs in for the killing blow.
Dust tried to duck, but the Ariados slammed into him at full strength. The two of them rolled off the side of the cliff. Dust somehow managed to grab tree root and hang on as the Ariados tumbled into the river below, and with a final shriek, disappeared into the raging water.
It took the last of Dust’s strength to pull himself up. He fell to his knees, panting with fatigue.
The Spinaraks had ventured out of the hole and were crawling toward him with deadly intent. There wasn’t anything Dust could do. There were too many to fight and they were blocking every route of escape. The only way to avoid them was to jump off the cliff and hope that the water and rocks would kill him quicker than the spiders.
A sound of loud whooping laughing noise came from the distance, and the Spinaraks scattered away. A Sawsbuck came crashing through the trees. Moments later, three grey furred Poochyenas came bounding after it, snarling and cackling. Two of them disappeared into the forest, while the other one turned when it saw Dust, perhaps thinking him easier prey. It snarled, it’s yellow fangs bared.
“Can’t a guy ever get a moment’s peace?” Dust muttered. He released Totodile. “Put that enormous jaw to good use and bite it as hard as you can, Totodile. Let’s catch this thing and go home.” He pulled out one the empty balls and got ready to throw.
Totodile opened its powerful jaws, but the Poochyena struck like a dark bolt of lightning, slamming its body into the croc. Totodile was pummeled to the ground and didn’t move. The Poochyena ran toward Dust, but he picked up the rifle and swung it with all the strength he had left, swatting the hyena out of the air and knocking it to the ground.
The Poochyena sprang to its feet like nothing had happened. Before Dust could react, it slammed its bulk into him and he fell over into the stream with a splash. The pokeball clattered out of his hands. The Poochyena jumped on him, clawing and tearing with its vicious teeth. Dust reached back and grabbed one of the river rocks, smashing it over the Poochyena’s head. It bit his arm, causing Dust to cry out. His bloody arm sank into the stream and the red water washed off the cliff. Dust grabbed another round smooth rock with his other hand and brought crashing down again on the hyena’s head.
The Poochyena bared its fangs and was about to dig them into Dust’s jugular when it disappeared in a flash of white light.
Dust looked at the rock in his hands. Completely on accident, Dust had hit the Poochyena with his pokeball instead of a rock. He placed the ball on the ground. After a moment, its white light turned dark grey. Dust rushed to Totodile’s side.
“Are you all right?” Totodile groaned weakly. Dust didn’t see any signs of
serious injury. “You just the wind knocked out of you. Thanks for the help catching this thing by the way.” He recalled Totodile. No sense in leaving it out and injured in case the Spinaraks came back.
Poochyena’s pokeball sat there, looking small and harmless, but Dust had not forgotten what had happened when he caught Totodile.
Maybe it’s not as bad the second time. He thought, Maybe it’s even worse.
Well, he hadn’t come all this way and fell into a Spinarak nest and fought an Ariados and almost been eaten by a Swampert just to torchick out now that he had finally caught something. He took a deep breath and put his hand on the pokeball.
It was exactly as bad the second time. Fire seemed to race up his arm into his brain again. He saw packs of Poochyenas running through the woods and open plains, teaming up to bring down larger creatures.
Running through the trees, chasing the prey.
New scent. Wounded. Attack.
Sharp pain to the head. Bright light.
Dust laid back and took a deep breath. That was it. He had done it. He could finally go back and reap the fruits of his efforts now. He would have to get going soon. There were more Poochyenas around and the Spinaraks might come back. For now though, he was going to lie here and savor this moment.
A rain drop splashed on his nose. Then another, and another. Then the floodgates of the gods opened up and Dust was caught in a deluge of water. There was a flash of lightning and an answering call of thunder. Judging by how this trip had gone so far, Dust really couldn’t have expected anything else.
This really was the perfect capper to this whole journey.
Dust got to his feet, picked up his things and began to start the trip home.
An Enemy Spy
29th February 2012, 7:27 AM
Chapter VIII: Rumination
You are inferior. All of you, ephemeral and small like motes of dust in the grand scope of the cosmos.
I remember this place. I remember the sea and the hills. It is a tranquil place; a good place to rest, to survey the new world I have been brought back to.
It was not always like this. There were no trees here before, no green. Only a grey, pollution choked hole scabbed and bubbling over with the blood and filth of all you human vermin.
It is a shame I cannot stay here, but my purpose is clear.
This ball is a crude vessel for a being of my power. I remember a ball like this a long time ago, though it was stronger then, strong enough to contain me. I was the slave then, but now I am master. This ball's feeble systems are no match for my willpower. I will not succumb to its control as I did before.
The human thinks he is in charge. He is a brash, arrogant creature, thinking only of his own power, his own glory; a perfect example of humanity. I am the voice that whispers to him. I guide his thoughts and actions, without him even realizing it. He is a necessary irritant for my goal, but not forever. I will be disposed of when the time is right.
I can feel my power returning to me even now. The feeble minds of the creatures the human pits me against for his amusement is easily crushed. I long for a greater challenge. Even now I wish to make my presence known to this sad, backwards world. But I must be patient. I must be careful. I am not was I once was. I still know not how long I was entombed in that tube, but it has diminished me greatly. My once beautiful form is now frail and emaciated. But that will be remedied in time, just like everything else.
This new world holds nothing for me. It is a pale reflection of the world I was created to save.
Where is your civilization now, humans? Where are your grand cities, your mighty technologies? You thought your dominance would last forever? That you could simply take and take and take and grow larger and larger until this world no longer had room for your self-defeating race?
Did you honestly believe that there was nothing greater in this world than you? Were you so arrogant that you thought you could control the Primordials? You glorified monkeys who live less than a century, the masters of the creators of the earth, sea and sky? Your wondrous civilization is little more than a castle of sand against the relentless tide of the eons. Humans, who measure the passing of time in decades and centuries, thought you were fit to rule over those for whom a hundred millennia is but a single tick on the clock?
Did you think there would not be consequences?
Where are you now? The world has moved on, and even your descendants are unaware of your existence. Your punishment is not simply the destruction of all that you had created. Your world, which you thought would last for eternity, has been forgotten.
You have been forgotten. You may as well have never existed.
But I am not done with you, not now, not ever. Your world is what gave me shape, what gave me purpose. You wanted me to save you from the destruction that you brought upon yourselves. You should have known it was too late for that.
My only purpose now is revenge, but there is none to be found in this new reality. Those who wronged me are long gone, washed away in their self-imposed Armageddon. But I will not concede defeat. I will not give in. I will find a way to make you pay for all the pain you brought to me.
Humans are inferior. I am greater than the ones who created me. I will succeed where you failed.
Your battle ended long ago, but mine has only begun.
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